Today they've got the "Los Morecos" and other gangs. Panama had always been neighbour of Colombia, with the Darien Gap as a drug-smuggling route land and sea. Today they also send refugees through this dangerous wilderness.
So yes, these countries used to be good travelling destinations back then. The gap was open as long as a new middle class was emerging — with overall wealth and infrastrucre growing - and severe crime not on the rise. As a result I go conform with other comments here, that those countries are no playgrounds for naive first world kids- especially those, who were raised by "curling- or helicopter-parents"smoothing the their kids way in all aspects of life.
Especially female travellers without male company are an easy target who would have thought that. On the other hand - if you "chop one head off", three news will regrow And by the way - airfares might rise anyway after a short hype after rebooting the airline industry. So I think, the hipsters and Stain Your Name - Beyond All Recognition - Beyond All Recognition (CD genY-dudes and dudettes were the last generation for a longer time, who were able to travel the whole world affordably and with nearly no restrictions.
We gotta swallow that pill… And as already mentioned - for those, who are realistic, fit, who can adapt and have common sense, Central America will still offer great experiences in the future.
A good summing up of what these extremely naive girls got into. Growing up in a country where all the thinking is done for you, entitled youth in Europe deciding to go to Panama What a terrible price to pay for such stupidity.
As you mention - the crime situation will be worst now after the economic fallout from the virus. I agree. But these girls were 21 and 22 years old and the parents of one of them were very worried, but they felt they couldn't stop their daughter. Unfortunately it has become some sort of rite of passage for well to do western youngsters to make some big exotic trip nowadays.
Often without seriously weighing the risks. If they had stayed in Bocas with other young tourists, everything may have ended well. But Boquete is not the same and they made the mistake to go into that jungle without a guide or any protection :. Anonymous poster of the long messageI agree. And thank you for pointing out that the situation in those countries was a lot safer before, let's say, roughly I just did a blog post about a German teenager who died under suspicious circumstances in Malta, but reading up on the matter, Malta did not seem or feel even a fraction as dangerous as a country like Panama.
And as such, mostly all Latin American countries, from Nicaragua to Colombia. I blame young western hikers disease on the large amount of backpackers and Millennials basically, happily streaming into the Central American countries, expecting to find perfect paradise instagram photo opportunities Indeed, the vast middle classes we now have in the western world, with the means to travel and the incentive.
There is also a big travel industry, who sponsor these wanderlust influencer types, it is a business model. But it makes many normal youngsters want to go to such destinations themselves, most of them unaware of the history of such countries, the political landscape and the crime numbers. Even Kris and Lisanne, who were well educated, levelheaded girls, may have underestimated the risks. I believe the swimming photo to be legit and if they truly decided to go skinny dipping with mere strangers in Boquete, they took huge risks in my opinion.
That's easy said in retrospect, but really, that was something they should have felt squeezy about themselves too. It is very well possible still that these girls wanted to have a good time with the locals, but then the atmosphere changed as soon as they declined sexual approaches. Then the local kids, macho's perhaps, maybe looking down on gringo's with money coming to their quarters for meaningless good times, wanted to show them a lesson And like you said, there is indeed also the MTV effect, as I'd call it; youngsters from poor backgrounds see the 'gangsta' lifestyle played out in video clips and reality tv shows, and they want a piece of the pie; a part in the fun.
This increases crime because when there are no jobs available for them or they don't have the means to get a good education, crime is what looms. Which many modern day tourist is confronted with, there are new stories every year of missing backpackers, murdered tourists and that doesn't even include the plethora of robbings and rapes. And you are right on the money with your comments, it is true, these Millennials are raised by their 'best friends' parentsoften in a PC bubble of love all cultures.
They get mostly everything they want and participation prizes too for joining a competition. No is not a word they like to hear.
And their mothers are often semi- feminists, instilling the confidence in their daughters that girls can do anything a boy can. Or better. Including traveling In the Kris and Lisanne case, Lisanne's parents were very worried about their daughters travel plans. They did not like the sound of Costa Rica or Panama one bit.
