The American Psyche: A Noirish History of the Industrial Era
Which of us was willing to turn, to look the future in the face, to mutiny if necessary and oblige the Captain to put about, return the thing to where we had found it? The last of our mean innocence tolled away ship’s bell after bell. Even if we could not predict in detail what was about to happen, there could have been no one among us, not even the most literal-minded, who did not feel that something, down there, below our feet, below the waterline where it lay patient and thawing, was terribly, and soon to be more terribly, amiss.
—Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day
There has always been a fine line between reason and madness, logic and affect, one that once crossed can lead into strange and bewildering worlds. The Left prides itself on critiquing capitalist social and cultural systems to the point of resistance, revolt, and total destruction. As Andrew Culp in his manifesto for destruction of our current civilization tells us, what we need is to enter that realm of destructive “polemics, recovery, and creativity” of which Deleuze and Guattari’s work was both a sign and a promise: “I argue against the “canon of joy” that celebrates Deleuze as a naively affirmative thinker of connectivity. Second, I rehabilitate the destructive force of negativity by cultivating a “hatred for this world.” Third, I propose a conspiracy of contrary terms that diverge from the joyous task of creation”.3
Against connectionism, a reaffirmation of violence and destruction of “worlds” in which hatred (a strong affect) suddenly blossoms, and a dark turn toward conspiracies against the “joyous task of creativity”. Read this against the long note left by A. Joseph Stack III, who on February 19, 2010, a fifty-three-year-old software engineer, crashed a private plane into the Internal Revenue Service offices in Austin, Texas, killing himself as well as one worker inside the building. He left behind a statement that was six single-spaced pages long. It had clearly been worked on for a long time. As Stack himself stated: “The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken.” At the same time, he acknowledged “the storm raging in my head.” Unlike the manifest conspiracism in Richard Poplawski’s Web postings, Joseph Stack’s final statement, lengthy though it is, implied a conspiracy rather than stating it directly. In his polemic against the tax system, his real enemy was what he saw as a larger political structure rigged and operated by the wealthy for their own benefit. George W. Bush is “the recent presidential puppet.” The law comes in two versions, one “for the very rich, and one for the rest of us . . . and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws.”4
A sense of utter futility and despair pervades these texts, a hate that would destroy all external supports to the point of annihilation. The Left seems prepared to annihilate the world if need be to create a new one. Why? How have we come to the point of willilling the sacrifice of all life on the planet in the name of some ideological system of abstract thought? Some seem to be already doing this on a personal scale (i.e., Berardi’s work), but the big question is if this turns to collective action will we begin a course toward total annihilation from which there is no escape?
Mayhem in the Streets
In his recent book Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide Franco “Bifo” Berardi reminds us that we are living in the ruins of capitalist civilization, a global civilization and multiplicity of cultural complexes all meshed in establishing an era of a completed nihilism. As he tells it in his “book is not merely crime and suicide, but more broadly the establishment of a kingdom of nihilism and the suicidal drive that is permeating contemporary culture, together with a phenomenology of panic, aggression and resultant violence”.5
A sense that something terrible has happened already, that the apocalypse is already begun or over or in-between, that the drift of the world into the sinkhole of a timeless void has indeed replaced the two-hundred cheery eyed optimism of progressive dreams, idealism, and hopes of a better Tomorrowland. As I was reading Anna Greenspan’s book on neomodern revivalism in Shanghai with its glitz and glamour worlds of retro-futurism in which the city becomes an assemblage of time vectors leading into an absolute time without beginnings or endings I was reminded of the rest of the planet of slums and decay, crime and dark collective suicidal madness. I could not even with the help of Zizek’s notion of the parallax gap bring these two worlds together, enframe their strangeness, their weirdness. It’s as if most of the planet is not only bent of self-destruction and collective suicide but that the very denialism of this fact has sponsored a new world of hope on the far shores of an artificial island world beyond time.
How to reconcile the seemingly two worlds of dark and light we seem to live in? Maybe this is just where the power of the negative, the dialectic falls short and begins to implode in its own vicious circles of hate and destruction. Isn’t it more to the point that the whole Hegelian and Marxian tradition is washed up, useless in diagnosing the problems of our neomodernist era? Didn’t we learn from a Sartre (Critique of Dialectical Reason) or an Adorno (Negative Dialectics) that the extremes of the negative always lead back to God (i.e., a stand in for the great unknown and unanswerable, the darkness that will not go away, the unity that will not be subsumed: the Absolute)?
