Los medios y la literatura popular Archive

  • During the last decades, literary and media studies have merged, and enriched themselves with tools originally belonging to other disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Sciences, Musicology, and many others...  
Out of their colaboration, in fact, a new discipline was born ─that of Cultural Studies, which builds upon the seminal idea, * that every cultural product and element, responds to a certain social need, and reflects ─in a certain way, too, our social reality.*

Under this multidisciplinarian umbrella, the careful and experienced analysis of popular fiction ─like that of Pedro Infante's movies in Mexico,  offers us a privileged channel to unveiling and understanding our deeper reality ─our "true reality", as Carlos Bousoño would say.
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       The present paper illustrates the point, better than a thick volume of theoretical frameworks.

    WHEN EVEN THE MOST COURAGEOUS CRY…

    During the last decades, literary and media studies have merged, and enriched themselves with tools originally belonging to other disciplines: Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Sciences, Musicology, and many others... Out of their colaboration, in fact, a new discipline was born ─that of Cultural Studies, which builds upon the seminal idea, * that every cultural product and element, responds to a certain social need, and reflects ─in a certain way, too, our social reality.* Under this multidisciplinarian umbrella, the careful and experienced analysis of popular fiction ─like that of Pedro Infante's movies in Mexico, offers us a privileged channel to unveiling and understanding our deeper reality ─our "true reality", as Carlos Bousoño would say. . The present paper illustrates the point, better than a thick volume of theoretical frameworks.

    Continue Reading...

  • An analysis of morbid content as a narrative device with a boomerang effect, since even when it generates an audience, it tends to kill the media source that resorted to using it (updated version).

    Have you ever wondered WHAT “MORBID” CONTENTS ARE?

    An analysis of morbid content as a narrative device with a boomerang effect, since even when it generates an audience, it tends to kill the media source that resorted to using it (updated version).

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  • This article was our first project on literary theory (or “poetics”), regarding works produced for popular, mass consumption. It explains how they are characterized by the repetitive and codified use of certain narrative schemas with which the audience is already familiar, and provides examples taken primarily from the telenovela industry. 

It was published long before Hawkin's "memes" (contagious, imitated ideas) became habitual amongst Communications people, and it does not only refer to them, but to the many various elements Literary scholars have analyzed as narrative building blocks in cultures all around the world, for centuries without end.

    MARGINALIZED LITERATURE, a new vision of an everlasting cultural issue

    This article was our first project on literary theory (or “poetics”), regarding works produced for popular, mass consumption. It explains how they are characterized by the repetitive and codified use of certain narrative schemas with which the audience is already familiar, and provides examples taken primarily from the telenovela industry. It was published long before Hawkin's "memes" (contagious, imitated ideas) became habitual amongst Communications people, and it does not only refer to them, but to the many various elements Literary scholars have analyzed as narrative building blocks in cultures all around the world, for centuries without end.

    Continue Reading...

  • The Digital Revolution (i.e.: the proliferation of the internet, personal computers, mobile/portable devices, etc.) is currently being blamed for the dramatic sales fall that traditional and electronic media are experiencing.  This article, originally published in 1994, witnesses to the unfairness of this myth:  The Internet was officially born in 1993, only one year before this article was written, and its reach in Mexico was still scarce at that time; yet media had already been losing sales and audiences steadily –for years in some cases, and for decades in others.

The fact is so evident that few –if any, of the media products' sales recorded here (including a couple of national newspapers), ever recuperated their previous audiences, and many have disappeared altogether:

Contrary to professionally-generated mainstream-media contents, those internet's contents that have been generated by the general audience (think of FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, e-mail chains and attachments, and the like), are majoritarianly "clean" (amiable in regards to the general audiences' values, ideas and beliefs).  And people are consuming them massively, close to the verge of addiction.

Society cannot possibly deliver mass media a more conclusive message, or put its case in a stronger way.
What are they waiting for to react accordingly...?

    THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE MISSING SPECTATOR has little to do with the Digital Revolution

    The Digital Revolution (i.e.: the proliferation of the internet, personal computers, mobile/portable devices, etc.) is currently being blamed for the dramatic sales fall that traditional and electronic media are experiencing. This article, originally published in 1994, witnesses to the unfairness of this myth: The Internet was officially born in 1993, only one year before this article was written, and its reach in Mexico was still scarce at that time; yet media had already been losing sales and audiences steadily –for years in some cases, and for decades in others. The fact is so evident that few –if any, of the media products' sales recorded here (including a couple of national newspapers), ever recuperated their previous audiences, and many have disappeared altogether: Contrary to professionally-generated mainstream-media contents, those internet's contents that have been generated by the general audience (think of FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, e-mail chains and attachments, and the like), are majoritarianly "clean" (amiable in regards to the general audiences' values, ideas and beliefs). And people are consuming them massively, close to the verge of addiction. Society cannot possibly deliver mass media a more conclusive message, or put its case in a stronger way. What are they waiting for to react accordingly...?

    Continue Reading...