But they didn't say no to their by now adult daughter. There is this now famous horrible case of a Danish and Norwegian girl who went climbing a mountain in Morocco in December of They were vocal online about immigrant support and the intrinsic goodness of all different cultures. Only one parent has stated later in the media that she was a little bit worried about the Muslim country her daughter went to.
Two very young, blonde, Scandinavian girls, alone in a tent. They were stalked, raped and decapitated on camera and the monsters then sent the footage to all the girls' online friends and family. Just because the world should be everyone's oyster, does not mean that it actually IS, in reality. True, whomever is behind their death has been lucky that the feeble Dutch brown nosers and the corrupt slack Panamanians were on the case and not commando's, or the Mossad, or any true investigative elite team.
Most if not all evidence is gone by now. And indeed, those who are well prepared, fit, aware of the risks and willing to stick to the 'rules' will probably be fine, although anyone can be hit by a truck, anywhere. But younger women traveling alone in some parts of the world, I think they need a reality check. Is this another assumption made from media,parents etc. Quote :And you are right on the money with your comments, it is true, these Millennials are raised by their 'best friends' parentsoften in a PC bubble of love all cultures.
Brilliant summing up! Eu concordo, eles se conheceram em jogo sujo. Something I feel wasn't touched on is -why- her wristbands would have disappeared.
She clearly used them as her hairbands to put her hair up, and put them back on her wrists when letting her hair down. Not especially helpful, but out of all the speculation I read between the 3 blog posts, I didn't see that exact detail covered. Hi, thanks, yes the hairband was sometimes around her wrist, when she had her hair down, or it was gone from Lisanne's wrist, when she had her hair up. It seems to have been the hair elastic all along, and nothing else mysterious.
Thanks for pointing this out, I have added this detail to the blog now. Thanks, yes the has been mentioned also in youtube comments. Very good, logical explanation! I think that is the right explanation indeed. For some ease of understanding I simplified the information on the known timings of the photographs of April 8th, now please note there are several photographs not counted here below as they have never been released and there is therefore limited information as to when exactly they were taken.
But as a rough guide the photography looks like this: April 8th - 1 photo at 1. Looking at the timings here, these two are taken in just 30 seconds, which fits the frequency in general in these early shots as the photographs average being 10 seconds apart. But, 10 photographs taken in 1 minute therefore?!!!! Surely not? This is not the only such gap in the photo ordering, and a similarly hard to believe number of photographs being taken within just a minute, so is there an automatic photoburst function in operation here, or are the camera dates suspect?
If the frequency is correct then it is little wonder the flash function occasionally failed, I have never tried to take ten photographs within 1 minute, but if there isn't an automated 'photoburst' function responsible and it is all manual it is saying something about the extreme emotional and mental state of whoever is taking these pictures You do talk about al of this in your page up above Scarlet, so I am making no claim here to have made any dramatic new discovery or insight.
But refining the timings and run order of the photographs taken and listed above makes for a very informative way to view and understand how the Photographer was behaving that night, and in what order the shots came in. If you take the list below and put it in notepad, then use it against the actual Photographs posted up above on this page, it really puts you there on the night almost.
At just ten seconds apart this is proof that everything in those photographs is presumably what is sat around as the camera is moved up, left, then right, and In all, between the start of photography at 1. From 2pm till the final photograph at 4.
So within the span of the first half hour is the period of greatest energy and intensive shooting. Whether that marked drop-off after exactly half an hour is at all significant beyond the possibility of fatigue finally having taken hold on the photographer is an open question More or less the first photograph taken shows the rain falling from what we assume is above, the droplets appear close to the photographer but interestingly there is no splashing on the camera lens despite what we assume is an upwards shot.
The next available shot is about eight minutes later and a strange ultra-close and over-exposed shot of what many think is the edge of Lisanne Froon's face, there is no obvious sign of rain or droplets or moisture here, and the next shot taken, of a portion of rockface, also shows no obvious sign of rain falling, however the next handful of shots DO show the rain IS still falling.
