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Archive for the ‘Althusser’ Category

If you have a little boy or girl, then you probably know about Thomas the Tank Engine. No, I don’t mean a character. And I don’t even mean a show. And, no, I don’t even mean a merchandise aisle at Target. I mean what becomes, so very easily, an entire way of being. What is it about trains in general, and Thomas the Tank Engine in particular, that get inside little people’s brains?

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I saw Wall-E a couple of weeks back. Unlike most, if not all of my friends who saw the movie, I didn’t like it very much. It was of course visually awesome and charming, for the most part, and told a decent enough story. It’s hard to “disagree” with the moral of the story, which, so far as I can tell, is that garbage is bad for the earth. And that submission to the spectacle of marketing is also bad. I got that. But I do think there is a more problematic something about the film – not a “message,” but instead something more like a presupposition.

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I’m late with this one. Alas. So, I’ll start by just saying it: the fact that Ricky got cut is really obnoxious and wrong. Sure, this season’s competition is extra-tense and close and all that, but, seriously, Ricky was an amazingly beautiful dancer. He’s off the show and brings with his ejection all sorts of quirks about So You Think You Can Dance? (more…)

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It happens every five years since I can remember. It’s time to remember The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, to reflect “as a culture” on its significance, and learn again that it is the best and most important album ever. Now it is forty years. Thanks to Jody Rosen at Slate.com for changing that a bit with a nice write up. I have a few thoughts… (more…)

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You know it is a strange day when I find myself in agreement with one of the editors at The National Review. Well, it is strange if you’re me or know me personally, though this agreement is not so substantial. I just like that he made the following comment on Sam Brownback’s editorial in the New York Times: “Here is Sam Brownback talking about evolutionary biology. That’s a bit like saying: ‘Here’s Paris Hilton talking about partial differential equations.’ ” Nice. While Derbyshire is disinclined to respond in detail to Brownback’s “theory” of evolution (though he does, quite well), it is worth a comment. Here it goes… (more…)

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cash.pngIn today’s Slate.com, Seth Stevenson writes up a soon-to-appear (as in tonight) miniseries on USA Network, entitled The Starter Wife. Fab write-up. One of my favorite lines, actually: “Having watched an advance DVD of the first three hours, I can offer a mini-review: two thumbs up. Up my own eye sockets.” That’s funny. The review, however, is about a whole lot more, namely, how this show might be pushing ahead a new trend in funding television and movies: single-sponsored work. That just icky. (more…)

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13.69: Reading Popular Culture has a fascinating bit on feral women. Why do we want them? What do they say to us about desire? Does the wildness of these particular women produce a sexually present woman, or another victim? Well, because she’s a complicated reader of such things, 13.69 thinks of this as both – those are the consequences of cultural desire and material limits. Cultural desire dis-locates the desire, of course, folding desire into the “we” and the “our.” (more…)

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