Humourless Marxist Reviews: Confederate

Confederate

Knowing Worker’s Spatula’s popularity among the rebel youth and our passion for the subject, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the duo better known as HBO, have invited several Worker’s Spatula writers to a special screening of the pilot episode of their new documentary series, Confederate.

Confederate tells the story of how the US, as a major imperialist state, has somehow managed to preserve slavery as a major pillar of its domestic economy well into the 21st century. The series’s pilot episode begins with a narrator explaining the history of the Republican Party, which began as a bourgeois revolutionary institution bent on overturning slavery. However, the party’s reliance on the imperialist bourgeoisie engaged in settler-colonial conquest of North America meant that the Afro-American masses and the radical left of the party were betrayed to the very southern slave-owning aristocracy the party set out to overturn in the first place.

The narrator is then revealed to be an Afro-American political prisoner in a forced labour camp, explaining this history to his fellow prisoners as he finishes his sub-par meal in a crowded cafeteria.

The pilot unflinchingly portrays the trials and tribulations of modern-day slaves in the United States today, through vignettes of their everyday lives, including painfully rare and short breaks for family, violent confrontations with labour camp guards, and struggles with mental health issues. If the pilot is anything to go by, this series will be extremely uncomfortable, but necessary, viewing for US audiences.

Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss hinted at big plans for on-screen depictions of relevant historical and social issues in the future during the question and answer session with the Worker’s Spatula team, including an alternate history drama in which Hitler had been born in the Americas and committed genocide against indigenous peoples of the continent, and a drama about a dystopian future in which fascists and socialists are frequently depicted as part of one common ideology known as “totalitarianism”.

Did you enjoy this piece, or anything else on Worker’s Spatula? Then consider donating as little as one imperialist Yankee dollar a month to supporting our work!

Do you want to help an actual liberation movement for slave descendents in the imperialist United States that understands and struggles against the economic basis of US imperialism in the belly of the beast? Then support Cooperation Jackson!

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Humourless Marxist Reviews: Band Aid

BandAid

“Band Aid” is actor Zoe Lister-Jones’s first foray into directing, and a bold foray it was. Not only did she manage to pull off the twin duties of actor and director with significant skill for a first timer, but she did so with an all-woman crew, a choice which makes perfect sense when one considers that Band Aid is a dramatic retelling of the story of Yenigün Müzik Topluluğu, the “women’s choir” Turkish musical group best known for writing songs about 1990s MLKP martyrs.

Set in the United States, this dramatic retelling imagines what it would be like if the Istanbul-based group had been formed in California. And somehow it works! Despite lacking the obvious context of Gazi Mahallesi, watching Lister-Jones’s depiction of dozens of young people raise their fists to martyr songs brought a tear to the eyes of everyone in the audience at our special and exclusive Worker’s Spatula screening of the director’s cut of the film.

Watching “Band Aid” was a unique glimpse into the personal experiences of the women who would go on to sing songs of the struggle within Yenigün Müzik Topluluğu. The role of women in all parts of struggle, the role of arts in morale and healing, the motivation to carry on against all odds in the memory of the lost children whose laughter will be our revenge, truly this is a film that can make even the most foreign leftist feel right at home in this story of Turkish militants. It is astonishing how Lister-Jones is able to tie in music and everyday struggle so masterfully, to the point where the escalation of violence in concert with progressively more melancholy music feels the only natural choice for the audience.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Truly nothing can match the feeling of revolutionary determination one feels together with Lister-Jones’s character in the final scene where she approaches George Zimmerman, to avenge Trayvon Martin’s death by detonating the bomb strapped to her own body. Right at the moment of the detonation, the screen goes black and the soundtrack is silent, and you can hear the people on each side of you breathing, before “Yasemin” starts playing.

Hardcore stuff.

Speaking of bodies and “hardcore”, though, it was a bit unfair that we didn’t get to see Adam Pally’s erect penis during the nude scenes. What gives, Zoe?

