Oscar and the academy specter of death: just drink it like socrates

Its a metaphor for orgasm. Sex and death. The French term it “le petite mort” or the little death, where sex and death are linked from the spiritual release that comes with orgasm. As the Oscars get handed out, are they depicting anything else in life other than sex and death? There is nothing wrong with it; its just a question of how its done.  There are basically  two strategies of eluding and outwitting mortality:  sexuality, which is often embraced wholeheartedly ,and more prosaically to some,   the belief in and service to God.  This division is not new.It has parallels from philosophers such as Socrates to Jean-Paul Sartre and beyond, all probing the negative regard of the impossibility of authentic romantic commitment.The Oscar’s themselves are a  comment upon the basically empty nature of fame or celebrity. At heart, the ceremonies depict those upon whom society and mass culture have deemed meriting to be feted  as ignorant, vain, often violent and almost irrelevant; except to sell product and fill the advertising spots.

Fassbinder. Lili Marleen. Elliott: Another sponsor, Best Buy, is highlighting on its Facebook page (facebook.com/bestbuy) an online charity auction of the costumes worn in its commercial by Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne. The spot, by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, part of MDC Partners, is similar to the commercial that ran in the Super Bowl — but with a different ending, chosen by the public after voting on Web sites like bestbuy.com. “We look for shows with huge audiences, live, shows that people are talking about,” said Barry Judge, chief marketing officer at Best Buy. read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/business/media/24adco.html?_r=1&ref=stuartelliott image: http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/__pr/K__Wash/2010/05/28__Fassbinder__PR.html

Stuart Elliott: “The Academy Awards has become a pop culture moment that brings people together, especially over social media,” said Debra A. Sandler, chief consumer officer at the Mars Chocolate North America unit of Mars, which will run a commercial for M&M’s during the broadcast. “Part of our overarching strategy is to ensure M&M’s are present wherever and whenever people connect.”

The ability of viewers to discuss with one another in real time what they see taking place on the field or the red carpet is being credited with increasing the audiences for several live programs, among them Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6, which was the most-watched TV show ever; the Grammy Awards on Feb. 13, with the best ratings since 2000; and the N.B.A. All-Star Game last Sunday, which drew the highest ratings since 2003.

For the Academy Awards, “we’re going to have things on our Web site, on our Facebook page, in the blogosphere and on Twitter,” said Camille Watson, vice president for marketing and communications at LivingSocial, the social buying site. “It’s core to what people in the advertising world need to do today.”Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/business/media/24adco.html?_r=1&ref=stuartelliott

With the Academy Awards centered around adverstising it is no wonder that form is championed over content. Social reality is almost completely vaporized, gassed, by the entertainment industry and film as art form needs to memorialize reality to ensure a social future. What receives awards, the main ones, are films that date quickly and have no enduring aesthetic appeal. Old classic cinema and critial, ambiguous content is harder to convert into entertainment than current cinema.

Donald Kuspit: ( Otto) Dix realized that sex and death would always be around, along with war and the human body — the sites where their impact could be felt, and where they came together — and that, in a sense, there is nothing more real than they are: the experience of sex and death would always give one a greater sense of reality — and each would invoke the other, remind one of its unconscious presence in the other–than the experience of anything else.

"Allen appears fascinated by the fact that whether or not we choose to acknowledge it, death’s constant presence is manifested in the idea of God and the possibility of moral order in the universe, the afterlife, fate. Throughout his career he has invested a scholar’s commitment to the predicament of man in a doomed universe. For Allen these are all inescapable aspects of humanity and it is thus our lot to struggle with the paradoxes of desire and morality, freedom and faith, consummation and reflection. His films explore the perhaps pointless struggle to achieve resolution. " Read More: http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2003/great-directors/allen/ image: http://seitseseitseteist.blogspot.com/2011/02/annie-hall.html

“I don’t know much about you,” says Peter Greenaway, sipping his mint tea, “but I do know two things. You were conceived, two people did fuck, and I’m very sorry but you’re going to die. Everything else about you is negotiable.”…Negligible, too. For Greenaway, there’s sex and there’s death and “what else is there to talk about?” He believes, he continues, as relaxed as if predicting rain tomorrow, “that all religion is about death and art’s about life. Religion is there to say: hey, you don’t have to worry – there’s an afterlife. Culture represents the opposite of that – sex. A very stupid Freudian way of looking at it, but one is positive and one is negative. Especially against people like you. All religions have always hated females.” Read More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/mar/18/peter-greenaway-nightwatching a

Peter Falk. Kid Twist Reles. " ...poor immigrant so desperate for the American dream--money, position, flashy clothes and cars--that he falls prey to a life of crime. His rise is feverish and his downfall complete, usually culminating in a spectacularly violent death. This climactic ending was necessitated, in part, by censorship's demands for compensating moral values. Filmmakers couldn't glorify crime; they had to make sure that it didn't pay in the final analysis. Yet, the interest center--a film's most memorable and influential qualities--of the gangster film rests squarely with the use of guns, cars, piles of cash and street smarts. As with the Western, the gangster film reinvents the public's fascination with the swaggering male Western outlaw who has an underlying distrust of modern society, this time set in a decidedly urban milieu. " Read More: http://www.fathom.com/course/10701053/sessio

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Woody Allen:

– You have no values. Your whole life, it’s nihilism, it’s cynicism, it’s sarcasm, and orgasm.
– Y’know, in France I could run on that slogan and win.

