Archive for the ‘Pop Semiotics’ Category

Emot-iconoclasm: Deconstruction and the Devolution of Language

I suppose this begins with my mother. She has recently tasked herself with learning how to more effectively communicate via text messaging. A recent advance in her acumen is the adept manipulation of those quirky combinations of punctuation marks known as emoticons. The advent of these symbols coincides...
August 28th, 2009 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media, Pop Semiotics, Technology | Read More

Vexatious Versification: Why Reading Poetry is Worth the Effort

Recently, I participated in a discussion of T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Amid our close reading, hesitant commentary, and prolonged silences, one of my peers interjected, “This is ridiculous. I don’t see any point to studying this!” Although such a statement struck the...
July 5th, 2009 | Art & Literature, Culture, Media, Pop Semiotics | Read More

LOLCat Comm:
Cat Macros as Communication

[Note: I’m on semi-hiatus this week so original blogging will be light. I’m reposting stale old material that I hoped you missed, so that it will appear fresh and new.]  Not long after Al Gore invented the internet, his wife Tipper uploaded a picture of the family cat launching one...
June 11th, 2008 | Culture, Pop Semiotics | Read More

Pop Semiotics (v. 10):
Obama and the Post-Authentic Condition

Hanging on the walls of my office at work are several variations of Jasper Johns’s paintings of the American flag. Few people ever comment, but I’m always curious how my colleagues perceive the paintings Do they think they’re intended to be ironic, hyper-patriotic, merely decorative? I...
October 5th, 2007 | Pop Semiotics | Read More

Pop Semiotics:
Cat Macros as Communication

Not long after Al Gore invented the internet, his wife Tipper uploaded a picture of the family cat launching one of the most ubiquitous trends in web culture. But over the past year, a strange subgenre called “lolcats” or “cat macros” has developed, turning a meme into a form...
May 23rd, 2007 | Pop Semiotics | Read More

Pop Semiotics:
Conservatism’s Most Influential Media

What media has had the most influence on the conservative movement over the past forty years? Various factions within conservatism will give widely differing responses. The old school intellectuals will have a short list that includes National Review, Bill Buckley’s “Firing Line”, Hayek’s...
April 5th, 2007 | Pop Semiotics | Read More

Pop Semiotics:
An Inconvenient Truth About the Unchained Goddess

You might assume that An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s Oscar-winning PowerPoint presentation, was the first alarmist documentary on global warming by a celebrity. But that distinction actually goes to The Unchained Goddess (1958), a video produced by Frank Capra (“It’s a Wonderful Life”)...
March 30th, 2007 | Pop Semiotics | Read More