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This short paper will consider the relationship between hacking practices and the consumer realm on two levels. The first level is conceptual and aims to connect the question of hacking practices to broader ideas which are emerging nowadays in consumer studies. The second level is empirical, and consists of a description of the practice of “jailbreaking”, which is a widespread consumer modification involving the well-known Apple digital device, the iPhone. Both levels will help in highlighting how emerging hacking practices should be considered relevant factors in the shaping of forthcoming forms of digital consumption.
A Little Protest Music
“Spectacle,” hosted by Elvis Costello, is the best music
show on television, for it allows us members of the post-boomer generation
to wax nostalgically about the righteousness of our musical heroes with
greater accuracy. For a two-episode special this past winter, Springsteen
and Costello shared stories about musical influences, their sense of
craft, and what it means for an artist to take a stand. This special,
alas, was filmed prior to one of the most poignant stands of recent memory,
for which Springsteen was in attendance as an honoree. Last December,
at the Kennedy Center Honors of 2009, John Mellencamp drew upon the Springsteen
oeuvre to remind the well-heeled audience of the political capacity of
For the first stanza, Mellencamp offered a gravelly and guttural lament, de-familiarizing words the audience largely knew into a thinly veiled accusation. Stripped of their melodic accompaniment, the phrases “dead man’s town” and “like a dog” were clearly Springsteen-esque, but difficult to match to a particular song. After a drawn-out rest, Mellencamp abandoned the amelodic ruse, growling haltingly, “Born / in the USA.”Mellencamp moved slowly through the second verse, as if he alone were bearing the burden of another war against “the yellowman.” The 1984 release of Born in the USA coincided with the Reagan-approved, US-sponsored terrorism against the government of Nicaragua.
Culture and the Impacts of Ingestion
by Kerry McCall
Having spent twenty odd years of my life attending contemporary cultural openings, exhibitions, performances and happenings, I began to wonder what the attending audience got out of the experience and what motivated them to go. This query did not stem from boredom with my cultural habits but more from the need to understand why some individuals chose to experience art forms and cultural experiences, while others did not. If it was purely entertainment, a matter of leisure preferences, or escapism from the ravages of modern life, then heading to the local cinema, music concert or the local pub might just do the same trick.