despite my misgivings about the price, several of you guys asked for it. let me know what kind of stuff you want to see on the site.
…in the movie Videodrome, an eyeglass corporation that serves as a front for an arms manufacturer for NATO creates a weapon which takes the form of video of an extreme BDSM porn - dubbed “videodrome”. the extreme sexualized violence depicted in the film causes deep bodily effects on the person exposed to it, like a brain tumor, and also heavy delusions and hallucinations - eventually re-wiring their body by forcing it, quite literally, to take out their will, and then killing them. the subject in the film they expose it to, under the guise of a pirate transmission, is Max Renn (played by James Woods), the owner of a seedy tv channel, who the corporation is targeting to get him to show it on his network and broadcast it to the kind of seedy people who watch his channel and get them all to carry out their bidding.
Brian O’Blivion, a prominent academic researcher, fought to create a counter-attack to videodrome before succumbing to the tumor he gained from being exposed to it. his counter-attack was to embrace the form of videos and reframe it as a new extension of our own flesh, as a way of communicating the dangers of videodrome, in making thousands of videos, oftentimes many a day. towards the end of the movie, when Max finds out that he has been exposed to videodrome, he is ordered by Barry Convex, the president of the arms manufacturer that makes videodrome, with taking out Brian’s daughter Bianca. Barry orders Max to do this by quite literally inserting a fleshy videotape into a slit that has formed in Max’s stomach. Max also is given a flesh gun from inside his stomach that fuses permanently with his hand. he uses this to, not under his own control, kill the heads of his network. Max then tries to kill Bianca but she understands deeply how videodrome works and manages to catch him before he does and reprogram him, again by pulling out the old videotape from his stomach and inserting a new one. he repeats this new phrase dictated by her: “I am the video word made flesh. death to videodrome. long live the new flesh.”
this “new flesh” is as another way of looking at digital devices as extension of our bodies - and embracing them as body parts we exercise full autonomy over. because if we don’t, we can easily fall under the order of strong, powerful cultural programming that favors the aims of corporate ideology and the military-industrial complex.
this is a very real and very intense battleground happening right now, in 2014, and i think it might be most easily illustrated by gamergate.
just compare the extreme violence of videodrome’s BDSM porn to a hyper-violent FPS - the violence serves as particularly strong and powerful physical current for ideological indoctrination from larger forces to enlist their ultimately disposable subjects. and so we have disillusioned, small-time males pushed into carrying out acts of violence against counter-contingents which represent the most serious opposition against all this ideology - in the case of games, usually women.
i don’t think we understand just how powerful videogames are- but the military does. the military and arms manufactures relationship with the game industry has been increasingly documented. the tactile bodily effects and feedback of games make them a particularly effective indoctrination tool. even in tech, Facebook understands the power of a new technology like VR when they bought Oculus Rift and that it benefits them to be in control of technology so powerful.
the problem with fighting back against the tide of all this powerful cultural programming is we’re often bad at envisioning and embracing this new flesh as a tool of progress amidst these vast corporate structures colonizing the internet. in his movie A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, Slavoj Zizek looks at the many apocalypse scenarios increasingly saturating popular media of the last ten years and asks: why is it so much easier for us to envision in the cultural consciousness a total apocalyptic collapse of society than it is to imagine a fairly minor-shift in our ways of understanding and constructing the reality of our situation?
the answer is that is the logical endpoint of the ideological path we’re following now. and there is something intensely painful about, in the midst of this, realizing our own bodily autonomy, and our ability to make even a subtle a shift in our understanding and construction of reality. it’s a struggle, and it involves experiencing a lot of pain….