Monday, June 19, 2023

On February 22, 2022 I wrote in a notebook:
Moretti, "Homo Palpitans" (Signs, p119): "The city dweller's life is dominated by a nightmare - a trifling one, to be sure - unknown to other human beings: the terror of 'missing something', and specifically of missing it because of 'getting there too late'." I think this helps clarify how the mobility of the city can turn (be turned) into its opposite: immobility, indecision, inaction, stasis, melancholia, "depression", lockdown - always 'missing it' (and maybe even there's nothing to miss - for you); never "getting there too late" because one never "goes there" (one is perhaps not allowed to go there) at all.

Later (footnote 11, p293): "to 'the rapid telescoping of changing images' one responds with rapidity - of the glance, but especially of life. Precisely because he knows that 'one life is not enough' to do and see everything he wants, the city dweller limits his expectations and makes a continuous and unconscious selection of them." Lockdown, broadly speaking, takes advantage of one of the "logical" conclusions.
Other nightmares less trifling. New Orleans, East Palestine. Death squads policing your movements on New York subways, truck drivers killed to demolish whole portions of major highways. Depleted uranium now en route to the Ukraine. That other Palestine.

On October 7, 2021 I had written:

If I were blogging I would start a post with "At the beginning of 10 Cloverfield Lane the disaster has already occurred," with either "the disaster" or "already occurred" linking to something about Katrina, to then discuss Mary Elizabeth Winstead - the last gentrifier? - fleeing (for, the movie assures us, purely personal reasons) a New Orleans now devoid not only of black people, but people, period.
And I remember now those shots at the beginning emphasizing that hers is the only car on the road, she the only person at the gas station. (Do we even see the worker, peering suspiciously out at her? Now I can't recall.) Why? At that point, because she's broken up with her boyfriend. Only later do the monsters arrive.

Today I've come to Lamentations, which in the King James Version begins:

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! how is she become as a widow!