Thursday, 18 October 2007

Cultural Studies (and personal blogs for that matter) Attacked By The National Post

When we get to the point as a society that the value of cultural studies research is getting evaluated by journalist media types, who let's face it, salaries are paid for by Kraft on some level, I think we all need to take a moment and consider the path that we are going down.

I wanted then to bring some attention then to the homophobic and frankly somewhat stupid article Lex Luther hearts Superman Your Tax Dollars At Work by Robert Fulfred in the National Post.

And then the response of the accused, Dr. Jess Battis' which is found here on his blog.

To give you the nutshell of Fulfred's argument, he thinks our tax dollars are being wasted on the study of Leave It To Beaver and I Love Lucy. Of course, his arguments are inflammatory but also show a lack of understanding of these types of media studies in general. Worse however, in my mind, is also the journalists dismissive comments about Dr. Battis, based on the fact that the Dr. has a personal blog that Mr. Fulfred thinks is mock worthy - in his words:

"...Battis, who chronicles his life through a blog, comes across as gormless, in the sense of foolish, lacking sense and discernment. He chatters endlessly about difficulty negotiating the New York subway and fills us in on his liking for chocolate soy milk and cornbread muffins: "I need nothing else to survive."

Yep those stupid blogs. Those same stupid blogs that will likely cause Mr. Fulford to eventually lose his job at the post as more and more people choose to get information not necessarily sponsored by Coke.

As someone who believes in the ever growing value of cultural studies in our always on 24/7 media hungry world, certainly the last thing we should accept as Canadians are those very studies to be judged by the same media the academics often critique. It's an imbalance that is unacceptable and politics should play no role in the delineation of federal funds for things like SSHRC.

Let me finish up with the last paragraph of Battis' response for Fulfred:

"Thanks as well for drawing more attention to my teaching, which currently focuses on gender and sexuality within television cultures. Since far more youth watch Leave It To Beaver rather than reading the National Post, their global engagement with television is one of the most crucial areas of media scholarship today. Incidentally, what are you watching on TV at the moment? I love The Wire. It's about media surveillance, racism and homophobia. You should check it out."

Nuff said.

7 comments:

Robert said...

hey leigh, Iäm here in Estonia and living the cultural experience. send us a message. This is my cousins sonäs computer. his name is Robert Ubner and he is 18 years old. Hope to hear from you. Having a ball! YOUR MOTHER, MERIKE

Leigh said...

Hi Mom,

i guess this is one way to get in touch. or you could alwasy use my email~!

anyway glad your having fun....

:)

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