Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Sky Is Bigger There

Many of us concur, in general, with what Simon Pegg's character says in Spaced:
"Skip to the end."
So here, I have.

V. Conclusion

The conclusion?
I conclude that this post illustrates how much time blogging takes:
It took me three hours to write this post, insofar as it's "written," which is very little. Let's say compiled.
No, knitted. Definitely, knitted.

It's the sort of background work, like yarn shopping, that goes into having a well-rounded opinion, or a really nice scarf.
Or it's just silliness.
Whichever, I loved every minute of it.

I. How do you decide to add a blog to your blogroll?

Besides the obvious (written by a friend), I use the ISCOMK gatekeeper:
That is, did it make me laugh so "I Sprayed Coffee on My Keyboard"?

I've been reading Wende's blog The Sky Is Bigger There off and on, since I followed up one of her smart wack-o comments on Already Pretty, but I finally had to link to her blog after today's post, which lists Ten Twelve Fourteen A Bunch of Signs that Your Fan Base May Be a Tad Over-Educated.

Specifically after item #4, which induced the coffee-spraying spasm:
And three weeks later [after reading your fan mail], you're still not sure what your smile has in common with something the Economist said about Turkmenistan. Except that by now, whatever-it-is has blown up.

II. "star trek, adorno*, knitting..."

Pending inclusion on the blogroll is: CorrenteWire: Boldy Shrill..., by a team of eight (or is it thirteen?) bloggers.

I came across it googling "Star Trek knitting." A comment titled "star trek, adorno, knitting...i think i'm in love" led me to the post: Things That Suck and Things That Don't Suck.

That post mentions Adorno but not Star Trek or knitting...those come in follow-up comments. *sigh of pleasure* I love when ideas wander around, bumping into each other like this.

Team blogging ususally puts me off: it's hard to get a handle on so many voices; but I'll check back on Corrente because the comments on this post also included this:

DS9 [Star Trek: Deep Space 9] was the high point... [of the Star Trek franchise]
Submitted by cg.eye on Sat, 2008-08-02 13:31.
"...because it emphasized that although the Federation outsourced its economic and warrior tasks to other species, the galaxy kept on keeping on, and kept on having complications that an utopian Earth could not solve alone."

Which I found very exciting:
We didn't solve Earth's problems: we outsourced them!

[I found the image of the videogame based on DS9's Dominion Wars between the Federation (Capt. Kirk's hometeam) and the Dominion (slimy evil aliens, who are even more Not Us than Klingons) here.]

This outsourcing idea seems right to me.
As I've written elsewhere, the common interpretion of Star Trek's appeal as being the show's optimism is too easy, too simplistic.
Not that's not part of it, but I believe the larger comfort Star Trek provides is to normalize our human--and specifically Western--p.o.v. by making it literally Universal.

Anywhere our Star Trek friends go in the Universe, they encounter our same stupid human problems--prejudice, war, hair in your food--so maybe the problems are not so stupid!

Wrong. They are.
But how comforting to think otherwise.

III. * Adorno

OK, so Adorno, Max Pensky tells me was "a leading member of the famous Frankfurt School of critical social theory, Adorno influenced current discussions in cultural studies and Continental philosophy."

I am not sure where Star Trek comes into it, but Wikipedia's Adorno entry says, "Many aspects of Adorno's work are relevant today and have been developed in many strands of contemporary critical theory, media theory, and sociology."

IV. Media Theory? Let's Check Henry Jenkins!

A Search of Star Trek-loving Jenkins's blog "Confessions of an Aca/Fan" (on my blogroll) leads me to the post Behind the Scenes: Beautiful Things in Popular Culture (Part One), Jenkins's interview with Alan McKee, editor of Beautiful Things, who warns against falling into...

"...lazy thinking about art being superior to mass culture.
I blame Adorno. [italics mine] I mean, you read his work on 'The culture industry', and it's so obvious that he doesn't know anything about popular culture, he's never consumed any popular culture - in fact, it seems like he's never even spoken to anybody who's ever consumed any popular culture!"

And here I have reached a bit of a dead end because I have not read Adorno. I must rectify this.

The End is the beginning.


Rudyinparis said...

A star, a rose bush, an early spring turnip, three varieties of insect, four deep-sea creatures, a fossil, a theory of non-Euclidean geometry, and a type of mold have all been named after you.

And I discovered them all!

fresca said...

R: Did you spit out your coffee?
I thought of you when I read Wende's "thoughts" on Library Journal!

evve said...

Clearly this sort of knitted post.

fresca said...

Stop, stop! That Moebius scarf is tooooo tempting, philosophically and materially, and I am resisting like mad learning to knit.
No, really, I love that you found a picture of what I was talking about. Thanks!