One can read thousands if not tens of thousands of critiques of capitalism that have been published since the death of Marx. What impact have they had in solving the problems we face on this planet? We’ve seen both enactments of Marx’s inverted idealism in both Soviet Russia and Maoist China fail in their bid to oust Global Capitalism. Why? Why such a failure if communism was to be the shining light of the progressive mind and its inheritance? Citing Fredrich Jameson’s remark (?) that postmodernism is the ‘cultural logic of late capitalism’, the late Mark Fisher in his Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? tells us that Jameson “argued that the failure of the future was constitutive of a postmodern cultural scene which, as he correctly prophesied, would become dominated by pastiche and revivalism. Given that Jameson has made a convincing case for the relationship between postmodern culture and certain tendencies in consumer (or post-Fordist) capitalism, it could appear that there is no need for the concept of capitalist realism at all. In some ways, this is true.”6
Pastiche and revivalism? Fisher citing the example of Kurt Cobain’s suicide as the outcome of this dark turn tells us that this Rock Star found himself living in a world in which stylistic innovation is no longer possible, where all that is left is to imitate dead styles, to speak through the masks and with the voices of the dead like puppets in a Was Museum. Fisher says: “Here, even success meant failure, since to succeed would only mean that you were the new meat on which the system could feed. But the high existential angst of Nirvana and Cobain belongs to an older moment, what succeded them was a pastiche-rock which reproduced the forms of the past without anxiety. (CR)
Berardi twenty-years after Cobain’s death will uncover the darker side of this pastiche culture of mimicry, puppets, and repetitive time travel scenarios to nowhere:
I don’t care about the conventional serial killer, the brand of secretive sadistic psychopaths who are attracted to other people’s suffering and enjoy seeing people die. I’m interested in people who are suffering themselves, and who become criminals because this is their way both to express their psychopathic need for publicity and also to find a suicidal exit from their present hell. I write about young people like Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and Pekka-Erik Auvinen, who killed themselves after trying to attract the attention of the world by ending the lives of innocent people. (H)
This sense that ultra-violence of mass violence from the lone wolves among us is more about a desperate last ditch cry from the void of hate and despair, a final narcissism of the lost soul seeking to be recognized knowing full well that the soul does not exist, that nothing exists, that we are all dead in a world of death. This is the pit of hell and noir in our age.
American Cities: Or, How the Violent Die
Something about crime and noir fiction brings to life the sociopathic and psychopathic, street level view of American Cities that nothing else can. One can read sociology all day long and not get descriptions like this from James Lee Burke:
I had a whole file drawer of misery to look at, too: a prostitute icepicked by a psychotic John; a seventeen-year-old runaway whose father wouldn’t bond him out of jail and who was hanged the next morning by his black cellmate; a murder witness beaten to death with a ball-peen hammer by the man she was scheduled to testify against; a Vietnamese boat refugee thrown off the roof of the welfare project; three small children shot in their beds by their unemployed father; a junkie strangled with baling wire during a satanic ritual; two homosexual men burned alive when a rejected lover drenched the stairwell of a gay nightclub with gasoline. My drawer was like a microcosm of an aberrant world populated by snipers, razor-wielding humanoids, mindless nickel-and-dime boost artists who eventually panic and kill a convenience-store clerk for sixty dollars, and suicides who fill the apartment with gas and blow the whole building into a black and orange fireball.1
From Hammet to Ellroy to the Irish wonder, Ken Bruen, or any number of the countless works from the early pulp era to our own one enters the dark psyche of our age. Philosophers of late have spent a great deal of time on horror and science fiction, but as I’ve been reading Frank Ruda’s work on fatalism and freedom where he tells us:
Today freedom has become a signifier of oppression. In this historical situation fatalism is the only possible stance that allows us to think freedom without being indifferent. We must affirm the position of a comic fatalism, whose slogans are: Start by expecting the worst! Act as if you did not exist! Act as if you were not free! Act in such a way that you accept the struggle you cannot flee from! Act in such a way that you never forget to imagine the end of all things! Act as if the apocalypse has already happened! Act as if everything were always already lost! Act as if you were dead!2
As I reread such noir authors as Joe R. Lansdale, Ken Bruen, James Ellroy, James Lee Burke, Megan Abbott, Patricia Cornwall, Charles Wiilleford, Daniel Woodrell, Jim Thompsan, C.J. Box and many others this comic fatalism pervades their fiction with explorations of how humans negotiate freedom and fate in our difficult times. These fictions portray the underbelley of life, the worlds of those left out in the cold, the rejected, the angry and violent, the people who do not fit into the perfect world of Capital’s Neomodernity. Marginal, transgressive, outsiders who walk in the shadowlands below the surface of our consumerist paradise these fictions open us to that which we want to forget about ourselves, the darker side of our own affective lives that we like to sweep under the rug of civilized sublimity.
