Back in my college days at U of I, I became familiar with the loud sounds of a band called Poster Children. They were relentless in their dedication to DIY ("do-it-yourself") touring, DIY music -- and, for our purposes, DIY thinking.
In that spirit, Rick Valentin, one of the founding members of the Poster Kids, created a piece of art which is deceptively simple. On the surface, the art piece appears to be completely functional in its purpose. According to Rick, "Top news sources are parsed by a computer every hour and the two most frequently used words are determined and printed out on a continuous sheet of paper."
But as critical thinkers, we might ask the question: what are the sources of "top news"? Scroll down to the bottom of the online version and take a good look. Our blog, An American Studies, will feature the "Top Two News Words" all year long in the blue field above the blog banner. What, if anything, does this automated tool say about the state of our media in the USA?
Curious about this seminal band who once worked with the inimitable Steve Albini? Listen here:
Poster Children - "Get a Life" from Junior Citizen.
Poster Children - "6x6" from New World Record.
Poster Children - "If You See Kay" from Daisychain Reaction.
Poster Children - "Machines (Take Good Care of)" from the Single of the Moment.