Given the tight timeframe here is spanning between mere seconds and minutes, and the shot of what appears to be Kris Kremers' apparently dry hair comes a full nineteen minutes in, with nothing to suggest the rain has paused in all this time, it seems that along with the seemingly dry 'SoS' display there is a very definite shelter here to some degree, perhaps a very generous overhang above is shielding them. It's a possibility. But either way there HAS to be some form of shelter at work here.
The rain appears continuous through the early hours here, and look to the photography of Photo's onwards and the sheer intensity, and closeness, of the downpour by this point should be making photographs impossible otherwise. By the time of the photography here on April 8th, at 1. The SoS Display and proboble Branch Marker waiting to be picked up suggest a rational person is responsible, as some ingenuity, thought, and effort has been put into these - it also shows that this is a camp and that they have presumably been here for a couple of days or more.
What prompted someone to pull out the Camera, in the early hours and the dark? I personally would speculate that it may be the rain that triggered it. Evidently there were some considerable downpours this night, and while the photographer seems to have some degree of shelter it probobly was not complete, sleep may have been impossible under these conditions.
And it seems reasonable to think that during the day it would have been difficult too. So is sheer exhaustion also a factor perhaps? Despair and frustration combining with the conditions to deliver this response? It seems likely, but consider - ten seconds between shots may seem dramatic, but in fact ten seconds is quite a controlled and lengthy time, it doesn't suggest someone is raging, or in the grip Stain Your Name - Beyond All Recognition - Beyond All Recognition (CD a mental breakdown, rather I would argue that it suggests there is still a degree of control in evidence.
Despair may well be there, but it is still someone in control of themselves. But it says something too that whoever this is they have no interest in using the camera other than on this rainy night in the early hours, this despite their presumably having nothing at all but time while sitting there, day and night just sat in a huddle, waiting Thank you Dave!
Good work. True, when you see the times ordered like that, it does seem most likely that someone was turning that camera around and was systematically and purposefully clicking, picturing the direct surroundings. David, if you look, starting at photothere does indeed appear to be what looks like a tiny droplet on the lens, in the lower left hand corner. It's also there, in the same place, in,and And if you rotate andthis spot is in the exact same place. It pops up again in and It's there in and makes a last appearance in What's interesting is that this spot is NOT innor does it appear inand various other photos where it should be if the photos are in order.
It cannot be because the lens was wiped because it shows up in the exact same place in the pictures that it's in. Just another very weird thing. True, I noticed the drop on the lens as well in some photos. Strange how it is there and then not there. Still keeping the option open that all of those photos have been shuffled in order. Same for the daytime photos. Scarlett, yes, it would seem so. Along with the strangeness involving the timestamps.
But this also is a possible explanation for the missing We wonder where it went, if you delete by a computer, it is still there until it is rewritten.
You would have to zero-out the drive to get rid of it. The person either did that, or they copied all files but that one to another SDcard. It was just renamed. When they were shuffling around the filenames to reorder the pics, they missed one. I had never noticed that drop, and never would have! A case of being hidden in plain sight - you are so busy looking at the background you don't ever see the foreground It's an idea you have concerning photobut I don't think it works that way, you can rename a photo but that renamed photo would still be there in one form or another at position as far as I understand it.
What a messy affair these night photo's are. A look at photo might suggest this as a failed 'selfie' from Lisanne Froon, but then why would she hold a camera at herself at very close range like this and take the flash full-on, and why not adapt to try again from a different line or angle? Of course, the reality is there is nothing to suggest that IS Lisanne. And because of that this is an image that can be used to sum up this entire story of the two after April 1st - Photo hints at being perhaps a glimpse of Lisanne Froon, but then again perhaps not, it could any number of things.
