From John Seabrook, one of our most incisive and amusing cultural critics, comes Nobrow, a fascinatingly original look at the radical convergence of marketing and culture.
In the old days, highbrow was elite and unique and lowbrow was commercial and mass-produced. Those distinctions have been eradicated by a new cultural landscape where “good” means popular, where artists show their work at K-Mart, Titantic becomes a bestselling classical album, and Roseanne Barr guest edits The New Yorker: in short, a culture of Nobrow. Combining social commentary, memoir, and profiles of the potentates and purveyors of pop culture–entertainment mogul David Geffen, MTV President Judy McGrath, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Nobrow high-priest George Lucas, and others–Seabrook offers an enthralling look at our breakneck society where culture is ruled by the unpredictable Buzz and where even aesthetic worth is measured by units shipped.
Seabrook, a writer for The New York and Vanity Fair, delivers an amusing, perceptive backstage chronicle of what he sees as a major culture shift: the fusing of "highbrow" (elitism) and "lowbrow" into "Nobrow" (whatever has the Buzz).