For this week’s blog post I chose to gloss over “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Showbusiness” by Neil Postman. Postman takes Debord’s theory of the spectacle and expands it to include the television and emerging internet landscapes of the mid-1990s. His work is still applicable today despite being published over twenty years ago. He surveys how the idea of celebrity is pushed through media channels and creates the most sellable messages despite validity or accuracy. Whereas DeBord lays the framework for the theory of the spectacle, Postman takes the theory and adds a harsh critique on how we absorb messages and the actions we partake in based on those messages.
Postman’s “wake up” tone lines up with the direction that my film has taken since Wednesday’s a-ha moment. I had already planned on using this source because of its insight but the tone had me concerned as to how I was going to make it fit. Amusing Ourselves also surveys more modern technologies that were not included in The Society of the Spectacle due to chronemics. It’s important to add in the internet, even if the internet was in its infancy stages in 1995. That’s why I am also planning on pulling in “Media Spectacles” by Kellner published in 2005 and Marwick’s “The Fabulous Life of Micro-Celebrities” to reflect more modern technologies. These four sources make up my main theoretical framework in theory driving my project.
I finally have a title, so that’s exciting. Thanks to Dr. Shaw throwing out that “Two to Midnight” when I brought up the doomsday clock. I feel like the voice of the project went from hippie dippie granola “please listen to me and save the planet,” to a snarkier “wake the [heck] up,” and the latter is much more my personal voice. It’s liberating to finally get over that hump. I’ve gotten a couple “let me check my schedule” emails from people I reached out to for interviews which is better than no response. At this point I’m focusing on the interviews and the paper draft because of deadlines. But now that I finally have a title, I feel so much better about everything. It was like magic.