Thursday, July 26, 2012

SOME THOUGHTS ON MOTHERFUCKER THIS IS THE GAMES

Since the penultimate fight scene in the soon-to-be-released Gangster Squad features a violent shootout between police and mobsters in a crowded movie theater, the so-called Batman Massacre that left twelve dead and more than fifty wounded in an Aurora, Colorado cinema has compelled Warner Brothers to push back the release of the film to January. The Olympic torch received a royal welcome earlier today as it took a valedictory lap around London. Riots erupted in the heart of Disneyland (Anaheim, California) during protests responding to the 21 July 2012 murder of an unarmed Manuel Diaz by police. I hear that James Holmes, a PhD candidate in neuroscience at the University of Colorado, was working on forging a link between genetic predisposition and various psychological disorders. He seems to have completely dismissed the determinate force of the social, as the "hard" sciences are so often apt to. But the space of relation between rage, psychological well-being and the social seems to have not escaped Colleen Hind and Pocahontis Mildew who, in We Are Real: A History (Critical Documents 2012), write:

Unfortunately you are also real. This is an important psychological point. You mingle with the people, using the natural contagions. Crude mathematics go a long fucking way. But more force is needed. Before reaching the intersection, the line is converted to a wedge. The geometry of our childhood is falling beautifully to ruin. So our use of it begins. Every damn black of us. Ape shit on nothing. The governing classes have exploited every hoax for the domination of the masses. Note the sky. Plato taught us everything. We expect collared spines of pure white criminality if a single finger's lifted, which explains why you drove yourself around the City limits. You, and yourself, to whom the Rimbaud Unkant is your nemesis, you reapply the lime scale to the integrity of our deaths in the polar kettle, e.g.: "This is not the image we want to portray! We are safe in all sorts of indicators, but this is a terrible advert for the capital, particularly, as you say, in the run up to the Games!" Motherfucker this is the Games. 

If, as Wittgenstein claimed in a depressingly influential philosophical instant of gratuitously imbecilic self-indulgence, language functions like a game, then running for one's life from the police is likewise a game, just as whimpering for mercy at gunpoint is a game, just as pissing on freshly murdered Afghan corpses is a game, just as the slaughter of children in Houla is a game. Or this was never a game. This is the games.

Such a delicate veil separates the crippling grimness of Cormac McCarthy's Road from operatic bliss like that moment of pure jouissance in The East is Red, "The March of the People's Liberation Army." When Hind and Mildew refer to "Rimbaud Unkant" they appear to be gesturing toward Sean Bonney's Happiness: Poems After Rimbaud, a collection brought out last year by Unkant, the publishing organ of the London-based Association of Musical Marxists. The Games are of course the 2012 Olympics now taking place in London and the quoted utterance toward the end of the passage, though I can't now trace it, reads as an official response following the August 2011 riots intended to reassure viewers and athletes planning to attend the event. And when Hind and Mildew frame We Are Real as "a history," this appears to be a brief history of the UK riots, like a brief history of time collapsed into an elusive quantum instant of total abandon when finally the senses do become the only reliable theoreticians capable of guiding us (this, I believe, is Happiness). Conditions in Anaheim are congruent, even if the scale of rioting there is far more modest and news coverage is limited to local media outlets and a small gaggle of what most working people in the US might misguidedly regard as a nagging choir of left wing cranks. And who can tell how many American working people happily await the lone gunman in all of us to come out into the violently deluded haze of a politics determined by Desert Eagles and Winchesters in the Deadwood of a completely dystopian free-for-all. In the meantime I'm gonna hang for a spell with some O'Hara lest I miss another grotesquely banal allusion to Meditations in an Emergency during the next episode of Mad Men, because there's nothing I love more than following the fantastical but complex lives of corporate executives conjured out of thin air. Don Draper we love you. Get it up.