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★ 21st Century

21st Century: see 2000-2019 & 2020-2029 & 20th Century & 2012 Conspiracy Files

Bjork - Izabel Goulart - Benedict Cumberbatch - 21st Century Mythologies with Richard Clay TV -  

 

 

 

I feel the 21st century is another new age.  Not only can we collaborate again with nature, but we have to.  It’s an emergency.  Bjork

 

 

I believe that one of the saddest things in the world today is that some people don’t have enough food to nourish themselves.  It’s the 21st century and that’s really not acceptable, so if I could do something that would change that I would be really happy.  Izabel Goulart

 

 

There’s so much in the 21st century that is stymied by bureaucracy and mediocrity and committee.  Benedict Cumberbatch

 

 

Barthes stepped into the road … He was struck down … Roland Barthes is one of the 21st century’s greatest thinkers.  He questioned the assumptions of how we underpin our world.  In 1957 he published a book; he called it Mythologies that looked seriously, rigorously and in detail at popular culture.  A series of essays, mythologies, broke down the barrier between high art and consumerism.  21st Century Mythologies with Richard Clay, BBC 2020

 

The unsexiness of striptease … for Bathes these things are myths: so commonplace we take them for granted.  Yet they are packed with deeper meaning.  ibid.

 

Barthes questioned how myths are used to shore up the prevailing power of money.  ibid.   

 

What might Roland Barthes of the 21st century?  Roland Barthes grew up looking for meaning.  ibid.

 

Today, the myth of plastic has taken a full U-turn from the wonder material of the 1950s to poisonous waste of the 20th century.  ibid.

 

The Myth of Money: It’s a myth, something so insistent, as Barthes put it, that we accept it without question.  Once, money was worth its weight in metal; today, it’s flimsy paper at best.  An abstract idea with value only because we’ve so used to it being something valuable.  To buttress money’s authority, banknotes are adorned with symbols of the nation state and the face of prestigious historical figures conveying a legitimacy and stability.  ibid.

 

What happens if you subvert the myth and protest, maybe by using art?  ibid.

 

The Myth of signs … humans have this amazing ability to create and follow conventions … ‘the sign is a visual signal of authority.’  ibid

 

To Barthes, it’s the sheer scale of the repetition of things.  ibid.

 

The Myth of Wi-Fi:  To Accept.  Obey.  Move on.  Here’s a signifier Barthes would never have seen but he might have recognised its mythic power to enchant the masses: Wi-Fi, a myth symbolised everywhere by a fan of black bars.  The internet has come to signify our empowerment, how quickly we can reach information - the latest slug of news, create a meme or social media rumour.  Yet there’s a deeper meaning: this connectivity runs two ways … Your emails and apps are tracking you … The myth of the internet is meshed with the myth of money.  ibid.

 

Michelangelo’s beautiful sculpture of David … [exits shop with statuette] David: this quintessential figure of Florentine masculinity is everywhere now … David is an industry in his own right.  ibid.

 

Images of everything from margarine to marriage were carefully confected myths, persuading women to be perfect beings.  ibid.

 

The Virgin Mary was never depicted in her own lifetime yet her image is recognised pretty much everywhere … An image of perfection, symbol of virginity, innocence and immortality, gold-flecked and unobtainable.  ibid.

 

The Myth of Guns in Movies: Is it true there are no bad guns, only bad people?  I mean, take the Tommy Gun.  Wielded by gangstas, a symbol of criminal violence; by Winston Churchill, a symbol of the bulldog defiance.  ibid.

 

The Myth of Race: The biggest, most pernicious, dangerous of modern myths race … Racial difference and hierarchies of race have been used to justify exploitation.  We now know that less than 1% of 1% of the human genome differs between people who are categorised as belonging to different races.  Race is a myth  but one that has appalling, real-world consequences.  ibid.