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And lives the more, the more it sucks - The Ex-Communicator

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July 6th, 2010

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03:39 pm - And lives the more, the more it sucks
nihilistic_kid has written an interesting article on True Blood, which is available at that link just for this week, then you need to buy the book.
Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. —Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1, chapter 10

I am not a big 'True Blood' fan, in fact I have only seen a few episodes, but this article makes a good case that its class politics is more inclusive than most TV shows, which tend to idealise middle class occupations like 'doctor' and 'cop':
When there are working class people on television, they are often portrayed as socially backwards, politically retrograde, and more than a little stupid... True Blood’s depiction of working-class characters is refreshing

Furthermore the soft social mechanisms which palliate and control the working classes - drugs, religion, social workers etc - are represented in True Blood as sinister impositions.

I have always thought that True Blood dramatises or satirises gender relations (while separating them from actual gender) while others have said it is 'about' race and homophobia. Perhaps it would be more true to say that the Vampire relationship can knowingly represent any power dialectic, where a group (the workers, women, any minority) has something that the exploiting class need, and are thus attractive and valuable, but are also their prey.

I think it would be interesting to talk more about the representation of class on TV alongside sex, sexuality and race. I think class is generally less developed as a theoretical issue*, and it's nice to see it given a good airing by Nick here.

* paradoxically, because class is almost the primary dialectic

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 6th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
True Blood is well worth watching, but because it's a mystery (or rather, a series of interlocked mysteries) you can't watch it out of order any more than you could Mad Men. Which is to say, you could, but you'd be missing a lot.
[User Picture]
Date:July 6th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
I think I have written off season 2, because I'll never have time to watch it, but I am viewing season 3 in order. I think I will stick with it, though it is extremely silly in many ways. I suspect it's an example of a show which is better than the books.
[User Picture]
Date:July 6th, 2010 03:27 pm (UTC)
The problem there is that Season 3 starts exactly at the end of season 2, and you're coming into the tail of all sorts of unfinished business.

It will all make more sense when you do get to see the first couple of seasons :->
[User Picture]
Date:July 6th, 2010 07:17 pm (UTC)
Fascinating article. Thanks for the link. We have been enjoying the TV versions although Sookie herself is quite irritating.
[User Picture]
Date:July 7th, 2010 08:43 am (UTC)
Lafayette and Tara are great characters

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