My critical ethnographic purpose has changed over the last two years.   While parody, remains fundamental to surrealist sensibility and montage technique, for me it is becoming a less primary focus. 

For instance, take President George W. Bush.  Making still more parodies of him is akin to shooting fish in a barrel.  Without deeper underpinnings in broader, more important communication theory, spoofing him begins to sound like the barrage of ‘retard’ or ‘dead baby’ jokes of the 1970’s.  Why even go there anymore?  We all know Bush is intellectually clumsy; and we all know it leaves a bad taste in our mouths.  Why keep kicking a dead horse?  Should we do it just for laughs to keep the ratings up like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

And so a question: When humor and cynicism fades, and it always does, what remains?  What remains is the very same overarching need for media literacy, visual communication, and critical theory.  In a world of moving images still careening out of control, maybe it is time to pass up obvious infantilization.

I love a good joke as much as anyone.  But today, maybe it is better to focus our media efforts on the necessary.

Bush - 8 Nov 06    2006  (4:45)