robertogreco + realitytv   9

OCCULTURE: 67. Carl Abrahamsson & Mitch Horowitz in “Occulture (Meta)” // Anton LaVey, Real Magic & the Nature of the Mind
"Look, I’m not gonna lie to you - we have a pretty badass show this time around. Carl Abrahamsson and Mitch Horowitz are in the house.

Carl Abrahamsson is a Swedish freelance writer, lecturer, filmmaker and photographer specializing in material about the arts & entertainment, esoteric history and occulture. Carl is the author of several books, including a forthcoming title from Inner Traditions called Occulture: The Unseen Forces That Drive Culture Forward.

Mitch Horowitz is the author of One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life; Occult America, which received the 2010 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence; and Mind As Builder: The Positive-Mind Metaphysics of Edgar Cayce. Mitch has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Salon,, and Politico. Mitch is currently in the midst of publishing a series of articles on Medium called "Real Magic".

And it is that series paired with Carl’s book that lays the foundation for our conversation here."
carlabrahamsson  mitchhorowitz  occult  culture  occulture  magic  belief  mind  ouijaboard  astrology  mindfulness  buddhism  religion  academia  antonlavey  materialism  mainstream  intellectualism  elitism  mindbodyspirit  2018  esotericism  authority  norms  nuance  change  enlightenment  popculture  science  humanities  socialsciences  medicine  conservatism  churches  newage  cosmology  migration  california  hippies  meaning  psychology  siliconvalley  ingenuity  human  humans  humannature  spirituality  openmindedness  nature  urbanization  urban  nyc  us  society  santería  vodou  voodoo  voudoun  climate  light  davidlynch  innovation  population  environment  meaningmaking  mikenesmith  californianideology  thought  thinking  philosophy  hoodoo  blackmetal  norway  beauty  survival  wholeperson  churchofsatan  satanism  agency  ambition  mysticism  self  stories  storytelling  mythology  humanism  beinghuman  surrealism  cv  repetition  radicalism  myths  history  renaissance  fiction  fantasy  reenchantment  counterculture  consciousness  highered  highereducation  cynicism  inquiry  realitytele 
february 2018 by robertogreco
TV’s Dwindling Middle Class - The New York Times
"Money worries and striving were part of the mainstream sitcom. Now most characters exist in a classless world."

"To the extent that TV has always been an advertisement for something, it was often an advertisement for the middle class: a job, a family, a home, products to put in it. But early sitcoms engaged with matters of aspiration and failure, and they were tied to work. If employment didn’t define a character from episode to episode, it sustained him (and it was usually a him). Some, like Jackie Gleason’s Brooklyn bus driver, Ralph Kramden, the human caldron of “The Honeymooners” (1955-56), had jobs. Some, like Dick Van Dyke’s Rob Petrie, the klutzy TV writer on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-66), had careers. Work, or the lack of it, slotted you into a clear socioeconomic class. Kramden’s dissatisfaction — he devoted a lot of time to hatching get-rich-quick schemes — became the tacit sadness of the “The Honeymooners.” It was the first rueful sitcom. Petrie had a suburban-New York living room that Kramden would have killed for.

By the 1960s, prime-time television was barely two decades old, and it was already a little nostalgic and class-neutral, broadcasting shows safely ensconced in either the suburbs or the distant past. But the decade’s relentless turmoil (civil rights, Vietnam, political assassinations, Watergate, feminism) demanded discourse. On TV, that conversation happened in the living rooms of the working class, middle class and working poor, on “All in the Family,” “Maude” and “Good Times,” each a creation of Norman Lear, each a demonstrable emblem of its characters’ social station. Archie Bunker (“All in the Family”) was a white foreman in Queens; Florida Evans (“Good Times”) was a sporadically unemployed black housekeeper in Chicago’s Near North Side projects. Bunker's armchair racism, sexism and all the rest wouldn’t seem to have anything to do with Evans's prideful despair. But the two shows dramatized their opposing dissatisfaction. Class was the perch from which to see who you were and were not, and from which members of the television audience could see who they were, too.

The discontent on those shows ran like a fuse through the 1970s into the late 1980s. The end of the Reagan era and start of the first Bush administration coincided with the arrival of “Married ... with Children” and “Roseanne,” a pair of long-running sitcoms about the white lower-middle class and working poor — the Bundys and Conners, respectively. The first was more bitterly toxic (my mother got a whiff of its vulgarity and forbade it) than the second. But each show descended from Lear’s righteous class consciousness. And each felt like a rebuke of the vertiginous affluence and physical beauty of soaps like “Dallas” and “Dynasty” and a rejoinder to the upper-middle-class comfort of “The Cosby Show.”"

"TV became — and still is — a medium struggling to understand “average,” “ordinary,” “normal.” When the economy began to tank in 2007, television was barely equipped to reflect the collapse, in part because the people who make shows were largely immune: They were well-compensated creatures of the entertainment industry, mostly unaffected by a shrinking economy. That disconnection sanitized TV against the complexities of race and class. Many sitcoms now are set in the places their creators know best: soundstages and writers’ rooms.

There is, currently, a diet version of the Huxtable-Conner dichotomy recurring on ABC. It pairs “The Middle,” about getting by in the heartland, with “Black-ish,” which asks whether prosperity dilutes blackness. But the network’s marquee show, “Modern Family,” a masterful machine that makes highly polished sitcommery, has so little to do with most modern families that its claim of modernity often feels like a joke.

People working for minimum wage or doing manual labor became the province of reality television shows like “Dirty Jobs” and “Undercover Boss,” which has company executives pretend to be employees. More than once, the revelations and class disjunction that emerge from the ruse have made me cry. We’re still some distance from “The King of Queens,” which was set at a UPS-like facility.

Watching “Modern Family,” “Two Broke Girls” and “Girls,” I often find myself asking what it even means to work. The characters on these shows, especially “Girls,” exist in an alternative realm — a kind of “whatever” class. Neurosis, there, is a condition of identity, not of social station. The work you do is on yourself. But after five seasons on HBO, even “Girls” suspects a problem. The show has always been a stealthily shrewd satire of Millennial life. Its characters’ relationship to work has ranged from nonexistent to insultingly indulgent. The triumph of the most recent season’s final episode is the glee it takes in thumbing its nose at gentrification in our neighborhoods and on TV. Flighty Shoshanna converts conscientious Ray’s empty cafe into a anti-hipster coffee shop. As the original owner, Hermie, goes on a tirade while pouring free coffee around the shop, you can see the place is busy with cops and nurses, the average-looking and the elderly, the solidly middle-class.

It’s a joke — if you’re not working, you’re not real — that doubles as a critique of both “Girls” itself and the cultural ravages of the hangout show, especially. Television is losing what work is and knows it. Sarah’s arousal by that old working man on “Horace and Pete” is a recognition that something primal has gone: the making, the doing that prove that we exist. We built this; we manufactured that. Those jobs are disappearing. The factories and mills and laundries are now lofts and cafes where characters sit around and talk — where all they do is hang out."
tv  television  us  class  wesleymorris  labor  inequality  realitytv  work  2016 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Permanent Recorder – The New Inquiry
"Reducing self-knowledge to matters of data possession and retention like that seems to be the natural bias of a property-oriented society; as consciousness can’t be represented as a substance than someone can have more or less of, therefore it doesn’t count. But self-knowledge may not be a matter of having the most thorough archive of your deeds and the intentions behind them. It is not a quantity of memories, an amount of data. The self is not a terrain to which you are entitled to own the most detailed map. Self-knowledge is not a matter of reading your own permanent record. It is not an edit of our life’s footage."

"But what if we use social media not for self-knowledge but for self-destruction? What if we use social media to complicate the idea that we could ever “know ourselves”? What if we use social media to make ourselves into something unknowable? Maybe we record the footage of our lives to define therein what the essence of our self isn’t. To the degree that identity is a prison, self-knowledge makes the cell’s walls. But self-knowledge could instead be an awareness of how to move beyond those walls.

