Download Consuming Youth: Vampires, Cyborgs, and the Culture of by Robert Latham PDF

By Robert Latham

From the novels of Anne Rice to The misplaced Boys, from The Terminator to cyberpunk technological know-how fiction, vampires and cyborgs became strikingly seen figures inside American pop culture, specially early life tradition. In eating adolescence, Rob Latham explains why, exhibiting how fiction, movie, and different media set up those ambiguous monsters to include and paintings during the implications of a capitalist approach during which early life either devour and are consumed.Inspired through Marx's use of the cyborg vampire as a metaphor for the objectification of actual hard work within the manufacturing facility, Latham indicates how modern photographs of vampires and cyborgs light up the contradictory procedures of empowerment and exploitation that symbolize the youth-consumer approach. whereas the vampire is a voracious patron pushed by means of a starvation for perpetual formative years, the cyborg has integrated the machineries of intake into its personal flesh. robust fusions of know-how and hope, those paired pictures characterize the different types of hard work and relaxation that American society has staked out for modern youth.A startling examine early life in our time, eating formative years will curiosity someone involved in movie, tv, and pop culture.

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Additional info for Consuming Youth: Vampires, Cyborgs, and the Culture of Consumption

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This decadent ‘‘hypercapitalist’’ future, for all its numerous cyborg enhancements, has essentially regressed to primitive forms of exploitation and control; yet at the same time, in a compensating move (already implicit in Marx’s dialectical image), it still contains utopian aspirations for an epochal revolutionizing and redemption of the historical project of consumption. This vision of libidinal-political liberation finds it most potent expression in Calder’s novel Cythera (1998), which envi- pg 24 # 24 Name /C2005/C2005_INT 01/14/02 06:45AM Plate # 0-Composite t h e c y b e r n e t i c va m p i r e pg 25 # 25 25 sions a futuristic realm in which the autonomous agency of youthful consumers is finally (if ambiguously) realized.

For all he was worth, paying him peanuts’’ (p. 96). This ‘‘little man, childlike and torn by uncontrollable desires’’ (p. 94), begs to be cured of his addiction to blood, and following a lengthy psychoanalysis, the roots of his vampirism are discovered. Apparently, during his weaning in a popular baby factory known as Storkways, he had teethed on a defective pacifier: ‘‘The plastiflesh had broken off, rotted away somehow, revealing the pointed steel of the milk-injector underneath, sharp and ugly’’ (p.

These texts, I argue, provocatively address the construction of youth as a privileged consumer identity and as a significant ideological code within the domain of consumption generally. Moreover, as the postwar ‘‘affluent society’’ petered out in the 1970s and 1980s and Fordism’s equation of youth with a hedonistic lifestyle of consumption ran up against the nascent structures (and strictures) of postFordism, the cultural contradiction embodied in youth only became more pointed. The vampire and cyborg texts discussed in this book serve powerfully to embody and work through this contradiction.

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