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posted by Ian 1/30/2006 11:02:00 AM

Loving the hauntology theme floating around you and your cohorts' blogs - how about the accelerating polularity of thedead/undead superhero? This figure on the landscape has developed from omnipotence (superman, captain marvel), to adolescent self-doubt (spiderman, x-men) to psychosis (the punisher, watchmen) to a sense of invisibility and zombie-like 'non-being' (Blade, Hellboy, Ghost Rider, Constantine - all of which are making spectral shapes in Hollywood). That superheroes still remain big with kids (despite what journos say) is telling in terms of how kids shape their sense of power of 'great power and great responsibility'. Demons and zombies seem to figure a lot in related kids' entertainment, too (check out some of those playstation characters). As for teenagers, the current music scene is positively necrophiliac (not just in retro 'indie' - look at the bizarre worship of biggie and tupac, both of whom died when most of their fans were in nursery)
(eg cf buffy passim)

word of power: "nisji"
There was a great essay a number of years ago on the web by i THINK (I could be wrong) Steve Erickson which was something like 'How Teenage Girls Came To Save The World'...

BTW M, I thought I was bad - NB PS re: ... () et c - but "(eg cf buffy passim)" takes the b.(!)
...and of course Buffy, who seems to float around in a reality that has little to do with the material world she's supposedly a product of. The spoiled teen queen with crushes on asexual undead guys who live in cellars (so THAT'S why it was so hard to 'pull' in school).
As for spectral presences capturing the nation's imagination, what about B*g Br*th*r? That and any number of celebrity reality shows have the curious feeling of watching a virtual purgatory - where the c-list go and bicker when they die (I'm always reminded of that kid's show 'the ghosts of motley hall'). The 'non-cleb' BB seems to offer up a series of 'presences' that aggresively invade the aether only to vanish when their 'hour' arrives (a lot of ghosts reportedly fade away as you get closer to them). Of course, reality shows are a big favourite with the kiddies (odd hearing eight year olds imitate Pete Burns and Michael Barrymore - it was Frank Spencer and Columbo in my day). And as mentioned elsewhere, these CGI epics also seem to announce themselves loudly only to float out the mind as soon as the lights go on (watch millions of middle-earthers/jedis etc. hack each other to death without ever really getting involved with these stories).
Ok, I chipped in with the kidstuff, superheroes and reality TV, but can't let this 'haunting' go...
where are the blogospherical mentions of that hauntological philosopher king WERNER HERZOG? I see even in 2006 he's still meditating on our absence from time, nature and ourselves... when I watch the likes of Woyzceck, Aguirre and Kasper Hauser, I can't get rid of the weird feeling that their respective historical periods are calling out of the screen to the warn the 20th century (think of how Woyzceck's pain pleads for a dialogue outside his historical mis-en-scene). I see Terence Malick, Lynch and Kubrick are getting the namechecks, but I reckon ol' Werner's had a major influence on all (consider how Kubrick dropped the spectacle for the spectral around the time of New German Cinema). Herzog's films continue to have the texture of a seance (something I think Van Sant's best movie 'Elephant' managed to pull off). And he has none of the childish gore, filmschool references and adolescent sexuality that's marred many of his contemporaries and descendants... Werner's keepin' it unreal, undead ... and underrated!
Where are you coming (back) from, Anonymous? Where can we read more?

I.P. {at first I thought I knew who you were, but now... dunno}{haunted! by un non de pere...
Here's that Erickson piece, btw:

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