Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Holiday Musings

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  • pollywog,

    the last words on avatar...

    it should be obvious that Avatar's 'pro-ethnic', 'anti-imperialist' position is a form of bourgeois fundamentalism not a form of genuine solidarity with workers from outside the dominant capitalist nations - that is, the class domination imposed by both the noble savage's hierarchical leaders or the supposedly civilised NGO/corporate penitents goes unquestioned in the film. To be pro-neoliberal undead NGO is to be pro-neoliberal undead leftist militant or third worldist demagogue (the role attained by the film's white American hero in the final part of the film).

    http://www.metamute.org/en/avatar_or_film_as_the_third_dimension_of_financialisation

    its not about the story or the telling of it anymore. it's all about commenting on it after the story has been told...

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    "A familiarity with the 3D movie and the works of Jean Baudrillard may help render this more intelligible. "

    Priceless.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Whatever's gotten into Steve I think there should be a whole lot more of it.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Fresh northern.. punctuation

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Thank you all for your support, I shall wear it when needed.
    I did attempt to write a follow up piece but managed to render the Hilux into a state of uselessness, it being the only source of power in this neck of the woods I have drained the battery and now we are stuck here 'till help arrives. Must go now the eeepc is starting to show signs of panic.
    :-)
    Note to self; Get solar panels and batteries before attempting hi-tech backwoods blogging.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    eeek

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    ... a Mouse.

    iminanut'ole iminanut'ole iknow iminanut'ole...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    This may not be the update I promised, regarding Germans or, in fact, Austrians but (see how I left out the comma there? we don't need it with the word "but", apparently) I did, however, use brackets.
    Any road up (as they say on Coronation Street but I digress, within parentheses) My power problem was, in reality, solved when "help" came.

    I heard a car coming up the drive, which is always suspicious if you are not expecting visitors in this neck of the woods. A Mazda Bongo scraped its way up the steep driveway, so steep you have to be careful descending, if you go too fast breaking is not an option, you will just slide off the edge into oblivion, I have been known to drink to that.
    Help came in the form of a pig hunter, a Maori pig hunter, to be precise, with large knife, who was looking for his dog. I asked what his dog's name was, he said "Girl"
    "So technically it's a bitch" I stated, with all the confidence of one who lives in a City and has a superior understanding of gender than the typical pig hunter, of what ever cultural descent.

    He regarded me with a look that said "I'm looking at you wondering what you meant by that. Were you dismissing me with prejudice with regard to my cultural background or my chosen hobby or occupation?"
    I said "Do you have any jump leads?"
    On ascertaining the fact that he didn't said "I think I may have some"
    I didn't.
    " I must have left them in the other car"
    That is when I felt like a right cunt.

    Most people who find themselves in this kind of situation will apologise profusely and try to make amends, or continue to be a total prat.
    I chose the former but didn't. I just said "I'll see if I can find some wire... Bro"
    I went off to see what I could find to fashion into some kind of jump lead.
    I found a coil of No.8 fence wire. One part of me, not my rational side, thought. "Yeah, Kiwi ingenuity. Use these to link two batteries together" my rational side said. "What if I cross the "streams" ? Ghost Busters scenario?"
    Mohi, that was his name, asked for a spanner "Even those pliers you got there will do. Bro"
    I handed him my Gerber.
    For those of you that don't know what a Gerber is and they are quite common amongst filmo types, a Gerber is a "Multitool" you know, those knifey things that turn into pliers or screwdrivers and stuff, a bit like a grownup's Transformer.

    Te next thing I heard (see how I slipped into the vernacular there?) (actually it was a typo but then I thought...) was "OK, start her up Bro"
    I walked out of the garage, where I had been, hopelessly, trying to construct some jump leads, to find Mohi had removed one of the batteries from his Bongo (apparently they have two) and was holding it upside down over the battery in my Hilux with the terminals touching each other in a way that was, at the same time, enlightening and frightening. I turned the key...
    And that, dear reader, is how you came to read this.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    LMWMFAO!!!

    That's Hone for 'Laugh My Arse Off!' You can fill in the blanks.

    Classic, Steve. I'm in a comma coma...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    the last words on avatar...
    it should be obvious that Avatar's 'pro-ethnic', 'anti-imperialist' position is a form of bourgeois fundamentalism not a form of genuine solidarity with workers from outside the dominant capitalist nations...

    Avatar perpetuates the urban myth of evil corporations?
    Reprinted from the Times in The Press this week, the poor corporations are getting a bad reputation - boo hoo

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Although as many have shown - most lately Mark Fisher in Capitalist Realism - generally in Hollywood cinema when corporations are the bad guys if you scratch a bit you find the message is just the opposite. I haven't seen Avatar yet (I never had to buy tickets for a movie ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE in my life before) but I wouldn't be surprised if it confirmed that.

