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New Television's New Families

By Martin Shuster/Aeon

Our present, many have noted, is a new golden age of television, defined by the rise of a range of sophisticated, creative and powerful serial shows.

We know that, time and again in history, forms of art arise to meet the demands of even the most profound and unsettling changes in the world.

Several centuries ago, it was the novel and its alleged ability to engage with what the Hungarian philosopher György Lukács in 1914 termed our "transcendental homelessness."

After that came film, and - as thinkers from Walter Benjamin to Robert Warshow noted - its ability to give some order, at least for a couple of hours, to our otherwise discordant experience.

"All care about movies, await them, respond to them, remember them, talk about them, hate some of them, are grateful for some of them," is how the philosopher Stanley Cavell put it in The World Viewed.

Moving images, in other words, have an inherent egalitarian quality; you need little more than an ability to acknowledge motion and sound to appreciate them.

To what moment does the rise of television respond? And what is the significance of this medium?

Above all, new television responds to an omnipresent loss of normative authority, of a robust failure of humans to feel at home in their world; to trust their governments, their leaders, their role models, their traditions and, ultimately, even their senses.

New television confronts this state of affairs artistically and politically, presenting - like film - some order to such a world, but over weeks and months and years.

Continue reading "New Television's New Families" »
Posted on May 16, 2018

Infomercial Reviews

Stop Sign

The owner of a Washington-state computer shop asserts that computer viruses are the biggest threat to business computers, when clearly the real danger comes from shitty coffee.
Continue reading "Stop Sign" »
Posted on July 17, 2007
TV Preacher Review

Joel Osteen

He's everything Kevin Trudeau would be if Trudeau actually believed in anything.
Continue reading "Joel Osteen" »
Posted on August 15, 2007
What I Watched Last Night

What I Watched Last Night: Columbo, Sort Of

By Tim Willette and Steve Rhodes
20 tweets in - nothing about Columbo.
Continue reading "What I Watched Last Night: Columbo, Sort Of" »
Posted on July 11, 2017

New Television's New Families

By Martin Shuster/Aeon
Within these shows, the family emerges as the sole site where normative authority still exists; it is the only motivation that still makes any sense.

Posted on May 16, 2018

Sinclair-Fox Station Deal Enabled By FCC Is Dangerous For Democracy

By Tim Karr/Free Press
"Sinclair's plan to sell seven stations to Fox as part of its Tribune takeover shows everything that's wrong with the media-ownership landscape."

Posted on May 9, 2018

WGN's Technical Difficulties

We'll Be Right Back
Please stand by.

Posted on May 8, 2018

MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - New Television's New Families.
POLITICS - Thousands Illegally Denied Health Coverage In Illinois.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Much Ado About Machado.

BOOKS - Chicago Zine Fest Recap.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Charles White Retrospective.

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