Monday, August 22, 2011

Snippets From "Article on Death" (1977)

Chaplin, King of the Zombie nation
"We are now inundated with such mediations as life after life and reports of people recalled from death to life. …. In a world dominated by such rarefied abstractions as the ordinary telephone or TV, it would be surprising if there were not some basic changes in our attitude towards death. Only a few years ago the idea of 'living death' was associated with the interiorizing of mechanistic technology and automation conditions as presented in Chaplin in Modern Times."-- McLuhan (1977).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

there is an expression in French that says "être à l'article de la mort" regarding a dying man and which means "to be on the verge of death". two completely different approaches: the English bends in front of death, whereas the French uses an older variant of the word "articulation", there is a complex metaphor about becoming fluent with death and becoming one of its bone joints. no zombies for the French, only the English could produce living deads as they must keep wandering, not knowing the language.

Andrew Chrystall said...

Perhaps, it is the English speaking audiences that produced a G. Romero and his variation/mutation on the tactile state of Living/Dead.

As I understand it, the zombie meme was birthed in the former French colony, Haiti (in creole and Fr.)

???

Anonymous said...

long winded response got lost. probably caused too much dissonance in the electronic synapses? so here is a summary.

haitian zonbi is the effect of the rub between west african vodun & christian dis/embodiement traditions, yet it is quite distinct from horror movies’ zombies, if only on the basis of their reality.

19th century zombies as a rehash of the “danse macabre” with extra flesh, but without the dance because of too much literacy. there is no place as wiped as factory floors?

20th century zombies as overworked self-employees, no zombie was ever get caught watching tv or chatting on the phone. horror story arc is about media usage by survivors?

21th century zombies as a wish of seeing the return of past figures to co-opt current precepts/concepts packages. rule of the intelligence razor clamors?

“Investigate horror movies as creative responses to the sick society in which we live. What features of the hidden ground of our society do these movies make visible?” — Media, Messages and Language (1980), Marshall McLuhan/Kathryn Hutchon/Eric McLuhan. p. 151.

“What’s common’ up from under ground we’ll weep in time
I. N. R. I.* Production that takes over France
With voo-doo dance and science arts
Science machine and science dream” — Dr. Lee, PhD (1998), Beastie Boys/Lee Perry/Mark Nishita

*IESVS·NAZARENVS·REX·IVDÆORVM

Andrew Chrystall said...

That was "gold"