When Editors hear the Word ‘Culture’…

Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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5 Responses

  1. Doctor Jay says:

    I wonder if Todd VanDerWerff has ever watched any videos of Bob the Movie Guy on YouTube. Or video essays by Lindsay Ellis. Journalism, as opposed to academic study, probably needs to focus on the present or recent past, and probably on cultural stuff that is pretty mainstream. I think there are quite a few people out there doing this, running Patreon and getting some cash for it.

    I can’t see this work ever taking place under a “newspaper”, much less for many of the link-spamming sites that try to pass for this today.Report

    • Carlton Hickok in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      Oh, I think he’d probably champion the good stuff that’s out there and hopefully the good stuff finds its way and gets paid. I just imagine if you’re an editor at one of these outlets that’s taking on water and looking for what to jettison first, your opinion would differ from mine.Report

  2. pillsy says:

    Most people writing this stuff weren’t Kael or Kracauer back when they were writing, either. So that doesn’t seem like much of a counter-argument.Report

  3. Rufus F. says:

    Yeah, I wasn’t really looking to form a counter-argument, but VanDerWerff invoked Kracauer as an example of how essential cultural criticism can be, so while it’s true that there’s always been plenty of inessential cultural writing, I’m not sure that’s going to help culture writers in the current media environment. Kracauer’s work is still essential nearly a hundred years later. I’m not sure the same will be true of “Ten Reasons that Black Panther is the Movie we need Right Now”.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Yeah, and that’s the thing. If we had Kracauers running around, would anybody even be able to find them among the thousands of Buzzfeed Listicles talking about the 22 Democratic Presidential Nominees Explained Using Disney Princess Gifs-level content?Report