Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Professor of Pop Closes Up Shop for July Holiday. I Sneak into His Blog and Take What I Want

The key word to me is "sentimental," though "narcissism" is good, too. Shall we change the world one navel at a time? (There's more of this, a lot more.)

Q9. In the 1970s and 1980s yours was one of the few – brave, if I may say so – voices arguing against a rose-tinted view of community media. What is your view now, in 2008, of the apparent explosion of creativity happening via self-made documentaries, music videos, mash-ups, social networking media like Facebook and MySpace, and – indeed, we ask nervously – blogs?

Nicholas Garnham: I was critical of community media both because in my view it over-emphasised the power of the media to change social conditions and because it took a sentimental view of community which has been carried forward into identity politics more generally. My view on new developments on the Web is similar. Yes in some areas where production and distribution have been made much cheaper it will encourage perhaps a wider range of participants in that particular form of creative practice. I am not against this of course, but I don’t see it as a great creative revolution -- much of it seems to be the expansion of a depressing individualist narcissism. Similarly with social networking media -- much of this is fashion and will wane. For the rest, so what? I know I am old-fashioned but I simply don’t understand the excitement.

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