– Deconstructing Harry

George Grosz. "After the World War I in Weimar rebublic in Germany, there is a tension to aeshetize sexual murders, especially after some such actual murders that shocked society. Many artists produced a noticeable large number of drawings, painting or photos with such disturbing gory thematology, either exploring their dark side of their unconscious desires, or with an attitude to provoke by giving a grotesque vision of the after war social crisis in Weimar." Read More: http://metalonmetalblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/lustmord-sexual-murder-in-art-in-weimar.html

Natasha, to love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But, then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love, to be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy, therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness, I hope you’re getting this down.

– Love and Death

Otto Rank: The fear in birth, which we have designated as fear of life, seems to me actually the fear of having to live as an isolated individual, and not the reverse, the fear of loss of individuality (death fear). That would mean, however, that primary fear corresponds to a fear of separation from the whole, therefore a fear of individuation, on account of which I would like to call it fear of life, although it may appear later as fear of the loss of this dearly bought individuality as fear of death, of being dissolved again into the whole. Between these two fear possibilities, these poles of fear, the individual is thrown back and forth all his life.... read more: http://www.ernestbecker.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33:listening-to-sheldon-solomons-talk-about-otto-rank-&catid=7:news-archives&Itemid=33 image: http://www.power-animals.com/2011/02/02/meryl-streeps-cheekbones-a-tribute/woody-allen-e-meryl-streep-in-manhattan-26395/

These quotes encapsulate Allen’s philosophy – he undercuts his own existential angst with absurd humour that provides distraction or comic relief and is in its own way an answer to these unanswerable questions. It is almost as if he is sending up the more austere philosophers who formulated these enquiries. His films are largely comedies – but, as one of his characters maintains, what is comedy but tragedy, plus time? Read More: http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2003/great-directors/allen/


http://www.sexualfables.com/the_house_of_incest.php a

Tim Roth. Little Odessa. "Rank also explores the other side of guilt: The human being who has failed to separate and individuate also feels guilt—a kind of thrown-back responsibility— for remaining embedded in the other, submerged in the womb of the collective. This is guilt for self-betrayal: for refusing the burden of consciousness, of individuality, for denying the vital need for growth. Guilt, in short, for unlived life." Read More: http://www.ernestbecker.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33:listening-to-sheldon-solomons-talk-about-otto-rank-&catid=7:news-archives&Itemid=33 image: http://www.greeksoccer.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php?t235050057.html

Robert Kramer: No one, of course, has expressed the tension between the will to separate and the will to unite better than Ernest Becker, whose Denial of Death caught the essence of Rank with electrifying passion:

On the one hand, the creature is impelled by a powerful desire to identify with the cosmic forces, to merge himself with the rest of nature. On the other hand he wants to be unique, to stand out as something different and apart…

You can see that man wants the impossible: He wants to lose his isolation and keep it at the same time. He can’t stand the sense of separateness, and yet he can’t allow the complete suffocation of his vitality. He wants to expand by merging with the powerful beyond that transcends him, yet he wants while merging with it to remain individual and aloof….Read More: http://www.ernestbecker.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33:listening-to-sheldon-solomons-talk-about-otto-rank-&catid=7:news-archives&Itemid=33 a

"It was inevitable that in ruined Germany the eternal feminine would also become a ruin -- abused and worn down by history, as many of Dix’s weary, aging female bodies suggest. But the archetype of manliness remained intact in his self-portraits, however much his invalided veterans had lost their manliness -- the manliness they confirmed when they were whole and healthy and visited prostitutes, in defiance of the pathological war that unmanned them. " Read More: http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/otto-dix3-24-10.asp

…Not a therapist, Becker (suggests Sheldon correctly) may have missed the more optimistic side of the clinical Rank, who spent two decades as a professional helper and healer. The life-long oscillation between the two “poles of fear” can be made more bearable, according to Rank, in a relationship with another person who accepts one’s uniqueness and difference, and allows for the emergence of the creative impulse — without too much guilt or anxiety for separating from the other.

Like the double function of fear, the creative impulse itself seems to divide into two currents: “will and guilt,” insists Rank in Truth and Reality, “are the two complementary sides of one and the same phenomenon.” Read More: http://www.ernestbecker.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33:listening-to-sheldon-solomons-talk-about-otto-rank-&catid=7:news-archives&Itemid=33

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