Thursday, December 30, 2021


The enjoyment of whodunnits lies in the fact that they provide an answer. It’s Midsummer Night's Dream where catharsis derives from order, what Elizabethans called "the great chain of being," restored. However that's art. Life is often neither dependable, nor remediable, particularly in this era of political and environmental instability. The photos of Mayfield, Kentucky, flattened by tornadoes, and the bombing of Dresden have something in common. Steven Soderbergh's Contagion (2011) and Stephen King's The Stand (1978) both deal with viral outbreaks but no documentary about the pandemic can give the kind of pleasure and comfort that derives from the resolution these works provide. Agency gives puny man the illusion of control. Real life thrillers with their horrifying conclusions, revealing only cosmic indifference, as they do, offer nothing in the way of solace.

Read "Mandemic" by Francis Levy, TheScreamingPope

and listen to "Fantasy" by Earth, Wind & Fire

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