Articles

Autotraumatisation – On the Movies of John Carpenter

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(Curfew, Curfew) As we grow more accustomed to the control of the urban environment through surveillance, zero tolerance zones and regeneration projects it seems as if we inhabit a social world that is policed by technology and is obsessed with security. Just what this technology secures us from is as encrypted as the microchips and cables that power it. Maybe it secures us from ourselves: a constant reminder that we are being ‘watched’ which comes to strengthen the internalisation of those mechanisms of paranoia and stasis that an inherited morality has already instilled. Thus the surveillance camera becomes an externalised metaphor for a vigilant super-ego… the eye of the father… the gaze of the manager… and in this way #we are assured that somewhere, someone is watching a monitor and checking that a consensual social equilibrium remains untroubled, vigilantly making sure that there are no signs of a ruffled surface, no over conspicuous indications of a step-out-of-line. But surely it is naive to assume that what can be seen is all that there is and that fear can be dispelled by such totemic pieces of technology as cameras and monitors. Such devices are as protective as the soporifics of entertainment and the cyclical chatter of a celebrity-fuelled media, but in no way do they successfully eradicate trauma and the persistence of social-irrationality. Perhaps worse, the idea that we are protected proliferates into a culture of overprotection where every foible and tension becomes something that needs to be medicalised and returned to an enervated ‘normality’. In the nightmare scenario it seems as if the surveillance camera, charged with eradicating fear, is now becoming programmed to detect dangerous levels of adrenalin and to take photo-fits of those who glow with a surplus of undirected energy.
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Information War, Terror and Cultural Subversion

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Information War, Cyberwar, Netwar, Anti-War, Technowar, Postmodern War are all new buzzwords in the field of military theory, buzzwords that are now becoming more commonplace and are entering the cultural mainstream.
I will not regurgitate the propaganda about the ‘information age’ and all the talks about superhighways, but stick to the field of military theory and then draw attention to the fact how much this concerns us…
The connection of concepts of information and the conduct of war was certainly not lost on the military theoreticians in the past from Sun Tse onwards. Napoleon is quoted as saying that three hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets. [Read more →]

Prevention of Terrorism?

Largely unnoticed by the public the Labour government has been sneaking in “anti-terrorist” legislation in the wake of the Omagh bombing and is planning to sharpen their knives even further with new proposed laws.
It becomes clear that ‘new’ Labour has been put into power because it is even more radical in defending crisis-struck capitalism than the Tories. Blair’s is an entirely different type of extremism than Thatcher’s, a more modern one. So get ready for repression: [Read more →]

Bomb Graffiti

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Somewhere near the end of ‘Apocalypse Now’ Colonel Kurtz, sitting in the almost impenetrable darkness, utters the memorable line: “They teach young men to drop fire on people, but won’t allow them to write ‘Fuck’ on their aeroplanes because they consider it obscene”.
We are (possibly) all quite familiar with this film and the scene I mention – Kurtz, in his final rambling monologue, is trying to articulate his vision of the inexpressible, terrifying reality of human savagery that he has witnessed and participated in, before himself being ‘terminated’. [Read more →]

“Expect To Be Exposed To Murder At Any Time”

Labelled “one of the most significant financial sponsors of Islamic extremist activities in the world” Osama Bin laden has been linked to many major terrorist attacks and initiatives in recent years – including the World Trade Center bombing, plots to kill President Clinton and the Pope, and attacks on U.S troops in Saudi Arabia and Somalia. He has also used his millions to bankroll terrorist training camps in the Sudan, the Philippines and Afghanistan, sending holy warriors to foment revolution and fight with fundamentalist Muslim forces across North Africa, in Chechnya and Tajikistan, even Bosnia. Move over Carlos The Jackal!
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