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Re: Jedi or Sith? Sigismund

Posted by zeugma on July 26, 2008, at 6:06:59

In reply to Re: Jedi or Sith? caraher, posted by Sigismund on June 18, 2008, at 15:30:13

No, it's theatre. We need our theatre to maintain our faith, and bugger the consequences>>

Good point. The ritual waterboarding (there was a recent discussion, in Congress, about whether this torture more resembled the technique pioneered by the Spanish Inquisition, or that used by the Khmer Rouge; the panel seemed to conclude that our variety approximates the latter) is so manifestly a substitute for the katharsis Aristotle speaks of as central to the life of the polis, and that is so beautifully viewed in say "Iphigenia Among the Taurians."

The British of Shakespeare's era had the same idea. "Edward II" (at least in the Derek Jarman film) is tortured by a poker up the a**. The power of the State needs to be shown, but the point of katharsis is that one empties oneself of one's own emotions and replaces them for a time with the victim's subjectivity. That, thought Aristotle, is a prerequisite to life in the polis, and he was right.


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