Sympathy for the Devil: Criticizing and Criticalizing the Media

These are notes taken during Shirley Steinberg's CNIE keynote, Sympathy for the Devil: Criticizing and Criticalizing the Media:


Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil - accomplishments of the devil, listeners as audience are complicit in these accomplishments.

Media is the devil

We need a "socially aware media pedagogy"

    - not something that is model-driven
    - we have to take it in an acknowledge our complicity

    - global distributors of power
    - McLuhan
    - notion of news has moved from documenting, entertainment is documenting
    - our lives are a big brother screen

    - children and youth are without skill and cyniciam to understand distribution of power
    - works to continue having power
    - media literacy not mentioned in most families
        - except for occasional banning, usually for nudity, sexual activity, profanity
        - these should be the least of our worries
    - children and families don't sit down to watch at the same time they way they used to
    - parents don't know what narratives their children are absorbing

    - the point is to give up control
    - (espionage: what 'plausible deniability means')
        - that's how we accept cartoons, etc
        - first person shooters
        - Bridgerton - black king, white queen
        - etc

13 Reasons Why
    - Hannah Baker was able to kill herself and still talk about her life after
    - tapes reveal how her friends were complicit in her suicide
    - there's a romanticization of self-harm, suicide
    - Hannah remains forever young and forever alive, kind of manipulating things
    - this show targets the teen suicide demographic (5000-6000 kids a year suicide)
    - People interviewed not creeped out by suicide
    - suicide is not acronymed, joked, memed, etc
    - no conversation, no discussion questions at the end
        - remember teens are vulnerable and fragile

    - is the news reality, or is it fiction?
    - we tend to see it as either truth or untrust
    - 2016 - 'post-truth' was the word of the year
        - 'facts less influential for shaping opinion than appears to emotion'
        - 'alternative facts'

    - I have difficulty with the notion of fact
    - eg. in cinematography, the way
        - shaping a shoot can change 'fact' and what we think we see
    - media today - proverbial smoke and mirrors
    - we are not able to agree on about what is a fact and what isn't
        - eg. 'back to basics' of eg. numeracy
    - no method to determine what is and isn't untrue
        - eg. gender roles, stereotypes, etc
    - tyhe idea of 'what is or isn't' is changed by media

Land Acknowledgement
    - note: I refuse to read words that I am told to read unless I do believe them
    - I mention that to be very clear about that, to state I believe what I just said
    - post-truth - colonized societies acting as though reconciliation has occurred
    - media often speaks of reconciliation as if it actually exists
    - eg. Australia - John Howard 'reconciliation'
        - this is known as 'sorry day' - it's on YouTube

    - eg. Calgary - 'unmaskers' protests in Crowchild bridges
        - they believe the virus is a fiction
    - demonstrations at Calgary city hall against wearing masks
        - they are wearing stars of David
        - they say they are suffering their own holocaust

Sympathy for the Devil
    - the more we consume the more we are complicit
    - we are media workers, we teach media, we teach technology
    - this presentation is a provocation, not a set of solutions
    - I hope it makes you angry
    - we need to integrate the notion of critical media literacy into our work
    - there needs to be a discourse, not about the content, to interrogate what is going on
    - we need to slay the media dragon
        - differentiate between harmful narrative and entertainment
        - need equitable consciousness lenses
        - no lesson plans, no cures, no prescriptions
            - must be created for each person we work with

This is something that has to be a grass-roots movement. It has to come from the bottom up. It's something we need to take to our classrooms. There still needs to be a discussion of equitable consciousness.


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