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June 14, 2004

Ain't It Dead Yet?

It took CNN and FoxNews more than seven days to bury Ronald Reagan. Wouldn't he keep still? Or did they try to bury something else along with him? Well, don't you worry, America hasn't run out of visionary statesmen. In fact, it has a flashy, new, senate-approved emperor, and he's called Messiah Moon.

June 11, 2004

Cut the Damn Camera

Yesterday I went to see the dance theatre project "Underground" at the half-finished subway station "Reichstag". The piece is based on the nonfiction book by Murakami about the sarin attack of the Aum Shinrikyo sect in the Tokyo subway 1995. The press release sounded vaguely interesting. Afterwards, I decided to skip dance theatre for a while, it seems to be a self-important scene which makes points of numbing banality over and over. The show starts with all dancers getting on stage (i. e. the subway platform) and almost everybody doing a lengthy karaoke number, which is apparently supposed to symbolize that emotions and experiences in late capitalist society are becoming ever more structured by the mass media, resulting in narcissism, alienation and loss of true communication. Accordingly, heavily symbolic song titles were chosen: "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" and "Satisfaction", which, of course, have something to do with the aggressivity, alienation and loss of orientation in our society. Then they sang a song about the lack of true communication in the modern world, guess which? Yes, exactly, it was "Sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel. The rest was just as bad, everything that makes the book vaguely interesting, i. e. the specificity of the event, of Tokyo, of Aum, was reduced to cliché, replacing analysis by the mysterious workings of destiny. And of course they had that unavoidable video camera-cum-projection screen. Every darn theatre production in this town absolutely has to have at least a few scenes doubled by video projection, which, as the directors and such don’t fail to point out, has something to do with emotions and experiences in late capitalist society becoming ever more structured by mass media, resulting in a rise of narcissism, voyeurism, alienation and loss of immediate communication. Besides, somebody might be shocked, because theatre is supposed to be high-brow and video is supposed to be low-brow, so there, we’re being subversive. Okay, thank you so much, but we really got the message now, and nobody is that shocked anymore, honestly! Would you mind doing something else now, please? But they’re already busy hatching the next plot about alienation in media society, wallowing in vapid entropy. They're all from Golgafrincham is what they are.

June 9, 2004

Don't Feed Them After Midnight

A few days ago, I fell asleep after hearing the second "The Best Of William Burroughs" CD from Giorno Poetry Systems. Especially the vivid reading of "Tío Mate smiles" must have followed me to the other side. I dreamt about a big meeting of my family on the veranda of some small mansion. I particularly remember seeing my two grandfathers, both dead in real life. Everybody was wearing 1920ish clothes, black suits for the men, and most eyed me with a knowing, slightly evil, but not unsympathetic smile. The atmosphere was that of a Mafia clan. I liked it. Actually, my paternal and maternal family are as petit-bourgeouis as can be, plus they aren't exactly close, and within the two families there's constant bickering. Burroughs probably idealized his own family the same way, in "Dead Roads" and other places.