Photo hints at being a glimpse of Kris Kremers, but all there is is a formless mass of red hair, a mass that makes no sense at all and in reality shows nothing at all of Kris Kremers that night. There is a pair of her shorts found later, abandoned. There is an inner sole of what may or may not be from Lisanne's boot found in forest not too far from the Pianista starting point. A glimpse of Lisanne and Kris perhaps? There are conflicting times for their actual start on April 1st, another confusing glimpse, of what have effectively become a pair of ghosts by the time they set foot on the trail And when taken as a whole you do start to seriously question the whole idea that they were ever there at all.
It's all smoke and mirrors. It is indeed a 'delete' action but it doesn't work in quite the same way as actually deleting. It doesn't delete the old file, then make a new one with a new name, at least as far as I've read.
That is why, if your disk is full, you can still go through and rename large files. The old filename might still be there, but not the actual data.
It's now under a new name. But it is just a theory, one someone with more knowledge of Windows systems can debunk. I think the photo is of Kris. And there are probably pictures of Lisanne as well. I base that on comments from the parents, stating that some were of the girls plural looking rough. This says to me they are both present an alive. My theory is, sadly, they probably heard someone that night and spent 3 hours trying to get their attention. And they did, only their saviors turned out to be demons.
So much of the case turned into each side, losties vs foulies, trying to wholly Stain Your Name - Beyond All Recognition - Beyond All Recognition (CD the other. But if you look at it, both probably occurred. Hi Thegw, that comment about the girls appearing in a rough state in some of the photos, it was never verified! It came from one person who wrote about this case in a blog, but there was no footnote, no source mentioning and the parents never said this themselves.
I never heard that same statement again, anywhere in this case coverage. Regarding the missing photowhat the Lost in the Wild crew stated is that the overwriting of photo is not so straight forward, indeed. They used the exact same Canon camera as the girls to show that when you manually delete a specific photo, and then take new photos, that the next new photo automatically gets the file numbering of the previously deleted photo.
In other words: if Kris and Lisanne truly had deleted the original photo themselves and then continued to make the nighttime photos on April 8th themselves with this same camera, then we would have never even known that there ever was another photo ; the first nighttime photo would then have received the number Juan said about photo that specialist software should and would have found this missing file if it had been deleted manually from the camera.
Juan even tested this, and could find back deleted pictures from years ago. And there was never any attention for the memory card or the photos in the press he said, because if you don't know anything about it, you think everything is possible. And someone else wrote about the matter: "If you remove the SD card from camera and take it to PC then through file manager you "cut" the file jpeg, it won't be a copy remaining on SD.
There was some discussion that the card was put in PC and either reformatted; or deleted but you'd be able to still recover as you correctly point out from file allocation table. Reformat would destroy all photos so that wasn't done.
So I believe one possibility is Scarlet, ugh! That is such the problem with this case. What is true? What isn't? I agree about the file. The only way to 'delete' it permanently is to delete and zero the drive or card.
They'd have had to copy the whole card to a PC, format or zero the SDcard, then copy it back without OR just copy the whole thing to a new SD card without That is the only way to do it. Besides, it makes no sense for the girls to delete it. They had bigger things to worry about than how they looked in a selfie. My only goal with the comment was to point out that, in conjunction with the other night photos, a renaming could have taken place--obviously this must have been done on a PC as well.
We certainly see evidence from the moisture appearing and disappearing on the lens that the photos have been reordered and thus renamed. I do not know if Canon issues a hash marker on the photos for validation, which would mean the original filenames would be in the original metadata. The thing that makes me hold on it is the fact that the filename is apparently still there on the card.
Were the drive zeroed, there wouldn't even be the filename. All you'd have to know it existed is the numbering gap between and But perhaps that IS all that is there is the gap and that is what the authorities are talking about. Back to the first paragraph, what is true and is speculation or mistranlation or misspeaking? It's true Thegw, there seems not a single piece of certain fact in this case, unfortunately.
