Among the Scavengers

I have suggested before that as the hegemonic world power, the U.S. influences the way in which narrative is interpreted. The values it expresses are those of the ruling state. With the U.S. that means the military is the always the engine for high moral purpose. Alongside this is the increasing scavanging of the lower classes. The corporate culture industry feeds off the lower classes. It does so in a variety of ways. There seems to be no end to the constant stream of "gritty" crime films, all of which seem to announce their own "edginess". There are cartoon versions such as The Expendables and their are the prestige versions such as the recent Killing Them Softly. One might reasonably … [Read more...]

Imago Mundi

Watching what appears to be the final act in the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, I was struck again by the need for an aesthetic resistance, the development of skills needed to deconstruct the Empire. There are narratives that instantly smell like State Department creations. They arrive fully made, and carry with them a sort of Conde Nast vibe -- meaning they have a carefully crafted shiny wholeness about them. There are no dark shadows, no ambivilence, no warts or moral ambiguity. The sense of actual history is missing, leaving a strange sense of vertigo in the viewer. These are characters in a pre-formed story-line, and the anitromic feeling almost leaves a hole in the image, the photo … [Read more...]

Role of a Lifetime

It's all the same, just a little bit different. Jean Luc Godard There seem a whole host of issues this week that are coalescing for me in terms related to my interest in aesthetic effort to deconstruct aspects of the cutural production of Empire, for lack of a better description. The sense of social hypocricy was formed, as we understand it today, in the 18th century. The idea of acting one's role in daily life pervaded the culture of that time. The viewer or audience and his or her relationship to the performance, or artwork was solidified, in a sense, around the time of Diderot and Goya. Theatre came to focus a good deal on social hypocrisy, and one's private or … [Read more...]

Interview, Molly Klein talks to John Steppling /Theatre, part 1 … [Read more...]

Interview , Molly Klein talks to John Steppling/ Theatre, part 1

Molly: You’re going to consider this a little hostile, and I mean it as a provocation yet sincerely: I would consider you a postmodern playwright, the reverence for the canon of modernism and its aesthetic that you voice in your criticism, and which does imbue your plays I think too, notwithstanding. But postmodernism is often now tarred as frivolous or, following Jameson, vacuous, ludic illusions of content. Obviously I think that’s wrong and a gimmicky theory gambit: wrong and in a way racist – because the great postmodern work that needs to be sidelined to make this judgement is largely work informed by the militant culture wars (magic realism in novels, for example, or what … [Read more...]

A Story of Capital

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The great electoral spectacle is over. I have been trying to analyse just why so many, at least outwardly, intelligent people I know seem to suspend critical judgement when it comes to things like elections. In particular though, the Presidential elections. When you think about it, Obama is clearly a war criminal, a mass murderer, and a shill for wall street. I mean this is obvious, and yet people will wring their hands and cluck nervously about how scary the idea of Romney is. What actually is worse than signing away the rule of law? What is worse than terrorizing a population with … [Read more...]