Some reflections towards surviving the future: A four point plan.

Alan Jones and Dan Smith

1.1 An image of war for 2010. Or, rather, a casual detail in the film 2010: The Year We Made Contact. As the world teeters on the edge of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, Time magazine bears the headline, over an image of Stanley Kubrick facing off against Arthur C. Clarke.

1.2 Director and writer look on from opposing sides in a struggle between textual narrative and a cinematic visual. Could this point to a struggle? Located somewhere within 2001 is the containment of an impossible conflict in the realm of spectacle.

1.3 This war helps to reveal the obvious, that our world is one for which we must continually fight, and that is contested in every sign, image and sentence.

2.1 In 2010 Roy Scheider is Haywood Floyd, a scientific beaurocrat. But really he is Chief Brody, the policeman from Jaws.

2.2 Transforming the film industry, Jaws becomes reified in a single image. The great fish rears up, ready to breach surface and consume flesh simultaneously.

2.3 The upwards thrust is that of the rocket - both spacecraft and missile. This is not the horror of nature, but the force of destruction wrought upon people by others.

2.4 The other in Speilberg is never far away, generally not even truly alien. Other is rather just other in the sense of not I. Yet central to this sense of other is a cumulative unnameable.

2.5 What is this unnameable that emerges within this apparatus, itself a spectacular yet reflective set of fields within the heart of culture industry?

3.1 The unnameable here is a mass of tensions that orbits a central event: it is the holocaust that acts as a gravitational anchor, drawing in a collapse of Enlightenment and reconfiguring fragmented arrangements of hope and progress. Yet it is not a stable reenactment.

3.2 Chief Brody represent one unit of a class struggle that, for Jameson, offers an ideological reinforcement of the current order, scientist and fisherman completeing a triangular class arrangement that maintain the status quo against the threat of the unknown. Yet this is only part of the structure, that it is the flat ideological reading beneath which is counter narrative.

3.3 There are always at least two secrets to unlock -- ideological code and hopeful counternarrative. For each appearance of a fascistic or repressive tendency must be posited the genuine presence of a useful, resistant and hopeful realm of impulses.

4.1 Enlightenment never went away. The points of reference and contestation changed.

4.2 Enlightenment is buried, picked apart, refuted for viable purposes, as well as more problematic ones.

4.3 Yet rather than dismiss in Adorno's account of culture industry, it is precisely within this supposed realm that it is possible to detect a struggle for Enlightenment.

4.4 Struggle becomes represented by binaries, but is not resolved by them. Rather a more familiar model of dialectics is put forward.