Notes On Pop-Cultural Situation, When Social Reality Is “All That Exists”

Indeed, how could recent Hollywood cinema not be socio-morphically oriented – dedicated to showing exclusively social situations (without philosophical, moral, mystical and intellectual complications), as soon as money in cinema-business can come only from the horizontal others – from viewers of the movies and their producers who are in need to multiply their money invested in movies as merchandize?

The basic reason for socio-morphic acting in Hollywood movies (even “great” directors like Lumet, Huston or Kazan couldn’t avoid encouraging over-acting – over-certainty and over-expressiveness on the part of the stars, even in their exceptional films like “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”, “The Night of Iguana” and “Streetcar Named Desire” correspondingly, when everything what’s happening inside the souls of the characters is supposed to be exclamatory – over-emphasized through swelled interaction between them and swollen emotional code), is the proudly proclaimed commercial nature of the movie-medium in socio-economic action which demands populist “intensification”.

The problem with movie stars’ socio-morphic acting is the result of observing of primate of social relations in Hollywood movies by viewers. Especially drastic results in the influence of the Hollywood socio-morphism on the public can be noticed in the younger generations which learns from a pop-culture that the social world is not one among the others layer of reality but the only and ultimate reality, that all life is decided here – in between you and the other people, that human life can only be realized in and through social relations as such. Instead of listening to the depth of their own souls, the younger people plan their future professions by learning what professions are well paid today. They learn from the immediacy of experience with others, empirically – they don’t read and don’t dream disinterestedly. They emotionally copy others like monkeys other monkeys. They don’t listen the great silence, they don’t have contact with great uncertainty. Their minds don’t know freedom from their impulsive reactions. Their intuition doesn’t know nothingness. They never meet people who could show them the appearance of being from non-being and non-being from freedom.

The baby starts to notice the world from its mother-the world, and only later it learns that the mother is not the only inhabitant of reality, that many other people are there, outside the baby-mother dyad. They noticed and frightened by the fact that mother-the world sometimes can disappear. But even much more important than the discovery of other adults and other children is the discovery of many aspects of reality which let the child feel free, that it is up to him/her to breach the reality, to step into it, that reality is not a socio-morphic despotism that projects itself into the human being and occupy it like an irresistible demonic intruder. It is here the psychological harm of Hollywood’s representation of reality as belonging to human interests, as being at the disposal of humans, is the strongest. The young unconsciously learn from the very form of Hollywood movies that reality as such is just the periphery of the human perception (without getting that this “periphery” addresses them as its own periphery), that it, on the one side, is just seeking human attention but on the other, as if, intervenes into it with the mountains of visual and emotional pleasures. In other words, socio-morphic reality pretends to be the space for human action while in reality it has already transformed human being into the space for its own action. Transformation of a passive socio-morphic reality into active emotional manipulator is at the very heart of Hollywood representation of reality. Hollywood keeps viewers in illusion that it is them who are active (through identification with movie-stars) while in reality viewers are just like insects inhabiting the chairs of the movie-theater or sofas of their living rooms penetrated by TV screens.

Recent Hollywood movies show reality as it is seen by the global conquerors.
Expressing/promoting (unintentionally but not disinterestedly) an irrationally-utilitarian ideology of emotional intervention into the world by human acting-out on the wings of super-stars, the film-makers teach viewers the calculative/manipulative logic (how to conquer/appropriate the intra-filmic world and then reality-world), and here is an amazing similarity between Hollywood and the Soviet propaganda driven movies. In USSR the world existed for one purpose only – to be converted to the Communist religion, and people had to learn from movies and movie-stars capable to achieve this conversion, like American viewers learn from the movie-stars how to project themselves into objective reality and how to emotionally and intellectually, by the very projection of their existential posture, convert the reality-world into, to quote Bush Jr.’s famous patter, “fre-om/d-mocracy”.

But can we draw a straight line between a certain aspect of Hollywood style (the alleged socio-morphism of pop-aesthetic representation) and concrete political leader? While Hollywood in a certain circumstances, for example during war, made propaganda movies, its habitual style is, basically, yes, commercial and entertainment oriented, and far from being comparable with Soviet cine-propaganda.

Isn’t appropriation of the world – by Soviet ideology and, on the other hand, by the practical ideology of appropriating the world – psychologically a similar approach, self-projecting, acting-out, consumerist, conquering? If child is not learning – contemplation, reverie, sharing the world with the world and instead, and only taught how to occupy it with self-projections and consumerist intentions, he/she will grow into a global conqueror, greed itself-in-action. Hollywood commercial style nurtures in viewers consumerist and intervention-oriented approach to reality of the visual and material world and does it as innocently as animation cartoon. It teaches how in their perception to intrude into the screen-world as they will intrude into the big world with the same arrogance (in relation to reality) and the same passivity (in relation to the technology which arms their confidence, be it cine-camera or high-tech weapon systems).