☭ Sup Marxists? ☭

Honestly, I thought most everything in popular culture was designed to be popular.


I’m actually surprised that Star Trek isn’t the touchstone for the anti-Cultural-Marxism crowd. A multicultural, multi-racial, (multi-species?), gender-blended intergalactic bunch of feel-good cosmo-anthropologists living on the bleeding edge of exploration, constantly having their understanding of what culture is and can be challenged with every new planet. Finding and documenting exploitation, power dynamics and finding ways to broker understanding and protect the weak. Using their own life experience as a lens for understanding others, while constantly being taught that there are perspectives that they can’t possibly already have…Picard you dirty critical theorist…


See, the thing is, I agree that popular culture is “designed” to bestow a cynical attitude. (“designed” in scare quotes because as @decree notes in the original thread, popular culture isn’t designed - but it does have the function of making people cynical) The population at large having a cynical attitude benefits people with power. Cynical people are not energized people who fight for change, they are the kind of people who call into the radio talk show to say that it’s not worth voting for any of the current parties and that they are voting no in the referendum on election reform too.

But that’s not what @TrollsOpinion said. He said that popular culture gives you a cynical opinion of your culture. I think in order to unpack that idea I would have to understand what my culture is. Let’s see, I was born into a Christian family and celebrate christmas even though I’m a confirmed atheist (so consumerist orgy with no spiritual significance). I’m white and speak with the “news anchor” accent so I see people who look like me and sound like me everywhere I go. I wouldn’t say I’m rich, but I don’t have trouble making my mortgage payments, putting food on the table, and keeping relatively up-to-date with my technology so there is a vast swath of people who could hardly be criticized for saying I am rich. Yeah, my culture is popular culture.

Popular culture does have the function of making my cynical about itself, of course, so I guess he’s basically right.


Certainly, I choked a bit when I tried to digest what Troll means by “popular culture.” Is it the same as Pop Culture? Are we talking US national or regional? East or West, North or South (or flyover for my homeslice downstate IL). What about the Pop Culture of Norway, or Japan, or Liberia, or Latervia - are they all equally cynical? Have they all been co-opted by the proponents of Critical Theory? Obviously, I’m thinking the assertion that all pop cultures are equally cynical is a bit overstated.

Relatedly, I’m getting excited about the book club project. There’s people participating from Finland, Australia, Hollywood, New Zealand, San Francisco, Brits-in-Exile, and I’m sure elsewhere. It will be interesting to see what sort of pop culture baggage will need to be unpacked as we discuss the same text.


Aren’t Australians Brits-in-Exile, by definition? :smile:

But I think in our case the antipodean cohort actually are Brits-in-exile, anyway.





It’s not that I don’t believe that some elements of pop culture or pop conciousness aren’t designed to make me cynical about my culture. Surely, that exists.

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Read the description for ‘female hysteria’, carefully - do the signs and symptoms not sound familiar…? ‘Hysteria’ is, essentially, PMT/PMS. The word is derived from hystera, the Ancient Greek for ‘womb’, because it was believed that menstruation made women mad (in both senses). So, because they believed the madness originated from the womb, it became known as hysteria. That’s why removal of the womb is known as a hysterectomy.

I’m not entirely sure when it acquired its present meaning. If I wasn’t so tired, I’d be able to make more sense (I’m in so much pain at the minute, it actually hurts to lie down. I’m also ravenous, but I daren’t eat too much, or I’ll be chucking it back up again within 10 mins).

Guten Nacht, Menschen. :full_moon_with_face::new_moon_with_face::last_quarter_moon_with_face::first_quarter_moon_with_face:

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Only the colonials. They exist as puppets to serve the indigenous population.

I don’t think the real world is supposed to make that much sense.


Your editorial insertion of “popular” there actually misses what I think he was trying to say. I think he genuinely thinks that I have some kind of (natural||inherited||original) culture that I am being made to feel cynical about. Like, that I come from Christian culture, or British culture, or something like that. That I’m being made to think negatively about those cultures which I have and should respect by cultural-Marxist-infused popular culture.

But I’m pretty sure that if I was raised in any culture, it was exactly popular culture (for southern Ontario). My mother really believed in God but she left the decision of going to church or not up to us. I went until I was seven or eight just to spend some time with her, but the rest of the family stopped long before then. There were two black kids in my highschool, and I think they might have been brothers. I guess we bought natural peanut butter (ground up peanuts, nothing added) from a health food store so maybe there was something subversive there, but basically I’m from white bread consumerist Canadian culture.

That graph is…

Take a look at the upper right of the graph. Taking Debt --> International Banks --> Corporates —(who control)–> Mass Media

If you think of the rest of the graph as a black box that Mass Media feeds into and eventually goes into people taking on debt which benefits the banks and around and around, I think it’s remarkable how well their version of reality lines up with mine. It’s just that what goes into the black box, in this case, is severely divorce from reality.

Anyone who thinks the world is controlled by Social Science Faculties needs to go visit a Social Science Faculty.


What do you think is the relationship between a tightly-controlled broadcast media and the notion of truly popular culture? I always assumed that broadcast media was fake popularity, since it was made or funded by a less than 1% minority of the population. I experienced this realization as a young child watching some real WTF “kids show” when it occurred to me that the books, television, ads, etc were some adult committee’s idea of what kids should supposedly like. So it seemed obvious to me that this was similarly true of adult media as well.

It still perplexes me how people say that some people rapping or playing on the street for people’s entertainment is “just some selfish guy” while “top 40” radio is somehow popular.


I got my cynical opinions after a year of attacks by fascists, and seeing the indifference of Conservative, LibDem and Labour voters to what was going on.

It was also what pushed me towards believing in libertarian-socialism, although I supported the Green Party (England and Wales) for the first five years after.


God I wish. I’ll even buy drinks if anyone wants to come check out my ivory tower of Cultural Marxist might sad little hobbit-hole next to the copy machine where I can’t even get enough wi-fi to attend a web-based conference call.


That’s what 100BaseT is for.


I assume you don’t actually have to buy any drinks and that they are pre-bought in your desk drawer? (Social Science and all)

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Yes, if only the Mothership would allow IT to activate any of the ethernet ports in my office other than the one that runs my (not webcam-equipped) desktop and my phone.

If they allowed me to connect my MacBook Pro to the ethernet, I might actually become effective at undermining the power structures that support their own self-reproduction by co-opting the labor of the masses doing my damn job.


Ha, the real joy of working in a mental health field is that a certain number of your coworkers and students have positively Southern Baptist attitudes toward Demon Rum et al. And the joy of working in a system that has essentially managed to eliminate tenure-track jobs is that you’re actually fucked if they catch you nipping in the middle of the day. You see what happens when they allow women into Old Boys’ Networks? White-collar jobs suddenly grow pink-collar salaries and restrictions.


Ugh. Sounds painful.

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