I have been busy with lots of things, but wanted to post at least a brief entry today. As one watches the political spectacle of U.S. presidential elections, you will naturally come across all manner of other "news" distraction. This week was the emmies. I am surprised they still exist, and maybe I thought they didn't. But apparently they do, and the headline in three different on-line newspapers was about who was best dressed. So, it seems the awards don't even matter anymore within the enclosure of discourse established by the culture industry itself. (I think Julianne Moore was voted best dressed for those wondering). The actual winners were, in fact, hard to find. I never did find a … [Read more...]

From The Last Wave to Witness

I am noticing something of late, culturally speaking. I cant say I at all fully understand it, but I can offer a few observations. It seems that US culture, film and TV, is now so influential as to constitute reality. History has become the history of movies. Mention the name John Foster Dulles and it seems, from this present generation, you will likely see blank stares. Mention Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and you see their eyes light up. Mention Pinochet or Lumumba, or Suharto..........you get very little reaction. Mention NYPD Blue, people will have a reaction. I've written on a lot of this already and there is a lot more to say. However, I want to focus on a few specific … [Read more...]

What Is Not

"It is not too far from the truth to suggest that this freedom of choice by a freely choosing subject, which operates the essays of Toulmin, Davie, Dworkin, and Booth, is the ideology of free enterprise at work-recognizably a politics of interpretation. Spivak The discussion raised last posting (on the unconscious) has led to a host of thoughts both directly and indirectly related. My interest is in a process or approach for the creation/production of artworks that will not be subsumed by Capitalist (bourgeois) models of identity. Now this is a subject needing a book length framework to really adequately cover, so I will just touch on some things that seem of interest to 'my' … [Read more...]

Fiction and Privacy

some brief notes: The increase in police and military surveillance has been precipitious. But something of a blow back has occured....as electronic snooping has increased, CCTV cameras everywhere, wire taps, etc, so has the public gained access to cheap video cameras, and of course their cell phones. So police brutality, something which has always gone on, is now being filmed. The police want laws to stop you filming them. They want to curtail the very thing they (well the system) have pushed through as part of the today's urban landscape. Suddenly they feel the loss of police privacy. Now, another topic comes to mind, which is connected to the two previous postings, but I suppose also … [Read more...]

Celebrity, Paranoia, and Risk

Several topics rattling around my head....that seem (!) related. But maybe everything is related. Joe Nava wrote a nice small essay titled Looking for the Unconscious in Film, on his blog, here... http://www.joenava.com/ There is in this topic, a relation to the spectacle as it was vomited forth on all media outlets this week. The DNC. In particular, though, I've been thinking on Michelle Obama's speech. And by extension on the colonizing of consciousness. And I've been thinking a bit about Zizek, and how philosophy now, in the guise of this self promoting buffoon, is just more branding. Actually, its worse, for Zizek advertises himself as a leftist. And he's not left on anything. … [Read more...]


I wanted to add to the discussion taking place on the comments thread of the previous posting. The subject of beauty came up -- so I begin this with a personal favorite painting, Joachem Wtewael Perseus and Andromeda, dated from 1611. The painting is in The Louvre, and last time I was there I stood for probably most of the morning staring at the figure of the woman. She seems more modern to me. Maybe late 18th century, or 19th century. She seems both a goddess and a cute barmaid. I've wanted to run away with her for thirty years...since I first saw this painting. Why does she look more modern? Well, I think its the mouth, the slightly proletarian features, the long waist and just slightly … [Read more...]

A Short Exegesis on Performance and The Uncanny

As is often the case, I find a number of unrelated, or semi-unrelated topics, somehow converging ...at least in my brain. Acting is complex discussion, and it is so mediated by the same economic forces driving studio film and TV, a rather obvious observation I grant you, that any analysis is going to run up against factors of commodification and marketing. That all said, one of the things I've noticed is that the criteria for "good" has shifted. It may or may not be useful to trace back the cross pollinating of Actor's Studio, RADA, The Group Theatre, The Mercury Theatre, and on to the increasingly influential Drama Center of London. However, I do think it's useful to look at some of … [Read more...]

Amnesia, Elections, and Narrative

The intersection of art and politics is one of the topics of this blog. And one way in which to approach the topic....which is obvious....is to explore the master narratives and the master discourse, as its constantly being recreated and reproduced by the culture industry and by (especially) the US state department. An obvious example of political theatre is the US presidential election campaigns. There is a jaw dropping mind numbing hypocricy at work with a majority of the US public. It's hard to know how many, and I can only point to my own experiences, really, and also to sort of project out from the tiny amount of real surveying that has gone on regards this. It's easy to forget that … [Read more...]