Let the Games Begin

File:Juan_Antonio_Samaranch_and_Jean-Pascal_Delamuraz_by_Erling_Mandelmann-9

Samaranch & pals... --------------------------------------------------- A few disparate thoughts as the Olympics descend on us. The games of Dow Chemical, McDonalds, and British Petroleum. The games of UK swat teams on neighborhood roofs. The games of forced evictions. But anyway.... The "father" of the modern Olympics is Pierre deCourbetin. Born to parents Baron Charles Louis Frédy, Baron de Coubertin and Marie–Marcelle Gigault de Crisenoy, in 1863. Pierre's father was a royalist and dilettante painter; who's themes ran to the Roman Catholic Church and the royal family. Pierre developed an interest in education, fueled by a visit to England where he met Thomas … [Read more...]

The Unruly Crowd

anaheim-policehuffington-post

I am always curious how narrative works....how it is imposed on events from the authority structure. Government, police, military, etc. Two stories recently: The Anaheim police assault: and the Aurora Colorado shooting. The Anaheim Police narrative is the most transparent. In fact, it's almost childlike. The "official" police narrative is always triggered by a few specific words ( crowd, unruly, melee, documented gang member, etc.). In this case the police narrative simply reads like a bad TV cop show. "The police were securing the area as they looked for evidence". However if one looks at the photos posted in several So Cal newspapers, a different narrative emerges. … [Read more...]

Why and What’s the Reason For?

junior-seau-new-england-dead

The "Batman Massacre" is going to have media traction because its a compelling narrative. It's also something that happens on US soil to US citizens. Drone killing is far away, happens to "others" and is surpressed as a narrative by US corporate media. These are random stories, although they don't feel so random. The Penn State scandal. The janitor who saw Sandusky with a boy in the shower. Didn't want to cross Paterno...because, as he said, that would be like going up against the President of the US. The worker has no protection in the US. The janitor *would* have been fired. Penn State football was big business in an economically depressed part of the country (there are a lot of … [Read more...]

120 Days of Sodom, or How to Read a Can of Coke

0000006589

A recent talk here on We Are Many (with China Mieville) touches on topics I think worth discussing. http://wearemany.org/a/2012/06/guilty-pleasures-art-and-politics Now, a good deal of this is very good. In fact it echoes a lot of what I've written myself over the years. It's also expressed through this mummified lens of the Trotskyest party in the UK. There is one area in all this which I want to focus on, and this is the idea of art as commodity. The fact that one pays to, say, see a film -- doesn't preclude an analysis that extends beyond its commodity form. In the end, there is importance in distinguishing the difference even among commodities. There are, if we push it a … [Read more...]

Pathology of Everyday Life/ part one

gast-hi-res

"Within the credit relationship, it is not the case that money is transcended in man, but that man himself is turned into money, or money is incorporated in him. Human individuality, human morality itself, has become both an object of commerce and the material in which money exists. Instead of money, or paper, it is my own personal existence, my flesh and blood, my social virtue and importance, which constitutes the material, corporeal form of the spirit of money. Credit no longer resolves the value of money into money but into human flesh and the human heart. Such is the extent to which all progress and all inconsistencies within a false system are extreme retrogression and the extreme … [Read more...]

Dialogue 3 / with Guy Zimmerman, Theatre & Tragedy

tttheatron12

http://john-steppling.com/dialogue-3-with-guy-zimmerman-theatre/ … [Read more...]

Dialogue 3 / with Guy Zimmerman, Theatre

110-Interchange

John, one of the things I’ve been thinking about is the temporal inversion that happens in theater -- how plays seem to make their way forward, paradoxically, to the past. This uncanny retrograde temporality is clearest in post-war modernist tragedies like Endgame or Pinter’s The Homecoming, (or Albee’s Three Tall Women, or Churchill’s Far Away etc) which I think were really about that odd feature of our situatedness in time, but I think it’s interesting also to look back at the history of tragic drama through that lens. In Strindberg, Ibsen and Chekhov this temporal inversion seems very strong – whatever is happening via the forward motion of the plot, the affective structures of the play … [Read more...]

Cultural Novocaine

Office_with_typewriters_and_adding_machines

This is going to be very brief today. I was searching for writing on theatre, and theatre blogs. I found this.... http://createquity.com/2012/07/arts-policy-library-cultural-engagement-in-californias-inland-regions.html Sociology achieved real traction in the US in the mid 20th century. Its the perfect discipline for bureaucracies. These studies are a sort of constant, a cottage industry for the large foundations that parse out money to whoever will agree to be obedient and artistically opaque. The study refers to findings and concludes, "the home is a favorite location for arts activities..." I've no idea what that means exactly. Another favorite location is the internet. … [Read more...]