| contact: drbenway at priest dot com
| blogging since Oct '01
This is Gordon Osse's blog.
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"He who does not at some time, with definite determination consent to the terribleness of life, or even exalt in it, never takes possession of the inexpressible fullness of the power of our existence."
all faces followers of
All colors, beams of
-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"
Opt your children out of Pentagon harassment
WHO I WORK FOR: Mount Hope Wholesale
Wholesale nuts, grains, fruits and spices (and more) shipped from Cottonwood AZ
(Tell them you heard about them on Gordon's blog!)
WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY:
(r) = re-viewing
God Told Me To (1976, Cohen)
Whispering City (1947, Otsep)
Times and Winds (2006, Erdem)
Dirty Money (Un flic) (1972, Melville)
10th District Court (2004, Depardon)
RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (2007, O'Sullivan)
The Furies (1950, Mann)
In a Lonely Place (1950, Ray)(r)
The Adjuster (1991, Egoyan)(r)
Mad Men The Buddha of Suburbia Intelligence (2006, Haddock) Family Guy
SUGGESTED VIEWING: The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]
"A couple of years ago, we were the only band on Warped going, and I'll be blunt, 'Fuck George Bush and fuck politicians who like George Bush,' " says charismatic bassist-singer Chris #2, calling from a sunbaked Phoenix tour stop. "That time was so bizarre for us. We had people inside the punk movement, that we considered friends, giving back our T-shirts, sending back our records, and totally buying into the nationalism movement. I don't know if they thought George Bush had suddenly taken genius pills, but people who'd previously been demanding a recall were giving him their blind faith."
That's not the case today, and not just because Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 has given Americans something to seriously think about. As the casualties--and the wartime atrocities--mount on both sides, a whole lot of people have become outraged at what's transpired in Iraq over the past year.
"We've been saying all along that on September 10 George Bush was an asshole and on September 12 he was an asshole," Chris #2 says. "This year on the Warped Tour there isn't a band that's not saying that same kind of thing, which I think is awesome. I'm glad that popular sentiment on the tour is a progressive one."
Jeannette Baxter: The majority of your novels can be read as provocative celebrations of the transformative and transgressive powers of the imagination. In Millennium People, however, the imagination is spectacularly lacking. Your cosy phrase "the upholstered apocalypse" gestures, rather worryingly, towards an imaginative and critical impasse of sorts, doesn't it? Is this decay in the life of the mind a terminal state of affairs?
J G Ballard: Nothing is ever terminal, thank God. As we hesitate, the road unrolls itself, dividing and turning. But there is something deeply suffocating about life today in the prosperous west. Bourgeoisification, the suburbanisation of the soul, proceeds at an unnerving pace. Tyranny becomes docile and subservient, and a soft totalitarianism prevails, as obsequious as a wine waiter. Nothing is allowed to distress and unsettle us. The politics of the playgroup rules us all.
The chief role of the universities is to prolong adolescence into middle age, at which point early retirement ensures that we lack the means or the will to enforce significant change. When Markham (not JGB) uses the phrase "upholstered apocalypse" he reveals that he knows what is really going on in Chelsea Marina. That is why he is drawn to Gould, who offers a desperate escape.
My real fear is that boredom and inertia may lead people to follow a deranged leader with far fewer moral scruples than Richard Gould, that we will put on jackboots and black uniforms and the aspect of the killer simply to relieve the boredom. A vicious and genuinely mindless neo-fascism, a skilfully aestheticised racism, might be the first consequence of globalisation, when Classic Coke? and California merlot are the only drinks on the menu. At times I look around the executive housing estates of the Thames Valley and feel that it is already here, quietly waiting its day, and largely unknown to itself.
Millennium People is still basically unpublished in the US, though the UK edition is available at the above link from amazon.