Nihilist Pop Culture: Consumed by the Insignificant

What I am now going to relate is the history of the next two centuries. I shall describe what will happen, what must necessarily happen: the triumph of Nihilism. (Friedrich Nietzsche, Will to Power) One of my goals for the course is to render students incapable of watching TV and film in the passive, mildly […]

Boredom

The first post in a series on The Affective Cycle of Popular Culture on Boredom. General disclaimer: It is the basis for a lecture on the topic. It is note-based without substantial examples and without any context-setting work for the readings (e.g. who is Kracauer and what was the intellectual context of his article?). The […]

The Affective Cycle of Popular Culture

I would like to teach a course called the “The Affective Cycle of Popular Culture”. Most courses on popular culture are organised around a particular segment of popular culture, such as an industry or particular form of cultural commodity, and then the cultural dimensions of this industry or cultural commodity. I would prefer to follow […]

Contemplating a Crackpot

Say you find yourself staring at an old pot. Your brain, being an incredibly sophisticated computer, immediately assesses that it’s an old pot, and that old pots are boring. It’s not going to dance, or sing heartbreaking songs of yesteryear. It won’t even rock gently in the breeze. It’s just going to sit there being […]