What Adorno identified as the erasure of the “borderline between culture and empirical reality” is endemic on social media. The failure of Facebook to halt the proliferation of fake news during the campaign season should have surprised no one; the local hirelings of logic are too enamored of their algorithms—and of the revenue they generate—to intervene. From the start, Silicon Valley monopolies have taken a hands-off, ideologically vacant attitude toward the upwelling of ugliness on the Internet. A defining moment was the turn-of-the-century wave of music piracy, which did lasting damage to the idea of intellectual property. Fake news is an extension of the same phenomenon, and, as in the Napster era, no one is taking responsibility. Traffic trumps ethics.
television, movies, OR media dreams. Prewrite to narrow down your theme to a current issue in American popular culture that you would like to write about. (For
Shortly after the Presidential election, a small piece of good news came over the wire: the in Los Angeles has been saved. The house, which was built to Mann’s specifications, in the nineteen-forties, went on the market earlier this year, and it seemed likely to be demolished, because the structure was deemed less valuable than the land beneath it. After prolonged negotiations, the German government , with the idea of establishing it as a cultural center.
I have just received a letter from Messrs. Firth, Pond & Co., stating that they have copyrighted a new song of mine, but will not be able to issue it yet, owing to other engagements. This will give me time to send you the manuscript and allow you the privilege of singing it at least two weeks and probably a month before it is issued. If you will send me $10.00 immediately, I pledge myself as a gentleman of the old school to give you the manuscript. This song is certain to become popular as I have taken great pains with it. If you accept my proposition, I will make it a point to notify you hereafter whenever I have a new song and send the manuscript to you on the same terms, reserving to myself in all cases the exclusive privilege of publishing. I make this proposition to you because I am sure of the song’s popularity.
Germany, on the other hand, increasingly appears to be the strongest remaining bastion of liberal democracy. With the United Kingdom mired in the aftermath of Brexit, France facing a possible hard-right swerve, and Italy in disarray, the country that long stood as a synonym for nationalist insanity has so far resisted political and cultural regression. Tellingly, it has rejected the libertarian code of the big Silicon Valley companies, with their disdain for privacy, copyright, and limitations on hate speech. On the day after the American election, which happened to be the seventy-eighth anniversary of Kristallnacht, a neo-Nazi group in Berlin, titled “Jews Among Us.” Facebook initially refused to take down the post, but an outcry in the media and among lawmakers prompted its deletion. Such episodes suggest that Germans are less likely to acquiesce to the forces that have ravaged the American public sphere.
Reality television is a popular medium for the broadcast of American culture. One of the most prominent examples is Keeping up with the Kardashians which follows the family life of the Kardashian family. The show has developed a dedicated following internationally and has contributed to an idea of a glamorous American lifestyle that is practiced by the family. This reality show and other like it have contributed to a rise of celebrities who are “famous for being famous” (O’Rourke, 2011).
This was in an age of total confusion when it comes to music publishing and copyright and fair use. Apart from sacred, patriotic, and “classical” music, published popular songs were written either by gentleman amateurs in the English tradition (the first American pop song is, by legend, Francis Hopkinson’s unmemorable song of 1788, “My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free”) or by performers in need of material, like Rice and countless others. The money came from performances, and so there was no tradition or legal precedent for how royalties from songwriting alone would be made. ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, was not formed until nearly fifty years after Foster died, prompted in part by the legend of his struggle and his death, with only a few cents in his pocket.
Foster worked heroically to turn songwriting into a profession, but he never made much money from his songs, even after he moved to New York, in 1860, and the Civil War had brought patriotic tunes to the height of popularity. A letter that Foster wrote to the manager of Christy’s Minstrels, in 1851, shows the efforts he made:
focus on teenagers and popular culture influences. He has written lots of articles on these subjects that have been published in peer-edited journals; this is his
For this assignment, you will begin by selecting an object from pop culture (e.g., a film, a television program, an album, a book, or even a pop culture-themed event like a concert) that you are interested in and would like to know more about. Choose a subject whose value you would like to consider. You may value it highly and want others to know about it, or you may think that it is highly overrated and want others to see why.