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New Media We Recommend

October 5, 2011

Below is a list of new materials that we have read/watched in recent weeks. The comments are not a “review” of the material, instead sort of an endorsement of ideas and investigations that can provide solid analysis and even inspiration in the struggle for change. All these items are available at The Bloom Collective, so check them out and stimulate your mind.

Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, by Gregory Sholette – Artist and activist Greg Sholette presents a compelling critique of a shift in the motivation and production of art, particularly in New York. Sholette argues that the labor of artists and art production is more and more a part of business development and corporate culture. Dark Matter looks at how enterprise culture gentrified sections of Manhattan. Juxtaposed with this cooptation of art the author presents numerous examples of grassroots artists and visual campaigns they engaged in to communicate their angst over how art was being used for corporate profit.

Climate Cover – Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, by James Hoggan – Climate Cover – Up exposes the well funded and well organized effort on the part of some sectors to deny that global warming is one of the main issues of this generation. Hoggan looks at the role that Think Tanks, academia, politicians, media pundits and the capitalist class play in a campaign to distort and deny the truth about global warming. The author also presents information on astroturf groups, which are essentially fake front groups for big business, that pose as citizens groups attempting to present “the other side” in the debate on climate change. In some ways, the information contained in this book has been dealt with by other authors, but Hoggan presents this alarming information in a very readable fashion.

Breaking the Code of Good Intentions: Everyday Forms of Whiteness, by Melanie Bush – For people who are grappling with the issue of White Privilege and liberal responses to racism, Melanie Bush’s book is an invaluable read. The author looks at some of the subtle and institutional ways in which White Privilege and “whiteness” is manifested in American society. The book weaves historical information with contemporary analysis to tackle a subject that many people are unwilling to confront. Even though the book was written in 2004, it is still highly relevant particularly in the supposed “post-racial” era.

The BroCode: How Contemporary Culture Creates Sexist Men (DVD) – This new MEF documentary takes a hard look at how men are socialized into viewing women as sexual objects. Narrated by filmmaker Thomas Keith, the film uses lots of examples from contemporary media culture to demonstrate how pervasive the messages are to boys and men about what their attitudes are towards women. The film is broken up into four sections: Train Men to Womanize; Immerse Men in Porn; Make Rape Jokes and Obey the Masculinity Cops. The BroCode is an important educational tool for anyone high school age and up, but is a particularly important tool for men to view to get them to talk about and examine their own sexist behaviors.

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