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Why We Love Sociopaths: A Guide To Late Capitalist Television Paperback – April 16, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Kotsko's work here can be compared to Slovoj Zizek's, in that he's using the flotsam of mass culture to make serious a serious philosophical argument, and to make a strong critique of the ideology invisibly active in our world. Like Zizek, Kotsko is also interested in the redemptive core to be found in the perversion of perversions. Where Zizek's thought is often scattered and seemingly random, though, Kotsko is a lucid writer. His work could also be compared to Chuck Klosterman's. Fans of Klosterman should definitely read this book. But where Klosterman is a sloppy and haphazard thinker, often distracted by his own cleverness and the *pop* of pop culture, Kotsko has done the tough philosophical study to support his thinking, and demonstrates a depth and reach that has the potential to change the way readers look at the media they consume.
One major critique I have is that Kotsko claims the "sociopathy" he analyzes is the product of a specific historical moment, but does little to defend that claim. He uncritically adopts a very sweeping, very questionable narrative of recent American history. I suspect that one could find the same sociopathy that he sees in Mad Men and Dexter, for example, in the popular pulps of the 1920s, or the noir paperbacks of the '50s. Outlaws were mass media sensations in the second half of the 19th century. Penny dreadfuls were wildly popular throughout the Victorian era. And there are more than a few sociopaths in the classics of American literature, including in the works of Twain and Melville.Read more ›
I didn't agree with all of his analysis, but that's part of the fun. What do I believe? His take was consistently interesting enough to provoke me into deeper thought, a compliment for any book.
If you've never seen The Wire, House, The Simpsons, Dexter, Breaking Bad or the shows I've mentioned above, it'd be worth watching an episode to familiarize yourself with their man character and theme, as when he references shows I didn't know it was harder to follow.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting idea, but not the deepest book in the world though. Unfortunately it gets a bit lost in details. Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by Smaranda Calin
This is great. I don't have nearly enough cultural and philosophical context to put this in its appropriate place, but I can tell you that I like it, and how I came to it. Read morePublished on February 16, 2013 by Bob