The invisible hand in popular culture : liberty vs. authority in American film and TV
- Cantor, Paul A. (Paul Arthur), 1945-
- Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c 2012.
- Physical description
- xxvi, 461 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
PN1995.9 .P6 C285 2012
- Unknown PN1995.9 .P6 C285 2012
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Introduction: Popular culture and spontaneous order, or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the tube
- The western and western drama : John Ford's The searchers and The Oresteia
- The original frontier : Gene Roddenberry's apprenticeship for Star Trek in Have gun, will travel
- Order out of the mud : Deadwood and the state of nature
- Mars attacks! : Tim Burton and the ideology of the flying saucer movie
- Flying solo : The aviator and entrepreneurial vision
- Cartman shrugged : the invisible gnomes and the invisible hand in South Park
- The fall of the House of Ulmer : Europe versus America in the gothic vision of The black cat
- America as wasteland in Detour : film noir and The Frankfurt school
- The truth is still out there : the X-files and 9/11
- Un-American Gothic : the alien invasion narrative and global modernity.
- Publisher's Summary
- Popular culture often champions freedom as the fundamentally American way of life and celebrates the virtues of independence and self-reliance. But film and television have also explored the tension between freedom and other core values, such as order and political stability. What may look like healthy, productive, and creative freedom from one point of view may look like chaos, anarchy, and a source of destructive conflict from another. Film and television continually pose the question: Can Americans deal with their problems on their own, or must they rely on political elites to manage their lives? In this groundbreaking work, Paul A. Cantor explores the ways in which television shows such as Star Trek, The X-Files, South Park, and Deadwood and films such as The Aviator and Mars Attacks! have portrayed both top-down and bottom-up models of order. Drawing on the works of John Locke, Adam Smith, Alexis de Tocqueville, and other proponents of freedom, Cantor contrasts the classical liberal vision of America -- particularly its emphasis on the virtues of spontaneous order -- with the Marxist understanding of the culture industry and the Hobbesian model of absolute state control.The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture concludes with a discussion of the impact of 9/11 on film and television, and the new anxieties emerging in contemporary alien-invasion narratives: the fear of a global technocracy that seeks to destroy the nuclear family, religious faith, local government, and other traditional bulwarks against the absolute state.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
- Publication date
- Paul A. Cantor.
- Title Variation
- Liberty versus authority in American film and TV