Zigzigger

Michael Z. Newman's picture

I would get her so pregnant

Pete Campbell: I’m going to be a father.
His father-in-law: Can you believe it?
Mad Men viewers: uh, yeah!

Irony is one of Mad Men’s most indispensible storytelling strategies. Irony is at home in many kinds of storytelling, but Quality TV benefits from one of the most essential effects of ironic narration: it requires that we “get it.” It exploits the audience’s special knowledge and competence, which the text flatters us for having. ... read more »

Michael Z. Newman's picture

Michael Z. Newman's picture

I Brought You Cookies!

Michael Z. Newman's picture

Turning creative success into business is your work!

Michael Z. Newman's picture

On the History of Media and the "Attention Span"

If you have an interest in cultural media history, if you like Sesame Street and music videos, or if you have found the recent discussions about whether the internet makes you stupid or smart to be worth your scarce attention, you might be interested in my newly published work: “New Media, Young Audiences, and Discourses of Attention: From Sesame Street to ‘Snack Culture’” Media Culture & Society 32.4 (July 2010), 582-596. In this essay I trace the history of the “attention span” as it pertains to media from the early days of Sesame Street to the present, charting the process whereby media crafted to suit short attention spans of the young came to be blamed for shrinking the collective attention span of whole generations and societies. ... read more »

Michael Z. Newman's picture

Upgrading the Situation Comedy

I presented the following at the Console-ing Passions conference at the University of Oregon in Eugene on April 24 as part of a panel called Distinguishing Television: Television Genres and Cultural Value. ... read more »

Michael Z. Newman's picture

Twitter @ Console-ing Passions 2010

As Amanda, Annie, and Melissa have blogged, there was a robust twitter “backchannel” at this year’s CP conference on TV, feminism, etc., and this produced some beneficial and some not so beneficial effects. ... read more »

Michael Z. Newman's picture

New Media Seminar, Fall 2010

In the fall 2010 semester I will be teaching a graduate seminar, and I wanted to use this space to share some of my thoughts and plans. ... read more »

Michael Z. Newman's picture

Faves, 2009

A decade’s end brings on excesses of listmaking and nostalgia for the present and recent past. ... read more »

Michael Z. Newman's picture

Reading Myself Twittering

This post by Jeff Jarvis has me thinking about the relative merits of blogging and twittering.  For me and many in my internet circles, it seems some of the functions of blogging have been assumed by Twitter — especially linking to and discussing current things as they occur.  Twitter is so much easier to use than any blog application, and its rewards tend to be more immediate.  Another big advantage seems to be that we are much less likely to feel that Twitter is a time suck, since no tweet takes longer than a moment to compose or read.  Blog entries by comparison typically demand more time and energy.  I was interested to note that some of my tweeps have said that they’re not blogging until a writing project is complete, and I am basically in their boat (say what? I guess am off the boat temporarily).  Interesting that we have not suspended our twittering as well, or our Facebooking for that matter.  It’s not like they are not also a public display of time spent doing something other than our most important business. ... read more »