What is Hollywood, you ask, dear children? A quorum of whores babbling endlessly on about fucking while the bordello is razed for a penny arcade -- Paul Bern

Thursday, March 24, 2011


And it is interesting to see that the same mind and temper which induced the first act of self-aggrandizement tend quickly to lead to another one, which is unobtrusive, indefinite, unavowed. The assertiveness which in the first place claimed the prerogatives of eternal justice now proceeds by a similar logic to a more subtle form of encroachment; for the whig historians have shown a propensity to heighten the colouring of their historical narrations by laying hold on some difference of opinion or some conflict of policies and claiming this as a moral issue. And indeed it is a propensity which requires great self-discipline in any of us to resist. It must be remembered that there are some things in the past which the whig is very anxious to condemn, and some of his views have a way of turning themselves into something like a moral code. There is at least a change that the real burden of his indignation may fall on things which are anathema only to the whigs. It is not an accident that he has shown a disinclination to see moral judgements removed from history.
And from the future, of course. The cinema. as mother-novum, is a futurology that is also an ontology. Its mode is science-fictional. It is an eternal home to our homeless utopian dreams. That is why it was embraced by Futurists from Vertov to Cameron. The concept of Progress, as a human invention, is a brilliant piece of propaganda that would have made the priests of old envious. The future always needs a placeholder, and images fullfill that function rather magically.
Every novum calls attention to the historical inertia of the reader's actual present. It includes in itself an evaluation of the inadequacies of history and of the potentials offered by critical reflection. Its primary aesthetic pleasure is seeing the translation of historical cognition and ethics into form. The true novum thus fuses aesthetic effect with ethical and historical relevance. The worthy novum stands in for and also stimulates the rational disillusionment that is a precondition for affirming utopian-socialist collectivism, the 'historical destiny of man'. Accordingly, a true SF novum, represents a decisive change, a change in the "front-line of history". A novum is a fake unless it in some ways participates in and partakes of what Bloch called "the front line of historical progress."

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