17th March 2003 [contd]
Rage also at what you cannot but suspect is still a major subcutaneous degree of racism. The Middle East, one imagines – for many people in the UK and especially America – viewed as just this undifferentiated bloc. (And “they” who live there
are, somehow, all inherently diffusely responsible for 9/11.)
Peace protestors say ‘Not in my name.’
But if you say YES to war, and it IS in your name, then isn’t there a moral/ethical DEMAND that you know what you are talking about? that you could find the country in question on a map; and be able to distinguish between and among different boundary lines, states, peoples (… and potential futures). Never mind the history of how these things, often artifically, came into being. [Wouldn’t it be nice to properly quiz George Bush on just such questions?] That here was the cradle of civilisation? Mathematics architecture alchemy and art when most of us were still virtual cave people.
(“Virtual cave people”? And now?)
American TV does not stint on showing us GOOD – all these characters near tortured by goodness; non pareil good, ethical people. St Sipowicz, et al. Even politics, now, in the West Wing.
It is possible to construct an argument ‘for’ the West Wing, on the level that it is
a kind of reverse-Swiftian exercise, a Star Trek of politics, which presents a kind
of Starry Trek-y UTOPIA of what politics OUGHT to be and COULD be. But its hard not
to be ambivalent, even, or perhaps especially, when you’re viewing through tears…
US TV presents nearly ALL [its] cops, functionaries, everyone - even lawyers! - as virtual saints. This opens up a vast gulf between what we SUSPECT to be at least partially the case (rotten, bodged together, bought, sold, corrupt, ethics free, bucks-chasing fuck-you, refusal-to-change America) and what we are given to see
24/7. by these CORPORATE machine-tooled committee-writ entertainments.
There are stakes here.
(All the old ghosts of a late-1970s unsentimental political education slip back … ‘hegemony’… ‘superstructure’…
(Only the other day: Rosa L. groovily alluded to on a website.
(How long before the Gramsci comeback?)
What happened to all the prim promises ()the bonded premises) of ‘no trivia ever again’ after Sept 11 01? TV/media/mags are currently, if anything, more trivial than EVER BEFORE. (Interesting exercise: present the Public with the choice: they can HAVE a greatly reduced trivia count. But it will mean vast swathes of empty airtime and cleanwhite space and tabloids/magazines a mere half dozen pages long.) And as war approachs – a kind of ‘world war’ after all – nothing stops, or suspends. Thus the uncanny feeling: that [the] ‘war’ feels somehow far far away…
(What does Blanchot say? The disaster does not COME? Part OF the disaster of the disaster is that it touches nothing, leaves everything intact?)
People are still promoting their dirty little million dollar films; unbelievably vapid programmes are still being launched.
Channel 4 – surprise surprise – particularly culpable: Boys & Girls; Peoples Book of Records; that incredibly annoying unfunny idiotboy (who seems to have moved from c-list programme to sinking-ship programme ever since his turn-it-off debut on C4’s exorbitantly naff 11 O Clock ‘satire’ show) on the execrable Rise.
Who knows his name (or cares)? Something uniqely HYENA-like about him, even for a c-level presenter. (And that’s the only unique thing about him.) Today’s hilarious comment “Oooh! That I’d love to see: Jack Bauer going ‘HOUSE!’” It’s the false ‘Oooh’ here that especially grates. A heat-free heterosexual trying to be all Norton naughty at 9 in the morning…
Up against this wall, motherfucker.
posted by Ian 4/19/2003 10:54:00 AM