[back from Mexico City. Deep thanks to everyone there for hospitality, introductions, mezcal, and making me feel entirely at home, albeit happily unmoored, in a place I hope to call home from time to time for a long while to come.]
1940 still life by Paramount photographer Whitey Schafer, constituted of elements banned from publicity shots by the Production Code Administration. Said elements?
1) Law Defeated
2) Inside of Thigh
3) Lace Lingerie
4) Dead Man
7) Exposed Bosom
9) Pointing Gun
10) Tommy Gun
These forbidden elements - basically coming together under the form of a thigh or bosom baring woman capable of offing an officer and enjoying it or, in a different register, an audience enjoying that act and its surrounding materials - declared in a period in which watching together meant sitting through this (from Doherty's Pre-code Hollywood: Sex, immorality, and insurrection in American cinema 1930-1934):
If there is popular cinema, then, between the undefeated law held to the side, its thighs wrapped up tight, and the toxic vacuity of No, we'll take a cab..., if there is a dodge between the two doomed options (1. do not engage whatsoever with the terrain of the generally watched and hence lack determinate coordinates of any present, or 2. fall into the idiocy of thinking that there is anything worth saying about the minor modulations of one more iteration of Minor Family and Ego Problems of Rich Attractive People Getting Themselves Into a Pickle Such That They May End With a Slightly Quirky But Ultimately Solid Shoring Up of Various Social Institutions In Accordance With What Daddy Says Is Best or Capital Used to Hire "Skilled Labor" and to Produce the Digital Semblance of Frozen Labor Being Blown Into Fiery Bits by the Actions of Those in Pursuit of Illegal Access to Capital 2: The Second Coming), if there is a stepping through to sit down better, it will find its footing here:
A riot of catcalls and wails which drowned out most of the dialogue...
And that is how to attend and attend to, to watch without waiting to see.
[To follow: yes, but what about the money exchanged for the experience, however boisterous and pressure-releasing it may feel to be?]