The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
The Books of Blood vol 1 by Clive Barker
A very light month due to illness and a deluge of watching films. Hopefully next month bodes better.
The theory of reification (here strongly overlaid with Max Weber's analysis of rationalization) describes the way in which under capitalism the older traditional forms of human activity are instrumentally reorganized and "taylorized" analytically fragmented and reconstructed according to various rational models of efficiency and essentially restructured along the lines of a differentiation between means and endsWhat is most relevant to this discussion is the phrase, "instrumentally reorganized." Human activities, such as affects, are instrumentally reorganized, ruthlessly by the market into a system of equivalence. Affects such as nostalgia are instrumentalized and restructured for consumption. In the Frankfurt school of thought, this instrumentalization is the hallmark of the culture industry, in which culture, especially pop culture, is a tool of distraction, keeping the masses complacent and ignorant of the machinations of greater powers. Transformers, then, would be a classic example mobilized by grumpy old Marxists like Adorno to contend that mass culture is corrupt, the apotheosis of politically unproductive, and formally and aesthetically inert.
The objects of mass desire enact the dream of sheer circulation itself -- travel, instant communication, movies, catalogues, the lure of new lifestyles patched together from commodities gathered into scenes of possible life.Transformers: Age of Extinction is the ultimate expression of the late capitalist era: a consummable, mass produced and easily duplicated, that signals its own ease of duplication within its mode of reproduction. It is a boring slog of a movie meant only to provide momentary respite from the unending demand of balancing work, family, and leisure. This movie perfectly encapsulates the necessary labour required to enjoy something. It is a piece of shit.
The experience of being "in the mainstream" is a concrete sensory experience of literally being in tune with "something" that's happening.
But nothing too heavy or sustained.
It's being in tune without getting involved. A light contact zone that rests on a thin layer of shared public experiences. (51)