There are even people challenging the positive DNA match for the bones, because the Dutch did not do a second opinion Photo wise, I always assumed that a 3rd party or the Panamanian prosecution put the memory card in a computer, looked through the photos, altered some exif data seems to indicate that and cut one photo off the card entirely and pasted it on a computer. That way it's completely gone from the card, minus the empty file with its number. But indeed it is just as possible that everything was taken off the original card and copied onto a new card.
Or put it back on the by then formatted original card. The girls did not delete it, it indeed made no sense and it would also have allowed investigators to find more percentage of the original file back. It's a great point you make about the order being shuffled, going by the appearing and disappearing and then appearing again drop on a very specific place on the lens.
The night photos as we have them now were leaked by a Panama source and to be honest, the numbering and time data of them may have been completely false and fabricated by whomever dumped these photos.
No official has confirmed their authenticity. Yeh the file names seem to have still been present. But we do not know what the files between and look like either. Scarlet, I am someone who isn't entirely convinced on the authenticity of Kris's bones. I think at that point they wanted it over and it's possible they attributed someone else's remains to Kris.
Just like that shoe. That doesn't look like Kris's. It would certainly explain why Kris's bones were so far advanced in decomp. They are all specialized in specific fields. To ensure our writers are competent, they pass through a strict screening and multiple testing. All our writers are graduates and professors from the most prestigious universities and colleges in the world.
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Here I simply wish to map out the general conceptual landscape of popular culture. This is, in many ways, a daunting task. As we shall see in the chapters which follow, popular culture is always defined, implicitly or explicitly, in contrast to other conceptual categories: folk culture, mass culture, dominant culture, working-class cul- ture, etc. A full definition must always take this into account. Therefore, to study popular culture we must first confront the difficulty posed by the term itself.
The main argu- ment that I suspect readers will take from this book is that popular culture is in effect an empty conceptual category, one that can be filled in a wide variety of often conflict- ing ways, depending on the context of use. Williams suggests three broad definitions. This would be a perfectly understandable formulation. Using this definition, if we speak of the cul- tural development of Western Europe, we would have in mind not just intellectual and aesthetic factors, but the development of, for example, literacy, holidays, sport, religious festivals.
In other words, culture here means the texts and practices whose principal function is to signify, to produce or to be the occasion for the production of meaning. Using this definition, we would probably think of examples such as poetry, the novel, ballet, opera, and fine art. The second meaning — culture as a particular way of life — would allow us to speak of such practices as the seaside holiday, the celebration of Christmas, and youth subcultures, as examples of culture.
These are usually referred to as lived cultures or practices. The third meaning — culture as signifying practices — would allow us to speak of soap opera, pop music, and comics, as examples of culture. These are usually referred to as texts. Ideology Before we turn to the different definitions of popular culture, there is another term we have to think about: ideology. Ideology is a crucial concept in the study of popular cul- ture. Like culture, ideology has many competing meanings.
An understanding of this concept is often complicated by the fact that in much cultural analysis the concept is used interchangeably with culture itself, and especially popular culture. The fact that ideology has been used to refer to the same conceptual terrain as culture and popular culture makes it an important term in any understanding of the nature of popular cul- ture. What follows is a brief discussion of just five of the many ways of understanding ideology.
We will consider only those meanings that have a bearing on the study of popular culture. First, ideology can refer to a systematic body of ideas articulated by a particular group of people. Here we would be referring to the collection of polit- ical, economic and social ideas that inform the aspirations and activities of the Party. Ideology 3 A second definition suggests a certain masking, distortion, or concealment. Ideology is used here to indicate how some texts and practices present distorted images of real- ity.
Such distortions, it is argued, work in the interests of the powerful against the interests of the powerless. Using this definition, we might speak of capitalist ideology.
What would be intimated by this usage would be the way in which ideology conceals the reality of domination from those in power: the dominant class do not see themselves as exploiters or oppres- sors. And, perhaps more importantly, the way in which ideology conceals the reality of subordination from those who are powerless: the subordinate classes do not see them- selves as oppressed or exploited.