    (Plus, hard to disagree with Tim Poynton in the last comment on that Times article.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Although as many have shown - most lately Mark Fisher in Capitalist Realism - generally in Hollywood cinema when corporations are the bad guys if you scratch a bit you find the message is just the opposite.

    No. Really, no. The faces of the military-industrial complex (Giovanni Ribisi and a so-hammy-its-CAMP Stephen Lang respectively) don't bite the head off an adorable Pandoran puppy-analogue while cackling manically as they urinate in the bleeding stump, but pretty damn close.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    From that Times article:

    Britons don’t worry about a corporation controlling their lives.

    Quite. I see what he means.

    You would never see a British miniseries about government/corporate nuclear misdeeds.

    They're not remotely interested in TV shows featuring corporations that send gameshow contestants to evil aliens, turn people into robots, abuse and enslave the innocent, or feed on people's bodies.

    There isn't anything in other media either. Certainly not comics set in worlds where there is fascist corporatism, or a huge multinational bankrolling the events of the central plotline. In no way are there large evil corporations in any comic fantasy novels, supergroup musicals, or YA literature.

    So yeah, it must just be an American thing.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    No. Really, no. The faces of the military-industrial complex (Giovanni Ribisi and a so-hammy-its-CAMP Stephen Lang respectively) don't bite the head off an adorable Pandoran puppy-analogue while cackling manically as they urinate in the bleeding stump, but pretty damn close.

    Seriously, if James Cameron has managed to get a huge corporation to spend 500 million dollars to produce a film against corporations, I'm going to love to see it. But hey, perhaps he's the new Matt Groening. I'll talk to you in a week.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Seriously, if James Cameron has managed to get a huge corporation to spend 500 million dollars to produce a film against corporations,

    Seriously, I've come to the conclusion that presumes a level of political sophistication in James Cameron that is not supported by the evidence. Sorry for lapsing into parlour psychoanalysis, but it's hard to read anything about the man without coming to the conclusion that he's a hardcore drama junkie -- every damn thing ends up as 'Jimmy Cameron vs. The Rest of The Universe That Has To Be Beaten Into Submission Through Sheer Force of Will'. (If The Universe fails to oblige, he has a genius for pre-emptively fire-bombing his bridges.)

    I don't believe for a moment James Cameron has a problem with corporations -- he has issues with everyone. And why should Fox have any problems indulging that when it's so vastly profitable?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Seriously, if James Cameron has managed to get a huge corporation to spend 500 million dollars to produce a film against corporations, I'm going to love to see it.

    And not the first time either.

    So yeah, it must just be an American thing.

    The China Syndrome begged to differ.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5442 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    He inherited that, didn't he? And watered it down some.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    He inherited that, didn't he? And watered it down some.

    Yes 'The Company' was the malign presence in the original Alien, but what exactly did Cameron water down? This time round, it isn't the seven man crew of a space ship that's the acceptable collateral damage to add a new product line to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation's bio-weapons division. But several hundred colonists -- including children -- who were steered toward their doom by a company that knew Ripley wasn't an insane drama queen. Let's just repeat that for effect: They killed children.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Precisely - the first Alien is a lot more subtle and menacing. The badness of Reiser and the corporation in Aliens is just silly.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    You would never see a British miniseries about government/corporate nuclear misdeeds.

    Edge of Darkness still kind of freaks my Cold-War-raised ass the hell out. What a great series.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Edge of Darkness still kind of freaks my Cold-War-raised ass the hell out. What a great series.

    Too bloody right. That was the first TV series I repeatedly taped and gave to people. And as for...

    send gameshow contestants to evil aliens

    The BBC did a fine job with Vonnegut's between time and Timbuktu back in 1972.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Another one for the You don't have to be totally shameless to work for Fox News, but it's the only way you're going to stay sane file.

    When Brit Hume is finished exhorting Tiger Woods to come to Jesus and be forgiven for his whore-mongering ways, do you think he'll be praying that his employers get a grip on the 8th Commandment -- you know, the one that says "do not bear false witness against your neighbour".

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Edge of Darkness

    Possible crap remake alert.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Possible crap remake alert.

    Everything is a pile of Schrödinger's cat poo until you open the box and see what's there. :) I'm pretty optimistic about this, because there's a solid bunch of talent on both sides of the camera and was pleasantly surprising how un-crap the film version of State of Play turned out to be.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    That Mute magazine editorial description in full:

    Whether seen as the ultimate capitalists, Buddhists or communards, bees elicit fantasies and fears of social productivity and crisis by turns. This issue is not really about bees of course, but the ‘colony collapse disorder' which is currently threatening the global bee population works as a stark metaphor for the crisis of reproduction that is currently afflicting human society as it is currently configured. The collection of articles, stories and images in this issue can be seen as actively disordering colony collapse, whereby our destabilised social and ecological environments are not dispassionately reported upon, but insistently reordered in the pursuit of a hive better suited to our species needs

    I see.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

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