Friday, November 07, 2008

Slavoj Žižek explains why the Sound of Music is racist




I think Žižek has a strong point. But I thin in the most most of the Austrians side with the Nazis as I recall.

I think there is a sub-text to Sound of Music, but it is more related to what I call the "Purity of Light" in mass culture. Not just in movies but in Virtual Reality we see that light emerges as the elect property; our culture has a tendency to worship a kind of light and assign a kind of purity to it. Along with light come nature, virginity, children, beauty, and all the purity crap that the family embraces in Sound of Music.

The Nazis message to democracies was that their form of government and discipline would produce more Light than others. The movie the Cabrera shows this lovely.

The Nazis confront the west with a claim to many of its central values and political hopes. Fascism unlike Stalinism offers a very intense attraction. The endless documentaries about the Nazis and World War II show our constant desire to gaze up them. In their uniforms, their collective rallies, their structures all betray to us the most intense attraciont and revulsion.

As a child I was often transfixed with the image of Hitler and the Nazis. In early manhood I was haunted for years that the Nazis were out to get me.

The attrictive purity of their image and horror of their mass murder are glued and we as a culture are guilty by fascination, that we can show documentaries about Hitler’s daily life in the bunker, show stories about Waffen SS tank crews: does our culture have no decency?

I know by heart so many of the rallies and manners of Hitler, how he wave his head, how he worked a crowd, what some of the allies thout of him. I know of his private home, his love of dogs, his relationship with Eva and his daily habit of taking a long walk down hill. I know he was lazy and more interested in imagining building projects. I know the names of the men around him. Of thier trials.

This I know because I have cable TV. What am I shown about Stalin, about Mao, about FDR or Churchill? Only a fraction. Hitler is the star of World War II. Why?

We are attracted to the image the fascism uses, and culture is constantly exploring often ways to resolve this issue.

But it is not only the Nazis that attract us. Our culture is fascinate with other systems that opposed us as a kind of commodity. Che T-Shirts books about young Stalin sell like wild in London.

Why?

Maybe because we feel as though this nice easy social order we have is virtual, is dead. That we are not real, that we have no access to reality. That by imagining a different ideology we can get closer to intensity of violence and sexual excitment. We craze direct banal connect to the real that the force of discipline and radical symbolism promises. Perhaps part of us wishes that the endless signs in our life meant something as a whole.

In late capitalist society we are feed a chaos of messages. Ads for dish soap and then car insurance online then toilet cleaners. Our streets are full of images but its all like Tokyo. It does not matter that we can't read the signs, because they mean nothing put their presence as signs. They are structured by the ideology of fragmentation and isolation, the consumer ideology that Conservatives unleashed upon us by mistake.

I think there is a strong unconscious desire for the cultre to feel like a Unity: and this attracts us to fascists on TV, Stalin and Mao in our books and Che as a shirt. We consume ideologies today. We are trying to buy our way in to a more ordered existence. But because we are virtual we have not idea of how to connect to the real. We are lost in a symbolic order of flux of advertising signs, or pornography and bloggers.

What we really want is some kind of single order, something that will assign a fixed meaning to the elements of our lives. We are a desperate people still needing to be a person in a story of reality; but that story no longer exists.

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