Popular Culture is not Real Culture
I was watching a video that popped up on the ol algorithmic feed and the the subject related to some discussions I have had about “the dead eyes of empire” and thoughts that empires can unravel themselves by rolling back on relationships. It featured a guy who wrote a book that was given to me a couple of years ago. This books sits on a shelf near my desk but remains unread, due to all of the moving pictures I have been viewing. He describes the United States as an empire in decline with the narcissistic and psychopathic behaviours as defining characteristics.
I have just finished watching The Sopranos and was struck about how many different kinds of stories are concerned with the desire to be authentic. Characters who are slaves, robots, zombies and psychopaths are motivated to be more real and to pierce their false sphere of limited colour and feeling and to be alive in the everyday. They feel pain in their world of diminished feeling and or status. The threshold into another world is often impossible to breach. The protagonist attempts this transformation when he speaks to his therapist. This story is very apt at this time, due to the observations by the author in the first paragraph. To clear my palette from that epic tale, I watched The Dissident in which a writer was killed by a state because the state was preoccupied with perception, to such a degree that they committed a murder that dispelled any perceptions they were creating and revealed a corpulent and repulsive reality of a twisted and wizened carcass of a state. They could not even shoot him in a restaurant like the Tony.