BCM 111 Assignment 1: Blog 1/3: Question: What popular culture do you consume? Explain its popularity using one of the key theories. Use two academic sources from the Subject Readings, your own or a combination. Post to Twitter with #BCM111.
Notice: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders, this blog contains images and voices of people who are deceased.
I have an issue with popcorn… I do. I deploy the word popcorn as a race theory metaphor for my critical mistrust of capitalist and consumerist mass media, commodification of indigeneity and exploitation of the environment. Through this lens, most popular culture rhetoric, popcorn-culture, seems either destructively entitled, ignorant and unaccountable to either. This leaves us in a chronic homogenised Anthropocene, of intellectual and cultural malnutrition (Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Friedman, 2010; hooks, 1992; McFarlane, 2003; Moreton-Robinson, 2009; O’Shaughnessy, 2012; Todd, 2015; Wolfe, 2006).
Like anything created by humans, popcorn-culture and mass media have both positive and negative aspects concurrently. O’Shaughnessy, (2012) outlines utopian and dystopian elements of living in a networked, global community such as, a sense of connectedness for many, versus appropriation and exploitation of culture for others (Allas, 2015; Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Friedman, 2010; McFarlane, 2003; Moreton-Robinson, 2009; Todd, 2015). I’m not afraid of being wrong about popcorn. What I’m afraid of is, commodification as another way dominant culture perpetuates ethnographic invisibility of indigeneity via its popcorn machines rather than, acknowledging our contributions to the networked, global village and with more than just popular culture (Allas, 2015; Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Friedman, 2010; McFarlane, 2003; Moreton-Robinson, 2009; O’Shaughnessy, 2012; Todd, 2015; Wolfe, 2006).
Excluding nations like Dharawal and other Indigenous nations (Australia), Māori (New Zealand) and the Native Indian nations (United States) from discussions of mainstream, popular culture and globalisation, contributes to ongoing denial that diverse Indigenous nations live in dual cultures but same geographies, it’s a digitally networked type of ethnography. If the argument is that English is the predominant language of those countries, that would be the first clue that, culturally and socio-politically, there might be cause for concern. Our contribution to popular culture per capita, is unmatched (Allas, 2015; Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Friedman, 2010; McFarlane, 2003; Moreton-Robinson, 2009; O’Shaughnessy, 2012; Todd, 2015; Wolfe, 2006).
I would love to deep dive into a supersized bucket of popcorn and wallow in the buttery privilege of simply, answering the assignment question, about my me-centred popcorn bingeing. However, when the topic fails to include the world’s indigenous voices within these contexts, it forces my indigenous intellectual hand to shake the popcorn and the bucket! My assignment answer then, is handed over to blaktivism. Instead of choking on over-puffed, non-Indigenous flavoured popcorn in the dark with strangers and simply answering the assignment question, I must blak track. Blak tracking, as I call it, requires I do at least three times the work to make indigeneity visible as a key contemporary, cultural contributor, not being excluded from these scripts (Allas, 2015; Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Friedman, 2010; hooks, 1992; Ksiazek & Webster, 2008; McFarlane, 2003; Moreton-Robinson, 2009; Wolfe, 2010).
Not only do I feel pressure to learn and appropriately regurgitate non-Indigenous content better than most students, but I must also set about locating and absorbing research that edits and corrects ethnographic narratives and non-narratives. I need to gather evidence for and of, my absolute frustration about digression from the set assignment. Then, as my assignment stands, I am decolonising a vernacular that consistently relegates indigeneity to the fringes of society and the global conversation. We are a global culture (Allas, 2015; Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Friedman, 2010; hooks, 1992; Ksiazek & Webster, 2008; McFarlane, 2003; Moreton-Robinson, 2009; Wolfe, 2010).
Example: Decolonising education, Dr. Jodi Edwards (ed.), Dharawal: Words, Phrases & Activities, 2022, Image: <https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FXC0e8naMAEBrZh?format=jpg&name=large>, accessed:13.08.2022.
Perhaps the point has missed me and there’s more to learn around future’s corner or… I’m just allergic to popcorn. I’m going to conclude this blog from a decolonised, culturally revitalised position of strength, with an example of one Indigenous nation, the Dharawal people, thriving in dual cultures, utilising the western popular culture format of a colouring-in and activity book, to share ancient knowledge with Indigenous and non, for generations now and to come – and that’s how I think inclusivity could work in the networked, globalised village, glocally (Allas, 2015; Carlson & Frazer, 2018; Friedman, 2010; McFarlane, 2003; Moreton-Robinson, 2009; O’Shaughnessy, 2012; Todd, 2015; Wolfe, 2006).
Thanx for popping by…
Juundaal Strang-Yettica BCM 110
Allas, Ruben D, 2015, Globalisation in Art & Culture, 2015, article for Artlink Magazine, June 2015, p.1-13.
Carlson, Bronwyn; Frazer, Ryan, 2018, ‘Yarning circles & media activism’, Media International, Vol.169, Iss.1, p.43-53, <https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/10.1177/1329878X18803762?icid=int.sj-full-text.similar-articles.2>, accessed 13.08.2022.
Friedman, Jonathon, 2010, ‘Indigenous Struggles & The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie’, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Vol.10:1, p.1-14, Social Anthropology, University of Lund, accessed: 13.08.2022.
hooks, bell, 1992 Black Looks: race & representation, 1992 & 2015, South End Press, Boston, US.
