Friday, December 23, 2016

third post

rogue one

rogue one is basically the film that force awakens would've been if J.J. Abrams really didn't care about the characters.

It's pro-war for both sides of the conflict (insurgent and empire), which I'd argue is bad.

It borrows the imagery of both real wars and war films to tell a pro-war story.

It's a "gritty" film where the main characters kill with impunity and where everyone dies in the end.

It prioritizes the casting of a dead actor over a live one, to the point where they spend million of dollars on a simulacrum to play a bit role

  • This simulacrum can't act.
  • This simulacrum, in comparison to a robot and who is easily the best character in the film-- evidences that c.g.i is cool when it's self-assuredly mechanical and not an attempt at resurrection

Rest in peace, you magnificent bastard.

It prioritizes the nostalgia of the audience to the point of self-parody, intentional (funny) and unintentional (bizarre and reptilian).

  • To wit, there's a bit where Darth Vader shows up, force chokes someone, and makes a pun out of it ("don't choke on your ambitions"). Then he leaves.

The whole first half of the movie sets up a tragic backstory which is typically bland and sets up a one-and-a-half dimensional character, who looks and acts exactly like Rey

  • Seems like an paranoid attempt to maintain series continuity? Probably why she/they all die?

The humanizing traits (humor) are relegated to the side characters, who are good but who get disposed of by the end (see above).

The whole movie suggests that sacrificing yourself for a noble cause is a good idea, while also suggesting that moral purity is unrealistic and pointless (a good point?)
  • I'd suggest that suicide missions are cruel and sad.
  • Sort of like "The Thin Red Line" where the humanity of the soldiers is being destroyed by war, not validated.

There's some brazenly stupid ship-crashing which I found enjoyable.

What's truly at stake isn't, I'd argue, some Trump-metaphor but the continuity of the Star Wars series:
  • I say this b/cause the entire squadron of characters is disposed in the end, indicating that humanity isn't important, Star Wars is.
  • This doubly indicated by the final surviving character being a simulacrum of 1970's era Carrie Fisher.
  • I.e., the nostalgia of the boomer audience is given false life via the sacrifice of millennials
  • the whole film seems vampiric for this reason.
Vampiric b/c it uses a tentacle monster that violates minds
  • this monster has no purpose other than showing the morally dark side of a character who immediately sacrifices themselves for zero purpose
  • Vampiric b.c it sees the force as a path to morbid greatness, but then has characters die for no reason other than franchise overpopulation.
  • Vampiric b.c modern conflicts are referenced with impunity, children are saved from battle, war is seen as an arena for cool fights and glorious death (not new) but the character personalities are seen as a means to an end (different than Force Awakens or the original three, and at least the prequels were bumbling, this is just cold)
The diversity casting is pretty good. 

  • Vampiric b.c it suggests in the face of apocalypse we should welcome the dying of the light.
2016, typical vampiric half-dead trash, burn with humanity, continuously divesting and re-investing in human lives like the stock they so transparently are, totally oblivious nostalgia trash which sparks out pretty flames :,(

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

second post

poetry and image-making

dan hoy wrote a good article comparing poetry to Duran Duran,
the link being The Pin-Up Stakes,
these stakes more or less being the stakes you put into art.

The connection between image and poetry can be this stake, like,
the things you say, the things you're willing to show.
You put your face (an image) on your words.

I'm willing to market poetry with an image,
indeed, with the advent of online,
images-of-text have become an efficient way to share text.

An image of text with a picture behind it,
considerably, a meme.
Image memes, with text.

It's not that fair to call a meme poetry, though.
If you put a poem on it, maybe, but how many "poem memes" do you see?
Dan Hoy actually has a tendency to make short poems that could fit on a meme.

These, he contains in short videos.
I find the effect of these videos as dialogical, more than the usual entrancing effect of youtube.

That is, they're still entrancing, but only for a brief period.
So it's more of a verb or noun.
One complete idea-- a meme.

At the same time, they fail to, as memes, go viral.
They're mostly used in Dan's essays as a kind of word.
They don't self-sustain.

Poetry memes are supposed to self-sustain.
Hopefully they'd go viral.
Here we get into tumblr poetry, which is usually something like this:

This is a quote, possibly a part of a larger poem, self-attributed by the author.
It's sort of a distillation of popular poetry:
one moment, with attribution.

