Jamming The Message

Something awesome about having a blog is the fact that I can publish whatever I want. I am my editor, I censor nothing, I have no desire to do certain things for corporate advancement, so on and so forth. Its this defiant attitude in my little piece of media that I love, no-one can tell me what to say and I reach you know, a few loyal people.

Its fun to take the media and be naughty with it. I’m a big fan of ‘culture jamming’, unofficial uses of media, doing things to change the message. Its jamming the intended signal and its a form of activism that many people love to take part in. If you’ve ever created or contributed to a meme (as in the /b/ kind), for example, thats a kind of culture jamming. Meme’s are a public concept, a message we share driven by society and our understanding of an idea, which are often changed over and over to give a funnier meaning. Graffiti on a billboard is another example.

Its often politically motivated – anti-capitalist, eco-critical, feminist or anti-consumerist to name a few forms. Theres something about seeing a slogan on a poster altered by someones texta to change the message that makes you want to giggle and we immediately identify with the creator. We are like the person who wrecked the message, we were supposed to be the consumers, but we turned it into a laugh, to what we wanted to read.

And doing it is fun. It makes us an active audience, anyone can make media and participate in a public sphere, but how do you want to do it? Its all meant to be a bit playful, it feels good, its thrilling and exciting. We are resisting the dominant ideology, the capitalism that tells us to shut up and buy.

Slash fiction is also another form of this. Women would write stories about the fictional gay relationship between Kirk and Spock from Star Trek, and it became extremely popular. They successfully poached the male friendship and turned it into a romantic relationship. You can now find slash fiction on many popular tv shows or games. I’m a big fan of Tekken slash fiction, particularly ones between Hwoarang and Jin Kazama. My favourite is The Quality Of The Sword by XMMishimaX.

Other popular culture jammers are The Chasers, who work from an official state doing unofficial things. They provoke responses to act as a critic to current events and values. There is Banksy who is probably the most popular graffiti artist in the world, the Guerilla Girls who focus on feminist billboard banditry and many other pranksters.

Why be famous when you can be infamous?

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10 Responses to “Jamming The Message”

  1. This Devil's Workday Says:

    I had absolutely no idea that Slash Fiction existed. I’m assuming that’s where the rumour about Batman and Robin came from? Either way that’s funny. Was it made by the kinds of girls who are turned on by two guys together? I had a friend (a girl) at high school who actually liked watching gay porn for that reason. She tried to bribe a mate and me to kiss… wasn’t going to happen.

    My favourite one there is “God Listens – To Slayer!” I hate the shit graffiti, like when people just spray their tag on the side of a train, but funny stuff, and talented stuff, I like.

  2. LuLi Says:

    I think the Batman and Robin thing would definitely have its origins in slash fiction. I don’t think its solely from women who are into gay guys (although probably a lot of them would be) because there is a romantic element to it, its almost like a Mills & Boon and a lot of it was a bit sarcastic/playful. Also men write it now too. I’m a fan but I’m not into gay guy porn (no offense to them, I’m a bit anti-porn) and the gay thing doesn’t turn me on but I think once I started reading it, it just got addictive and seemed to pack more of a punch then say, a Jin/Xiaoyu fanfic.

    Lol @ your friend, what a gun. Usually its the other way round, guys paying girls to kiss.

  3. Bron Says:

    My favourite bit of graffiti is on construction sites, when they put up walls around the construction site and stamp on the walls: “BILL POSTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED”. You know?

    Anyway, one day I saw some clever wag had written beside one: “BILL POSTERS IS INNOCENT!”

    Oh how I giggled all the way home.

  4. LuLi Says:

    lol, yeah thats a good one Bron. I myself am quite partial to anti-Liberal party slogans, I loved reading that ‘Not Happy John’ on the roof of a factory near North Melbourne station every morning before work. No-one ever cleaned it off, it was like people just wanted it there.

  5. kaboose84 Says:

    I like the coke one, reminds me of those stop signs you see with the worrying sticker underneath it. love things like that…

  6. WendySkeleton Says:

    I unfortunately do not see much of that stuff around Sydney. MAYBE BECAUSE THERE ARE FUCKING CAMERAS EVERYWHERE. Yeesh.

    I’m gonna take the Guerilla Girls link. Yoink! (And thanks as well.)

    And just two quick facts, Batman and Robin were rumoured to be gay because of the many sexual innuendos (scroll down to “Homosexual Interpretation”).

    Second fact is, LuLi, if you ever do watch porn, do not watch straight or lesbian porn. It is the most fucking boring piece of fluff because it’s made by straight men FOR straight men.

  7. rayedish Says:

    I love intelligent graffiti, and your pics are great examples and there should be more of it. Subvert the dominant paradigm I say! We don’t ask that our public space be filled with corporate propaganda and yet it is and it is inescapable, so when people twist the message to remind us of what’s really going on – more power to them!

  8. gullybogan Says:

    I was pretty sure that Batman and Robin *were* gay for each other. I mean, they were gay as anything on the TV series, that’s for sure.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  9. This Devil's Workday Says:

    Actually the deal was that if we kissed she would kiss her other friend (who was hot). The freaky thing was my mate actually looked like he was considering it.

    Then one night at a party I turned up slightly late and found out she kissed her friend anyway!

    What I wouldn’t give to be 16 again…

  10. LuLi Says:

    Domino – Oh, I haven’t seen the stop worrying ones, but thats cool.. Im gonna look out for them.

    Wendy – Yeah, porn is horrible. Exploiting womens bodies (and sometimes men)! Feel free to take any links you want 🙂

    Rayedish – There are so many more examples, I just didn’t know where to look, but I love them too. They’re hard to find!

    Gully – I never really watched the old series but from what I remember, it seemed extremely gay.

    TDW – Girls have a tendency to kiss each other when they’re drunk don’t they? I can’t say I’ve ever done it but I’ve seen (and been propositioned by) a lot of my friends into it.

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