Ksiazek, Thomas & Webster, James, 2008, ‘Cultural Proximity I Audience Behaviour: The Role of Language in Patterns of Polarisation & Multi-Cultural Fluency’, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Vol.52:3. P.485-503, accessed: 08.2022.
McFarlane, Brian, 2003, ‘Back Tracking’, Meanjin, Vol.62, Iss.1, p.59-58, Melbourne University Publishing, Australia, ISSN:0025-6293.
Moreton-Robinson, Aileen, 2009, ‘Imagining the good Indigenous citizen: Race War & the pathology of Patriarchal White Sovereignty’, UTC: Cultural Studies Review, Creative Commons Licence.
O’Shaughnessy, Michael, 2012, Globalisation in Media & Society, p.458-471, Oxford University Press, England, accessed: 08.2022..
Todd, Zoe, 2015, Indigenising the Anthropocene, Art in the Anthropocene: encounters among aesthetics, politics, environments & epistemologies, Open Humanities Press.
Wolfe, Patrick, 2006, ‘Settler colonialism & the elimination of the native’, Journal of Genocide Research, Vol.8:4, p.387-409, DOI:10.1080/146235220601056240, accessed: 12.08.2022.
Australian Arts Review blog post, 2019, ‘Blak & Bright: First Nations Literary Festival’, Australian Arts Review, <https://artsreview.com.au/blak-bright-first-nations-literary-festival/>, accessed: 13.08.2022.
Bauer, Elise, 2022, ‘Perfect Popcorn: How to make a perfect batch of popcorn with no burnt kernels! Easy stove-top recipe’, Simply Recipes blog post, 03.01.2022, <https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_popcorn/>, accessed: 07.08.2022.
Edwards, Dustin W, 2020, ‘Digital Rhetoric on a Damaged Planet: Storying Digital Damage as Inventive Response to the Anthropocene’, Rhetoric Review, Vol.30:1, p.59-72, <https://www-tandfonline-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/07350198.2019.1690372>, accessed: 07.08.2022.
Gergan, Mabel; Smith, Sara; Vasudevan, Pavithra, 2020, ‘Earth beyond repair: Race & apocalypse in collective imagination’, Environment & Planning D: Society & Space, Vol.38:1, p.91-110,<https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/full/10.1177/0263775818756079>, accessed: 05.08.2022.
Langton, Marcia, 2008, ‘Trapped in the Aboriginality reality show,’ Griffith Review, Iss:19, p.143-159, <https://www.griffithreview.com/articles/trapped-in-the-aboriginal-reality-show/ >, accessed: 15.08.2022.
Latour, Bruno; Stengers, Isabelle; Tsing Anna; Bubandt, Nils, 2018, ‘Anthropologists are Talking About Capitalism, Ecology & Apocalypse’, Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology, Vol.83, Iss.3, accessed: 23.07.2022.
McCausland, Ruth, 2014, ‘Special treatment: the representation of Aboriginal People & Torres Strait Islander people in the media’, Journal of Indigenous Policy, <http://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:77034/binca5017ae-1906-4de8-9ab9-ec8e320cca84?view=true&xy=01>, accessed: 05.08.2022.
Moreton-Robinson, Aileen (ed.), 2004, Whitening Race: Essays in social and cultural criticism, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, Australia.
Shifroni, Tamar 2012, Integrating Indigenous Culture & History into Popular Australian Media: An analysis of the 2012, Australian film, The Sapphires, WordPress blog, posted: 24.10.2018, <https://tamarshifroni.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/integrating-indigenous-culture-and-history-into-popular-australian-media-an-analysis-of-the-2012-australian-film-the-sapphires>, accessed: 07.08.2022.
Singh, Michael, 1998, ‘Globalism, cultural diversity & tertiary education’, The Australian universities review, Vol.41:2, p.12-19, accessed: 13.08.2022, <https://search-informit-org.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/epdf/10.3316/aeipt.93732>, accessed: 10.08.2022.
Tiddas, 1993, Inanay, album, Sing About Life, Mercury Records Pty. Ltd, Distribution: Universal Music Group & YouTube, accessed: 14.08.2022
Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt, Bubandt, Nils, Gan, Elaine, Swanson, Heather Anne, 2017, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts & Monsters of the Anthropocene, University of Minnesota Press, USA.
Yunkaporta, Tyson, 2019, sand talk, Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, VIC.
IMAGES & VIDEOS:
Parulski, Emily, 2022, Taste of Home, https://www.tasteofhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/TOH-we-tried-social-nostalgia-popcorn-machine-Emily-Parulski.jpg, popcorn machine review, accessed: 08.08.2022.
Yunupingu, Gurrumul & Kelly, Paul, 2016, Amazing Grace, performed live on Q & A, Mental As, Australian Broadcasting Commission, ABC, Distributed: YouTube, accessed: 15.08.2022.
Archie Roach Covers Bob Marley, ‘Redemption Song/OneLove/Get Up Stand/Up’ for Like a Version, Triple J Radio, (00.00-06.10), (full version), <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSj-LFju6Oc>, Archie Roach covers Bob Marley ‘Redemption Song / One Love / Get Up, Stand Up’ for Like A Version, Distributor: YouTube, accessed: 14.08.2022.
Edwards, Jodi Dr.(ed.), 2022, Dharawal: words, Phrases & Activities, Dharawal Publications, Sydney Australia.