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Theses on Terrorist Cinema
The greatest invention of the 21st century is not the iPhone, but the terrorist.
Of course, the “terrorist” as a concept has been around for a long time. But it is only recently that terrorism has been translated materially (as an ideological apparatus).
Terrorism is a discourse of the state. Terrorism as an ideology necessarily comes from the state. Terrorism, in post-9/11 times, is the ideology of the state.
The iPhone intensified terrorism.
Cinema, in the early years of the 21st century, became the main text of which terrorism was defined.
Cinema determines terrorists, the state validates it.
Terrorist cinema started with Steven Spielberg and ends with Kathryn Bigelow. The rest after Bigelow are terrorist post-cinema.
What is seen on TV can be considered as terrorist post-cinema (e.g. Ang Probinsyano, Homeland, Blindspot, your favorite noon-time variety show).
Terrorist cinema and post-cinema’s greatest legacy is the intensification of the reduction of every legitimate struggle and uprising into an “act of civil disobedience” if not, “of terrorism.” This brings the condition where it has become possible that every member of every legitimate organization forwarding progressive agendas to be considered as “terrorists.”
Of course, this has been going on for a long time, even going back to Pre-Cold war times. Which highlights the backwardness and reactionary quality of the Terrorist ideology.
The government, its military, business partners, i.e. the state of the ruling class (i.e. THE state), being firm believers and theorists of Terrorist ideology can be collectively called as Terrorists in a sense that they believe and theorize the formation and existence of the terrorist as a common enemy of the order. Their apparatuses, whether repressive (military, paramilitary, law enforcement) or ideological (media, educational institutions, other social institutions), can also be included in this collective terminology. (here we will start to distinguish the Terrorist in upper-case T as the believers of ideology against the terrorist with lower-case t as the imagined enemy of the order.)
The ideology of Terrorism does not reside on anything new or progressive. If anything, the theories of terrorism roots from the bourgeois-humanist point of view. War on Terror is the greatest wage for the bourgeois-humanist notion of good. War on terror is waged in the name of the “better good,” better translated as private property.
The terrorist is framed. As in the cinematic framing. Conditions are being set to prepare the audience when the terrorist enters the frame. But before the terrorist enters the frame, the Terrorists define him/her.
The effect of the determination of the terrorist is also metafilmic. The audience of terrorist cinema can now identify the terrorist even outside the movie theater or even when he/she is away from his/her TV set.
The audience is always invited by the state to participate and become one with them as Terrorists.