Monday, October 11, 2010

Category Error Epidemic

Just the kind of ethnographic data Harvard's been waiting for: "a pedagogical device for theorizing black-on-black criminality, which is the subject of a course taught by Harvard Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr." It is that indeed. And no pastime could be more joyful to the courtier clerk Wire fans than theorizing black on black criminality.

Ishmael Reed makes the point that is absolutely blocked, rendered genuinely incomprehensible, by the dominant ideology of interpretation:

Of course, Simon’s defenders point out that some middle class blacks appear in the series, but those blacks are not the reason that people tune in. [italics added] They like the shootouts and the drug sales and the underclass gangs fighting each other.

The whole real historical process of material and ideological production and consumption, (once again that is: ideological and material production; this means production that is both ideological and material), of value creation, exploitation and capital accumulation, of socio-cultural reproduction, of which this spectacle commodity is a part, is ignored by professional interpreters of texts of this kind, just as the new breed of academics working on genre romance ignore the fact that, along with much else of course, these are books of one hand, and this is inseperable from all else they are and do, how they mean and produce ideology.

Colbert. “Should we actually rebuild New Orleans. Why not just scrape it off into the Gulf and start over? It was an old city. Put something fresh in there, like a theme park, you know. The theme is Black People. Because white people love watching black people. They watch your shows.”

Simon: “That is amazing, isn’t it?”

Colbert: “Isn’t it? Lots of white people watch your shows which involve black people going through hardship. Why do you think white people do that?”

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