The following clip (discovered for me by René, already a transportation theorist at 2 years 8 months) seems to me allegorical of just about everything. White guy in nice shirt drives around Johannesburg destroying things for the camera! Early on, White Guy in Nice Shirt says something like “On the one hand, I worry about bumping into things. On the other hand, I don’t have to worry about bumping into things,” which is worth ten volumes of moral philosophy and analysis of the spirit of the age. The bit where the SUV drags away the police tow truck rather nicely encapsulates the culture of impunity which will be even harder to extirpate in the case of a Romney win. Meet the Marauder. “A struggle with the earth…”
Items towards a longer piece, never to be written, theorizing/outlining the structure of the military-cultural complex:
1. At the Denver Broncos game this past Sunday, frequent announcements during the breaks in the action of various sorts of military heroes recently returned (or still in) Afghanistan, with much applause; also, country music with pro-military, pro-US themes. And of course a flyover by Air Force jets at the conclusion of the National Anthem, which was sung as representatives of the various US armed services (Coast Guard included, natch) stood at attention on the field.
2. The integration of video games, especially first-person shooters, with the US military in both explicit (America’s Army, a squad combat FPS developed by the US army) and implicit ways. (Similarly, in China, the MMORPG Anti-Japan War Online, sponsored by a branch of the Communist Party.)
3. The outpouring of anti-Japanese sentiment in recent days in China, which includes a variety of amusing and not-so-amusing instances of what strike me as purely “cultural” and actively imagined/imaginary response whose aesthetic dimensions exceed (however slightly) their political ones.
Key here would be to think about how the complex identified differs from the military-industrial complex; though obviously they’re almost entirely integrated it would be nice to figure out where they diverge–where, for instance, the values and norms (or even political positions) associated with the m-c complex would lead to resistance to warmongering or support for cuts in national defense budget. Not sure if that can happen.