Interrogating media

Last week an interviewer asked me who finds value in what I write and who “learns” from me. The interviewer added that “they didn’t learn anything so they were wondering if anyone did”. Starting from the fact that I have nothing to teach (duh!), I have been thinking about the role of media in the administration of critique and dissent. In turn, as is often the case, I have been left with more unanswered questions of my own. 

  • Who cares?
  • What matters? (Nothing? Some “stuff” matters? Who gets to define that?)
  • Whose feelings?
  • Whose discomfort? and simultaneously, is there a discomfort threshold? (“I can bear so much of your rhetoric, after you passed the discomfort threshold of what is allowed as “critique” or resistance”, etc).
  • “Crying without tears” is often referred to as a mockery towards the performance of emotion without emotion but what happens when, after crying all the tears one is left with a rictus and how is that represented in media? (mostly, the tearful trope of the wronged member of the dominant culture who is played against the “callous” outsider)
  • Anger as both the shunning and the path towards political gain (whose anger is a site of obturation and whose anger is an electoral gain?)
  • Silence. Silence. Silence. (the administration of “topics that matter” etc)
  • How much of what passes for my local mainstream media is nothing more than “cognitive pollution”? 
  • Mainstream media as a site of strategic/ active isolation (nobody is expressing what you feel or live or experience; hence, you are alone; hence, you are wrong, etc).
  • How does the dominant culture operate in “the administration of dispute” (whose voice is allowed to break the silence and subsequently, the management of dissent in media).
  • The editor as a ruling class (again, on the management of dissent, how is this dissent allowed to be expressed and how is that administration enacted).

I am fine with the fact that nobody “learns” from me. Actually, I’d be alarmed if anyone thought I have something to teach to begin with (I am not comfortable with being anyone’s “didactic experience”). However, I am left with the ultimate question: how do we subvert the role of media as one of the main sites of epistemic injustice?

For the past decade and a half I have been making all my content available for free (and never behind a paywall) as an ongoing practice of ephemeral publishing. This site is no exception. If you wish to help offset my labor costs, you can donate on Paypal or you can subscribe to Patreon where I will not be putting my posts behind a lock but you'd be helping me continue making this work available for everyone. Thank you.  Follow me on Twitter for new post updates.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top