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The emergence of media: Humanity's endgame – a précis (Part Three)

By Mark Wegierski
web posted February 25, 2013

The author continues with his analysis in point-form, in tune with current media practices.

How Media Distorts Fundamental Human Ways Of Experiencing, Knowing, And Understanding The Lifeworld

- living in a world of fictive personas and clichés
- the trend to trends - "meta-trends"
- the fiction of the personas is greater than the fiction they participate in - it would be like knowing about Pope Leo XIII without knowing anything of the history of the Roman Catholic Church
- from archetype to cliché
- the cliché-ridden society

Technosphere/Americanosphere

- "virtual reality" - Jean Baudrillard - Der Spiegel (no. 6, 1991) interview
- 500-channel universe, cf. Bruce Springsteen song, "57 Channels and Nothing On"
- high definition TV (HDTV) - eventually, the Blu-ray format won out – now moving on to 3D TV; "virtual sound"
- the Internet and "Internet Two"
- are there types of technological advance that are said to presage the breakup of the media monopoly (as discussed in George Gilder's book Telecosm)? - will small publishing become increasingly possible in the near-future, as technology makes costs of producing books cheaper? - but what about distribution?? - how will authors draw attention to their work in an ocean of information??

The Mass-Media Model Triumphs In More Traditional Media:
Mass Media And The End Of Literary-Humanistic Culture

- another treason of the clerks? – i.e., writers about the media who love the media too much (e.g., Teleliteracy, by David Bianculli; Metapop, by Michael Dunne; Media Virus, by Douglas Rushkoff; Macrocosm and Telecosm, by George Gilder)
- literary critic Northrop Frye and the theory of cycles of literature and social decline
- stigma of not having a television - if you don't watch, you're a social outcast - some case-studies of people without TV (as adults or preferably as children) - one person I know of watched about 6 hours of TV in his first eighteen years of life in North America - nice guy, however he also did his BA in Film at the University of Toronto (became a cinéaste?); in the 1990s, knew about successful Toronto businesswoman in her thirties (1.5 million p.a. gross revenue) who didn't have cable, not because she couldn't afford it, but because she felt all her time would be eaten up by it
- mass-marketing of books - e.g., movie rights sold before book has been written
- megastar authors (e.g., Stephen King, Danielle Steele) - better books lost out in the wash - Allan Bloom once said that his Closing of the American Mind was knocked out of bestseller status by The Cat Who Came Home for Christmas
- celebrity authors - usually ghostwritten - 'as told to'
- primary facet of a book is titillation - same as media - sex, violence (horror), and flash (e.g., technothrillers) - technothrillers often constitute justification for American imperial adventurism
- combination of literature/mass media, e.g. "culture" shows on CBC/TVO/CBC Radio

Has Media Swallowed Media-Criticism?

- Critique of Media/Pop-culture as Part of Media/Pop-Culture - e.g., Noam Chomsky - is he an author, or the guy the film was about? - especially, McLuhan - Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In asking - "whatcha doin', Mr. McLuhan?" - his appearance in a Woody Allen movie

To be continued. ESR

Mark Wegierski is a Canadian writer and historical researcher.

 

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