Recent Comments

thumbnail
Jonathan Gray

I’d love to hear from Google or Yahoo how much searches for porn spike when this show comes to town!

thumbnail
Megan Boler

students are “stimulated by the academic value of its content”????? lol!! brilliant, they must be raking it in.

thumbnail
Megan Boler

Two points: “public grief” or empathy etc. about such horrors as civilian casualties in Iraq is **never**shown on television broadcast (just like the anger of anti-war protests is for most part censored), so **of course** there are intermediaries….which is a separate question from when and how sheltered North Americans experience “empathy.” As media scholars, it seems we would be savvy to how these emotions are shaped and filtered through images and broadcasts!

Second…Jon Stewart’s conversation with Allawi took place on April 18—two days after…and one must see that Stewart was likely the only “national” anchor brave enough to suggest that American perspective vis VTech and Iraq was out of whack…one should really listen to Stewart in this interview with Allawi (easily found online as it created huge chatter): when these court jesters deliver with serious sincerity instead of satire, it has a **powerful** effect (and white liberal guilt i think is almost beside the point, b/c the point is the power of corporate owned media and getting ANY critical word in edgewise! See the online chatter abt JS and Allawi!) and also, in Bill Moyer’s PBS interview with Stewart a few days later (also a must watch) they discuss this watershed moment and its political implications w/in journalism.

thumbnail
Chris Boulton

Roberta

As another BSG fan, I am glad you posted this. (Can you believe we have to wait a year for the next season?!) And as for subversive story lines, I was pretty blown away by the union episode…harkening back to the Ford strikes that took place in the U.S. during WWII. There is so much to love about this show. For example, Laura Roslin’s powerful, older, and attractive female protagonist…a rarity on American television. But it seems to me that the show appeals to the political middle by promoting some pretty contradicting ideologies (ie: Roslin’s dignified portrayel vs. the slinky Cylons). And as for the sly critique of the war in Iraq, I catch myself eagerly anticipating the pyrotechnic fight scenes and rooting on the Admirel to “take charge.” (ie: the coup) He may be a kinder and gentler military man, but Adama always gets his way, no?

thumbnail
Sharon Shahaf

Hallo folks Great to see a such a lively discussion developing here two months after I post this! I definitely agree that questions of cultural appropriation/cultural dominance are complicated by the global flow and popularity of hip-hop… If we define appropriation as a situation when the dominant takes on/mimic the culture of the subordinated to transgress into unchrted terrotories, to feel sexy or cool etc. - how do we interpret young Israeli’s taking on hip-hop? Should we foreground the dominance of American culture via MTV etc. in which case Israel is subordinated and the “mimicry” involved represents something different (the power relation at stake being the “cultural imperialism” of U.S culture?) Or … Should we consider that one of the dancers, Shocko, was introduced on the show as belonging to a lower-class Mizrahi background (Mizrahi Jews are those who immigrated to Israel from Middle Eastern and Arab countries and have been culturally, ethnically, economically, and otherwise opressed by the Eurocentric Ashkenazi Israeli elite) Shocko (which means literally Chocolate and refers to his brown skin tone) comes from a notorious south Tel-Aviv slam populated by struggling Mizrahi (Arab-Jewish) immigrants since the 1960s. Should his “appropriation” of hip-hop be considered in relation to that working-class ethnically marginalized background. Does it make him a more “authentic” hip-hop dancer?

I am not sure about Gitit as she can pass as both Mizrahi and Ashkenazi but I do have reasons to believe she comes from a more middle class background as she has had more access to training as a dancer.

In any event both of them were marginalized by (some of) the judges but widely celebrated by the audience. The global popularity of Hip-hop demonstrates how issues of race complicate archaic notions of “cultural imperialism”. When the “America” that influences the world is not white America a new ambivalent cultural field emerges. The fact that the cultural dominance of African Americans in no way shape or forms signifies the end of racism and racial discrimination in the U.S makes this all the more complicated. This case study begins to demonstrate then that we need a new theory/language to discuss what happens when cultural forms travel globally and get dislodged from their “original” context…

thumbnail
Hollis Griffin

This reminds me of the events that unfolded over the telephone chatlines and internet chatrooms catering to gay men living in Ottawa a while back. Men were meeting companions online and over the phone, setting up dates to meet in-person offline, and then getting beaten and even killed. I don’t want to instigate some moral panic here (it seems that all warnings about the dangers of gay sex need that caveat). After all, the slippage between avatar and body leaves great room for pleasures of all kinds. But participation in the decorporeal is fraught with its own kinds of risks that need to be assessed, managed, and taken into account in seeking out various online pleasures….

thumbnail
Hollis Griffin

Affect’s allegedy connection to geography is vexing. While this is a tendency of rhetoric from both ends of the political spectrum, I hate how complicit so many avowed Lefties are in this schema. We do tremendous rhetorical violence to the potentialities of progressive politics when we freeze out the locations in which we can imagine them. Even in jest, there needs to be a better way to “locate” the metonymies of conservatism than un-self-consciously tossing them into our geographic center…..

thumbnail
Chris Boulton

Avi - I see your point. We Americans are fascinated by “Acts of God” that create victims, but tend to dismiss the long standing poverty/conflicts of others as things that they “brought upon themselves.” How we could dare think this about Iraq (of all places) is beyond me.

Jonathan - As for the white liberal news anchor, I recall Edward R. Murrow’s special on the desperate plight of migrant workers. “Harvest of Shame” was aired just after Thanksgiving. Thus, a long-standing problem (hardly “news”) was cleverly tagged to an American tradition of gluttony and excess. So, for me, to tie the ongoing violence in Iraq to our own national grief over a sudden tragedy is a master stroke.

thumbnail
Jonathan Gray

The intermediary is nearly always required in any story of grief, though, as evidenced for instance by Fordham’s (and I’d suspect many other campus papers’) Observer’s framing of the Virginia Tech rampage in terms of Fordham students trying to contact missing friends, family members, etc. The sad fact with Iraq is that much/most of Americans’ news comes from white men, so they’re bound to be our intermediaries, guilt-ridden or otherwise, most of the time. While not ideal then, I’m resigned to a *first* point of contact being a white male like Stewart here, but my concern lies with whether that contact is at all maintained: in other words, does Stewart’s intervention point us in the direction of more appropriate intermediaries, or does the white man’s guilt allow viewers confidence that he’s intermediary enough?

thumbnail

This commercial is something that I could actually see shown on American televison. As others have commented, I am not sure why they used Jack from the popular American TV show “24.” Maybe this is a huge hit in Japan as well becuse it seemed as if they used Jack’s character in the context of the Japanese culture by utilizing glocalization and not cultural imperialism. Almost everything shown within the commercial actually reflects the daily Japanese life. For example, the subway system is one of the most prominent ways to travel in Japan, it is part of the daily Japanese life in the major cities of Japan. Also, the school outfits the female high school students were wearing are actually school attire the students wear over there. However, they did manage to incorporate the American style by adding suspenseful music and the faced paced camera movement editing to make it seem very action oriented.