reports are based on an ABC News interview with Juror B29, the sole
nonwhite juror. She has identified herself only by her first name,
Maddy. She’s been framed as the woman who was bullied out of voting to
convict Zimmerman. But that’s not true. She stands by the verdict. She
yielded to the evidence and the law, not to bullying. She thinks
Zimmerman was morally culpable but not legally guilty. And she wants us
to distinguish between this trial and larger questions of race and
ABC News hasn’t posted a full unedited video or transcript of the interview. The video that has been broadcast—on World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America—has
been cut and spliced in different ways, often so artfully that the
transitions appear continuous. So beware what you’re seeing. But the
video that’s available already shows, on closer inspection, that Maddy
has been manipulated and misrepresented. Here are the key points.
the recording heard by NBC viewers, Zimmerman appeared to volunteer the
information, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
out was the 911 dispatcher asking Zimmerman if the person he was
suspicious of was “black, white or Hispanic,” to which Zimmerman had
responded, “He looks black.”
Zimmerman and his attorneys have filed a lawsuit against NBC News for
the malicious editing of the 911 tape, what CNN did is far worse.
News was attempting to make Zimmerman look like a racial profiler. CNN,
on the other hand, was attempting to make Zimmerman look like an
enraged outright racist (there was no racial angle in ABC's fraud). It
also took CNN far longer to retract their story than either NBC or ABC.
Moreover, on its own airwaves, CNN would allow the complete fallacy that Zimmerman had said "fucking coon" to live on.
teeth doesn’t do justice to the painful viewing experience
accompanying this sort of news manufacture - making news from no news.
Even the daily palaver known as Changing the Guard was spun to look like
an integral prelude to the long-awaited arrival. And the waiting went
on, and on, and on, and the longer it went on, the more desperate and
dull the coverage became. Sometimes people complain about the high
salaries enjoyed by news presenters, especially the public service
variety, but by golly they earnt their crust trying, albeit failing, to
sustain the suspense.
is at the beginning of cinema, of course. It’s fundamental—because
cinema is created with light, and it’s still best seen projected in dark
rooms, where it’s the only source of light. But light is also at the
beginning of everything. Most creation myths start with darkness, and
then the real beginning comes with light—which means the creation of
forms. Which leads to distinguishing one thing from another, and
ourselves from the rest of the world. Recognizing patterns,
similarities, differences, naming things—interpreting the world.
Metaphors—seeing one thing “in light of” something else. Becoming
“enlightened.” Light is at the core of who we are and how we understand
Or consider the famous Stargate sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s monumental 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Narrative, abstraction, speed, movement, stillness, life, death—they’re
all up there. Again we find ourselves back at that mystical urge—to
explore, to create movement, to go faster and faster, and maybe find
some kind of peace at the heart of it, a state of pure being.
stormy forecasts, Hollywood appears to be too unwieldly or too
unwilling to shift direction towards smaller, cheaper pictures. Guests
at Comic-Con learned about upcoming studio productions including Pirates
of the Caribbean 5, Thor 2, Fantastic Four 3 and a reboot of Godzilla.
The director Joss Whedon came to the event to lament that "pop culture
is eating itself" and called for "new universes, new messages and new
icons". He then revealed the title of his next film to be Avengers: Age
after me: Edward Snowden is not the story. The story is what he has
revealed about the hidden wiring of our networked world. This insight
seems to have escaped most of the world's mainstream media, for reasons
that escape me but would not have surprised Evelyn Waugh, whose contempt
for journalists was one of his few endearing characteristics. The
obvious explanations are: incorrigible ignorance; the imperative to
personalise stories; or gullibility in swallowing US government spin,
which brands Snowden as a spy rather than a whistleblower.
video site is aiming to showcase some geek culture by pronouncing 4-10
August its first ever ‘Geek Week’ and promoting some of the genre’s top
channels which cover everything from sci-fi to comics, gaming and
superheroes. To do this, its own channel will be featuring videos from
users like Nerdist, the official Doctor Who channel, MinutePhysics and
more than a hundred others, with every day of the week hosted by a
different user. It’ll even include the first trailer for the new Thor
movie, The Dark World.
That said, things kept nagging me. Blackfish
does raise some valuable secondary issues - how SeaWorld markets
itself, how labor issues are at stake in addition to environmental ones -
but as a spectator I kept wanting the film to pursue lines of analysis
that it would suggest but never develop.
short, if there's an ur-ideology to the American progressive
documentary, it's that demand-side drivers of political situations
(Gramsci's hegemony, ideology, what have you) don't matter, it's merely
the supply side of oligopoly, big money, and corporate control. Or to be
less political, as a film scholar I can't help but notice than in a
film about the business of spectacle, the spectator is both crucial
(SeaWorld viewers provide the vital footage of the incidents) and
what of the YouTube creator? How has AdSense helped or hindered their
careers? In most cases, the advertising structure has been a blessing to
creators as it’s allowed them to launch careers solely through YouTube.
AdSense gave us a new type of celebrity for a new generation.
have had their fair share of AdSense woes in the past, though. Last
year, one of YouTube’s biggest names, Ray William Johnson, entered a very public dispute with Maker Studios.
Johnson claimed that Maker Studios was holding his AdSense account
“hostage” even after he had terminated his contract with them.
you watch big budget entertainments, there's no escaping these sorts of
moments. The trope familiar to the Scooby-Doo generation, in which a
few nagging uncertainties are resolved with a "there's just one thing I
don't understand" kickoff, has now become a motif. Characters must
constantly address questions on behalf of a too-curious audience awash
in complexly-plotted mega-stories. The movies are trying to plug leaks
in a boat before the whole thing sinks—never quite repairing it, but
doing just enough to get by.
What I’m talking about here is the unavoidable shift that occurs when content is remediated—that is, borrowed from one medium and reimagined in another. In this case, the content of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) is remediated to Game of Thrones, the
HBO television series. Some of the differences in this instance of
remediation seem pragmatic—remembrances are turned into scenes of their
own, dialogue is shortened, characters omitted or altered for the sake
of brevity and clarity. I am no purist, and I recognize that with
remediation comes necessary alteration for the content to suit the new
medium. But other differences speak volumes about our cultural biases
and expectations surrounding those with socially-othered bodies—like
Tyrion, Sam, and, of course, women. What can we say about these
differences? And perhaps more importantly, what do they say about us?
does it matter what Kubrick liked? For years I’ve enjoyed unearthing as
much information as I can about his favourite films and it slowly
became a personal hobby. Partly because each time I came across such a
film (usually from a newly disclosed anecdote – thanks internet! – or
Taschen’s incredible The Stanley Kubrick Archives book) I could use it
as a prism to reveal more about his sensibilities. My appreciation of
both him and the films he liked grew. These discoveries led me on
a fascinating trail, as I peppered them throughout the 11 existing
Kubrick features (not counting the two he disowned) I try to watch every
couple of years. I’m sure a decent film festival could be themed around
the Master List at the end of this article…
the Media Ecology Association has uploaded some videos from their
latest annual convention which was held in June. These include Dominique Scheffel-Dunand on canonic texts in media ecology and Lance Strate's talk "If not A, then E".