See? It took a while but we got here. At last, new content! In truth, my comeback article for this week was supposed to be a lighthearted look at an outrageous Japanese B movie from the mid 60’s called Frankenstein Conquers The World. But then the earthquake that has recently hit Tokyo put me on the fence about featuring the article… I nearly decided that it still would be a fitting tribute to Japan, to their unique culture and movies, but now there’s the problem with radioactivity and, unfortunately, this was a prominent feature in my pick. I quickly dismissed the article as inappropriate for now.
Instead of choosing another Japanese movie I decided to forget about tributes to avoid any misunderstandings. I will say this: what happened in Japan is absolutely terrible and has been a huge blow for the entire planet. Such punishing tragedies are almost unthinkable; we’re talking about an entire country here, an entire culture that has been stopped in its tracks. It was shocking then to see how a huge of portion of the web world has been following this tragedy with morbid fascination. From companies taking advantage of the situation, celebrities mocking the Japanese to religious zealots claiming they deserved it, humanity has reacted in a pathetic way. Think twice before deciding those people are in the minority.
There’s been much talk against nuclear power as well and its consequences, which are obviously devastating. I believe it’s hypocritical to say this; not when most of us depend so much on power. Cars, computers, TVs, stereos, planes, more technology… Our fast-paced world demands this today. Unless we’re willing to shut down entire industries, we must rely on nuclear power or vast quantities of oil, which in the long run can be just as bad as radiation.
So, the current circumstances made me think quite a bit about the issue of technology and I found myself coming back to J.G. Ballard and his views on the technological landscape. Yes, as if it wasn’t obvious by now, I do like the man. The question perhaps is this: is technology a problem and, if so, what can we do about it? To answer this question, we must first understand our relationship with technology. This was my line of thinking, so I decided to do a little experiment for the first major update in the last four months (yikes): I selected Crash to do a combined writing on the movie and book, exploring their meaning. The resulting text drifted away however and tried to fit the concept of Crash into our modern society, so it’s definitely very experimental for the Slightly Deranged standards. It might be a bunch of nonsense or not, that’s up to you for decide.
Overall, I think the article is a fitting analysis: following the unfortunate and terrible tragedy in Japan, society is struggling to decide what do to about the nuclear power. Hint: nuclear power is not the problem; the demand for it is.
In a less somber mood, the writing is also fitting in a way because this week was David Cronenberg’s birthday. Even thought the adaptation of Ballard’s novel was a hit and miss, we wish David a very (belated) happy birthday. As a bonus, I have uploaded a rare TV short by the BBC not even listed in IMDB, featuring J.G. Ballard himself before the Crash novel was even written. It was filmed in 1971 and it’s a must-see.
Hope you enjoy the read!