Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Don't piss off Amerika, yo! or they'll 'liberate' yo' sorry ass"--The Movie

The Fire THIS Time
There is a certain kind of naivete that I shall never understand. It is that species of reflectivelessness that claims 'a movie" is only a movie.

The most recent manifestation of this willful ignorance (or stubborn stupidity, deep denial) occurred over at PoliticalFleshFeast, that virtual pit of no-holds-barred rhetorical red-ass, verbal viciousness and venal vapidity (in about equal measure). In the subject essay, a diarist reviews the new super-hero epic, Iron Man, through a lens informed by perspectives usually thought of as "Theory," where the interpreter problematizes those aspects of the performance which the performers take for granted. On this reading, the movie postulates yet another rationalization for the systematic killing and displacement of inconvenient peoples, and the imposition of kapitalistic 'democracy,' violently, in the name of "American virtue and values." In this context, a commentor remarked that the original author was "reading into" the film themes that were the mere inventions of the viewer.

Every time I hear this--and it seems to happen repeatedly--I just have to pause and wonder: What kind of ignorance does it require to make such an assertion, in a universe in which EVERY human thing is mediated through a lens of state propaganda?

There is no such thing as an unmediated public event. Fairleft (the diarist) is merely pointing out that, no matter the surface characteristics of the particular narrative, such as IronMan, it participates in other, pre-existing, formative--even determinative--narratives by which the Corporate State sets and controls its agenda. When I saw the trailer, and heard the story, the first thing I thought of was "El Cid," except Robert Downey doesn't have to ride a horse.

You don't hafta control what any particular people think if you're controlling what they're thinking about and the images or narrative structures by which they construct and address their shared reality.

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