Media in Media Series

I’ve noticed that my posts about new media and popular culture receive a lot of attention and interaction. I’m going to keep the posts on this theme coming regularly. Below are the links to the other posts in this “series,” yeah, that’s what I’m going to call it: the Media in Media series.

Some of my other Media in Media Series posts:

Mockingjay Part I post

Super Sad True Love Story post

Big Bang Theory post

You can also find the collection of them by clicking the pop culture category below, in case I missed some, which I’m sure I have. I just posted one (with a poll *hint, hint*) and I’m working on a great one with the show Bones, on Fox and it’s got a feminism twist too!

The Librarians on TNT

Posting a day early this week!

I am LOVING TNT’s new series The Librarians. To see people who love books, history, Latin, museum artifacts, and research, not holed up in some dusty basement crunching numbers, but out kicking butt and saving the world, is amazerful!

Promotional poster for The Librarians a new show on TNT. It comes on Sunday nights.

The Librarians has become apart of my already crowded Sunday night lineup, along with Downton Abbey and Once Upon a Time, which thankfully, is on hiatus until March.

The basic premise is that there’s a huge old library that exists in its own dimension. It’s contains all of these old artifacts from the famous myths we all know. Image the breadth and depth of the Library of Congress plus all the Smithsonian Institute and the National Archives in one huge maze of a room.

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Books and New Media: Super Sad True Love Story

My last post about new media and culture, RE: Mockingjay Part I, was well received, so I thought I’d do another one concerning my favorite subject ever… Books!

I read Super Sad True Love Story last year. It is so obviously a satire of our current situation as a nation that it’s more uncomfortable than funny.

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Everyone carries around these devices, äppäräts, the ultimate smart phone. They even can aggregate all the data produced by and about you, compare it to those around you, and spit out “hotness” and “compatibility” scores. The apparat then projects these scores constantly to all the apparats around you at all times. Imagine that your Klout score was taped to your forehead. Eek! If you haven’t calculated your Klout score… Don’t.

Needless to say this was another example of a possible path advanced tech can take that also freaks me out. The tech of itself seems fine i.e., not a weapon, but the characters dependence upon devices to determine other characters worth and value was terrifying! I was reminded of Sheryl Turkle’s Alone Together.

Reading this book, just like watching Mockingjay, made me wonder if society as a whole is really thinking about where technology is headed and if that’s a place we actually want to go. It’s the passive acceptance attitude of the characters in these works and in the real world that is just a little unnerving.

Movies and New Media: Mockingjay Part I [Spoiler Free!]

I fell in love with The Hunger Games much later the most people. I believe that you can only be a fan of one Sci-fi/ fantasy series. Mine is Harry Potter, so I had a hard time even accepting that I liked the Hunger Games, but I did. I’ve only read Mockingjay and that’s because I couldn’t bear to wait for the movies to learn what happens. I’ve now seen all three movies.

Needless to say, they’re great. Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. It was wonderful to see Phillip Seymour Hoffman, to whom the movie is dedicated, one last time. I have some complaints, but that’s a different post.

I did notice something. When discussing new media in pop culture, the best place to see it are in movies. One of the huge debates among new media theorists, is that all new media developments are not good. Humanity should be wary of just developing new media without questioning the complete range of potential am uses.

If there was ever an example of new media used for bad, it is in The Hunger Games series.

Those animal creations we see in the arena, i.e. tracker jackets, the communication/surveillance devices, the weaponry used by the Capitol and the Revolution, are all prime examples.

Watching the movies just reminded me of reading Evgeny Morozov’s theory of technical solutionism. Just because we are able to make some technologies doesn’t mean we should make those technologies. We shouldn’t see every advance as beneficial to humanity. It may not be, but we can always hope that the odds are ever in our favor.

For more work by Evgeny Morovoz see the video of his talk for The Gaudian. You can also follow him on Twitter @EvgenyMorovoz

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The Big Bang Theory: Hot Troll Deviation

My class has been discussing Turkle’s Alone Together, in which she decribes several people who have seperate lives online. I talked about Pete, who had a second wife in the online game Second Life, in an earlier post.

It all reminded me of this clip from The Big Bang Theory where one of the main characters looses his girlfriend because she catches him “cheating” on her with a troll in the online game War of Warcraft. I talked about it in class but no one watches the show so I thought I would upload the video for everyone to see and enjoy.

In the video, Howard, guy in trouble, is asking Penny, friend of ex-girlfriend, for help on how to repair his relationship after the “hot troll deviation.”

Enjoy! The show really is hilarious.