Category Archives: Centaur Manifesto

Myth and Ideology, Spring 2013

Myth and Ideology

COMM 6160/8980, Spring 2013
Tuesdays, 4:30-7:00 PM
422 Sparks Hall

Ted Friedman
25 Park Place South #1017
tedf@gsu.edu; (404) 463-9522

http://www.tedfriedman.com

Course Description
This course brings together two frameworks for understanding culture: myth criticism and ideological analysis.

Influenced by anthropologists and folklorists, myth critics trace the connections between contemporary cultural narratives and the stories which anchor traditional belief systems. Mythographer Joseph Campbell has become a key influence on many Hollywood screenwriters, who self-consciously craft stories around the “Hero’s Journey” Campbell describes.

Ideological analysis interrogates the political assumptions underlying cultural representations, examining how influential texts may reflect economic contradictions, reinforce dominant structures of power, or influence social change.

This class will put these two perspectives into dialogue. .

Readings

The following required books are available through amazon.com, bn.com, powells.com, and other retailers:

Roland Barthes, Mythologies
David Tacey, How to Read Jung
Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious
Harold Bloom, The American Religion
Slavoj Zizek, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously
James Hillman, Healing Fiction
Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship
Michael Taussig, The Magic of the State
Matthew Hutson, The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking
Maria von Franz, The Interpretation of Fairy Tales
Peggy Orenstein, Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Schedule

1/15 Introduction

1/22 Karl Marx, “Theses on Feuerbach”:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/theses/theses.htm

Karl Marx, excerpt from The German Ideology:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm

Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History”:

http://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/CONCEPT2.html

Carl Jung, “Two Kinds of Thinking”:

http://www.naderlibrary.com/lit.jungpsychologyunconscous.1.htm

Ted Friedman, “For a Jungian Turn in Cultural Studies” (draft via email)

1/29 Roland Barthes, Mythologies

2/5 David Tacey, How to Read Jung

2/12 Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious

2/19 Harold Bloom, The American Religion

2/26 Slavoj Zizek, The Year of Dreaming Dangerously

3/5 James Hillman, Healing Fiction

3/12 Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship

3/19 No class – Spring Break

3/26 Michael Taussig, The Magic of the State

4/2 Matthew Hutson, The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking

4/9 Maria von Franz, The Interpretation of Fairy Tales

4/16 Peggy Orenstein, Cinderella Ate My Daughter

4/23 Research presentations/party at Ted’s house

Final projects due April 30
Assignments

I. Book Discussion – 6160: 45% of final grade (15% each); 8980: 30% (10% each)
You will lead, with a group, discussion of three of the assigned books. To prepare for the discussion of the reading, research these questions to put the reading in a broader context:

What is the author’s background? What discipline is the author trained in? What else has s/he written? In which journals has s/he published?

What was the reception of the book? How was the book reviewed? What criticisms have been made of the author’s work? How has the author responded? Whom has the author influenced?

Then, meet with your group to prepare for a class discussion. Don’t bother summarizing the work. Rather, concentrate on how the work relates to the key questions we’ll be asking all semester. In addition to the research topics, other subjects for discussion should include:

Methodology: What research methods does the author use? (Possibilities include textual analysis, ethnography, historical research, quantitative social science, etc.) How does the author approach and justify this methodology? What are the advantages and limitations of this methodology?

Theoretical debates: In what theoretical debates does the work intervene? Where does the author stand? Whom does the author criticize? How does this work move the debate forward?

Application: Pick 2-3 contemporary texts which could be illuminated by applying the author’s ideas. Show a representative sample from each text (any clip should be no more than 5 minutes). Discuss how the author would interpret each example. What are the strengths and limitations of this interpretation? What alternate interpretations are possible?

(You don’t need to organize your discussion in the order listed above. It may help to present the example up front, to ground your discussion of methodology and theory. It’s often also a good icebreaker to begin discussion by going around the room, asking everybody to answer a specific question related to their response to the book.)

III. Outside reading presentation – 8690 only: 15% of final grade
Doctoral students will read one additional book and give a short (10-15 minute) presentation on the work to the class, summarizing the book’s key arguments, the critical response to the book, and how its ideas relate to the themes of the course. A list of suggested readings will be distributed separately.

IV. Final Project – 55% of final grade
Option 1: Write a paper on a subject relating to the ideas of the class. 6160: 12-15 pages. 8690: 18-25 pages. Doctoral work will be expected to meet a higher standard of theoretical sophistication.

Option 2: Produce a creative work which engages some of the ideas of the class. The project can be a short film, a screenplay, or a new media work. Along with the project, include a short paper relating your work to ideas from the class. 6160: 3-5 pages; 8690: 8-10 pages. Doctoral work will be expected to meet a higher standard of theoretical sophistication.

For either option, the deadlines are the same:
A one-page prospectus is due February 26. I will schedule individual meetings with you to discuss the prospectus.
You will give a short (10 minute) presentation of your research project on April 23.
The final project is due April 30.

V. Attendance Adjustment
As Woody Allen put it, “80 percent of success is showing up.” It’s less than that in this formula, but the bottom line is that you can’t contribute to the class if you’re not there. You’re allowed one unexcused absence for the semester. After that, each unexcused absence subtracts one point from your grade total. Excused absences include medical and family emergencies. You will be expected to schedule any employment responsibilities around this class, or accept the consequences of missed classes for your grade. If you do need to miss a class, please contact me ahead of time, and make arrangements to catch up on missed material.

Policies

Academic Honesty
The university’s policy on academic honesty is published in On Campus: The Undergraduate Co-Curricular Affairs Handbook, available online at http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwcam. The policy prohibits plagiarism, cheating on examinations, unauthorized collaboration, falsification, and multiple submissions. Violation of the policy will result in failing the class, in addition to possible disciplinary sanctions.

Incompletes
Incompletes may be given only in special hardship cases. Incompletes will not be used merely for extending the time for completion of course requirements.

Changes to the Syllabus
This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. Deviations may be necessary.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Media, Spring 2013

FILM 4280/6280, Spring 2013
Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:00-2:15 PM, 331 General Classroom Building
Screenings Tuesdays, 11:00 AM-12:50 PM, 406 Arts & Humanities

Ted Friedman
25 Park Place #1017
tedf@gsu.edu

http://twitter.com/tedfriedman

http://tedfriedman.com

Course Description
How do we dream our visions of the future? How do we explore our fantasies of the past?

Science fiction extrapolates the trends of the present to imagine possible future worlds, both utopian and (more often) dystopian. Fantasy looks back to imagine past worlds in which technology has not yet usurped nature. Both genres are rooted in mythic traditions that push beyond the boundaries of realism to reach for deeper truths.

This class will examine the genres of fantasy and science fiction across multiple media, including film, television, literature, comics and gaming. We’ll survey their history, while at the same time tracing the impact of each text forward into the present. We’ll look at how these works have reflected and influenced American society, as each new generation of creators has responded to changing social conditions by re-imagining the key tropes and themes of the genres. And we’ll try to understand why these visions continue to capture the world’s imagination.

Readings
Class readings will include books and a coursepack of articles. Here are the books you’ll need:

Maggie Hyde and Michael McGuinness, Introducing Jung
Salman Rushdie, The Wizard of Oz
Neal Gaiman, The Sandman: Season of Mists
Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game
Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles

The course books can be ordered through online retailers such as amazon.com/student, bn.com, and powells.com. The coursepack is sold by Bestway Copy Center, 18 Decatur Street SE (on the first floor of One Park Place South).

Students in Film 6280 will read two additional books of their choice, one scholarly book and one work of fiction, and will present them in two separately scheduled meetings with the other graduate students.

Twitter Feed
Relevant news and commentary will be shared with the class via the Twitter hashtag #fsfmedia. Feel free to respond to tweets or post your own. Class Schedule

Unit I: Modern Myths

T 1/15 Understanding Fantasy and Science Fiction

Th 1/17 The Power of Myth
Ted Friedman, “Myth, the Numinous, and Cultural Studies”:

http://flowtv.org/?p=4161

Ted Friedman, “The Politics of Magic,”

http://www.scope.nottingham.ac.uk/article.php?issue=14&id=1138&section=article&q=rose

T 1/22 Star Wars
Joseph Campbell, excerpt from The Hero With a Thousand Faces (CP)
Christopher Vogler and Stuart Voytilla, excerpt from Myth and the Movies (CP)

Th 1/24 Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
Hyde and McGuinness, Introducing Jung
Ted Friedman, “Jung and Lost”:

http://flowtv.org/?p=3865

Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Child and the Shadow” (CP)

T 1/29 The Lord of the Rings
J.R.R. Tolkien, “Introduction to The Fellowship of the Ring” (CP)
J.R.R. Tolkien, “On Fairy Stories”:

http://bjorn.kiev.ua/librae/Tolkien/Tolkien_On_Fairy_Stories.htm

Th 1/31 Game of Thrones

Unit II: Folklore and Fantasy

T 2/5 The Wizard of Oz
Salman Rushdie, The Wizard of Oz

Th 2/7 Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, “Why Vampires Never Die”:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/opinion/31deltoro.html?_r=1

Laura Miller, “Real Men Have Fangs”:

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB122540672952785957-lMyQjAxMDI4MjE1MTQxMDE2Wj.html

T 2/12 The Company of Wolves
Angela Carter, “The Company of Wolves” (CP)
Selections from Marjorie Tatar, ed., The Classic Fairy Tales (CP)

Th 2/14 Firefly

T 2/19 Where the Wild Things Are
Alison Lurie, “Something Wonderful Out of Almost Nothing”:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/jul/12/something-wonderful-out-almost-nothing/

Th 2/21 Dollhouse

T 2/26 Spirited Away
Margaret Talbot, “The Auteur of Anime” (CP)
James W. Boyd and Tetsuya Nishimura, “Shinto Perspectives in Miyazaki’s Anime Film Spirited Away,” The Journal of Religion and Film 8.2 (October 2004):

http://www.unomaha.edu/jrf/Vol8No2/boydShinto.htm

Norkio T. Reider, “Spirited Away: Film of the Fantastic and Evolving Japanese Folk Symbols,” Film Criticism 29.3 (2005): 4-27:

http://www.corneredangel.com/amwess/papers/spirited_away.pdf

Aaron Sherwood, “Characterization, Narrative Structure and Mythopoeia in the Films of Hayao Miyazaki” (2006):

http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/essay/files/AaronSherwood_Mythopoeia.pdf

Th 2/28 Lost
Jason Mittell, “Sites of Participation: Wiki Fandom and the Case of Lostpedia”:

http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/118/117

T 3/5 Pan’s Labyrinth and Sandman
Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: Season of Mists

Th 3/7 The Walking Dead
Take-home midterm due

Unit III: Science Fiction

T 3/12 Metropolis
J. P. Telotte, “The Seductive Text of Metropolis” (CP)
William Gibson, “The Gernsback Continuum” (CP)
Andrew Ross, “Getting Out of the Gernsback Continuum” (CP)
David Hartwell, excerpt from Age of Wonders (CP)

Th 3/14 The Twilight Zone

T 3/19 Spring Break – no class

Th 3/21 Spring Break – no class

T 3/26 Bride of Frankenstein
Gary Morris, “Sexual Subversion: The Bride of Frankenstein”:

http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/19/19_bride1.html

Th 3/28 Star Trek
Henry Jenkins, “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” (CP)
Ted Friedman, “Capitalism: The Final Frontier”:

http://www.tedfriedman.com/essays/2005/03/capitalism_the.html

T 4/2 Blade Runner
Donna Haraway, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs” (CP)
Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” (CP)

Th 4/4 The X-Files
Carl Jung, “Flying Saucers as Modern Myths” (CP)

T 4/9 Brazil and Ender’s Game
Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

Th 4/11 Battlestar Galactica
Spencer Ackerman, “Battlestar: Iraqtica,”

http://www.slate.com/id/2151425/nav/tap2/

T 4/16 The Matrix
David Weberman, “The Matrix: Simulation and the Postmodern Age” (CP)
Slavoj Zizek, “The Matrix, or the Two Sides of Perversion” (CP)
Aleksandar Hemon, “Beyond the Matrix”:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/09/10/120910fa_fact_hemon

Th 4/18 World of Warcraft and The Guild
Download and play the free World of Warcraft trial:

http://www.worldofwarcraft.com

T 4/23 Children of Men and The Age of Miracles
Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles

Th 4/25 Futurama

Take-Home Final due via email to tedf@gsu.edu on Tuesday, April 30 by 5 PM

Screening Schedule

You are responsible for viewing assigned films in time for class discussion. Screenings are held on Thursdays at 4:30 PM in 406 Arts & Humanities.

1/15 No screening
1/22 Star Wars
1/29 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2/5 The Wizard of Oz
2/12 The Company of Wolves
2/19 Where the Wild Things Are
2/26 Spirited Away
3/5 Pan’s Labyrinth
3/12 Metropolis
3/19 Spring Break – no class
3/26 Bride of Frankenstein
4/2 Blade Runner
4/9 Brazil
4/16 The Matrix
4/23 Children of Men

Assignments

The class assignments add up to total of 100 possible points. Your final grade for the class is determined by adding up your grades for each assignment, adjusting for attendance, then applying the final number to the following scale:

A+ 100-98 B+ 89-88 C+ 79-78 D 69-65
A 97-93 B 87-83 C 77-70 F 64-0
A- 92-90 B- 82-80

TV Presentation – 10 points (Film 4280 only)
As part of a 2-3 person team, you will give a presentation on an influential fantasy or science fiction television show. Your team has two presentation options:

Research Presentation: Each member of the team gives a 5-minute presentation on a different aspect of the show: 1) the creator/creators; 2) the economics of the production, including available budget and ratings information; 3) audience responses. Each member hands in a list of sources. A minimum of five separate sources is required for each member’s presentation. (Wikipedia can be consulted to find sources but does not itself count toward the five sources.) PowerPoint is not necessary, but short video clips (such as creator interviews, news stories, and fan films) should be incorporated into each presentation when available.

Creative Presentation: Alternately, the presentation team can choose to collectively produce a short film about the TV show. Options include an edited selection of clips with voice-over commentary, a series of interviews with viewers, or a fan film.

Book Presentations – 5 points each (Film 6280 only)
Graduate students will read two additional books of their choice, one scholarly book and one work of fiction, and will give short a presentation on each in two separately scheduled meetings with the other graduate students.

Take-Home Midterm – 45 points (Film 4280 and 6280)
The take-home midterm will require you to relate concepts from the readings and lectures to the assigned films, series, novels and comics. Undergraduate and graduate students will take the same exam, but graduate students will be expected to submit more detailed answers. Due March 7.

Take-Home Final – 45 points (Film 4280 and 6280)
The take-home final will be structured just like the midterm, covering the second half of the semester. Due April 30.

Attendance Adjustment
As Woody Allen put it, “80 percent of success is showing up.” It’s less than that in this formula, but the bottom line is that you can’t contribute to the class if you’re not there. You’re allowed one unexcused absence for the semester. After that, each unexcused absence subtracts one point from your grade total. Excused absences include medical and family emergencies. You will be expected to schedule any employment responsibilities around this class, or accept the consequences of missed classes for your grade. If you do need to miss a class, please contact me ahead of time, and make arrangements to catch up on missed material.

Policies

Office Hours
Office hours are by appointment. I’m usually available to meet before and after every class.

Late Papers
Late midterms are penalized at the rate of 1/2 point per day overdue. Late finals cannot be accepted without an extension.

Rewrites
Rewrites of any midterm question are welcome. The final grade on the question will be the average of the original grade and the rewritten version’s grade. Rewrites of the final are unavailable, but rough drafts of the final can be submitted for feedback through April 23.

Incompletes
Incompletes may be given only in special hardship cases. Incompletes will not be used merely for extending the time for completion of course requirements.

Assessment
Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State. Upon completing the course, please take time to fill out the online course evaluation.

Disability
Students who wish to request accommodation for a disability may do so by registering with the Office of Disability Services. Students may only be accommodated upon issuance by the Office of Disability Services of a signed Accommodation Plan and are responsible for providing a copy of that plan to instructors of all classes in which accommodations are sought.

Changes to the Syllabus
This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. Deviations may be necessary.

For a Jungian Turn in Comics Studies

Here’s a short “position paper” I wrote for a panel on comics at the Flow media studies conference in Austin:

For a Jungian Turn in Comics Studies

The rise of the new field of comics studies offers the opportunity to reconsider theoretical choices made by earlier forms of media studies. When, in an earlier generation, film studies began looking for models of subjectivity, it turned to the Freudian/Lacanian tradition. Left behind, for the most part, was the very different psychoanalytic perspective developed by Freud’s onetime protégé Carl Jung. While parsing the obsessions of exemplary filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock seemed to require the Oedipal framework of Freud, the work of comparable comic book auteurs such as Alan Moore and Neal Gaiman is in a very different, much more Jungian register. Their model for the psyche begins not with the family romance, but with a multiplicity of intense affects and impulses represented by godlike figures of outsized powers and desires. As these creators recognize, comic books’ heroes are archetypal, their stories mythic, their metaphysics mystical. Turning to Jung gives comics studies access to an invaluable trove of insight into the mythic dimensions of popular culture. In turn, recentering media studies around comics studies offers a chance to reintegrate models of archetype and the numinous into contemporary cultural studies.

Fans and scholars rightly insist that comics are more than just superheroes. But this claim for diversity also includes a hint of disavowal: there’s good reason why superpowered characters have featured so prominently not only in the medium’s most popular works, but also in many of its most powerful and influential ones. Produced by just ink and paper, comics are not indexically bound as photography and film are, and so easily transcend the limits of verisimilitude, making them the ideal visual medium for fantasy. Only now are other media, using CGI technology, able to approach the vastness of this canvas. Even Joss Whedon’s film version of The Avengers, working with a budget north of $100 million, was compelled to save money and effort by setting much of its second act in the stagey confines of the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. The locations of a comic book, on the other hand, are limited only by the artists’ imaginations.

Comics, then, are ideally suited for representing larger-than-life characteristics in settings far beyond the everyday. In Jungian terms, superheroes are archetypes: representations of primal psychic forces. In Jungian interpretations of myths and fairy tales, individual characters represent archetypal aspects of a single psyche: the Hero, the Mother, the Shadow, and so on. Likewise, stories of superheroes and super villains speak to us today because their characters represent archetypal elements within each of our psyches. Within The Avengers, for example, one might argue that Thor is an image of power, Captain America of duty, Iron Man intellect, and the Bruce Banner/The Hulk the dialectic of repression and aggression. Each of us contains within us the multitudes of the superheroic mythos.

