I picked up Andrew Keen's "Cult of the Amateur: How Todays Internet is Killing Our Culture" in hopes of finding a thinker who could articulate some of my own anxieties about the subject. I may blog, study internet video appropriation at a graduate level, sing the praises of Lawrence Lessig, etc, etc...but I am aware of serious problems facilitated by the wonderful contributions of the internet. Unfortunately, Keen's work is not the place to find insight. In fact his work seems to suffer from the problems he derides so often. Keen loves to make sweeping generalizations and outrageous claims without evidence. Furthermore his lack of reason and logic is puzzling at times. He blames the blogosphere for Wendy's restaurant's plummeting stock after the "severed finger in the chili" farce, but fails to mention that THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA wasn't skeptical of the event either. He sets out to deride the amateur but spends much of his time attacking the ease by which corporations can moonlight as anonymous amateurs to build product loyalty. Ultimately, he is guilty of what many people in the establishment who didn't grow up in the computer age are; He doesn't realize that internet users are savvy enough to know that everything they read isn't the truth. His major critique of blogs is that they aren't peer reviewed or published and don't face the quality control that authors do. However a myriad of opponents to his ideas (far more than followers of his skepticism) are published authors who've gone through this very process. Lets not forget how much misinformation, plagiarism and forgery occurs even in publishing. Keen has done one good thing--he brought this conversation out into the open in a way it hasn't before. Unfortunately, this serious conversation, which should be dialectical in nature and not a screaming match, has been completely undermined by Keen's amateurish, illogical, unreasoned and ill-researched arguments. Please see the video below celebrating everything Keen hates:
"The Literary and Artistic heritage of humanity should be used for partisan propaganda purposes." - Gil J. Wolman
“A lot of people who call themselves artists now are cultural critics who are using instruments other than just written language or spoken language to communicate their critical perspective.”
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Below is a video by John "Bull" Dozier. Described by online magazine "Virginia Super Lawyer" as an "Entrepreneur, Technologist, Hired Gun and Founder of Dozier Internet Law, PC." This hired gun's law firm recently threatened the website infomercialScams.com with legal action if they posted A CEASE AND DESIST LETTER?!?! That's right--they threatened to sue if they published their threat to sue. The initial suit was over InfomercialScams.com's publishing of material denouncing the service of a "manufacture-direct" furniture company. Hot damn folks. This is why THE LAW remains in the public domain--so it can't be copyrighted by assholes like this. Here's the original site which goes into detail.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
It's not enough to fuck the world over through globalization, free trade, and real politik. We must also export the lowest forms of mass cultural narratives as well. With Russia's so-called emerging middle-class, Sitcoms have become the hottest thing on TV. Below are Russian versions of Married with Children, Perfect Strangers and The Nanny. Click here to see the Russian opening of Married with Children.