American Popular Culture in the Era of Terror: Falling by Jesse Kavadlo

By Jesse Kavadlo

Bringing jointly the preferred genres of the twenty first century, this e-book argues that americans have entered a brand new period of narrative ruled by means of the fear―and want fulfillment―of the breakdown of authority and terror itself.

• presents an enticing new framework within which to check renowned culture

• Examines motion pictures, tv exhibits, and first texts reminiscent of novels for facts of cultural anxiousness and a preoccupation with terror

• deals insightful and unique interpretations of basic texts

• indicates attainable conclusions approximately cultural anxiousness relating to breakdowns of culture and authority

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Extra info for American Popular Culture in the Era of Terror: Falling Skies, Dark Knights Rising, and Collapsing Cultures

Sample text

The film’s opening scene seems to depict a day just like any other, George Bush’s blue sky, for Cage’s character, with a lingering shot where he kisses his wife, Donna (Maria Bello), goodbye. We, unlike them, know the separation that the day will bring, and we are powerless to stop it. Once the planes inevitably hit, however, the laid-back air and the famous blue sky withdraw. The film becomes emotionally severe, even claustrophobic, as Stone blacks out the screen and silences what had just been the roar of the collapsing first tower.

The narrator, presumably in a sanitarium, hears the whispers of former followers, who tell him “we’re going to break up civilization so we can make something better out of the world” (208). The message is meant to be ominous, the ending that is not an ending, a reminder that while Tyler seems gone and the 12 American Popular Culture in the Era of Terror narrator incapacitated, the same anger that began fight club remains seething beneath the surface, another bomb waiting to detonate, a terrorist cell waiting to be called up.

Tender’s cleaning tips in the novel’s opening lead directly to the conclusion’s pornography landfill, the reductio ad absurdum of American hypocrisy, secrecy, obsessive compulsion, and misophobia. The potential for danger and destruction lurks beneath seemingly harmless merchandise and benign consumer culture. Similarly, Tyler Durden is the split personality that “just happen[s] to have the same fingerprints” as the narrator; he is the angry, murderous reverse of the innocuous pencil pusher. In the era of terror, people and products alike have an unseen, dangerous flipside to their identity and existence.

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