Alyssa on why she bothers to write about culture:
To me, culture is where we figure out and express who we are. Whether it's in selfishness or in search of courage, in communing with the whole or in full expression of your very unique self, how we react to art says a huge amount about the sum of ourselves. Something like Twilight matters a lot not because it's some silly little trend, but because no matter how poorly written it may be, or no matter how unserious a lot of the conversation around it may be, anything that gets that many people to buy movie tickets in a single weekend is a serious business, that says serious things about our desires.
This is basically my view. I'm not going to see any of the Twilight films. I'm also not going to go to the opera--yet. But I'm always interested in what moves people and why. I don't much care whether it's high or low culture. That's mostly because most of my early influences were low culture, and thus oft-dismissed. It's important not to mistake your own limits, for a particular genre's limits. I hold about as much regard for people who hate hip-hop, as I do for people who hate jazz.