As LFYT 2007 was going viral, I was attempting to document my own reactions to this other-worldly, unanticipated, and yet shockingly self-reflexive set of events and experiences. The students were also excited to have the mainstream media shooting in our class, but were less pleased by the way the journalists spun what they saw. This proved a great lesson in the costs and consequences of visibility or popularity as a structure (common in web 2.0
design and architecture), a theme we ended up studying in-depth on YouTube later during the semester.
In "What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream," Noam Chomsky
writes: "The elite media set a framework within which others operate ... That framework works pretty well, and it is understandable that it is just a reflection of obvious power structures." [cit]
According to On Postmodernism: "Television and movies represent the pinnacle of mass-produced American culture and exhibit many of the Postmodern motifs shared by other art forms" including "pastiche, spectacle, fakery and mystery." [cit]
Pastiche and fakery are common forms of self-referentiality, where a piece of art refers to itself—its forms, ideas, histories, production, genre, and theories, i.e. This Is the Title of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself."[cit]
According to Kathrin Peters and Andrea Seier: "Every self is bound to an exterior, which it addresses and in which it is reflected. The Internet platform YouTube naturally offers potential for media-based self-referentiality. At the moment, YouTube is probably the most prominent example of a media practice that allows the individual to record the minutest details of his or her life and to distribute them. By introducing a gap between self and world, media enable a distance required for any relation to the self."[cit]