Mark Sussman

Writer - Researcher - Teacher

The “All Filler, No Killer” Post

It’s end-of-the-semester Hell, so all substance is going into term paper writing, research paper grading, and strategizing for next semester. Blog post of substance coming soon, most likely concerning a book. Most likely an old book. But here are some capsule reviews of recent literary and cinematic intake.

1. Milk (dir. Gus Van Sant): Biopic actually directed by another director’s biopic rather than director himself. Sean Penn’s character from I Am Sam turns in a stirring performance as Penn playing Harvey Milk. Got a bit choked up towards the end, and then railed against the biopic form (in my head). And we don’t get to see the post-conviction riots?

2. Twilight (dir. I’m not even going to bother IMDB’ing this one): Vampires = dreamy stalkers who bite you because of your smell. I giggled along with the thirteen year old girls who dreamed of being stalked by dreamy vampires, and then I railed against the teen romance form (in my head) because it was complicit in preventing me from getting girls in high school.

3. Brand Upon the Brain (dir. Guy Maddin): This film is complicit only in preventing me from railing against itself (due to its awesomeness). In my head, this is what getting girls in high school is like. So a little dreamy, but not as dreamy as a vampire stalker who won’t be my bio lab partner.

4. How We Became Posthuman (by N. Katherine Hayles): Certain early and second-wave cyberneticists (Norbert Wiener, I’m looking at you) are complicit in advancing theoretical models that maintain the hegemonic (though mistaken) belief that information is separable from its material instantiation. Hayles rails against this, and also the Liberal Humanist Subject, who sounds like a real dick.

5. The House of Mirth (by Edith Wharton, crappy preface by Anna Quindlen [go fig]): Money is the root of all evils, but also fancy parties, so I’m giving this one a “complicit in making me want to eat dainty cakes and call for a hansom, if that’s even still possible.” Also, Selden’s dreaminess DWARFED by the dreaminess of that vampire from Twilight.

fin

BONUS FACT: the cat dropped a live mouse in my bed at 4:30 in the morning. Hilarity ensued.

2 Comments

  1. Norbert Weiner is a pretty interesting guy. As I get older and more geeky, I find myself far more interested in posthuman/transhumanist theory although I know virtually nothing about it. Does that make me a poseur?

  2. Just saw Milk last night for myself. I enjoyed the cameo by Jeff Koons as an early debater. His face time was short and full of hot pleasure. Having some decent advice for Harvey he said, “We know what you’re against, but, what are you for?” The Milk in my mind replied, “Hot pleasure, Koonsian!” High fives lifted by the wind beneath their lapels!

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