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 via the anxiousness -and, unusually, the want fulfillment-that comes from the breakdowns of morality, kin, 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 many times demonstrate and luxuriate in the imagery of terror. Read more...
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Extra resources for American popular culture in the era of terror : falling skies, dark knights rising, and collapsing cultures
Both movies create drama by stressing the separation of husbands and wives and parents and children, a theme that remains central to many of the stories under analysis. And while Stone suggests that even on 9/11, the pillars of society still stand, Greengrass viscerally depicts the breakdown of power, feelings of terror, and ways in which the technique of storytelling itself can be used to represent these collapses. In breaking with the conventional approaches to genre, character, and more comforting modes of storytelling, like Fight Club before it, United 93 challenges the viewer to rethink how living under the specter of terror affects the ways in which we conceptualize and comprehend our stories.
Despite the day’s catastrophe, where we understand that thousands have died, the ﬁlm wants us to root for these particular men to live, as though their endurance were an extension, a symbol, of America’s own. On the surface, World Trade Center eschews politics entirely, let alone political intrigue, to focus on its story and character. Its seeming political agnosticism, though, becomes another form of politics: it does not challenge the solidifying mythos of 9/11, but instead reinforces, even reiﬁes, President Bush’s ﬁrst speeches, what by 2005 were the accepted symbols and signiﬁers of 9/11.
20 Here, Palahniuk’s ﬁction sharply differs from Kakutani’s analysis, and her complaint provides precisely the model against which Palahniuk rebels. For his work, in its own contemporary context, in the sudden context 9/11 imposed on it, and for the future, is, in the end, concerned with little other than a narrative of masculine redemption, ﬁrst by satirizing what he sees as contemporary America’s trivialization of it and then by pondering what salvation may look like in a world numbed by the very satire and hyperbole he so deftly employs.