Freedom can be a form of oppression, a false belief system that locks us into notions of free-will that are actually traps that keep us caged in mental prisons that control our minds and guide our lives along carefully scripted and habitual tracks laid out by a dark socio-cultural dynamics that produces what we know and believe about agency and self. We are the fictions of a demented civilization, locked into a suicidal pact that will ultimately lead us to the utter destruction of both humanity and our planet unless we wake up from this mad dream. When will the sleepers awaken?
The Private Dick: Pulp Culture Explosion of the 50’s
As America dreamed of a future that would wipe out the memories of war torn Europe, Fascism, and the Nuclear winters of its own death machines dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a new culture of fantasy and optimism arose in the birth of consumerist society. Yet, even as Television suddenly captured the minds and hearts of the American psyche, reformatting and manipulating the collective mind set toward a future fantasia filled with gadgets and technological wonders, something was brewing in the dark cages of our inner cities. As Woody Haut, exploring the pulp cultural worlds below the surface of our glitz and glamour society would tell us, enclosed within a political strategy consisting of containment abroad and repression at home, pulp culture private eyes were rarely at ease negotiating the rapids of post-war political waters. As investigators drifted towards privatization — typified by secrecy, enclosure and financial agreement — their emblematic ‘eyes’, no longer open as they had been when the insignia of the strike-breaking Pinkerton Agency, had begun to wink in the direction of the state. With the Cold War contributing to an atmosphere of fear and suspicion, public investigation was best avoided. Amidst a shrug of the shoulders and a shot of rye, private eyes plying their trade on anyone who failed to represent the interests of the state risked engaging in a subversive activity. As for private eye writers, their precarious situation meant following one of two paths — the classicism of Raymond Chandler, or the manic right-wing fantasies of Mickey Spillane.7
Speaking of Raymond Chandler Fredric Jameson in his remarks that it was during this period that the postmodern turn, the turn toward a new cynicism and metafictional desperation came to the fore:
Language can never again be unselfconscious for him; words can never again be unproblematical. The naive and unreflective attitude towards literary expression is henceforth proscribed, and he feels in his language a kind of material density and resistance: even those clichés and commonplaces which for the native speaker are not really words at all, but instant communication, take on outlandish resonance in his mouth, are used between quotation marks, as you would delicately expose some interesting specimen: his sentences are collages of heterogeneous materials, of odd linguistic scraps, figures of speech, colloquialisms, place names and local sayings, all laboriously pasted together in an illusion of continuous discourse. In this, the lived situation of the writer of a borrowed language is already emblematic of the situation of the modern writer in general, in that words have become objects for him.8
The writer would use language as a form of pastiche mimicry rather than as the medium of defining or creating a world of parallel or parallax vision onto society and the lives of its inhabitants. Bound by the thick fantasies of a rising Technocommercium that would reframe the modern American psyche, Chandler and others like him would be hard pressed to create or invent narratives that would inform and entertain us about the bottom feeders or even the hidden corridors of power, sex, and violence hiding behind the façade of its pop cultural glitz and glamour.
Lifestyles of the Rich and Artificial
As Virginia Postrel in The Power of Glamour comments:
Glamour. The word itself has mystique, spelled even in American English with that exotic u. When we hear “glamour,” we envision beautiful movie stars in designer gowns or imagine sleek sports cars and the dashing men who drive them. For a moment, we project ourselves into the world they represent, a place in which we, too, are beautiful, admired, graceful, courageous, accomplished, desired, powerful, wealthy, or at ease. Glamour, the fashion writer Alicia Drake observes, offers “the implicit promise of a life devoid of mediocrity.” It lifts us out of everyday experience and makes our desires seem attainable. Glamour, writes the fashion critic Robin Givhan, “makes us feel good about ourselves by making us believe that life can sparkle.”9
Since the 1950’s America has pursued this world of glamour, sought the Good Life – a specifically American Utopia that yearned for both beauty and things. In some sense America sought to become the first completely artificial nation, created ex nihilo (“out of nothing”). During this early age of consumerist society modernist art and its techniques would enter the arena of the ad men and mediatainment complex to rewire the psyche of men and women toward the endless vistas of technological progress. Money. Power. Things. All would bring you happiness if only you would accept the promise we offer you, work hard, become that which is potentially residing in your own life.
