Some sort of samizdat wind effect

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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. David Faggiani
    May 26, 2016 @ 11:54 am

    Terrific (series) of reviews. Would love this as a monthly feature!

    Maybe you should have gone to see something nice and ideologically ‘neutral’

    Like “The Jungle Book”.

    You know… for kids.



    • Jack Graham
      May 26, 2016 @ 12:02 pm


      And so on.


  2. Nimue
    May 26, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

    “Somewhat to Jack’s surprise, X-Men: Apocalypse turns out to be about the history of the twentieth century being judged by a returned Old Testament God – or at least by a personification of a garbled version of what we might think such a being would think of us.”

    For a very brief moment, that was the most interested I’ve been in an X-Men film since I stopped watching things just for being nerdy.


  3. Aylwin
    May 26, 2016 @ 2:51 pm

    Taking advantage of the link as an excuse to comment on the Oi! Spaceman Red Dwarf podcast, and being stereotypically British enough to be unable to pass up an opportunity to quibble about the finer gradations of the class system…

    I think the idea of Rimmer as upwardly-mobile lower-middle-class is probably what works best for how he appears in series 1 and maybe 2, but it’s not how he is developed at least from series 3 onwards, where his background is shown more and seems considerably posher. In that later light he does come from the bottom end of something, but it’s the bottom end of the upper middle class. For one thing, we see in Timeslides that he went to boarding school – his later line about how Ace “probably got to go to some really great school, while I was lumbered with Io House” is the lament of the minor-public-schoolboy who is still convinced that he’s disadvantaged and downtrodden because there are still further layers of unfathomable privilege above.

    And that makes Rimmer’s position in relation to class something very different – he’s downwardly mobile, the middle-class failure who wound up in a working-class occupation, frantically trying to scramble back to the white-collar world where he belongs. (There’s a bit in the book that fits in here about how, after repeatedly failing the entrance exam for officer training, he decided to enlist in the ranks and work his way up.)

    I think that adds a lot of texture and poignancy to the desperation of his ambition and his refusal to accept its futility, and to his self-loathing and intense sense of being a disappointment. It also suggests another reason for his isolation, pre-accident. It’s mostly his personality of course, but also, while his place in the hierarchy distances him from the officer class he sees as his proper peers, he comes from a very different background from his actual colleagues. And any attempt to fit in with them would imply an acknowledgement that this situation is not a brief aberration before his real life resumes, but is where he’s going to be for the rest of his life.

    All that intensifies the sense that his threadbare efforts to keep living in a lost world after the accident are a continuation of how he lived before it.


    • Jack Graham
      May 26, 2016 @ 4:27 pm

      His fannish interest in militarists and dictators is also interesting if one sees him as part of the downwardly mobile lower middle class.


  4. Wood
    May 26, 2016 @ 3:56 pm

    On Moses and Akhenaten/Akhnaten: in short, no, the dates don’t match up and Akhenaten’s religious revolution comes from a context where Judaism doesn’t, and it’s actually a pretty racist theory in its own right, because it’s about conflating things because they look weird to a 20th century European in similar ways.


    • Jack Graham
      May 26, 2016 @ 4:25 pm

      Fine. Even so, it’s a connection in the ideas.


      • Wood
        May 26, 2016 @ 4:44 pm

        Oh yeah, totally.


    • Wood
      May 26, 2016 @ 4:31 pm

      Oh, and I really should have said, the entire theory depends on arbitrarily taking some parts of the Genesis/Exodus narrative absolutely literally and being super-flexible with others. So it’s suspect from a lit crit perspective too.


  5. Joel G
    May 26, 2016 @ 5:10 pm

    I’d be rather interested to see what mutant Zionism would be like.


    • Daibhid C
      May 26, 2016 @ 5:45 pm

      The island of Genosha, originally introduced in 80s comics as Mutant Apartheid South Africa, later became Mutant Israel when Magneto took over. I’m not sure if any comics really explored what that meant before Grant Morrison decided to drop a Sentinel on it, though.


    • Froborr
      May 26, 2016 @ 5:52 pm



  6. Lambda
    May 26, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

    So of current relevance in the world of big movies, we have something like (some numbers probably wrong) Independence Day 2, Ghostbusters 3, Star Trek 13-ish, Warcraft maybe-1-but-it’s-a popular-series-of-games, Turtles 2, and X-Men I-have-no-idea-but-even-I-know-it’s-not-the-first. Has the unwillingness to invent something new for a big film ever been so high?

    (Mostly here merely because this is the only place where I learn about the existence of things like a Warcraft film or a second Turtles film. (I saw an X-Men billboard!) But it probably gets in the way of things like female casts, because “Ghostbusters stars women” probably annoys the people opposed more than “new thing I have no memories of stars women”. Reviving old stories encourages repeating old patterns.)


    • Daibhid C
      May 26, 2016 @ 10:07 pm

      It’s actually Turtles 5. Or 6 if you count the animated film.


  7. Dylan
    May 27, 2016 @ 9:43 am

    The last movie I saw at the flicks was “Eye in The Sky” with an elderly relative. My eyes ached by the end of it from the continuous rolling they were doing.

    It was even worse, when I managed to see “Sicario” later that week (it’s far from perfect, but it’s far less queasy and fumbling when examining the effects of Western imperialism).


  8. Tim B.
    May 27, 2016 @ 11:18 pm

    “Can I just take a moment to say… no. Do not set part of a superhero film in Auschwitz. Do not have supervillains stomping around inside the grounds of the worst death camp in the Nazi industrialised genocide system, wearing skin-tight purple PVC thighboots (as one of them does). Don’t do that.”
    It’s times like this that make you glad of the alleged frosty relationship between Marvel & Fox over licencing for the Fox movies to be thankful there isn’t a Lego concentration camp confrontation play-set. Although there is an Age Of Apocalypse character called Holocaust, that was changed to the less specifically offensive Genocide in the mainstream Marvel Universe.


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