Pop Playground
Sugar Shock #008: Outside Looking In

By: David Moore

Posted 02/21/2007 - 04:17:10 PM by JoshLove:
Posted 02/22/2007 - 11:57:21 AM by j_cunningham:
 Someone needs to send this article to Jim DeRogatis, who abuses the word "pander" more than any other rock critic I know.
Posted 02/23/2007 - 12:52:26 PM by mbarthel:
 I think Tom may have even mentioned this, but a rock critic trying to talk to an audience member at a HSM concert would have looked a wee bit sketchy to, say, that audience member's parents. Does MacDougall talk about these sorts of situations, when it's socially awkward for observers to talk to observed?
Posted 02/23/2007 - 08:45:54 PM by dmoore:
 I can't really speak for MacDougall, but I think when you make the observed/observer split in the first place, it's socially awkward by definition. One thing that a good critic at a High School Musical show might do is investigate why it's "sketchy" to interact with the audience rather than just state (or imply) that it is, which I think Tom does more effectively than writers (e.g. the New York Times piece on it) who took more condescending approaches. For MacDougall, anthropological films -- as opposed to "films about anthropology," which merely report on existing knowledge -- "present a genuine process of inquiry" to create knowledge...so the question isn't so much whether or not A should be communicating with B in the first place (which is what "sketchy" implies) but rather HOW A is communicating with B, how (and what kind of) knowledge is being shared or created. The idea that one group shouldn't communicate with another one at all can be as harmful as the idea that a group can be "spoken for."
Posted 02/23/2007 - 09:27:23 PM by dmoore:
 (Actually, Ginia Bellafante's NYT piece is condescending, but there's nothing about it being sketchy for the writer to interact directly with the audience -- but she does bring a sort of "audience buffer," a 10 year old friend, which raises some interesting questions. Who did she bring along to the show about Blind Lemon Jefferson she recently reviewed?)
Posted 02/24/2007 - 05:28:09 PM by koganbot:
 Simon R. was being a lazy anthropologist himself (we being his objects of (non)study): telling himself lies about why people like me love the Paris album and listen to country so as to give himself an excuse not to address what we actually say about Paris and about country.