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- Local Warehouse Film and Television- History and Criticism

Shows about Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture


Shows about Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

American media is the subject of constant critique. The seeming exaltation of violence, sex, and illicit themes creates virulent opponents of the media and its content. But could it be that the American experiment--even the quest to fulfill the American Dream--actually encourages media to act in a way that deserves these critiques?

Probing deep into the canon of all things screen, Thomas Hibbs uncovers the disturbing truths about the contemporary media landscape. Beneath the shallow facade of evil lies the Nietzschean framework of nihilism--a nothingness that undermines notions of right and wrong while destroying any sense of meaning or purpose. Yet what makes this nihilism even more profound is Nietzsche's warning that liberal democracies are especially susceptible to such nothingness. In his examples, Hibbs shows how the popular story lines and characters of our time often rule out any possibility of making a "right" decision. Ultimately, Shows about Nothing toes the line between something and nothing to suggest how popular culture can move beyond nihilism.

About the Author

Thomas S. Hibbs is Dean of the Honors College, Baylor University.

Table of Contents

Fragmentary Philosophical Preface

1. Nihilism, American Style

2. The Quest for Evil

3. The Negative Zone

4. Normal Nihilism as Comic

5. Romanticism and Nihilism

6. Defense against the Dark Arts

7. "God Got Involved"

8. Feels Like the Movies

Product Details

Hibbs, Thomas S.
Baylor University Press
Film and Television-Reference
Film and Television-History and Criticism
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

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Product details 267 pages Baylor University Press - English 9781602583788 Reviews:
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