Not everyone has the opportunity to cast identity aside any more than they have the ability to unilaterally assert self-knowledge as a form of control. We fall into the trap of trying to assert some sort of objectively “better” or more “accurate” identity that reflects our “true self,” which is only so much more data that can be used to control us and remold the identity that is assigned to us socially. The most luxurious and privileged condition may be one in which you get to experience yourself as endlessly surprising — a condition in which you hardly know yourself at all but have complete confidence that others know and respect you as they should."

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robhorning  socialmedia  2015  identity  self-knowledge  control  presentationofself  surveillance  capitalism  realitytv  forgetting  facebook  permanentrecord  permanentrecords  alanjacobs  audreywatters 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Lessons from the paperback revolution -
"…can’t help but imagine how Agel & Fiore would go about packaging a book today. So much about culture has turned porous; surely the range of multimedia possibilities would excite them to no end, resulting in books as radical as ones they produced over 40 years ago. Perhaps they would film a reality TV show based on the production of a book, inviting viewers to vote on book’s content, format, design, & title as an author, designer, & editor tried to work under such circumstances in a studio that also served as their living quarters?

Whatever the result of working w/ today’s tools, I’m sure they would not deviate from what had been their primary focus: the reader. Schnapp & Michaels locate common ground all these experimental paperbacks share in how they empower readers: “Even if this book is ‘by’ a major thinker, you will fill in the blanks, you connect the dots, you navigate the book forward or backward to find the tasty tidbits; look for the patterns, ideas, & story lines yourself."
marketing  1967  graphicdesign  graphics  design  realitytv  infromations  carlsagan  ideas  communication  jeromeagel  buckminsterfuller  electricinformationage  media  print  doubleday  pocketbooks  jacquelinesusann  bernardgeis  jeffreyschnapp  adammichaels  quentinfiore  marshallmcluhan  books  2012 
january 2012 by robertogreco
MAGIC MOLLY - Unrealistic shit
"Aspiring artists talk the way tenth graders compose Facebook profiles. “I’m really into lilies right now. And hermaphrodites.”
art  bravo  tv  television  realitytv 
june 2010 by robertogreco
The Pleasures of Imagination - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"So while reality has its special allure, the imaginative techniques of books, plays, movies, and television have their own power. The good thing is that we do not have to choose. We can get the best of both worlds by taking an event that people know is real and using the techniques of the imagination to transform it into an experience that is more interesting and powerful than the normal perception of reality could ever be. The best example of this is an art form that has been invented in my lifetime, one that is addictively powerful, as shown by the success of shows such as The Real World, Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Fear Factor. What could be better than reality television?"
psychology  culture  imagination  creativity  games  fun  fiction  fantasy  consciousness  brain  art  entertainment  emotion  play  empathy  escape  videogames  narrative  via:lukeneff  film  tv  television  reality  realitytv  storytelling  leisure  english  mind  writing  pleasure  behavior  science  paulbloom  humans 
june 2010 by robertogreco
getting yelled at by British people - a grammar
"I’m not sure how many of us would admit it, but we Americans still lug around the mindset of a colonized people...strangely clear is on reality television...Any American attempting the British mode risks getting hit with a classic American question: Who the hell does she think she is?...We tend not to know enough about them to undermine their authority on grounds of familiarity with their type or their class...Outside of really wide vocal disparities — a donnish voice versus a swearing Cockney or a ripe Scots — most of us don’t follow too many nuances of accent. If you are English and can string words together with any confidence, you will strike many people as somewhat professorial. We have an innate pedagogical response to the very accents themselves. All of which is totally not-new and just so transparently colonial. For a plucky swaggering live-free-or-die upstart of a nation, we remain oddly cowed by the British in matters of intellect and propriety."
language  culture  accents  us  british  realitytv  pedagogy  society  tcsnmy  chandler  intellect  colonialism 
december 2009 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Magazine | Welcome to the school run by teens
"What happens when teenagers are given a chance to set up and run their own school - will it be academic excellence or anarchy all round?"
education  children  learning  teens  schooling  schools  sociology  politics  democracy  alternative  reform  change  lcproject  media  realitytv  television  tv  documentary  deschooling 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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