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The Facebook Supremacy – Part 2

Related Posts: The Facebook Supremacy - Part 1, Owning the Means of Connection, The Koons Moment, Sacrifice and the Dream of Form Outside a small market on Sunset I pass a destitute Latino man intently focused on a lottery scratch-off. What catches my eye is the sense of urgent vitality in his movements. He is lit up, charismatic even, and because I am thinking about this post I am struck by how his excitement resembles the way I feel when I'm about to present some new photo or announcement (or maybe an astute analysis of current events) on my Facebook page. How positive will the response from my social network be? How much affirmation will I encounter—scratch-scratch-scratch. The dopamine is flowing, my … [Read more...]

The Facebook Supremacy – Part 1

Related Posts: The Facebook Supremacy - Part 2, Owning the Means of Connection, The Koons Moment, Sacrifice and the Dream of Form For a few years before the 2016 election I was a pretty faithful Facebook user. Photos of my dog, my family, birthday greetings and posts announcing events I was participating in or that I simply liked—seemed like a harmless and very convenient way to stay connected. It wasn’t just superficial either—sometimes there would be non-trivial exchanges of ideas about politics, culture, important issues of the day. It felt good to post a little thought sequence about this or that, and have people like it. Hey, I have to confess, it gave me a little lift to check back and find that a post had been liked … [Read more...]

Sacrifice and the Dream of Form

A Prophet (Un prophète), 2009, a film by Jacques Audiard –  …in time it would come: the killer instinct unleashed among in-laws, the blood-lust rampant. Beowulf —  Trans: Seamus Heaney A culture like ours, rooted in the worship of a man whose hands and feet have been nailed to beams of wood, should be open to possible links between violence and the sacred. And yet in recommending A Prophet (Un prophète), the prison noir by Jacques Audiard that won the Palme D’Or at Cannes last year, I feel compelled to warn you about scenes of violence in the film. A Prophet is not a movie for the faint of heart. But part of what’s refreshing about the film is how it treats human violence with depth and integrity, rewarding our attention with some … [Read more...]