Virtues, Vices, and MediaPractices: Towards aNormative Framework forCultural PolicyBenjamin WooSchool of CommunicationSimon Fraser University
Virtues, Vices, and Media-oriented Practices: Towards aNormative Framework forCultural PolicyBenjamin WooSchool of CommunicationSimon Fraser University
The gap between textually-based studies and policycannot be bridged merely by further refinements intheories of representation, in new understandings ofthe audience or the “progressive text,” or in notions ofsub-cultural resistance.Stuart Cunningham, “Cultural Studies from theViewpoint of Cultural Policy,” in Critical CulturalPolicy Studies: A Reader, ed. Justin Lewis andToby Miller (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), 19.
I guess that’s something that I dovalue because I miss it in some ofthe communities that I’m a part ofright now, some of the fannishcommunities. I respect the [Societyfor Creative Anachronism] for beingquite strong on that.On what aspect of that,specifically? Support?On support, on commitment ... onobligations, duty, advancement,excellence.“Barry,” SF fan and re-creationist
One example of a character thatcurrently is popular is Deadpool.However, they’re doing what in thepast they’ve done and has been kindof a dangerous thing to do: they’reflooding the market with Deadpoolproducts. There are comics that don’teven feature Deadpool in the story,but they’ll make a special variantcover for that comic that hasDeadpool on it just to get theDeadpool people to buy it, whichis ... I don’t want to use tooderogatory a term, but I guess there’sno real nice way to put it: It’s low.“Donald,” comic-bookstore owner
Yeah, science-fiction, fantasy. But noTwilight.No?I’m sorry, but glowing vampires arewrong. They sparkle in the sun.I hear theyre like crack, though.((laughs)) I don’t care. It’s just wrong.“Diana,” gamer and SF fan
• A “particular mode of reception” and a “particular set of critical and interpretive practices” Jenkins, Textual Poachers, (London: Routledge, 1992), 277–78. Henry Jenkins“Participatory culture”
• A “particular mode of reception” and a “particular set of critical and interpretive practices” Jenkins, Textual Poachers, (London: Routledge, 1992), 277–78. • Play, performance, simulation, and transmedia navigation Jenkins et al., Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture Henry Jenkins (Cambridge, MA: The MIT“Participatory culture” Press, 2009), xiv.
• A “particular mode of reception” and a “particular set of critical and interpretive practices” Jenkins, Textual Poachers, (London: Routledge, 1992), 277–78. • Play, performance, simulation, and transmedia navigation Jenkins et al., Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture Henry Jenkins (Cambridge, MA: The MIT“Participatory culture” Press, 2009), xiv. • Appropriation Jenkins et al., Confronting Participatory Culture, xiv.
• “Fandom functions as an alternative social community.” Jenkins, Textual Poachers, 280.• R.W. Connell, “Hegemonic masculinity”/“emphasized femininity”
I had all but given up hope that any man wouldaccept me as an intellectual equal. But most malefans did[....] That fact alone made fandom seemvery progressive in America in the ’50s.Juanita Coulson, “Why is a Fan?,” in ScienceFiction Fandom, ed. Joe Sanders (Westport, CT:Greenwood Press, 1994), 7.
• Goods related to interpretation• Goods related to alternative forms of sociability
Just as the good life for an individual depends onher subordination of external to internal goods ratherthan her accumulation of external goods for theirown sake, so too does the good of practices—andtherefore of individuals as practitioners—require thatmoney, power and authority be organized for thesake of goods internal to practices rather thansubstituted for their pursuit. A teleological orderingof social relations would subordinate institutions topractices.Kelvin Knight, “After Tradition?: Heidegger orMacIntyre, Aristotle and Marx,” Analyse & Kritik 30(2008), 44.
Other 8% Sponsorships Govt grants 5% 22% Gallery Store 17%Investment income 3% Admissions and memberships 22% Fundraising and bequests 20% Exhibition loan fees 3%
They were going, “Oh, you get all this space freeand you can have this and this and this.” It’s like, “Allright, that sounds good,” and I’m waiting for theother shoe to drop, which they didn’t drop until justbefore the thing, which was, “Oh, we don’t actuallyhave any tables. You have to rent all these tables,and you have to set them up because our unionguys won’t set them up. And you can’t chargeadmission. And you can’t do this. And, oh, we needthis much for security guards.” […] And, the back ofmy head, I knew that there’s like a running metersomewhere, but because they weren’t saying what itwas I was only guessing that I was short[....] Thatshow lost a shitload of money.
They didn’t get a lot of things about comics. Goingback all the way to their first press conference forthe show when somebody, one of the media, askedwhy there were no superhero comics there. And theguy, I guess the head curator of the gallery, said,“Oh, because you don’t need to see superherocomics.” Like, he basically said that superherocomics are shit and you don’t need them. Yet, theywanted us to bring in superhero comic artists to doprogramming for them on the weekend. And whenone of them called them on it, it was like, “Oh, well,we’re just trying to start a dialogue.” It’s like, “Allright, let’s have that dialogue.” “Oh no no, that’samongst you.”
This was in the ’70s, when we were kids. There usedto be a comic-book club that was formed as somesummer programme that somebody organized.They got government money somehow to do this, sothey put out ads, and kids would just show up fromall over the place. We’d hang out over the night, andthese … they were adults … they would show uscomics.
That sort of turned us on to stuff beyond DC andMarvel: that was the first time we saw Cerebus whenit was just coming out; Will Eisner, that was our firstexposure to Eisner; the Hernandez Brothers. I meanall of that stuff we sort of started seeing throughthese guys [....] So, it was just like we’d come andhang out and we’d talk about comics and readcomics, and it would be a couple hours every week.
The club organized these little swap meets, and thatwent on for a few years. The club tried to do a bigshow [...] and lost money left, right, and centre, andthen imploded after that because nobody wanted tobe left holding the bag with the debt. And so we allsort of went on our way. Some of us stayed in touch,others didn’t, but we all just sort of quit putting onthese shows and stuff.
So, I got hauled back into this, going, “Look, theseguys are doing these shows, and, you know, they’recharging this much money for tables, and kids can’tafford to go in.” And it’s like, “All right. Well, if we canfind a small place to do it at, maybe well explore itagain.”
Every year, I’m sort of like, “Do I want to do it again?I don’t know.” But part of it is, like, [comic artist]Howard Chaykin will email me out of the blue andgo, “I want to come up next year. I want to hangout.” That’s sort of cool. That’s fun. The fact they [theguests] don’t mind spending time with local creatorsand basically giving them a one-on-one this-is-what-it’s-like—they get something out of it. I think most ofthem [the local creators] appreciate that they can sitand have a beer with whoever and basically learnfrom these people. Honestly, as long as it’s fun, I’llkeep doing it.
In the cultural industries[...,] an issue that hauntsnearly all discussions of quality is the audience.Products and services in any industry tendultimately to be for someone. But the culturalindustries are oriented towards consumption inparticular ways, for they are centred on acts ofcommunication more than any other set oforganisations.David Hesmondhalgh and Sarah Baker, CreativeLabour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries(London: Routledge, 2010), 200.