Yet, all was not light and roses, there was a dark world laying in wait, a realm of madness and violence, paranoia and fear situated in our night of zombies, Twilight Zones, and the broken worlds of the noir silver screen. For the patriarchal and Freudian mindset of a male dominated economy where men ruled the world and women stayed at home and became good little Stepford Wives, the world below the surface of the glitzy streamlined decopod realms was more sinister.
It was in this pulp world that the lure of the femme fatale – the deadly woman of the noir screen would become the symbol and icon of this illusive world of beauty and nightmare in the American psyche. As Camille Paglia reminds us it all began with Medusa. The permanence of the femme fatale as a sexual persona is part of the weary weight of eroticism, beneath which both ethics and religion founder. Eroticism is society’s soft point, through which it is invaded by chthonian nature. The femme fatale can appear as Medusan mother or as frigid nymph, masquing in the brilliant luminosity of Apollonian high glamour. Her cool unreachability beckons, fascinates, and destroys. She is not a neurotic but, if anything, a psychopath. That is, she has an amoral affectlessness, a serene indifference to the suffering of others, which she invites and dispassionately observes as tests of her power. The mystique of the femme fatale cannot be perfectly translated into male terms. I will speak at length of the beautiful boy, one of the west’s most stunning sexual personae. However, the danger of the homme fatal, as embodied in today’s boyish male hustler, is that he will leave, disappearing to other loves, other lands. He is a rambler, a cowboy and sailor. But the danger of the femme fatale is that she will stay, still, placid, and paralyzing. Her remaining is a daemonic burden, the ubiquity of Walter Pater’s Mona Lisa, who smothers history. She is a thorny symbol of the perversity of sex. She will stick.10
As Robert B Pippin in his Fatalism in American Film Noir: Some Cinematic Philosophy comments, on the black and white screen the femme fatale entrances in noirs often suggest the extreme view of a magical spell or mysterious erotic power that can render the male forever afterward a mere dupe, a passive victim of such power, a nonagent. The femme fatale theme is far and away the most written-about issue in film noir criticism, and there is much more to say about it, but at least these entrances do demonstrate how utterly a life can be altered in a single moment. Even doing nothing about what one feels still alters everything, because doing nothing now becomes a fateful decision, an event that then shadows everything else one does. One cannot now act in complete indifference to how one’s fate has been altered, where “cannot” in this one of its many fatalistic senses means that such indifference would make no sense in one’s life. The depth of the feeling is such that one could not recognize oneself in any such picture of indifference and so cannot act indifferently.11
The notion that noir is more about the conflicts of a male dominated society based on power, mastery, and dominion in both the spheres of public and private life of capitalism come to the fore in such critiques. Between fatalism and freedom the world of male domination is played out over the dark secret that men are not truly in control, that under the façade of this bright and glitzy even glamourized realm is all fantasy and mime. That in truth the artificial worlds men have built full of glamourous architecture, stylized automobiles and perfect women dressed in the latest fashions, situated against the Hollywood facades of yachts, skyscrapers, and internationalism is the stark reality of the Medusa.
Rita Hayworth in The Lady from Shanghai would become the epitome of such femme fatales. In her entrance in this classic noir film Hayworth sparkles with that dark sensual allurement. “It has been said that the most extraordinary quality of the dance number is that Hayworth seems to be dancing wholly for herself, luxuriating in herself, almost in indifference to and with contempt for the pathetic males around her, who we can see are both rendered screaming adolescents by the boldness of the number and, for some, quite angry at its freedom and its contempt for male standards of conduct.” (FAF) This sense of the unknown power of woman that plays itself out in the male psyche of the American seems almost a pure adolescent reversion to ancient mythic cycles based around the natural order of creation and sacrifice that have their basis in a temporal order of which America and Capitalism are the opposing system. America and Capitalism have always been artificial rather than natural environs, a society that has sought to rid itself of the dark undertows of ancient European spectres and ghosts, both political and religious. And, yet, in this puritanical riddance it pursued a course of authoritarian male domination through its Puritan heritage that is still with us.
