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 through fantasies and narratives ruled through the nervousness -and, unusually, the want fulfillment-that comes from the breakdowns of morality, kin, legislation and order, and storytelling itself. From aging superheroes to younger grownup dystopias, heroic killers to lustrous vampires, the figures of our fiction, movie, and tv time and again exhibit and luxuriate in the imagery of terror. Read more...
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Extra resources for American popular culture in the era of terror : falling skies, dark knights rising, and collapsing cultures
The confusion as it unfolded on the real September 11, 2001, the on-air reporters struggling to make sense of what happened, the tentative handcams and home videos, is replaced by the conﬁdent cameras in—and of— Stone’s 9/11, to transmute reality’s uncertainty into cinematic cohesion. The day on which many Americans felt the least safe in their lifetime could now unfold as a familiar Hollywood three-act structure. First, the exposition, establishing the ofﬁcers’ characters and family ties, followed by rising action, brought on by the catastrophe and, in typical movie convention, worsened through the attempt to resolve it.
Similarly, Tender’s seeming docility and invisibility are the very qualities that render him dangerous to others but safe from capture when he sets up his phony suicide hotlines, and the same qualities that allow others, including Fertility, to manipulate him later. The working man’s weakness, his subservient feminizing, becomes his potential masculinist strength. The emerging ﬁght clubs become a way for disenfranchised young men to attempt control of the world through ostensible control of their bodies, even if that means self-destruction.
There’s sports. Barn raisings. That’s about it. And now there’s ﬁght clubs. 35 More than terrorist cells, suicide cults, and ﬁght clubs, there is Fight Club. Together with Survivor, Fight Club presents “terror’s response,” in DeLillo’s words, but also, even more subversively, the implicit counternarrative: that redemption may be in the palm of the reader’s hands, in the form of storytelling itself. After the carnage of 9/11 and its ongoing aftermath abroad, perhaps Roth underestimated the value of survival.
American popular culture in the era of terror : falling skies, dark knights rising, and collapsing cultures by Jesse Kavadlo