Description : A wide-ranging collection of essays on millennial American culture that “marshals a vast pop vocabulary with easy wit” (The New York Times Book Review). From the far left to the far right, on talk radio and the op-ed page, more and more Americans believe that the social fabric is unraveling. Celebrity worship and media frenzy, suicidal cultists and heavily armed secessionists: modern life seems to have become a “pyrotechnic insanitarium,” Mark Dery says, borrowing a turn-of-the-century name for Coney Island. Dery elucidates the meaning to our madness, deconstructing American culture from mainstream forces like Disney and Nike to fringe phenomena like the Unabomber and alien invaders. Our millennial angst, he argues, is a product of a pervasive cultural anxiety—a combination of the social and economic upheaval wrought by global capitalism and the paranoia fanned by media sensationalism. The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium is a theme-park ride through the extremes of American culture of which The Atlantic Monthly has written, “Mark Dery confirms once again what writers and thinkers as disparate as Nathanael West, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Sigmund Freud, and Oliver Sacks have already shown us: the best place to explore the human condition is at its outer margins, its pathological extremes.” “Dery is the kind of critic who just might give conspiracy theory a good name.” —Wired
Description : The World in Brooklyn: Gentrification, Immigration, and Ethnic Politics in a Global City, is a collection of scholarly papers which analyze demographic, social, political, and economic trends that are occurring in Brooklyn. Brooklyn, as the context, reflects global forces while also contributing to them. The idea for this volume developed as the editors discovered a group of scholars from different disciplines and various universities studying Brooklyn. Brooklyn has always been legendary and has more recently regained its stature as a much sought after place to live, work and have fun. Popular folklore has it that most U.S. residents trace their family origins to Brooklyn. It is presently referred to as one of the hippest places in New York. Thus, this book is a collection of demographic, ethnographic, and comparative studies which focus on urban dynamics in Brooklyn. The chapters investigate issues of social class, urban development, immigration, race, ethnicity and politics within the context of Brooklyn. As a whole, this book considers both theoretical and practical urban issues. In most cases the scholarly perspective is on everyday life. With this in mind there are also social justice concerns. Issues of social segregation and attendant homogenization are brought to light. Moreover, social class and race advantages or disadvantages, as part of urban processes, are underscored through critiques of local policy decisions throughout the chapters. A common thread is the assertion by contributors that planning the future of Brooklyn needs to include multi-ethnic, racial, and economic groups, those very residents who make-up Brooklyn."
Description : This collection of essays explores the representations, incarnations and manifestations of evil when it is embodied in a particular villain or in an evil presence. All the essays contribute to showing how omnipresent yet vastly under-studied the phenomena of the villain and evil are. Together they confirm the importance of the continued study of villains and villainy in order to understand the premises behind the representation of evil, its internal localized logic, its historical contingency, and its specific conditions.
Description : With a Foreword by Dr. Fishwick's student--Tom Wolfe. This book redefines popular culture in the light of the revolutionary changes brought about by the information revolution and the digital divide. It explores the phenomenal growth and extension of popular culture in the last decade and ties in the vast changes brought about by technology and the Internet. In an era when American television and the Internet reach virtually every corner of the globe, Popular Culture in a New Age shows how the poorly understood and often underestimated area known as popular culture affects all of our lives. Beginning with an evaluation of the millennium celebrations and the enormous error of Y2K madness, Popular Culture in a New Age then moves on to the “New Gold Rush” brought about by technology and takes a hard look at its risks. The book examines a wide variety of pop culture phenomena such as carnivals, celebrities, and the road from nineteenth century humbuggery (P. T. Barnum's term) to today's hype. In Popular Culture in a New Age you'll learn about: the three faces of popular culture: folk, fake, and pop--how they relate and how they differ today's popular icons the empire of Disney World Marshall McLuhan, our era's most profound and shocking electronic thinker African-American popular culture and style Popular Culture in a New Age gives characterization to the postmodern world in a chapter on “postmodern pop,” followed by the shift from civil religion to civil disobedience and the “myth of success.” This insightful book will help you understand the way we eat, think, vote, and respond to our fast-changing world in the era of hype, spin doctors, chat rooms, and jargon.
