And so we find our intrepid heroine alone at her keyboard, wondering how to start this story. It’s one that’s been told a thousand times before – girl has dream, girl pursues dream, dream remains out of reach.

Except, it kinda isn’t.

Let’s roll back to (almost) the beginning. I have always loved pop culture – heck, I’m an 80s kid, there’s no way I couldn’t love it. I grew up in an era of The Goonies and The Muppets, of deLoreans hitting 88mph and of not being ‘fraid of no ghosts. And an 80s kid means a 90s teen, and teenage vampire slayers and Smells Like Teen Spirit and some of the best teen movies ever made (like, hello! Clueless?).

So when I hit my first job out of uni and slipped into the role of music reporter on a daily newspaper, it was like all my dreams had come true. I was in my early 20s and I was being handed every new release every week and getting to go to all the gigs in town. I was surrounded by music and film and TV and theatre and comedy and everything that I loved but never thought I could actually make a living with. 

It was too much too soon. I was way too much of a groupie to make the most of it, and I cared way too much to not take things personally. I got to meet some amazing people, but I was always tongue-tied and nervous. I was never the cool kid, and grew up with boy bands not alt heroes, so I always felt out of place and lacking something. And I was a journo, so I got cynical and jaded pretty quickly. I took it for granted, too, and when the life of the reporter started to become too tabloid for me, I got out. I didn’t see it was my business to talk about Kylie Minogue’s breast cancer unless she was singing about it on her new album. 

Cue the move to the other side of the world, the starting from scratch, the endless rejections from the NME and Time Out. The grabbing an entry-level copywriting job just to pay the bills. Of realising that not working around pop culture, not having to rip everything apart to seek hidden meaning or give it a starred rating, meant that I began to rediscover my passion. 

In a big way.

Like, a really big way.

What I thought was just because of the job turned out to be my reason for being. There was no hiding it, no denying it: I was a pop culture junkie. I still am. But not getting to talk about it, to use writing to just share my love of a particular movie or show or album or gig with anyone who cares to listen, was creating a gaping hole in my middle. It seems stupid, but I began to wonder if having an outlet for all these raging opinions and experiences – one that goes beyond ranting at my husband in the car – would go some way to reigniting that passion and start to repair that hole. 

Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But, for better or worse, this is where we find ourselves: we’ve circled round to the beginning of the adventure once more. 

This blog/publication/rant-space/outlet/whatever you want to call it will document my adventures in pop culture in the roaring Twenties (and beyond?). But it won’t just be my adventures – it will be yours, too. We’re open for submissions and pitches; details on how to pitch us can be found here. (Note: I’m doing this purely for the love of it, and any other writers will be too!)

Our adventures in pop culture won’t be reviews and news as such; it will be our own personal journeys with the things we love. This site will be full of personal essays about people’s relationships with pop culture, entertainment and life in general. That might be a review, or an opinion, but it might be a recap of an experience or a defence of the indefensible or a “OMG THESE GUYS ARE AMAZING CHECK THEM OUTTTTTTTT”. 

As for me, it will be my way to reignite the passion in my life. I am a creator, and I need to be surrounded with what inspires me. That means music, film, TV, theatre. It means visiting that laneway where that band first met over a sneaky cigarette, or stalking the streets looking for the site where that amazing scene was filmed. It’s about the inspirations, the aspirations, the guilty pleasures and the cooler-before-they-were-famouses. 

It’s about my life and my love. And I hope you’ll come along on the adventure.

Lauren McMenemy
21 February 2020

Main image: Photo by Clay LeConey on Unsplash

Writer for work and writer for pleasure. Pop culture junkie. 80s kid/90s teen. If it's spooky or nostalgic, I'm in.

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