There is a fundamental disconnect between large-scale, for-profit media and the crushing power of enthusiasm, which is that when they try to control it, it instantly isn't real. It's patently unreal. It's excitement given life by force, Pet Sematary-style.
But when they don't control it, it isn't profitable. And that means that when they run into people excited about their stuff, they vacillate between an Ebenezerian lack of generosity and a Professor-Harold-Hillian smarm. To own enthusiasm and to exploit it are competing instincts, much as they often seem to be twins. You can, in fact, sometimes best exploit it — or only exploit it — by leaving it alone.
-- In what could be considered a Metafilter Manifesto, Mefi's own Linda Holmes
takes on the multivariate economics of fandom and the internet.
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Dec 20, 2013 -
"You live now, Adam Ant
, as you have lived many times throughout history, fighting evil wherever you may find it!"
posted by scody
on Dec 19, 2013 -
Ruby-Strauss learned his craft working for the notorious Judith Regan, in whose shadow all lowbrow publishing still operates. In college at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he had been a comp-lit major who scoffed when friends talked up popular sci-fi books. “I was too pretentious,” he says. “I was reading Camus.” (A far way from that to Tucker Max, I noted. “Is it?” he replied.) Under Regan, he came to appreciate the simpler beauty of “books that sell.” He acquired a book by shock-rock star Marilyn Manson and then a series of pro-wrestling books, still his highest-selling titles ever. He once took Regan to a match, where he remembers her looking around the arena and declaring happily of the crowd, “You could sell them blank pages!”
(SLNewRepublic) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Oct 23, 2013 -
"I know the only reason you wear those cargo shorts is to get my attention, okay? I'm not buying it."
Ladies, I'm sure you've noticed them on the Internet: Fake Nerd Boys
-- a brief rant on the impending demise of a proud but beleaguered subculture. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude
on Jun 14, 2013 -
A lovely recollection of pop-culture mentors, and finding culture pre-internet.
"Uncle Mike didn’t play D&D; paintball battles in the Everglades were more his thing. But for the next few years he kept passing along books he’d finished, including 1984’s Dragons Of Autumn Twilight. The first installment of the D&D-based Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, it’s by no means a classic in the genre. But it helped solidify my devotion to what would eventually be called geek culture. Back then, the term would have been meaningless to me. And it would have made my macho Uncle Mike laugh his ass off."
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard
on May 31, 2013 -
For generations both societies lived apart from humanity, united in their common experience as outcasts. But as so often happens when downcast but fanatical groups find themselves in the ascendancy, today their factionalism is exposed
and the rivalry has erupted into open conflict
. [more inside]
posted by GhostintheMachine
on Feb 28, 2013 -
"In the 1950s
, a DJ named Jean Shepherd
hosted a late-night radio show on New York's WOR that was unlike any before or since. On these broadcasts, he delivered dense, cerebral monologues, sprinkled with pop-culture tidbits and vivid stretches of expert storytelling. 'There is no question that we are a tiny, tiny, tiny embattled minority here,' he assured his audience in a typical diatribe. 'Hardly anyone is listening to mankind in all of its silliness, all of its idiocy, all of its trivia, all of its wonder, all of its glory, all of its poor, sad, pitching us into the dark sea of oblivion.' Shepherd's approach was summed up by his catchphrase: a mock-triumphant 'Excelsior!', followed by an immediate, muttered 'you fathead ... '" (via
) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Feb 15, 2013 -
In the long history of love songs the attention of a beautiful woman has been compared to many things – but perhaps only in Pakistan's tribal belt would it be likened to the deadly missile strike of a remotely controlled US drone.
posted by infini
on Nov 11, 2012 -
On Kate Moss, and Taking One for the Team
: "So, earlier this week Vanity Fair published a rare interview with Moss, in which the model, who is well-known for her circumspection, is unusually frank about the early years of her career. Moss was still a skinny, gangly teenager when she was plucked from mediocrity in Croydon and catapulted to superstardom. She was barely an adult, almost still a child, when she did her first topless photo shoot, with Corinne Day for The Face. In the interview, she talks about how uncomfortable this made her... This isn't the only the only revelation Moss made during the interview. It also turns out that the famous Calvin Klein campaign she did in 1992 with Mark Wahlberg gave her a nervous breakdown... Conveniently ignoring the fact that when the pictures were taken, Moss wasn't 'the face of the '90s', but a skinny teenage girl who cried because she was made to take her clothes off, Needham continues by saying that Moss' skinny frame 'seemed to encapsulate the euphoria of those long-distant times.'" [more inside]
posted by flex
on Nov 5, 2012 -
Vulture's Top 25 Most Devoted Fan Bases
: "Vulture has scanned the great plains of pop culture, weighing passion versus mere popularity to decide the 25 Most Devoted Fans of entertainment, which kicks off our weeklong exploration of all things Fandom. It's important to underscore that this list is not about mere numbers — it’s about fervency." [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd
on Oct 15, 2012 -
At 16, she published her first book
, started writing for Melody Maker
, and won the Observer Young Reporter Of The Year competition
, and they gave her a column. At 17, she "skipped ship" over to The Times
, and has been writing there since. U2 filmed a video in her house at 18
, when she was co-presenting on the short-lived Naked City
program, interviewing Björk
, Iggy Pop
, and others
. Caitlin Moran won the British Press
Awards' Columnist of The Year award in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011, and Glamour Magazine's Writer of the Year award in 2012
. The last award was in large part for her book How To Be a Woman
, her mission from God to reclaim feminism, though it was more in the lines of The Blues Brothers: crashing a lot of cars, and having a hoot
. The "British Tina Fey" talks about contemporary sexual issues such as slut walks
, pop culture, clothing and women, abortion, having the sex talk
, and why "it's actually technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism"
posted by filthy light thief
on Sep 9, 2012 -
A Transparent Attempt to Explain the Economics Behind Running a Pop-Culture Website and the Need to Run Intrusive Advertising The thing about display ads is that you are paid for about what they are worth, which is to say: $.30 per 1,000 impressions. Most people barely even notice them, so advertisers are not willing to pay you very much to run them...Instead, we have to use intrusive ads which are paid on a much larger scale, approximately $7.00 per 1,000 impressions. So, if a site like ours generates 100,000 impressions, that should be $700 a day. Awesome. We should be rich, right? Not so much. Pajiba previously
. [via Slashfilm
posted by mediareport
on Apr 22, 2012 -
How well do you really know old Arty? It all began with the Welsh: The The Annales Cabriae (inside) and parts of the Welsh oral tradition (later collected into the Mabinogion
) give a very different picture of the popular King Arthur than contemporary readers are familiar with: no Lancelot, three or four different Guens, no love triangles or Holy Grails. A look at the vast scope of the Arthurian legend. [more inside]
posted by kittenmarlowe
on Dec 19, 2011 -