WHY SO MANY FOOD PROGRAMS?

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THE CULTURAL MEANINGS OF FOOD AND EATING CONVENTIONS ANALYZED THROUGH ANTHROPOLOGICAL CONCEPTIONS OF CULTURE.

1) Following R. Benedict’s definition of anthropology as “the study of human beings as creatures of society. It fastens its attention upon those physical characteristics and industrial techniques, those conventions and values, which distinguish one community from all others that belong to a different tradition”, in these notes I will try to analyse the conventions of food and eating. I find the topic most interesting, in that it asks to discuss a matter that offers a number of insights into human societies, and its symbols and meanings. Food is everywhere… food, and the way, and the reason why, too, we eat certain foods, in certain contexts.

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PORNOGRAPHY, MEDIA VIOLENCE AND CENSORSHIP

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‘THE LIBERAL VIEW OF CENSORSHIP PROVIDES CONTEMPORARY PRODUCERS OF FILM AND TELEVISION THE LICENCE THEY NEED, TO INCORPORATE PORNOGRAPHIES. THESE INCLUDE THE GRAPHIC DEPICTIONS OF SEX ITSELF, BUT EXTENDS TO COVER SEXUAL ABUSE, PHYSICAL VIOLENCE AND TORTURE. THESE SEQUENCES ARE FREQUENTLY ENACTED TOWARDS THOSE WHO ARE OTHERWISE TRADITIONALLY MARGINALIZED’.

The Durango-95 purred away real horror show – a nice, warm vibraty feeling all through your guttiwuts. Soon, it was trees and dark, my brothers, with real country dark. We filled around for a while with other travellers of the night, playing hogs of the road. Then we headed west, what we were after now was the old surprise visit. That was a real kick and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultra violence.
Alex (voice-over) – A Clockwork Orange, 1971

My being raped moved something in me so deeply that I could no longer look at it: I’d had a fear of men all of my life. [America woman]
Women Viewing Violence, p. 15

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POLITICS ISN’T WORKING? LOOK AT THE MEDIA

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AS IT IS FREQUENTLY ARGUED, ‘POLITICS ISN’T WORKING’ AND THE MEDIA HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO A ‘CRISIS IN POLITICAL COMMUNICATIONS’ CREATING AUDIENCES WHO ARE POLITICALLY CYNICAL OR APATHETIC.

“What’s going on now in journalism is what I call the Studio 54 phenomenon – pushing the envelope, seeing how far we can go before we close the place down. It seems to be an unwritten rule to see how much we can get away with as journalists. I don’t believe there is moral decay in society. And I don’t believe the Lewinsky scandal and the coverage of it indicated such decay. I think we are better off than we were in the ‘50s. And like Studio 54, I think human nature will tell us when it’s time to close down.”

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STARDOM AND AUTHENTICITY

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IN POPULAR REPRESENTATIONS OF STARDOM/ CELEBRITY, THE STAGING OF ‘REVELATIONS’ SETS UP THE PROMISE OF ESTABLISHING THE STAR’S AUTHENTICITY BEYOND THEIR PUBLIC IMAGE.’ WHY IS THE SEARCH FOR ‘THE AUTHENTIC’ CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT?

The matter of authenticity in our so called post-modern society is of great interest, in that it cuts through a number of satellite issues: in a media saturated age, it relates to art, audience reception, democracy, accessibility to information, education, politics and so on. The point is that with the rising importance of Fourth Estate, in its dialectics with ideology, it becomes harder and harder to discern the fake from the real, the authentic from the manufactured.

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WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE WATCHDOG ROLE OF THE FOURTH ESTATE?

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DO THE MEDIA NOW SERVE TO UNDERMINE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY?

On a flight to Egypt a few weeks ago I was handed over a copy of the International Herald Tribune. A couple of paragraphs in the section ‘Briefly – United States’ in the bottom left corner of page 9 caught my attention:

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WITTGENSTEIN: LANGUAGE GAMES

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WHAT DOES WITTGENSTEIN MEAN BY LANGUAGE GAMES?
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS ENTAILED BY THESE ARGUMENTS, AND HOW DOES TOM STOPPARD MAKE USE OF WITTGENSTEIN’S IDEAS IN HIS TV PLAY, PROFESSIONAL FOUL?

Coming back home one night, someone at reception asked me how I was, and I expressed my anxiety over certain matters. His response struck me: ‘You have to be careful, words are most powerful; through what you say you have the biggest influence on yourself. What you say today will be tomorrow.’

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