Humourless Marxist Reviews: Kedi

kedi

My name is Ceyda Torun, the director of the Turkish documentary film about cats, “Kedi”. Had I known that producing this film would result in my imprisonment, I very likely would not have made it. But what’s done is done, and now I have to live with the consequences.

I continue to encourage everyone to see my film, proceeds from which will go to my legal fund. In the meantime, I am writing this review of my own film in the hope that it may aid in my defence.

The claim which the AKP regime has made is that my cat documentary is “propaganda for a terrorist organisation”. While this claim might appear bizarre, this is actually quite difficult to refute in the Turkish context, as a clear precedent has been set that everything good and hopeful and joyful in Turkey is in fact “propaganda for a terrorist organisation”, and accordingly punishable by imprisonment.

Therefore, I have no recourse but to resort to post-structuralism.

Erdoğan would concede that terrorist propaganda does not become such through the act of writing, but through the act of reading. It is by the intervention of the reader (the reader in question of course being Erdoğan) that terrorist propaganda emerges as such. But what Erdoğan doesn’t realise is that this understanding of textuality is derived from the writings of famous Frenchman and non-Muslim Jacques Derrida.

The French, for their part, have long been aware of Erdoğan’s post-structuralism. The fact that Erdoğan is ignorant of his own post-structuralism might appear at first glance to be a major obstacle to using post-structuralism to free myself from prison. But this would be an ignorant structuralist error: In the false binary between scholars of French philosophy and non-scholars of French philosophy, we must privilege the non-scholars before we can arrive at the truth beyond this oppressive binary, the truth being something vaguely Fichtean.

I can understand why Erdoğan would see in my film many signifiers which indicate HDP-like values that are of course terroristic to articulate. The film contains women talking about their alienation in patriarchal society, workers being humanised and allowed to speak, and most horrifyingly of all, the implication that massive construction projects are not necessarily improving İstanbul.

I can certainly see why the authorities would view any film which depicts the social life and values of İstanbul society as being predicated upon concern for the well-being of others instead of the profit motive as dangerous communistic propaganda, an obvious recruitment ploy by the HDP and their various subversive affiliates.

If I were in Erdoğan’s shoes, I would certainly ban this film, arrest its director, and probably kill several dozen cats just for good measure.

But meanings shift, and signifiers are ultimately meaningless. While it is a well known fact that cats are a symbol of Devrimci Karargâh (who recently united with DKP), they are also a symbol of the famous dancer Adnan Oktar. The same signifier can signify multiple, contradictory things. And while clearly it is up to the viewer, and more specifically Erdoğan, to determine the meaning of my film in the context of the layers of meaning that led up to my film, it is also the case that if Erdoğan rewatches my film, he will be able to overcome the subversive elements which he thought were so essential on first viewing. In a new context, my film may be about something entirely different.

Consider the theological motif in the film. What could be more wholesome than ordinary İstanbullular discussing the piety of cats, a species known to have been beloved by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)? We even had a fisherman who used the word “kâfir”! Viewed in a particular context, my film could practically be an advertisement for the Türk-İslam sentezi for YouTube cat video-addicted gâvurlar!

While I understand the offence caused by having a film in which women wear dreadlocks or laugh in public must have been great for our president, I hope that he of all people understands that interpretation of my film, like anything else, is continuously deferred, and that perhaps now might be an appropriate time to focus on its more theological themes and let me out of jail?

Our president is the most committed to différance of any in the world. Praised for his piety and constantly to be heard referencing God, he does so with the full knowledge that even this supposed transcendental signifier is in a constant state of flux, and may be interpreted however the AKP needs it to be. I too am willing to opportunistically use religion for my own personal ends, in this case, being allowed out of the prison that I, like thousands of others in Turkey today, was so hastily thrown into.

In conclusion, I wish to assure readers, particularly the judge who holds my fate in their hands, that my film “Kedi” is not communist propaganda.

I mean, come on, nobody even speaks Kurdish in it.

