Archive for June, 2013

Even in the Year of Magic Hearts, cock and bread alike grew stale. So we traced patterns of reindeer and snowballs and rice, none of which we had tasted, ever, with the pulp of our moms. We divined from these signs a bombed-out virus that meant no change. Such science meant the end of magic, to our chagrin.

Suppose Foucault and similar critical theorists are correct, and we are controlled and directed by repeated discourses. Suppose that the repeated phrasings of political leaders create new realities.* ** Is it so far-fetched to believe that World War Z contributes to a kind of discourse which will make apocalypse inevitable?

The most recent decline of the big budget film may be traced to the mid-90s schlock Independence Day, in which a president of the United States, a fresh prince, and a drunk saved the world from brainless predatory aliens who vaporized cities.*** To survive, it was clear that no one must think. Random mass death and special effects became the primary concern. Star Trek: Into Darkness confirms that major sci-fi has been irrevocably divorced from thought. Where The Wrath of Khan featured obsession and calculation and several tangled webs of human relation, Into Darkness features mindless CGI fights that are impossible for the human mind to follow.

The fight scenes of just about all contemporary films, and not just sci-fi flicks, seem impossible to follow. I was first lost in The Bourne Ultimatum, when Bourne fought this Algerian guy in a fast-forward sequence that would have been comedic twenty years ago, but was made seriously now. This is done, I think, in the interest of realism. It is hard enough to understand the impulse to the drudgery of pure replication in any medium. It’s much harder l to understand when attempt to replicate the fighting ability of engineered super-soldiers. We despair of reason altogether when you attempt to replicate real life action when you’re shooting on blue screens with thousands of digitally projected laser beams and zombies.

I recommend slowness.

*”Weapons of mass destruction,” etc.

**The latter may be an easier-to-understand rephrasing of the former supposition.

***It was also the beginning of dumb ass propagandistic movies in which American presidents are not soft-handed liars, but action heroes. The most recent iteration of this here phenomenon seems to involve Jamie Foxx.

Androids claimed their truths were measurable. A new wave of math was dumped upon us tout de suite. The scores were added up, inevitably. Every result meant our brains were misformed. But did that not mean our brains functioned correctly, but in ways inutile to them? It did. It also meant new diets were catapulted from the city gates. They came in boxes and tasted like boxes. We were granted mammy jobs and promptly fed boom beats and hammers to baby androids. They bled along the grass. Their eggy eyes slid into puddles, where they decomposed among the tadpoles and worms. The baby androids looked at us with empty sockets. Flies entered and exited these with snips of wire and circuitry. The baby androids held out their mechanical hands. We took them. We counted the fingers: sixteen, two, hundred. We promised that, at long last, we were friends.

check out this here review of vs. death noises at rain taxi.

It would be nice if this meant the end of conventional liberal politics, but it would have been nice if the Libyan bombings or drone strikes or the massive transfers to banks had been the end of conventional liberal politics. It would be nice, but conventional liberals will continue to vote for Democratic politicians. They will feel smarter than Republicans, I guess, because at least they know their guy’s a crook, while the Republicans are delusional.

Assuming that’s true, and I don’t assume that, liberals ought to at least wonder what their vote has earned them, exactly. Obama has done just about everything Bush has done, but in a different style. The War on Terror continues. Domestic surveillance has been expanded. So have drone strikes—against American citizens. A dumb war has been waged, this time in Libya. Obama’s healthcare plan was dug up from the Heritage Foundation archives, negotiated with insurance companies, and can be seen as an enlargement of Bush’s Medicare Part D. On abortion, he’s been rendered impotent by Republican state legislatures and, like every Democrat of his generation, he’s scared to bring it up. Unions have been smoked. Gay marriage is about the only notable near achievement, though it took him till his second election run to endorse the long-standing liberal position. Everything else, crap.

Before the 2008 election, liberals said that if they could just get more Democrats, they could accomplish all these wonderful things. They got majorities in Congress plus the presidency, and found themselves stymied at every turn by a minority of supposedly moronic Republicans.

Liberal Democrats might want to rethink a couple of premises: a) that these Republicans are dumb b) that Obama meant well, but was foiled by those morons.

Consider the possibility that Obama has gotten the job done, the job he wanted done. His friends got jobs and money. You lost both, but he did wink and nod in the direction of gay marriage.

One thing I’ve read on Facebook today regards the sadness of certain committed liberals: all those young people will be disenchanted, they won’t vote, and oh, God, then what? Dude, you should all consider disenchantment. Your last twelve years (at least!) of organizing and voting and believing have delivered you precisely this: just about all of George W. Bush’s programs have been promoted and expanded by the head of the Democratic Party. That means he has saddled you with this junk just as much as George W. Bush saddled his party with this junk. Both parties are saddled. If you continue to vote for that party, you will continue to wear that saddle.

You have, really, three options. One is to keep on being the horsey. You could protest, but that would probably require you to remember how impotently people protested the Iraq War or Wall Street. I recommend withdrawal. Try out a garden, Voltaire style. You can have, really, a full and wonderful life. You will never again regret your vote.