City space and emotion: Affect as urban infrastructure

For a change of pace this week, I thought I’d write about affect in relation to the urban condition. Specifically I am going to focus on Nigel Thrift’s chapters on spatialities of feeling from his book Non-representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect. Thrift begins the first chapter by characterizing cities as “maelstroms of affect,” and asserting … Continue reading City space and emotion: Affect as urban infrastructure

Thoughts on polemics, Audre Lorde, and Do the Right Thing

Radical black feminist writer and activist Audre Lorde found productive potential in anger. According to Lester Olson, in his article "Anger among allies": “Lorde distinguished between anger and hatred, and she salvaged the former as potentially useful and generative” (p. 287). Lorde’s distinction between anger and hatred is developed in a quote from her remarks: … Continue reading Thoughts on polemics, Audre Lorde, and Do the Right Thing

Memes, Enthymemes, and the Reproduction of Ideology

In his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, biologist Richard Dawkins introduced the word “meme” to refer to a hypothetical unit of cultural transmission. The discussion of the meme concept was contained in a single chapter of a book that was otherwise dedicated to genetic transmission, but the idea spread. Over decades, other authors further developed … Continue reading Memes, Enthymemes, and the Reproduction of Ideology

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

TV still sucks, we should still complain about hipsters, your job shouldn’t exist

In an article for Salon, Alexander Zaitchik assails the current "golden age" of television, and the resultant binge watching, spoiler fearing, TV-obsessed (pop) culture we're living in: None of this could be happening at a worse time. According to the latest S.O.S. from climate science, we have maybe 15 years to enact a radical civilizational … Continue reading TV still sucks, we should still complain about hipsters, your job shouldn’t exist

Ernesto Laclau dies

Ernesto Laclau, post-Marxist critical theorist and significant figure in discourse analysis (along with his wife and collaborator Chantal Mouffe), died on April 13. An obituary by British historian and academic Robin Blackburn was posted on the Verso web site: Ernesto and Chantal used the work of Antonio Gramsci to reject what they saw as the … Continue reading Ernesto Laclau dies

Video mélange: David Harvey, Antonio Negri, and Saints Row IV

David Harvey has a new book out, Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism. In this video Harvey speaks about the contradictions of capitalism (approx. 19 mins): I recently stumbled across this nearly hour-long documentary on Antonio Negri, titled The Revolt that Never Ends: Lastly, this video from Errant Signal considers Saints Row IV as … Continue reading Video mélange: David Harvey, Antonio Negri, and Saints Row IV

Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

It's been a long time since the last update (what happened to October?), so this post is extra long in an attempt to catch up. I haven't seen the new Ender's Game movie, but this review by abbeyotis at Cyborgology calls the film "a lean and contemporary plunge into questions of morality mediated by technology": … Continue reading Ender’s Game analyzed, the Stanley Parable explored, Political Economy of zombies, semiotics of Twitter, much more

Epic EVE battle, Critical games criticism, indie developer self-publishing

I've never played EVE Online, and I don't even really understand how it works, but I find it fascinating. Last week saw the biggest battle in the game's history. This breakdown from The Verge is headlined like a real-life dispatch from the frontier of mankind's space-faring endeavors: Largest space battle in history claims 2,900 ships, … Continue reading Epic EVE battle, Critical games criticism, indie developer self-publishing

The Ideology of Scarface, Community as PoMo masterpiece, Present Shock reviewed, etc.

I posted a video from the PBS Idea Channel on Baudrilliard and hyperreality a while back, and hadn’t kept up with the channel since. I recently came across a couple of their other videos and enjoyed them enough to want to share. This video assesses the TV show Community as a postmodern masterpiece: And in … Continue reading The Ideology of Scarface, Community as PoMo masterpiece, Present Shock reviewed, etc.