Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New politics of humanity

Yesterday voters in Mississipi defeated a proposed amendment to the constitution that would define personhood "to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof" (Amendment 26). Good for the voters of Mississipi (frankly, I didn't expect the Bible Belt to be so reasonable). But this is a sign of things to come. The proposed amendment was not about prohibiting abortion, even though it probably was the original goal of it. It was about redefining humanity. The reference to cloning (hardly the most pressing concern in Mississipi!) is right on spot. With the development of new bio-technologies and AIs, the old politics of race and gender give way to the politics of humanity. What is a human being? Who deserves human rights? What ARE human rights and why should we take them for granted? It seems insane to afford legal protection to unicellar organisms (which is what a zygote is) but why not? Religion, bio-ethics, science and political ideologies are now heading for a new battlefield where the cause is not what rights human beings deserve but rather who has the right to be called a human being. The defeat of this scary amendment is not the end of the fight but the beginning. We'd better be ready!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Stitch in Time....a shroud for capitalism

Just saw the new movie "In Time" (dir. Andrew Nicoll) and my belief that a new era of revolutions and social upheavals is just around the corner has been strengthened. If Justin Timberlake is a revolutionary, then we all are!

The movie is based on a clever literalization of "Time is money". In the future society, time IS money. You stop aging after your 25th birthday (great!) but you die if you don't make enough time (not so great). Btw, what about overdraft?

The movie is peppered with statements like "Can you steal (time) from the rich if it's already stolen from the poor?", the time-owners are heartless and arrogant bloodsuckers, and the Robin Hood exploits of the protagonist Will Salas and his Patricia Hearst-like girlfriend are represented as heroid. There are some heart-tugging moments like the scene where Will's mother dies running to her son, desperate for just one more minute.

The movie is deliberately shot in a somber, black-and-white, 1930s style. The run-down industrial estates, the glittering skyscrapers, even the flapper-like fashion, all evoke the aesthetics - and mood - of the Depression

Pop culture is the dreams of society. Judging by this particular nightmare, OWS has way to go!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

World War 2 WILL happen!

In 1935 Jean Giradoux wrote the play "The Trojan War Will Not Happen" about the madness of the crowds and politicians running headlong into an obvious disaster. The disaster came 4 years later. And the Europe is still apparently fighting and re-fighting the same endless war. The picture is of a demonstration in Greece on 28/10/11. What war will Israel be fighting 70 years from now? The War of Independence? The Judean War?
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