17 October 2010

Yo, Ozymandias!...

"Rome's got ruins. Athens's got ruins. Ours are bigger."

"Not since the last days of the Maya..."

"...Together they set off on the highway of the future, ...and drove it to the end of the line."

Ugch. Perhaps someone should've stuck to making music videos.If the opening montage sequence isn't enough to tip you off, this BBC doco by Julien Temple from earlier this year bears a distinct whiff of ham-handedness about it -- sensationalist, somewhat exploitative, playing to a diffuse and contradictory mesh of received myths and prejudices. For some reason, the old comedic line about the guy who "managed to grab hold of the wrong end of the stick and then used it to beat around the bush" comes naggingly to mind. As do some of Stephen Marche's recent comments on Oliver Stone, especially his barb about "intellectual laziness leavened...with casual irresponsibility."

Perhaps the most damning rejoinder from one Youtube viewer is: "Too much Eninem." But more to the point are those that point out that the thing is wildly one-sided and unnuanced, and suffers a deficit of academic input. Part of the problem might be that Temple is a bit late jumping on the bandwagon of a particular pop-culture trend/meme.

More thoughts on this later.

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