The Decline of Science Fiction

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In this day and age, science fiction, not to mention its more popularized version, scifi, has lost its prestige. Before we get into its current dilapidated state, first we need a cursory analysis of its emergence, to properly assess its origins. Continue reading The Decline of Science Fiction

Mr.Robot, Fight Club, American Psycho

Mr. Robot by Ururuty
Mr. Robot by Ururuty

At the most basic level, the TV show was a deathmatch between two dominant cult films of the end of the 90s: the narrator from Fight Club and Patrick Bateman from American Psycho over the stakes of capitalism. Mr. Robot is Sam Esmail’s attempt at re-purposing and repairing of these two opposing representations in order to succeed where they both failed. Therefore Mr. Robot transcends tribute and arrives at re-invention. Continue reading Mr.Robot, Fight Club, American Psycho

Tracing Cynical Reason in 20th Century America

In this blog I trace cynical reason of 20th century American history as a phenomenon in two aspects: in the sphere of economics and in the sphere of cultural arts. Instead of complaining about the so-called poverty of contemporary politics or whining about the decline of contemporary morality, I insist on cynical reason as a dominant sentiment of the post-Fordist capitalist existence. In this respect, cynical reason extends further than the emotional or psychological response to the contemporary existence, and closer to a sociological analysis. Continue reading Tracing Cynical Reason in 20th Century America

Criticism and Pop Culture


This quote illustrates the problem with criticism and art today, especially when it comes to pop culture critics.

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Wonder Woman, by Cliff Chiang

The comic book critic Kelly Thompson dropped Wonder Woman after issue #7, and explained herself in her article “Is the Destruction of the Amazons The Destruction of Feminism in DC Comics?”  Basically, the writer of Wonder Woman, Brian Azzarello, has returned the titular character Wonder Woman to ancient Greek mythological roots. However, Greek mythology is much more bloodthirsty and savage than their previous incarnations, notably expressed by George Perez in the mid 80s. The Olympians of Perez seemed closer to the stoic figures of Roman mythology: certainly noble but mostly detached from the affairs of mortals. Continue reading Criticism and Pop Culture

Other Post-Postmodernisms: a glossary

Confetti Death, by Typoe
Confetti Death, by Typoe

 

The previous blog focused on pseudo-modernism, on whether it was a sufficient successor to the dominant cultural paradigm. In my research, I realized that there were way too many “posts” to postmodernisms that I needed a program to tell them all apart.  Continue reading Other Post-Postmodernisms: a glossary

Pseudo-modernism

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Post-post-post-post…

Is postmodernism really dead, finally, after a thousand articles and books arrogantly, yet prematurely announced its death? Or perhaps tomorrow belongs to it because postmodernism is born post-humously? Kirby made a strong case in his article, Death of Postmodernism and Beyond (2006), in which he claims that the Internet is essentially proof that the zeitgeist has lurched from the text back to the reader — now an active participant in the creation of text. Continue reading Pseudo-modernism

Are all opinions of art equal?

Relaxing, from @Thanatologist on Instagram

When it comes to art and opinion, we are always reminded of the latin maxim: De gustibus non est disputandum (There’s no disputing taste). However, in the anime Hyouka (13th episode) the issue of art and subjectivity is raised by two high school girls, between Mayaka Ibara and her senpai, the president of the manga club. Continue reading Are all opinions of art equal?

Best anime of 2011

Mawaru Penguindrum

This will be my first time to attempt a “review” of anime (Japanese animated shows), and I think a good review is the fine line between fan-boy-ism and elitism, one that is honest with passion, but always facing the direction of the ideal anime. Because I’m a johnny-come-lately to anime, the actual best shows I watched in 2011 are Revolutionary Girl Utena, Bakemonogatari, and Bokurano. Continue reading Best anime of 2011

A vote for retromodernism

I came across this fascinating article on salon.com about the corrupting influence of nostalgia on contemporary culture. The argument of so-called Generation Void is that retro-zeitgeist nostalgia has mutated to the point that there’s no longer any original work anymore. Continue reading A vote for retromodernism