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Why Do You Consume It?

chicago dyke's picture

Heh, look at me. It's like I'm a real blogger again or something. I blame all that rain we had; there was no way I was getting squat done in the garden this past week. But clearly my old addiction was just masqued by planting; I admit that and this post is as much to myself as it is to you all.

Why do you consume SCLM product? I am honestly very curious. I don't, for the most part, other than what is repeated on the blogs I read. I'm not just talking about "news" and opinion programs about politicts, etc. I am also talking about your favorite TV show, film production house, magazines, video games and corporate-sponsored and/or party-approved blogs.

Why do you consume them, and what do you believe they give to you?

I burned out of my former reading habits back during the primaries, and I've never really gone back to the way I was in 2002-06. In those days, I couldn't get enough information and generated a blogroll for myself that is 000s long, sometimes spending the equivalent of an additional workday on top of my regular workday reading them. My own reasons had to do with 1) the horror at watching Bush and his DLC enablers destroy the country 2) the belief that important information could almost only be found at alternative, non-corporate and independent sources. After it became clear to me that having the majority meant nothing, in terms of the actions Democrats should've taken back then, I started to lose interest. As the primaries unfolded, I was too upset and hurt emotionally and intellectually to follow a lot of writers as closely as I had; I don't do vitriol well, at least not for very long. I think it was good for me, personally, to take an extended break from reading and I know not a few people with a similar narrative wrt blogging and news.

It's been very reassuring and useful to be part of this community, for all I'm not around as much anymore, because at least here I can read reports from people who aren't following politics because it's their "ugly man's version of Hollywood." Celebrity worship annoys me to no end, and that includes celebrity politicians. Folks here mostly have their heads screwed on straight, and expect action as well as talk from those they support and endorse, or they lose interest. That certainly describes me, and my focus on garden blogging over politics. So much of it is Kabuki, and thus a waste of my very limited "free" time. And I'm Doomy enough to believe that we all should be scrambling to shore up our own little corners of the world, as I've said many times here now. No one is going to take care of you but you, in the coming ongoing collapse. Thus: canning, solar roofs, a focus on local politicians and "neighborliness."

Yet I find myself still over here at the lonely margins, failing to understand why people I respect and admire can't seem to stop talking about this or that 'personality' in the media, even when it's long since been established that the political media is a complete tool in service to the overlord class, and that no amount of "shaming" or writing posts that begin with "Democratic politician X should be..." will change their behaviors in a meaningful and permanent fashion. Does anyone else find reading a lot of progressive (and I do mean progressive, not "progressive" although that can be included too) political writing to feel like, well, a waste of time?

And don't get me wrong: the job of Resistance Historian is a valuable one, and future generations will thank us for doing it. Also, I understand that sometimes you've just got to get it off your chest, or that when it's your pet issue and your supposed political ally is busy shitting all over that, the primal scream is often all we have. It's just that I think after this fun week of blogging, I'll probably go back to just checking in a few places, dropping a few comments as I sip my evening wine, and generally not being as connected to the blogosphere as I have been in the past.

I can't stress enough how odd it was to come in to the Sherrod flap "mid narrative." Like most Americans, I had never heard of this woman until she became the center of a media shit storm. Unlike most Americans, I hadn't been consuming the narrative as it unfolded, and found out about it only because I couldn't understand all the screaming, angry, arguing comments at my favorite blogs. "Sherrod who? Vilsack what?" I asked. The fascinating part was watching people fall into neatly defined, entirely predictable, pre programmed narratives about whom was "right" or "wrong." I'm speaking of lefty folks here; of course I completely ignore winger media. I found myself thinking, "do folks even know words are being put in their mouths, words and concepts that themselves delimit and create boundaries such that truly progressive ideas can find no space in the discussion or creation of solutions?" Cause imho, that's exactly what was happening.

Lb is talking about something similar downstairs, and I will conclude by also asking about non-political media product in your life. Because again, imho, nothing in the media stream is truly "non-political." Not children's cartoon shows, not cooking magazines, not video games or youtubes produced by anything other than a lone individual or two. Propaganda is a old and well established science, much more scientific and mathematical than say, economics. And it's everywhere in the media stream, all the time.

I don't mean to sound like a hypocrite and I'm not dissing anyone here or in particular. Of course I enjoy some media product; I'm an American and that addiction was given to me before birth. Less and less these days, as it's clear to me that the type of propaganda we get is changing. Goddess Bless Raygun for killing decent public education in this country, we can all be created serfs with simpler, easier to understand mind control now, no need for elegant High Brow artists as well as the low. I suspect that as the years go by and I consume even less "fresh" and up to the minute new media product, my old DVDs from the halcyon 90s will get many more scratches from repeated use. On a DVD, Buffy will never get old, and I'll always believe that Angel really did finally get to kill his dragon.

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Submitted by Elliott Lake on

..back in the day, did read 2 newspapers but they merged and became just ads mostly. Gave up on teebee news not long after 9/11, the violent imagery made me sick (see: extreme empathy).
I do read a lot of science blogs, and some sci-fi (the one teebee program I watch is Fringe--)--and help moderate a fansite for that, but we talk as much about the weather and our gardens and recipes (it's an international bunch of people) as anything else.

I read some of the blogs you link to, sometimes.. I too have no patience for endless blather about celeb pols, or fabulousness. And since pols are almost all crooks or cranks, I'm surprised to find when one does something helpful.

But then, I mostly have no time for much beyond the farm, or my friends. If it's a choice between watching tv (the channels that come on the translator off the mountain, lol) or making soap, or sitting on the porch at dusk and listening to the birds, or watching the sun rise over the hayfield...easy choice to make.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

I go through periods where I have to follow a few prized political haunts online obsessively-- then through far longer periods where I just can't abide keeping up at all. I suppose it's because it's tough to get through every day being reminded repeatedly just how badly we're all being screwed.

I've rediscovered my teenage/20's love for certain superhero comics. No coincidence that this happened when Obama-mania was first reaching its fever pitch. As I explained back then, it's better to consume a fantasy world that's up-front about being fantasy... as opposed to so many "news" outlets and so many apologist faux-Left bloggers, who insist that their fantasies are actually reality.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

that sounds like a nice reading habit, ms. x.

sis was a big marvel comic reader in high school. heh, the most angry she ever got at me? when she found out i had been reading one of her "valuable" "rare" X-Men... in the bathtub. i swear i had no idea it was worth money, heh. my brother* is a big collector, but he reads military themed comic books like Captain America, and that doesn't really interest me.

one cable series i enjoyed as a guilty "fuck studying, let's get high" pleasure in grad school with my friends was "Queer As Folk." in it, two of the characters, pissed off about lacking protection in the workplace, quit their corporate scenes and opened a comic book shop, and eventually penned an (obviously fictional) comic together with a loud n proud gay superhero duo. it was a pretty neat story line and i remember at the time wondering if such a thing were real, anywhere in the world of comics. i suppose there must be; the last time bro dragged me to a comic store i was completely overwhelmed by all the offerings. are there any recommendations you'd like to make?

my only problem with comics and graphic novels is that they go way, way to fast. i burn thru about four or five 000 page books a week, normally. i read very fast and when it comes to fiction, there's very little in the sci-fi world i've not encountered before. so comics seem a bit too simple to me, most of the time, not simple/stupid, but rather simple/i wish they'd go into more detail. but i guess that is the point of a comic over a book. i do enjoy comic art a great deal.

*"brother" in the sense that people who have served in the military together use, and also in the Gaii Family way, not of blood. not that that matters, he's still my favorite brother.

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Submitted by chicago dyke on

and what kind of life i lived back then, QaF will tell you. with the exception of me being not all white, (and the character on the show i'm most like is the jewish woman, natch) my old Set and I had so many similar experiences as those characters, except in our cases the events/drama/triumphs/employment situations were even more Fabulous. really, it was sort of spooky. i remember we were all watching it one afternoon, and saying to G and K, "you know, they should've made this show about us. we do everything they do, except we're smarter and prettier."

i suppose that is the point of television, to make you feel like your life is "worthy" of being a tv show. which in turn, is the "ultimate" goal of any american. or at least, it increasingly seems that way.

Submitted by PA_Lady on

Most of my reading these days is journals and/or conference papers, and most of my writing is research papers and lit reviews.

I completely burned out on blogs in 2008. I went from spending hours upon hours checking fifty or so blogs and writing long-winded posts on my own blog, to having a dozen or so that I check out once a day or less. Most of them have nothing to do with politics, or are looking at it through a different lens - like the effects of politics and policy on poverty, gender issues, etc. (I'm reading a lot of sociology sites.) Only a couple get checked more than once a day.

I quit the TV thing almost 6 years ago when the local cable monopoly raised their prices 30%. I watch Bones, Fringe, and Warehouse 13 on Hulu, and the occasional documentary or series on science or history.

The last DVD I bought was Howard Zinn's "The People Speak" (which is awesome, if you've never seen it), which made a grand total of five DVDs in my collection. Although one of those is the 4-disc Live Aid set that my kids got for my birthday, so technically I have 9.

My books, however, are my source of sanity. In the summer, I hit yard sales (almost always $1/bag) and stock up like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter. Nothing beats curling up with a book, cookies, and fresh lemonade (or a pot of tea in cold weather) for total relaxation. Depending on my mood and how crazy my brain is, I go from mysteries to sci-fi thrillers to romance to "serious" literature. When the world really starts getting me down, though, there's only one cure: Terry Pratchett. Doesn't even matter which book.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm afraid I especially like the ones with Lord Vetinari -- for reasons that are probably obvious -- and of those, the ones with Sam Vimes.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

share em if ya got em!

i, um, don't really understand Pratchett. i suppose i should try again, it's been decades. but he failed to make a strong impression when i first read him. everyone i know on blogs loves him, so it must be me.

Submitted by PA_Lady on

Global Sociology is probably the best known, and the source of all the linkies that let me find these others.

