Xenophobia, cult culture cool, and global immigration of a foreign pop culture

Following my questions from last week about the relationship between mainstream and subcultures, I’d like to raise the question of the power of xenophobia. As the Chinpokomon episode accurately depicted, intense xenophobic anxiety usually surrounds the prevalence of an emerging foreign pop culture. Is it possible that xenophobia (not just of the nationally foreign, but also of that which is foreign to the mainstream) is a fueling force for cult followings to become the cool new mainstream trend? In other words, the very definition of various forms of “coolness” is that whatever is trendy is relatively obscure or inaccessible. So isn’t the existence of xenophobia something that could drive the popularity of a foreign conception of “cool”? (Case and point: the minute the South Park parents lost their xenophobic attitude toward Chinpokomon and seemingly embraced it, it stopped being cool.)


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