The link above is for Personas for Firefox. This allows very easy modification of appearance of horizontal bars. Once the add on is installed, you can change themes without closing the browser. May work best on Firefox 3 beta versions, but is compatible with Firefox 2. If you still use Firefox 1, or don’t use a Firefox browser and think 3 beta (beta is a test version) is too big a jump, download Firefox 2 from the side bar on this blog.
‘The National Telecommunications Commission said the show pushed “messages that
go against the whole education of boys, girls and adolescents”’
The Simpsons will be replaced by Baywatch which is certainly popular with adolescents, though not for the purposes of education in the normal sense. For those who don’t know, it focuses heavily on the physique of the actors, male and female who work as life guards on the beach in swimsuits.
This story is intrinsically absurd, but is not just a bit of trivia. This must be seen in the context of Hugo Chavez’ ’21st Century Socialism’. The bizarre decision making must be understood in terms of the irrationality of Chavez belief in the state interfering everywhere, and his own creation of a Cult of Personality which is simply the personalised aspect of a process in which state officials interfere irrationally and unaccountably.
The other aspect is that The Simpsons is an American show. There is a lot of joky criticism of American society in the show mixed with an essentially affectionate attitude towards middle America. It could be said thatthe criticism ends up justifying American society since the end of the show always draws us back to the value of the family life of the main family, who are clealry typically American. In the eyes of Chavez and his followers it probably looks like Yankee Imperialist propaganda. There is some logic to this view, Chavez and his political apparatus need to control the population’s image of the US in order to mobilise them and create an enemy image. Every extreme illibreal movement needs an all threatneing enemy to justify its incursions into individual freedom, some similar comments apply to Vush’s ‘War on Terror’ and The ‘Patriot’ Act, which is a law to weakne the rights of US citizens in relation to the federal government.
I’ve addressed nationalist undertones in Derrida before. I’m reminded of this topic by teaching Politics of Friendship in an MA class.
Derrida deals with Carl Schmitt at length there, including Theory of the Partisan, the sequel to Concept of the Political. Derrida gets quite indignant on a few issues which touch French national pride
1. Schmitt’s emphasis on the origin of the ‘partisan’ (a soldier defending territory without regard to membership of a recognised state army) in Spanish resistance to French occupation under Napolean Bonaparte and then in Prussian resitance to Bonaparte is not well received.
2. Derrida refers to Schmitt’s failure to mention French women participating in the Resistance to Nazi occupation.
3. Schmitt’s emphasis on General Salan who opposed De Gaulle after the independence of Algeria as the example of a partisan and of Catholic thinking.
Derrida does not make nationalistic comments about Schmitt’s choice of the Bonaparatist wars as the context for defining the solider who defends territory without fıyndation in the law of war, but with justice, however, his anxiety is clear.
Derrida wishes to emphasise a feminine French Republicanism against Schmitt’s invocation of friendship and emnity both modelled on fraternity.
In bringing up Salan, Schmitt brşings up a very awkaward moment in French Republicanism. The generals who opposed de Gaulle for giving independence could claim to be defending Republican ideals with regard to the integration of Algeria into France. As Derrida was a colonial in Algeria in origin, there is a lot of unexpressed anxity and ambiguity at stake here. De Gaulle versus the anti-Gaullist generals, not the most comfortable of territory for many left wing Republicans support de Gaulle the conservative or his conservative enemies. De Gaulle himself was an oddly ambiguous figure, half defender and creator of post-colonial republican democratic France independent of the USA and half ultra-conservative aristocrat and autocratic president.