How Nostalgia Serves Corporate Power
Paris Marx is joined by Grafton Tanner to discuss how social media constantly resurfaces the past, why film and television uses nostalgia to keep us engaged, and whether there’s a way to wield nostalgia in pursuit of a better world.
Grafton Tanner is the author of “The Circle of the Snake: Nostalgia and Utopia in the Age of Big Tech” and “Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts.” Grafton is also writing “The Hours Have Lost Their Clock: The Politics of Nostalgia” for Repeater Books, due out in October 2021. Follow Grafton on Twitter as @GraftonTanner.
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- Paris wrote about consolidation in the film and television industries.
- Disney lobbied to extend copyright terms and what it might mean when Mickey Mouse goes into the public domain.
- George Lucas describes how commercialism limits what kind of movies can be made (17:18-18:40).
- Hollywood is using AI to help decide which films get made.
- A Harry Potter television series is in early development at HBO Max.
- Books mentioned in this episode: “The Future of Nostalgia” by Svetlana Boym, “New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future” by James Bridle, “Protocol: How Control Exists After Decentralization” by Alexander Galloway, “The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media” by Kate Eichhorn, “Radical Nostalgia: Spanish Civil War Commemoration in America” by Peter Glazer, and “Left in the Past: Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia” by Alastair Bonnett.
- Movies and shows mentioned in this episode: Ready Player One, San Junipero (Black Mirror), eXistenZ, The Matrix, and The Merchants of Cool.