Whack-a-Mole, Adorno

Feb 2nd, 2015 | By | Category: Articles

d6b085fd287ae1e1bf3e1fbcca0c76f1This post is for Mike Watson whose book exploring similar if not identical ideas will be coming out from Zero Books this year. I found this blog post today because of his work.

Louis Sterrett writes briefly about Adorno's essay "Commitment" and along the way he ends up quoting a Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil (1983). This quote is excellent on it's own, but the entire blog post at Sterrett's blog is worth reading.

I saw these games born in Japan. I later met up with them again all over the world, but one detail was different. At the beginning the game was familiar: a kind of anti-ecological beating where the idea was to kill off—as soon as they showed the white of their eyes—creatures that were either prairie dogs or baby seals, I can’t be sure which. Now here’s the Japanese variation. Instead of the critters, there’s some vaguely human heads identified by a label. At the top, the chairman of the board. In front of him, the vice president and the directors. In the front row, the section heads and the personnel manager. The guy I filmed, who was smashing up the hierarchy with an enviable energy, confided in me that for him the game was not at all allegorical, that he was thinking very precisely of his superiors. No doubt that’s why the puppet representing the personnel manager has been clubbed so often and so hard, that it’s out of commission, and why it had to be replaced again by a baby seal.

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