Our culture is increasingly becoming as mashed up as all that tasteless “Binder Full of Women” derivative art popping up all over the Internet after yesterday’s presidential debate.
Social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, are transforming the relationship between spectator and spectacle. In other words, creative expression empowers individuals, but it also alters socially accepted norms such as civility, critical thinking, and in a sense true democratic participation. I do acknowledge, however, that the last point (democratic participation) seems a bit of a stretch. My key concerns are that mashups reflect a shift in culture through objectifying events into isolated instances rather than looking at the "bigger picture."
Looking at dozens of digitally manipulated “binder” themed mash-ups is a little depressing.
There is the binder with a pair of female legs sticking out of it or the one with Austin Power’s “Fat Bastard” saying “get in me binder.”
Poking fun at others is a national pastime. Beside, with the NHL on strike what else do all those middle-aged testosterone-challenged males have left do to other than put a presidential candidate’s face on an alien’s body.
Despite the appearance that social media empowers people in a ”democratic” sort of way, the notion of civility seems to have gotten lost in the bandwidth. Where’s the real substance in creating “art” when it comes off looking more like a boorish cheap shot than a work of good conscience. I know this sounds so prudish, but so much media attention has shifted to covering what people are doing with social media after the debate, that the real issues are becoming buried.
Image credit: google