Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Britney Spears and the Celebrity Confessional as Addiction

I thought you might enjoy this video post about britney spears, addiction, celebrity spectacles, dependency on the thrill, frisson of voyeuristic involvement, perez hilton,

Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Love - the commodification of personal disaster is discussed from the point of view of a postmodern media confessional. This is a variant of the genre of the confession or confessional.

Susan discusses how the tabloid / media spectator confessional differs from that of, say, St. Augustine, or Rousseau, or even Thomas DeQuincey's Confessions of an English Opium Eater. The tabloid confessional creates a false catharsis within the viewer that drives a hunger for another catharsis. It engenders addiction.

We can apply the ideas of Baudrillard or Lyotard quite nicely to this; also Richard Rorty.

Your guide is Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D. (looking quite scruffy and anti-celebrity, as usual).

For more analyses of media spectacles, please visit

Monday, April 02, 2007

Anatomy of a Scandal: Anna Nicole, Britney, Monica, Karl, Valerie Plame (?)

Video cast - click here.

All scandals, to be effective as scandals, must contain within them echoes of previous scandals. This idea is evocative of Jacques ... all » Derrida's idea of the trace, and Bakhtin's the dialogical imagination.

What are the functions of scandals and celebrity scandals? They reinforce societal norms and help people understand what "polite" limits are.

Why do people love the idea that as many as ten men have claimed potential paternity of Anna Nicole Smith's child? Observing her behavior scandalizes and liberates -- vicarious experience provides a "frisson" of transgression without actually having to break the rules.

At the same time, let's think a bit about the gods of Greek and Roman mythology. Weren't they just like humans, but with worse manners and bigger appetites? Further, they had magical powers...

Are today's media celebrities yesterday's gods of myth and folklore?

Susan Smith Nash is your guide.

e-learning queen...check it out!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Five Things Meme

Okay -- I admit it. I am very flattered to have been tagged. So here goes ...

Five things you may not know about me...

1. I was born in Ardmore, Oklahoma, located halfway between Oklahoma City and Dallas. My dad, a petroleum geologist, met my mom, who worked in oil and gas lease management, at a square dance at Turner Falls, or someplace in the Arbuckle Mountains.

2. I started my professional career as a petroleum geologist.

3. I learned to play the piano at a young age. For years, I wanted to be a harpsichordist - between the age of 14 and 17, I was obsessed with harpsichords, and even bought plans to make my own harpsichord. I listened to recordings of Scarlatti -- absolutely mesmerizing performances by Fernando Valenti. They still give me chills.

4. My first week at college, I broke my foot wearing 4-1/2 inch platform sandals...

5. If I could time travel, I'd like to hang out with Alexandra David-Neel in Tibet, drink mate cocido with the Chalchaleros on a finca in Argentina, while they rehearse Zamba... de mi esperanza...

My five blogs for the five things meme ...

Albert Ip - Random Walk in E-Learning

Stephen Downes OLDaily

Karl Kapp at Kapp Notes

Tex2All -- the "journeyman curmudgeon" ... great stuff!

Corporate E-Learning Strategies Brett Schlenker

Five things I'm watching on DVD... (I think that the big screen is doomed ... Hollywood will continue to languish as feature-length films played in movie theaters become inconvenient and incompatible with people's lives (unless they are on a long flight)... the future is in the series... the writing in some of the shows is AMAZING.

Veronica Mars



The Medium

House, MD

What I'm listening to...

Kizombas... Don Kikas, Philippe Monteiro, Irmaos Verdade

Mattafix - signs of a struggle...

Greg Laswell, "Sing, Theresa Says" (love the video... reminds me of the French videographers, Auguste and Louis Lumiere... & of course the Georges Melies ... "Le Voyage Dans La Lune" (1902) )

Felix da Housekat -- Now that Love is Gone..from happiness to loneliness..

any questions?

(happyface) ...
(by request, here's a link to "Confessions of a Pom Squad Wannabe")