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Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism Paperback – December 11, 2015
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About the Author
- Publisher : Zero Books (December 11, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 96 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1785351559
- ISBN-13 : 978-1785351556
- Item Weight : 4.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.4 x 0.27 x 8.62 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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For example, we all know that playing games on our phones is usually an unproductive waste of time. But had this book made that its central focus, we'd likely miss the larger themes of enjoyment in general. All enjoyment. We'd agree that Instagram is a waste of time, vow to spend less time on our phones, and then let the new goal slowly deteriorate and disappear within a week of finishing the book. However, by not ranking or disparaging certain enjoyments, this book helps the reader recognize that even the book we're reading provides a certain enjoyment that needs to be analyzed. Why did we buy this book? What environmental and market forces drove us to purchase this book, and what is it about us that enjoys reading it?
This is an excellent essay that deserves to be read. There were a couple typos on the first few pages that contributed to a somewhat improvised feel of the book, but that only added to the experience of reading what seemed to be a thoroughly-thoughtful profound stream of thought on enjoyment.
I haven't read much critical theory, but this wasn't written for professors. This spoke well to my layman understanding, and it has encouraged me to read more critical theory.
If you were to ask me to recommend a book that gives you high theory and couples it with 'everyday analysis' - so you can see both its relevance and application to ordinary life I would thoroughly recommend this book.
So, give me an example, you say. Tell me something more.
Well, the core analysis develops one crucial insight in modern post marxian-psychoanalytic thought (inspired largely by Zizek) - namely that ideology hides itself in open sight amongst our practices of 'enjoyment'. Playing 'unproductive' mobile Apps - Angry birds, Candy Crush, etc - tells us something about how the regulation of our pleasures and 'escape trajectories' from working life actually are carefully managed and controlled by the very system that they would ostensibly be escaping from. I work, you work. We all get bored. Work is boring but necessary. So I escape it - I slip off into Facebook, get our smartphone and play some 'useless' game. Innocent, eh?
But here's a crucial insight: I'm not escaping. The space and time I spend preoccupied with these unproductive leisure activities, actually is part of the system I'm trying to escape from. Enjoyment is not enjoyment. Holidays are not holidays. Unproductive, pointless time-wasting mobile apps are not a 'relief', a welcome entry into a space outside of work. They are part of the machinery of work. They make me more productive. Because of them I can work harder and for longer hours.
But entertainingly written. Showing great Shakespearean wit ("Brevity is the soul of wit") this lean book lets you see the man behind the curtain, controlling the great wizard of Oz.
It gives you a glimpse behind the facade, pushing you to ask: where is that space of resistance - and who are all these stupid people playing games while I'm trying to discuss critical theory? (Actually this book has some very funny things to say about those who enjoy more 'productively' - you know: the critical theorists and ilk. Reminds me of a remark by David Harvey during a talk about how 'critical talk' can whip up a revolutionary fervour - but actually lead to nothing.)
And perhaps therein lies its subtle and most profound challenge. How to claim back that space. The space we have let capitalism colonise.