I really enjoyed the readings from Future Active: Media Activism and the Internet, as I felt that they broadened my understanding of certain topics and reframed my understanding of internet subversion. In the chapter “Turning Signs Into Question Marks,” Meikle draws distinctions between tactical media, media strategies, and alternative media, positing that although these types of subversion can be combined, they exist as separate entities, different ways of attacking the status quo. In particular, I was attracted to the idea of using humor to undermine problematic individuals and corporations.

At the end of the chapter, Meikle talks about the power of conspiracy theories. I will admit my own personal biases—I usually find myself annoyed with the people in my life that tend to propagate conspiracy theories, and I’ve never quite seen the point of the whole practice. However, I liked the way that this text positioned conspiracy theories, as ways to question the objectivity of the media and the actual “truth” of any one textual source. Will I still roll my eyes when a family member starts one of his rants about the secret plans he believes he has uncovered? Maybe. But I also recognize at least the merit of the practice, and I wholeheartedly realize that every so often, conspiracy theories have actually turned out to be accurate. 

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2 responses »

  1. nlredmond says:

    The notion of using humor to undermine problematic individuals/corporations reminded me of TV news source such as the Colbert Report, the Daily Show, and SNL’s news segment. All of these shows look at current events and issues through a humorous lens, which I think does a good job at undermining the problematic roots of some of the news itself, why it is even news, etc.

  2. gabrielledas says:

    Conspiracy theories are a necessary practice to challenge our government and think outside what we have been told. You may find some to be true such as the FBI’s assassination of Fred Hampton, which until recently was accepted as “self-defense”. More info here: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/12/4/the_assassination_of_fred_hampton_how

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