Critics of Jungian interpretation have argued that it is essentialist—that is presumes all cultural texts represent unchanging psychological truths. But contemporary “post-Jungian” critics have pointed to the distinction that Jung draws between “archetype” and “archetypal image.” An archetype is an unrepresentable pattern of energy, stored, for Jung, in the collective unconscious. An archetypal image is the specific embodiment of an archetype in a distinct cultural and historical moment. The archetypal image is where archetype meets ideology. Bringing Jung together with the ideas of Antonio Gramsci, we can see every specific archetypal image as an intervention in the struggle to define the hegemonic meanings attached to an underlying archetype. The representation of Captain America, for instance, has been a space to struggle over the meanings of patriotism—from Jack Kirby’s Avenger slugging Hitler, to Alan Moore’s curdled parody the Comedian, to Whedon’s man out of time. Pairing post-Marxist ideology criticism with post-Jungian analytical theory gives comics studies the tools not just to explain its own medium, but also to map the fantasies and fears at the heart of contemporary popular culture.

Media and Cultural Studies, Spring 2012

COMM 6160/8690, Spring 2012
Thursdays 4:30-7:00 PM, Sparks 321

Ted Friedman
Office: 738 One Park Place South
ted@tedfriedman.com

http://twitter.com/tedfriedman

http://tedfriedman.com

Course Description
What are the political dimensions of popular culture? How does culture reflect, influence, and embody structures of power? Where does hegemony end and resistance begin? This class will engage the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Studies, which attempts to understand the relationship between culture and politics. We’ll be reading both founding theoretical texts and cutting-edge scholarship. We’ll address a range of media, from film and television to music, computer games and romance novels. We’ll look at multiple, intersecting structures of power, including class, nation, gender, and race.

Readings
Class readings will include books and a coursepack of articles. Here are the books you’ll need:

Graeme Turner, British Cultural Studies: An Introduction
Janice Radway, Reading the Romance
One romance novel of your choice
Susan Douglas, The Rise of Enlightened Sexism
Jodi Dean, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies
Stephen Duncombe, Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy
Jane McGonigal, Reality Is Broken
Bruno Latour, On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods
Janice Hocker Rushing and Thomas Frentz, Projecting the Shadow
Jeffrey Kripal, Mutants and Mystics

Most course books should be available at the GSU bookstores. They can also be ordered through online retailers such as amazon.com/student, bn.com, and powells.com. The coursepack is sold by Bestway Copy Center, 18 Decatur Street SE (on the first floor of One Park Place South).

Podcasts, Screenings and Activities
In addition to readings, some weeks’ assignments will include listening to podcasts, screening films and TV shows, and visiting locations around Atlanta.

Twitter Feed
Relevant news and commentary will be shared with the class via the Twitter hashtag #cultstud. Feel free to respond to tweets or post your own.
Schedule

1/12    The Politics of Culture
In-class screening: Barbie Nation

1/19    Culture and Power
Graeme Tuner, British Cultural Studies: An Introduction: Introduction, Chapter 1
Karl Marx, excerpts from The German Ideology

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm;

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01b.htm

Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment
as Mass Deception”

http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/SWA/Some_writings_of_Adorno.shtml

Walter Benjamin, “On the Concept of History”

http://www.sfu.ca/~andrewf/CONCEPT2.html

Watch or listen to Reading Marx’s Capital with David Harvey, Class 1: “Introduction”

http://davidharvey.org/2008/06/marxs-capital-class-01/

Watch or listen to Paul Fry’s Literary Theory, Class 17: “The Frankfurt School of
Critical Theory”

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/17-the-frankfurt-school-critical/id341652579?i=63753382

1/26    Hegemony and Resistance
Turner, Chapters 2-7, Conclusion
Louis Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses”

http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/althusser/1970/ideology.htm

Antonio Gramsci, “Hegemony, Intellectuals and the State” (CP)
Stuart Hall, “Encoding/Decoding” (CP)

2/2    Cynicism and Utopia
Slavoj Zizek, excerpt from The Sublime Object of Ideology (CP)
Fredric Jameson, “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture,” (CP)
Thomas Frank, “New Consensus for Old” (CP)
Richard Dyer, “Entertainment and Utopia” (CP)
Ted Friedman, “Introduction,” Electric Dreams

http://www.tedfriedman.com/electricdreams/2005/02/introduction.php

Michael Berube, “What’s the Matter with Cultural Studies,”

http://chronicle.com/article/Whats-the-Matter-With/48334/

Watch or listen to Paul Fry’s Literary Theory, Class 18: “The Political Unconscious”

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/18-the-political-unconscious/id341652579?i=63753375

2/9    Audience and Gender
Janice Radway, Reading the Romance
Go to a bookstore, buy a romance novel, and read it.

2/16    Postfeminisms
Susan Douglas, The Rise of Enlighted Sexism

2/23    Communicative Capitalism
Jodi Dean, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies

3/1    No class – spring break

3/8    Fantasy
Stephen Duncombe, Dream: Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy

3/15    Play
Jane McGonigal, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They
Can Change the World

3/22    Science
Bruno Latour, On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods

3/29    Myth
Janice Hocker Rushing & Thomas S. Frentz, Projecting the Shadow: The Cyborg Hero
in American Film
Watch Blade Runner

4/5    Mysticism
Jeffrey Kripal, Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics,
and the Paranormal

4/12    Research Presentations
No reading

4/19    Research Presentations/Party
No reading

Assignments

The class assignments add up to total of 100 possible points. Your final grade for the class is determined by adding up your grades for each assignment, adjusting for attendance, then applying the final number to the following scale:

A+    100-98        B+    89-88        C+    79-78        D    69-65
A     97-93        B    87-83        C    77-70        F    64-0
A-    92-90        B-    82-80

I. Theorist Discussion – Comm 6160: 15% of final grade; Comm 8690: 10% of final grade
You will lead, with a group, a 30-45 minute discussion of one of the theorists covered in the opening weeks of class. One group member should present a brief (5 minute) biographical introduction, incorporating video clips of the author if available. Each other member should introduce a contemporary media example and suggest how the author’s ideas could be applied to the text. Note: it is not necessary to summarize the reading beyond a brief 1-2 sentence statement of its key arguments. Further exegesis will be developed in lecture and class discussion. The choice of theorists includes: Adorno, Benjamin, Althusser, Gramsci, Hall, Zizek, Jameson and Frank.

II. Book Discussion – 6160: 25% of final grade; 8690: 20% of final grade
You will lead, with a group, discussion of one assigned book. To prepare for the discussion of the reading, research these questions to put the reading in a broader context:

What is the author’s background? What discipline is the author trained in? What else has s/he written? In which journals has s/he published?

What was the reception of the book? How was the book reviewed? What criticisms have been made of the author’s work? How has the author responded? Whom has the author influenced?

Then, meet with your group to prepare for a class discussion. Don’t bother summarizing the work. Rather, concentrate on how the work relates to the key questions we’ll be asking all semester. In addition to the research topics, other subjects for discussion should include:

Methodology: What research methods does the author use? (Possibilities include textual analysis, ethnography, historical research, quantitative social science, etc.) How does the author approach and justify this methodology? What are the advantages and limitations of this methodology?

Theoretical debates: In what theoretical debates does the work intervene? Where does the author stand? Whom does the author criticize? How does this work move the debate forward?

Example of Analysis: Pick one media example that’s either directly addressed by the author, or that can be illuminated by applying the author’s ideas. Show a representative sample from the text (any clip should be no more than 5 minutes). Discuss how the author would (or does) interpret the example. What are the strengths and limitations of this interpretation? What alternate interpretations are possible?

(You don’t need to organize your discussion in the order listed above. It may help to present the example up front, to ground your discussion of methodology and theory. It’s often also a good icebreaker to begin discussion by going around the room, asking everybody to answer a specific question related to their response to the book.)

III. Outside reading presentation – 8690 only: 10% of grade
Doctoral students will read one additional book and give a short (10-15 minute) presentation on the work to the class, summarizing the book’s key arguments, the critical response to the book, and how its ideas relate to the themes of the course. A list of suggested readings will be distributed separately.

IV. Final Project – 50% of final grade
Option 1: Write a paper on a subject relating to the politics of popular culture. 6160: 12-15 pages. 8690: 18-25 pages. Doctoral work will be expected to meet a higher standard of theoretical sophistication.

Option 2: Produce a creative work which engages some of the ideas of the class. The project can be a short film, a screenplay, or a new media work. Along with the project, include a short paper relating your work to ideas from the class. 6160: 3-5 pages; 8690: 8-10 pages. Doctoral work will be expected to meet a higher standard of theoretical sophistication.

For either option, the deadlines are the same:
A one-page prospectus is due February 23. I will schedule individual meetings with you to discuss the prospectus.
You will give a short (10 minute) presentation of your research project on either April 12 or April 19.
The final project is due April 26.

V. Attendance Adjustment
As Woody Allen put it, “80 percent of success is showing up.” It’s less than that in this formula, but the bottom line is that you can’t contribute to the class if you’re not there. You’re allowed one unexcused absence for the semester. After that, each unexcused absence subtracts one point from your grade total. Excused absences include medical and family emergencies. You will be expected to schedule any employment responsibilities around this class, or accept the consequences of missed classes for your grade. If you do need to miss a class, please contact me ahead of time, and make arrangements to catch up on missed material.

Policies

Office Hours
Office hours are by appointment. I’m usually available to meet before and after every class.

Incompletes
Incompletes may be given only in special hardship cases. Incompletes will not be used merely for extending the time for completion of course requirements.

Assessment
Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State. Upon completing the course, please take time to fill out the online course evaluation.

Disability
Students who wish to request accommodation for a disability may do so by registering with the Office of Disability Services. Students may only be accommodated upon issuance by the Office of Disability Services of a signed Accommodation Plan and are responsible for providing a copy of that plan to instructors of all classes in which accommodations are sought.

Changes to the Syllabus
This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. Deviations may be necessary.

Marx, Jung & Yoda: The Dialectics of The Force

Here’s a talk about Star Wars and myth that I gave last month  at the Academy of Religious Studies conference in San Francisco. Feedback is welcome – I’m in the process of turning this into the introduction to my book, Centaur Manifesto.

I’m really thrilled to be here at the AAR conference. This is the first time I have been to a conference in religious studies, and I want to admit right off the bat that I’m not a trained scholar in religious studies. My own background is in cultural studies, new media, and critical theory. But I have found more and more that in trying to understand contemporary American culture, it’s impossible to ignore spiritual themes, and that the theoretical models of cultural studies really don’t offer a lot of space to think through questions of spirituality. There are some good and legitimate reasons for this. The Marxist and Freudian hermaneutics of suspicion have been incredibly valuable in uncovering the ideological underpinnings of religious discourses, along with all other discourses. But I’ve come to conclude that they’re not enough to tell the whole story.  I’ve come to this conference because I think a theological turn – or, in psychoanalytic terms, a Jungian turn – can help cultural studies develop a richer vocabulary to talk about the numinous. And at the same time, I do have some hope that some of the ideas that have come out of my own field might be of use to religious studies as well.

I’d like to begin by giving a little context for how I came to this topic. My first book, Electric Dreams, looked at the cultural history of personal computers, and what I argue is that cyberculture in the 1980s and 90s became what I call a utopian sphere: a space to imagine different visions of the future beyond the boundaries of late capitalist ideology. I was inspired by the work of Fredric Jameson, particularly his groundbreaking essay “Reification and Utopia in Mass Culture.” Jameson argues that for popular culture texts to capture the imaginations of large audiences, they must include at least glimpses of a better world. But capitalist ideology represses and recontains these utopian impulses, channelling them into consumerism, cynicism, and alienated individualism. For Jameson, the goal of the critic is to rescue and expand upon the utopian visions that have been buried within what he calls The Political Unconscious.

After finishing my first book a few years ago, I began to look more closely at the popular culture of this past decade, and was surprised by what I found. Electric Dreams argued that science fiction was the most influential genre of the 1980s and 1990s, helping to invent and make sense of the transmediated universe that we all live in now. But in this past decade, there’s been a cultural shift that has paralleled the growth of transmedia. These days, I’d argue that it’s the genre of fantasy that has been the most influential to our culture, producing the biggest blockbusters (Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings), the most popular gamespaces (World of Warcraft), and, to my mind, the most interesting genre authors

Fantasy works differently than science fiction. Science fiction speaks in the register of science and technology. But the central trope of fantasy is magic – a mystical force beyond the boundraries of Englightenment rationality. If science fiction celebrates logos, fantasy is the genre of mythos. As Arthur C. Clarke points out, any technology sufficiently advanced beyond our own is indistinguishable from magic. In this sense, all science fiction is part of the larger fantastical, mythological tradition. It’s just that the technological gloss of SF provides a cover of rationality over its magical, mystical core. Lately, that cover seems to be slipping. The rise of popular fantasy, I’d suggest, reflects what Christopher Partridge calls The Re-Enchantment of the West, in a play on Max Weber’s famous description of modernity as “The Dis-Enchantment of the World.” The desires underlying many fantasy texts, then, are not only the visions of a more just and egalitarian post-capitalist society that Jameson identifies, but also repressed visions of the spiritual – of mytical, gnostic experience.

Now, it may seem strange to describe spirituality as a repressed subtext in American popular culture. After all, the US remains one of the most religious societies in the world, an ongoing repudiation of the secularization thesis. But I’d suggest that the mystical, gnostic sensiblity of popular fantasy is not prominently represented in the American public sphere. This is the argument religious studies scholar Jeffrey Kripal makes in his fascinating new study of comic books, Mutants and Mystics. Furthermore, the core audience for these texts – the kinds of geeks and techies like myself who attend the San Diego Comic Con and play MMORPGs – are exactly those whose everyday worlds are most structured by the capitalist technocratic rationality of binary codes and spreadsheets. In this context, the mystical vision of fantasy represents what Jung would call a compensatory myth – not, as classical ideology theory would have it, because it mystifies and justifies capitalism, but rather because, like a recurring dream, it points to a psychological need that is not being met – a potential transformation of the self, and of society, that challenges the illusion of a stable, complete ego.

In other words, there is a spiritual impulse that is repressed in technocratic postmodern American culture. But that human need does not go away. The return of the repressed shows up in our shared fantasies. Jorge Louis Borges suggested that the theological is a part of the fantastical genre.  I’d like to suggest the converse: that we consider popular fantasy as a form of folk theology.

Another inspiriation for my work, and for much of transmedia studies in general, has been Donna Haraway’s hugely influential 1986 essay, “A Manifesto for Cyborgs.” Haraway turned to the figure of the cyborg to argue that it offered a way to reimagine the intersection between the human and the machine, between nature and technology. She saw the cyborg as a figure who could challenge the presumptions of many on the Left at the time who saw technology as the enemy. Instead, she suggested that films like Blade Runner offerred ways to imagine reappropriating technological tools to empower the disnenfranchised. Haraway’s ideas, controversial in their time, have become a kind of common sense today; I don’t think technophobia on the Left is nearly the problem it was when she was discussing it. Instead, just as science fiction was dismissed by most of Haraway’s peers in the 1980s as escapism, today it is fantasy that is often dismissed as reactionary nostalgia. In fact, both the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies first came out in the fall of 2001, shortly after 9/11, and many critics  argued that these films were so popular at this moment because they offer a safe, reassuring retreat into a fantasy world. I don’t think that’s completely wrong, but I don’t think it tells nearly the whole story. If in the 1980s what was needed was a cyborg manifesto, today what’s needed is what I call a centaur manifesto, a similar embrace of a liminal figure. The centaur is on the boundary between human and animal, between nature and culture, and even on the boundary between reality and fantasy, between the scientific world of everyday life and the fantastical world of mythology. Just as Haraway saw the cyborg as an inspiring figure to imagine how we could rework science fiction in new, more empowered ways, I think the centaur similarly can be that type of fantasy figure.

To flesh out the implications of this centaur manifesto, I’ll be turning now to a specific text. The movie I want to talk about might be a little surprising because at first glance we might presume it’s science fiction: Star Wars. Star Wars is on the precipice of science fiction and fantasy. It has spaceships and light sabers, but it’s also a story of a knight who rescues a princess. It begins like a fairy tale: “Long ago in a galaxy far, far away.” And most of all, it’s a world in which magic overcomes technology, as Luke turns off his computer and destroys the Death Star by trusting instead in the Force.

The formative religious experience of my childhood was Star Wars – certainly more so, I have to admit, than Hebrew School or my Bar Mitzvah. When Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke, “The Force . . . is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together,” I could feel The Force tingle in my own fingertips. More than once I attempted to move objects with only the power of my mind. They never moved, but I can’t say I was ever disappointed – I think something in me moved, as I recognized that my mind and the outside world in were in some ways part of an indivisible whole. Years later, I would rediscover the flavor of those experiences when I began meditating regularly.

The power of The Force, I think, has a lot to do with the endurance of the Star Wars mythos, over three decades past the release of the first film. Star Wars was one of the first transmedia blockbusters, spawning books, comics, videogames, lunchboxes, and most lucratively, toys. All of these spinoffs meant that watching the movie was only the beginning of the experience – kids like me could move on to tell our own stories, as we did for all the years between 198tk and 1999 when no new films were being made.

The Force is a fictional construction, but at the same time it is a very powerful model for thinking about the numinous in our lives. In fact, its very fictional nature may be part of what has made it so resonant and lasting. In Jungian terms, we could say that for Star Wars fans, The Force is an archetypal image rather than the archetype itself. While there are a few people who mark ‘Jedi’ under religion on their census forms, most people don’t explicitly believe in the theology of Star Wars. Rather, they find Star Wars a set of metaphors that can help them conceive of their own sense of the spiritual or the numinous without feeling constrained by the doctrines of traditional religions. In this sense, Star Wars is one example of what Paul Heelas and Linda Woodhead call The Spiritual Revolution, in which more and more Westerners define themselves as spiritual rather than religious.

So, how does cultural studies theorize texts like Star Wars? In Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins’ agenda-setting work on transmedia, Jenkins recognizes the influence of Joseph Campbell’s ideas about myth not only on Star Wars, but on the many other screenplays that have been inspired by Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces. But Jenkins characterizes Campbell’s ideas in a very distinctive way. He writes: “Audience familiarity with this basic plot structure allows scriptwriters to skip over transitional or expository sequences, throwing us directly in the action.” In other words, Jenkins finds Campbell important as a structuralist who codified the generic expectations that make these heroic narratives easier to parse. But Jenkins passes over exactly what’s most important about myth to Campbell: the mystical. As Campbell put it: “Without the mystical, myth is just ideology.” For Campbell, as a Jungian, the hero’s journey is fundamentally about the descent into the unconscious to engage the numinous – what he calls “the mystery which is the ground of our being.”

