[-empyre-] Speaking of Fake...

Mark Marino markcmarino at gmail.com
Sun Jun 18 03:19:37 AEST 2017

OMG, Alex,

Your post sent a chill up my spine.

Yes, yes, you know that my pedagogy and critical/art practice is heavily
inspired by your own. And I love #100hardtruths! I had not scene it. What a
beautiful and challenging creation on a platform (scalar) on which you have
been a principal pioneer! I'm going to add it to the Reading List for the

I've got a few reactions to comments you made. (not in any particular order)

 inevitable macho weaponization built upon the cascade of all of our little
internet truths

(This isn't nec. where you were headed, but triggered a reflection on
gendered behavior._
I think there is something masculinist in my response to these matters, as
the tradition of satire draws upon a certain break in communication empathy
that is historically been associated with cis males.  Not trying to get
essentialist here, just thinking through why it seems that men in
particular seem to gravitate toward the satirical response.

I highlight the satirical (in response to your comment on humor) because it
was ONLY in the realm of the satirical that I felt truly safe to discuss
Fake News.  I had the pleasure of chatting with Edgar Arceneaux about his
Museum of Black Lies at the Main (beta) and some people came up afterwards
to ask questions.  Soon I found myself being asked to offer a positive
straight version of media literacy in the face of Fake News -- one teachers
could use in schools.   At every turn, I found myself, like the Fake
Newser-in-Chief, having to backpedal, apologize, redefine, retract, clarify.

Satire, in this project, allowed Talan and me (although I can't speak for
him without access to his Twitter account) to thread the needle through
criticism and witticisms, being the drunken gadflies that we are rather
than becoming the pedant. Such satirical cooking contribute to the soup of
nonsense from which flat fake news emerges, but I think it does more than
that -- because it demands that the reader recognize the play of discourse
at every turn -- and stop asking for people to just start speaking true
again (as if this was ever the case).

More importantly, in this moment, I think we need to be nimble.  And satire
gives us a nimbleness, if not overly drawn into cynicism.  It's not the
only response (please, keep marching, everyone!). But in discourse on Fake
News it is a very capable response which, as I hope these projects and
courses prove, can be critically constructive.  Of course, it won't be to
everyone's taste.

And... to take up your larger point.  We may need to go offline. Or need to
be planning/conspiring/communing/coalescing offline as well.

Rob Wittig and I have meditated quite a bit on the money our art makes for
the Internet giants (c.f., I work for the Web http://robwit.net/iwfw/), if
we can talk through projects, which I think we must!).

I look forward to the continuing conversation on AND offline!

- Mark
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