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Which clippings match 'Passive Consumption' keyword pg.1 of 1
14 OCTOBER 2017

Media and Interpellation

"Many theorists have taken Althusser's notion of ideology and interpellation, shifted the focus away from the state, and applied it to various kinds of media texts. In this vein, cultural theorists such as Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno have argued that the homogeneity of mass media interpellate passive subjects who desire reoccurring tropes and predictable story lines which only serve to further stultify them (1979). 5 They are particularly sympathetic to those exploited in capitalist society, lamenting how 'capitalist production so confines them, body and soul, that they fall helpless victim to what is offered them.' (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1979:8). Yet the common people's acquiesce to the culture industry only perpetuates their conditions, and Adorno and Horkheimer proceed to argue, 'immovably, they insist on the very ideology which enslaves them. The misplaced love of the common people for the wrong which is done them is a greater force than the cunning of the authorities' (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1979:8). Like Althusser, Adorno and Horkheimer argue that the proletariat submit to ideologies that interpellate them as passive, and thus comply with their own domination. Similarly, David Gauntlett describes how 'interpellation occurs when a person connects with a media text: when we enjoy a magazine or TV show, for example, this uncritical consumption means that the text has interpellated us into a certain set of assumptions, and caused us to tacitly accept a particular approach to the world.' (Gauntlett, 2002: 27). Here, Gauntlett seems to echo Adorno and Horkheimer's argument that media consumers unquestioningly accept a medium's subject positioning of them as passive viewers."

(Cindy Nguyen, The Chicago School of Media Theory)

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acquiesce • capitalist machinery • capitalist production • capitalist society • Chicago School of Media Theory • common people • cultural theorists • culture industry • David Gauntlett • domination • helpless victim • homogeneity of mass media • ideologiesideologyinterpellationLouis Althusser • manipulative media techniques • mass media homogeneity • mass media manipulation • Max Horkheimer • media consumers • media textpassive consumption • passive subjects • passive viewers • predictable story lines • proletariat • reoccurring tropes • stultify • subjugationTheodor Adorno • uncritical consumption • unquestioningly accept

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2014

They Live: sunglasses reveal subliminal capitalist messages

"John Carpenter's They Live (1988), one of the neglected masterpieces of the Hollywood Left, is a true lesson in critique of ideology. It is the story of John Nada–Spanish for 'nothing'! –, a homeless laborer who finds work on a Los Angeles construction site, but has no place to stay. One of the workers, Frank Armitage, takes him to spend the night at a local shantytown. While being shown around that night, he notices some odd behavior at a small church across the street. Investigating it the next day, he accidentally stumbles on several more boxes hidden in a secret compartment in a wall, full of sunglasses. When he later puts on a pair of the glasses for the first time, he notices that a publicity billboard now simply displays the word 'OBEY,' while another billboard urges the viewer to 'MARRY AND REPRODUCE.' He also sees that paper money bears the words 'THIS IS YOUR GOD.' Additionally he soon discovers that many people are actually aliens who, when they realize he can see them for what they are, the police suddenly arrive. Nada escapes and returns to the construction site to talk over what he has discovered with Armitage, who is initially uninterested in his story. The two fight as Nada attempts to convince and then force him to put on the sunglasses. When he does, Armitage joins Nada and they get in contact with the group from the church, organizing resistance. At the group's meeting they learn that the alien's primary method of control is a signal being sent out on television, which is why the general public cannot see the aliens for what they are. In the final battle, after destroying the broadcasting antenna, Nada is mortally wounded; as his last dying act, he gives the aliens the finger. With the signal now missing, people are startled to find the aliens in their midst."

(Slavoj Zizek)

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1988advertising billboardsalien invasion • alien occupation • broadcasting antenna • buy and obey • Cable 54 • capitalist ideologychurchconsumerism • contact lenses • control • critique of capitalism • critique of ideologycult filmcultural critique • drifter • dystopia • homeless labourer • Hooverville • ideology • John Carpenter • Keith David • kick ass and chew bubble gumLos Angelesmass mediamedia consumermedia consumption • Meg Foster • nameless drifter • passive consumptionpervasive advertisingpost-ideological society • prophetic • Roddy Piper • ruling class • satirical film • science fiction • shantytown • Slavoj Zizek • subliminal advertising • subliminal messages • sunglassesThe Perverts Guide to Ideology (2012)They Live (1988)threat • underground organisation • unmasked • watch television

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 JULY 2012

Fahrenheit 451: passive consumption through audience participation

"When the 'Family' (the television with its 'cousin' announcers and actors) presents an interactive play in which Linda believes she has a role, an actor (Donald Pickering) wearing glasses with thick, black rectangular frames, turns to the camera as it zooms in on him and says, 'What do you think, Linda?'"

(Tom Whalen, Gale Student Resources In Context)

Whalen, Tom. "The Consequences of Passivity: Re–evaluating Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451," in Literature–Film Quarterly, Vol. 35, No. 3, July, 2007, pp. 181(10).

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1966Alphaville • anti-intellectualism • audience participation • banbannedBernard Herrmannbig brotherbook • book burning • book-people • booksburning • Clarisse (character) • comic bookconformityconsolettecontroldisplay walldomestic futuresdystopiadystopian futureFahrenheit 451fire • fire department • firefighter • fireman • Francois Truffaut • Furia • futuristic societyGattacahousewifehumourindividualisminteractive dramainteractive experience • interactive teledrama • interactive television • It Happened Here (film) • Julie ChristieLinda (character)literature • Machiavelli • mahogany veneer • massificationmedia consumerMetropolis (1927)Montag (character)new forms of television • Nicolas Roeg • Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)Oskar Werner • parlor wall • parlour • participation dramaparticipative media • passive consumer • passive consumptionpicture newspaper • pro-literature underground • Ray Bradburyreadingreality televisionscience fictionself-reflexivity • sensory deprivation • speculative fictionsubversion • telecast • televisiontelevision screenThe Family (television) • The Handmaids Tale • The Martian Chronicles • The Prince (book) • THX 1138 • totalitarianism • TV parlor • TV story • TV wall • video wall • visual joke • wall TV • wall-sized screen • what do you think • written languagewritten word

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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