Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Awaken the Amnesiacs 12A: You're Locked in Here with Me

KEVIN SPACEY AND HIS BIZARRE CHRISTMAS EVE VIDEO | Double Toasted (25 December 2019). Video Source: Youtube.

To follow on my previous post on Kevin Spacey's Christmas video, see the above discussion from Double Toasted, which explains Spacey's video clearly. As host Korey Coleman points out, Spacey is owning his alleged sexual predator status and is using the scandal as a dark moment of supervillain self-empowerment. Notice the public reaction is one of confusion and puzzlement. We in the public are offended, but that has no effect on Kevin Spacey. Instead, he blossoms. We are taken off guard, our status as moral arbiters shaken and it provokes discussion as to what is going on, when in fact the punishment, if Spacey were to be found guilty, should be swift and severe. Instead, the mob withdraws to laugh, to chat about it, to wonder what is happening. We can't help but admire the audacity of it, the sheer insanity of the situation.

This is a supervillain victory. Supervillains have milestone moments too, and unfortunately, everyone identifies with this because the Internet peddles motivation, ego-boosting formulas, and self-improvement, beyond what is right and wrong. This reveals how social media can be turned upside down, to invert values, to appeal with negativity, to charm with revulsion. Spacey comes into his own as a supervillain, extending his bat wings and letting his scales breathe for the first time. As I stated in my previous post, Spacey's new theatre is the public space in virtual reality.

Spacey in his youth. Images Sources: TVOM, Bored Panda, Stack Exchange.

The message is, as Double Toasted host Martin Thomas states, akin to that of the Watchmen's Rorschach: I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me. Social media platforms are one big prison, and we're locked in with the celebrity lunatic who can, with one tweak of the atmosphere, unhinge us all. Double Toasted's Korey Goodwin stated: "I've never had somebody aggressively act at me."

Image Source: pinterest.

Jon Bernthal: Kevin Spacey was "a Bit of a Bully" on set of 'Baby Driver' - Jim Norton and Sam Roberts (7 November 2017). Video Source: Youtube.

For decades, corrupted elites hid their transgressions. A quick search shows their fetishized 'shhhhh' gestures, a code of silence because they knew that public exposure of their true selves would destroy them. Their fear meant that the common good of the people still held sway. Now, the tables are turned. With the gap between rich and poor growing, we have an upper stratum above the law. We forget that the most visible of these people easily dominated the old media. There is nothing stopping them from invading the new media too. When their crimes are exposed, public shame loses currency, and the villains step forward to bask in the spotlight.

Youtuber Shaun Attwood dines with the devil as he covers the Epstein case every day. It is a tricky position. He has made a name for himself over it, but he is equally ensnared in this dynamic. He puzzled yesterday over the fact that Prince Andrew was unfazed by public criticism and felt that his BBC interview went well. It didn't. The prince was stripped of royal duties and faces outcry. But in shame or glory, the royals still command our attention, day and night. Attwood, by investigating Prince Andrew to this degree, becomes part of that machine, even though his efforts may lead to the fall of a single member of the British royal family.

The degree to which Prince Andrew - or Prince Charles for his disgusting association with Jimmy Savile - will be held accountable proves how little power the mob really has when it expresses outrage. Each scandal ironically reduces the space of public moral consensus about what behaviour is good and acceptable, and what is not, because people are unsure why their disgraced leading lights often walk away untouched and unfazed.

Similarly, the famous US lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who is also entangled in the Epstein scandal, is fighting back against Epstein allegations in his own theatre of the courts. These people are not amateurs. They are masters of their domains for a reason.

Big Bad Villain (Epic, Orchestral Score) (6 December 2016). Video Source: Youtube.

For years, the cognitive dissonance Spacey peddled was subtle. For example, the 1995 film Seven contained a subconscious inversion of social values. Spacey played a villain who was a horrible serial killer, yes, but beyond his terrifying acts, his moral alignment was Christian. The villain murdered those who indulged in the Seven Deadly Sins. This movie confused the audience. It used narrative conventions to cast the protagonists as automatic heroes, even though they were arrayed against a Christian message, in a film aimed at a predominantly Christian society.

Seven 1995 Kevin Spacey Brad Pitt Morgan Freeman (7 May 2015). Video Source: Youtube. Seven © New Line Cinema reproduced non-commercially under Fair Use.

To be sure, the method used by Spacey's antagonist was not Christian - or was it? History states otherwise, over and over. Nevertheless, Seven used a villain who was so diabolical in the modern sense that no one could possibly sympathize or identify with him, even as the film conflated the villain's mental illness with evil. It cloaked a malevolent spiritual message: that anyone who condemned the Christian Seven Deadly Sins was on par with a psychopathic serial killer.

As Spacey advanced onto the world's primary social media video platform last week, he effortlessly captured it. The difference is that now the message is not cloaked or inverted. The attack on morality is plain and open. He's a supervillain and frankly, that's our problem, not his. Social media are entering a more mature phase, in which the underlying logic of these platforms becomes plain. In the 2000s, we were allowed into the arena. We entered it freely. We thought we would find independence here. And now the gates behind us are closed.

ADDENDUM (31 December 2019): Variety reported on 31 December 2019 that Spacey settled one sexual assault suit out of court with his late accuser's estate. The terms of settlement have not been publicized. Two other victims who would have been called in that suit as witnesses will not come forward.

See all my posts in the series, Awaken the Amnesiacs.

1 comment:

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