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  • Writer's pictureSarah Low

THE LIVING DEAD (1995)

A three-part review of a three-part documentary by Adam Curtis. All three parts are available for free on the streaming site of your preference.


PART 1: THE DESPERATE EDGE OF NOW

“What was missing at Nuremberg was, the indictment of the ideology of the thousand-year reich.” - Richard Sonnenfeldt (courtroom interpreter for Goering, Jewish)

The deemphasizing of the human cost of WWII on the western front and the vain glory of victory. We know we won the war, we know how we won it, but feeling superior is a grave error in morality, and it is not the whole truth. Engaging with the roots of this horror is a deeply unappealing exercise which many do not have the stomach for. Sure with they did, though! “That would be dope AF” as the youths say. Empathy RULZ!

Check out cue-ball, here. At the time of this writing, he's hardcore fash. In the late 60s as a prominent member of the Red Army Faction, he believed that there is the capacity for violence against our fellow man in all of us. Unfortunately he went in the wrong direction with this belief and further deduced that we are all fascists at heart and should therefore stay faithful to that innate nature (i.e. you should lean into being an asshole).


In conclusion, human nature is a land of contrasts.



PART 2: YOU HAVE USED ME AS A FISH LONG ENOUGH


(somewhere in Montréal during the Korean War)

"Nationalism sucks! I want to totally erase the possibility of anything bad happening ever again."

"That's a noble idea, Dr. Cameron! How are you gonna do it?"

"By manually removing the memory itself!"

"..."

"First we take some housewives and, I don't know, pay them with coupons or something. Then we poke around until they don't want to do nationalism anymore."

"..."

"Then we replace the memory with an implant by flashing lights in her face and playing I AM POPULAR I AM WELL LIKED over and over again."


Boy oh boy I'm sure a glutton for footage of a guy who sounds like Piglet defending ECT. Thank you, Adam Curtis! What's that I hear in the distance? Is it...? Could it be...? The approaching THATCH...! It makes sense she's dropping by. America's having a pretty cool time in comparison to her declining empire. Heck, we've outsourced the icky, blow-y up-y parts of war to some robots (oh and like 30K dudes from your hometown, don't worry about them). Say, I do hope things are going well across the pond...


PART 3: THE ATTIC


"Socialists piss me off!" - Eric Cartman/Margaret Thatcher

Three quotations attributed to Margaret Thatcher. Can YOU figure out what the hell she's talking about?

The Torys are fucking sick assholes who love carrying pictures of the Queen everywhere and are essentially sexual deviants who are into dom moms. This nationwide psychosis led to the appointment of Margaret Thatcher to Parliament in 1975, followed by her rise to PM in 1990. This election, coupled with the compounding effects of two world wars on Europe as a whole, marked the start of a really shitty time in the UK.


SSR Maggie Thatcher, Event Limited Banner

Nostalgia is the most powerful poison I can think of. You pine and you yearn about what could have been, then you conflate that with what actually was, and time passes and events get blurry. Winston Churchill? That guy whose propaganda I devoured as a kid? We stan!!


She'd "disturbed a very unquiet ghost," a Sinn Fein member says of Thatcher.

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