Ryan Sheely and Matthew Wrather consider Friday Night Lights Season 1 Episodes 3–4, focusing on ritual actions and social expectations, the difference between narrative and thematic spoilers, violence as the continuation of sex by other means (homosociality and the ookie convertible), the nature of power (individual vs. discursive, Voodoo vs. Smash).
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Is the audio clip missing? Or does “audio clip” refer to the podcast itself?
The latter – the Flash player is not being nice. Working on it.
You caught my attention when you said “There’s no smoke-filled room” in this society, and I wondered how this applies to the Occupy Movement.
You guys talk a lot about “The Wire”, “Gossip Girl”, “Friday Night Lights” and other shows that are about politics and class struggle, but not in a traditional hierarchical sense. I think you call it “networked power”, with a whole bunch of different groups, each with its own function in the social machine. The system benefits some people more than others, but nobody’s really in charge of it, and everybody has a fairly narrow range of acts they can take without getting kicked out of the system (or killed). There’s no “smoke filled room” where an elite gather to decide what the system as whole does.
Occupy Wall Street’s master narrative is “the 99 per cent versus the 1 per cent”: that there is an elite that gathers in a figurative smoke filled room and screws the rest of society, and inequality is therefore their fault. (A recent episode of “Nikita” had a character quite blatantly saying his was one of the “1 per cent” and his job was to cheat the rest of society.)
The “Wire”/”Gossip Girl”/”Friday Night Lights” view of society gives a more nuanced view: the social machine ticks along regardless of what any given actor does, and there is always somebody who will replace a given actor. However, it also seems creating change is hopeless: the machine sustains itself, and any attempt to change will be undone as the machine returns to equilibrium.
So, is Occupy Wall Street pushing a “Nikita” analysis of a “Wire” problem? If there’s no smoke filled room, is social progress possible?