Tag Archive: media

This ad is making the rounds, but in case you haven’t seen it yet, here it is. It is brilliant.



As Jeff Beer puts it, the stock video footage firm Dissolve illustrates the “marketing strategy equivalent of paint-by-numbers” by putting its own goods to the words of Kendra Eash‘s brilliant McSweeney’s piece.

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The Media and Environment Scholarly Interest Group just won the prize for best attended business meeting at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Or so we were informed by the SCMS interest group liaison present at the meeting.

This year’s SCMS featured what to my mind was by far the largest assemblage of panels and papers on all manner of environmental/ecological themes: analyses of filmic representations of nature, disasters and catastrophes, animals and nonhumans; theoretical excursions in ecocinema, eco-aesthetics, toxic and “energetic” media, frontier and extraction imaginaries, and more; and eco-materialist analyses of production processes, data backup systems, and other things. Some of these were sponsored by the M & E interest group; many were not.

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A little riot going on

Little time this week, unfortunately, for me to keep up with the Pussy Riot conviction (as promised here) or anything else. But I recommend Charles Cameron’s series of posts (six so far, and counting) over at Zenpundit, including his annotated summary of their closing statements. The statements themselves are very lucid and articulate, as one should expect from women who can quote Rosi Braidotti *AND* Nicolai Berdyaev.

To get a sense of what the PR girls are up against, have a listen to radical traditionalist philosopher Aleksandr Dugin on the “holy war” Pussy Riot have started. “Geopolitician” Dugin’s political advice gets into Putin’s inner circles, even if Dugin’s attitudes toward Putin himself have sometimes been ambivalent.

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Wall Street occupation

Why are the Wall Street protests not getting the media coverage similar events in other countries, or in Tea Party country, get? (Keith Olbermann asks this, below.)  Discuss.


More here and here.

When we hear about a Twitter and Facebook “revolution” in “X Square” or in a city in Libya, do we get keyed up? When we later hear about “rebels” and “civil war” somewhere in Africa (in that same Libya), do we tune out?

This week’s On the Media — one of the best hours of every week on National Public Radio — includes a segment on the effects of media metaphors like these, and other good material on online protestors “anonymous,” media coverage of recent labor protests, and distinguishing between journalism and “churnalism” (the regurgitated publicity that fills airwaves).

Revolutionary democracy

Here are a few thoughts after watching Frontline’s Revolution in Cairo, which is a very good 24-minute summary of how this particular democratic moment occurred, and after reading Badiou‘s, Hardt & Negri’s, Hallward‘s, Amit Rai‘s, and some other takes on the events.

(1) The recipe:

Tools + Techniques + Events + Vision = The revolution(s) we’ve been witnessing

The first three, in the Egyptian instance, are pretty easy to identify (click on the links). To oversimplify just a little, they are   View full article »

It’s probably inappropriate to review a book about four films when one has only seen one, and by far the shortest (it’s a music video), of the four. So this isn’t a review so much as an appreciation of Steven Shaviro’s Post-Cinematic Affect, along with some half-digested notes I made while reading it, but which I haven’t been able to synthesize into what would constitute a proper review. Due to time constraints (which will continue for a while), I’ll share them as is. (I would also recommend Chris Vitale’s response to the book.)

I’ve been a fan of Shaviro’s work since a web search for “Dhalgren” led me directly to Shaviro, who it turned out was a fan of the book by Samuel Delany that was formative in my early intellectual development. I was 13 at the time I read Dhalgren, and I hadn’t read anything quite like it until then (or much like it since). I had come across Shaviro’s writings earlier, but I’ve followed them more diligently — and been inspired by his writing on science fiction, films, music, politics and culture over the years (his Stranded in the Jungle provides a great snapshot of how widely his tastes range) — since chancing onto his site. His turn to Alfred North Whitehead in the book Without Criteria accompanied a move in my own thinking toward Whitehead’s process-relational understanding of the universe. Since then, Shaviro and I have found ourselves on the same side of the process-objects debates that have been staged here and on other blogs.

Post-Cinematic Affect is a short work. Much of it appeared as an extra-length article in Film-Philosophy, and most of the rest is readable here and there online, but I would urge you to buy the book to support Zero Books’ laudable effort to make philosophy affordable. Its shortness, however, and the small sampling of films it discusses, belies a depth of argumentation that generates rich insights on media, capitalism, affect, allure, celebrity culture, and much more. View full article »

offshore toxic event

The OTE keeps unfolding…

Does that thing (between 0:11 and 0:27) know what it is swimming through??

Here’s a good collection of some of the most memorable images (but what’s that awful music?):

Does Sarah McLaughlin improve things a little?

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Spillcam reality


I’ve been wanting to post something about the images of the Gulf oil spill (or, rather, of the unmitigated man made deep water volcanic vent of crude oil and gas) — about what they indicate (i.e. directly inform us about), what they symbolize (i.e., mean) and iconize (look like), and why it might be that CNN and other cable news outlets are so fascinated by the Spillcam. Of course, they mean different things to different people: corporate negligence or ecocide to some, more disappointment in political saviors to others, the dark ecological eye of the Real to yet others (at least that’s something like what I would expect to hear from Zizekians, Mortonites, and maybe dark vitalists), and perhaps just a vague of sense of weird (un)reality to most.

We leap from rock to rock across a raging river — economic crash, volcanic fog, oil spill, and so on — and these are the images that link the chain for us, the dream of globality, the chain we can use as a string of prayer beads or as the rope to strangle ourselves with.

… And about the Middlesex philosophy fiasco, which one can hope isn’t a harbinger of academic seismic shifts to come. (We have some power not to let that happen.)

I’ve been too busy writing and dealing with other matters to do much of either. But it’s a good time for thinking about the sorts of things Jane Bennett writes about in her political ecology of things. The reading group should be getting started over at Philosophy in a Time of Error shortly (and winding its way over here eventually).


First, for anyone living in a JonStewartless alternate universe… Stewart (and Samantha Bee) giving Glenn Beck a history lesson (about progressivism) was pretty funny. Beck may be a cheap target, but it’s also a cheap (free) history lesson. Take this country back, Glenn, way back…


Next, Denmark’s new tourist ad campaign by Lars von Trier (well, if only…), courtesy of The Onion. (Thanks to Graham for the tip.)

Finally, this discussion about Avatar: while Glenn Kenny delights in “Pandora’s bestiary of psychedelic monsters” and “the way all these elements moved, and the way Cameron’s cameras, those virtual and those real, moved around them,” curmudgeonly Jim Emerson provides a hilarious counterpoint:

“The letdown for me came from feeling that this wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before: on those Yes album covers by Roger Dean in the 1970s, on backlight posters in my childhood friends’ bedrooms, in the Thomas “Painter of Light” Kinkade shop windows at the mall, in the floral fiber-optic lamps at Thai restaurants, on the comic-colored packages for Sea Monkeys. I wanted a world of mystery and wonder; instead, I saw a retro-cartoon rainbow of fairyland clichés in fluorescent blue, purple, pink, yellow and green. That phosphorescent Astroturf jungle is enough to make Werner Herzog, seeker of new images to transcend the ones pop culture has exhausted, want to poke his eyes out with a glow-stick.”