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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. Aylwin
    December 2, 2017 @ 10:24 pm

    In case anyone is craving further exploraion of the role of incest in Back to the Future, I offer the observation that the deeply weird phenomenon of Genetic Sexual Attraction means that his mother quite possibly would in some subconscious way perceive that they were closely related, but this would not negate her attraction to him – quite the reverse.

    On explaining themes, besides making sure writers get their point across and advertising their cleverness, it also flatters the audience by assuring them that there is something intelligent here and that they have correctly understood it. This is particularly important when pitching for awards. The thing I always think of here is The Wrestler, whose operation on a variety of symbolic levels and exhaustive rigour in unambiguously spelling them all out made it the most meticulously precision-tooled piece of Oscar-bait I have ever seen.

    While its prevalence obviously varies, and it has clearly having a bit of a moment just lately, I’m not sure about it being such a novelty. Nineteenth-century Russian novels seem to have been a bit prone to it, for starters. Like that bit near the end of The Brothers Karamazov when the prosecutor explicitly spells out what aspect of Russian society each of the three brothers symbolises (though admittedly leaving a Smerdyakov-shaped hole for the reader to fill in themselves). And let’s not even get started on fucking War and Peace.


    • Aylwin
      December 2, 2017 @ 11:27 pm

      clearly been having


    • Matt Moore
      December 3, 2017 @ 2:34 am

      Genetic Sexual Attraction – Yes!!! Had the exact same thought. The film gets it backwards.


      • Jesse M.
        December 3, 2017 @ 9:10 am

        Why do you say the film gets it backwards? Doesn’t genetic sexual attraction happen when two close relatives didn’t grow up together and meet for the first time as adults (or teenagers), which would be the case for Lorraine in 1955, but not for Marty?


        • Matt Moore
          December 3, 2017 @ 11:59 am

          Lorraine’s initial hots are right (well, wrong, but…). It’s the “like kissing my brother” line that doesn’t match up with the genetic attraction thing.


    • Devin
      December 3, 2017 @ 8:17 am

      Also Greek epic poetry: remember to start with “Sing, O Muse, of $THEME.”


  2. Aylwin
    December 2, 2017 @ 10:26 pm

    Also, did Jack just confess to being a fan of The Swarm?


    • Matt Moore
      December 3, 2017 @ 2:32 am

      I seem to recall making the same initial mistake about The Sting (I was about 10). I did wonder if Robert Shaw would be fighting bees instead of sharks like he had in Jaws. But I did actually like the film when I saw it.

      As for The Swarm (“they’re on a completely different sonic level”), I remember it being one of several Bee movies (sigh) made in the 70s that would pop up on TV. It was terrible as I recall (not seen it for over 30 years) despite the charm of Michael Caine.


  3. Anthony D Herrera
    December 3, 2017 @ 5:54 am

    Just reached the point where they admit to not really enjoying the movie which is a good enough time to restate my belief that Steven Moffat Who is basically Back To The Future and Russell T. Davies Who is Peggy Sue Got Married. Though I’m sure they also hate Peggy Sue Got Married.


  4. 5tephe
    December 18, 2017 @ 3:34 am

    O.K, I want to know what other films you will be covering in this WWA off-shoot.

    And want to know if you will let me be in on your recording of the Die Hard episode.


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