So what would it mean to take the numinous more seriously in cultural studies? Is there a way to articulate spirituality within the set of ideas that have been so influential in cultural studies?

The circuit of culture is Paul du Gay’s very influential model of the five nodes through which every culural object passes. Where does the numinous fit in this model? Spirituality is certainly an aspect of personal identity. It’s also, as I’ve been arguing, a key theme of textual representation, even if remains as subtext. But I’d suggest the numinous – a vision of the transcendental – also informs the activities of production, consumption, and regulation. Another way to rework the circuit of culture is this:

[To come: image of a Mandala of Culture. Submissions welcome.]

Here is a Mandala of Culture, which transforms Du Gay’s two-dimentional circle into a three-dimensional sphere. It conceives of the numinous as the ground, the context in which all the circuit goes around. The numinous in itself is not directly accessible. In Jung’s terms, it is the realm of archetypes. It enters our world through the circuit of culture, where it becomes an object of representation, redefinition, and struggle. The circuit of culture is where archetype meets ideology.

I like Jung’s term “the numinous” because it locates the spiritual in the unconscious, the unrepresentable. We could also call this axis the sublime, or even Lacan’s Real – in some sense, I’d argue that all these terms are pointing to the same thing: that part of the humand experience beyond Enlightenment rationality.

[Note - this is the fuzziest, most speculative part of the talk. More to come in Centaur Manifesto.]

With this model in place, let’s turn back to Star Wars and ask how we might integrate the numinous into cultural studies. One place to start is to point out that Joseph Campbell was not George Lucas’s only guru. As I was doing research for this paper, I came across a series of fascinating talks by Alan Watts, who was a very influential popularizer of Zen Buddhism and Taoism in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. During the period that George Lucas was writing Star Wars, Watts lived in the Bay area, speaking often at places like the Esalen Institute and on his weekly public radio show. The vocal, physical, and philosphical resemblance between Watts and Alec Guinness’s portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi is so unmistakeable that many fans have concluded that Watts was “the real Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

In this context, then, we can see the Force not only as a generalized religious metaphor, but also more specifically as an example of the popular transmission of Eastern spiritual ideas to the West in the second half of the Twentieth Century. But Lucas’s Force is not quite the same thing as the Tao. In Taoism, the model of yin and yang reflects the interdependence and interpenetration of all things. Dark and light depend on and need each other. One cannot exist without the other, just as any figure depends on the negative space of its background. In George Lucas’s version of the Force, while the language of dark and light remains, it’s reincorporated into a much more Western, Manichean vision of absolute good and evil. There is the light side of Obi-Wan and Luke, and there is the dark side of Darth Vader and The Emperor. So while on the one hand George Lucas brought a Taoist vision to the United States, on the other hand, in the process he robbed it of much of what makes it distinctive, complex and resonant. For this, it’s been justly criticized for validating Ronald Reagan’s attack on the Soviet Union as an “Evil Empire” in the 1980s, and George W. Bush’s similar demonization of an “Axis of Evil” two decades later.

Having said that, however, if we then begin to think about Star Wars as a transmediated text, what is significant not only its original texual representation, but also its reappropriation and reworking by its audiences. If we think of the cultural studies model of an active audience negotiating and resisting dominant codes, then we can see George Lucas’s original vision of the Force as only a first step towards a more complex, collectively produced theological vision.

I work in downtown Atlanta. Just up the block once a year is the Dragon Con annual convention where science fiction and fantasy fans come from all over the world to dress up as their favorite characters. The most popular characters, by far, are the Star Wars Storm Troopers. Every year the Storm Troopers parade down Peachtree Street. This may seem surprising: why, we may wonder, would so many fans want to dress up, not as heroes like Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi, but instead as part of the forces of darkness? The answer, I think, is that for Star Wars fans, the metaphysics of Star Wars are more complex than it is in Lucas’s original formulation. The dark side represents not simply evil, but the shadow side of our own personalities – the attraction towards violence, aggression, and power that we repress in our daily lives. The play space of the Dragon Con convention and the Star Wars transmedia universe provides a safe, delineated way to engage with that shadow side. And in the process, to create a more complex moral vision: to embrace and show sympathy for the devil.

What Star Wars fans are doing is what we could call vernacular theology: challenging Lucas’s dilution of Alan Watts’s Taoist vision, returning it to a more complex model that has kept the power of the Force alive after 35 years.

Renewal

A couple of weeks ago I attended a wonderful workshop put together by Depth Psychology Seminars, a group of Jungian therapists and artists. The weekend included both lectures and creative workshops – opportunities to move from theory to practice, in the form of what Jung called “active imagination,” and my Marxist colleagues might call “praxis.” I painted, acted, and wrote poetry for the first time in decades. It was a blast.

For the poetry workshop with Laura Hope-Gill, we were encouraged to write a poem inspired by the seven-stage process of alchemical transformation described in many  classical texts. Here’s what I came up with:

Renewal

I pick up my book manuscript
my notes, my files,
my hard drives, my flash drives,
my Moleskine, my legal pads,
my audio files, my video files,
my DVDs, my CDs, my CD-ROMs,
my email, my snail mail,
my files in the cloud.
I pile them to the sky in my big backyard
and drench them.

I pour water, but they won’t dissolve
so I break out the alcohol.
Turpentine and witch hazel,
then vodka and scotch.
The pile saturates and wilts,
the papers grow translucent, like tissue, then melt.
The circuits short out,
zeroes becoming ones,
ones becoming zeroes,
or maybe some other numbers the motherboards don’t know about.
Book bindings melt.
Plastic labels peel off circular slices of metal.
And then I toss in the match.

The wood fibers burble.
The plastic curls.
The metal melts.
The smoke rises.
My eyes sting and tear.

I take a big shopvac and suck it all up:
the ashes,
the smoke,
the plastic shining like melted candy,
the metal glimmering like mercury,
the data pouring down from the cloud in a rain of bits.
The shopvac explodes.

My lawn in scorched.
My neighbors are alarmed.
My cats are nonplussed.

Then Noisy comes out to take a look.
The Dude follows.
I even let Pilot Squeaky out, though she hasn’t promised to be good.
They sniff around the edges.
They scratch at the rubble like kitty litter.

Steam rises from the cooling pile.
Particles congeal into a nubbly slab.
Soft like Silly Putty.
Slick like river rocks.
Mottled like fake vomit.

Then the Dude backs up
with a dreamy look in his eyes
and with a squirt
baptizes it all.

Issues & Perspectives in Communication Theory, Fall 2011

Comm 6010, Fall 2011
Class: Tuesdays 4:30-7:00 PM, 1020 One Park Place South
Office: 738 One Park Place South
email: ted@tedfriedman.com
website: http://www.tedfriedman.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tedfriedman

Course Description

Communication is a wide-ranging field encompassing the study of speech, journalism, film, television, video games, the internet, and every other medium through which people exchange information. Scholars bring an array of approaches to their work, from historical digging to quantitative data collection to ethnographic interviews to textual analysis. And they address a broad range of issues, from aesthetics to psychology to politics and beyond.

Communication is less a single discipline than an interdisciplinary meeting ground. At the same time, a series of key conversations runs across all these varied areas of study. This course is designed to help new Communication M.A. students get their bearings in this rich, complex field, as you begin your graduate study. It will introduce you to the ideas, arguments, and ongoing questions which organize our field.

Readings

The course-pack for this class is sold by Bestway Copy Center, 18 Decatur Street SE (on the first floor of One Park Place South).  Additional optional readings will be shared via the Twitter hashtag #commtheory.

Class Schedule

8/23    Introduction

8/30    Communication and Culture
James Carey, “A Cultural Approach to Communication,” Communication as Culture (London: Routledge, 1992): 13-36:

http://www3.niu.edu/acad/gunkel/coms465/carey.html

Clifford Geertz, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight”:

http://hypergeertz.jku.at/HyperGeertz-1970-1979.htm

Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”:

http://godsaveprint.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/mechanicalrepro1.pdf

Ted Friedman, “Introduction,” Electric Dreams: Computers and American Culture (NYU, 2005): http://www.tedfriedman.com/electricdreams/2005/02/introduction.php

9/6    New Media
Henry Jenkins, “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars? Digital Cinema, Media Convergence, and Participatory Culture”: http://web.mit.edu/cms/People/henry3/starwars.html
Chris Anderson, “The Long Tail,” Wired 12.10 (October 2004):

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html

Marcus Boon, “Introduction” and “What Is Copying?” In Praise of Copying (Harvard UP, 2010), 1-40: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/features/boon/
Ted Friedman, “The Rise of the Simulation Game,” Electric Dreams: Computers and American Culture (NYU, 20005): http://tedfriedman.com/electric-dreams/electric-dreams-chapter-six-the-rise-of-the-simulation-game/

9/13    Narrative and Genre
Walter R. Fisher, “Narrative as a Human Communication Paradigm: The Case of Public Moral Argument,” Communication Monographs 51 (1984): 1-23.
Hayden White, “The Question of Narrative in Contemporary Historical Theory,” The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987): 26-57.
Thomas Schatz, “Film Genre and the Genre Film,” Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981): 14-41.

9/20    Semiotics
Kaja Silverman, “From Sign to Subject, A Short History,” The Subject of Semiotics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983): 3-53.
Jonathan Culler, “Saussure’s Theory of Language,” Ferdinand de Saussure, rev. ed. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986): 27-64.
Christian Metz, “Some Points in the Semiotics of the Cinema,” in Gerald Mast, Marshall Cohen, and Leo Braudy (eds.), Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, 4th ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 168-178.

9/27    Ideology
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “The Ruling Class and the Ruling Ideas,” in Durham and Kellner (eds.), Media and Cultural Studies: Key Works (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2001): 39-42.
Raymond WIlliams, “Base and Superstructure in Marxist Cultural Theory,” in Durham and Kellner (eds.), Media and Cultural Studies: Key Works (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2001), 152-165.
Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”:

http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/SWA/Some_writings_of_Adorno.shtml

Roland Barthes, “Myth Today,” Mythologies (New York: Hill and Wang, 1972), 109-159.

10/4    Hegemony and Resistance
Stuart Hall, “Encoding, Decoding,” in Simon During (ed.), The Cultural Studies Reader (New York: Routledge, 2007), 90-103.
Celeste Condit, “Hegemony in a Mass-Mediated Society: Condordance About Reproductive Technologies,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 11 (1994): 205-230.
Dana Cloud, “Hegemony or Concordance? The Rhetoric of Tokenism in ‘Oprah’ Winfrey’s Rags-to-Riches Biography,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 13 (1996): 115-137.
Celeste Condit, “Hegemony, Condordance and Capitalism: Reply to Cloud,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 13 (1996): 382-384.
Dana Cloud, “Concordance, Complexity and Conservatism: Rejoinder to Condit,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 14 (1997): 193-97.
Celeste Condit, “Clouding the Issues? The Ideal and the Material in Human Communication,” Critical Studies in Mass Communication 14 (1997): 197-200.
Research proposals due

10/11    The Public Sphere
Jurgen Habermas, “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article,” in Durham and Kellner (eds.), Media and Cultural Studies: Key Works (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2001): 102-107.
Phaedra Pezzulo, “Resisting ‘National Breast Cancer Awareness Month’: The Rhetoric of Counterpublics and their Cultural Performances,” Quarterly Journal of Speech 89 (2003): 345-365
Bent Flyvbjerg, “Habermas and Foucault: Thinkers for Civil Society?” British Journal of Sociology 49.2 (June 1998): 210-233:

http://flyvbjerg.plan.aau.dk/CIVSOC5%200PRINTBJS.pdf

10/18    Psychoanalysis
Kaja Silverman, “The [Semiotic] Subject in Freud and Lacan,” The Subject of Semiotics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983), 126-193.
Barbara Creed, “Film and Psychoanalysis,” in John Hill and Pamela Gibson (eds.), The Oxford Guide to Film Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), 77-90.
Janice Hocker Rushing and Thomas S. Frentz, “Integrating Ideology and Archetype in Rhetorical Criticism,” The Quarterly Journal of Speech 77 (1991): 385-406.
Ted Friedman, “Jung and Lost,” Flow 9.12 (May 2009):

http://flowtv.org/2009/05/jung-and-lost-ted-friedman%C2%A0%C2%A0georgia-state-university-atlanta%C2%A0%C2%A0/

10/25    Gender
Ann Brooks, “Postfeminist Variations within Media and Film Theory,” Postfeminisms: Feminism, Cultural Theory and Cultural Forms (London: Routledge, 1997): 163-188.
Judith Butler, “Preface (1999)” and “Preface (1990),” Gender Trouble (New York: Routledge, 1999), vii-xxxiii.
Alexander Doty, “There’s Something Queer Here,” Making Things Perfectly Queer (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993): 1-16.

11/1    Race and National Identity
Michael Omi & Howard Winant, “Racial Formation,” Racial Formation in the United States (New York: Routledge, 1994): 53-76.
Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities chapters 1-3 (New York: Verso, 1983), 1-46.
Arjun Appadurai, “Disjunctures and Difference in the Global Cultual Economy,” Modernity at Large (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 27-47.

11/8    Postmodernity, Posthumanism and Transhumanism
Fredric Jameson, “The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Duke UP, 1990), 1-52.
Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology , and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” Simians, Cyborgs and Women (Routledge, 1990), 149-181, 243-249.
David Abram, “The Ecology of Magic,” The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than Human World (Vintage, 1997):

http://www.primitivism.com/ecology-magic.htm

David Abram, “Language and the Ecology of Sensuous Experience: An Essay with an Unconstructive Footnote”: http://www.aislingmagazine.com/aislingmagazine/articles/TAM33/monotheism/DavidAbram.html
Ted Friedman, “The Politics of Magic,” Scope 14 (June 2009):

http://www.scope.nottingham.ac.uk/article.php?issue=14&id=1138

Ted Friedman, “Vertigo,” Flow 10.08 (September 19, 2009):

http://flowtv.org/2009/09/vertigoted-friedman-georgia-state-university/

11/15    No reading – research presentations begin

11/22    Thanksgiving Break – no class

11/29    No reading – research presentations continue/party at Ted’s house

Final papers due 12/6

Assignments

The class assignments add up to total of 100 possible points. Your final grade for the class is determined by adding up your grades for each assignment, adjusting for attendance, then applying the final number to the following scale:

A+    100-98        B+    89-88        C+    79-78        D    69-65
A     97-93        B    87-83        C    77-70        F    64-0
A-    92-90        B-    82-80

I. Co-lead discussions of three readings– 15% of final grade for each reading (45% total)
You will sign up to co-lead discussions of three readings over the course of the semester. The discussion of each reading will be co-led by two students. One leader is responsible for presenting background information on the author(s) and the article. For that presentation, you should research the author’s background, and survey the influence of the essay via http://scholar.google.com. If available, incorporate a short video clip of the author speaking. The second leader is responsible for introducing a contemporary media example, and suggesting how the article’s ideas might be applied to the example. Together, the leaders should prepare a short 1-page summary of the key facts about the author(s), article, and media example. Note: it is not necessary to summarize the article beyond brief 1-2 sentence statements of its key arguments. Further exegesis will be developed in lecture and class discussion.

II. Final Paper – 55% of final grade
Write a 15-20 page paper applying one or more theoretical approaches from the class to an object of study in your area. For example, you might develop a semiotic analysis of a news program, a psychoanalytic reading of a film, or a Marxist analysis of a political speech. You should demonstrate your understanding of important concepts and terms, and you should use the concepts to provide new insight into the object you’re examining.

• A one-page proposal is due October 11. I will schedule individual meetings
with you to discuss the proposal.
• You will give a short (10 minute) presentation of your research project on November 15 or 29.
• The final project is due December 6.

III. Attendance Adjustment
As Woody Allen put it, “80 percent of success is showing up.” It’s less than that in this formula, but the bottom line is that you can’t contribute to the class if you’re not there. You’re allowed one unexcused absence for the semester. After that, each unexcused absence subtracts one point from your grade total. Excused absences include medical and family emergencies. You will be expected to schedule any employment responsibilities around this class, or accept the consequences of missed classes for your grade. If you do need to miss a class, please contact me ahead of time, and make arrangements to catch up on missed material.

Policies

Academic Honesty
The university’s policy on academic honesty is published in On Campus: The Undergraduate Co-Curricular Affairs Handbook, available online at http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwcam. The policy prohibits plagiarism, cheating on examinations, unauthorized collaboration, falsification, and multiple submissions. Violation of the policy will result in failing the class, in addition to disciplinary sanctions.

The Internet makes it easy to plagiarize, but also easy to track down plagiarism. Bottom line: Don’t plagiarize. It’s wrong, and it’s not worth it. There’s always a better way. Cite all your sources, put all direct quotations in quotation marks, and clearly note when you are paraphrasing other authors’ work.

Incompletes
Incompletes may be given only in special hardship cases. Incompletes will not be used merely for extending the time for completion of course requirements.

Changes to the Syllabus
This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. Deviations may be necessary.

Course Evaluation
Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State University.  Upon completing the course, please take the time to fill out the online course evaluation.

American Film History II, Fall 2011

Film 4960/6960, Fall 2011
Class: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:00-2:15, Classroom South 426
Screenings: Thursdays at 2:30, Arts & Humanities 406
Office: 738 One Park Place South
email: ted@tedfriedman.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tedfriedman
website: http://www.tedfriedman.com

Course Description

How do movies reflect and influence American life? How has Hollywood shaped Americans’ image of the world, and the world’s view of Americans? What are the alternatives to Hollywood’s stories? What is the future of film in a digital age?

In attempting to answer these questions, this class will trace the history of American movies from the 1960s to the present. Along the way, we’ll look at the semiotics, aesthetics, economics, and politics of Hollywood movies and their independent alternatives.

Readings

The readings for the class include one required book, a coursepack, and a choice of movie memoirs from which you will select one to read. In addition, graduate students will choose two additional scholarly books to read and discuss in two additional meetings outside of class.

The required text is Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence by Chuck Tryon (Rutgers, 2009).

The coursepack for this class is sold by Bestway Copy Center, 18 Decatur Street SE (on the first floor of One Park Place South).

The choice of movie memoirs includes:
William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade (Warner, 1983).
Robert Rodriguez, Rebel Without a Crew (Plume, 1996).
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies (Vintage, 1996).
John Gregory Dunne, Monster (Random House, 1997).
Brian Michael Bendis, Fortune and Glory: A True Hollywood Comic Book Story (Oni, 2000)
Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, Writing Movies for Fun & Profit (Touchstone, 2011).