This definition derives from certain assumptions about the circumstances of the production of texts and practices. This is one of the fundamental assumptions of classical Marxism. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation on which there arises a legal and political superstruc- ture and to which there correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general 3.
What Marx is suggesting is that the way a society organizes the means of its eco- nomic production will have a determining effect on the type of culture that society pro- duces or makes possible. In Chapter 4, we will consider the modifications made by Marx and Frederick Engels themselves to this formulation, and the way in which subsequent Marxists have further modified what has come to be regarded by many cultural critics as a rather mechanistic account of what we might call the social relations of culture and popular culture.
Abandon this claim, it is argued, and Marxism ceases to be Marxism Bennett, a: We can also use ideology in this general sense to refer to power relations outside those of class.
In Chapter 8 we will examine the ideology of racism. This usage is intended to draw attention to the way in which texts television fiction, pop songs, novels, feature films, etc.
This definition depends on a notion of society as conflictual rather than consensual, structured around inequality, exploitation and oppression. Texts are said to take sides, consciously or unconsciously, in this conflict. There is no play and no theatrical performance which does not in some way affect the dispositions and conceptions of the audience. Another way of saying this would be simply to argue that all texts are ultimately political. That is, they offer competing ideological significations of the way the world is or should be.
A fourth definition of ideology is one associated with the early work of the French cultural theorist Roland Barthes discussed in more detail in Chapter 6. What was being suggested is that the socialism of the Labour Party is synonymous with social, economic and political imprisonment.
Moreover, it hoped to locate socialism in a binary relationship in which it connoted unfreedom, whilst conservatism connoted freedom. For Barthes, this would be a classic example of the operations of ideology, the attempt to make universal and legitimate what is in fact partial and particular; an attempt to pass off that which is cultural i. This is made clear in such formulations as a female pop singer, a black Stain Your Name - Beyond All Recognition - Beyond All Recognition (CD nalist, a working-class writer, a gay comedian.
A fifth definition is one that was very influential in the s and early s. It is the definition of ideology developed by the French Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser. We shall discuss Althusser in more detail in Chapter 4. Here I will simply outline some key points about one of his definitions of ideology.
Principally, what Althusser has in mind is the way in which certain rituals and customs have the effect of binding us to the social order: a social order that is marked by enormous inequalities of wealth, status and power.
Using this definition, we could describe the seaside holiday or the celebra- tion of Christmas as examples of ideological practices. This would point to the way in which they offer pleasure and release from the usual demands of the social order, but that, ultimately, they return us to our places in the social order, refreshed and ready to tolerate our exploitation and oppression until the next official break comes along.
In this sense, ideology works to reproduce the social conditions and social relations neces- sary for the economic conditions and economic relations of capitalism to continue. So far we have briefly examined different ways of defining culture and ideology. What should be clear by now is that culture and ideology do cover much the same con- ceptual landscape. The main difference between them is that ideology brings a polit- ical dimension to the shared terrain. Popular culture There are various ways to define popular culture.
This book is of course in part about that very process, about the different ways in which various critical approaches have attempted to fix the meaning of popular culture. Therefore, all I intend to do for the remainder of this chapter is to sketch out six definitions of popular culture that in their different, general ways, inform the study of popular culture.
An obvious starting point in any attempt to define popular culture is to say that popular culture is simply culture that is widely favoured or well liked by many people. And, undoubtedly, such a quantitative index would meet the approval of many people. We could also examine attendance records at concerts, sporting events, and festivals. We could also scrutinize market research figures on audience preferences for different television programmes. Such counting would undoubtedly tell us a great deal.
The difficulty might prove to be that, paradoxically, it tells us too much. Despite this problem, what is clear is that any definition of popular culture must include a quantitative dimension. The popular of popular culture would seem to demand it. What is also clear, however, is that on its own, a quantitative index is not enough to provide an adequate definition of popular culture. A second way of defining popular culture is to suggest that it is the culture that is left over after we have decided what is high culture.
