After hitting upon the idea last week, I have decided I like it even better: Popular Culture is the One Ring to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them. I don't just mean our current popular culture, which observers of all sorts consider degraded and are happy to show you examples, but popular culture in all ages. It is a great temptation because it does provide many wonderful things, even conferring a sort of invisibility if you use it as protective coloration to not stand out as with Havel's Greengrocer in "The Power of the Powerless."
I think of Gandalf. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good. Do not tempt me!