Resistance is Feudal: A descent into McLuhan’s media maelstrom

McLuhan’s approach to media studies is almost always characterized as deterministic. The entry for McLuhan in the Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory states in part: “McLuhan’s version of technological determinism is extreme […] the most striking feature of his studies of the media is their total failure to discuss the ownership and control of means … Continue reading Resistance is Feudal: A descent into McLuhan’s media maelstrom

MISC Monday: MLK media literacy; social media stress; the attention economy, and more

Almetria Vaba of PBS Learning Media has posted a collection of resources for exploring media literacy through the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr.: Examine the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement with hundreds of PBS LearningMedia resources.  Here is a sampling of resources from the … Continue reading MISC Monday: MLK media literacy; social media stress; the attention economy, and more

McLuhan Monday: Print and Islam, mobile gaming medium theory, McLuhan’s relevance, and more

In an article for Haaretz reflecting on last week's terror attacks in Paris, Michael Handelzalts invokes McLuhan's infamous aphorism in relation to the emergence of print culture in the Islamic world: So, in the Muslim world, books and literacy became generally accessible (instead of being accessible only to the educated male and the wealthy) about a … Continue reading McLuhan Monday: Print and Islam, mobile gaming medium theory, McLuhan’s relevance, and more

Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

I've written about the media ecology tradition, attended the Media Ecology Association's conferences and had an article published in their journal, but up to now Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death are the only primary texts associated with the tradition that I've read. To broaden my knowledge of the tradition … Continue reading Political Economy in Mumford’s “Technics & Civilization”

Gentrification and ‘the fucking hipster show’; hostile architercure and defensive urban design

In a post at the Jacobin blog, Anthony Galluzzo considers how the mainstream media's "fucking hipster" show mocks hipsters in the service of capital: [Marxist geographer Neil] Smith offers a dry, but emphatically structural account of this process, which he first theorized in the late eighties with Soho and the Lower East Side in mind. … Continue reading Gentrification and ‘the fucking hipster show’; hostile architercure and defensive urban design

Chris Hedges interviews Chomsky; Žižek on illusion of freedom; Bogost on ‘Darmok’ and ‘Yo’

Journalist and media critic Chris Hedges recently interviewed Noam Chomsky. Hedge's writeup of the discussion is up at Truthdig: Chomsky believes that the propaganda used to manufacture consent, even in the age of digital media, is losing its effectiveness as our reality bears less and less resemblance to the portrayal of reality by the organs … Continue reading Chris Hedges interviews Chomsky; Žižek on illusion of freedom; Bogost on ‘Darmok’ and ‘Yo’

Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

  Immediately following Elliot Rodger's spree killing in Isla Vista, CA last month Internet users discovered his YouTube channel and a 140-page autobiographical screed, dubbed a "manifesto" by the media. The written document and the videos documented Rodger's sexual frustration and his chronic inability to connect with other people. He specifically lashed out at women … Continue reading Critical perspectives on the Isla Vista spree killer, media coverage

Fukuyama: 25 years after the “End of History”

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the publication of his infamous essay, "The End of History?", Francis Fukuyama wrote an essay for the Wall Street Journal reflecting on how the world has changed since he declared the end of history: I argued that History (in the grand philosophical sense) was turning out very differently from what … Continue reading Fukuyama: 25 years after the “End of History”

Critical Pedagogy and Imperialism; social media and commodity fetishism

Counterpunch published an interview with Peter Mayo on education, imperialism, and critical pedagogy: Gramsci has had a huge impact on critical pedagogy especially because of the importance he attached to the role of culture, in both its highbrow and popular forms, in the process of hegemony which combines rule by force with rule by consent. … Continue reading Critical Pedagogy and Imperialism; social media and commodity fetishism

Chomsky on Snowden, Žižek on Buddhism, Fuchs on social media and the public sphere

In a recent editorial Noam Chomsky considers the Snowden revelations and their implications: These exposures lead us to inquire into state policy more generally and the factors that drive it. The received standard version is that the primary goal of policy is security and defense against enemies. The doctrine at once suggests a few questions: … Continue reading Chomsky on Snowden, Žižek on Buddhism, Fuchs on social media and the public sphere