Eruditorum Press

The bodies on the gears of the culture industry

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Jack Graham

Jack Graham wrote about Doctor Who and Marxism, often at the same time. These days he co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper.Support Jack on Patreon.

2 Comments

  1. WGPJosh
    March 14, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    Just discovered your blog coming here from Phil Sandifer's TARDIS Eruditorum and have to say I absolutely adore the work you're doing over here!

    One thing this post got me thinking about are toy photographers, like this fellow http://bug-eye.deviantart.com/ who take commercially produced toys, in this case Doctor Who ones, and use them to create their own unique scenes and stories, not necessarily just ones based on televised stories. In a sense, aren't they dong the adult version of what you assign the job of children during play and appropriating the capitalist artefacts for their own purposes? Isn't this a form of creative storytelling in itself, and actually a bottom-up one because it takes elements of capitalist media and reappropriates it for a new end?

    Incidentally, as a Doctor Who fan from childhood I can tell you I would have killed for toys like the ones Character Options puts out. While I did do things like mix and match toys from different sets as you said, I was always a bit anal about having accurate representations of my favourite characters. As an adult collector, I will freely admit to having some of their sets today. Make of that what you will, I guess!

    Reply

  2. Jack Graham
    March 15, 2012 @ 4:01 am

    Thanks for the comment… and the praise. I can never get enough praise. Insecure, you see.

    To respond to your points.

    Firstly, I was perhaps a little bigoted in assigning the task of creation / appropriation / misappropriation / subversion of toys to childhood. There's no reason, as you say, why it should stop there. Indeed, I definitely believe that it shouldn't. And, of course, so much adult behaviour takes the form of play… just not always of the best kind.

    And, yes, I own Character Options toys myself. Louise Mensch – and people of her unpleasant ilk – would probably say this makes me a hypocrite to criticise capitalism… but within capitalism one must take part in commodification in order to live, and we don't live by bread alone. We need to play, if we have the luxury to.

    Reply

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