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Entertainment & Media

Shop: A Pop Opera

By Rachel Ezeadichie

Volume 2 Issue 3

January 14, 2022

Shop: A Pop Opera

Image provided by Jack Stauber

Whether you are his biggest fan or have never heard of his name in your life, you have probably heard some of Jack Stauber’s music somewhere. His song “Oh Klahoma” was used in over 500k videos on TikTok during a recent Halloween trend. Another one of his songs, “Buttercup,” was used in 1.4 million TikTok videos to convey various trends. Jack Stauber has also over 100 songs and multiple albums and shorts with deeper meaning. A prime example of one of these albums is “Shop: A Pop Opera.”

Shop: A Pop Opera was a mini-series that was aired on Adult Swim at midnight from March 4th-9th in 2019. The seven-video series follows a man trying to complete his shopping list, but as he continues down his list, he meets a few peculiar people who have issues relating in some way to the item he is trying to buy.

It starts off with the man trying to choose between two yogurt samples. He decides to start looking for the items on his shopping list. The first item on the list is milk. While trying to find milk, he encounters an old lady who cannot reach pecan nuts and thus asks him for help. When he retrieves the pecan nuts for her, the lady claims he did not grab the pecan, while he was certain it was. Before he can pick the lady’s desired item, she disappears without a trace. As soon as she leaves, he finds the milk, but realizes it has expired. He begins to wonder what kind of milk it was. Wondering whether it had a family, if it dripped with calcium, or if it had goals and dreams. He then picks up a carton of unexpired milk and pursues the next item.

He heads into the next aisle to find his next item, bread. He finds artisanal multi-grain 12 nut vitamin bread, to be exact. While wondering whether to buy the bread or not, he meets a snobby man who desires the same bread. When our main character asks whether the bread was of decent quality, the snobby man laughs and replies that it was for his dog as it was not edible enough for him. After telling our main character that he must go to a walnut auction, the snobby man leaves, and our shopper is left alone to examen the bread. He wonders if he lets his belongings define him and practically questions his sanity. He finds a normal batch of bread and looks for paper towels next.

When he enters the next aisle, the man witnesses the shattering of a glass bottle by another customer. An employee comes up and asks whether he broke it, to which he says no. The employee starts to clean the mess but is cut by some of the glass. The man worries for the employee but asks where the paper towels are located but was promptly interrupted by the employee monologuing about how entities can be easily broken but may take much longer to fix. The employee then tells him the towels reside in the next aisle. The employees’ monologue sparks curiosity within the man. He starts thinking to a universal level, noticing that nothing is reversible. Therefore, it is not worth trying to solve the issue or problem.

These quirky interactions continue throughout the shorts. For instance, one finds the relationship between coffee and necessity, while another binds cheese and the concept of acceptance together. The underlying themes are up for interpretation, as they are not set in stone. If you look in the comment section of the video, there are various theories which explain the meaning of this series. If interested, I would totally check it out.

The next time you head to the supermarket, look at your shopping list at an introspective level. You may produce something to change the world, develop an artistic outlook, or create a better understanding of life. In contrast, you may just figure out what flavor of yogurt you desire. It really depends on the person.

Shop: A Pop Opera Link-SHOP: A Pop Opera | adult swim smalls - YouTube

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