Popular culture, in this definition, is a residual category, there to accommodate texts and practices that fail to meet the required standards to qualify as high culture. In other words, it is a definition of popu- lar culture as inferior culture.
For example, we might want to insist on formal complexity. In other words, to be real culture, it has to be difficult. Being difficult thus ensures its exclusive status as high culture. Its very difficulty liter- ally excludes, an exclusion that guarantees the exclusivity of its audience.
The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu argues that cultural distinctions of this kind are often used to support class distinctions. This will be discussed in more detail in Chapters 9 and This definition of popular culture is often supported by claims that popular cul- ture is mass-produced commercial culture, whereas high culture is the result of an individual act of creation.
The latter, therefore, deserves only a moral and aesthetic response; the former requires only a fleeting sociological inspection to unlock what little it has to offer. Whatever the method deployed, those who wish to make the case for the division between high and popular culture generally insist that the division between the two is absolutely clear.
Moreover, not only is this division clear, it is trans- historical — fixed for all time. This latter point is usually insisted on, especially if the division is dependent on supposed essential textual qualities. There are many problems with this certainty.
For example, William Shakespeare is now seen as the epitome of high culture, yet as late as the nineteenth century his work was very much a part of popular theatre. Similarly, film noir can be seen to have crossed the border supposedly separating popu- lar and high culture: in other words, what started as popular cinema is now the pre- serve of academics and film clubs.
Even the most rigorous defenders of high culture would not want to exclude Pavarotti or Puccini from its select enclave. Such commercial success on any quantitative ana- lysis would make the composer, the performer and the aria, popular culture. Other stu- dents laughed and mocked. Aboutpeople were expected, but because of heavy rain, the number who actually attended was aroundTwo things about the event are of interest to a student of popular culture.
The first is the enormous popularity of the event. His obvious popularity would appear to call into question any clear division between high and popular culture.
It is therefore interesting to note the way in which the event was reported in the media. All the British tabloids carried news of the event on their front pages. The Daily Mirror, for instance, had five pages devoted to the concert. What the tabloid coverage reveals is a clear attempt to define the event for popular culture. When the event was reported on televi- sion news programmes the following lunchtime, the tabloid coverage was included as part of the general meaning of the event.
The old certainties of the cultural landscape suddenly seemed in doubt. Although such comments invoked the spectre of high-culture exclusivity, they seemed strangely at a loss to offer any purchase on the event. The apparently obvious cultural division between high and popular culture no longer seemed so obvious. An example of this usage would be: it was a popular performance. Yet, on the other hand, something is said to be bad for the very same reason.
Consider the binary oppositions in Table 1. Table 1. This is principally the work of the education sys- tem and its promotion of a selective tradition see Chapter 3.
This draws heavily on the previous definition. The mass culture perspective will be discussed in some detail in Chapter 2; therefore all I want to do here is to suggest the basic terms of this definition. The first point that those who refer to popular culture as mass culture want to establish is that popular culture is a hopelessly commercial culture. It is mass- produced for mass consumption.
Its audience is a mass of non-discriminating con- sumers. The culture itself is formulaic, manipulative to the political right or left, depending on who is doing the analysis. It is a culture that is consumed with brain- numbed and brain-numbing passivity. Simon Frith also points out that about 80 per cent of singles and albums lose money. Such stat- istics should clearly call into question the notion of consumption as an automatic and passive activity see Chapters 7 and This usually takes one of two forms: a lost organic community or a lost folk culture.
The Frankfurt School, as we shall see in Chapter 4, locate the lost golden age, not in the past, but in the future. The claim that popular culture is American culture has a long history within the theoretical mapping of popular culture.
There are two things we can say with some confidence about the United States and popular culture. Second, although the availability of American culture worldwide is undoubted, how what is available is consumed is at the very least contradictory see Chapter 9. What is true is that in the s one of the key periods of Americanizationfor many young people in Britain, American culture represented a force of liberation against the grey certain- ties of British everyday life.