Humourless Marxist Reviews: La La Land

lalaland

La La Land is a film about two bourgeois artists seeking apolitical success in the landscape of the post-2008 global financial crisis Los Angeles, and their oppressor nation heterosexual romance, and also there is some song and dance.

You would think Worker’s Spatula, a brutally honest Marxist-Leninist news source which starts every conversation about US politics with a statement about the centrality of national liberation movements against such parasitic class and national elements, would have no time for such flights of bourgeois fancy. You would think we wouldn’t like this film.

But you would be motherfucking wrong, comrade. Because Ryan Gosling is a Grade A dialectician, and has only acted in films which are in some sense designed to teach the masses about dialectics, ever since our people got the script for Half Nelson to his agent all those years ago.

Gosling, a real Hegelian, realer than that fraud Žižek for sure, only accepted this script because his character got to talk about jazz in a way that is but a transparent veneer for his real intended message, that things are always in motion, always changing, guided by internal processes which we characterise as “contradictions”. Gosling, a proper Marxist, only accepted the script because his character’s attack on the “samba-tapas” restaurant was clearly intended to explain the inevitability of the commodification of all things under capitalism.

Gosling, a philosopher king, would never act in a film, bourgeois or otherwise, that didn’t include such a magnificently dialectical conclusion as the final scene of La La Land, which we encourage you all to pirate and watch with your Hegel reading groups.

Apart from the unavoidable critique of its lack of overt themes of national liberation and class struggle in the largest city in Aztlán, and of course its lack of a groundbreaking approach to gender politics onscreen, our only substantial criticism of this film, extremely entertaining and dialectical for a Hollywood production, is that we did not even for one moment get to glimpse Ryan Gosling’s bumhole.

This particular factor was not only disappointing because the audience wants to see Ryan Gosling’s bumhole. It was disappointing because the audience needs to see Ryan Gosling’s bumhole. This unfulfilled longing haunts the viewer from the moment Gosling’s face is first shown onscreen until the credits are rolled.

Gosling’s bumhole could have been worked into the film any number of ways. It could’ve been snuck in during the credits, like the penis at the end of Fight Club, for which our team of reviewers waited anxiously after everyone else had left the cinema. It could’ve been worked in during Gosling’s predictable onscreen relationship with Emma Stone, with the latter prying it open with her fingers.

More daringly, perhaps Gosling’s bumhole could’ve been featured in an act of homosexual penetration. Or even more daringly, perhaps we could’ve simply been treated to a shot of Gosling defecating with a camera in the toilet, as his bumhole opened up to let out his excrement.

None of these options were apparently seriously considered by the studio, or if they were, they were foolishly prevented from finding their way into the final cut. More than the whitewashing of gender, national, or class relations in Los Angeles, this choice speaks to the disgusting lack of bravery on the part of director Damien Chazelle. Shame on you, Damien Chazelle. Shame on you.

Perhaps even this glaring oversight could be ignored if there had been a shot of Gosling’s urethra, or perhaps simply some close-up shots of his skin pores opening and closing, but alas, even this is too much to ask from the bourgeois hacks who waste Gosling’s amazing talents in the hollow pursuit of profits.

I hate Damien Chazelle and everything he stands for. I hope he gets hit by a bus. No matter how much I and the rest of the team enjoyed La La Land, nothing can fill in the hole left by the absence of Gosling’s hole in that film. Even a written apology clearly stained with Chazelle’s tears and with several photographs or even video footage of Gosling’s anus attached cannot make up for this slight, nay, this affront against art.

Go fuck yourself, Damien Chazelle.

Good film otherwise though.

Humourless Marxist Reviews: Bee Movie

bee

The astute reader might note that Bee Movie, a Dreamworks film in which bourgeois stooge Jerry Seinfeld (no relation) stars as a talking bee, was released a decade ago and that, typically, film criticism focuses on films released more recently than a decade ago. This reader would be correct in these suppositions, but wrong in their implicit conclusion, namely, that we should refrain from reviewing this film simply because it was released a decade ago.

