Thursday, February 13, 2014

We Can Remake Him: Robocop Redux

It seems fair to begin this review with a confession as to why I love the original Robocop. It has as much to do with how I saw it as with its satirical take on corporations and American politics. I snuck in, or, more precisely, my father snuck my brother and I in. We were on vacation in Maine for the summer and one rainy day forced us to see a movie (Although I must confess the rainy day movies were as much a highlight of summer vacations growing up as hikes and rafting trips). We picked the godawful Jaws: The Revenge and just as we were walking out, the sounds of a shark that roared still ringing in our ears, my father turned to my brother and I, whispered "they owe us," and escorted us into another screen in the multiplex. This always struck me as appropriate: Robocop snuck its satire into a sci-fi action premise, and we snuck into see it. 

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Divisions: Theorizations and Repudiations of the Division of Mental and Manual Labor

If there was a column listing the what is hot and what is not of contemporary Marxism (and why shouldn't there be?), then the division of mental and manual labor would definitely be in the "not" column. There are multiple reasons for this not the least of which is that the division, especially as it was developed into "the separation of execution from conception," was identified with the factories of Taylorism and Fordism. The separation of mental and manual labor was something that our age, an age of "immaterial labor" or "cognitive capitalism" was supposed to have surpassed.