Category: representation

09
Oct

Teenage dystopias

The slew of teenage films set in a dystopian near future is more than a case of Hollywood’s thematic franchising.

In a very real way, the success of these oddly similar stories speaks of the cultural zeitgeist in the collective adolescent imagination.

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16
Sep

A thousand plateaus

“The need to speak, even if one has nothing to say, becomes more pressing when one has nothing to say, just as the will to live becomes more urgent when life has lost its meaning.”
Jean Baudrillard – The Ecstasy of Communication

Nothing about media’s polyphony could be an adequate predictor for the popularity of the unboxing video. In our endless mediaverse, history is jettisoned – supplanted by the breadth of an infinitely replicable series of gestures of the moment.Continue Reading..

03
Sep

The millenarian impulse

Warnings of an immanent apocalypse have been an aspect of Judeo-Christian belief since the Old Testament. Given the failure of this finale to materialize, [Mayan calendar included] it is still surprising that a high number of people [more than one in seven by some accounts] persist in the idea that the “end of days” will happen within their lifetime.Continue Reading..

22
Aug

Design memes

One of the powerful aspects of theories of memetics is that they look to understand the process of societal evolution – applying across all aspects of human activity.

Memes are stories, songs, habits, skills, inventions and ways of doing things that we copy from person to person by imitation. Human nature can be explained by evolutionary theory, but only when we consider evolving memes as well as genes.

Susan Blackmore / Scientific American, Vol 283 No 4, October 2000

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20
Aug

Class and legitimacy

Anyone who looks at cable news in the United States for en extended period of time might ask the question: “Is this news at all?”.

The ubiquity of the media pundit, the professional commentator, has created a stream of invective, opinion and rhetorical denunciation that has little to do with news and analysis, and everything to do with the entertainment value of polarising opinion. After all, a considered centrist position that allows both discussion and compromise is less exciting than a helping of Fox and Friends or Real Time with Bill Maher.Continue Reading..