American popular culture in the era of terror : falling by Jesse Kavadlo

By Jesse Kavadlo

Bringing jointly disparate and renowned genres of the twenty first century, American pop culture within the period of Terror: Falling Skies, darkish Knights emerging, and Collapsing Cultures argues that pop culture has been preoccupied via fantasies and narratives ruled via the nervousness -and, surprisingly, the want fulfillment-that comes from the breakdowns of morality, kin, legislations and order, and storytelling itself. From aging Read more...

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Bringing jointly the most well-liked genres of the twenty first century, this e-book argues that americans have entered a brand new period of narrative ruled by means of the fear-and want fulfillment-of the breakdown of Read more...

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The book’s political subtext insinuates that our cherished bastions of American liberty—the free market, liberal autonomy, fatherhood, and family values—come loaded with nascent totalitarianism. Terror of the Everyday In the end, Tyler and the narrator are the same person, yet their literal split personality comes to emblemize the symbolic schizophrenia of American culture, the way in which we have two sides—a with and an against—that seem in conflict without our knowledge. The terrorists— of the novel, but also, metaphorically, of 9/11—come from inside of us, very different from the Cold War image of takeovers, body snatchers, and nuclear strikes.

Consider this my job security” (31). The passage is ambiguous: is his knowledge of corporate malfeasance—figurative skeletons in the closet—his security, as it later proves to be? Or, just as likely, is he referring to the actual corpses in the cars, and his security comes from further death because of corporate greed? In that sense, the moral Manichaeism that the post-9/11 age has ushered in—as President George W. Bush memorably put it, “You are either with the terrorists or against them”—was already a faulty either/or distinction in Fight Club.

Even as the casualties have been adjusted to 2,977, the number was, and is, far too high to comprehend: a statistic, an abstraction. The death of an individual, however, paradoxically can feel like more, by allowing us to connect with specific, personal histories and stories. And so we looked for individuals. Three days later, President Bush’s next speech, for the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance Service, would establish the importance of identities further: Now come the names, the list of casualties we are only beginning to read.

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