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Showing posts from July, 2017

Discussion over "Dunkirk"

RT: Interesting that Nolan's film seems to meld together two major sources of British WWII self-image: the doughty sea rescue by British small boats of hundreds of thousands of trapped soldiers on the Belgian beaches, and the contemporary 1940 air war against the Nazi invasion known as the 'Battle of Britain' ( (though not a part of the film, The Blitz of London would be the third of these heroic tropes.) While the film 'Dunkirk' certainly seems a memorial to the moral clarity of the past, it is also inevitably a reflection on our present-day incapacity to live beyond ironic self-reflection and bitter partisanship. Yet more importantly, in making a war film without ever representing an enemy, Nolan has allowed us the opportunity to examine our own hopes and fears as being what they are and not as a sign of noble purpose. This is a brilliant film for more than its technically proficient beauty, and a reason to compare it to the great Kubrick moral investigations …

Taking a pause... before loving Caesar, in "War for the Planet of the Apes"

"In War for the Planet of the Apes," I think we're supposed to understand that though we have essentially two tribes, both headed by chieftains, that really only one of them is authoritarian -- the human tribe. The ape tribe, I think we're supposed to understand, is built out of beings whose sympathies are actually democratic and egalitarian, and so we agree to the artifice of their being a clan that is king-ruled with an order of succession because it reminds us of our own way of paying heed to newly emergent "historical" "peoples" who've just gotten started on their way, but nevertheless fundamentally understand them as a community of democrats.
But if I think I felt this deep down, I would have felt more at ease with the movie. I think the movie savours too much how every time Caesar waits through a tumult of discord or uncertainty to finally speak... or even quietly move a eyebrow, how everyone suddenly stops what they're doing and sta…

Reply to Kenneth Alan Adams and Audrey Crosby's "The 2016 Election, Authoritarian Childrearing and our Suicidal Trajectory" (Journal of Psychohistory, Summer 2017)

One wonders when one reads this article if the foremost interest of Adams and Crosby is to help us understand why the white working class shouldn't be blamed for not being able to keep up with the times,or why they damn well should be! Ostensibly, the foremost inspiration of the article is Lloyd deMause's (borrowing from James F. Masterson) concept of "growth panic," where those who were mothered by unloved mothers who more needed their children as anti-depressants than loved them and who abandoned their children with they showed some inclination to individuate, can no longer handle living in a society which enables too much pleasure and opportunities for self-activation. Their inner punitive maternal alters have had it with them, and with good reason they feel threatened with the prospect of annihilation. Hence they go "Trump" so they can bond with him as the foremost delegate of the Mother Nation and war against all the "spoiled" who ostensibly …

Recent conversation about feminism and Lloyd deMause's theories

I think that if asked Lloyd most certainly would declare himself a feminist, but there is a way in which his own theories would enable him to remain such while still establishing feminists as those who repudiate all self-blame by projecting it onto (white working class) men, as you say... for according to where we're at in his conception of historical cycles, exactly no one is to be expected to be at their functioning best. 
Lloyd wrote that after wars or huge depressions there is a sense that self-growth / self-activation makes almost no one nervous, everything that had been discouraged seems suddenly allowed, and so for example for the three decades after WW2 we had a society where everyone prospered. After this, self-growth becomes a problem... the six horsemen of the apocalypse, the inner maternal predatory alter, the Killer Mother, the superego, is getting set to strike. Groups of poorer childrearing, those who had mothers who were so unloved they experienced their children…

Recent letters to the NYT, in response to David Brooks

Letter 1
We're really at a loss when our most emotionally evolved begin to experience pleasure when they participate in a system where a lot of promising human beings will receive little feedback on their excellence... for them, it'll all seem to slip out into a void of no-response. I think for this to be happening, most upper-middle-class liberals have to experiencing some kind of growth panic, some sense that their prosperity is selfish and spoiled of them, and warranting a punishment, and are in response helping nurture a society downgraded from the one they at some level know is much the much richer -- a fully open society... some hippie '60s vision, that actually would be possible if we weren't bent on repeating the '30s.
Some gigantic maw that demands lives be lost in hopelessness is becoming satisfied, for the masses, whatever their talent, having to have to will past guaranteed invisibility to manifest their best creative work (in this, you-are-either-exempt…

The web-strand you can't have dissolve, in "Spider Man: Homecoming"

If most of his fellow students had to choose between being Peter Parker with his Spider-Man abilities, but without him having any connection to Tony Stark or the Avengers, or being Peter Parker sans the abilities but with an actually real scholarship funded by Stark, I wonder which one they would choose. Actually, I don't wonder -- these days, almost all of them would be savvy enough to automatically choose to be the Parker who knew Stark. 

This Peter Parker, updated to seem plausible in the contemporary era, is evidently going to some kind of private school (how could someone who's known as a top science genius that could draw an industrial giant like Stark to him, and who's going to a high school the rich would accept as sufficiently esteemed to perform its expected role in accenting their kids' reputation, be going to anything other than a prestigious private high school?) -- some place where the future elites are being groomed and made. And to them what is Peter Par…