storytime sunday, special Oscars edition, 02/24/13

Once upon a time there were two pretend women. One was German. One was Jewish. They decided to get together to talk about critical theory and philosophy because why should complicated ideas belong only to professors and students of professors and people with fancy degrees from Harvard and Yale?

Why shouldn’t you have and be able to develop complex thought if you work at the GAP, or on a farm, or don’t have a job at all?

Why shouldn’t you be able to have access to the ideas of influential women and men over time?

No reason at all, the two women thought. If you can grok it, you should know it, and how can you learn to grok it, if you aren’t exposed to it, if you aren’t shown how to approach deep thought, little by little in a way that’s fun but not too scary?

Here are some of Mitzi’s and Simone’s latest thoughts about thinkers named Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard.

You can see more of Mitzi and Simone on Vimeo.

Yay for deep thoughts!

Spectacle/Simulacrum: Mitzi and Simone deconstruct the Oscars with Debord and Baudrillard from Stephanie Barbe Hammer on Vimeo.

4 thoughts on “storytime sunday, special Oscars edition, 02/24/13

  1. Boy, you and those French guys hit me right where I live. Commodification has reduced the American lifestyle from one of doing to one of watching. Worse, it sometimes seems the average American believes his/her inalienable right is to be incessantly entertained. It’s just another mind-altering drug to me.

    BTW, Mitzi gets my vote for Best Dressed.

    1. haha! On behalf of Mitzi, I thank you! Seriously, though, those French theory-guys really called it, and I think it’s important to share the ideas, so those of us who NOTICE can know we really aren’t crazy. What we do by the way — make art — is according to Debord something very different than “spectacle” and I think it’s why the two of them wrote alot (and Debord made movies). thanks again.

      1. I guess it helps to be from another country if one is going to point out the flaws in capitalism. In politics in the US, even the slightest reference to leveling the economic playing field is sometimes labeled Socialism. But Socialism need not be such a dirty word. In Europe it’s helped several countries create a better standard of living for the majority of the population. I just saw a Bill Moyers interview of economist Richard Wolff, who makes these points far more coherently than me. I plan to check out his latest book.

      2. Thanks very much for this. It’s interesting to see how the words “socialism” and “communism” have shifted connotations as well as referents over the past 20-30 years. The concepts have gotten incredibly skewed in our political discourses, and do not connote in those discussions what the words actually “mean” and the sorts of systems they actually designate. Debord and Baudrillard would have alot to say about THAT phenomenon.

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