In case you have not noticed, o astute reader, Bee Movie has become something of a “meme” as of late, meaning that this film has garnered a great deal of attention among the masses. As Marxist-Leninists, then, it is our duty to address this film and to interpret it in appropriately rigorous fashion.

What’s that, o astute reader? You have further objections? You note that Bee Movie has already received sufficient academic attention from bourgeois scholars such as the late Jack Halberstam? That in his book, the Queer Art of Failure, Halberstam interprets Bee Movie as a transgressive children’s film, but under a toothless postmodern rubric? All the more reason for us to intervene with the correct analysis! Halberstam’s analysis of Bee Movie may be prominent, but we would be remiss to abandon the working class to it, with all its glaring insufficiencies. Halberstam even identifies Bee Movie, quite incorrectly, as a Pixar film! This should not surprise us; were Halberstam able to attend to concrete matters in their specificity, he would not be a postmodernist.

In any event, Bee Movie is invaluable as a tool for understanding the inevitable failure of “progressive” liberal responses to exploitation. The film’s main character, Barry Benson, discovers with horror that millions of bees worldwide are crowded into bee farms, worked to exhaustion, only to have their honey expropriated at the end of the dreadful process. This is a clear analogy to the expropriation of surplus-value from productive labourers by the bourgeoisie. So clear, in fact, that I found it a bit on-the-nose. Such clumsy analogising would not feel out of place in the Trotskyite, imperialist spy and propagandist George Orwell’s book about pigs being more equal than sheep or whatever.

(I don’t recall the title – I’ve never read it.)

What happens next is of far more interest. For what does Benson do when he becomes conscious of his fellow bee-letarians’ exploitation? Does he form a party and organise for a bee revolution? No, dear reader, he does not. He instead brings a lawsuit against the beekeepers in a doomed attempt to resolve the contradiction through recourse to bourgeois “justice”.

After eking out a legal victory, Benson returns honey to the bees, but we can easily infer that much of the honey is promptly appropriated by a small caste of bourgeois bees (or bee-geoisie), among whose ranks Benson may count himself. This leads to maldistribution of resources and mass unemployment, which in turn spurs a massive environmental crisis. Sound familiar?

The lesson of Bee Movie, properly interpreted, is thus a Leninist one: the corridors of the bourgeois state offer no route to true emancipation: “The working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes.” For this reason, we may understand Bee Movie as a progressive bourgeois film, one which may be repurposed as revolutionary propaganda in Marxist reading groups across the globe.

Patrick Warburton is also pretty funny in it.

Humourless Marxist Reviews: Arrival

ARRIVAL

2016’s Arrival, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker, tells the story of first contact with an alien species, and the philosophical and linguistic implications thereof.

It also fucking sucks, and I hated it.

Yes, Arrival is a terrible goddamn film. It was fucking boring and stupid. I strongly disliked it. And if you liked it, you’re bourgeois.

You might quote all the critics who loved the film, as well as your wide circle of friends, saying that the film was beautifully produced, splendidly acted, intellectually deep, etc. And to all of that, I would say: Those critics are bourgeois, your friends are bourgeois, the production team and the actors are incredibly bourgeois.

In addition to being bourgeois yourself, you are almost certainly some sort of revisionist.

“Oh, look at me, I’m Amy Adams! Can we communicate with these aliens before the Chinese blow them up?”* I don’t fucking care, Amy Adams! All I care about is organising the industrial proletariat for strikes, marches, and other forms of direct action against the growing fascist tide sweeping across the globe!

“Oh, I’m Forest Whitaker, I’m in the military! Let’s hire a linguist to translate these aliens’ jibber-jabber before the Chinese ruin everything!”* STOP BLAMING THE CHINESE FOR EVERYTHING, FOREST WHITAKER! YOU’VE BEEN AN IMPERIALIST STOOGE SINCE THE CRYING GAME!

