There Are No Scholars Or People Who Read Scholarly Books, Discuss Them And Apply Humanistic Knowledge To Life – Among The Leading Characters Of American Movies

If some Nazi executioner will start to tell you about his inner experience, his dreams, his deepest fear, desires, his inner story, I will say “No, your truth is outside. Your truth is what you did there, in the camp. I am not interested in your inner story.” This is the basic Lacanian notion of fantasy as a constitutive lie. Our “inner truth” is the lie we construct to be able to live with the misery of our actual lives.
Slavoj Zizek, March, 2016

Oh, all of these guys and chicks on the movie screens from everyday American life, plants from the chemically fertilized soil. They are without a drop of “abstraction”, concrete as their feet, genuine like their jeans, generic like things made to be goods! May be, indeed, they are high-tech plants capable of moving, running, jumping, flying and shooting (in agreement with super-technological nature of American “cool” culture) and with souls of pollen. They are made by downtowns or stark plains. Because they are super-stars they can’t be refused – who would be so foolish to refuse the sky? Fame and wealth are high-tech telescopes for today’s peeping Toms.

One of the reasons Hollywood superstars are popular and excite money circulation between the viewers’ narrowing pockets and the movie producers’ expanding ones, is that they are exactly like the majority of movie fans who identify with them (unconsciously feel that they ARE the characters on the screen and superstars inside them) because of their basic similarity with them. Viewers love these characters/stars… like themselves, and they love themselves as screen heroes, while stars love the viewers whom they imitate for reward of fame and money. As we see, mutuality here is multiple – mutual and perfect.

Viewers do not completely live in an imaginary world, but their real world – their life becomes completely imaginary one – they didn’t have the chance to develop the ability to differentiate themselves from the world. The world that surrounds them is full of shreds (filled by fragments) of their self-projections. Viewers see themselves on the screens idealized/glamorized and cannot resist admiring themselves. And they become happier with themselves when they‘re under the spell of the pop-movies and more and more aggressive towards the remnants of reality (outside the magic box of their Hollywoodized perception). Why to deprive people of the movie-moments of happiness? – Here is the Hollywood’s motto of “humanism” – you have to make art for the people, not for ivory towers where pesky “intellectuals” are nesting. Hollywood populism instead of addressing the people’s real problems is exploiting their factual – educationally deprived condition. Mass-images gradually destroy people’s intellect not less than fast food – human bodies. Hollywood traders of superficial (but felt as natural as random erections) pleasures and illusion that it is possible to understand modern society without humanistic education and intense thinking are indirectly responsible for the popularity of sweaty Frankensteins like Bush Jr. or the neocon majority in US Congress.

Hollywood’s cult of cognitive mediocrity supported by growing technical competence of movie-camera is a result of money-zation of the idea of individualism. Today “the exceptional” means wealthy, and individualism – the thickness of the pocket and the ability to juggle with money. The point is not that the worshippers of Hollywood as a theater of their self-projection are ordinary – but they‘re seduced into being mediocre by the star-shine of Hollywood enterprise itself. With bright-sharp simplistic topics and elaborations commercial movie-making pleases and flatters the consumers of inflated and empty images dressed in pompous pre-scientific clichés.

But, indeed, why the problems of people educated not in technical and applied disciplines but in liberal arts are absent in Hollywood productions, and together with it – intelligent political and world views? But, of course, price for this shameful neglect will be collective and it will be in the future, while the profit from ignoring the serious social, psychological and political problems and creating the illusion that life is as simple as child-like imagination is in the present tense. If almost nobody among the producers and directors will risk losing pockets for the sake of heightening the population’s educational level, democracy is doomed. Instead of demanding from themselves to share the commercial space with educational necessities, with an effort to discuss with the viewers the problems of functioning democracy and aspects of democratic personality and behavior, entertainers despotically occupy ninety-nine percent of population with entertaining media-effects and degrade themselves in the process for the sake of securing/enhancing their profits. Entertainment (making from non-thinking pleasure and encouraging the illusion that thinking is guessing) becomes the strongest leverage of making the public helpless in finding alternatives to the status quo and prone to trust the neocon propagandists, ideological sloganeers and political advertisers/entertainers.

Emotional manipulation of viewers on part of producers and filmmakers, on which viewers respond by identification with stars’ emotions (the reaction without even rudimentary cognitive critical or self-reflective ability) – is the main mechanism Hollywood entertainers use to exploit human nature. They transform cine-viewers into ancient slaves admiring their wealthy and masterful masters, into medieval peasants happy to die in wars for the sake of their kings and dukes, into maids from famous Jean Janet’s play. It is old totalitarian psychology clinging to life, that entertainers exploit (and by this reinforce and perpetuate) by providing people with pleasures of identification with charismatically shining heroes of the screens – the same (in essence) achievement that totalitarian leaders brag about in the area of political ideology and practice.

And we have on the entertainment screens charismatic personifications of authentic mediocrity not deflowered by humanistic education which alone can shock the primordial narcissistic selves bathing in their own megalomania and self-centeredness. Those primitive centers of the world in human form on the movie screens are always absolutizing their needs, desires, ideas and self-importance and continue to be role models for the next generations. And it doesn’t matter, these characters have the “right” or “wrong” ideas, “right” or “wrong” political views, proper or improper political dreams or even “humanistic” or “anti-humanistic” behavior. Everybody thinks that he/she follows a moral principle, even when they kill and torture, even when they do mass extermination. They are not touched by existential spirituality impossible without persistent humanistic education.

There is only one – operational criterion of right and wrong – how we behave towards other human beings, not in what we believe. The truth is behavioral, not idolic. Morality ought to be rooted in behavior, not in beliefs. But behavior is human psychology in action. It is here the Hollywood filmmakers’ efforts dismantle the pre-consumerist human beings – transform viewers into addicts of identification with the artificial glamorous heroism of reaching success over others, of becoming authorities of power and wealth, an identification which through a fake liberation from reality and through uplifting self-glamorization in the midst of consumerist happiness leads people away from achieving any possibility of real liberation.