Monday, 11 January 2016

Nostalgia is powerful: a reaction to Eisenstein



Nostalgia is a power feeling.

The Big Bang Theory's Sheldon is overwhelmed with the nostalgic appeal of text-based games.  Humans are sentimental creatures, so as long as we can remember a world before iPods and Instagram, we will yearn for it.

The idea that new developments will always supersede older technology is an oversimplification. While technology companies like Apple work in planned obsolescence, they can not totally control the whims of the consumer.

The willingness of companies to pander to this nostalgia is evident in pop culture trends. Look no further than Netflix's revival of Full House, The Magic School Bus and Gilmore Girls. It's not just TV production companies that are cashing in. Check out how one company is resurrecting Hydrox cookies.

In Eisenstein's words, "long-enduring habits of mind" keep us in this loop of re-invention. It's not hard to find evidence of this. Indeed, in these first weeks of 2016, people across North America are pledging to shed their old skins, totally forgetting how they failed those same resolutions a year ago.

As Elizabeth Eisenstein alludes, since the invention of the Kindle, futurists have been heralding the end of print books. However, statistics from December 2015 show that sales of the e-book are leveling out while sales of print books are trending upwards.

References:

Kestenbaum, D. [producer]. (2015, September 18). Episode 652: The Hydrox Resurrection. Retrieved January 11, 2016, from http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/09/18/441546748/episode-652-the-hydrox-resurrection.

Regan, M.D. (2015, December 15).Why print book sales are rising, and books are getting longer. Retrieved January 11, 2016, from http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/2015/1221/Why-print-book-sales-are-rising-and-books-are-getting-longer.

TheDeepEnd666. (2011, April 1). Big bang theory - Sheldon playing text adventures (video file). Retrieved January 11, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCpr_QHAqks.





13 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. Hi again, I've been mulling over the limits and have done extensive googling as I've never personally come across limits on the length of a post or comment but this is what I have found:

      "Size of Posts: Individual posts do not have a specific size limit, but very large
      posts may run you up against the page size limit. (See the next item.)
      Size of Pages: Individual pages (the main page of your blog, or your archive
      pages) are limited to 1 MB in size. This will allow for a few hundred pages of text,
      but it may be a problem if you are listing hundreds of posts on the front page of
      your blog. If you hit this limit, you will see an error message saying "006 Please
      contact Blogger Support." You can get around this error by lowering the number of
      posts on your main page, which will have the added benefit of making your page
      load faster as well."

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    5. Hi Raquel,

      I'll admit that I'm not familiar with Adorno, but in efforts to respond, I did some cursory reading. I’m afraid Adorno's The Cultural Industry is not accessible through the online library, so I used an encyclopedia entry as reference.

      Regarding your comment:

      (blockquote) I don’t believe we control the culture industry by/with our demands for nostalgia. The culture industry is a medium of undreamed of psychological control. We’ve been trained. (/blockquote)

      I like to think I have agency when it comes to my cultural consumption. I am quite a sentimental person, thus the argument about nostalgia. Perhaps I should call myself a Marxist, because I don’t entirely buy into Adorno’s approach.

      While this is less academic than Adorno, I'll refer you to Blake Snyder's approach to screenwriting. He contends that a story can be broken into ten types: "dude with a problem", "golden fleece", "buddy love", "institutionalized", "rites of passage", "superhero", "out of the bottle", "monster in the house", "the fool triumphant", and "whydunit".

      Furthermore, Snyder says all movies can be divided into “beats”. This breaks up the story into three acts, each with five beats. Here’s a break-down of the recent Ridley Scott movie The Martian.
      (Link: http://www.savethecat.com/beat-sheet/the-martian-beat-sheet)

      Obviously, this explanation of the story is simplistic, but it works for me: I have been using Snyder's guidelines as I pen my first work of fiction.

      Raquel, it also ties into your blog post from this week and your reference to holism.

      References:

      Snyder, B. (2005). Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. Michael Wiese Productions.

      Zuidervaart, L. Theodor W. Adorno. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2015 ed.). Link: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/adorno/




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  2. Just a quick note: yes, I agree that Blogger is annoying in that we can't included HTML in our comments...I'm not too sure why that is.

    And odd about the possessive error...it's like an incorrect robotic auto correct....

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  4. That is super strange. I feel like this is a challenge...we need to figure it out! There are no settings that I can control from my access to blogger....other than allow comments etc.
    And blogger used to allow bold, italic and underline....soooo odd.

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  5. My right align is pretty funky? Good trick (have no idea how that happened).

    I'm not pasting from anywhere...I'm writing into the text box. When I do paste, I do it from a text edit programme.

    Just wondering about that HTML code cleaner...in the cleaning process perhaps it loses some of the attributes (like the apostrophe etc)?

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