In addition, optional movie news items and reviews will be distributed through the Twitter hashtag #afh2. Find all recent tweets by searching http://twitter.com for #afh2, and feel free to share your own links and comments by including #afh2 in any tweet.

Class Schedule

8/23    Introduction
In-class screening: opening of Saving Private Ryan (Speilberg, 1998).

8/25    Hollywood Today
Malcolm Gladwell, “The Formula”:

http://gladwell.com/2006/2006_10_16_a_formula.html

Christopher Anderson, “The Long Tail”:

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/tail.html

8/30    Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Wyatt, 2011)
David Bordwell, “Intensified Continuity: Visual Style in Contemporary
American Film,” Film Quarterly 55.3 (Spring 2002): 16-28.
Toby Miller, Nitin Govil, John McMurria, Richard Maxwell and Ting Wang, “Introduction,” Global Hollywood 2 (BFI Publishing, 2005), 1-49.

9/1    Moviegoing Today
Chuck Tryon, Reinventing Cinema (Rutgers, 2009): Introduction, Chapters 1, 3, 6.
Tad Friend, “Funny Like a Guy,” The New Yorker, April 11, 2011.

9/6    Planet of the Apes (Schaffer, 1968)
Eric Greene, “Planet of the Apes” and “Urban Riots and Ape Revolution,” Planet of the Apes as American Myth (McFarland, 1996), 21-54, 78-113.
Michael Atkinson, “You May Not Like What You Find: The Planet of the Apes Cycle,” Ghosts in the Machine: The Dark Hear of Pop Cinema (Limelight, 2004), 7-15.

9/8    Body Genres
Carol J. Clover, “Her Body, Himself,” Men, Women and Chainsaws (Princeton, 1992), 21-64.
In-class screening: The American Nightmare (Simon, 2000)

9/13    The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
Robert Ray, “Introduction,” “Left and Right Cycles” and “The Godfather and Taxi Driver,” A Certain Tendency in the Hollywood Cinema, 1930-1980 (Princeton, 1985), 3-21, 296-360.

9/15    The Hollywood Renaissance
Yannis Tzioumakis, “The New Hollywood and the Independent Hollywood,” American Independent Cinema: An Introduction (Rutgers, 2006), 169-191.
In-class screening: American Cinema: The Film School Generation (Klarer, 2000).

9/20    Jaws (Speilberg, 1975)
Janice Hocker Rushing and Thomas S. Frentz, “Introduction,” “The Hunter Myth” and “Jaws: Faces of the Shadow,” Projecting the Shadow: The Cyborg Hero in American Film (University of Chicago Press, 1995), 1-8, 52-99.
Thomas Schatz, “The New Hollywood,” in Jim Collins, Hilary Radner, and Ava Preacher Collins, eds., Film Theory Goes to the Movies (Routledge, 1993), 8-36.

9/22    Blaxploitation
Ed Guerrero, “The Rise and Fall of Blaxploitation,” from Framing Blackness: The African-American Image in Film, excerpted in Movies and American Society, ed. Steven J. Ross (Blackwell, 2002), 250-273.
In-class screening: Baadasssss Cinema (Julien, 2002).

9/27    Real Life (Brooks, 1979)
Pick one of the following memoirs to read (and discuss on the midterm):
William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade (Warner, 1983).
Robert Rodriguez, Rebel Without a Crew (Plume, 1996).
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies (Vintage, 1996).
John Gregory Dunne, Monster (Random House, 1997).
Brian Michael Bendis, Fortune and Glory: A True Hollywood Comic Book Story (Oni, 2000)
Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, Writing Movies for Fun & Profit (Touchstone, 2011).

9/29    Graduate Presentations

10/4    Valley Girl (Coolidge, 1983)
Robin Wood, “Papering the Cracks: Fantasy and Ideology in the Reagan Era” and “Teens, Parties and Rollercoasters: A Genre of the 1990s,” Hollywood: From Vietnam to Reagan…and Beyond (Columbia, 2003), 144-167, 309-332.

10/6    Director Presentations
Take-home midterm due (presenters have extension until 10/11)

10/11    Die Hard (McTiernan, 1988)
Susan Jeffords, “Hard Bodies: The Reagan Heroes,” Hard Bodies (Rutgers University Press, 1994): 24-63.
Susan Faludi, “Fatal and Fetal Visions: The Backlash at the Movies,” Backlash (Crown, 1991): 112-139.

10/13    Director presentations

10/18    Guest speaker: Chuck Tryon
Chuck Tryon, Reinventing Cinema: Chapters 2, 4, Conclusion.

10/20    Slacker (Linklater, 1991)
Michael Z. Newman, “Indie Cinema Viewing Strategies” and “Games of Narrative Form” (Columbia, 2011), 21-47, 182-220.
Yannis Tzioumakis, “The Institutionalization of American Independent Cinema,” American Independent Cinema: An Introduction (Rutgers, 2006), 246-280.

10/25    Bamboozled (Lee, 2000)
Nelson George, excerpts from Blackface: Reflections on African-Americans and the Movies (Perennial, 1995).
In-class screening: Classified X

10/27    Director Presentations

11/1    Brokeback Mountain (Lee, 2005)
Harry Benshoff and Sean Griffin, “Sexuality and American Film,” America on Film (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009): 303-355.

11/3    Hollywood Sexuality
In-class screening: The Celluloid Closet

11/8    The Hurt Locker (Bigelow, 2008)
Stephen Prince, “Battleground Iraq” and “No End in Sight,” Firestorm: American Film in the Age of Terrorism (Columbia, 2009), 173-233, 281-309.

11/10    Director Presentations

11/15    Winter’s Bone (Granik, 2010)
Chuck Tryon, Reinventing Cinema, Chapter 5.
Search for blog posts about Winter’s Bone and read at least six.

11/17    Director Presentations

Thanksgiving Break – No Class 11/22, 11/24

11/29    Class Choice
Reading TBA

12/1    Director Presentations

Take-home Final due 12/8

Screenings

You are responsible for viewing the assigned film before class each week. Screenings are Thursdays at 2:30 in 406 Arts & Humanities.

8/25    No screening in 406 – go see Rise of the Planet of the Apes, now playing in theaters
9/1    Planet of the Apes
9/8    The Godfather
9/15    Jaws
9/22    Real Life
9/29    Valley Girl
10/6    Die Hard
10/13    Slacker
10/20    Bamboozled
10/27    Brokeback Mountain
11/3    The Hurt Locker
11/10    Winter’s Bone
11/17    Class choice – film TBD
11/24    No screening – Thanksgiving Break
12/1    No screening

Assignments

The class assignments add up to total of 100 possible points. Your final grade for the class is determined by adding up your grades for each assignment, adjusting for attendance, then applying the final number to the following scale:

A+    100-98        B+    89-88        C+    79-78        D    69-65
A     97-93        B    87-83        C    77-70        F    64-0
A-    92-90        B-    82-80

Presentation – 10 Points

Film 6960: Graduate students will each choose a scholarly book on American Film to read and present to the class in a 15-20 minute presentation.

Film 4960: With a partner, undergraduate students will research and present a 15-20 minute discussion of a contemporary American filmmaker. A list of potential directors is attached. The presentation should include the following parts:

1. One partner will begin by presenting a brief overview of the director’s work, with an emphasis on key films which demonstrate what makes the director’s work distinctive and innovative. Focus on bringing to class up to speed on what they should know about the director in order to have an informed discussion of the clip. If at all possible, include a short clip (under 5 minutes) of the director discussing his or her own work, from a DVD Special Feature, YouTube clip, documentary, or other source.

2. Screen a short film clip (under 5 minutes) selected by both partners to exemplify the director’s style. Unless you choose the alternate presentation, use one continuous clip.

3. The other partner will then present a short analysis of the clip. Choose 1-3 film elements, and discuss in detail how each element functions in the clip. Rewind and replay selections from the clip, or pause on still images, to highlight key moments. (Be sure to prepare by noting in advance the time marks for moments you want to highlight.)

4. Class discussion.

5. At the end of class, hand in a list of your group’s sources. At least five distinct sources are required from each group. (You don’t need to specifically discuss all five sources during your presentation – the goal is that you dig around enough to find the most useful material.) Possible sources include books, journal articles, interviews, documentaries, DVD commentary tracks, and online videos. Wikipedia can be a useful launching pad for your research but does not in itself count towards your five sources.

Alternate presentation: if you choose, you may produce a video presentation on your director in place of the spoken presentation. Possible video projects include an edited selection of clips with commentary, interviews with viewers, a fan film, or a trailer mashup. Video equipment and training are available at GSU’s Digital Aquarium in the Student Center.

Take-Home Midterm – 45 points
The take-home midterm will require you to relate concepts from the readings and lectures to the films screened in the first half of the semester. Due in class October 6.

Take-Home Final – 45 points
The take-home final will be structured just like the midterm, covering the second half of the semester. Due December 8.

Attendance Adjustment
As Woody Allen put it, “80 percent of success is showing up.” It’s less than that in this formula, but the bottom line is that you can’t contribute to the class if you’re not there. You’re allowed one unexcused absence for the semester. After that, each unexcused absence subtracts one point from your grade total. Excused absences include medical and family emergencies. You will be expected to schedule any employment responsibilities around this class, or accept the consequences of missed classes for your grade. If you do need to miss a class, please contact me ahead of time, and make arrangements to catch up on missed material.

Policies

Re-Writes and Makeup Tests
Opportunities for revision and improvement will be available for the midterm and the presentation. In addition, I will look at optional drafts of the final submitted on or before December 1.

Late and Unsubmitted Papers
Late papers will be marked off by ½ point for every day overdue unless an extension is agreed upon before the due date. Any unsubmitted papers will receive a 0. Likewise, any unanswered exam questions will receive a 0. So, if you answer only 2 out of 3 required exam questions, you will get a 0 on the third question.

Academic Honesty
The university’s policy on academic honesty is attached. The policy prohibits plagiarism, cheating on examinations, unauthorized collaboration, falsification, and multiple submissions. Violation of the policy will result in failing the class, in addition to disciplinary sanctions.

The Internet makes it easy to plagiarize, but also easy to track down plagiarism. Bottom line: Don’t plagiarize. It’s wrong, and it’s not worth it. There’s always a better way. Cite all your sources, put all direct quotations in quotation marks, and clearly note when you are paraphrasing other authors’ work.

Incompletes
Incompletes may be given only in special hardship cases. Incompletes will not be used merely for extending the time for completion of course requirements.

Changes to the Syllabus
This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. Deviations may be necessary.

Course Evaluation
Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State University.  Upon completing the course, please take the time to fill out the online course evaluation.

Director List

Note: This is only a partial list. Feel free to choose any other director who’s made English-language films since World War II, with one exception: directors of films screened for class are off limits, since they’re already covered.

Woody Allen
Robert Altman
Paul Thomas Anderson
Allison Anders
Kenneth Anger
Judd Apatow
Greg Araki
Darren Aronofsky
Hal Ashby
Ralph Bakshi
Paul Bartel
Kathryn Bigelow
Lizzie Borden
Danny Boyle
Stan Brakhage
Albert Brooks
Mel Brooks
Charles Burnett
Tim Burton
James Cameron
Jane Campion
John Cassavetes
Martha Coolidge
Francis Ford Coppalla
Sophia Coppalla
Roger Corman
Alex Cox
Wes Craven
David Cronenberg
Cameron Crowe
Julie Dash
Ossie Davis
Tamra Davis
Guillermo del Toro
Jonathan Demme
Brian DePalma
Tom DiCillo
Atom Egoyan
Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Abel Ferrara
David Fincher
Stephen Frears
William Friedkin
Sam Fuller
Terry Gilliam
Michael Gondry
F. Gary Gray
David Gordon Green
Paul Greengrass
Christopher Guest
Mary Harron
Hal Hartley
Amy Heckerling
Albert and Allen Hughes
Henry Jaglom
Spike Jonze
Neil Jordan
Jon Jost
Harmony Korine
Stanley Kubrick
Neil LaBute
John Lassiter
David Lean
Barry Levinson
Doug Liman
Richard Linklater
Ken Loach
Sidney Lumet
David Lynch
Terrence Malick
Michael Mann
Elaine May
George Miller
Michael Moore
Errol Morris
Mira Nair
Gregory Nava
Mike Nichols
Victor Nunez
Alexander Payne
Sam Peckinpaugh
Arthur Penn
Sidney Poitier
Roman Polanski
Alex Proyas
Sam Raimi
Rob Reiner
Tim Robbins
Robert Rodriguez
George Romero
Eli Roth
Alan Rudolph
David O. Russell
Nancy Savoca
John Sayles
Michael Schultz
Martin Scorcese
Susan Seidelman
M. Night Shyamalan
Bryan Singer
John Singleton
Jack Smith
Kevin Smith
Stephen Sodebergh
Todd Solondz
Penelope Spheeris
Whit Stillman
Quentin Tarantino
Julien Temple
Rose Troche
Melvin Van Peebles
Gus Van Sandt
Lars von Trier
Larry and Andy Wachowski
Wayne Wang
Andy Warhol
John Waters
Forest Whitaker
Fredric Wiseman
John Woo
Boaz Yakin
Robert Zemeckis
Rob Zombie

New Interview on the Diet Soap Philosophy Podcast

SF writer Douglas Lain interviewed me for his philosophy podcast, Diet Soap. We talk about myth, ideology and flying saucers:


The essay of mine we talk about, “Myth, the Numinous and Cultural Studies,” is part of the book I’m working on, A Centaur Manifesto: Mythos & Logos on the Commons. I have more to say about Jung in “Jung and Lost,” and more on centaurs & cyborgs in The Politics of Magic.”

PostMarxisms, Summer 2011

COMM 6160/8980, Summer 2011
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:45-7:30
1020 One Park Place

Course Description
Is Marxism dead? If so, what other forms of critique and imagination can help us think beyond the injustices and unsustainability of global capitalism? What can we learn from the successes and failures of the Marxist project?

The goal of the course is to take stock of the value and legacy of the Marxist critical tradition for contemporary debates about culture and politics. Over the seven weeks, we’ll alternate reading Marx himself with work by theorists engaging his legacy.

Required Texts

Karl Marx, Capital, Volume 1
Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right
Fredric Jameson, Representing Capital
Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times
Giles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus
Marcus Boon, In Praise of Copying
Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things

In addition to the readings, you will also be required to watch or listen to David Harvey’s series of lectures, Reading Marx’s Capital. It’s available in a variety of streaming and downloadable formats at http://davidharvey.org/reading-capital.

Schedule

6/7    Introduction
6/9    Capital, chapters 1-2; Harvey, classes 1-2

6/14    Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right
6/16    Capital, chapters 3-6; Harvey, classes 3-4

6/21    Fredric Jameson, Representing Capital
6/23    Capital, chapters 7-11; Harvey, classes 5-6

6/28    Slavoj Zizek, Living in the End Times
6/30    Capital, chapters 12-15; Harvey, classes 7-9

7/5    Giles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus
7/7    Capital, chapters 16-25; Harvey, classes 10-11

7/12    Marcus Boon, In Praise of Copying
7/14    Capital, chapters 26-33; Harvey, classes 12-13

7/19    Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things
7/21    Research Presentations/Party at Ted’s house

Paper due 7/28

Assignments

The class assignments add up to total of 100 possible points. Your final grade for the class is determined by adding up your grades for each assignment, adjusting for attendance, then applying the final number to the following scale:

A+    100-98        B+    89-88        C+    79-78        D    69-65
A     97-93        B    87-83        C    77-70        F    64-0
A-    92-90        B-    82-80

I. Book Discussions – 6160: 20% of final grade each; 8690: 15% of final grade each
You will sign up to lead, with a group, discussions of two of the assigned books (other than Capital). To prepare for the discussion of the reading, research these questions to put the reading in a broader context:

What is the author’s background? What discipline is the author trained in? What else has s/he written? In which journals has s/he published?

What was the reception of the book? How was book reviewed? What criticisms have been made of the author’s work? How has the author responded? Whom has the author influenced?

Then, meet with your group to prepare for a class discussion. Don’t bother summarizing the work. Rather, address on these areas:

Theoretical debates: In what theoretical debates does the work intervene? Where does the author stand? Whom does the author criticize? How does this work move the debate forward?

Examples: Pick 2-3 media examples that are either directly addressed by the author, or that can be illuminated by applying the author’s ideas. Show a representative sample from the text (any clip should be no more than 5 minutes). Discuss how the author would (or does) interpret the example. What are the strengths and limitations of this interpretation? What alternate interpretations are possible?

Outline the key topics of discussion in a short (1-2 page) handout for the class. There’s no need to include more detail, or to prepare a PowerPoint presentation – the focus should be on presenting material orally and facilitating a good class discussion.

II. Contemporary Capital example – 10% of grade
For one week’s reading in Capital, bring in a relevant contemporary example so that class can assess the applicability and value of Marx’s ideas today. Choose a text to present to the class to get the discussion going, such as a video clip.

IIi. Outside reading presentation – 8690 only: 10% of grade
PhD students will read one additional book, and give a 15-20 minute presentation on the work to the class, summarizing the book’s key arguments, the critical response to the book, and how its ideas relate to the themes of the course.

III. Final Paper – 50% of final grade
Write a paper on a subject relating to the ideas of the class. 6160: 12-15 pages. 8690: 18-25 pages. Doctoral work will also be expected to meet a higher standard of theoretical sophistication.

A one-page prospectus is due July 5. I will schedule individual meetings with you to discuss the prospectus.
You will give a short (10 minute) presentation of your work in progress on July 21.
The final paper is due July 28.

IV. Attendance Adjustment
As Woody Allen put it, “80 percent of success is showing up.” It’s less than that in this formula, but the bottom line is that you can’t contribute to the class if you’re not there. You’re allowed one unexcused absence for the semester. After that, each unexcused absence subtracts one point from your grade total. Excused absences include medical and family emergencies. You will be expected to schedule any employment responsibilities around this class, or accept the consequences of missed classes for your grade. If you do need to miss a class, please contact me ahead of time, and make arrangements to catch up on missed material.

Policies

Office Hours
Office hours are by appointment. I’m usually available to meet before and after every class.

Incompletes
Incompletes may be given only in special hardship cases. Incompletes will not be used merely for extending the time for completion of course requirements.

Assessment
Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shaping education at Georgia State. Upon completing the course, please take time to fill out the online course evaluation.

Disability
Students who wish to request accommodation for a disability may do so by registering with the Office of Disability Services. Students may only be accommodated upon issuance by the Office of Disability Services of a signed Accommodation Plan and are responsible for providing a copy of that plan to instructors of all classes in which accommodations are sought.

Changes to the Syllabus
This syllabus provides a general plan for the course. Deviations may be necessary.

