Physicists tell us there exist boundaries, barriers. Events from one side of a barrier can never affect a viewer, and similarly, those that cross that boundary are never observable again. This is why light is said to be incapable of escaping a black hole. Hence, Event Horizon the term.
Three simultaneous ‘pop culture’ events of the unreal, hyper -real and consensually fictitious blasted New York City yesterday with force of at least three TMZ-type megaton bombs. If ever we teetered on the edge of ‘crossing over’, this might be the night. And perhaps the City would earn the immortal tag “Ground Zero” yet again.
First, let’s savor the collusion — by fate, by design, by unfortunate circumstance, all irrelevant — among the Bush regime, our media, Neocons, Likudniks, Sunnis and Persians to impart meaning or significance to ‘President’ Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If you’re reading here, you know this sham.
His post is ceremonial, without power to make or set policy. We even noticed Andrea Mitchell try to sneak that glimpse of reality in on a 30 second MSNBC ‘report’, showing that famous professional moxy. We also think she eye blinked out “Nor does he command the armed forces.” We’re not sure.
When a so-called moderate last held the presidential post, the same figures supra, dismissed any encouraging, moderate utterance by any Iranian President as irrelevant. Post is merely ceremonial, DOH!. Now, because this one pushes the ‘Israel’ button, he is a modern day “Corporal”.
Even beyond that, this Iranian works well as an AgitProp tool. Many benefit from his performances. He has the gift of allowing a vacant comedian like Leno to riff for 10 minutes calling him “I’a Moody Nut Job” to a jabbering audience day after day. If you want a canary in a coal mine, this is surely one. The AgitProp virus is definitely airborne and outside containment. No Democratic response meme to be found. Does Mahmoud Ahmadinejad see his strings and handlers? Most likely. But he also looks to us like a man who enjoys a good ride.
Yesterday’s circus at Columbia and then at the UN adds — in musical terms — distortion and sustain — to the original, bogus chords. Truly a wall of sound. Any efforts to correct falsehoods or point out atonal anomalies will be drowned out by the larger noise, which itself becomes the ultimate “Fact”. The Noise is the reality.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad/Iran as Noise and Fact are approaching the Event Horizon, but their trajectories and velocities not locked in. Yet. We see and can act, if we choose.
And then there was the HALO 3 video game launch at midtown at 5th Avenue and elsewhere in Malls, Walmarts and strip malls across the continent. This one is actually a tougher call.
The Stiftung admires Bungie Studio on several levels, from being actual immersive fan to appreciation for technical design and business model aspects. That said, HALO 3 is now a pop event. Such events demand comment like any other, regardless of the ‘actual reality’ drowned out by the Noise. As with Columbia and the UN, HALO’s Noise becomes the Fact.
HALO 3 as the final installment in a future ‘war of civilzations’ is designed primarily to target the vital 17-32 mostly male core demographic. Microsoft needs their lock-in to make the 360 console profitable before Sony can try and salvage the PS3. On one level, we get a certain nostalgia watching it all. The unifying feel of ‘the HALO Nation’ drop reminded us of how major rock festivals and certain vinyl album releases brought our generation together back in the day. Such a mass unification of youth culture is perhaps no longer possible today. Too many fragmentary cultural touchstones, non-consensual realities, and distractions.
HALO 3 is perhaps the best simulacra of the real thing — black, white, hispanic or asian, all alike share enthusiasm and love of the game, its universe and their part in the HALO subculture. The real thing, of course, doesn’t exist anymore.
Celebration, man. Gonna snipe. Gonna frag. Smash talk. One prominent sign at a strip mall national chain video game store we checked out last night laid down the rules for gamers about the midnight launch details. And then the sign boldly proclaimed “Bring your whores!” Outside, around midnight, the key marketing demo obeyed, the older ones on cell phones or iPods, the younger doing skateboarding. More than a few girls (likely oblivious to their title bestowed inside the store) looked mostly bored, but dutiful.
The innocent fanboy enthusiasms (and begrudging female participation from what the Stiftung can observe over the years) also highlight another disparity. This ‘demo’ are same who ordinarily would be touched in some way by the alleged actual war the Nation is waging poorly. Yet, here all of them celebrating a Super Bowl day without irony. The sheer spectacle that Microsoft could shut down 5th Avenue for bogus ‘marines’ driving bogus ‘attack vehicles’ in a Cirque du Soleil parody bringing ecstasy.
Whether standing in line for 30 hours to pay $129 for the ‘Legendary Edition’ of the game (and you thought movie prices were steep), or blogging about it, or watching a marketing campaign that talked about mass human extinctions on a future battlefield, this is a Nation clearly on the other side of the Event Horizon. Our reality — that boys, men, girls and women their ages come home in wooden boxes or ruined for life still hidden from public view by Cheney et al. And not on the minds of these kids at all.
What would bring them back across the Horizon? Can it be done?
And then, on a much quieter level, last nite also saw the TV season debut of ‘Heroes’, still largely New York focused. This minor show’s seasonal debut perhaps the fission trigger to the TMZ-esque megaton events noted above. (The timing doesn’t work sequentially, but if you watch Heroes you understand why that doesn’t matter). NBC has burdened this niche, quaint geek-love show with the unenviable task of saving NBC’s cold, mediocre corporate existence by demanding it anchor new shows, spin offs, etc.
Key writing talent departed the show from its debut last season. Verdict is still out but the debut left the Stiftung with, as the kids say, a distinct “Meh.”
Safely this this side of the Horizon for now. And in no danger of escape yet.