  • Once in a while we run across the words "colective aesthetics", but few can explain to us what they mean in terms anyone can understand.  This brief article achieves this seemingly unsurmountable task, through exposing us to a fun and short test no-one "flunks", no-one fails to answer.  Not only does it make us laugh, it also makes us think why in the world we all know these things.  If our brains strive innately to learn and retain them, then --somehow, they are necessary for our survival both as individuals and as societies. It naturally follows that those literatures that feed on these elements and keep them alive, constitute a premier social institution, even if our society frequently fails to appreciate it.

    A test about media, YOU JUST WILL LOVE TO ANSWER!

    Once in a while we run across the words "colective aesthetics", but few can explain to us what they mean in terms anyone can understand. This brief article achieves this seemingly unsurmountable task, through exposing us to a fun and short test no-one "flunks", no-one fails to answer. Not only does it make us laugh, it also makes us think why in the world we all know these things. If our brains strive innately to learn and retain them, then --somehow, they are necessary for our survival both as individuals and as societies. It naturally follows that those literatures that feed on these elements and keep them alive, constitute a premier social institution, even if our society frequently fails to appreciate it.

    Continue Reading...

  • This article analyzes the consumption of cultural works in Mexico, at the end of the XXth century. 
In the years elapsed since it was published, however, the number of copies magazines sell -like national papers' and other media products' sales, have plummeted.
Several best-selling magazines it mentions, have disappeared from the market; and others are publishing less than a fourth of the copies they did at that time, as a consequence of the very same issues this article analyzed: Creators, producers and distributors of both "high brow" (elite) and "low brow" (popular) works, have alienated themselves from their audiences, and through the continuous opposition to the latters' values, ideas and beliefs (through both veiled and overt contestation), they have lost their consumers' trust.  And also their money.

In other words: What this article concluded, is still true, including the fact that people -even the younger generations, are reading... --yes, indeed!; but not what some would like them to read.
In the end, this is more positive for society in many senses, than the consumption of media works that would otherwise have corroded even more, the social and cultural tissue of our countries.
What we have observed is the displacement of average audiences, towards works that better reflect the latter's values, ideas and beliefs, as we should have expected since the beginning: This facilitates the survival of the larger part of the social group and its culture --the part that has been less influenced by media in general, by the way.

Anyone could have foreseen what has happened, from a social-anthropology or systems-theories' frames of study --we certainly did, and published it all around, while many stared at us in disbelief. Nowadays media fear for their very survival; but the social-body demonstrates a vigour and an intuition, few would have vowed for. It will soon produce new works, away from dominant content agendas, that most of us  (but sadly not all), will love.

    If it is not the readers’ fault, WHOM SHOULD WE BLAME…?

    This article analyzes the consumption of cultural works in Mexico, at the end of the XXth century. In the years elapsed since it was published, however, the number of copies magazines sell -like national papers' and other media products' sales, have plummeted. Several best-selling magazines it mentions, have disappeared from the market; and others are publishing less than a fourth of the copies they did at that time, as a consequence of the very same issues this article analyzed: Creators, producers and distributors of both "high brow" (elite) and "low brow" (popular) works, have alienated themselves from their audiences, and through the continuous opposition to the latters' values, ideas and beliefs (through both veiled and overt contestation), they have lost their consumers' trust. And also their money. In other words: What this article concluded, is still true, including the fact that people -even the younger generations, are reading... --yes, indeed!; but not what some would like them to read. In the end, this is more positive for society in many senses, than the consumption of media works that would otherwise have corroded even more, the social and cultural tissue of our countries. What we have observed is the displacement of average audiences, towards works that better reflect the latter's values, ideas and beliefs, as we should have expected since the beginning: This facilitates the survival of the larger part of the social group and its culture --the part that has been less influenced by media in general, by the way. Anyone could have foreseen what has happened, from a social-anthropology or systems-theories' frames of study --we certainly did, and published it all around, while many stared at us in disbelief. Nowadays media fear for their very survival; but the social-body demonstrates a vigour and an intuition, few would have vowed for. It will soon produce new works, away from dominant content agendas, that most of us (but sadly not all), will love.

    Continue Reading...

  •       Many say that the Digital Revolution --the birth of the internet, mobile (cell) phones, etc.-- killed traditional electronic media (radio, tv and cinema), as well as paper media.
     Nevertheless, when we analyse media sales-and-consumption statistics around the world --and particularly in the Western world, we realize that they started to lose credibility, reach and financial viability, long before the Digital Age.
     This talk makes a quick review of seemingly indestructible mainstream media along centuries and decades of our history --many of whom we are still familiar with, and how and why they met their end.

    When and WHY MASS MEDIA DIE

    Many say that the Digital Revolution --the birth of the internet, mobile (cell) phones, etc.-- killed traditional electronic media (radio, tv and cinema), as well as paper media. Nevertheless, when we analyse media sales-and-consumption statistics around the world --and particularly in the Western world, we realize that they started to lose credibility, reach and financial viability, long before the Digital Age. This talk makes a quick review of seemingly indestructible mainstream media along centuries and decades of our history --many of whom we are still familiar with, and how and why they met their end.

