Search Results for: let the games begin

Odds & Ends

“But you can’t allow a contradiction to stand! — Why not?… Ludwig Wittgenstein "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money." Walt Disney When Luis Barragan won the Pritzker Prize in architecture, the jury wrote "A stoical acceptance of solitude as man's fate permeates Barragán's work. His solitude is cosmic, with Mexico as the temporal abode he lovingly accepts." I remember when I first became aware of Barragan, I was probably about eighteen. I fell in love with the pink walls, the water, the sun off the blue or yellow facades, and the stables at Cuadra San Cristobal seemed the stage of a modernist play, a sort of tropical … [Read more...]

The Real

One of the problems with a lot of writing about film is this idea of "popularity". And with this idea, in the broadest sense in which it is used, comes an association of film as populist. One of the strange elements in Hollywood film, Hollywood naturalism (and in a way, all of Hollywood is naturalistic, even if its fantasy naturalism), and I could easily call this Hollywood corporate real-ism, is that the first thing eliminated from narrative are the frustrating and soul destroying trivialities of daily life. I remember watching several episodes of Ray Donavan (Showtime) this year, which takes place in Los Angeles. And Ray is forever driving all over the city, and seemingly gets from … [Read more...]

A Short Aside on Sports

"Sports always recapitulates society, in terms of its character, dynamics, and the structure of human relations... We are already in a situation where we are expecting children to play games that they cannot afford to watch." Harry Edwards "To the extent that necessity is socially dreamed, the dream becomes necessary. The spectacle is the nightmare of imprisoned modern society which ultimately expresses nothing more than its desire to sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of sleep." Guy Debord Somtimes sports is a great metaphor, though usually less great than a lot believe. Still, I was reminded of something Tim Green once said in a radio interview. Green was a former NFL defensive … [Read more...]

Fun Fun Fun

I wanted to follow up on the last post. And I want to discuss in a sense why Tragedy seems to impossible today. I recently found myself in long debates about two popular cultural products, The Avengers and Breaking Bad. I realized that this sort of discussion is problematic, in the same way Obamacare arguments are problematic. It is problematic because government shutdown is just bad theatre. Just a bad movie. But to explain that to, even, a lot of leftists, requires a long and often tedious discussion. Same with having to discuss The Avengers. Someone had gotten very upset at the idea that I called, what was clearly a favorite film, "fascist". But this raises the question of what I began … [Read more...]

I am I

"*I am what I am*. This is marketing's latest offering to the world, the final stage in the development of advertising, far beyond the exhortations to be different, to be oneself, and drink Pepsi. Decades of concepts in order to get to where we are, to arrive at pure tautology. I equals I". The Invisible Committee. One of the questions one is often confronted with is to explain why or how an artwork has value, or quality. Now, in one way, this blog has often been about exactly this, but what I'm more thinking about here are the prevailing assumptions this culture demonstrates in it's non specialized outlets. Given that there is so little arts education anymore, I often find distinct … [Read more...]


"...the certain realization that Kafka's entire work constitutes a code of gestures which surely had no definite symbolic meaning..." Walter Benjamin, On The 10th Anniversary of Kafka's Death I want to continue on fromn that last post, and also to incorporate some of the long comments thread, and also try to more specifically look at this idea of violence in the West, and its cultural expressions. The link below is almost a daily occurance now. The new theatre of violence is this temporary stage on the side of the highway. This mini drama encapsulates the thrust of the white male system of domination. The beating of a woman, … [Read more...]

Aesthetic Resistance

" Mediation is no less to be inferred from the relation of art to nature, than from the inverse; art is not nature, a belief that idealism hoped to inculcate, but art does want to keep natures promise. It is capable of this only by breaking that promise by taking it back in to itself. Art is inspired by the negativity, specifically by the deficiency of natural beauty, in the sense that so long as nature is defined only through its antithesis to society, it is not yet what it appears to be. What nature strives for in vain, artworks fulfil; they open their eyes. Once it no longer serves as an object of action, appearing nature itself imparts expression, whether that of melancholy, peace, or … [Read more...]

Theatre of Mayhem

"It is necessary to recognize that acts of extreme violence and cruelty do not represent merely an odd or marginal and private retreat into barbarism. On the contrary, warlike values and the social mindset they legitimate have become the primary currency of a market-driven culture that takes as its model a Darwinian shark tank in which only the strongest survive. In a neoliberal order in which vengeance and revenge seem to be the most cherished values in a “social order organized around the brute necessity of survival,” violence becomes both a legitimate mediating force and one of the few remaining sources of pleasure.11 At work in the new hyper-social Darwinism is a view of the Other as the … [Read more...]