Saturday, June 17, 2006

Consuming and Producing Media

I had a pleasant day, spent most of it reading Babylon 5 -- Legions of Fire: The Long Night of Centauri Prime. Reached the halfway point in it, so I don't have much criticism of it, other than I really looked forward to pick it up tomorrow for more and to see what happens between Babylon 5 Season 5 before the last episode, A Call to Arms and the time traveling episode in Season 3. Further criticism will have to wait until tomorrow or some other time.

For now, though, I want to address my thoughts on the consumption and production of media, especially social media like blogs, dating sites, discussion boards, etc. etc. I also want to include, however: news, literary criticism, comics, TV, movies and other works of creativity.

Quick note: I will cheat again, today, in not directly discussing Charlie Jade or utopianism directly. I may touch on these topics, however, in the way that media can influence us -- as was even demonstrated to some degree in Babylon 5 -- Legions of Fire: The Long Night of Centauri Prime and the consequences to those who hold authority in a society. I can't say, for sure, but I could possibly touch on those aspects.

I will also make a warning that I only plan on writing an exploratory essay rather than say anything definitive, as I might do in any literary criticism or anything about utopianism.

Let me start with a statement: producing media requires consuming media or experience.

Another state to throw out there: with the phenomena of intertextuality, consuming and thinking about media affects how we consume more media. How these effects occur really depends on each individual case (the effect of one work can be so strong that it creates skepticism of some later -- or possibly previous -- work or experience while it could also bisociate together to create a whole different conclusion).

To connect to Charlie Jade and utopianism, I will state that the control of media can control the minds of people and how they relate media and experience intertextuality.

But I mainly want to focus mainly on the balance of consuming and producing media and experience.

Right now, because of my recent spate of spending too much in front of the computer and not enough time with consuming non-computer media and experience, I want to start with something I saw on the only episode of Shalom in the Home that I've ever seen.

The father in the family spends a lot of time behind a video camera or digital camera, recording his son. He even tries to have the kid pose for the camera, so he can put it on the Internet or watch in the future to enjoy the experience again. The rabbi tells the guy that he needs to get out from behind the camera and have more direct experience with his kid. Supposedly, one reason for the kid misbehaving comes from his father not having direct experience with him and also because he has learned that he will get attention if he acts for the family.

I have a tendency to take pictures of our cats a lot, but it doesn't necessarily seem to be a problem for some reason. They behave around me and even try to cuddle with me and spend time with me. A lot of the time, I even feel guilty that I don't spend enough time with them because I spend a lot of time on the computer, trying to get "underground" news I receive out to people, looking for work and, lately, blogging, whether that means writing in my own or checking out other people's.

At the same time, I don't feel as I'm really writing anything original, other than maybe stuff about Charlie Jade or utopianism, both topics which SOOOOOOOOO attract people's rapturous interest, as shown by the lack of discussion. I don't really produce much for original news, announcements, reviews and not necessarily views. And kind of annoyingly, a lot of the non-original stuff gets most of the attention. Does that mean I have "original" connections to information that other people don't have?

Now, as much as I do complain a little (I would really like to get my fiction, academic or whatever original production career going, except that I have many extrinsic motivation and other intrinsic motivation factors getting in the way) about not getting enough attention on my blog or in any other media, I mainly get frustrated with the work it takes to balance extrinsic survival factors along with consuming media, producing it, marketing it and also spending important time with the fiancee, cats and other people in my social network, like friends and family.

On that note, I'll finish tonight's entry because I want to get some direct experience with the fiancee and cats.

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