WKU POP 201

Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Value is Dynamic

Posted by Drake Kizer on February 20, 2017

Today’s selection, titled “Reappraising the Residual”, covered pages 85-112 in our Spreadable Media textbook. The reading signaled a shift in our class’s focus, because it was the start of a new chapter and that means new topics for us to discuss and dissect together. I typically like the readings toward the beginnings of the chapters more, mostly because the concepts presented get more abstract as the paragraphs go on. The pages assigned today were actually very interesting, and that pleased me.

Page 96 presented an interesting point, and it was stated that even once an item has been “appraised” and given a value, its value can change. The book says that “people have [always] imagined that, once an initial purchase has been made, a product loses its value or that…the content no longer has any cultural currency”, but our current culture has made these values dynamic, not static. The text referenced the practices of content creators in the past, where they “[tossed] canisters of film into dumpsters, convinced they would have no lasting interest.” That would never happen today, because we value the preservation of media for future generations to enjoy.

This shift in practices signals a “reappraisal of the residual”. Basically, people of past generations placed a low value on archived media pieces, but today we place a high value on them, which clearly means that they have been assigned a new assessment of their worth. The textbook mentions how “the BBC had to rely on amateur collectors who had recorded episodes of Doctor Who on audiocassette to help restore missing soundtracks”, and that example reminded me of the NFL’s long-standing search for a full recording of the original Super Bowl broadcast. One man actually possesses what is thought to be the most complete recording of the game, and he is asking $1 million from the NFL for them. This is another perfect example of reappraisal, because those tapes would have been essentially useless in the immediate aftermath of the game, but in 2017, they are worth a tremendous amount.

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2 Responses to “Value is Dynamic”

  1. tristendenney14 said

    I agree with you Drake and it blows my mind how these “reappraisals” work today. Since our society values so many things, just about anything that is worth something or has the potential for profit to be made, will be kept and likely sold or purchased at a later date. I really like your Super Bowl example as well. I never would have thought something as simple as a recording of the first Super Bowl would be worth nearly $1 million.

  2. emilyjones232 said

    I like how you mentioned the Superbowl. People will pay big bucks for recordings of old stuff. I know for me personally I like to look up old episodes of Saturday Night Live because Netflix took it off. I scour all over YouTube but it isn’t there.

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