This is the second part to a complementary essay that appeared in JSTAE (jagodzinski 2003). It was also written in 1998 and is being revisited some six years latter given that the cultural landscape in art education is slowly turning its sights towards visual cultural studies, a position JSTAE has been exploring for almost a quarter of a century if we take into account our earlier "Bulletin" publication, which began in 1980. The theme of silence arises, for me, a question of what is a radical politics at the tum of the century? It seems that the only game in town is that of neo-liberalism, while the question of 'democratic populism' as a form of liberal pluralism continues to be debated within cultural studies. This essay critiques the question of 'pleasurable resistance' as it manifests itself in popular cultural forms as examined mostly by John Fiske, an exemplary left-leaning critic. It may seem anachronistic to analyze the Newlywed Game and Madonna, given that both 'forms' are in their retirement years. Her clone, Britney Spears, is slowly supplanting Madonna, while Tire Newlywed Game has been replaced by 'reality television: which ironically subverts it. We now have the Bachelorette and even a television series where the sanctity of marriage has to be subverted in order to win a million dollars: My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé (Fox). However, the distance traveled from these older genres is not so great. The question of 'pleasurable resistance' remains front and center. Irony, as has been often remarked, remains as a postmodern strategy to undermine dominant hegemony. This essay also questions star and fandom resistance, and consumerist resistance. It ends with a call for a structural consideration of political economy and material analysis in popular culture by left-leaning critics. For this is where the silence lies.


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