Friday, September 18, 2009

From Work to Beer to Text

Today, I am satisfying the desire of You Made Me Theorize's legions of readers: I am allowing you to be flies on the wall of a class discussion. So here's the big reveal: Yesterday, we talked about The Beer Summit. Oh sure, we also talked quite a bit about representation and social constructionism and discursive power formations. But throughout all of that, The Beer Summit remained a very rich example that brought to light many of those aforementioned concepts.

And so, I come to you today to cite my own sources, as I was inspired to use The Beer Summit as a class example by this esteemed blog, which took its own inspiration from this insightful article. With that, I'll reiterate one of the driving questions that our class has been asking for the past few weeks: Who are the authors, and who are the readers here?

And now more questions: Where are the lines between those groups drawn? Do we think that someone (or some group, more likely) authored this whole Red, Light, and Blue thing, or are the readers--the social critics--just fighting to take control of the significance of this meeting, killing off the authors, so to speak? Discuss below.


  1. This is a test comment, as I've had trouble in the past, thank you!

  2. Kbdancer,

    I found your missing comment. It appeared in the post itself. So I have pasted it into the comment box, which will mean that it will now appear under my name, and I have removed it from the post. Here's your comment:

    In my opinion, analyzing the differences between the New York Times and Daily Beast articles can illuminate the differences between meaningful analysis for its sake and that for the aggrandizement of the author. I appreciated the slightly sarcastic tone of parts of the New York Times article, recognizing the tendency of bloggers and pundits to over-analyze and therein assign non-existent meaning. In contrast, the Daily Beast verged on doing just this without conveying that it could be, and the fallacy of doing so. In any event, expression of thought doesn't have to kill the author if the reader, like the New York Times article, also gives the author his/her due. Because really, maybe the President just likes Bud Light.

  3. Because really, maybe the President just likes Bud Light.

    Very true. However, can we deny the fact that personal styles and tastes bring into relief our own textuality--the way that others read us? In other words, can we deny the fact that bying into a particular product--be it beer or something else--bespeaks a rejection of other products, which in and of itself suggests something about us? In even shorter terms, can we overlook the fact that Obama's choice is bound up in the rhetoric--the textuality--of nationalism, to the extent that he "bought American" (even though I don't think Bud is American-owned)?