You know how I perceive time, you bourgeois hacks? I perceive it in terms of the hours of my life robbed from me in the form of wage labour. And when I’m sitting through your boring film, I perceive it in terms of how much I had to pay for a ticket to this steaming pile of bourgeois crap, money that represents those same hours I put in as a wage labourer!

The sort of people who like Arrival probably like bourgeois nonsense like M. Night Shyamalan. Proletarians can’t afford films anymore, and that’s why all films these days are bourgeois and terrible.

When the revolution comes, the Proletarian Film Awards will not pay attention to awful films like Arrival.

*Actual dialogue taken from the film.

Humourless Marxist Reviews: Sausage Party

Dialectics

“Sausage Party” is the latest film from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, names most Marxists will recognise for their role in the extremely controversial film “The Interview”, controversial of course because of its retrograde gender politics.

Unfortunately for those hopeful that our thousands of e-mails have enlightened Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg about the ways in which their art reinforces a toxic masculinity and overt chauvinism towards women and sexual minorities, “Sausage Party” is similarly crass and heterosexist. I personally wish I could un-watch it, especially now that I know I have to file a lawsuit for theft of intellectual property.

You see, I sent in a suspiciously similar script entitled “Grocery Store Alienation Nightmare” to Jonah Hill, who owed us a favour after his usual guy got locked up and we hooked him up with some primo FARC blow. Jonah Hill is a massive cocaine addict, is what I’m saying.

Now I always thought Hill’s assessment of my script as “terrible” and “bullshit” and “go kill yourself” was a bit harsh. But even after “Sausage Party” trailers came out, I didn’t suspect the rejection was just cover for stealing my work to profit off of. I understand that not everyone is cut out to write for Hollywood. It’s a tough town. Especially if you’re looking to securely purchase high-quality cocaine with some regularity, Jonah.

But now that I’ve seen the film, it’s obvious: “Sausage Party” is my film, changed from a chilling surrealist fantasy about alienation in contemporary society told through the medium of anthropomorphic foodstuffs and faceless grocery store staff, to a vulgar comedy about sex and religion.

I should be clear: The sex and religion components also stand as evidence for the clear plagiarism at work here. “Grocery Store Alienation Nightmare” also contains hot dogs as stand-ins for for penises and hot dog buns as stand-ins for vaginas. But it is a tasteful hot dog/bun-penis/vagina metaphor set to a soundtrack of melodic death metal. Allow me to quote, to show how the idea of the bun as a mere vessel for the dominance of the hot dog is used as a metaphor to show how differing attitudes towards homosexual men and women are linked to the inherent patriarchal understanding even of these two oppressed groups:

It is no coincidence that while eating hot dogs without a bun is seen as offensive, just as male homosexuality is, it is nonetheless viewed as an act “for itself”. Just as the homosexual man is viewed as pursuing his own (perverse) desires by conservative society, so too is the eater of the bunless hot dog held to be fulfilling their own need to eat (though they may be pitied or mocked for doing so in a “wrong” fashion). However, it is unthinkable to consume a hot dog bun alone. The bun is viewed as “incomplete” without a “filling”, just as lesbians are often accused of not engaging in “legitimate” sex due to the assumed absence of a phallus.

As for religion, there was an extensive section about lavash, but there was no “bagel/lavash” conflict. Instead there was simply a forty page speech about the history of Zionist colonialism which was to be read aloud as the camera hovered motionless over some “Israeli lavash”. The bagel came up in another section in which the reconceptualisation of religion’s role in industrial modernity was investigated. There was a long speech about ISIS which I notice Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill left out. Wouldn’t want anyone to know the truth, would we?

