Italian Effects Cultural Studies Review

Picked up my complimentary contributor’s copy of Cultural Studies Review from the office today. Just started reading it. Not sure when it’ll become available online.

Brett Neilson has a great article, “Provincialising the Italian Effect”. On radical Italian thought:

“Like their associates elsewhere, Italian thinkers understand the current era of globalisation as a phase in the history of capitalism. Where they introduce an important and, to my mind, productive difference is in the argument that the history of capital has always involved an attempt to control labour mobility.” (p. 17)

The labour of mobility is often forgotten. Within neoliberal discourse does not ‘help yourselves’ become ‘move yourselves’? New Orleans anyone?

The article by Mel Gregg and I is pretty hard going. If you’re not hip to your Deleuze (‘refrain’) and Negri-isms (‘Empire’) then I am not sure what you’ll get out of it. We introduce and begin to explore what we call refrain of the Right-eous:

“The refrain of the Right-eous is the term we are giving to the territorialising expression of US exceptionalism within Empire’s sovereignty-machine.” (p. 150)

Waxwork Vampires

The makers of From Hell take one of Moore’s lines as their statement of intent: mad doctor Jack ‘gives birth to the twentieth-century’. The Whitechapel Murders of 1888 are a paradigm for the cult of serial killers, the font of all conspiracy theories. Jack the Ripper is the ‘first tabloid star’. Moore’s epic deconstruction, with summaries and echoes of all previous Ripper scholarship, is a monstrous edifice; loud with shrieks and whispers, broken quotes, ghosts and doppelgangers. […]

What Moore proposes, and what the film necessarily refutes, is the belief that the past is unknowable. ‘In all our efforts to describe the past, to list the simple facts of history,’ he wrote in his introduction to the From Hell scripts, ‘we are involved in fiction.’ There can be no anachronisms when time is a plural concept. Nobody knows, or will ever know, or should know, who Jack the Ripper was. Jack is. Sustained and incubated by tour guides, crocodiles of sombre or giggling pilgrims processing around the locations where the bodies were found, the Ripper lives on. An invisible earner. A waxwork vampire.

Iain Sinclair “Jack the Rip-Off” on From Hell in the Guardian newspaper.

Sinclair has an interest, you see, as he was rendered as a character in the 16-part graphic novel written by his friend, Alan Moore; the graphic novel upon which the film, From Hell was based. Yet, the Sinclair-ish character in the graphic novel did not make the translation into cinema when the graphic novel was used as the basis for the film.

Sinclair frames the tension around the Ripper in terms of ‘knowing’ history; something akin to the ‘state of emergency (scholarship)’ signaled by the ‘culture wars’ and battles fought in the footnotes. ‘Knowing’ in this context not only includes an accurate historical and representational framing of past events, but the legitimation with which particular ‘framings’ circulate within culture.

“Jack is.” The ‘Jack’ that ‘is’ is the event of ‘Jack’. The first example of Jack-event was the ‘tabloid-star’ representation of the actual, historical Jack The Ripper at the time of the actual, historical Jack The Ripper. This is the only time the historical event of the Ripper determined the social event of Jack the Ripper. History is not perpetuated, only the event continually modulated or the time of the event (Aion) is not the time of history (Chronos). The Jack-event is continued and continually modulated by popular culture expressions of the Jack-event and by tour guide accentuations of these expressions. We are within a singular Jack-Event. The ‘tour guide’ is but a forgettable fragment of a Jack-Event cultural industry also constituted by the film, all other films, the graphic novel, all other creative works, and Sinclair’s newspaper article and all other newspaper articles. The Jack-event is an invisible earner, because the event of Jack subsists in every representation of the Ripper, and a rent is accrued from those who witness this ‘image’ of Jack.

Hmmm, is this another chapter in a book about popular culture and the event? The first ‘tabloid media star’? The Ripper.

Calling All Brown Coats

Joss Whedon on Rove.

Rove really comes across as an over-excited child sometimes. What a numbnut. Whedon was doing the press junket thing for Serenity (Australian (??) movie website).

Two interesting things came up in the interview.

Whedon worked at a video store. I always think of Tarantino working in a video store and that someone is working in a video store might be like Tarantino. Then I remember that it is more than likely that people who know make it big are going to have working in video stores, or book stores, or even service stations to fund their way through the nobody stage. He loves Dude, Where’s My Car? Sweet. Dude.

The way he decribed working as a script doctor vs writing his own stuff. He said it is fun being a script doctor because the scripts he is given are like big puzzles with all these ‘cool things’ that need to be reassembled so they make sense. Yeah, totally. Sounds like writing a PhD dissertation… AHAHaha…

Also this is a cack. Sucked in Lucas.

I need to get out of the flat. Apparently could’ve gone to a screening and Q&A session with Whedon or caught up with him having a beer!!!!!!!!1 WTF!

Just watching Knoxville on Rove. That dude is fried. Oh, watching Knoxville is like taking a holiday.

Australian Cinema Malaise

Insight on SBS tonight — ‘Reel Drama’– was a cracker. I have a peripheral interest in the film industry helping some dudes make movies in Melbourne and what not. Here is the latest effort.

“Culture” was a buzzword. To tell you the truth it sounded like a first year cultural studies tute. Changing the ‘culture’ is such an early-00’s solution. Pffft…

The show was a fight between three teams.

1) Those who believe in author/director/producer/whoever as artisan and cinema/tv (but mostly cinema) as art.
2) Those who believe that cinema is an out-dated media delivery system (my words). More here.
3) Those who focused on the cultural economy surrounding the film and television industry.

Megan Spencer got hammered. David Caeser wasn’t impressed with her. lol! A bit of anti-intellectualist bias, but Spencer seriously came across as a fuckin twat. Oh Megan, you poor bourgie…

Perhaps cinema is the last great stand of the bourgeois autonomy between art for arts sake and (post-fordist) cultural industries?

Interesting stuff. Good to see the SBS producer raises the issue of content-on-demand media delivery systems. She called it ‘google tv’.

Inspiring me to write some more of my script for ‘The Hoon’ (working title, lol!). Orstaylian film!

More: @ wsacaucus.org by Guy and @ larvatus prodeo by Mark.