…diacritical

Over the past 60 years the idea of mass culture has taken on a life of its own; this idea that mainstream culture, mainstream media, is so powerful, so pervasive, that it touches every aspect of our lives. Indeed, it’s difficult to escape…


mass culture – it’s everywhere, and leaks into every aspect of daily life from our TVs, radio, magazines, books, music, movies, advertisements. And yet, with the current explosion of access to culture and the fragmentation of mass entertainment, we’re seeing shifts in how we produce, access, and consume culture. And so maybe it’s time to reconsider the power that traditional mass culture has.

This blog will look at the changing relationships of culture. It will attempt to connect some of the dots I see spread out among the menu of some 200+ publications I monitor daily for cultural news. And it will explore the changing relationships of consumers, critics, arts journalists, news media, cultural organizations and artists.

Every producer of “content” is nervous these days. Business models are changing, and the old rules don’t necessarily apply in the new terrain. Historically, it is at periods of cultural upheaval that critics have had their most influence. As our access to culture grows, we’re inceasingly going to need help sorting out what’s worth paying attention to. And, though much of this upheaval looks new and unprecedented, so much of this kind of change has been seen before.
And what does “diacritical” mean? From Wikipedia:

“A diacritical mark or diacritic, sometimes called an accent mark, is a mark added to a letter to alter a word’s pronunciation (ie. vowel marks) or to distinguish between similar words. The word derives from the Greek word διακριτικός (diakritikos, distinguishing). Note that diacritic is a noun and diacritical is the corresponding adjective.”

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