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My 11 Favorite Films of 2013 (in no particular order): 2. The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

Posted by Charles Reece, January 21, 2014 08:21am | Post a Comment
pervert's guide to ideology poster
The Pervert's Guide to Ideology - Sophie Fiennes (director), Slavoj Zizek (writer)

... and speaking of Zizek, here's more of we got in his and Fiennes' previous collaboration, The Pervert's Guide to Cinema. But what could be more entertaining for people who prefer thinking about film (or people) to the object itself than a film about a guy with the same preference? A major feature of criticism is drawing or creating connections between things -- that is, analogical mapping, by which we acquire some insight into the target domain by comparing it to a more familiar source domain. For example, the focused horror at the shark in Jaws shows the way the genocidal grouping of the Jews functioned for the Nazis: all other problems fall aside when there's the immediate danger of Ja(e)ws. My favorite bit from The Pervert's Guide to Ideology is how he reveals the operation of the titular subject itself in the lyrics of "Offcier Krupke" from West Side Story. The gang is perfectly aware of all the liberal social excuses for their delinquency, but continue to act as if determined by impoverished social constraints. Ideology operates as long as we act as if its in control, regardless of our true belief. Relating the song to the explanations given for the recent London riots, he says we are always responsible for how we subjectivize our objective conditions (which is hardly a typical comment heard from leftists). Criticism is just as much an art as what it critiques. It's also just as creative -- often more so in Zizek's case. He's a master cartographer, who's remapped the psychogeography of our pop cultural terrain. 

My 11 Favorite Films of 2013 (in no particular order): 1. The Unknown Known

Posted by Charles Reece, January 20, 2014 07:24am | Post a Comment
the unknown known poster
The Unknown Known - Errol Morris (director)

The title of Errol Morris' latest comes from the one conjoining of terms our former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfield, didn't make in his infamous Heideggerian sounding memo: "There are known knowns, the things we know we know. There are known unknowns, the things we know we don’t know. There are also that third category of unknown unknowns, the things we don’t know we don’t know. And you can only know more about those things by imagining what they might be." If you do a web search on "heidegger, rumsfield, unknown known," it'll bring up -- hardly surprisingly -- essays by Slavoj Zizek, one of which is here. As he suggests, the unknown known is what philosophers investigate, those underlying features of our reality which make our navigation of said reality possible, but aren't so readily apparent while we're moving through our lived world.

I performed that search because The Unknown Known reminded me of what Heidegger called tool-being. Normally, when we're using a hammer, we're not really thinking about the hammer as an object with all it's potential objective qualities, but instead as a function of what it's doing for us -- say, hammering a nail or skull. That's what Heidegger called "ready-to-hand." It's only when the tool breaks and no longer functions in its ready-to-hand capacity that we begin to contemplate it as a "present-at-hand," as an object separated from it's predominant instrumental human use. That's where philosophical reflection comes in, and we begin to understand just how ontologically opaque something as seemingly simple as the hammer is. So much of the object recedes from our grasp when we're merely using it for something. That, in a nutshell, is what Morris is doing with the silver-tongued Rumsfield, who conceals more than he reveals. The man had no need of thinking about his bureaucracy's unknown known until Al Qaeda broke it ... or revealed it be broken. Not being a philosopher, he chose to dismiss 9-11 event as an unknown unknown (contrary to the evidence). That act of repression led to the Iraq War, after which we all had to contemplate the unknown knowns, the present-at-hand, of the Bush administration.

my top 10 films of 2013...

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 7, 2014 03:20pm | Post a Comment

NEBRASKA Alexander Payne
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IN A WORLD...LAKE BELL
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Her Spike Jonze
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12 Years A Slave Steve McQueen

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Amoeba's Top 50 Sellers of 2013

Posted by Billy Gil, January 6, 2014 04:20pm | Post a Comment

1. Daft PunkRandom Access Memories

daft punk random access memories cd amoebaDaft Punk’s return to form was one almost everyone could agree on, led by the indelible single “Get Lucky.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Queens of the Stone AgeLike Clockwork

queens of the stone age like clockwork amoebaQOTSA returned with a Queen-inspired prog-rock opus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Atoms for PeaceAmok

atoms for peace amok cd amoebaThe supergroup featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke released its debut album in 2013.

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Billy Jam's Best of 2013

Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2013 05:27pm | Post a Comment

Aceyalone "Leanin On Slick" (title track of 2013 release from longtime LA emcee)


BILLY JAM 2013 TOP 10 HIP-HOP ALBUM LIST


1) DJ Frane Hi Dusty Stranger (Self-Released)

2) DJ ADA The Work Album (self released)

3) RJD2 More Is Than Isn't (RJS Electrical Connection)

4) Deltron 3030 Event II (Bulk Recordings) 

5) Run the Jewels (Killer Mike + EI-P) Run The Jewels (Fool's Gold)

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