Sunday, September 06, 2015

Orgazmo (movie review)

Thanks to my film instructor, I was immediately clued to the historical links twixt this film and South Park Studios.  Writer-directors Trey Parker and Matt Stone (uncredited as a writer -- both play characters as well) sketch a comical clash, twixt Utah Mormon and LA Filmmaker subcultures (porn filmmaking more particularly), that in many dimensions mirrors the culture wars covered in the movie reviewed below, Best of Enemies, about the Vidal-Buckley TV debates of 1968.

Those of us with fancy educations are more likely than most to associate the sometimes demonized "Liberals" of US political vista fame, with the so-called Vienna Circle that grew up simultaneously with Nazism.  Given I have a fancy Princeton education, that's not surprisingly my spiel as well.

The folklore or "volk-lore" of Wagner's melodramas rode the wave of anti-Semitic German nationalism, based in faux mythologies, including Social Darwinism popular in the US, to somewhat eclipse the whistleblowers who prophesied what was coming (not pretty).

Nietzsche in particular was driven to insanity by what was to become Nazi culture, his descent into madness roughly coinciding with the date of Hitler's birth.  His legacy was then twisted to fit the Nazi mold, which must have occasioned some intense grave spinning.

Liberals, such as Freud and Jung, thought repression of bawdy topics, banning open investigation of human sexuality and so on, only came back to bite one in the butt big time in the form of guilt and other pathologies, mostly dealt with by norms-enforcing religious orders and their secular / sponsored states.

The price of censorship, at both the individual and societal level, would be sick and twisted mob psychologies, an abhorrence of diversity (xenophobia), and increasingly fragile / defensive egos, feeling besieged by temptations (guilty pleasures, pornography) on all sides, plus a propensity to project fears on scapegoats, supposed puppets of dark and sinister forces.  Good against Evil in other words, Saints against Vices.

Those power-nesters seeking to cultivate a morally wholesome G-to-PG spectrum for their children feel threatened by uncensored R, NC-17 and MA materials available through adjacent magazines, TV channels, URLs.  Even TV-14 scares the G crowd sometimes.

Freud was saying unless humans gave vent their fantasies, their unconscious anti-egos would pretty much take over, which leads to outward wars and mob psychologies.  Better to let people explore the inner vista, as consenting adults, than pen them in and pay the piper.  Allowing Dante to tour Hell, in the Italian vernacular no less, made him, and his readers, more adept in the skills of enjoying life without getting trapped in its anti-patterns.

With the invention of broadcast television, the Liberals were especially feared in light of there only being three major networks in the USA at that time.  What if they put orgies on right after the news? With so few channels to choose from, the stakes were high.

How about gun violence fantasies right after the news?  Those are less of a problem for most cowboys, though to a tractor-driving Quaker like me, equally pornographic (pulling out a gun in public is considered immodestly forward in Quaker circles, not really for polite company, whereas actually using one as a weapon is beyond the pale crude).

The still nascent EU was far behind in terms of channels back in 1968.  UHF and cable were still in the future.  The real explosion in LA porn filmmaking would await the invention of VHS and asynchronous (non-broadcast, not real time) television, and later the Internet.

I was a fan of Freud's as early as 8th grade, plus was at the time living in Rome, Italy where sexuality is less inhibited (La Dolce Vita and all that).  Rome is frankly cosmopolitan and young ears and eyes hear and see plenty, even if I wasn't engaged in much risky behavior myself.

Cultivating judgement is a part of growing up, and one loses one's sense of what to watch out for if penned in by only PG.  Not a new insight, I realize.  Eat dirt if you want antibodies (but not in huge amounts).

Rocky Horror Picture Show covers a lot of the same territory.  I'm also going through some episodes of Bob's Burgers having delved into Archer (lead male actor the same in both).

These latter qualify as "naughty cartoons" but are not considered "pornographic" by Media Mogul standards.  They're typically guarded as Free Speech protected under the US Constitution, just like Vidal's books.

Animation (anime) as a technology covers the full spectrum from G to MA (what used to be called X-rated).

When it comes to teaching important lessons, the literary device of analogy, akin to the mathematical concept of iso- and homomorphism (mappings), allows fairy tales and dream sequences, other fantasy genres, to allude more than rub in.

Given teachings are about generalized principles sometimes, there's no real satisfaction in the special cases anyway.  The sense of completion (getting the teaching) is in connecting the dots, not in the dots themselves.

Some of the most effective andragogy involves "leaving things to the imagination" sometimes with the added layer of needing to crack the code in the first place.  Freud was saying something similar in that how the unconscious works is to encode or layer (cite Interpretation of Dreams, an 8th grade favorite).

Norman O. Brown had more to say on all this in Love's Body.