This blog dilutes your ether ;)

Susan Sontag writes, “Cameras are the antidote and the disease, a means of appropriating reality and a means of making it obsolete.” And she writes, “a capitalist society requires a culture based on images.”

Putting those two things together, we see that images are the stuff of capitalism, always stirring it up, bringing it down, and resuscitating it. Some people such as Virilio say that “in cinema there is no longer such a thing as an ‘accurate’ reflection.”  This seems defeatist to me, because when we abandon the concept of accuracy (i.e. truth), then everything becomes the same. That is, some kids’s dumbass internet story lie is presumed to have the same level of authenticity to a carefully told and very representative story, or to a photo of a dead soldier. That kind of moral relativism is my chief criticism of postmodernism.

What makes something an “image”, a “spectacle” or “cinematic”? An image seems to me to be as described: a picture. To be cinematic, it must carry some grand aesthetic such as beauty or horror. In his brilliant essay, Guy Debord says that imagery rises to the spectacular when it becomes not a mere collection of grand images, but a social relation among people, mediated by those images: “The spectacle of the moment is when the commodity has attained the total occupation of social life.”

And once again, I fear that the increasing noise-to-signal rate of the interweb is killing spectacle. Paris Hilton is not spectacle, and she’s nearly the biggest thing we’ve got. It almost seems the only spectacle we can have is Obama, precisely because we have a completely shared and common view of him. (His decision not to use the internet while in the White House might maintain him as our sole source of spectacle.)

This blog is not a spectacle. Its existence, and the way that academic discourse and every other discourse flows out into the ether willy-nilly, dilutes the ether to the point that there ain’t no ether. I hope that when our society deigns to produce its occasional future spectacle, people won’t be reading my writing and missing it!

I assume this is the last post in this course blog, so Mwahs Everyone for a great course. Ah, the delicious randomness of our chance meeting in time. P

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One Response to “This blog dilutes your ether ;)”

  1. Yeah sure, leave it to that Cummings to dis Paris Hilton, if that is either of their names which I severely doubt. Nobody is going to be reading this blog anyway; they’re all too busy j/o to pictures of Justin Timberlake. Now there is spectacle! Go to hell!

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