Do We Pull the Monster Down?
William Carroll, Department of Sociology, University of Victoria (firstname.lastname@example.org) — September 19, 2010. Lyrics Everybody’s making plans to move to higher ground There’s panic in the marketplace yet no one hears a sound Programmed trading, frictionless, insentient impounds The dreams of the unchosen ones – their faint hopes hammered down Inner cities crumble as they … Watch video »
William Carroll, Department of Sociology, University of Victoria (email@example.com) — September 19, 2010.
“Do we pull the monster down?” is a music video I produced in May 2004, based on a song I wrote that March. Consisting almost entirely of still images gleaned from the internet, it comments on some of the salient contradictions of the post-9/11 conjuncture, one year into the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The montage was constructed with some inspiration from Sergei Eisenstein‘s film theory; hence there is a good deal of dialectical “collision” in the flow of images (Eisenstein himself is acknowledged with a still from his film October, at 3:41). The analysis that organizes this work is intersectional: it tries to connect the dots between interdependent forms of power based in class, gender, imperialism, militarism, race and nation, while emphasizing throughout the looming ecological crisis. This piece was written particularly for my son Wes, whose photo (at age 11) appears at 3:29; however, its closing images encourage the general idea of youth as a potential force for change. “Do we pull the monster down?” does not offer solutions to the predicament it depicts, but gestures in its title and conclusion to the choice Rosa Luxemburg posed between socialism and barbarism.
As with my other music video, “So Said Tony Hayward,” I think of this production as a socio-poetic initiative in public sociology: advancing an accessible analysis within an artistic medium as a way of provoking reflection and discussion. I hope activists and educators will continue to find it useful in classrooms, meetings and other contexts, despite its gradually becoming somewhat of a historical document.
For a discussion of Sergei Eisenstein’s film theory and films see Dan Shaw (2004) ‘Sergei Eisenstein,’ Senses of cinema. Alison Symington (2004) offers a good introduction to intersectionality in “Intersectionality: a tool for gender and economic justice,” Association for Women’s Rights in Development. On the choice between socialism and barbarism, see
Ian Angus (2008) “If socialism fails: the spectre of 21st century barbarism,” Socialist Voice 27 July, and Michael A. Lebowitz (2010) “The spectre of barbarism and its alternative,” Bullet 10 September.