But despite its flaws has an underlying structure that could have made for a great film. As time goes on, I’m beginning to realize a couple of things about Costner’s disaster epic. One, that it was perhaps an ill-timed film – perhaps made a decade too late or two decades too soon. And in the critical flaws of the film’s tone, particularly in the much dissed second half, could be much better interpreted in the real life dystopian Trumpian America of 2017.
The following presents further where the character form of the American vigilante hero in our cultural imagination, in film, folklore and in real life, is treated as a kind of convenient danger. An angel to some, a demon to others, living in the edges of society where the moral grey areas of the American frontier still exist, where the man of violence waits for another crisis to put his discomfiting skills to use.
The following explores further the character of the conservative American hero from dime novel westerns and detective stories to film noir to the ever popular super hero genre. There emerges the quintessential American hero drawing from all of these action genres the singular influence of Batman.
… D.H. Lawrence may had this heroic ideal in mind when he described in Studies in Classical American Literature, “But have there the myth of the essential white America. All the other stuff, the love, the democracy, the flourishing into lust, is sort of a by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted”
why American culture is tragically obsessed with violence, and the ways which Americans fantasize about using violence personally, socially and politically as a prime principle of cultural power. At question is how we imagine the heroic implementation of violence, and how this implementation of violence has become the bedrock of the American national identity. It reveals what Americans care most passionately about.
We no longer even have a vision of the future. Things that are futuristic too belong to the past – like Blade Runner, Tron, Robocop, the music of Vangelis, Wendy Carlos and Kraftwerk. Futurism is an activity of the past, and tragically spells out our inability to imagine our own future from a culture disjointed from cultural time.
The Geist, the specter, of Tyler Durden, fueled by the restless spirit of the office park dystopia, is a force personifying much of the malcontents in this age of anger. It’s interesting to place Fight Club not as fiction, but as prophetic documentary evidence of a time and place, a metaphor of the historical present, a world trapped between McWorld and Jihad, between globalism and it’s blowback.
Folklore in human history was really an oral tradition, some of it making its way into poetry and literature. In our time, our folklore comes basically from popular culture, but it still serves the cultural […]