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<nettime> Lysistrata
calin on Thu, 20 Mar 2003 16:09:37 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Lysistrata


Something to cheer up my fellow nettimers in those times of war.

I rushed last week into town (Amsterdam is for the moment an annex to my
country side residency), to catch up with the Cannes Festival awarded
documentary “Bowling for Columbine”. It was a late hours show, after some
4 weeks of screening in a mainstream + cult cinema (Tuchinski), positioned
conveniently right at the heart of the city nightlife – the Munt Plein,
that is. At the cashier in front of me two local red necks were
contemplating the board with the offer and after having a short doubt
between Chicago and the Bowling, opted for the last. Overlooking the
strange event I bought my ticket and entered confidently in the cinema, to
realise in shock that it was fully packed with (mostly) young people, who
cheered along the movie all the (generously spread) moments of stupefying
realism, and applauded with rumours all the moments of silent drama.
Wonderfully scripted and brilliantly “played” by its maker (an almost
unreal impersonation of the middle class American – fat, relaxed and
proudly a member of the American Rifle Association), the film is a matter
of factly, compassionate, funny and hopeless satire of the conundrum which
underlies the US society – freedom of expression and lack of respect for
human life (in short).

I do not know what brought all those people for weeks in a row to see the
movie – snobbery, political restlessness, media pressure, genuine
curiosity – but I felt very strongly that night that we are living in
special times, and that the US culture has a strange magnetic power to
define them, for the good and for the worse.

Meanwhile, in my little village with rich people and retired civil
servants, the local theatre group plays Lysistrata by Aristophan, a couple
of millennia old commedy turning around a very simple concept – if women
would refuse to have sex with their war mongering husbands until they stop
fighting, peace on earth would be a matter of weeks. I don’t know what was
the potency expectation for the men in Classic Greece, but I somehow doubt
that this type of vaginal blackmail would work for Dubya and his gang.


Something to cheer up my fellow nettimers in those times of war.

I rushed last week into town (Amsterdam is for the moment an annex to my
country side residency), to catch up with the Cannes Festival awarded
documentary “Bowling for Columbine”. It was a late hours show, after some
4 weeks of screening in a mainstream + cult cinema (Tuchinski), positioned
conveniently right at the heart of the city nightlife – the Munt Plein,
that is. At the cashier in front of me two local red necks were
contemplating the board with the offer and after having a short doubt
between Chicago and the Bowling, opted for the last. Overlooking the
strange event I bought my ticket and entered confidently in the cinema, to
realise in shock that it was fully packed with (mostly) young people, who
cheered along the movie all the (generously spread) moments of stupefying
realism, and applauded with rumours all the moments of silent drama.
Wonderfully scripted and brilliantly “played” by its maker (an almost
unreal impersonation of the middle class American – fat, relaxed and
proudly a member of the American Rifle Association), the film is a matter
of factly, compassionate, funny and hopeless satire of the conundrum which
underlies the US society – freedom of expression and lack of respect for
human life (in short).

I do not know what brought all those people for weeks in a row to see the
movie – snobbery, political restlessness, media pressure, genuine
curiosity – but I felt very strongly that night that we are living in
special times, and that the US culture has a strange magnetic power to
define them, for the good and for the worse.

Meanwhile, in my little village with rich people and retired civil
servants, the local theatre group plays Lysistrata by Aristophan, a couple
of millennia old commedy turning around a very simple concept – if women
would refuse to have sex with their war mongering husbands until they stop
fighting, peace on earth would be a matter of weeks. I don’t know what was
the potency expectation for the men in Classic Greece, but I somehow doubt
that this type of vaginal blackmail would work for Dubya and his gang.






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