    Continue Reading...

  • A brief examination of what highly educated people really read when nobody is watching them, allows  us to conclude that it is humanly impossible to refrain from reading popular works –to maintain a “purely highbrow diet” comprised of only elite works.
We put forth the following explanation: Works applauded and esteemed by the elite arts in the last 100 years or so, envision a sordid, bitter, and hopeless world –thus frequently becoming toxic or harmful for their readers’ emotional and general health, as we shall analyse in other articles. A “purely-depressive works” diet would certainly kill its reader.
No wonder most people, and even highly educated ones, tend to prefer popular works, even if they lack the prestige of the “high arts”. What a pity it is, though, that even popular works have been contaminated by the biases that have progressively killed the “high” arts, thus diminishing the spontaneous and joyful pleasure we hope and expect to obtain from them.

    WHAT HIGHLY EDUCATED PEOPLE READ…, when nobody watches

    A brief examination of what highly educated people really read when nobody is watching them, allows us to conclude that it is humanly impossible to refrain from reading popular works –to maintain a “purely highbrow diet” comprised of only elite works. We put forth the following explanation: Works applauded and esteemed by the elite arts in the last 100 years or so, envision a sordid, bitter, and hopeless world –thus frequently becoming toxic or harmful for their readers’ emotional and general health, as we shall analyse in other articles. A “purely-depressive works” diet would certainly kill its reader. No wonder most people, and even highly educated ones, tend to prefer popular works, even if they lack the prestige of the “high arts”. What a pity it is, though, that even popular works have been contaminated by the biases that have progressively killed the “high” arts, thus diminishing the spontaneous and joyful pleasure we hope and expect to obtain from them.

    Continue Reading...

  • Few times do we talk about what the "message" of a literary work is, even amongst those of us who study literature.  Finding out what the message is behind any human expression, however, is fundamental for surviving, as it allows us to filter what we are being told –to separate and retain what serves us, and to prevent us from falling prey to cheaters and liars.
Learning to see through information, allows us to make better use of media, too, without resorting to censorship or limiting our freedom of expression.

Evelyn, the movie (with Pierce Brosnan in the leading role), is a popular work, which was produced to help advance an unpopular political agenda amongst the general audience. The slant, the bias, the way reality was altered in it, in order to promote such agenda, is so great and evident, that it easily serves us to exemplify what a "message" is  –what we are talking about; and to show how even a reality-based narration can be manipulated in order to fulfil a given goal.

    How to make a movie say WHAT YOU WANT TO

    Few times do we talk about what the "message" of a literary work is, even amongst those of us who study literature. Finding out what the message is behind any human expression, however, is fundamental for surviving, as it allows us to filter what we are being told –to separate and retain what serves us, and to prevent us from falling prey to cheaters and liars. Learning to see through information, allows us to make better use of media, too, without resorting to censorship or limiting our freedom of expression. Evelyn, the movie (with Pierce Brosnan in the leading role), is a popular work, which was produced to help advance an unpopular political agenda amongst the general audience. The slant, the bias, the way reality was altered in it, in order to promote such agenda, is so great and evident, that it easily serves us to exemplify what a "message" is –what we are talking about; and to show how even a reality-based narration can be manipulated in order to fulfil a given goal.

    Continue Reading...

  • Media works should dignify and show due appreciation, for domestic professions, because of how deeply both influence our family and social lives.
If we do not want to create the opposite effect, however, this must be done lovingly, knowledgeably, and with a natural respect for our culture: We do not want the audience to laugh at them, or at us, instead of realizing how much of our wellbeing, is the handywork of those who spend their lives creating homes, out of spaces that otherwise would have only been living quarters. Or perhaps not even!

    DOMESTIC PROFESSIONS, a brief “dictionary” for media people

    Media works should dignify and show due appreciation, for domestic professions, because of how deeply both influence our family and social lives. If we do not want to create the opposite effect, however, this must be done lovingly, knowledgeably, and with a natural respect for our culture: We do not want the audience to laugh at them, or at us, instead of realizing how much of our wellbeing, is the handywork of those who spend their lives creating homes, out of spaces that otherwise would have only been living quarters. Or perhaps not even!

    Continue Reading...

  • This web is the result of a seminal discovery, expressed by an uncountable number of impartial consumer and scientific studies: That both because of personal and social reasons, the majority of us want […]

    FOR AUDIENCES WHO LONG TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT SUFFERING (including parents, teachers and all kinds of consumers)

    This web is the result of a seminal discovery, expressed by an uncountable number of impartial consumer and scientific studies: That both because of personal and social reasons, the majority of us want […]

    Continue Reading...

  • When we study colective aesthetics –like those modelling most popular and folk literatures, there is no way we can divorce the creator from his/her audience. Mass media, just like folk tales, feed precisely […]

    ARTICLES THAT INTEREST EVERYBODY (both creators and consumers)

    When we study colective aesthetics –like those modelling most popular and folk literatures, there is no way we can divorce the creator from his/her audience. Mass media, just like folk tales, feed precisely […]

    Continue Reading...

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