Sociology at Work

A (Budding) Sociologist -- I really like this one as a "budding" sociologist myself.

A Very Public Sociologist

Consider the Evidence -- Only a few posts, but very informative ones. Seeing a new post makes me giddy, like Xmas morning. One great post from January: Inequality as a social cancer.

Socializing Finance -- a bit of a dense read for me , but then again, I'm utterly lost when it comes anything financial beyond balancing my checkbook and reconciling bank statements. MMT is so far over my head....

Understanding Society

and, last but not least, Sociological Images.

Not sociology-focused, but just a fantastic resource for teaching me about privilege in a way that made me really "get it" for the first time. Racism Review.

I think Pratchett is popular with blog readers because the books are rather snarky. Plus it's fun trying to figure out the various "real world" equivalents he mentions in passing. Even after three readings of Hogfather, I still didn't get the "Anthill Inside" reference until I was hooking up a new mouse and noticed the "Intel Inside" sticker on my computer.

Submitted by PA_Lady on


Submitted by lambert on

Thanks so much!

Submitted by gmanedit on

I came late to South Park. I like how cartoon characters can say things that live actors couldn't get away with. Favorite episodes: what Scientologists believe, what Mormons believe, Cartman kidnapping Butters so Cartman can go to Casa Bonita.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

It was a thing of beauty.

I left a comment earlier, but it got eaten apparently.

The only current TV I consume is Bones. And I've about had it with that show, what with the constant and totally inappropriate Toyota ads in the dialog, and Boreanaz's alleged onset antics.

I watch Buffy on LOGO, along with anything RuPaul does on there.

Whenever I finally get an XBox, I can stream my Netflix to the TV, and can finally convice the boob-toob consuming partner to ditch the cable.

Submitted by Elliott Lake on

edited him out of the show. So I have missed the commercials for Toyota--but the car ads in Fringe are rather clumsy, as inconspicuous as a clown nose on a bride. Thank heavens for mute so I can not know what the official commercials are about!

And I hate will-they-won't they romance threads that go on and on and on...... I quit caring a few years back. And if they do that to Fringe, I will turn off the tv completely. The dvd player works just broadband here, satellite I cannot afford, but we have a fab bookstore.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Admitted that he didn't kill anyone to Sweets, he's just letting everyone think he did, so he can stay in the mental institution as criminally insane, instead of being charged with accessory, as a totally sane person, and going to prison. Since Sweets is a doctor, he is ethically forbidden what's been disclosed to him in secret, so he can't tell anyone.

As sad as I was to see Zack go, some of the interns more than make up for it. They have five, and they rotate in and out of the show.

They addressed the "Will they, or won't they" this year, by showing their real first case(before the pilot). There was a lot of chemistry, and Bones got fired by the FBI, so they were gonna date, but then she got hired back. When Booth tried again, at the end of the 100th ep, she turned him down out of fear. At the end of this season, everyone took a year off(Booth went to Afghanistan to train soldiers using his skills in the FBI, and Bones went to Maluku to investigate bones).

Submitted by cg.eye on

We have a buttload of procedural shows featuring clean-cut, bright stars of the CIA, the Federal Marshals Service and other clandestine foreign and domestic services. It's as if we're at war, but there's only a draft of the good-looking and doable.

No one works for the TSA; no one sues the government to help an infant get off the No Fly List; no one looks at the heel turn any character takes should they promptly invoke their right to counsel at the right time, i.e., as soon as the po-po ask"what's your name?"; and no one questions all the narrative ease that came with the codified police state of the Patriot Act.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

only ep of "Bones" i ever watched. wow, could there be more of a difference between his bones character and Angel? it's why i say: writers, not actors. if you must worship celebrity, and we all do, worship the Creators, and not the bobbleheads. David is an idiot and not a very good actor, i only respect Joss and his crew more for getting what they did (which wasn't much) out of him in the B/A universe while they were paying him.

there's a funny "behind the scenes" part of the B/A discs, in which they "interview" Joss about the "choice" of David as the actor to play Angel. he says, in a very gaii way, "well, he doesn't do it for me, but if that works for my corporate masters, whatever." it's telling and informative about the way Hollywood really words. essentially, Joss seems to be imputing that he's not really allowed to pick the actors to play the roles he writes, corporate suits do instead. and for reasons we all despise. she has to be slim, blonde, small, not brown eyed; he has to be some kind of "opposition" to all those things. acting skills? they don't matter.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Yea, he's easy on the eyes, not the greatest ever, I watch the show mainly b/c everyone says I'm a lot like Bones, in that I'm big into logic and reasoning, and socially awkward, so there ya go.

But, I've read elsewhere that Nathan Fillion was his 2nd choice to play Angel, and I think he's a great actor(though I can't watch Castle, as it's premise is a little too similar to Bones). It would have been interesting to see him play Angel, even though his niche seems to be blustery, cocky macho types, than a broody, angsty, emo vampire. He did creep me out excellently as Caleb, though.