Something that I have been looking at is the most recent depictions of guns in pop culture. A movie that is coming out next month is os particular interest to me is “Spring Breakers”. Below is the link.
While it may be easy to turn up your nose to a movie like this, I think that it is has real cultural relevance.
reason#1 : The cast.
The cast of for this movie includes Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. Both products of the Disney machine and have had reached stardom through pandering to the tween crowd with “wholesome” family-type entertainment. In this movie they choose to shatter their “good-girl” images and are now gun-wielding, bikini-clad college co-eds at Spring break. By having these girls in the movie, the movie has more mainstream appeal and will be something that people will probably take the time to look at. The movie also had James Franco who also has real mainstream appeal. Franco plays a mix between K-Fed and Riff Raff, which in his depiction of the character also shows how this movie blurs the line between what is mainstream cultural consciousness (k-fed) and the fringe, art-house, and general out-there-ness of Riff-Raff. James Franco may be the perfect choice to embody both of these.
reason #2: springbreak
spring break is a cultural phenomena that is unique to the millennial generation. You have to have college to have spring break, so only now that college is a common cultural experience, can spring break be a common experience. The spring break depicted in this movie is dark of course, but not far fetched. the debauchery, law breaking, and constantly walking around with no clothing is part of spring break today, but something that is not is gun violence. this bring me to #3
Reason#3: Guns + spring break. So while participation in this sort of ‘gone-wild’ spring break does involve rule-breaking, guns have not really been seen as a part of spring break. Now they are. This movie opens up a new view into what spring break could be. A weird design fiction of everything that could possibly go wrong with spring break. The evolving presence of guns in public spaces in America could lead to this and relatively soon. While of course this is only a movie, it is meant to shock and entertain, it is just one more example of guns are becoming more and more present in places where guns do not belong.