Tag Archives | Adam Curtis

On Self-Consciousness And Revolution

typeGlimpses from a fascinating interview which the New Statesman conducted with Adam Curtis on the state of our culture:

When everyone is self-conscious you are stuck in your place, because you’re always aware of everything, and you will never make the big leap like falling in love or creating a revolution or doing anything really radical because you are so aware of yourself…we think we are somewhere radical but actually we are deeply, deeply, deeply conservative at the moment. And what has a veneer of radicalism is actually possibly the most conservative force at the moment. By that I mean radical culture…[is] stuck with a nostalgia for a radicalism of the past and that’s not the radicalism that’s necessary.”

I have a theory that people might get fed up with computers, quite simply. I think the interesting thing about the Edward Snowden case is it makes you realise how much the cloud thing on the Internet is a surveillance system.

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Mental Channel Number One: The Space Brother Contact the BBC.

The documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis, best known for acclaimed and often controversial works such as The Century of the Self and Power of Nightmares, is an inveterate crate-digger of archival footage, as evidenced by both his films, and his blog at the BBC website.  In his most recent post, Curtis unearthed a surreal gem that should appeal to enthusiasts of ufological history and fringe culture: a BBC interview from the 50s with George King, a London taxi driver who claimed to be in regular contact with an Interplanetary Parliament of Martian, Venusian, and Saturnite Space Brothers.  The Contactee phenomenon, a charming and eccentric chapter in the history both of the Space Age and of DIY religious movements in general, was largely focussed in the US, where the used car-salesman and the mystic are ever in close proximity.  King, who established the Aetherius Society based on his alleged contact experiences, is the most prominent British example of the genre.  In this fantastic clip from 1977 Brit-UFO documentary Out of this World, King tells his story, and presides over a delightfully Wicker Man-esque ritual on a hilltop designed to charge up a “Prayer Power Battery”:

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