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Recently Overheard in the Kitchen - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Recently Overheard in the Kitchen
A minute ago, as he was readying another turkey sandwich and pondering, in response to a discussion of The Queen, the idea of a film devoted to the still-living Vice President's hunting trips, Charlie made the following statement: "I'm so glad the Russians are poisoning people. It makes the world more exciting."

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From: hipsandquips Date: December 1st, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
my friend and i went out for delicious mexican food this evening and had basically this same discussion, about russians rather.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 1st, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
It's so pre-9/11. Maybe we should call it "comfort terror."
From: ex_benlinus Date: December 1st, 2006 11:20 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I agree. It's retro. Reminds me of Rocky IV.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 1st, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I like blond villains!
From: bobo_amargo Date: December 2nd, 2006 02:01 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Anglais Mort à Florence

I love the idea of "comfort terror." I knew something permanently important went out of the world when the Berlin Wall came down (see the Bertsch post on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). I remember seeing the jackass Koppel browbeating an American Marxist: "Aren't the droves of East Germans pouring across the line to look at fancy watches and radios knockdown evidence that Marx was wrong?" Yup, in the same way that your kids' desire to watch reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies is knockdown evidence that TV is more important than the Latin homework they could be doing.

The colors have lessened and grown small.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 2nd, 2006 04:46 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Anglais Mort à Florence

That's the line Frederic Jameson always took, even though it cost him a lot of approval among what my friend Julian Boyd used to call the "cocktail Marxists." Jameson argued that the existence of the Eastern Bloc mattered even though the Communist governments obviously didn't come close to realizing their ideals. He has some neat things to say about Eastern Bloc science fiction. Indeed, some of my favorite Jameson pieces are on that topic. His recent collection contains almost all of his work on that subject, BTW.

Oh, and "comfort terror" is a coining I'm pretty happy with, I must confess!
From: bobo_amargo Date: December 4th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)


I do feel, however, that one needs to get up pretty early in the postmodern new dawn to enjoy fully the comfort-terror concept . . . I mean, without a good deal of ambivalence (accounted for by you, of course, by your referring to yourself, somewhat in a state of shock, in the third person). And that probably goes for the related claim as to the mattering of the Eastern Bloc.

I have recurring feelings of guilt and a sense that I’m resisting the force of the facts when, for instance, I refuse to relinquish my commitment to the Cuban Revolution. (Pour faire une omelette, il faut casser des oeufs?) An account of this phenomenon—the emptiness one feels when the distant realization of one’s socio-political commitments wanes—that has stuck with me, on and off, for twenty years is Doris Lessing’s in The Golden Notebook. Post-Stalin English socialism, the god that failed, etc.

But, then, since all of our comforts are heavily informed by narcissistic attachments, it’s more or less analytic that the pleasure we take in the idea of comfort terror—different from but related to the pleasure we take or used to take in that kind of “terror” itself—is pathologically narcissistic. Join the club of our other pleasures, I guess.
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