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Posts Tagged ‘j g ballard

j g ballard

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Trust Johann Hari to write the best thing on the recent death of the inimitable J G Ballard.  

Ballard had a low view of humanity, he offered scathing critiques of consumerism, culture, society, and our relationship to the earth.  

He sees violence beneath the veneer of suburban life —

“The suburbs dream of violence. Asleep in their drowsy villas, sheltered by benevolent shopping malls, they wait patiently for the nightmares that will wake them into a more passionate world…”

“We’re like bored children. We’ve been on holiday for too long, and we’ve been given too many presents… People are re-primitivising themselves. The future is going to be a struggle between vast systems of competing psychopathies, part of a desperate attempt to escape from a rational world and the boredom of consumerism.”

The shopping mall was the endgame of the enlightenment —

“the great dream of the Enlightenment, that reason and rational self-interest would one day triumph. [It] led directly to today’s consumerism.” 

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Written by Peter Rudd

April 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm

crash j g ballard

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From the BBC, here’s a short film called Crash! (1971) Director: Harley Cokliss Writer: J.G. Ballard Starring: J.G. Ballard & Gabrielle Drake.  J G Ballard wrote the novel Crash, and David Cronenburg made a feature length movie of it in 1996.

Ballard is preoccupied with cars as the embodiment of 20th century life, how they isolate us and turn us into voyeurs, the violence of life on the road.  There is a long passage on his fixation with how a beautiful woman gets into and out of and walks around a car.

From the Cokliss film:

I think the key image of the 20th Century is the man in the motor car.  It sums up everything:  the elements of speed, drama, aggression, the junction of advertising and consumer goods, the technological landscape, the sense of violence and desire, power and energy, the shared experience of moving together through and elaborately signalled landscape.

Written by Peter Rudd

February 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm