[Air-L] Post article

Tuszynski, Stephanie stuszyn at UTNet.UToledo.Edu
Mon Dec 17 14:10:39 PST 2007

I remember back when "Buffy" was starting to get a lot of media attention and they were writing about how "devoted" the fans were, I just wanted to dig my head into the sand to muffle my "GO AWAY" screaming. "You all looked so normal!" Oy.

There's nothing like reading a news story intended to appeal to a large swath of the population who do not and will never know a lot about your particular interest that summarizes something you think of in deeply nuanced terms into a breezy chunk of text that can be easily read while chewing a donut and sipping hot coffee. 

As I've complained/boasted before, if you go into the library and search for books related to our field, your results are likely to crop up all over the place - English/language studies, comm, philosophy, sociology, anthro, law, and on and on. I always thought that was the *good* part about being one of these silly, well-fed, ivory-tower academics frittering her time away trying to make my farking around on the internet sound like a legitimate research agenda and chatting with that tiny circle of people that I cite incessantly  (where's my sarcasm font tag?)

danah - As others have said, this is not your fault. The reporter was looking to fit her framework and no matter how accurate you were when you spoke, anything you said was going to be made to fit the frame. 

Case in point: I did a phone interview with a reporter about the WGA strike a couple weeks ago. I spent the entire interview thinking to myself "keep your foot out of your mouth!" while trying to make the point that the WGA strike is about a lot more than just the writers. But when the reporter asked me what I felt was a fairly whiny question ("What would you say to someone who says they're entitled to have their new tv shows?") I snapped "Well, I'd tell them to pick up a book." I *knew* as soon as I said it that it would be the last line of the article, because that's exactly how journalists think and it would fit the "professors privileging real art over entertainment" framework, even if I'm a film professor. 

And darned if I wasn't right. At least my students found it amusing.

Stephanie Tuszynski
Visiting Assistant Professor of Film
Departments of Theatre, Film and Music
University of Toledo

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