I’m positively embarassed that I didn’t see the direct connection between media capitals an cultural essentialism. That is to say, the idea that people have fundamental traits based on their cultures, which means that media centres can produce for them. While modern media capitals are reinforcing that outlook, the fact that media capitals exist shows the outlook to be erronous.
The Avaaz video was very nice, if, um, a bit simplistic. Polls about who does and does not want a particular thing will often tell you more about what people want to say they want.
TV material does not belong to any one location; formats and structures are global, but the influences and content are often local. This is basically glocalisation for less-cool topics.
The interesting effect is that the media capitals’ private businesses drive the transmission of information, not the nations. They effectively are independent of the nation state; they do not work or behave in service to that nation-state. They are driven by markets, which are also driven by things like ethnoscapes, technoscapes and migration.
Once again, asked to speak to the people next to me. Once again, I’ve sat on my own like a total dork. Can’t help it, need to be in front for my ears and eyes. :S
Surely, and I say this before the Hong Kong documentary has finished, the massive population called upon services to drive that population. With the growing population of China – and indeed, the exportability of Hong Kong’s media to related but non-Chinese markets – gave it that opportunity to become a media capital. Hong Kong also had Imperial contact through Britain.
Post-documentary, it seems that the core was the increase in consumer culture. Which would be included by an increase in economic growth and population growth, more or less fitting with what I said.
The dual nature of Hong Kong as its Western influences and Chinese influences make it marginal to both pure cultures. Culture can flow one way or the other – the use of the English words in Cantopop, for example, or the spread of WuXia in western cinema (to the point where whole camera styles are seen as ‘kung fu’).
“Is the reaction of the west…” probably racist? Well, we’re good at that. Neo-orientalism sounds like the notion of othering people who simply aren’t Imperial West. The modern depiction of the Asiatic and Middle East nations are orientalist, because they try to break large, complicated groups of people with varied histories internal and external, as simple, large blocks. Just look at how the removal of Saddam Hussein brought Iraq to Civil War, and how surprised the media were on that matter.
Similar, another example is the influence of Indian news; Indian culture is being perceived through a bowlderised view of ‘being Indian,’ like unto Bollywood. Basically, we’re being racist to other cultures, and some of that racism is largely institutional and reactionary.
Neo-orientalism is a movement growing out of an old media narrative about the Enemy being the Other. It used to be Russians, but then, Russians also used to be Communists, and Communists were Atheists, and Atheists were Nihilists. You can see how this broad brush painted people from Russia to Cambodia and Korea.
Now, on to the Edward Said lecture.
What’s strange is these discussions seem to suggest that culture wasn’t a huge part of how economies and ideologies form and behave. If your culture espouses selfishness and war, it will reflect in your economy lacking supports and infrastructure, and your ideology being prone to invade or spend on military operations.
Said does note the way in which there is an easy outlook upon Islam as a culture. I mean, there are over a billion people in the world that could be included in that. Doesn’t acting as if a billion people in over a hundred country’s are going to behave uniformly indicate a culturally myopic perspective?
Note to self: Look into the Edward Said talk.