What did I just read?Posted: September 28, 2011
I wanted to understand the selections from Remediation. I tried. I really, really tried. However, in the end, I was left with only confusion and disgust. Confused because I didn’t understand much of what was being said, and disgusted because the prose in this book is a good example of the verbose, obscure academic writing that I’ve come to hate in the last few years. I don’t dispute that Bolter and Grusin have good points to make. I just don’t understand why they’re so opposed to clarity. Have these two academics never read George Orwell’s “Politics and the English Language”?
While I had trouble finding the overall meaning of the piece, at least a few of the key points were accessible to me. I actually do agree that there is a strong trend toward the convergence of both immediacy and hypermediacy. All kinds of technologies have been designed and marketed with the intention of removing the barriers between an audience and a medium, e.g., the iPad. The device allows more seamless interaction with media, but it also highlights this interaction with the media. We feel closer to our videos, for instance, but we’re also very aware of this little window sitting in our hands. Reading books on the device diminishes the discrete physical separation of one book from another, yet people love to see the digital animation of the pages turning on the screen.
It’s difficult for me to respond to an argument I don’t understand, so I can’t come up with much more to say. Further, being exposed to that style of academic writing annoyed me enough that I’m afraid I’ll throw out something too incendiary if I keep typing.