By Douglas Rushkoff
"The significant inheritor to McLuhan." New views Quarterly
Bold, bold, and provocative, Douglas Rushkoff examines the elaborate ways that renowned media either manipulates and is manipulated by way of those that faucet into its strength. If the medium is the message, then what kind of messages are infecting our tradition during the ever-expanding media viruses of the "datasphere"?
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Extra resources for Media Virus!
A man named Donald Payton took me around Dallas one day. As far as I knew, he wasn’t the kind of historian who regularly published in The Very Obscure Journal of Things That Happened in the Past. Seemingly self-taught, he was ﬁghting to ﬁnd things, pieces of black history in Texas that no one wanted known. It was always an uphill climb, not that that was unexpected, considering the color of his skin and the things he wanted to resurrect. Payton made me slow down by an old building in Oak Cliﬀ, just down the road from where T-Bone Walker, who changed the world by popularizing the electric guitar, had lived—and where Lee Harvey Oswald had lived—and where Jack Ruby had lived.
A few people in the crowd clap. Some nod their heads. Some walk away and disappear into the crack ﬁeld. Minkah raises his ﬁst in the air. When he does, he looks exactly like the man who is in the large picture, the only picture, on the front page of the May 12, 1975, issue of the Black Panther, the national newspaper created by party founder Huey Newton. It was Fred Bell, the emissary from Texas, the voice from Texas. For the Black Panthers, Texas was like some other country, something beyond even Alabama or anywhere else in the South.
We spent a long time together, and he took me on a tour of the inner workings of the Apollo—and he escorted me around Harlem in a nice, long American-made car. He seemed amused, in a good way, at the fact that someone had come from Texas to see him, to write about him, in New York. —that I had selﬁsh reasons for trying to bridge some things between Texas and New York. I nching his way west on a positively throbbing 125th Street, maybe the most profound artery in African American history, is supremely slow going for the normally unharnessed Percy Sutton.
Media Virus! by Douglas Rushkoff