Friday, September 28, 2007

Self-Criticism, and Media Saturation

So the whole point of this blog was to get me writing regularly, but it turns out that was more difficult than it seemed, for a few reasons:
(1) My consumption of culture seems to leave little time for writing about culture. Of course, any time I devote to writing about culture takes away from my time experiencing culture, thus diminishing the repository of material I have to write about. It's a vicious cycle!
(2) I write "long", as any of you who actually read my mammoth posts in their entirety probably know. I also edit pretty compulsively, and even then I'm rarely satisfied with the result. I kind of want to go back and rewrite half of that Medieval 2 post, for example - I know it's kind of a mess in some places.

There's not much I can do about (1) especially now that I have more class. With regards to (2), I'm going to start making some of my posts very brief. I will deliberately lower my standards on these posts so that they don't need to reach any sort of meaningful insight. I'll still do longer posts as well.

So, the first of these briefs (and a pretty good indication of the [minimal] level of thought you can expect these brief posts to demonstrate in the future):

From time to time I hear social pundits either lauding or lamenting the volume of media in our culture, as well as the ever-increasing avenues by which we can consume this media. Sorry, I don't have any links handy and you'll just have to take my word for it that pundits do talk about this. The idea is that technology has lowered the cost of publication so much that there is so much sheer quantity of media and other "stuff" out there that it's impossible for any one individual to apprehend and make sense of it all. I have so many MP3s on my hard drive I don't even recognize half of them, some people have so many digital photos its hard for them to remember the significance of any particular shot, and others have so many Facebook friends they write self-satisfied articles in Slate about rejecting people, and so on. (Bitter? Me? Nooooo.) As a related consequence, "culture," or at least mainstream culture, is less coherent and more fragmented.

I'm not sure what I think about all that, but I do know that an hour ago I was playing the Aztec campaign in Medieval 2 while streaming a NPR debate about privacy and security and listening to Bach's Partita in d for Solo Violin. I'm immersed in media. It is glorious. One of these days I'll write about the convergences between David Frum's argument for a surveillance state and Cortes' conquest of the Yucatan peninsula.

1 comment:

FSKimn said...

Darrell, what an awful and depressing movie that was. I've saved it in my bookmarks, but I don't know if I would watch it again...