Description : Techno-heaven or techno-hell? If you believe many scientists working in the emerging fields of twenty-first-century technology, the future is blissfully bright. Initially, human bodies will be perfected through genetic manipulation and the fusion of human and machine; later, human beings will completely shed the shackles of pain, disease, and even death, as human minds are downloaded into death-free robots whereby they can live forever in a heavenly "posthuman" existence. In this techno-utopian future, humanity will be saved by the godlike power of technology. If you believe the authors of science fiction, however, posthuman evolution marks the beginning of the end of human freedom, values, and identity. Our dark future will be dominated by mad scientists, rampaging robots, killer clones, and uncontrollable viruses. In this timely new book, Daniel Dinello examines "the dramatic conflict between the techno-utopia promised by real-world scientists and the techno-dystopia predicted by science fiction." Organized into chapters devoted to robotics, bionics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and other significant scientific advancements, this book summarizes the current state of each technology, while presenting corresponding reactions in science fiction. Dinello draws on a rich range of material, including films, television, books, and computer games, and argues that science fiction functions as a valuable corrective to technological domination, countering techno-hype and reflecting the "weaponized, religiously rationalized, profit-fueled" motives of such science. By imaging a disastrous future of posthuman techno-totalitarianism, science fiction encourages us to construct ways to contain new technology, and asks its audience perhaps the most important question of the twenty-first century: is technology out of control?
Description : A historical account of the context, impact, and legacy of one of the most successful series in American television history.
Description : Geert Lovink interviews an international group of artists, critics, and theorists on aesthetic, cultural, and political aspects of new media. For Geert Lovink, interviews are imaginative texts that can help to create global, networked discourses not only among different professions but also among different cultures and social groups. Conducting interviews online, over a period of weeks or months, allows the participants to compose documents of depth and breadth, rather than simply snapshots of timely references.The interviews collected in this book are with artists, critics, and theorists who are intimately involved in building the content, interfaces, and architectures of new media. The topics discussed include digital aesthetics, sound art, navigating deep audio space, European media philosophy, the Internet in Eastern Europe, the mixing of old and new in India, critical media studies in the Asia-Pacific region, Japanese techno tribes, hybrid identities, the storage of social movements, theory of the virtual class, virtual and urban spaces, corporate takeover of the Internet, and the role of cyberspace in the rise of nongovernmental organizations. Interviewees included Norbert Bolz, Paulina Borsook, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Kuan-Hsing Chen, Cã¬(c)n Dan, Mike Davis, Mark Dery, Kodwo Eshun, Susan George, Boris Groys, Frank Hartmann, Michael Heim, Dietmar Kamper, Zina Kaye, Tom Keenan, Arthur Kroker, Bruno Latour, Marita Liulia, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Peter Lunenfeld, Lev Manovich, Mongrel, Edi Muka, Jonathan Peizer, Saskia Sassen, Herbert Schiller, Gayatri Spivak, Já(R) ̄s Sugá2¬ Ravi Sundaram, Toshiya Ueno, Tjebbe van Tijen, McKenzie Wark, Hartmut Winkler, and Slavoj Zizek.
Description : The definitive biography of Edward Gorey, the eccentric master of macabre nonsense. From The Gashlycrumb Tinies to The Doubtful Guest, Edward Gorey's wickedly funny and deliciously sinister little books have influenced our culture in innumerable ways, from the works of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman to Lemony Snicket. Some even call him the Grandfather of Goth. But who was this man, who lived with over twenty thousand books and six cats, who roomed with Frank O'Hara at Harvard, and was known--in the late 1940s, no less--to traipse around in full-length fur coats, clanking bracelets, and an Edwardian beard? An eccentric, a gregarious recluse, an enigmatic auteur of whimsically morbid masterpieces, yes--but who was the real Edward Gorey behind the Oscar Wildean pose? He published over a hundred books and illustrated works by Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear, John Updike, Charles Dickens, Hilaire Belloc, Muriel Spark, Bram Stoker, Gilbert & Sullivan, and others. At the same time, he was a deeply complicated and conflicted individual, a man whose art reflected his obsessions with the disquieting and the darkly hilarious. Based on newly uncovered correspondence and interviews with personalities as diverse as John Ashbery, Donald Hall, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, and Anna Sui, BORN TO BE POSTHUMOUS draws back the curtain on the eccentric genius and mysterious life of Edward Gorey.