You Say You Want a Revolution?
September 18, 2008
My course with a digital-presence, Media Praxis—one that focuses upon the historical, ethical and theoretical underpinnings of revolutionary media practices while attempting to find their legacy on-line—has left me feeling a bit discombobulated: what with my uncharacteristic fervor about this upcoming election (I’m hosting a Moveon Obama Party this weekend), and my ongoing media “work” as a digital pundit thinking about YouTube, and the fact that while much of the new media we study may be innovative, political, or even counter-cultural, I can’t say it’s precisely revolutionary. I must face it, I find myself in 2008 engaging in embedded projects of political reconciliation or explication or accomadation or penetration. Revolution? Bah.
So, what do I teach from these Marxist tracts of yore, and their truly inspirational film companions? How does one teach Marxist theories without scare-quotes around half of the content, and one saddly cynical eye to the present and the other weeping nostalgically for the past? What are we hoping for? Can we even be said to be fighting?