Even though Rogen, Goldberg, and Hill (who supposedly helped with “the story”, more like cut out the genius concepts which stood at the core of my uncredited original script, you powder-nosed hack!) maintained the concept of a religion surrounding food purchase, they made it so that the food believed some sort of salvation lay in their own purchase. It was precisely the opposite in “Grocery Store Alienation Nightmare”, the productive forces who make the food believe that if they work harder, they will one day be paid enough to be free of the crushing alienation. They pray to the God of Profit to smile on them, but the God of Profit serves only the capitalist class, who neither make nor eat the food! Then, when the food is bought, it goes home to a family who stare at the low-quality food which is all they can afford and the daughter screams: “I’m sick of eating this crap!”

Then the bag of potato chips rises out of the grocery bag and opens its mouth to speak:

The maker does not enjoy making me, and the consumer does not enjoy consuming me. My entire life seems pointless, save for this fact: Were I not made, the maker would not be paid their wages, and would starve. Were I not consumed, the consumer would starve. I reproduce a life of servitude, just like the wages earned from my making and spent on my consumption. But one cannot escape what I represent through my non-purchase. I am the totality. I am capitalism. Only by overturning me may true freedom be attained.

In conclusion, my film “Grocery Store Alienation Nightmare” was clearly plagiarised, and worse yet for the cinema-going public, it wasn’t even plagiarised well.

I’ll see you in court, you fucks.

Humourless Marxist Reviews: Pokémon Go

Pokeymans

Pokémon, the popular Japanese game about monsters fighting each other is now coming to the iPhone, which is just a collection of words that make me, as one of the geriatric members of the central committee of the CPUSA, extremely uncomfortable. “Popular”? “Japanese”? “Fighting”? “iPhone”? Count me out!

Back in my day, when we wanted entertainment, we went outside and played in the sun, like real proletarians, but now all kids want to do is sit inside and play videogames. As long as things like Pokémon Go are around, our young people will never have the energy for the sort of revolutionary work demanded by the CPUSA!

The only Japanese thing that young people should be getting into is our sister party in Japan, the Japanese Communist Party. They’ve run lots of successful electoral campaigns and maintain a firm line against the TPP. That’s what young people should be excited about. That’s what’s really kawaii.

But no, young people want to spend their hard-earned money on the goddamned Pokémon. Don’t they realise they’re just making giant multinational corporations rich? Don’t they see they’re wasting their precious lives when they could be joining in with me and making revolution? Well, this is what happens when the social programmes get slashed, I guess.

The other day I heard my granddaughter talking about her Charmimello and its “evolutions”. What about “revolutions”, huh, Julie? Huh?

Remember when you used to hang out with Grandpa, and we’d go fishing together, and I explained to you about dialectical materialism? How come Grandpa’s not a priority now that you’ve got your fucking Japanese toys?

Young people need to put down the Pokémon Go and start thinking seriously about the future of our world. Corporations like the ones that make your precious Pokémon are destroying the world for their profits, and then where are you gonna live?

It’s the world we must defend.

Humourless Marxist Reviews: Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters

As is known, the internet is presently involved in a heated debate about whether the new film “Ghostbusters” is feminist or sexist (depending on whether or not it passes the test of whether feminism or sexism is present, the Bechdel test).

While this is an extremely important question, we at Worker’s Spatula would like to assure the reader that, whether sexist or feminist, the new film is still very appropriate for children, as it is a film about the inherently destructive nature of capitalism and the necessity for armed struggle in the fight against it.

The film stars Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, and Ernie Hudson as owners of a small business called “the Ghostbusters Company, Ltd.” in New York, the capital of New Yorkshire. There, they manage to eke out a livelihood busting ghosts until they are arrested over some minor registration infraction that large ghost-busting companies such as the multi-national “Stirner’s Spooks” frequently violate, notably without their CEOs being arrested. This is further proof, if any was needed, that the state is in fact a tool of the big bourgeoisie and not an actor outside of capitalism.

Libertarians would have us believe the state operates outside of and in fact in opposition to capitalism. But this lie does not end with this irrelevant pseudo-intellectual trend. It is implicitly accepted by the much more numerous social democrats, who do not relegate themselves merely to operating within legal reformist means of agitation as a tactical step along the way to the long term strategic goal of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but abandon this goal entirely, preaching that bourgeois democracy will allow the proletariat to seize control of the state through bourgeois elections and use it against monopoly capital! What folly is this?