What I’ve Been Up to the Last Five Years

I recently had to write up what I’ve been working on over the last five years for my “post-tenure dossier,” so I thought I’d excerpt that here to explain how I got from Electric Dreams: Computers and American Culture to Centaur Manifesto: Mythos & Logos on the Commons. The language is pretty jargon-heavy and a little stilted, a function of the three-page limit and institutional context. One of my goals is to write the book itself in a much looser, more direct and conversational voice, closer to the way I try to be in the classroom. In fact, transcribing and editing my lectures is the next step in getting Centaur Manifesto written. I’d appreciate any feedback, either in the comments below or via Twitter, where I’m @tedfriedman.

—-

My first book, Electric Dreams, was largely inspired by the rise of “cyberpunk” science fiction in the 1980s and 1990s. It was a cyberpunk author, William Gibson, who coined the term “cyberspace,” and science fiction both influenced the development of computer technologies and provided the richest exploration of their potential consequences. By 2000, the subcultural sensibility first expressed in Gibson’s novels had become ubiquitous in the form of The Matrix and its sequels.

In the twenty-first century, however, a cultural shift appeared to be occurring. The blockbuster genre of the 2000s was not science fiction, but fantasy, in the form of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises. At the same time, the energy of cyberpunk appeared to be spent, and the most vital and influential genre writers were emerging instead out of fantasy fiction and comics.

Fascinated by this development, I began to research the history of the fantasy genre, and to search for new theoretical models to help explain the shift from science fiction to fantasy. I began my work on fantasy media with “The Politics of Magic: Fantasy, Technology & Nature,” which was published in 2009 in Scope, an online peer-reviewed media studies journal published by the University of Nottingham. I argue in the essay that the trope of magic is a powerful tool for making sense of computer technologies. A computer program is a kind of spell, deploying highly-structured language to allow the user to transcend the constraints of time, space and gravity within cyberspace. At the same time, the concept of magic is rooted in the ancient practices and beliefs of animism, and the contemporary appeal of fantasy suggests a deep cultural desire to return to a more rooted relationship to nature in the context of global environmental crisis.

In “The Politics of Magic,” I discuss the influence of feminist scholar Donna Haraway’s 1986 essay “Manifesto for Cyborgs,” which called on technophobic theorists to engage the oft-ignored genre of science fiction. I suggest that the time is ripe for a “Centaur Manifesto” to similarly address fantasy, which today is often likewise dismissed as mere escapism. Haraway picked the figure of the cyborg because it is a hybrid creature on the border between human and machine, reflecting how all of our lives are dependent upon and intertwined with technology. Similarly, the centaur is a magical hybrid of human and animal, culture and nature.

In addition to Haraway’s ideas, “The Politics of Magic” incorporates the work of historian of science Morris Berman, phenomenological ecocritic David Abram, and actor-network theorist Bruno Latour. Looking to dig deeper into the historical roots of fantasy, I began researching theories of myth, a concept which once held great sway in critical theory, but which has more recently fallen into disrepute among poststructuralist scholars wary of essentializing metanarratives. I turned first to Joseph Campbell, whose Hero with a Thousand Faces has been hugely influential on generations of Hollywood screenwriters and spiritual seekers. Frustrated with the limitations of Campbell’s approach, I concluded that what was truly distinctive about Campbell’s ideas stemmed from the influence of Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, a student of Sigmund Freud who broke with his mentor over their differing ideas about the role of the unconscious. Freud emphasized the need for the ego to control a dangerous id, while Jung also saw in the unconscious a source of wisdom. Jung found in myths and fairy tales evidence of a “collective unconscious” rooted in deep archetypal structures.

Jung has been widely dismissed by contemporary critical theorists as irredeemably essentialist. But a new generation of “post-Jungian” scholars persuasively argues that Jung was a far more subtle, dialectical thinker than the caricature, and that his ideas remain relevant. The release last year of The Red Book, an illustrated manuscript of “active imaginations” that Jung kept private for almost 100 years, has led to a renewed interest in his ideas. In Jung’s concepts I have found new tools to help explain contemporary American culture. As I write in “Jung and Lost,” while film studies emerged in the 1950s and 1960s under the influence of Freud,

“today it is Jung’s shadow which looms over much of American culture. The most commercially successful Hollywood genres of this decade are fantasy and superhero movies, subjects which in previous generations were viewed as kids’ stuff, but today claim a larger portion of culture than ever before. These genres reject conventional models of realism and psychological depth. Instead, they embrace magical storytelling and characters of outsized dimensions and godlike powers. These qualities have led them to be largely dismissed by conventional cultural critics (beyond fan studies scholars who have tended to emphasize audience reception over the textual properties of the stories themselves). But these same qualities are well described by the Jungian language of archetypes and the collective unconscious. Their roots are in the storytelling traditions of myth and fairy tale – exactly the genres Jungian analysts have always most valued.”

Jung and Lost” is one of six invited columns I wrote from 2008-9 for Flow, an online media studies journal published by the University of Texas. In “Myth, the Numinous, and Cultural Studies,” I make the case for a renewed engagement in cultural studies with the concept of myth. In “Strat-O-Matic and the Baseball Tarot: Sense and Synchronicity in Sports and Games,” I suggest that Jung’s concept of synchronicity – “meaningful coincidence” – can help explain the power of randomness in play. And in “Vertigo,” I move beyond Jung to other models of the numinous, arguing that the parallels between poststructuralist theory and Buddhist philosophy can help critical theorists think past “the linguistic turn” to escape “the prison-house of language.”

Another of my pieces for Flow, “Tweeting the Dialectic of Technological Determinism,” addresses the role of Twitter in the Iranian protests. And in “The Play Paradigm,” I suggest “What Media Studies Can Learn from Game Studies.” I have also “curated” two pieces for In Media Res, the digital humanities site now published by Georgia State, and guest-edited a week for the site on pop music. I look forward to expanding my role in the project.

I am now in the process of turning my work of the last few years into a book, A Centaur Manifesto: Mythos & Logos on the Commons. The goal of the book is to bring together post-Marxist ideological criticism with post-Jungian depth psychology. I have published all of my recent work in open-access journals, and I hope to have the manuscript for Centaur Manifesto reviewed through the “open peer review” process, which could bring together readers from cultural studies, religious studies, depth psychology, and the fantasy community. I will regularly be blogging about the book at tedfriedman.com, and tweeting as @tedfriedman.

Summer Graduate Seminar: Post-Marxisms

This summer I’ll be teaching a graduate seminar, “Post-Marxisms.” Here’s an overview:

Is Marxism dead? If so, what other forms of critique and imagination can help us think beyond the injustices and unsustainability of global capitalism? What can we learn from the successes and failures of the Marxist project?

The goal of the course is to take stock of the value and legacy of the Marxist critical tradition for contemporary debates about culture and politics. Over the seven weeks, we’ll alternate reading Marx himself with work by Jameson, Derrida, Zizek, Hardt & Negri, and others. We’ll also rely for context on David Harvey’s online lectures on Capital and Francis Wheen’s history of its writing.

The class will be organized around a series of key terms in Marxist theory, including dialectical materialism, ideology and political economy. As we go, we’ll be looking to see how the Marxist tradition might offer fresh ways to think about contemporary concepts such as convergence culture, network theory, the high-tech gift economy, the digital commons and transhumanism.

Assignments will include presentations on the readings and a final paper. PhD students will give an additional presentation on an outside reading and write a longer paper.

I’m really excited about the chance to work through these questions with you, and eager to incorporate your own interests and concerns. So feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions, or any suggestions for readings or assignments.

Grammy Night Reflections on Projection

From tweets the night of February 13, 2011.

In Jungian terms, technological determinism is projection: giving power to machines that really belongs to ourselves.

Projection is necessary & valuable – it’s what Robert Johnson calls “carrying your gold” when you’re not ready yet to carry it yourself.

But maturity & wisdom comes when we withdraw projections. See people & things for who & what they are in themselves.

Withdrawing projections means realizing the power was within you all along. Your anima pop godess. Your puer rock star. Your Buddha-nature.

In Electric Dreams I call this “the dialectic of technological determinism.” We project onto technology our utopian visions of the future.

————-

Electric Dreams Introduction on TedFriedman.com

Grammy Night Tweets (reverse-chronological order)

tedfriedman
Fun reliving the #Grammys via west coasters’ tape-delayed tweets. Ah, we were so young & naive back then, 3 hours ago. #IMR

14 Feb

Todd VanDerWerff
tvoti Todd VanDerWerff
If I was Cee-Lo Green, I think I’d have trouble remembering to sing “Forget” every time.
tedfriedman
Grammy Night Reflections on Projection: http://ht.ly/3VNj6
tedfriedman
In Electric Dreams I call this “the dialectic of technological determinism.” We project onto technology our utopian visions of the future.
Nadim Kobeissi
kaepora Nadim Kobeissi
BREAKING: Facebook events are being organized for protests in Saudi Arabia on February 18th!! http://j.mp/ihyGPy
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Withdrawing projections means realizing the power was within you all along. Your anima pop godess. Your puer rock star. Your Buddha-nature.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
But maturity & wisdom comes when we withdraw projections. See people & things for who & what they are in themselves.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Projection is necessary & valuable – it’s what Robert Johnson calls “carrying your gold” when you’re not ready yet to carry it yourself.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
In Jungian terms, technological determinism is projection: giving power to machines that really belongs to ourselves….
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak
Steve Albini really is the fourth Lady Antebellum.
Scott Rosenberg
scottros Scott Rosenberg
Stock markets “becoming noisy sideshow” as investing goes elite, new companies ignore. http://is.gd/lU3ZXl good read from @felixsalmon
Todd VanDerWerff
tvoti Todd VanDerWerff
@Memles Next year’s Gaga vs. Kanye vs. Swift battle royale will tear this country apart.
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak
Lady Antebellum still regret not giving D. Boon a ride that time.
Amazon MP3
amazonmp3 Amazon MP3
This year’s Album of the Year #grammy nominees incl. #arcadefire are just $5 each thru Feb.: http://amzn.to/fKMy5q
Liz McLellan
hyperlocavore Liz McLellan
RT @staciemunoz: Win, what’s with the BMX riders? Where are the hipsters cruising around on their fixies??!! #arcadefire #grammys
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak
I remember seeing Lady Antebellum at an all-ages show at City Gardens in Trenton in 1986. #punk
Frank Conniff
FrankConniff Frank Conniff
Wish this Mountain Dew ad would end and the #Grammys would start again. Oh, wait, I’m watching Arcade Fire’s performance.
Liz McLellan
hyperlocavore Liz McLellan
gotta love the #hipsters hating on #arcadefire …now that they can feed and house themselves… #grammys2011
Mindy Kaling
mindykaling Mindy Kaling
I love organized storage.
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak
I was one of the few to support Lady Antebellum when they left Alternative Tentacles.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Laura Marling // Rambling Man – San Francisco, CA http://youtu.be/R9OgkYU5Hvc?a
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
.@JuddApatow @LocoFingTweets I heard what Miley smoked was salvia, which is perfectly legal in most states but more potent than LSD.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Vonn, Still Foggy From Concussion, Risks Downhill Run by @alanschwarz in NYTimes.com http://ht.ly/3VMxm
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Laura Marling // Goodbye England – San Francisco, CA http://youtu.be/d25dALITmsk?a
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak 

by tedfriedman
Wife: “So Justin Bieber isn’t making me feel old enough, now I have to remember Evergreen?”
Frank Conniff
FrankConniff Frank Conniff 

by tedfriedman
A one time only performance by Barbara Streisand at the #Grammys! Singing the one song I was hoping she wouldn’t sing!
Neal Brennan
nealbrennan Neal Brennan
Grammys: The last time there were this many black ppl and rednecks in the same place was the courtroom scene in “A Time to Kill.”
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak
I’m gonna buy some of that motherfucking iced tea Eminem was advertising!
Judd Apatow
JuddApatow Judd Apatow
I thought the Grammy’s were all around great. The Dylan-Mumford- Avett section was fantastic. Streisand too. I am ready for the dr. Dre rec
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Laura Marling – New Romantic http://youtu.be/zNxar07_9YA?a
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Laura Marling – Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) (Live at B… http://youtu.be/lUi9teTRCgk?a
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Goodbye India: To Darkness http://youtu.be/Q_aD3QoGieg?a
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Goodbye India: Awake My Soul http://youtu.be/izosZ3bTO5w?a
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling & Dharohar Project – Goodbye I… http://youtu.be/AuhYqHTNJiA?a
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling & Dharohar Project – To Darkness http://youtu.be/n3XpmCQsN0E?a
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Woah! Inverse world! Worst song of the year won best song of the year. Rain is falling up. Birds are dead. Jesus Returns! #grammys
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak 

by tedfriedman
Lady Antebellum have to have some Altman’s Nashville “Bill, Mary and Tom” shit going on.
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
Hmmm love the song, but hates that their name refers to pre civil war era south: http://bit.ly/hP3cUp
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I liked a YouTube video — Laura Marling India Tour – Meheni Rachi With Dharohar Projec… http://youtu.be/RABtaqahoEw?a
Frank Conniff
FrankConniff Frank Conniff 

by tedfriedman
Not surprised that I enjoyed the Muppets on the #Grammys. But I’m a little disturbed that I found them kind of hot.
TheOneRing.net
theoneringnet TheOneRing.net 

by tedfriedman
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Nicole Kidman is so stoked not to be a scientologist. #grammys
Whitney Cummings
WhitneyCummings Whitney Cummings 

by tedfriedman
You guys I’m not positive but I think Katy Perry might want us to look at her cans
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling & Dharohar Project EP: http://amzn.to/hw0gQO #Grammys #GlobalFolkMusic #IMR
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
If you enjoyed Mumford & Sons on the #Grammys, check out the great EP they did with Laura Marling & the Dharohar Project. #GlobalFolkMusic
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
BARKLY from Sesame street is in the dundgeon family! #grammys
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak 

by tedfriedman
FACT: “Fuck You” significantly less charming bowdlerized.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
List of Grammy winners in major categories – TODAYshow.com http://ht.ly/3VLfV
Myles A. McNutt
Memles Myles A. McNutt 

by tedfriedman
On Arcade Fire, Mavis Staples, Lady Gaga, Cee-Lo Green, and the Muddled Memory-Making of the 2011 #Grammys: http://bit.ly/hwC52x.
Bill Simmons
sportsguy33 Bill Simmons 

by tedfriedman
@jacoby_ Let’s create an elaborate handshake to perform every time we see each other. I’d like it to end with fake gunshots.
Bill Simmons
sportsguy33 Bill Simmons 

by tedfriedman
My wife eats up red carpet shows. I don’t get them at all. It’s like being trapped at a bad cocktail party without drinks.
Frank Conniff
FrankConniff Frank Conniff 

by tedfriedman
Bob Dylan sounded great with all that acoustic backing. Let’s just hope he never goes electric. #Grammys
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Real talk would ANY girl be comfortable spending 10 mins alone in a room with Dylan after that? #grammys
Whitney Cummings
WhitneyCummings Whitney Cummings 

by tedfriedman
Bob Dylan sounds like what I look like in the mornings.
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Usher. One Part bobby brown, one part starfleet new recruit. #grammys
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Why is Will Smith so emotionally effected by Lady Gaga’s win? Take it from me, I just dont understand #grammys
Jason Whitlock
WhitlockJason Jason Whitlock 

by tedfriedman
Just saw it on west coast. Gaga hugged LL Cool J. Easy mistake to make RT @callmemrfresh1: Gaga huggin it out with @WhitlockJason?
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak 

by tedfriedman
The Lady Gaga song sounds just like Madonna but Adrian Tomine drew just like Dan Clowes before he found his own style. #anybody?
Evgeny Morozov
evgenymorozov Evgeny Morozov 

by tedfriedman
Egypt And Tunisia: Without Economic Justice, Democratic Dreams Can Never Truly Be Fulfilled | The New Republic tnr.com/article/agains…
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Damn Mumford dude is cute. I imagined a grizzly bum. #grammys
Liz McLellan
hyperlocavore Liz McLellan 

by tedfriedman
Mumford and Sons with real instruments! BANJO!!! YAY! #grammys2011
MissMuthich
creamhilled MissMuthich 

by tedfriedman
“Reading ‘Ulysses’ is one of the joys of life” – Frank Delaney guides through this “multi-tasking in prose” http://bit.ly/f59TQk
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Never again will that Cello dude be this cool. #grammys
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
BRIANMBENDIS BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS 

by tedfriedman
olivia: is dylan singing that way on purpose? does he know he’s on tv now?
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak 

by tedfriedman
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. I refer to a lozenge.
Liz McLellan
hyperlocavore Liz McLellan 

by tedfriedman
First rule of Ninja is stealth. #grammys2011 #youredoingitwrong #bieber
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak 

by tedfriedman
Justin Bieber’s ninja squad contains theatre arts graduates from CalArts, Tisch School of the Arts and SUNY-Purchase.
Jaime Weinman
weinmanj Jaime Weinman 

by tedfriedman
“Community” got 1/3 of recent ratings from same-day DVR – if it gets another season (as seems likely) thank Nielsen’s decision to count DVR.
Matt Thomas ✓
mattthomas Matt Thomas ✓ 

by tedfriedman
That’s the spirit! RT @justinbieber: I lost … but I don’t plan on this being my last chance …
Jay Rosen
jayrosen_nyu Jay Rosen 

by tedfriedman
I just de-activated my Quora account. It wasn’t working for me and I’m already pouring a lot into one corporate blogging Silo: this one.
Wonderella
wonderella Wonderella 

by tedfriedman
Aw, not an egg, Gaga. Salvador Dali did that already. Hell, the Penguin did that already.
Frank Conniff
FrankConniff Frank Conniff 

by tedfriedman
Yakov Smirnoff suing “The House That Built Me” writer, claiming it ripoffs his “In Russia Houses Build You” bit. #Grammys
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Look how creepy Usher looks staring intently at a 13 year old boy. #grammys
Lee Skallerup
readywriting Lee Skallerup 

by tedfriedman
Seeing how I actually know+like a lot of the acts/nominees at Grammys- either means a)I’m “with it” or b)Grammys are actually out-of-touch.
liz mclellan
inttimes liz mclellan 

by tedfriedman
RT @Gergensvoice Please support the green movement of #Iran & our demonstrations in Iran today Feb14. We need the world’s support! #25Bahman
Scott Tobias
scott_tobias Scott Tobias 

by tedfriedman
Great win for @mergerecords, my favorite label for 20+ years. Can only assume this sets the table for a @wyeoak Grammy.
Greg Taylor
DailyGrail Greg Taylor 

by tedfriedman
Line of the day @edyong209: The terrifying thing about Kurzweil’s immortality thing is that if he’s right, we will NEVER hear the end of it.
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Damn Spuds Mckenzie is working for Target now? #hardtimes #grammys
Liz McLellan
hyperlocavore Liz McLellan 

by tedfriedman
Muse was like if you added glitter and fake flames to the Socialist Worker’s Party dudes selling the papers. #grammys2011 @awesomlyaweful
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak 

by tedfriedman
Muse ninja mosh pit contains theatre arts graduates of Juilliard, Carnegie-Mellon and UC-Santa Cruz.
Cathie Bleck
cathiebleck Cathie Bleck 

by tedfriedman
Frank Delaney on NPR Diane Reem show tomorrow 2-14-11 from 11am to noon. http://thedianerehmshow.org/
Jaime Weinman
weinmanj Jaime Weinman 

by tedfriedman
Congratulations to the city of Montreal for its collective Grammy victory. That’s how it works. The Expos, however, are still gone.
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
RT @leg_and_dairy: Esperanza’s gonna crash wikipedia by the way y’all are pulling her stats
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
67% of Pakistani journalists surveyed said they viewed U.S. drone attacks as acts of terrorism. http://soupsoup.net/fSC4C0
Neil Patrick Harris
ActuallyNPH Neil Patrick Harris 

by tedfriedman
Great time at the Grammy! Now before we go home to tuck in the babies we get wasted in Arcade Fire’s tour bus. ‘Night, night!
Frank Conniff
FrankConniff Frank Conniff 

by tedfriedman
Nice blonde lady backstage at #Grammys sweetly said, “Muse really rocked” as if gushing about a thoughtful thank you note.
Chris Molanphy
cmolanphy Chris Molanphy 

by tedfriedman
My #grammys mini-review for @Popdust of the #Barbra performance: http://bit.ly/gfe9Mh
Whitney Cummings
WhitneyCummings Whitney Cummings 

by tedfriedman
The Grammys are awesome if you want to feel old.
Kembrew McLeod
kembrew Kembrew McLeod 

by tedfriedman
The Arcade Fire’s Suburbs is the first non-major label record to win Album of the Year. http://huff.to/eOo1BK #TookLongEnough
Ken Wissoker
kwissoker Ken Wissoker 

by tedfriedman
RT@MarkSV: Huge night for Merge Records. It’s Durham’s year, baby! Congrats Laura and Mac.
Arcade Fire
arcadefire Arcade Fire 

by tedfriedman
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. Thank you EVERYONE.
Steve Nash
SteveNash Steve Nash 

by tedfriedman
Congratulations to Canadian Artist’s Arcade Fire for album of the year. Incredible.
Liz McLellan
hyperlocavore Liz McLellan 

by tedfriedman
I’ve successfully avoided Bieber for so long…
rob sheffield
robsheff rob sheffield 

by tedfriedman
congrats to The Suburbs for long-overdue Grammy recognition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNx1i8Gx3hM. Love is the law!
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
This week on In Media Res: Sex & the Internet. http://ht.ly/3VKkJ #IMR
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
So where does Arcade Fire now sit in @NewYorkMag‘s Undulating Curve of Shifting Expectations? http://soupsoup.net/h2auZG
Jason Whitlock
WhitlockJason Jason Whitlock 

by tedfriedman
I need a pic of the dude who hugged Lady Gaga at the Grammys. Everyone is Tweeting I hugged Gaga. #mustabeenDenzel
AJC
ajc AJC 

by tedfriedman
Nightcap: Georgia’s country acts score #Grammy gold http://bit.ly/hIW0f8
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
WHO IS ANYONE IN MUSIC? I literally do not know any of these white people! #grammys
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
BRIANMBENDIS BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS 

by tedfriedman
i will spare you the details but i am on minute ten of my daughters vicious anti beiber rant.
Steve Nash
SteveNash Steve Nash 

by tedfriedman
Frank Conniff
FrankConniff Frank Conniff 

by tedfriedman
If Lady Gaga was “born this way” did doctor tell her parents, “Congratulations! It’s a 9 pound publicity whore!” #Grammys
Nelson George
nelsongeorge Nelson George 

by tedfriedman
Arcade Fire have been building for years to be a huge band. Actually they already sell out arenas. Now they just had their pop moment. Nice.
Augustus Ankle
AugustusAnkle Augustus Ankle 

by tedfriedman
top 2 Grammy performances: Janelle killed it, Cee Lo would have been close 2nd but Fishsticks ruined it, so 2nd is Jolene
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
RT @kanyewest: #Arcade fire!!!!!!!!!! There is hope!!! I feel like we all won when something like this happens! FUCKING AWESOME!
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Gaga has a shoulder eretion #grammys
Matt Thomas ✓
mattthomas Matt Thomas ✓ 

by tedfriedman
Twilight Zone episode idea: Lady Antebellum goes back in time to before the Civil War, realizes name is offensive, returns to apologize.
Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt_Vonnegut Kurt Vonnegut 

by tedfriedman
A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
david carr
carr2n david carr 

by tedfriedman
Wow, what a save! Arcade Fire for the win and playing itself and the show off. Make me feel less dumb for hanging in.
James Urbaniak
JamesUrbaniak James Urbaniak 

by tedfriedman
Wife re Gaga: “So she’s got her points on her shoulders instead of her tits? It still sounds like Madonna.”
Leo Hollen Jr
leoHollen Leo Hollen Jr 

by tedfriedman
wow! yay! i’m so glad arcade fire won. they look so fucking happy.
HIPSTER RUNOFF
hipsterrunoff HIPSTER RUNOFF 

by tedfriedman
Congratulations Arcade Fire. You won indie. You won mainstream. Tonight is ur nite.
Jay Rosen
jayrosen_nyu Jay Rosen 

by tedfriedman
Jay Rosen Is Wrong: “Twitter Revolution” And “Facebook Revolution” Cyber-Utopians Really Do Think It’s That Simple. http://jr.ly/6w7a
Kristen Schaal
kristenschaaled Kristen Schaal 

by tedfriedman
No! I LOVE the state of the music biz! RT @kurtbraunohler @kristenschaaled ur so drunk. I’m coming over.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Barbra has clearly never heard of Arcade Fire. I see a very special #Glee ep coming out of this wacky culture clash. #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
CBS bleeped Arcade Fire’s praise of Canada? #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Big #Grammy winners tonight: Mumford & Sons. Crushed it live & got to back up Dylan on a night when he was in a good mood. #grammys #imr
Damon Lindelof
DamonLindelof Damon Lindelof 

by tedfriedman
“Borne on Satin Pillows Held Aloft By The Cast of Saved By The Bell, Fed Grapes By Screech.” #REDCARPETPLANSREJECTEDBYGAGA
Matt Thomas ✓
mattthomas Matt Thomas ✓ 

by tedfriedman
“I never won a Grammy, I won’t win a Tony, but I’m not the only MC keeping it real.” —KRS-One
Matt Thomas ✓
mattthomas Matt Thomas ✓ 

by tedfriedman
“Who gives a fuck about a goddamned Grammy?” —Flavor Flav
Kristen Schaal
kristenschaaled Kristen Schaal 

by tedfriedman
Jagger Brought It! #bestgrammysever
Scott Tobias
scott_tobias Scott Tobias 

by tedfriedman
“Music is none of my business.” —Marge Simpson #Grammys
Noel Murray
NoelMu Noel Murray 

by tedfriedman
I think if The Arcade Fire weren’t The Arcade Fire, a lot of people who hate The Arcade Fire would love The Arcade Fire.
The White House
whitehouse The White House 

by tedfriedman
Video of Esperanza Spalding performing “Tell Him” @ the White House http://goo.gl/rB1SF More music: http://goo.gl/N1UGS #Grammys
Neil Patrick Harris
ActuallyNPH Neil Patrick Harris 

by tedfriedman
Arcade Fire! I’m having… a… seizure..!
Scott Tobias
scott_tobias Scott Tobias 

by tedfriedman
Had never even heard of Lady Antebellum until tonight. Guessing this means they’re the NCIS of rock bands.
Salon.com
Salon Salon.com 

by tedfriedman
Lady Antebellum takes record of the year. Congrats Lady Antebellum! PS: Who’s Lady Antebellum? http://salon.com/a/sQCgfAA
James Poniewozik
poniewozik James Poniewozik 

by tedfriedman
Two themes of tonight’s #grammys: tall hair and fire. This will not end well.
Chris Becker
crsbecker Chris Becker 

by tedfriedman
“See you driving ’round town with the Grammy I deserve, and I’m like, F— You.” — Cee-Lo
Matt Lowell
mattlowell Matt Lowell 

by tedfriedman
Sorry was this the CMA awards? The country booty call song is cleaning this shit up.
Scott Rosenberg
scottros Scott Rosenberg 

by tedfriedman
That’s the way it is! Let’s figure out how to carry profession’s ideals forward into new kinds of jobs, give up feeling entitled.
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
BRIANMBENDIS BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS 

by tedfriedman
watching the grammys with olivia. every time there is a beiber appearance she yells ugh! gonna be a long night.
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Record of the Year means you were played more than any other song at Walgreens, Album of the Year is Sams Club cc @videodrew
Nelson George
nelsongeorge Nelson George 

by tedfriedman
Check this video out — Esperanza Spalding – I know You know (Live) – Nobel concert youtube.com/watch?v=g-rWNA… via @youtube U don’t know, now u do
Jahnessa
JAHnessa Jahnessa 

by tedfriedman
Take a bow Marshall Mathers, aka EMENM you just won Rap Album of the Year award SOBER!! Great accomplishment @chakkamusic #grammys
Chris Molanphy
cmolanphy Chris Molanphy 

by tedfriedman
My @Grammys mini-review for @Popdust of the @Eminem / @Rihanna / @Dre performance: http://bit.ly/fwtGfw
Daniel Gilmore
vagabond85 Daniel Gilmore 

by tedfriedman
@tedfriedman LCD Soundsystem on Colbert Report tomorrow night. Is there a such thing as ‘too awesome?’
Scott Rosenberg
scottros Scott Rosenberg 

by tedfriedman
Now, HuffPo story’s a bit different. And I prefer platforms that let me own/control my postings. But this “serf” talk is nuts.
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Sonny and Cher just showed up.
Alyx Vesey
ms_vz Alyx Vesey 

by tedfriedman
D-I-V-O-R-C-E! #grammys
Scott Rosenberg
scottros Scott Rosenberg 

by tedfriedman
FB, Twitter, Flickr posts etc “unpaid content” produced by serfs? Did you think you’d get paid for your telephone conversations?
Andy Carvin
acarvin Andy Carvin 

by tedfriedman
Here’s that #tinydesk concert I mentioned. She was stunning. RT @helenspitzer: Esperanza Spalding: http://n.pr/ij77iC
Lee Skallerup
readywriting Lee Skallerup 

by tedfriedman
20 yrs ago, Pump Up The Volume taught us a lesson in primitive social media, education, and change collegereadywriting.blogspot.com/2011/02/pump-u… #highered #edchat
kriscannon
kriscannon kriscannon 

by tedfriedman
Is that a bedazzled Wonder Woman costume on Rhianna? #grammys
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Rhianna’s sad robot songs always rock. #grammys #imr
GSU_News
gsu_news GSU_News 

by tedfriedman
Tonight’s Grammys reminded us of this past GSU mag story: No Bieber or Gaga, though: http://www.gsu.edu/magazine/2010spring/68.html
Peter Steinberg
steinber Peter Steinberg 

by tedfriedman
lo rhapsody, bring me esperanza spalding. excellent music for concentrating, so far.
Noel Murray
NoelMu Noel Murray 

by tedfriedman
I get why people don’t watch the Grammys, but y’know: Janelle Monae, the Avetts, Mick Jagger… that’s actual entertainment.
Neil Patrick Harris
ActuallyNPH Neil Patrick Harris 

by tedfriedman
Nicki Minaj’s hair made me hungry for carnival snacks.
Leo Hollen Jr
leoHollen Leo Hollen Jr 

by tedfriedman
i’d just like one smile in the rap category.
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
Nicki Minaj–the Rocky Horror Picture Show show is at the Plaza this Friday at midnight…you won’t need to change! #Grammys
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Nicky Minaj – out-SF-ing Janelle Monae! Outfit of the nite. She’s great on Monster by @kanyewest too. #grammys #imr
Heide Kolb
heidiko44 Heide Kolb 

by tedfriedman
Fun Fact: Mick Jagger is 148 Biebers old ~ via @LynCKos: @delrayser @TexBetsy #grammys
rosanne cash
rosannecash rosanne cash 

by tedfriedman
My man Kris. Love him so much.
RayBeckerman
RayBeckerman RayBeckerman 

by tedfriedman
“Love in vain” The Rolling Stones http://youtu.be/OJ2Y5HBNx9E #music #blues
kriscannon
kriscannon kriscannon 

by tedfriedman
I have a very awkward abreaction to Barbara Streisand.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Now I’m waiting for Lea Michelle to burst out of Bahbrah’s dress like Alien. #grammys #imr
kriscannon
kriscannon kriscannon 

by tedfriedman
Oh no….
Vernon Mitchell, Jr.
Negrointellect Vernon Mitchell, Jr. 

by tedfriedman
Jagger killed it–as I expected he would. He knows his musical roots. The tragic thing is that some black artists don’t. #GRAMMYs2011
Kanye West
kanyewest Kanye West 

by tedfriedman
Damn… I can’t find the words to explain how I feel about the best new artist award… Don’t wanna say the wrong thing
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
The Daily Mythos is out! http://bit.ly/gFccD3 ▸ Top stories today via @ashevillejungct @openmythsource @ellenkushner @profhacker
Neil Patrick Harris
ActuallyNPH Neil Patrick Harris 

by tedfriedman
Mick Jagger can work a staaaage! But listening to the song, I’m not quite sure who exactly he needs…
Chris Molanphy
cmolanphy Chris Molanphy 

by tedfriedman
My @Grammys mini-review for @Popdust of the acoustic set (@mumford, @avettbros, @dylan): http://bit.ly/gW1xRa
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Mick without the Stones is like foreplay without the sex.
Tan
Lovemyfro Tan 

by tedfriedman
how come there wasnt a Teena Marie tribute?
Kanye West
kanyewest Kanye West 

by tedfriedman
Mick Jagger is crazy fresh!!! #OGSWAG
Salon.com
Salon Salon.com 

by tedfriedman
For your Sunday night fashion fix: The Grammys’ most memorable red carpet outfits http://salon.com/a/sPygfAA
Cecily
Cecilyk Cecily 

by tedfriedman
It bothers me that a 67 year old man is totally rocking the skinny jeans.
Andre Harrell
iamAndreHarrell Andre Harrell 

by tedfriedman
U got say its amazing that 7o year mick jaguar can still chew his food let alone sing and dance
Cathy Davidson
CatinStack Cathy Davidson 

by tedfriedman
Mick is looking a little Hef
Anne Helen Petersen
annehelen Anne Helen Petersen 

by tedfriedman
SO MUCH awkward Nicole Kidman dancing tonight.
Jeff Parker
jeffparker Jeff Parker 

by tedfriedman
Wasn’t really slamming any of the JLA, but interesting how NO ONE sticks up for Red Tornado #ValentinesDayCardMassacre
Leo Hollen Jr
leoHollen Leo Hollen Jr 

by tedfriedman
these young twigs have nothing on jagger’s skinny legged finesse.
Alyx Vesey
ms_vz Alyx Vesey 

by tedfriedman
I’m stealing that jacket from you, Mick. Watch out. #grammys
kriscannon
kriscannon kriscannon 

by tedfriedman
Seriously thought Mick was Whitney Houston from the back.
Cathy Davidson
CatinStack Cathy Davidson 

by tedfriedman
O Mick
Kanye West
kanyewest Kanye West 

by tedfriedman
R.I.P to GURU!!!
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Bummer – wouldve made a big improvement. RT @questlove: We had this gig w/ mick in the bag but had to pass.
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
We had this gig w/ mick in the bag but had to pass.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Mick still hasn’t figured out how to be a cool old guy like Keith & Dylan & Neil Young. Needs less preening, more Zen. #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Did we overrate Mick? Maybe Keith wasn’t just the musical genius of the Stones, but also the real conceptualist, & Mick was his sock puppet.
Andy Carvin
acarvin Andy Carvin 

by tedfriedman
RT @SimaSaharZerehi: Tried to call friends in #Iran the lines are down and internet is shut down in preparation for #25Bahman #feb14
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Riff it, beardy guy! #grammys #imr
Ellen Kushner
EllenKushner Ellen Kushner 

by tedfriedman
RT @InterstitialArt InterfictionsZero now accepting rolling submissions of essays for publication: http://tinyurl.com/2vkratt
Brian Stelter
brianstelter Brian Stelter 

by tedfriedman
For those of you Googling “Esperanza Spalding,” I’ll save you a step: http://bit.ly/2ejBJL
Ken Wissoker
kwissoker Ken Wissoker 

by tedfriedman
RT@nelsongeorge: E. Spaulding! female jazz singing bass players rule!
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
Wow. Awesome upset! We are floored! couldn’t happen to a nicer person. #grammys2011
Alyx Vesey
ms_vz Alyx Vesey 

by tedfriedman
Legit whoo! Esperanza is so talented. #grammys
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
Damn I feel like I just won! Congrats Esperanza! #grammys2011.
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
The weird thing about dre’s verse concerning haters and doubters is all I heard from people is “dre come back!!!” #grammys2011
Cathy Davidson
CatinStack Cathy Davidson 

by tedfriedman
Go Esperanza!!!!
Sandy Smallens
audiation Sandy Smallens 

by tedfriedman
Dre: rocked. Em: rocked, but why did you double-track? Skyler (sp?): awesome. Rhianna: sit down, man.
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Is Jewel living in a car again?
kriscannon
kriscannon kriscannon 

by tedfriedman
Note to #Grammys lighting crew: keep off @eminem‘s mic. I don’t wanna see his spittle sparkle.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
OK, can’t complain about Esperanza Spalding over Mumford. Album didn’t work for me, but definitely interesting. Plus a Portland shout-out!
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Go Mumford! #grammys #imr
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
The veins on Eminem’s face are seriously poppin! #Grammys
danayoung
danayoung danayoung 

