Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

6

Fear Factor

Inside the paranoia-entertainment complex

by Tom Carson

bookmarker.dellsystem.me/s/fear-factor
1
terms
4
notes

really good

Carson, T. (2017). Fear Factor. The Baffler, 37, pp. 6-11

(noun, linguistics) the thing that a word or phrase denotes or stands for

8

the series turned into a fancy puzzle without any external referents

on Lost

—p.8 by Tom Carson
notable
1 year ago

the series turned into a fancy puzzle without any external referents

on Lost

—p.8 by Tom Carson
notable
1 year ago
8

[...] It doesn’t even matter much if a lavishly produced, terrifically well-acted hunk of dungeons-and-dragons neo-shlock like Game of Thrones doesn’t appear to be rife with unfathomable subtext to a non-buff’s eye, because HBO was put on this earth to prove Pavlov was right. The projection of mystique, plus an appearance of momentousness, has been enough to spawn neo-Kremlinologists by the truckload, sifting the clues to Jon Snow’s parentage as their forebears tried to anticipate Khruschev’s next move against West Berlin. Back in the happier days when All My Children adepts were merrily dissecting Erica Kane’s latest ploy with similar passion, they had a keener awareness of their hobby’s frivolity. [...]

Whether it’s lighthearted and puckish or mirthlessly obsessive, the way any audience relates to its preferred forms of entertainment is always an index of that audience’s emotional priorities. But there may be no precedent for the way current tastes in pop-culture fetishism simultaneously burlesque and enshrine real-world paranoia, dystopian gloom, cults of brute force, and fierce quasi-ideological allegiances. Any critic who’s ever risked panning, say, a Christopher Nolan movie can tell you how uncannily the ensuing fanboy invective mimics Trump fans’ or Hillaryites’ or Sandersistas’ incredulous rage at any slight to their idols, not only in its vitriolic language but also in its assumption that no issue could be more important.

—p.8 by Tom Carson 1 year ago

[...] It doesn’t even matter much if a lavishly produced, terrifically well-acted hunk of dungeons-and-dragons neo-shlock like Game of Thrones doesn’t appear to be rife with unfathomable subtext to a non-buff’s eye, because HBO was put on this earth to prove Pavlov was right. The projection of mystique, plus an appearance of momentousness, has been enough to spawn neo-Kremlinologists by the truckload, sifting the clues to Jon Snow’s parentage as their forebears tried to anticipate Khruschev’s next move against West Berlin. Back in the happier days when All My Children adepts were merrily dissecting Erica Kane’s latest ploy with similar passion, they had a keener awareness of their hobby’s frivolity. [...]

Whether it’s lighthearted and puckish or mirthlessly obsessive, the way any audience relates to its preferred forms of entertainment is always an index of that audience’s emotional priorities. But there may be no precedent for the way current tastes in pop-culture fetishism simultaneously burlesque and enshrine real-world paranoia, dystopian gloom, cults of brute force, and fierce quasi-ideological allegiances. Any critic who’s ever risked panning, say, a Christopher Nolan movie can tell you how uncannily the ensuing fanboy invective mimics Trump fans’ or Hillaryites’ or Sandersistas’ incredulous rage at any slight to their idols, not only in its vitriolic language but also in its assumption that no issue could be more important.

—p.8 by Tom Carson 1 year ago
9

Today’s TV landscape is also eerily devoid of anything resembling optimism. This is a telling and significant omission, since feel-good programming used to be the medium’s sometimes namby-pamby, sometimes energetic stock in trade. If our reigning doomsday genres qualify as escapist at all, it’s a very peculiar version of escapism—consoling people by creating imaginary worlds so freakish, violent, Machiavellian, and sinister that the real world’s terrors seem tame by comparison. It’s anyone guess whether this stuff is sublimating our fear of apocalypse or pacifying us by demonstrating that even the apocalypse will just be one more clever showbiz career move by Planet Earth—the ultimate superstar.

—p.9 by Tom Carson 1 year ago

Today’s TV landscape is also eerily devoid of anything resembling optimism. This is a telling and significant omission, since feel-good programming used to be the medium’s sometimes namby-pamby, sometimes energetic stock in trade. If our reigning doomsday genres qualify as escapist at all, it’s a very peculiar version of escapism—consoling people by creating imaginary worlds so freakish, violent, Machiavellian, and sinister that the real world’s terrors seem tame by comparison. It’s anyone guess whether this stuff is sublimating our fear of apocalypse or pacifying us by demonstrating that even the apocalypse will just be one more clever showbiz career move by Planet Earth—the ultimate superstar.

—p.9 by Tom Carson 1 year ago
10

It’s hard to imagine what the 1960s would have been like if TV viewers, flooded with nightly news reports of atrocities, emergencies, and horrors, had simultaneously been getting their entertainment jollies out of fantasy versions of the same atrocities, emergencies, and horrors. But that’s more or less the situation today. If contemporary TV has a unifying theme, it boils down to this: no refuge.

—p.10 by Tom Carson 1 year ago

It’s hard to imagine what the 1960s would have been like if TV viewers, flooded with nightly news reports of atrocities, emergencies, and horrors, had simultaneously been getting their entertainment jollies out of fantasy versions of the same atrocities, emergencies, and horrors. But that’s more or less the situation today. If contemporary TV has a unifying theme, it boils down to this: no refuge.

—p.10 by Tom Carson 1 year ago
11

Well before Trump came along to validate the conceit, The Walking Dead had added a mordant dimension of political parody to its original survival-of-the-fraughtest premise by introducing David Morrissey as “The Governor,” essentially a psychopath in messiah’s clothing. By now, the series dwells more on rival humanoid factions battling each other than it does on dispatching dull zombies, and the implicit joke is that they’re vying for supremacy in a wasteland that will never again resemble the U.S.A. they once knew. You couldn’t ask for a better preview of next year’s midterm elections.

—p.11 by Tom Carson 1 year ago

Well before Trump came along to validate the conceit, The Walking Dead had added a mordant dimension of political parody to its original survival-of-the-fraughtest premise by introducing David Morrissey as “The Governor,” essentially a psychopath in messiah’s clothing. By now, the series dwells more on rival humanoid factions battling each other than it does on dispatching dull zombies, and the implicit joke is that they’re vying for supremacy in a wasteland that will never again resemble the U.S.A. they once knew. You couldn’t ask for a better preview of next year’s midterm elections.

—p.11 by Tom Carson 1 year ago