In the first of a special three-part series, Jamie and Josh explore how “mainstream media” became a pejorative term through the convergence of the narrative structure of reality television, early-YouTube web series, Gamergate, professional wrestling, and the false victimhood narratives created by influencers with millions of followers.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
The Beta Male’s Charms — Stephanie Rosenbloom, NYT
We Need Girlfriends — YouTube
The King of Clickbait — Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker
Is Everything Wrestling? — Jeremy Gordon, NYT
How America Lost Its Mind — Kurt Andersen, The Atlantic
The Content Mines
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Feels Good Man filmmakers Arthur Jones and Giorgio Angelini discuss how they told the story of Pepe The Frog from Boys Club to misappropriation by the far-right after the 2016 election, what it meant for Pepe the Frog to enter the U.S. Capitol building, and why we need to broaden the scope of our conversations around NFTs and digital art.
Resources mentioned on this episode:
Communicating Graphically: Mimesis, Visual Language, and Commodification as Culture
It Came From Something Awful — Dale Beran
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Generational divides are constructs that distract people from important economic, social, and political issues.
In recent years, millennials have been the target of clickbait outrage campaigns ranging from Lay off the avocado toast if you want to buy house to Millennials are killing the restaurant industry (or, really, take your pick of industry). Similarly, baby boomers were subject of the dismissive and controversial, “OK, Boomer” meme. Generational wars are nothing new — activist Jack Weinberg famously coined, “Don’t trust anyone over 30” in the ’60s — but it’s all a distraction.
Over the weekend, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign paid for an ad that falsely claimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg endorsed Donald Trump for reelection. The idea was to show how easily candidates can spread misinformation on the platform. But the candidate might send a stronger message by laying off the ads and abandoning Facebook altogether.
While Warren’s tactic worked to generate viral attention on social networks and broadcast media coverage, it does not change the larger political economy or the rules of the platform. Rather, it enforces them. That’s why Facebook tweeted at Warren that, like FCC-approved political ads…
Reddit is testing a new live broadcasting feature, called Public Access Network (RPAN). The company has only tested the feature a handful of times with the public, but it has already created a grassroots community of content creators devoid of the coercive incentives of monetization.