by tedfriedman
LOL! RT @ScubaDiva: Eminem always seems so angry… If he wore CeeLo’s feather ensemble, Eminem could be the epitome of Angry Bird!
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Where’s Suge Knight when you need him?
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
Singing live is tough. Lady Gaga and Katy Perry pulled it off. Rihanna? Not quite. CBS probably has multiple censors on the mute button!
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
2 reverse Col Tom Parker moments tonight w/ Dre & Ush for Bieb & Em. #grammys2011
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
They’re double-tracking Eminem while singers get no vocal sweeners. Weird double standard. #grammys #imr
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
Looks like Rihanna swiped part of Cee Lo’s costume! #Grammys
Matthew Meylikhov
mattisnotarobot Matthew Meylikhov 

by tedfriedman 

@
@BRIANMBENDIS They might just be sore because Aquaman got his hand cut off, and the only emoticon he’s using is >_<
Myles A. McNutt
Memles Myles A. McNutt 

by tedfriedman
Can we stop calling Rob a villain? I’m pretty sure everyone likes the guy. #Survivor
Sean C. Duncan
scd Sean C. Duncan 

by tedfriedman
I’m kinda appalled at how many of the people I follow on Twitter are actually live-tweeting the Grammys of all detestable things. For shame.
Alyx Vesey
ms_vz Alyx Vesey 

by tedfriedman
As a palette cleanser, Sonic Youth performing “Flower” (thanks, @gerardcosloy): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QST5GOuRWs
James Poniewozik
poniewozik James Poniewozik 

by tedfriedman
Whenever I hear “Need You Now,” I close my eyes and it’s like I’m in the checkout line at Duane Reade all over again. #grammys
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
A Miley Cirus salvia divinorum joke! #grammys #imr
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
I’d get out of a moving car playing Lady Antebellum.
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
“The song otherwise known as Forget You.” Prince would appreciate that! #Grammys
Anne Helen Petersen
annehelen Anne Helen Petersen 

by tedfriedman
You guys, LADY ANTEBELLUM IS THE MOST BORING BAND OF OUR TIME.
Matt Thomas ✓
mattthomas Matt Thomas ✓ 

by tedfriedman
First person to make an animated GIF of Nicole Kidman singing along to “Teenage Dream” gets a free BOTOX treatment.
Sandy Smallens
audiation Sandy Smallens 

by tedfriedman
John Mayer – shave and get some rest, bodyland
Alyx Vesey
ms_vz Alyx Vesey 

by tedfriedman
Norah doesn’t need these jokers. #grammys
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
BRIANMBENDIS BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS 

by tedfriedman
i seem 2 have pissed off all 3 aquaman fans who also seem to have no idea what an emoticon is. amazing that they have that in common. :)
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
When did John Mayer turn into Father Guido Sarducci?
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
I didn’t even recognize Norah Jones with her haircut! And this is one great Dolly Parton tune. #grammys
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
Yo this Jolene is killin! #grammys2011
Jeff Baum
jeffbaum Jeff Baum 

by tedfriedman
Perfect! @cameroncook: CEE-LO IS WEARING THE SAME THING THAT ELTON JOHN WORE ON THE MUPPET SHOW! youtube.com/watch?v=R_EUDu…
Liz McLellan
hyperlocavore Liz McLellan 

by tedfriedman
Hyperlocavore – Yardsharing If you have land: http://ow.ly/3VI1x If your looking to help grow food but have no land: http://ow.ly/3VI1y
Anne Helen Petersen
annehelen Anne Helen Petersen 

by tedfriedman
Let’s have the all-boys school from Glee sing this instead?
Kelli Marshall
KelliMarshall Kelli Marshall 

by tedfriedman 

@
@inessentials Don’t mess with SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE! =)
Lee Skallerup
readywriting Lee Skallerup 

by tedfriedman
Note to self: Cehck out Jeanelle Monae and Cee-Lo green. Thanks twitter for saving me the trouble of watching the Grammys.
inessentials
inessentials inessentials 

by tedfriedman
Every time I hear the words “Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow” I tip my cap to the power of late ’90s Miramax.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Gotta admit, Need You Now is one of those perfectly structured songs that sounds less written than discovered.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
I wanna see that trio jam some more. How about Coat of Many Colors? #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Where’s the costume party John Mayer’s going to in his Johnny Depp outfit? #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Jolene: an all-time classic. #DollyParton #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Roots of Teenage Dream: M83, Boys of Summer, Sonic Youth’s Teenage Riot, Who’s Baba O’Riley. @katyperry #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Let the backlash against the @katyperry backlash begin! Hugely underrated as a songwriter. That’s why the #Glee covers work. #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Go @katyperry! This is her Kate Bush ballad.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Andy Borowitz
BorowitzReport Andy Borowitz 

by tedfriedman
Must be AWKWARD backstage between Katy Perry and the Muppets. #Grammys
Noel Murray
NoelMu Noel Murray 

by tedfriedman
So far, all the people whose performances I’ve fast-forwarded through have won Grammys.
Jeff Dauler
JeffDauler Jeff Dauler 

by tedfriedman
RT @jayharren: CBS is pissed Ceel Lo is dressed as the NBC peacock #grammys
Anne Helen Petersen
annehelen Anne Helen Petersen 

by tedfriedman
I need to play this Wii dance game. LIke right now.
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Lady Gaga is so pissed off right now.
Anne Helen Petersen
annehelen Anne Helen Petersen 

by tedfriedman
Muppets?!? MUPPETS!!!
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
One minute in and I know this cee lo performance will go down in top 10 grammy performance history. #grammys2011
alisa perren
aperren alisa perren 

by tedfriedman
Can we make Cee-Lo an honorary muppet now?
Neil Patrick Harris
ActuallyNPH Neil Patrick Harris 

by tedfriedman
I’m backstage. I’ve already declared Cee Lo’s my favorite performance. You’ll see why shortly.
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
More Georgia representin’ as Lady Antebellum coat the airwaves with two incredibly pretty songs “American Honey” & “Need You Now.” #Grammys
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Up On the Ridge is a great neotrad album.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Need You Now is awfully close to Alan Parsons’s Eye In the Sky, isn’t it? via @kt30003k
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Gotta give it up for Lady Antebellum. Best harmonies of the night. #grammys #imr
Orlando Tirado
orlandotirado Orlando Tirado 

by tedfriedman
My thoughts exactly RT @tedfriedman: Is Dylan wearing bowling shoes?
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
RT @BobbyDrakeTheDJ: Lady Gaga was @ the VMAs covered in meat. She was @ the Grammys dressed as an egg. Two more red carpets & She will …
Heide Kolb
heidiko44 Heide Kolb 

by tedfriedman
R @IHaveAPseudonym: Bob Dylan is a perpetual reminder that imperfection is a vital element in music. #grammys
Jeff Dauler
JeffDauler Jeff Dauler 

by tedfriedman
Somewhere, an old-folks home is calling a news station about their patient who looks like Bob Dylan who wandered away this afternoon.
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
I’ll take Dylan’s croak over the first hour of reheated 90s any day of the year.
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Neil Young finally looks entertained. Only took an hour and a half.
Alyx Vesey
ms_vz Alyx Vesey 

by tedfriedman
This looks like the funnest. Gimme a guitar. Or a washboard. #grammys
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
I like the Rocky’s trainer rasp of Dylan’s voice tonight as opposed to the 80′s bullwinkle flavor I was expecting. #grammys2011
Jim Behrle
behrle Jim Behrle 

by tedfriedman
He literally can’t work on Maggie’s Farm anymore because of employment laws governing the elderly
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
#Grammys execs (thinking about the FCC) appear to have had Mumford & Sons sing “The Cave” instead of “Little Lion Man.”
Heide Kolb
heidiko44 Heide Kolb 

by tedfriedman
Bob Dylan is a national treasure #Grammys
donut
frittersandclam donut 

by tedfriedman
the dylan jam is the way it should be. lots of people just yelling out.
Michael K
mkdlisted Michael K 

by tedfriedman
I want to come back as Bob Dylan’s hair. It just doesn’t give a fuck.
Heide Kolb
heidiko44 Heide Kolb 

by tedfriedman
Bob Dylan ~ Thank You #Grammys
david carr
carr2n david carr 

by tedfriedman
Maybe having some music in the middle of the show could become a Grammy tradition.
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Pretty sure this is the Deadwood portion of the evening.
James Poniewozik
poniewozik James Poniewozik 

by tedfriedman
I am SO picking Mumford and Sons CD as my next NPR pledge premium.
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
Lead singer of Mumford & Sons looks like Boston Rob Mariano from “Survivor.” #Grammys
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
This the best hootenanny I’ve seen in years.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Is Dylan wearing bowling shoes?
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Cross-Atlantic folk-off! Afraid Mumford’s crushing Avett Bros, but we still have Bob coming. Tho guess he counts as a ringer. #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Wow this could rock.
Leila Fadel
LeilaFadel Leila Fadel 

by tedfriedman
Feb. 11 a recruitment posting on craigslist Cairo under government jobs “Looking for a new President (#Egypt)”
Chris Molanphy
cmolanphy Chris Molanphy 

by tedfriedman
Am doing a bit of live-blogging of the @grammys for @popdust. Here’s my rundown of the show-opening Aretha tribute: http://bit.ly/gmQVrZ
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Love the #Grammys acceptance play-off strategy: minor organ chords give the speech an increasingly ominous tone until the winner skulks off.
Claire Suddath
clairesuddath Claire Suddath 

by tedfriedman
Justin Bieber AND Jaden Smith? This is the best middle school talent show I’ve ever seen. #Grammys
James Poniewozik
poniewozik James Poniewozik 

by tedfriedman
Justin Bieber acoustic was like Darth Vader disconnected from his life support suit. #grammys
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
#Usher will recycle “OMG” on TV as many times as he can get away with it. “Idol,” Super Bowl, now the #Grammys!
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Wonder if the #Grammies are having monitor problems. Seems like everybody’s pitchy.
Neil Patrick Harris
ActuallyNPH Neil Patrick Harris 

by tedfriedman
Holy cripes..! NINJAS!!
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman 

@
@noelrk should i start with the pilot? Gonna watch it on the Stairmaster.
Alyx Vesey
ms_vz Alyx Vesey 

by tedfriedman
This intro is creeping me out. Don’t go in the van. #grammys
Rodney Ho
ajcradiotv Rodney Ho 

by tedfriedman
Atlgets love w/ B.o.B. @ #TheGrammys. He is attempting to bring back the monocle into fashion while Bruno & Janelle are wkin’ the pompadour!
Chris Sligh
ChrisSligh Chris Sligh 

by tedfriedman
Everyone knows I LOVE Bruno Mars. This isn’t his night vocally.
Todd VanDerWerff
tvoti Todd VanDerWerff 

by tedfriedman
Tonight’s Big Love features red-hot doctrinal action.
James Poniewozik
poniewozik James Poniewozik 

by tedfriedman
OK, bye #Grammys. I’m just going to be rewinding and rewatching that Janelle Monae perf for the next two hours.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
That looked like a very carefully vetted mosh pit. #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
OK, Bruno’s a lttle pitchy without autotune. #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Wow, Bruno Mars really has the goods. #grammys #imr
Anne Helen Petersen
annehelen Anne Helen Petersen 

by tedfriedman
Grammy dude….ROCKIN’ THE MONOCLE.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Glad to see some good exposure for #ATL‘s Janelle Monae. Gaga’s backstage taking notes furiously. #grammys #imr
Tim Carvell
timcarvell Tim Carvell 

by tedfriedman
The two funniest words in the whole “Atlas Shrugged” trailer: “Part One”.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Sigur Ros in Ford Explorer commercials? Is this the end of post-rock? #grammys #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
“As you saw, Muse really rocked.” Not if you had to tell us they did. #Grammys #imr
Leo Hollen Jr
leoHollen Leo Hollen Jr 

by tedfriedman
I want kanye to win SOMEThInG just so we can see him speak
Lee Skallerup
readywriting Lee Skallerup 

by tedfriedman
Kim Cattrall as a Vulcan? Hahahahaha!!! This movie is awesome. Great counter-programming SyFy!
Stitch Kingdom
stitchkingdom Stitch Kingdom 

by tedfriedman
Should’ve used the expelliarmus spell RT @leeunkrich Met J.K. Rowling tonight. She told me she LOVED Toy Story 3. My head exploded. The End.
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Lenny Kravitz has morphed into Derek Zoolander
Keith Phipps
kphipps3000 Keith Phipps 

by tedfriedman
Doesn’t the phrase “Four-time Grammy winner Lenny Kravtiz” say everything that needs saying about the Grammys?
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Muse may have just hit their 16th minute. This song was stale a year ago. #grammys #imr
Roger Ebert
ebertchicago Roger Ebert 

by tedfriedman
“The Cairo Trilogy,” by the Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz. Because Cairo is a city of many lives and secrets. http://amzn.to/iknThf
Jaime Weinman
weinmanj Jaime Weinman 

by tedfriedman
No, commercial, Johnny Depp is NOT Rango. He is the voice of Rango. Do you not know the difference, commercial? #PintoColvigISGoofy
moshekasher
moshekasher moshekasher 

by tedfriedman
Seriously why haven’t we ruined Hip Hop for black people yet?
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
Gaga says she took a master class in fame, but isn’t this all kind of paint by numbers?
Howard Stern
HowardStern Howard Stern 

by tedfriedman
Do you think lady g has underpants on?
Jason Mittell
jmittell Jason Mittell 

by tedfriedman
I’m shocked by how many people are live-tweeting the Grammys. It’s the Grammys, people! It’s never been relevant, and is even less so today.
Alyx Vesey
ms_vz Alyx Vesey 

by tedfriedman
Wack lyrics, con. Pointy sholder pad shoulders and organ, pro. #grammys
Ruth Bourdain
RuthBourdain Ruth Bourdain 

by tedfriedman
If I’m not mistaken, that’s no ordinary egg Lady Gaga arrived in. She’s fully formed, so that’s a balut. Yum. #grammys
Anthony De Rosa
AntDeRosa Anthony De Rosa 

by tedfriedman
RT @kanyewest I didn’t know Howie Mandel was a part of Train
Michael Conforti PhD
assisi Michael Conforti PhD 

by tedfriedman
Webcast of Jung’s Red Book symposium 6-19-10 now available: Watch online via Library of Congress: http://bit.ly/fcQrhT#cgjung #depthpsych
James Poniewozik
poniewozik James Poniewozik 

by tedfriedman
People can rip on Gaga all they want, but that was a beautiful statement of support for all of us with shoulder horns. #grammys
MDG
ManiacalAnalyzr MDG 

by tedfriedman 

@
@HowardStern Pat said he would do it a while back on your show and he pulled through! That was awsome!
Stevie
smkuenn Stevie 

by tedfriedman
I have long since stopped caring about popular songs in commercials, but watching Shrek on a tablet to “Walk On the Wild Side” depresses me
Len Moleski
phins39 Len Moleski 

by tedfriedman
@HowardStern Go Howard mentioned on the Grammy’s Train didn’t lie!!!!!!!!!!!!
Howard Stern
HowardStern Howard Stern 

by tedfriedman
I don’t think this dude will be mentioning me
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Time to start rooting. Go @katyperry & @kanyewest! #Grammies #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
This Gaga performance is a surprising dud. Video more her medium than live. #Grammies #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Don’t get this Gaga single. It’s not like Express Yourself has that great a melody anyway – why rip it off so blatantly? #Grammies #IMR
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Score so far: One thank you for @HowardStern, zero for God.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Has anyone tracked down Mr Mister to see how they feel about this song? Gotta help archive sales.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Please god not soul sister…
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Oh no. Bad #SuperBowl commercial deja vu. #Grammies #imr
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves must be retired from the diva canon. Respect too. There have to be fresher girlpower anthems. #grammies
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Yolanda Adams is outclassing everybody else in this #Grammies opening number. #imr
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
Lyor’s complaining about my fro size and his view. #grammys2011
david carr
carr2n david carr 

by tedfriedman
Christina, the American viewing public forgives you for the Superbowl anthem.
Questo of The Roots
questlove Questo of The Roots 

by tedfriedman
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
So far, I’ve blogged tweetstreams on #Egypt and #synchronicity. Coming next: @kanyewest & @katyperry, leading up to #Grammies tonight.
tedfriedman
tedfriedman tedfriedman
Inspired by @defjaf, I’ve started editing twitter conversations and turning them into blog posts at http://tedfriedman.com.

Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad [Updated]

Tweets the night of December 25, 2010.

Red-tailed Hawk in flight

Yesterday as we got in the car to drive to the NC mountains, a hawk flew directly over us. Synchronicity – but were we predators or prey?

We made such slow time (because of my new diabetes routines) that we had to motel it. Then today, we had to turn back because of snow.

So was the hawk among the signs warning us to turn back, along with early weather reports & my misplacing my diabetes supplies?

Three hints to turn around: one rational (the weather forecast), one mystical (the hawk portent), one unconscious (my Freudian slip of forgetting).

Synchronicity identifies the interpenetration of models of reality – rational & mystical, conscious & unconscious, yin & yang.

Morannon

Morannon, a stray who came with a tag reading, "I Pee the House."

My cats have higher emotional intelligence than I do. They know when I’m down & come sit on me, but I can’t always tell if they’re sad.

That’s if they’re in the mood to be supportive. They may have other responsibilities, like chasing string or fighting each other.

My cats will let us know if they’re strongly displeased – they’re all loud, and today The Dude peed on our used wrapping paper….

It’s the level of our cats’ ennui that’s hard to gauge. The Dude often looks like he’s got a lot on his mind. He’s a deep cat.

On the other hand, like all male cats I’ve met, The Dude will start drooling if you pet him for a while. The Dude abides.

The Dude

The Dude

So, it seems my cats can sense my emotional state – by smell, by behavior, or by who knows what. Couldn’t a hawk likewise be drawn to me?

Thinking it through that way, maybe the hawk could smell my fear – the stress from the new diabetes regimen & weather report.

So then a hawk overhead is a rational portent: it means something nearby is giving off enough weak, hurt & fearful vibes to attract it.

Redtailed Hawk

Alternately, the hawk flying directly overhead at our exact moment of departure was a complete coincidence – though an improbable one.

One definition of synchronicity is meaningful coincidence. Even if the hawk overflight was purely coincidental, it was still meaningful.

Synchronicity is meaningful because our minds – at levels below conscious control – respond to archetypes. The hawk felt portentous.

We’re bound to attach significance to a numinous moment. It’s beyond conscious choice. The question whether we dismiss our intuition.

I’m agnostic on whether synchronicity just explains human psychology, or also explains quantum physics. But I want to believe.

I Want to Believe

Just to clarify – I found my diabetes supplies an hour after losing them. Would’ve turned back if we couldn’t find them. Fun night.

Clearly multiple reasons for parapraxis (Freudian slip) of misplacing diabetes supplies: not wanting to drive in snow & also not wanting diabetes.

