“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Loving Grace? Unfortunately not.

Last night the third and final part of Adam Curtis' All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace, to some extent at least, tied together the various strands of his case. You can forget all about those Brautigan cyber-utopias. It's all going to end in shit. Part two had rubbed salt in the wound by reminding us about the rise of informal elites and how the hippy communes collapsed just like every utopian experiment before them. Armand Denis, who's films of Africa so enthralled us as kids, turns out to have been partly responsible for the Rwandan genocide. We have been happy to see ourselves as machines because doing so help explain why we seem incapable of living up to our aspirations for a decent society. Wonderful television and no mistake - but not the sort of stuff for a restful nights sleep and waking up to that good to be alive feeling.


Jemmy Hope said...

Fascinating, disturbing, depressing, puzzling. If you turned off the sound you could have been watching a film by Bunuel and Dali.

henry said...

Armand + Michaela Denis filled my B&W childhood with visions of lions and hyenas eating zebras alive. I knew, at the time, somehow, deep down, they were a pair of evil motherfuckers....

But AWOBMOLG wasn't that pessimistic. It was a poke at "managerialism", exposing some of the "scientific" untruths which it uses, and how it benefits elites to extend their power by getting the rest of us to accept that model, that way of seeing the world.

And, fuck em, we don't have to.