They're really not that different from Dan's written poems, which are like:

The day
is a measure
of what it
takes the Sun
to forget us.

These fit pretty well into the tradition of, you know, short poems.
Dan's kinda have more self-sufficiency for being self-consciously short and well-stated.

You would say for Lukas W.'s poem above, that the impetus to be a quote has kinda overtaken the poem.
Then again, there's no line breaks, it's just a quote.
So a poem it will be, and a text/picture one too.


Lukas W.'s poem also is noticeably trim for being viral:
it contains one significant, appealing idea.
Rebloggable by romantics.

For me, though, searching on tumblr for "poetry",
it's this kinda stuff I don't like. Because it's saccharine.
Or it just brazenly puts forward this idea of poetry I don't like at all.

I deduce it was the case that quotes of poetry became more salable than full poems,
and thus eventually poems were written to be quotes.
That's popular poetry, on tumblr.

Not exactly challenging,
although it does challenge, by format,
the standard kind of poetry you'd see in a book (which wouldn't be a quote).


I'm more of a fan of blogs.
I really love Dan's blog posts.
These great compelling works of criticism--

The Pin-Up Stakes, which is a primer
on how to be a poet. An alternate world.
With lofty goals. And the promise of fame.

The criticism itself slips slowly, through a kind of academic coil,
into poetry at parts. So it's distanced
from a needs-to-work kinda vein (it's idealistic)

You can see my own idealism in this piece,
to develop a criticism/poetry,
use poetry for something critical; criticism.


The viral poem-image
of our time probably was the self-conscious one
the vegan hotdog one:

"seven syllables of a haiku obscured by a vegan hotdog"
which is a joke, an image,
and a poem, all in one.

It went viral! It's on imgur.
It got posted to my feed, multiple times.
You know how it is.


I have an idea for popular image-making
which I'll try to implement in Pittsburgh
in a couple weeks to a month
once I get the plan for it.
I have a few collaborators.
I've told a few in the city about it already.
It's a bit offensive.
This is how I usually am.

Monday, December 19, 2016

first post

peterwebb webb

trying to make a webb of connections
ha ha
trying to make criticism.
I was really struck by comparing these two images.

The first one was on the front of
The second one I found when I thought the first one kind of looked like Freddy Mercury.
They're both holding the gun or microphone in sort of the same position.
Their jackets are billowing up.
Also they're kind of color inverses of each other, black suit/ white exterior, white clothes/ black exterior. The notable difference is the body and the paintings.

Also, the expressions: obviously the as-yet-unnamed gunman in the first is facing his imminent death, making a political statement about Russia and Syria. It's an assassination, an act of terrorism.
He's also doing this in front of a bunch of cameras; thus the high-quality photo, a photo shoot photo.

The first image is striking and composed in a way that sends a direct message. Even without context it sends a narrative.

I'm sure already there are /pol posts about this gunman. In the process of image making, some popular images gain life as reaction images, get text added to them, are used to express. This image has the unmistakable verve that belongs to these category of images, such as the one of Freddy Mercury making the above pose, which has been redrawn and captioned on reddit and other places on the internet, to express victory.

I think the first image as well is an expression of victory, a terrible one. By the very clarity of the image, the composition of it, and the focus, the image represents the terrible victory of the gunman who sought to create an impression.


Devotional violence; using violence as an image-making, impression-sharing tool, as a way for people or institutions to threaten. Dexter Filkins talks jokingly that terrorists get off on their devotional pre-suicide bombing images. Gandhi uses nonviolence and the British press to win independence form India; I think there's a lazenby quote about flipping the bugs on their backs or whatever.

Lunch counter protests where black folks sit down at the counters and don't move and generate images of white people abusing them at the counters. The use of images, at least, to gain notoriety, and the subjects of the images themselves are affected. That Russian Ambassador is dead; the gunman is dead; people are traumatized. & this all in response to genocide.

So you take the opportunity to have sympathy for one side or none or rightfully evince repulsion, but the strength of the image remains; that's what incredible about it, is that, abject as it is, it remains composed, it remains undeniably strong. This is my analysis of that image, it's powerful, this the collaboration between gunman and photographer.

It feels like a pathway into fascism. Sure, the attraction of that power. The strong iconography, glorification of violence. Recognizability.
I think we're able to compete on the same scale, generate our own images for anti-fa. Take out the central figure, take out the violence. Still make it essential. Sure, Freddy Mercury.