Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Long Day, Day of Longing
Leaving home before eight, returning home after eight, another long teaching day. This morning in the City I'll be screening and then discussing Carpenter's film "They Live" (a film explicitly about the operation of ideology, but also one symptomizing ideology in ways that are bonkers, not to mention, just enough like a zombie movie to be, as all zombie movies are, a commentary on consumer capitalism). Something of a fluke of scheduling, but I'll be screening and discussing the film again at Berkeley a week from now. In Berkeley this afternoon we'll be reading Barthes, first a lecture about Mythologies as another variation on the Marx's fetishism of commodities argument, coming on the heels of Benjamin's auratic aesthetic event and Adorno's Culture Industry and setting the stage for Debord's Spectacle (the Situationist International actually took place the same year Mythologies was published, 1957) and Naomi Klein's Logo, all variations on the Marxian critique of commodity fetishism. I then go on to read what I call the book within the book Mythologies, talking about how chapters like "Nautilus and the Drunken Boat," "The Brain of Einstein," "Plastic," and "Jet Man" zero in on the mythology of "The Future" in particular, in which I use Barthes to model some of my own anti-futurological critique -- beginning with a reading of Daniel Harris' "The Futuristic" as the aesthetics of the perverse. Fun stuff, I would be looking forward to teaching this if I weren't running on empty and running out the clock due to all these relentless teaching intensives this summer.