By Jesse Kavadlo
Bringing jointly disparate and well known genres of the twenty first century, American pop culture within the period of Terror: Falling Skies, darkish Knights emerging, and Collapsing Cultures argues that pop culture has been preoccupied via fantasies and narratives ruled by means of the nervousness -and, unusually, the want fulfillment-that comes from the breakdowns of morality, family members, legislation and order, and storytelling itself. From aging superheroes to younger grownup dystopias, heroic killers to lustrous vampires, the figures of our fiction, movie, and tv time and again display and luxuriate in the imagery of terror. Read more...
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Additional info for American popular culture in the era of terror : falling skies, dark knights rising, and collapsing cultures
Unlike Fight Club’s narrator, Tender Branson’s name is suffused with signiﬁcance. As the novel explains, Tender is “not really a name. It’s more of a rank. . It’s the lowest rank. . Tenders are workers who tend” (240). In the rigid hierarchy of Palahniuk’s Creedish religion, the role of each son after the ﬁrst (who is always named Adam) is to tend to others’ needs. ” But the word also means “requiring tact or careful handing,” and Tender is indeed carefully handled throughout the novel, ﬁrst by his church elders, then by his depraved employers, then by his manager, and ﬁnally by Fertility Hollis.
Add the possibility of also going to a Fight Club–style corporate job, substitute “husband,” “wife,” or “children” for “stranger,” and the complaint is typically middle-class American. With all of its other meanings, “tender” is also a verb, meaning “to offer or present,” with its accompanying nouns, “bid, proposal,” as in legal tender (this very phrase is used in the novel itself). And that, in Palahniuk’s social criticism, is what Tender Branson, like too many Americans, has let himself become: a kind of legal tender, a means to an end, living capital ready for exchange, whether cleaning a house, urging suicide, or, later, telling people the proper spiritual way to live.
The terrorists are neither with us nor against us but are a part of us. This is literally true of the narrator and Tyler; they are obviously inextricably linked, two minds in one body. But it is also ﬁguratively true of the other characters: like the members of Fight Club, like the Creedish in Survivor, the men hiding in terrorist cells are functioning members of the culture, not obvious aliens or outsiders, even as they occupy the lowest social and economic rungs of the global economy and culture.
American popular culture in the era of terror : falling skies, dark knights rising, and collapsing cultures by Jesse Kavadlo