Popular Culture Forges Tomorrow: From Star Wars to Lord of the Memes
2.8K views | +0 today
Follow
Popular Culture Forges Tomorrow: From Star Wars to Lord of the Memes
Popular Culture Forges Tomorrow: From Star Wars to Lord of the Memes
How movies and books reflect our beliefs, hopes and...
Curated by GDBrin
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by GDBrin
Scoop.it!

The Matrix: Tomorrow May Be Different

The Matrix: Tomorrow May Be Different | Popular Culture Forges Tomorrow: From Star Wars to Lord of the Memes | Scoop.it

Back in the 1980s, the field of science fiction was all afroth over a movement that proclaimed itself as cyberpunk. Reviewers both inside and far outside the genre went into paroxysms over this new movement, crediting it with everything from 'gritty, sharp-edged realism,' to 'high-gloss textures,' to inventing the trope of an angry tomorrow, symbolized by the angry young man of the streets.

Setting aside egregious exaggerations and heaps of heavy-breathing hype, this literary movement surely made the field more interesting for a while. Haughty literary mavens, who normally snub sci-fi condescended to discover these daring writers of dark, heroic, slashing prose, including William Gibson, author of Neuromancer, a tale filled with stark, vivid imagery about a future dominated by oppressive corporate structures. A future in which control over access to information outweighed the importance of political or military power.

Is that sub-genre still relevant? Let's have a look.

more...
umbrarchist's comment, September 22, 2013 5:39 PM
We are still figuring out what to do with cheap computers. What will tablets do to kid's minds? Who decides what to put on them? Subversive (1962) by Mack Reynolds
http://www.digilibraries.com/ebook/115574/Subversive/ The problem is sci-fi has gotten dumber. The word computer is used more than twice as often in Ender's Game as it is in Neuromancer.
Scooped by GDBrin
Scoop.it!

Movies that Help Teach Science

Movies that Help Teach Science | Popular Culture Forges Tomorrow: From Star Wars to Lord of the Memes | Scoop.it

From Apollo 13 to The Right Stuff, From October Sky to Inherit the Wind, Cosmos to Lorenzo's Oil -- a look at popular movies that can be used in the classroom (or at home) to give some insight into science, technology, and and the real world.

more...
Scooped by GDBrin
Scoop.it!

Through Stranger Eyes:

Through Stranger Eyes: | Popular Culture Forges Tomorrow: From Star Wars to Lord of the Memes | Scoop.it
Through Stranger Eyes is a new collection of my book reviews, introductions and essays on popular culture. Included: everything from carefully measured views on J.R.R. Tolkien to that infamous, outraged rant about the Star Wars saga! Many of these reviews -- and a number of other essays -- have been collected into Through Stranger Eyes. From sober reflections on Jared Diamond's Collapse, and Rebecca Solnit's River of Shadows, to scientific ponderings on Feynman and Gott, along with appraisals of great authors like Brunner, Resnick, Zelazny, Clarke, Verne, and Orwell....
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by GDBrin
Scoop.it!

King Kong Is Back!: An Unauthorized Look at One Humongous Ape

A collection of essays on one of film's most powerful and evocative figures. Experts in the fields of race, gender, evolution, special effects, and film explore the legend of King Kong from every angle in this study of the magical and unparalleled original film. From Why has King Kong affected the American consciousness so profoundly? to What does the story say about race, gender, and sexuality? and Why have the sequels failed to re-create the original's allure?, our essayists (Selected and edited by David Brin) examine all aspects of this landmark film and its impact on society, culture, and media. Insights into the new version, due out this year by acclaimed Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, are also included.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by GDBrin
Scoop.it!

The Lord of the Rings: J.R.R. Tolkien vs the Modern Age

In 1997, voters in a BBC poll named The Lord of the Rings the greatest book of the 20th century. In 1999, Amazon.com customers chose it as the greatest book of the millennium. Of course there is much more to this work than mere fantasy escapism. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote his epic -- including its prequel, The Hobbit -- during the dark middle decades of the Twentieth Century, a time when modernity appeared to have failed in one spectacle of technologically amplified bloodshed after another.

While I often inveigh against nostalgia-romanticism as a drug-habit that isn't helpful in moving civilization forward, I have always found Tolkien to be both intelligent and honest, the very best examplar of nostalgia-romanticism. (Unlike George Lucas, who has no excuse for his lobotomized attacks on modernity.) Can you blame Tolkien, who watched most of his classmates mowed down in Flanders? From the nineteen-thirties through the fifties, planet Earth fell into armed camps of starkly portrayed characters, tearing at each other in orgies of unprecedented violence. Titanic struggles, with the fate of all the world at stake. LOTR clearly reflected this era. Only, in contrast to the real world, Tolkien's portrayal of "good" resisting a darkly threatening "evil" offered something sadly lacking in the real struggles against Nazi or Communist tyrannies -- a role for citizenship, openness and a progressing civilization. Read more on this... and ponder.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by GDBrin
Scoop.it!

Dune, The Movie: Good vs. Evil

What is the message of Dune? How does the 1984 movie, directed by David Lynch, differ from the book by Frank Herbert? While the viewer roots for the House of...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by GDBrin
Scoop.it!

Themistocles and the Rise of the Citizen - (a movie?)

Themistocles and the Rise of the Citizen - (a movie?) | Popular Culture Forges Tomorrow: From Star Wars to Lord of the Memes | Scoop.it

Yes, my piece from years ago -- Roll Over Frank Miller, or Why the Occupy Wall Street Kids are Better than the #$%! Spartans -- eviscerating the original "300" - got a lot of attention for pointing out that Miller's flick ignored history… in fact flagrantly pissed all over history. It also insulted the main, heroic characters, like King Leonidas, the Spartan leader at Thermopylae, who in real life would never have openly insulted Athenians or greek "amateur" militias the way Miller had him do.  Not then.  Not just ten years after those same amateurs crushed the first Persian invasion without a drop of Spartan help -- at Marathon.

more...
No comment yet.