By Jesse Kavadlo
Bringing jointly disparate and well known 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 anxiousness -and, surprisingly, the want fulfillment-that comes from the breakdowns of morality, family members, legislations 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 show and luxuriate in the imagery of terror. Read more...
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Extra info for American popular culture in the era of terror : falling skies, dark knights rising, and collapsing cultures
And this distinction enforces one of the most striking discoveries of 9/11: that the suicide attackers, as the New York Times reported just days after the attacks, simply did not ﬁt the established hijacker proﬁle; they were “not hopeless young zealots. . They mingled in secular society, even drinking forbidden alcohol, hardly typical of Islamic militants . . [and] had, in some cases, spent years studying and training in the United States . . ”29 The New York Times reporter, however, also misses a point that Palahniuk understood: just as American culture provides material opportunity, to do so it must at the same time accentuate material inequality.
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.
It is, rather, a call to recognize that fascism is the endgame of a capitalist system that would reduce workers to drones and all personal identiﬁcation to brand names and commercial transactions. Even family is implicated in the depersonalized strictures: the narrator notes with his usual detachment that his father serially divorced and started a new family every six years: “This isn’t so much like a family as it’s like he sets up a franchise” (50). Anticipating the novels, television shows, and ﬁlms under consideration over the rest of this book, including Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Lost, Hunger Games, and the Dark Knight trilogy, Fight Club becomes an abandoned child’s quest to ﬁnd or replace his absent father.
American popular culture in the era of terror : falling skies, dark knights rising, and collapsing cultures by Jesse Kavadlo