Thought of the Day

On White Male Violence

The problem with designating white male mass shooters as mentally ill is not the denigration of people with mental illness or that the characterization is itself wrong.  These men are no doubt quite psychically ill, as are all white people who live in our settler, white supremacist societies. White supremacist societies produce psychic structures that make everyone ill, though differing processes and effects of racialization mean that those who are racialized as white are largely unaware of the illness they inhabit and that inhabits them, and they usually don't identify or experience their racialization as white as a site of trauma, pain, or trouble, except when the promises of whiteness fail them. And even then they often fail to identify the actual source of their problem: a sick, settler capitalist society that largely doesn't serve them. (more…)

By Kami Chisholm, ago
TV & Film Analysis

What Is Documentary Futurism, and Why Do We Need It?

Cinema Politica recently put out a call for proposals to launch a new genre: documentary futurism, or speculative documentary. It was extremely difficult to put together a proposal for a genre that for the most part doesn't yet exist, but what I ultimately decided was that this genre should be more about process than any kind of structure, aesthetics, or style (i.e., the opposite of von Trier's self-indulgent "dogma" films).< I'm thinking now about continuing to work on the writing that I started for the grant proposal, especially in light of Reina Gosset's piece in Teen Vogue today: (more…)

By Kami Chisholm, ago
TV & Film Analysis

The Saviors of American Crime

The new season of the television show American Crime is all about indulging North American fantasies about trafficking. At first glance, the show appears to be taking up the radical project of exploring the roles of border imperialism and the criminalization of migration on the coercive labor conditions experienced by farm workers in the US. If this was the entire thrust of the show, it's possible something interesting could come of it. However, the story lines centering the farm owners and laborers (that after two episodes, as of this writing, are bizarrely bifurcated by a questionable desire to "show both sides of the story" of farm labor exploitation) are interwoven with, and thus seemed designed to legitimize, hysterical fantasies of sex trafficking of white women and girls. (more…)

By Kami Chisholm, ago