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ABSTRACT

Turn on the television, open a newspaper, and you are confronted with accounts of violence and terrorism. The power to arrest public attention is transferred from the artist who murders with fictional words and images, to the terrorist who kills in fact. (Capo) Kleinhans argues that the characteristic parody of self-aware kitsch promotes what John Fiske has called “skeptical hedonism” in audience response to much mass culture documentary, that is, we all know this is a fantasy, but we want in on the fun of such phenomena, for example, as television wrestling or supermarket tabloid headlines.

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