Parliamentary struggle is a key avenue of agitation, much as union politics is, but one must ceaselessly prepare for all manner of struggle, and ceaselessly outmanoeuvre the enemy in all fields. This is the path to victory, comrades!

The corrupt police in “Ghostbusters” are paid off by “Stirner’s Spooks” to blow up the Busters’ ghost-containment system, resulting not only in the ruination of all of their hard work, but providing an opportunity for the greedy capitalists who control “Stirner’s Spooks” to deal another blow to the small business-owners, who are utterly doomed as capitalism trends towards monopoly as a rule, by having the corporate media run story after story about how the Busters and other “mom and pop” ghost-busting services cannot afford to properly contain the ghosts which they bust, leading to disastrous releases of ghosts previously caught. During the commercial break, “Stirner’s Spooks” is advertised, and the already powerful company scoops up all the ghost-busting jobs while our Busters are still in prison.

Upon the Busters’ release, only Harold Ramis is able to get a job for “Stirner’s Spooks”, while the others must all move in together, pooling their resources and working minimum wage jobs to survive. But Ramis’s lot is little better: Finding the wages insufficient to pay his rent, he convinces his fellow wage slaves to form a union and call a strike. While it seems at first his strike will be successful, ghost-busting scabs, including his old fellows from the Busters, weaken their bargaining position. Disheartened, he commits suicide in a heartbreaking scene in which he busts his own head.

Also they shoot a corporate mascot, which is like, a metaphor for armed struggle against capitalism or something.

Busting makes me feel good.

Humourless Marxist Reviews: Radiohead (A Moon Shaped Pool)

MoonShapedPool

Radiohead, for those of you who were too busy reading about dialectics to keep up on the latest in pop culture, are a pop group from England, better known as the shit country next to Wales.

As England has a reputation for an inferior music scene to the one in Wales, it may surprise readers to see Worker’s Spatula, ICOR’s favourite news source, wasting its time analysing the work of some trendy English boy group instead of writing a piece on Super Furry Animals and the national question. This is even more curious given that Thom Yorke is not even very cute as compared to, say, Damon Albarn, the other famous alienated English boy band frontman.

The reason of course, is that Radiohead are all Posadists.

As the only Posadists to capture international attention, it’s worth analysing Radiohead’s lyrics to try to gain a deeper understanding about what role Posadism can play in the communist movement today. Radiohead does not disappoint, with Thom Yorke crooning over textured guitars and droning computer noises the expected Posadist response to the current international situation:

I’m really quite glad North Korea has the bomb
I believe and hope that they intend to use it
Bomb us to full communism
Ah ah ah ah ah

It’s good to know that Posadists uphold the correct line on North Korea in the absence of the Soviet Union, even if they do it in that weird bellicose way that Trotskyists and Maoists are known to talk. Other lyrics reveal other classic Posadist fixations:

I am a sad man under capitalism
But the spacemen and the dolphins
Are gonna take the bad feeling away
Oh yeah

On another song, “I Wanna Be An Amoeba”, Yorke shrieks over jangling guitars:

No more, no more, no more, no more
No more miserable, abominable sexual excitement
I wanna be an amoeba
And never be excited again

Sure Thom, I mean, me too. We all feel that way sometimes. But I don’t imagine we’ll be able to abandon sexuality until a quite advanced stage of socialism, as much as we might wish it.

The obvious shortcoming to the album, like all of Radiohead’s oeuvre, is that in spite of doing quite an admirable job of expressing the ubiquitous alienation under capitalism, it fails to contain any explicit calls to organise the proletarian masses. On the other hand, there’s some cool drumming.

Best song: “Anyone Can Play Guitar”

Worst songs: “Creep”, “Piano Man” by Billy Joel