terça-feira, 5 de janeiro de 2016

ZOMBIES AND MODERNITY (AND MICHAEL JACKSON)

"Apart from zombie films, only pornography repeats the same plot, requires no acting skills, and is watched obsessively by a mass audience. The story is irrelevant, the dialogue pointless. The fascination lies in the image, not in the characters or a narrative arc. The act holds viewers’ attention, and continues to fascinate when one actor after another performs it. (...) The closest thing to an actual zombie among prominent Americans was, of course, Michael Jackson, whose face began to fall off after too many surgeries. Jackson’s 1983 zombie video, “Thriller,” gave us the defining image of late 20th-century America: Peter Pan as zombie, the perpetual youth as a walking corpse. (...) More than any figure of popular culture in the past century, Jackson embodied the burning desire of his generation never to grow up. Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray had a portrait that revealed his inner decay. Michael Jackson had a nose, which narrowed, shrank, shriveled, and finally fell in, perfectly reflecting the spirit of the times. In his self-disfigurement and ultimate self-destruction, this fey child-man fought and died in the service of the mad fantasy of eternal youth.(...)We define our life by how we view our eventual death. In the Christian past, life on earth was for most people a preparation for the eternal life promised by religion. In today’s America we strive instead to perpetuate life in our own skins. (...)No wonder so many American women have come to abhor their bodies. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, anorexia and bulimia threaten the lives of ten million American women.Psychology Today reports that these disorders “afflict 40% of women at some time in their college career.” More than a third of American women are obese. We live among hordes of female zombies—anorexic zombies on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, morbidly obese zombies in Des Moines, cosmetic-surgery zombies in Southern California, and Prozac-dependent zombies coast-to-coast. The sexual revolution has transformed a frightening number of American women into the walking dead, victims of a failed social experiment. We know that the object of our narcissism will look a little worse in the mirror each day no matter how much Botox we inject. The older we get, the harder we strive to stay young, and the less convincing we find our efforts. The aging metrosexual on his way out of the plastic surgeon’s knows that he is one day closer to joining the discarded elderly, subject to the same contempt with which he regards the last generation.(...)How quaint, how superstitious these ancient notions of eternal life seem to the secular modern world, and how strange and primitive the rituals that sustained the Psalmist’s conviction that God would not abandon his servants to the grave. Modernity tells that nothing in the universe cares whether we exist or not. Where the meaning of our lives is concerned, all of us are on our own. We are enthralled by the same images, but in reverse: the walking dead in place of the dead awaiting resurrection, decaying corpses instead of wholesome priests and uncorrupted saints, the zombie herd instead of the happy pilgrimage of God’s people to the holy courts of the Temple".
           David P. Goldman, no Asia Times

Sem comentários: