The Gift

A ripper of a visual sociology for June-July, 2017, begins with an interview about racism in dating, followed by a jubilant NAIDOC week community event in Redfern. We indulge in a plethora of thrilling art. We travel through Inner Western Sydney. We come upon environmentally friendly revenge by a spurned lover. And the sociology of trolleys gives us three surprising appearances.

Conscious dating

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This was my day:  filming on race and dating with Santilla Chingaipe and Kaila Perusco for Conscious Dating Co. Thoughtful discussion of sexual racism, meaningful relationships, how to address structural and unconscious bias in Australia, and much more. Intelligent, funny and generous women plus an awesome crew, with beautiful food and hosts. Parliament on King is a luscious cafe and it makes for a beautiful set! Book lovers’ heaven. (8 June) Continue reading The Gift

Sociology of ‘The Mist’

What always appealed to me about it [The Mist] was: okay here’s this story about monsters, basically, on the surface of it. Underneath Steve King was telling a completely different story. He was telling a story about the fragility of human behaviour under pressure. What he was saying was that civilisation is a very thin veneer and it can crumble very quickly -especially when you apply fear. People turn against one another when subjected to stress and fear.
It winds up being a great sociological contest for how we are as a species. How screwed up we are, how fearful we are. And that’s what Steve put on the page and that’s what I put on the screen.

Frank Darabont, Director of The Mist, talks about the sociology in Stephen King’s horror story. Awesome.

Image credits: 1) The Official Cranberries Fanblog. 2) Movies at Midnight. 3) Slant. 4) Toney.

Derrida on Fear and Writing

French philosopher Jacques Derrida on the fear of writing (from the 2002 documentary Derrida):

…when I don’t write, there is a very strange moment before I go to sleep… all of a sudden I’m terrified by what I’m doing. I tell myself: ‘You’re crazy to write this!’ …what can I compare it to? Imagine a child who does something horrible. Freud talks of childhood dreams where one dreams of being naked and terrified because everyone sees that they’re naked. In any case, in this half sleep I have the impression that I’ve done something criminal, disgraceful, unavowable, that I shouldn’t have done. And somebody is telling me: ‘But you’re mad to have done that’. And this is something I truly believe in my half sleep. And the implied command in this is: ‘Stop everything! Take it back! Burn your papers! What you are doing is inadmissible!’ But once I wake up, it’s over. What this means or how I interpret this is that when I’m awake, conscious, working, in a certain way I am more unconscious than in my half sleep. When I’m in that half sleep there’s a kind of vigilance that tells me the truth. First of all, it tells me that what I’m doing is very serious. But when I’m awake and working this vigilance is actually asleep. It’s not the stronger of the two. And so I do what must be done.

In this clip, Derrida speaks with no-nonsense clarity, self-reflexive insight and honesty. He shows amazing courage to admit to his insecurities as a public intellectual. The doubt that Derrida voices applies to anyone who is honest about the difficulties of writing something original for a public audience: ’I do what must be done’.