Mythic Quest and the Pursuit of Anti-Capitalist Media [Current Affairs]

There’s an idea—passed down from Adorno in a game of telephone—that products of the culture industry must necessarily reflect capitalist values. This is superficially very convincing: if I were a capitalist, I would probably fund works that reassert the status quo, even subconsciously, since if I were a capitalist the status quo would be going pretty well for me. You can find lots of supporting examples if you look around: the valorization of ragstoriches stories that obscure the near-impossibility of real-life social mobility, particularly in the United States; the entire cop show genre, which essentially functions as propaganda for the police; even the original Ghostbusters, which has a plotline about how the EPA shouldn’t investigate unlicensed nuclear reactors.

I wrote an essay for Current Affairs about Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet and the problem of making art in a corporate environment. You can read it here!

Can The Maker Repair What He Makes? [Bright Wall/Dark Room]

I wrote an essay for my favourite film magazine, Bright Wall/Dark Room, about Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and the endless debate about whether Deckard is a replicant or not.

If you want a definitive foolproof argument that Deckard definitely is or isn’t a replicant, you will not care for my essay. But if you want a thoughtful examination of the debate itself and what it implies about the film and its audience, you’ll enjoy it a lot.

You can read it here.