If I misplace things over the next few weeks as I get used to taking insulin 4-5x/day, I’ll have to just set up backups & try not to stress.

My insulin

Unfortunately, diabetes educators tends to emphasize the scare factor: all the ways you can slip into a coma and die if you’re not careful.

When people try to scare me, I react with petulant rebellion – even if what they want me to do is in my own best interest. Hence parapraxis.

I’m smart enough to recognize the importance of my insulin. And hopefully wise enough to treat my moments of petulance with patience.

Channukah Harry (Jon Lovitz) on SNL

New Jewish tradition: tweeting Chrismas night?

RT @ted_friedman: Let’s make it one! What else is there to do (besides eat Chinese)? :-)

Any of the other Ted Friedmans out there want to join us?

RT @lnakamur: I’m for it. Works for non Jew non Christians too. Part of the war against Xmas?

The war against the “war against Xmas” meme.

As a Jew/Bu with an Xmas tree, do I offend Bill O’Reilly? Must I leave Santa to the goyim? Is O’Reilly anti-Santa? Is he the Grinch?

Jerry Garcia 12/31/76

Just figured it out: yesterday’s hawk was Black Peter: http://ht.ly/3upun

Black Peter is a close relative of the Dire Wolf, whom the British call the Black Dog. #Depression #Death #Mortality #Blues #Trickster

On Black Peter, Jerry Garcia, singing about death, grief, humor & survival, channels another great bluesman with diabetes: BB King.

It’s a straight line from the Dead’s Wharf Rat to Wilco’s greatest moments on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot & A Ghost Is Born.

Inspirational Dead song for this weekend: Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad.

The Dead’s Wharf Rat also has something in common with the Velvets’ drone – Lou Reed & Jerry Garcia were peers in many ways.

Tedwood Forest

Tedwood Forest

Often in Farmville, you open a Special Delivery package, and out flies a bee. Useful for your beehive, but a strange gift to wrap & send.

Also, the back of my iPhone cracked yesterday. Never seen it before – like a broken windshield. Bringing it in Monday.

Thinking of taking music lessons again. Took classical piano for years, rock guitar in high school, jazz piano after finishing the diss.

Was thinking of learning bass this time. Might as well be clumsy on a range of instruments.

I bought a left-handed bass las year after discovering it was my favorite Rock Band instrument. Slow, steady, deep, harmonious, funky.

I’ve also picked up several Grateful Dead song books & a “play guitar in the style of Jerry Garcia” DVD.

I’m also tempted to go back to playing around with my keyboard/sequencer/drum machine. I have a nice Casio & the amazing Groovebox 505.

In the spring of 2000, I’d defended my diss & landed a job. I had time off for the first time in years. I took jazz piano lessons & drew.

Actually, I got back on the piano several years earlier – it was an outlet during the diss writing. Drawing too until my RSIs got bad.

I just pulled out a bunch of my drawing instruction books – really basic stuff pitched at kids. All of whom draw better than me.

It’s frustrating loving music & art so much but coming up so short in my own execution. I’d love to skillfully draw or write fiction or jam.

Actually, I can play passable piano & guitar when I practice a lot. And I like some of my compositions on the MC-505 Groovebox.

So, I’d appreciate any ATL or online recommendations for music and/or art teachers & resources. Feel free to plug a friend – I’ll retweet!

Ted's Labyrinth

Ted's Labyrinth

I might feel self-conscious about tweeting personal stuff if my life weren’t so ordinary. Plus the personal is political yadda yadda

Pretty sure I’ll be tweeting regularly about living with #diabetes. Wonder how many of us #diatweeters are out there.

I was diagnosed with #diabetes almost a decade ago, but managed for several years with just diet & exercise, then several more with pills.

Looks like I’ve coined #diatweeter. It’s an ugly neologism, but usefully short & self-explanatory. Feel free to use the hashtag. Or not.

Peppermint Labyrinth

Peppermint Labyrinth

More things I suck at: Dancing. Sight-reading music. Improvising. Foreign languages. Appreciating & writing poetry. Cocktail parties.

Anybody with skills in any of those areas who wants to offer expertise, I’m all ears. They’re what Jung calls my “inferior” aspect.

Jung says engaging the underdeveloped, “inferior” aspects of the personality is the key to individuation – his version of enlightenment.

Jung’s saying we need to face our fears & desires, to confront & integrate what we’ve repressed. He was Freud’s student after all.

Noisy

Noisy

I wish I’d taken music theory back in Jr High – it conflicted with Hebrew School, I think. I caught up, but it’s not ingrained.

Didn’t mean to imply Scarsdale’s wonderful Hoff-Barthelson music school was secretly anti-Semitic. Think I just didn’t like music theory.

RT @audiation I always got a creepy feeling there, too…

Still regret I started on classical piano & not jazz or rock.

Actually, I did take some fun “jazz band” classes at Hoff-Barthelson in HS. I played a piss-poor rhythm guitar.

Those Hoff-Barthelson piano recitals were humiliating. Little kids half my age kicked my ass.

Didn’t like Hebrew School either. Ended up studying privately with a cantor & chanting my torah part: “for every thing there is a season…”

Don’t think I even heard the Byrds song until after my Bar Mitzvah. Wonder why nobody played it for me, actually.

I gave a hammy Bar Mitzvah speech that began, “What is man? The dictionary says that Man is an island off the British coast…”

Then I had a humiliating Bar Mitzvah party at a video game arcade: I sneezed on the cake when I was supposed to blow it out.

What kind of parapraxis is that: sneezing on my Bar Mitzvah cake in front of all my “friends”? No wonder I was depressed from ages 13-15.

Finally pulled out of my early adolescent depression when I got a learner’s permit & a car. Suburbs with big lawns blow without a car.

2 favorite activities ages 13-15: 1: Paying Strat-o-Matic baseball while listening to Hall & Oates & other music. Preferably with friends.

Second favorite activity ages 13-15: taking the train by myself into NYC to see multiple movies & buy P-Funk vinyl in Times Square.

Noisy

Noisy

RT @catagav: Is it a fear of letting inhibitions go? I’ve noticed dancing and improvising (from music to lies) are easily held back by that.

It’s not just a fear of letting inhibitions go. It’s also a failure to perform with any skill once inhibitions are lowered.

Disinhibitors – from booze to baths salts – help loosen me up, but the stick appears to be lodged really far up my ass.

I’ve meditated for almost 20 years, done yoga for 10, been on multiday silent retreats. But still that stick remains far up my ass.

I’ve been drunk in Dartmouth and stoned in Amsterdam. I’ve jammed in rock bands, jazz bands, and Rock Band. But still the stick remains.

I’m hoping to pull the stick all the way out my ass before I die. Maybe that’s when it goes. When you let go for the final time.

Maybe I’m supposed to melt the stick up my ass: integrate my shadow and merge with the stick. Or pull it out like the sword in the stone.

RT @t3dy: Perhaps the purpose of meditation is something other than manipulation of the stick?

RT @jmittell I’m afraid that the stick might be an inevitable consequence of being an East Coast Jewish academic. It’s in our blood…

Agreed. Maybe the best we can do is get to know our old friend the stick better. Mindfulness. Metta. Maitri. http://ht.ly/3uxg0

I liked a YouTube video — Pema Chödrön explains Maitri.

RT @misssaragran: Random thought: accept and love the stick? (Easier said than done, certainly!)

Not sure. Legend of St. George says slay the dragon – the mother complex.

To All the Brits and Anglophiles Out There: Happy St. George's Day

Can’t decide if slay-the-dragon/mother/father mythology is a) ideological, patriarchal & contingent or b) archetypal & wise.

Subjectively – within the psyche – slaying the dragon means letting go. Dropping the mother complex. Moving beyond the puer. Individuating.

Objectively, the dragon archetype is often projected onto subaltern images: the old crone. The jew. The other. The collective shadow.

When you project your shadow onto others, you think eliminating them would solve your problems. Doesn’t work.

Slay your own demons, then let them go & forgive. Like Buffy.

RT @misssaragran I know, tough call, but sometimes I think you slay by not-slaying. I think fighting something can strengthen it, sometimes.

RT @misssaragran Then again, dragon slaying can be more fun:)

RT @misssaragran I have this fantasy that if you let them go and forgive they slay themselves. But I haven’t seen much buffy, so what do I know!

RT @t3dy one gets into trouble playing games trying to accept things we can’t accept, or accept that we can’t accept.

RT @misssaragran Good point! Big problem I see a lot in the yoga world.

Dalai Lama

RT @soundhunter: I was just reading somewhere that apparently the Dalai Lama has a terrible temper.

What I’ve heard is that the Dalai Lama allows emotions to pass through quickly and fully, whether sadness or anger.

RT @t3dy Is that evidence of success or a rationalization? I dig that he doesn’t pretend to be enlightened.

The Dalai Lama certainly has a lot to be angry about. It’s got to go somewhere, right?

I could be wrong, but I don’t think the Dalai Lama is the kind of scoundrel Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was.

RT @t3dy I don’t think the Dalai Lama’s anger proves that he’s a bad meditator, but that we misconceive the purpose of meditation.

The Tibetan mythos is fiercer than many others. The Dalai Lama never claimed to be a tranquil zen master. Just a pacifist.

RT @t3dy certainly not. I don’t mean to imply that, just making a point about how we want to put meditation+meditators on a pedastal.

Absolutely.

I have seen comments on Amazon blasting the Tibetan monarchy as elitist & complacent. Who knows how ugly that tradition’s been at times.

Here’s the best thing I’ve read on the dark side of American Buddhism: The Double Mirror by Stephen Butterfield: http://ht.ly/3uxnu

RT @soundhunter  just goes to show that if the “gurus” aren’t perfect, followers shouldn’t expect to be either.

Amen to That.

History in RealTime: @tedfriedman on 2/11/11 (in chronological order)

 

 

Salma Abdelaziz
In an incredibly tense moment Egyptians use their famous humor to lighten the mood and find out
Liz McLellan
RT @: RT @ If somebody can find a shirtless pic of Mubarak on Cairo Craigslist this thing will end peacefully today
mattyglesias
Mubarak really looks great for his age. He could probably make a bundle selling lifestyle advice books.
Josh Marshall
weird 2 see how prominent leader of national uprising in ME country has active twitter account @
Wyclef Jean
If u on the streets of Egypt tweet me!! Imma retweet the movement on the ground!!!
monasosh
The least the world could do for Egyptians now is allow us free entrance to any country wtout the burden of applying for a visa :D
Liz McLellan
RT @: Uninstalling dictator COMPLETE – installing now: egypt 2.0: █░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░
monasosh
Unbelievable the metro driver is cheering wt the horn, ppl are dancing & screaming in the metro station
pourmecoffee
Perhaps what people of Egypt did will give courage to Katie Holmes.
Salma Abdelaziz
BREAKING: Switzerland freezes suspected Mubarak Financial Assets
monasosh
For everyone taking the metro home, mark out “mubarak” from metrostations plan & replace it wt “martyrs”
walter kirn
Now Egypt has done for modern civilization what it did for ancient civ. I’m calling this Osiris Friday.
the sad red earth
RT @: Photos: Celebration in After Mubarak Steps Down //Historic images.
Andy Carvin
RT @: this is most euphoric young crowd I have seen sinced overthrow of Ceauşescu during 1989 Romanian Revolution
Roger Ebert
A letter to Egypt from a Filipino: Learn from us, and do better.
Heide Kolb
: People helping in the midst of a crisis- how you can help via @: @
Frank Conniff
What kind of crazy foreign policy allows a dictator to be deposed without a long & costly war? Get it together, Obama!
Ana Marie Cox
Paul applause line: “We need to do a lot less a lot sooner, not only in Egypt but around the world.”
Wyclef Jean
The movement!! Let’s go!!! RT @: @ PROUD TO BE EGYPTIAN!!! The streets are ALIVE with freedom!!!
Heide Kolb
R @: @ protesters under attack! Police use live ammo on demonstrators NOW. Please RT!
I wish I could somehow save all of the tweets I sent and received the past weeks. This is my diary
What can we all do to make help sure they’re archived? RT @ I wish I could somehow save all of the tweets I sent and received..
tedfriedman
Students & scholars: this is history happening right now. Twitter didn’t cause this, but it’s part of a positive feedback loop. Take notes!
tedfriedman
If one was going to pick the medium with the most influence on , wonder if it would be SMS, web or satellite TV?
tedfriedman
My guess would be the most influential medium helping to create #Egypt #Jan25 has been satellite TV – specifically Al Jazeera.
Noel Kirkpatrick
noelrk Noel Kirkpatrick
But it all started with the telegraph.
So if Al Jazeera is the NGO which has done the most to make possible, credit not just the medium of sat TV, but the journalists.
Lakshmi Jagad
lockslocks Lakshmi Jagad
Agree.
Likewise, to the extent Twitter has helped accomplish this (hard to judge in the moment), credit not the medium in itself, but the tweeters.
This is where I part ways with Object Oriented Ontology – I always want to look back to the human roots. Who’s karma’s on the line?
Andy Carvin
I’ve tweeted more than 600 times today. And yet people keep following me. What is wrong with you people?!? :-)

Pop Music Week on In Media Res [Updated through Friday]

This week the digital humanities journal In Media Res will be posting a series of short pieces I organized on pop music. All the contributors are old  friends who worked with me in college on the zine Nadine. Today some of us are academics, others journalists, editors and novelists. Here’s the publication schedule – I’ll come back and add links as each piece goes live.

Monday 2/7/11

Tickling the Ivory Towers” by yours truly. It’s about academia, rock criticism, and Madonna.

Tuesday 2/8/11

Words, Words, Words” by Gavin Edwards. Gavin is a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone, the author of numerous books on pop music, and one of my oldest friends – we met in high school when I loaned him my copy of the Bob Dylan boxed set Biograph. His contribution is an extension of his ongoing project  to chronicle every minute of the 1988 MTV New Year’s Eve Top 100 Videos countdown, which I primarily remember for the innumerable commercials for the Kevin Kline flop The January Man.

Wednesday 2/9/11

Hide Your Kids! Hide Your Wife! Hide Your Husband!” by James Hannaham. James is the author of the acclaimed novel God Says No (McSweeney’s) and one of the founders of the performance group Elevator Repair Service. He’s written for The Village Voice and Salon, and teaches at the Pratt Institute. His piece is on the “Bed Intruder Song” viral video.

Thursday 2/10/11

… Or Other Visual Media” by Marc Weidenbaum. Marc is the editor of the ambient/electronica music website disquiet and a contributor to Nature. He was an editor at Tower Records’ late, lamented Pulse! magazine, as well as the groundbreaking American version of the omnibus manga magazine Shonen Jump. His piece is on videogame music.

Friday 2/11/11

Free and Freer: Wikileaks and ViCKi LEEKX” by Ivan Kreilkamp. Ivan is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University. He’s the author of Voice and the Victorian Storyteller. He’s also on the cover of the Lemonheads’ Creator holding a box of Cheerios. His piece is on M.I.A.’s mixtape tribute to Wikileaks.

I’m going to try to keep the conversation going all week on Twitter through the hashtag #IMR, culminating in a live tweet chat Sunday night during the Grammies. Join us!

Poll: is Quora the next killer app?

Quora: Questions, Answers, and More Questions

Quora is a new social media service that’s organized around questions and answers. So far, it’s pretty intriguing. The proto-web of the 1980s – Gopher, FTP sites, BBSs – was built around collectively-authored FAQs. I’m sure Google, Bing and Facebook all find that a most web searches are awkward attempts to convey in Boolean terms what you’d convey to a human in the form of a question. Ask Jeeves has always failed at natural-language processing, just like the giant mainframe EMERAC in the 1950s Hepburn/Tracy comedy Desk Set.

IBM is still hard at work at Watson, a computer smart enough to win on Jeopardy. Questionable PR move – everybody roots against Deep Blue. HAL was more sympathetic, and IBM disowned him. See  Electric Dreams for more on the history of computer advertising.

But Quora takes a different track, drawing on the crowdsourcing model of Wikipedia to develop one global database of FAQs. Further, it doesn’t attempt to iron out differences of opinion as Wikiprose demands, but rather embraces a diversity of voices and relies on the crowd itself to serve as collective gatekeeper by  rating each answer.

Who knows where this will go. But we may be seeing the formation of the next Google. Or Facebook. Or Pets.com – who knows. Ideally, it’ll become the next Wikipedia – one which embraces crowdsourcing, but also rewards both expertise and diversity, while engaging the crowd as both producer and gatekeeper.

So, I figure I might as well try to get in on the ground floor, or at least as close to the ground as you can get without ever having lived in California, pitched a venture capitalist or attended SXSW.

Here’s my answer to an ongoing discussion on Quora: Can information be empowering, and why?

The distinction between information and knowledge is like that between database and algorithm. (Also content v form, superstructure v base, syntagm v paradigm, & practice v theory, and logos v mythos.) Information without a contextualizing theoretical (and inevitably ideological) framework is just “data smog” or bloatware. We all have access to more information – in terms of pure bits – than any citizens of any society ever before us. Does that make us more powerful? Not necessarily, as long as we still remain trapped within ideological blinders, stale frames & obsolete paradigms. Information becomes powerful – revolutionary, in fact – when it inspires and fuels paradigm shifts: from feudalism to capitalism, from monarchy to democracy, and hopefully from postmodernity/late-capitalism/corporate-globalization/scientific-rationality/phallogocentrism to transmodernity/postcapitalism/the-commons/dialectics&alchemy&mythos&logos

I also started a new question: How do you teach game studies in a 30-student classroom?

I’m developing a new media studies class for undergraduate media studies majors. In small 8-15 student seminars I teach game design by playing and then discussing board, card and party games like TransAmerica, Apples to Apples and Werewolf. In large lecture classes so far I’ve assigned students to download and play the World of Warcraft demo, I’ve set up presentations where students demo games for the class, and I’ve given students the option of writing about games on their final essays. But I miss the opportunities for playtesting and examining strategy tweaks and rules variations that I had in the old seminars.

On Quora you can choose to “follow” other users, just like Twitter. If you let it, Quora will scan your Facebook friends to find people to follow. Here’s what I wrote to my Quora followers:

Hi Quora Followers -

I’m sending this post to let you know I’ve now both answered an existing question and asked a new one.

I answered the question: “Can information be empowering, and why?” If you find the answer helpful, please consider voting it a thumbs-up, or whatever they call the little up-pointing triangle to the left of each answer.

I also asked my first question: “How do you teach game studies in a 30-student classroom?” If you have any thoughts on the subject, please consider answering. And if you check out the posted answers, please vote for your favorites.

I’m brand-new at this, but already intrigued. Thanks for the follows!