[Air-L] the case for critical commons

jeremy hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Sat Jan 23 06:35:59 PST 2010

I can understand that Steve, I also understand that people can suspend belief and think critically.  I didn't say they should forgo their Hitler knowledge, all i said was that it wasn't the key part for this analysis or understanding, that the same effect could have been obtained with other figures, even nonsensical ones, so long at they provided the right emotional arc.   I understand what Christian is saying, but we disagree fundamentally on what is important in this detournement.   For instance, let me point to another classic detournement... 'Can Dialectics Break Bricks'   One could argue that the movie there is significant, the narrative, the characters, etc.   but I think there again, the argument is wrong, because the importance of the movie there is its staged emotions and violence and how again that relates to the words.  just because we can bring more contexts into something, doesn't mean they matter for that thing, because the clip is defined by much more than the audience's knowledge, and once we are aware of the whole history and context of the clip, that it is a meme, that it is playing off a clear tradition, that there are many examples doing the same thing similarly, then we can start to say what it is.  I think when you do that, you realize that the Nazi's and their politics fall out, and if you were to make an argument  and publish it relying on the analogies of nazi's and evil, you should be prepared to have that paper rejected, though you could send it somewhere and get it published, but the basis of the rejection would probably be... 'author unfamiliar with object of study'.   a length of wood is just a length of wood unless it is standing in a bucket labeled shovel handles, then it stands a fair chance of being a shovel handle, but it cold just be a 2x4, but try to use it as a shovel handle and voila...   

On Jan 22, 2010, at 11:05 PM, Steve Eskow wrote:

> <<The clip has nothing to do with Nazi's or evil or censorship. >>
> Jeremy, can you not understand that for many people a picture of Hitler evokes other pictures--of   bodies stacked in orderly rows, of emaciated Jews, of the death of loved ones in war---and that you cannot summon the language and logic of memes to tell such people that they should not see such images?
> That is: for some of us a picture of Hitler or of a lynching or a rape cannot be transformed by memetics into humor.
> Steve Eskow

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