Blame it on bourgeois ethics? Is the successful t.v. series The Big Bang Theory merely insulting in its violence; a violence which may be an endemic cultural trait within middle-class values, that repository of conservatism and arch determination to maintain the status-quo and continually reinforce existing tendencies. In England, Georgian intellectuals H.G. Wells and John Galsworthy were consistently amazed at the conservatism of the growing British middle-classes. …
In TV land, it seems, intelligence isn’t just a matter of being able to learn quicker, reason better, and understand more easily. The TV Genius is what you get when intelligent characters conform to an unintelligent person’s idea of how an intelligent person acts. A TV Genius bears an impossibly or immeasurably high IQ, never uses a short word when a long one will do and has the full package of exaggerated traits and strange behaviors Hollywoodland associates with “big brains”. This is especially obvious when the lead character is a “normal” person, inasmuch as being clever but not actually very smart….
Michael Ferguson ( The future101blogspot.com ): These people are nothing like hyper-intellectuals. They are caricatures based upon a dislike of one’s intellectual superiors. One feels better, because in the end they may be able to outthink you, but they are so fundamentally flawed that, in total, they are clearly inferior to you. ..
…While intellectuals often do have interest in obscure topics, the TV Genius is inexplicably baffled that other people have different interests than themselves. Their only pastimes will be reading thick tomes and playing chess. The will frequently know (and rattle off) statistics and computational calculations to implausible degrees of precision… Read More:http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TVGeniusa
Is the Big Bang Theory offensive? Can intelligent people be categorized as an offended minority subject to prejudice? Or, is the middle-class audience to whom mass market television is packaged and promoted too inherently violent as a collective? I am coming to the realization that the middle-class is a locus of violence, of all stripes. In Richard F. Hamilton’s Who Voted for Hitler, it was established that in working class neighborhoods the Nazis is not do as well as in wealthier precincts.and he establishes beyond doubt that there was a relatively high Nazi vote in the upper-middleclass districts. But he overrates the importance of his discoveries. In fact, Hitler garnered support across the middle classes. So, its a tricky thing to zero in on exactly the source or reason of the violence; except to realize that t.v. caters to it in subtle ways, with little discrimination. Landauer and Buber asserted the real enemy was not the bourgeoisie, but instead found in the condition of the human spirit. A condition, a state of mind that included abstract thinking, alienation, consumerism and general submissiveness. In their absence, capitalism as they knew it, and the state could not survive.
…While police and politicians continue to lay the blame for this week’s Stanley Cup riot in Vancouver on professional anarchists and hardened thugs with deep-seated criminal tendencies, the blogosphere and social networks such as Facebook have been revealing a much more uncomfortable truth. Many of those who participated in the riot were not these types of people at all. They were, in many instances, the sons and daughters of good, upstanding citizens who today must still be in shock over what they’ve learned….The picture of a young man attempting to set a police cruiser on fire by lighting a rag stuffed in its gas tank has received widespread Internet attention. He’s been identified as an academic all-star who was supposed to be heading to the U.S. in fall on a water polo scholarship. …
Michael Ferguson ( the future101blogspot.com):Here, we have a case of ‘all hyper-intellectuals are geeks, emotionally unsophisticated and socially clumsy’. Even if that was generally true, which it is not, we should equally rail against the implication. I can say this, most hyper-intellectuals, deep down, see themselves wandering around a world of petulant, willful and arrogant children. They may, as I do, see them as generally good people. However, their preoccupations, their world views, their opinions all reflect a childlike intellect.
Its something of a dalliance the middle-class has with violence since they are usually the most isolated from a direct impact. So, they are more willing to support it, a vicarious engagement from the comfortable retreat of the living room. Also, they seem to perceive the world more through the optics of ideology than say the poor and the destitute whom studies reveal vote fairly consistently on economic issues. So, levels of development, chiefly the risks of technology, do seem to radicalize large groupings, now on a gloscale, where bread and butter thinking will be subordinated to abstract ideology….
…Underlying this dynamic, however, is the more pressing reality that we all must begin to grapple with soon. That is that hundreds of otherwise normal, seemingly well-adjusted kids looked at the riot as an opportunity for a type of social and cultural timeout where the normal rules of behaviour and social interaction did not apply.
Richard Gruneau, a professor in the school of communications at Simon Fraser University, said Friday that one thing that has struck him about the continual references to hooligans and anarchists being responsible for most of the damage is the extent to which that characterization papers over the banality of the bad behaviour….
…“It seems pretty clear that those guys jumping up and down on cars, screaming at cops, tearing off shirts and making spectacular displays of their masculine credentials: ‘Dude, look at me, I actually jumped on a flaming car and everyone cheered,’ are actually the sons of good solid suburban citizens,” said Prof. Gruneau. “Some of them are likely our students.”
For Prof. Gruneau, watching the riot on television was like watching a bizarre reality television show where the performers kick, punch, destroy and attempt to steal as much as they can before police close in. Like Jackass on speed.Read More:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/gary_mason/the-sad-painful-truth-about-the-vancouver-rioters-true-identities/article2066321/
Christopher Caudwell:Bourgeois relations, too, developed. In the famous bourgeois booms and slumps, they show the potential decay of the system. This decay was retarded by Imperialism, that is, by forcibly imposing on other countries the ‘natural rights’ of the bourgeois. In these backward countries the bourgeois right to trade profitably and to alienate and acquire any property was forcibly imposed. Here too the bourgeois, out of his dominating relation to a thing, secretly imposed his dominating relation over men, which can yet be disguised as democracy, for does not democracy declare that all men are equal and none may enslave the other? Does it not exclude all relations of domination – despotism, slave-owning, feudal privilege – except the ‘innocent’ domination of capitalist over ‘free’ labourer?
But in this imperialising, a new situation arose – external war instead of internal violence and coercion. For now, in exploiting backward countries, or, it was called, ‘civilising’ them, one bourgeois State found itself competing with another, just as inside the State bourgeois competes with bourgeois.
But inside the State bourgeois competes with bourgeois peacefully, because it is the law – and this law was established for their own protection against the exploited. The laws forbidding one bourgeois to seize another’s property by force arose as the result of the need to prevent the have-nots seizing property by force. It is an internal law, the law of the coercive State….
…The liberal is the active force. But so far from being revolutionary, as he thinks, he is evolutionary. In striving for bourgeois freedom and fair competition he produces by this very action an increase in the social restraints he hates. He builds up the big bourgeoisie in trying to support the little, although he may make himself a big bourgeois in the process. He increases unfairness by trying to secure fairness. Free trade gives birth to tariffs, Imperialism and monopoly, because it is hastening the development of bourgeois economy, and these things are the necessary end of bourgeois development. He calls into being the things he loathes because, as long as he is in the grip of the bourgeois illusion that freedom consists in absence of social planning, he must put himself, by loosening social ties, more powerfully in the grip of coercive social forces.
This ‘revolutionary’ liberal, this hater of coercion and violence, this lover of free competition, this friend of liberty and human rights, is therefore the very man damned by history not merely to be powerless to stop these things, but to be forced by his own efforts to produce coercion and violence and unfair competition and slavery. He does not merely refrain from opposing bourgeois violence, he generates it, by helping on the development of bourgeois economy.