Puritan Reform and the Politics of the Pure
In 1630 John Winthrop and a band of Puritans would migrate to America. As the historian Francis J. Bremer tells us
They had decided to uproot themselves and their families in order to found a colony where they could not only preserve the religious reforms they had managed to achieve in their native land, but also further advance the purification of worship and belief. (The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism: p. 135)
Some have seen within this incipient world of reform and purification the beginnings of an American Enlightenment. In their ultimate bid to purify worship and belief of the rituals and traditions of Catholicism in an extreme form the modern world of capitalism would unleash its atheistic credos and begin to purify the world of religion itself. Reformism would become liberal reformism and become the new political religion of America, shaping and regulating its psyche and collective will, determining its future and the scope of its spiritual capital. Money and success, glitz and glamour: the American Dream of rags to riches, western expansion, and the power of modern industrialism would empower this new born land and its fantasy life.
Yet, by the end of the millennium it was apparent that something dreadfully had gone wrong with this dream turned nightmare, that America had failed its children and become not the land of promise but the land of mass suicidal psychopaths and bedlam. As Berardi expounds, ours is a world appended to the kingdom of nihilism, this “form of nihilism assumes that the conceptual activity is based on the ontological nihil”. (ibid.) He goes on to say,
In this conception, this form of nihilism has a positive and constructive implication, as the condition of moral freedom and of conceptual creation. Nihil is the starting point of the conceptual and practical process, and from this starting point the conceptual and historical activity of men is responsible for the creation and meaning of the world as we know it. The form of nihilism that seems to prevail in the culture and practice of the ruling class today is quite different from this constructive, hermeneutic nihilism. We could call it a form of ‘annihilating nihilism’, since it actively produces nihil as its effect. (H: KL 1096)
Anna Greenspan would ponder the notion of modernity. Modernity is a notoriously difficult concept to define. Inextricably bound to the interlocking and revolutionary processes of globalisation, urbanisation and mechanisation, it also encompasses the cultural impulse to express, process and understand these vast material transformations. Yet, in addition to these socio-economic and cultural conditions, modernity can also be apprehended philosophically, as a particular conception of time. Martin Jacques, in his book on China’s rise, adheres to this definition. Modernity, he writes, quoting the sociologist Goran Therborn, marks ‘the arrival of an epoch turned to the future’. To be modern, according to this understanding, is to be in the present just on the cusp of its erasure, to be necessarily and always, at the most urgent edge of now. In a piece entitled ‘Neomodernity’, Shanghai-based philosopher Nick Land elaborates on this conception:
Modernity dates awkwardly, and intriguingly, because it positions itself upon the leading edge of time expressing an infusion from the future. In its vital, colloquial sense, the ‘modern’ is an indexical term that describes what is happening now, or recently. It is in this sense that modernization remains irrepressibly up-to-date, anchored, indexically, to the contemporary. To slip unanchored from the ‘now’ into the dead waters of history is thus to forsake the claim to modernity. What is distinctively past cannot be modern, and the modern cannot be simply past.12 (SF: p. 3)
In this sense we are always entering the modern, a process rather than a static time zone, a temporal movement that is always making and unmaking the world, erasing the past and making way for the new. Ultimately modernity as Land testifies “resists absorption into accomplished history, because it relates to an absolute future. The dynamized now of modernity is irreducible to a period or moment in time. What modernity discovered, and perpetually recalls, was not just the next thing up the road, but the road ahead in general, and perhaps even the road”. (ibid.)
