[This post originally appeared at Classroots.org.]
In the first part of his new book Present Shock, media theorist Douglas Rushkoff explains how we have come to a “now-ist” “presentism” resulting in “narrative collapse.” If I understand him correctly, Rushkoff argues that new media, social change, and technologies make traditional story-telling untenable. While we are accustomed to stories that fit the mold of Campbell’s hero, we are no longer able to use or enjoy them (or any new Star Wars movie?) because
- We have become too self-conscious to consume narratives uncritically (see everything from Beavis and Butthead to MSTK3000 to Community). [These references and the following are Rushkoff’s.]
- We have become more interested in current individual performance (see the itinerant NBA star) than collective group history (see baseball rivalries).
- Our pop storytellers in news and entertainment have reduced (betrayed?) storytelling to the serial exploitation and…
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