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Negotiating change: Celebrity pie cart narratives

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This article presents the pie cart as a life marker within three celebrity narratives. While Americanized fast food chains currently dominate the Australasian take-away market, pie carts (and especially those operating in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s) provide an entrance into the collective memory, evoking a nostalgia redolent of Bruce Mason's Golden Weather (1962), a time past that, in retrospect, seemed simpler and less complex than contemporary life. The narratives of Ray Columbus, Georgina Beyer and Johnny Cooper are important because, and as Graeme Turner suggests, celebrities mediate the momentary and the permanent by constructing communities of thought from which others find reassurance and identity. Like pie carts themselves, our celebrity narratives offer a performative recapitulation of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s experience by engaging the symbolic realms of nostalgia and memory.
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Keywords: celebrity; fast food; life marker; memory; nostalgia; pie cart

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Auckland University of Technology 2: University of Auckland

Publication date: 07 June 2012

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  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. As a product of consumption, an intellectual object of inquiry, and as an integral component of the dynamic forces that shape societies. The journal will be receptive to articles which focus on Australasian examples, or broader comparative and theoretical questions viewed through an Australasian lens.
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