Maybe in the end our love/hate relationship with America comes down to its overly male dominated and puritanical systems based as they are in a world of make-believe and artificial technological wonders and escapism. We are a nation of escape artists and braggarts, carnivals and popcorn, a world where from its beginnings civil strife and mayhem pervaded its public and private spaces. Our literature is more comic fatalist than romantic. As Frank Ruda reminds us “Comic fatalism affirms such an impossible position of articulation as both absolutely necessary and impossible. Only such a gesture liberates us from all givenness, from all possibilities of realizing a given capacity. Only such a gesture can provide a precondition for thinking and enacting freedom.”13
This interplay of Freedom and Justice have played themselves out in our democratic politics floating between those who seek an extreme freedom from social and political constraints and regulation or reform, and those who seek social justice for the weak, poor, and excluded. There has never been a happy medium, a balance of forces. There has only been armed peace among warring parties, a world where crime and violence live in the dark streets while in the Hollywood stage sets of the rich and famous a world of glitz and glamour virtualize life purified of its tainted realities. At the core of the American Psyche is a denialism of the Real or the unknown, a need to stall the course of progress in an eternal wonderland of disneyfication, while at the same time denying the noirish underworlds of its own repressed perversities, sexual and power based politics and lifestyles. We ritualize our violence in arenas of violence: Football, Saturday night car races, World-wide wrestling, mixed martial arts…. etc. all to codify the male psyche and its need for start and unadulterated aggression and dominion over all competitors. We are a nation of gamblers, pirates, thieves, and scoundrels all dressed up in the glitz and glamour of Wall Street Tychoons, philanthropist software moghuls of Californian neomodernity with the streamlined high-speed loops and ray-gun gothic entrepreneurship. We are a multiethnic multiplicity of diverse and rich intercultural hates and fears, a realm where day to day tribalism and ultra-modern escapism intermingle. Coke and heroin, pharmaceuticals and paraphernalia tease us out of street and skypad into the heart of an accelerating voyage into the void. We have no destination only a hellish need to get there in style, wherever it is we’re going… and, no one knows exactly if that is the myth of the Open Road or some Pynchonian time spiral into chaosmosis. As one of the characters in Thomas Pynchon’s tells us,
Randolph had a sympathetic look. “At least they tell you where it is you’ll be sent off to. After the closing-day ceremonies here, our future’s all a blank.”14
This sense that the future is unwritten, unscripted, blank and incomplete and open is at the bottom of neomodernity. A need to open the door and let the sun in again, to allow reality to break into our fantasy worlds and give us back all that we fear with such horror that we’ve enclosed ourselves in a horror show of abstraction and pure fantasy. Until we can step through that door into the Real we will wander in a realm of night and noir till all that is left is the pitch black screen of a final dark gesture of noise. It’ll be the sound of your brain imploding. The notion of modernity as unfinished and incomplete, always beginning, and beginning again. This openness to the past in the future, of the unbidden worlds of creativity and innovation within us.
Conflict and change will always be with us, the universe is not a friendly place but rather full of violence and changes that can at times be catastrophic. Our home on planet earth is one of continuous eco-catastrophe, and we ourselves have contributed to this in ways we have yet to fully understand or document much less analyze and interpret. We term it the Antrhopocene, but such categories only hide what is bound to their reductions rather than opening up a way out of the problems they present. There are and never will be any fast easy solutions to our earthly problems. Trying to repress or forget the past we create and recreate it in misery and detail over and over again. Seeking a future through some linear fantasy has driven us to create a world filled with annihilation and nuclear wastelands. Even now our American leaders seek to dominate the world through rhetoric and fantasy that might suddenly open up a nuclear nightmare and apocalypse the likes of which might bring about the end game fantasies of our Puritan ancestors. End times? A mix of biblical madness and modern politics meshing in a global melt down? Only time will tell… and time isn’t speaking.
- James Lee Burke (1987-01-02T08:00:00+00:00). 01 The Neon Rain (Kindle Locations 154-160). Pocket Books. Kindle Edition.
- Ruda, Frank (2016-05-01). Abolishing Freedom: A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism (Provocations) (Kindle Locations 76-83). UNP – Nebraska. Kindle Edition
- Culp, Andrew. Dark Deleuze (Forerunners: Ideas First) (Kindle Locations 72-74). University of Minnesota Press. Kindle Edition.
- Barkun, Michael. A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion and Society) (p. 195). University of California Press. Kindle Edition.
- Berardi, Franco “Bifo”. Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide (Futures) (Kindle Locations 54-55). Verso Books. Kindle Edition. (H)
- Fisher, Mark. Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? (Zero Books) (p. 7). NBN_Mobi_Kindle. Kindle Edition. (CR)
- Haut, Woody. Pulp Culture: Hardboiled Fiction and the Cold War (Kindle Locations 1167-1174). 280 Steps. Kindle Edition.
- Jameson, Fredric. Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality (p. 2). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.
- Virginia Postrel. The Power of Glamour (Kindle Locations 67-73). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
- Paglia, Camille. Sexual Personae (p. 15). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.
- Pippin, Robert B.. Fatalism in American Film Noir: Some Cinematic Philosophy (Page-Barbour Lectures) (Kindle Locations 481-488). University of Virginia Press. Kindle Edition. (FAF)
- Greenspan, Anna. Shanghai Future: Modernity Remade (p. 3). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
- Ruda, Frank. Abolishing Freedom: A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism (Provocations) (Kindle Locations 2688-2690). UNP – Nebraska. Kindle Edition.
- Pynchon, Thomas. Against the Day (p. 52). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.