Thursday, 5 February 2009

Labor relations in the dreamworlds of late capitalism; a salutary reminder

Remember Bart Simpson as the "I Didn't Do It" star, having to first do his apprenticeship to pampered celebrities, who abused him on the slightest, narcissistic pretext? "I told you, I'm lactose intolerant. Now come over here so I can abuse you some more!!" Shades of that again here with Christian Bale going berserk on the set of Terminator 4. There's already speculation of the damage it could do to his career unless the mask can be quickly nailed back on even tighter (a la another notorious couch jumping megastar).

But why bother putting this up here, isn't it just dime a dozen Hollywood gossip (and a bit late too given how it was leaked around February 2)? To me it all depends on the spin you put on it. The real issue here seems to be how it serves as a reminder of how futuristic visions, be they utopian or dystopic, are realized through a class based intramundane reality. This spans all the way from the film in question, with the star abusing an assistant director of photography, to attempts to live inside "dream worlds" on a mass scale, as in the evil paradise of Dubai (or Hong Kong, where guest workers are hidden away by being forced to reside in chicken coops on the rooftops of their employers).

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