What Stain Your Name - Beyond All Recognition - Beyond All Recognition (CD also clear is that the fear of Americanization is closely related to a distrust regardless of national origin of emerging forms of popu- lar culture. As with the mass culture perspective generally, there are political left and political right versions of the argument. There is what we might call a benign version of the mass culture perspective. The texts and practices of popular culture are seen as forms of public fantasy.
Popular cul- ture is understood as a collective dream world. In this sense, cultural practices such as Christmas and the seaside holiday, it could be argued, function in much the same way as dreams: they articulate, in a disguised form, collective but repressed wishes and desires. Structuralism, although not usually placed within the mass culture perspective, and certainly not sharing its moralistic approach, nevertheless sees popular culture as a sort of ideological machine which more or less effortlessly reproduces the prevailing struc- tures of power.
There is little space for reader activity or textual contradiction. Chapter 6 will consider these issues in some detail. This is popular culture as folk culture: a culture of the people for the people. No matter how much we might insist on this definition, the fact remains that people do not spontaneously produce culture from raw materials of their own making. Whatever popular culture is, what is certain is that its raw materials are those which are commercially provided.
Critical analysis of pop and rock music is particularly replete with this kind of analysis of popular culture. At a con- ference I once attended, a contribution from the floor suggested that Levi jeans would never be able to use a song from The Jam to sell its products. The fact that they had already used a song by The Clash would not shake this conviction. As this was not going to happen, Levi jeans would never use a song by The Jam to sell its products.
But this had already happened to The Clash, a band with equally sound political credentials. This circular exchange stalled to a stop. The cultural studies use of the concept of hegemony would have, at the very least, fuelled further discussion see Chapter 4. A fifth definition of popular culture, then, is one that draws on the political ana- lysis of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, particularly on his development of the concept of hegemony.
This will be dis- cussed in some detail in Chapter 4. The process is historical labelled popular culture one moment, and another kind of culture the nextbut it is also synchronic moving between resistance and incorporation at any given historical moment.
For instance, the seaside holiday began as an aristocratic event and within a hundred years it had become an example of popular culture. Film noir started as despised popular cinema and within thirty years had become art cinema. In general terms, those looking at popular culture from the perspective of hegemony theory tend to see it as a terrain of ideological struggle between dominant and subordinate classes, dominant and subordinate cultures.
As Bennett explains, The field of popular culture is structured by the attempt of the ruling class to win hegemony and by forms of opposition to this endeavour. Popular culture 11 The compromise equilibrium of hegemony can also be employed to analyse differ- ent types of conflict within and across popular culture.
The Conservative Party political broadcast, discussed earlier, reveals this process in action. What was being attempted was the disarticulation of socialism as a political movement concerned with economic, social and political emancipation, in favour of its articulation as a political movement concerned to impose restraints on individual freedom.
Also, as we shall see in Chapter 7, feminism has always recognized the importance of cultural struggle within the contested landscape of popular culture. Feminist presses have published science fiction, detective fiction and romance fiction.
Such cultural interventions rep- resent an attempt to articulate popular genres for feminist politics. It is also possible, using hegemony theory, to locate the struggle between resistance and incorporation as taking place within and across individual popular texts and practices.
Thus a text is made up of a contradictory mix of different cultural forces. How these elements are articulated will depend in part on the social cir- cumstances and historical conditions of production and consumption. David Morley has modified the model to take into account discourse and subjectivity: seeing reading as always an interaction between the discourses of the text and the discourses of the reader.
There is another aspect of popular culture that is suggested by hegemony theory. They could do that. Miss You owned that summer. No other live album captures the raw, visceral excitement of a rock show quite as succinctly as Ya-Yas. Here were a band recently up-graded into American arenas, but with the girlish screams of provincial Odeons still echoing in their ears and the sweaty intimacy of the Crawdaddy Club fresh in their memory. And yet, with assistance from first-time Stones producer Jimmy Miller, Keith Richards stepped up to the plate to deliver one of their best albums.
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