Monthly Archives: April 2023
The cultural therapist, examining the survey results gathered from questions about the Vietnam War, would formulate certain important questions: 1) What are the bases on which this generation has decided that the U.S. should not have been involved in the Vietnam War? 2) What fears or anxieties are reflected in this generation’s reluctance to involve itself in foreign wars which it perceives to be similar to the war in Vietnam? and, 3) In what terms are these issues addressed?
Soldiers’ expectations about their Vietnam experience, and influenced their actions while they were in Vietnam.They made life and death decisions based on film images, and the consequences could frequently be fatal. The devastating effects of their betrayal by the film medium brought about a deep ambivalence toward film in Vietnam War veterans. Film has also become an acknowledged weapon in the battle over who owns the narrative rights to the Vietnam War.
The very thing that makes veterans’ testimony so attractive to us — the authenticity of it — makes that testimony suspect as history. The Vietnam veteran has a tremendous personal investment in his version of the story. Retelling the war is his way of rebuilding personal and national myths that have been shattered by the wartime experience. Vietnam veterans, in this respect, are no different than their Civil War, World War 1, World War 2, or Korean War veteran predecessors.
What was once called a bastard business has become a billion-dollar industry thanks to the convergence of two trends: the competition unleashed by telecom deregulation and the explosion of prison building caused by an inmate population boom. Restrictive telephone privileges, conceived to curb crime and harassing calls as well as to manage inmate behavior, have spurred the phone companies to come up with intelligent service platforms like Maximum Security or BellSouth’s Meridian MAX.
That white people were bound to misunderstand Black militant near-future novels was assured. Their general ignorance of Black culture guaranteed that Black satire aimed at Black audiences would simply not make it on to their radar. A tendency to take literature (especially literature by minorities) literally, an uncritical acceptance of racial stereotypes, and a lack of facility with the brilliant pyrotechnics of African American vernacular made it likely that few white readers would see these novels as anything other than trashy, cartoonish, and crude.
The tourist is a spectator who observes and consumes the culture of the Other without belonging to it: “just passing through.” Tourist economies rise and fall based on how well they can deliver “the goods”–the “experience” which, though totally constructed, does not seem vicarious to person who has paid for the tour….
The best postmodern explorations are well grounded in theory and in history, even as they attempt to demonstrate the inevitable failure of the metanarrative and to replace it with a succession of reflective surfaces and simulacrae. But Nakamura’s Cybertypes regards theory and method as a set of interchangeable parts that can be put to her purpose without regard to the original context in which they evolved—a strategy that can fairly be regarded as the theoretical equivalent to the “identity tourism” that Nakamura critiques.
What does the decline of the Black counterpublic have to do with Sanyika Shakur’s Monster? First of all, it means that Monster is a text produced in isolation from other African American texts, or, rather, in relation only to an idiosyncratic and limited number of other texts which are not representative of anything which might have, in the 1960s and early 1970s, represented black counterpublic discourse. It means that Monster is also heavily influenced by the white popular culture texts to which Sanyika Shakur has been exposed, and which—without a tradition of black critical discourse —he is helpless to critique.