Amoeblog

BANG! POW! ZOOM! CARTOONS AREN'T JUST FOR KIDS!

Posted by Charles Reece, October 5, 2008 08:14pm | Post a Comment


Fear[s] of the Dark



                                          Blutch                                                        Lorenzo Mattotti


Pierre di Sciullo
 

                                      Charles Burns                                                 Marie Caillou
 

Richard McGuire

Don't You Forget About Me, Part 1: The Teen Flicks of John Hughes

Posted by Charles Reece, September 14, 2008 10:24am | Post a Comment
I wish to bring back to mind my past foulness and the carnal corruptions of my soul. This is not because I love them, but that I may love you, my God. [..] In the bitterness of my remembrance, I tread again my most evil ways, so that you may grow sweet to me, O sweetness that never fails, O sweetness happy and enduring, which gathers me together again from that disordered state in which I lay in shattered pieces, wherein, turned away from you, the one, I spent myself upon the many. For in my youth, I burned to get my fill of hellish things. I dared to run wild in different darksome ways of love. My comeliness wasted away. I stank in your eyes, but I was pleasing to myself and I desired to be pleasing to the eyes of men. -- The Depths of Vice from The Sixteenth Year of The Confessions of St. Augustine


I've always been something of a closet Augustinian, believing sin the default human condition. If he would've just left out all that God stuff I'd be more willing to come out of the closet. Nevertheless, his notion that being good is an act of will against wordly temptation seems right to me. In a capitalist democracy, giving in has always been an easier route to material success than acts of resistance.  Obama wouldn't be America's first ("serious") post-racial candidate if the majority thought he'd tackle racial injustice in any substantive manner. One doesn't rise through the business ranks by being an agent of moral change, making the business work better for the employees. The only change that's allowed is that of efficiency, streamlining the workers' output in accordance to the demands of the employer. You don't achieve power by disposing of the cultural rules, but by learning them, incorporating them and making them work for you while you actually work for them.  As Foucault pointed out -- and the Frankfurt School before him -- power is everywhere and nowhere in particular.
 

Since power is theoretically dispersed to the masses in a democratic system where the have-nots will always outnumber the haves, it becomes necessary for mass desire to be manufactured such that the status quo is believed by the people to be their will, and not something being forced upon them from the outside. This keeps things from changing, or not changing, too fast, so that the small ratio of dominant to the dominated can remain fairly static over time. That's why 1984 has never been a wholly convincing metaphor for the modern Western democracy. People would vote out Big Brother if he were seen to symbolically conflict with their democratic and other structuring beliefs ("don't need no outsider telling me what to do"). However, his ideas of control might work if the people can be convinced that those ideas are their own. In fact, Orwellian totalitarianism began when democracy ended, but a more pressing concern for modern democracy is its own despotic fault-line. 

... and so on and so on: Slavoj Žižek

Posted by Charles Reece, September 6, 2008 06:04pm | Post a Comment

Since I used Slavoj Žižek's latest book, Violence, in my discussion of the latest Batman flick, I figured why not link to this recent interview Michael Krasny conducted with the man himself. Just push 'play' for the best stand-up comedian of today:
 

 
Therein you will hear Žižek discuss, among other things, The Dark Knight (ideology at its purest), violent video games (he lets his 7 year old play Grand Theft Auto, but is wary of Disney films), rape (why masochists would be the most traumatized), Hugo Chavez (how authoritarians are as pragmatic as everyone else), the mystery of Stalinism (why Stalinists terrorized themselves), the honesty of fascism (it kept its promise to kill minorities), and so on and so on. Theory comes out as flakes on the corners of his mouth -- philosophy as a 3-day meth binge.

While I'm at it, here's some more fun stuff:

From his
Q&A with the Guardian:
 


Cultural criticism is now second only to being in a rock band as the great
equalizer: Žižek with fourth wife, Analio Hounie, an Argentinian
model who just happens to like reading Lacan.

Continue reading...

TOUGH LOVE STORY

Posted by Charles Reece, August 31, 2008 10:40pm | Post a Comment
Lemmy Loves Wendy


"Stand By Your Man"

Ozzy Loves Lita


"Close My Eyes Forever"

Udo Loves Doro

 "Dancing With An Angel"

(His most holy Texan loves taking a rest from writing, but will be back soon.)

THOSE WHO CANNOT REMEMBER THE PAST ...

Posted by Charles Reece, August 24, 2008 10:44pm | Post a Comment
For the Beatles purists out there who thought the worst thing imaginable was having the Bee Gees redo Sgt. Pepper's, here's something even worse-- Ozzy and Dweezil redoing "Stayin' Alive":


"Every man has his price" and every man discovers his threshold where Huey Lewis no longer sounds that bad. My threshold was reached upon rediscovering this video for "Summertime Girls" by Y&T:


The half-shirt, a sign of 80s masculinity. It made a comeback with Axl when he did this duet with Elton John on "Bohemian Rhapsody" (skip to the end where the two walk towards each other in 60s variety show fashion for the denouement):


I'm sorry for not being able to stay away from the Axl videos. However, the most holyfuckingshit moment comes from his ex-bandmate Slash's team-up with Puff Daddy for some vague, all-inclusive charity function. Note the "Ending Hunger" message dead center in big Broadway letters while Puffy raps "It's All About the Benjamins":

Its all about the benjamins, what?/I get a fifty pound bag of ooh for the mutts /
Five carats on my hands with the cuts/
And swim in european figures/Fuck bein' a broke nigga.

That kind of dimwittedness requires a purity of essence. One would have to go back to Tom Mix serials to find an equal lack in irony.
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