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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:25 am 
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A CLOCKWORK ORANGE AND BLACK

Anthony Burgess has bookshelves which sag under what looks like a story of blistering success: more than thirty novels, many published to international critical acclaim; dozens of non-fiction titles, from a discursive study of beds to a two-volume, 1,200-page history of English literature, written in Italian; the long entry for the Novel in the Encyclopaedia Britannica; librettos and musical scores: symphonies, song settings, sonatas; translations into and out of English; screenplays, documentaries and lectures; and countless reviews, thousands and thousands of them, a sample to be found in two collections, Urgent Copy (1968) and Homage to Qwert Yuiop (1986). Penguin have awarded modern classic status to Earthly Powers (1980) and A Clockwork Orange (1962). The latter owes its fame to Stanley Kubrick's brutal, stylish film. The musical score of this film insinuated itself into my psyche quite unbeknownst to my waking self. -Ron Price with thanks to Roger Lewis, Anthony Burgess: A Life, 2004.

As I come to my late adulthood
I look back to 1962
as the year of great beginnings,
not that I knew it at the time.
I did not know much then, at 18
as the world came close to the edge
of giving it all to the cockroaches.
Was it Kennedy who saved us in October?

Was Clockwork Orange a wake-up call
to a new anti-utopian world
of violence and state control
emerging, then, as I struggled
to control a embryonically massive id
that was exercising its own control?

I did not know, then, busy as I was
trying to pass nine grade 13 subjects
in my last months of freedom before
a bi-polar disorder rushed into my life
with its own controlling factor,
its own clockwork orange and black,
its own violence, emotional disarray
and a fear and confusion as deep as
the one you portrayed Anthony/Stanley. :arrow:

Ron Price
16 April 2004

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:48 am 
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Great poem, Ron!

I knew everything was alright when Malcolm McDowell said,

"Eggy wegs! I want to smash them!"

:lol:


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 Post subject: Belated Thanks
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:27 am 
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Belated Thanks, lauramoncur. Goodness! It's been more than two years.-Ron

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:12 pm 
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This is great! Really thought-provoking.


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 Post subject: Thanks youngmiki13
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Thanks youngmiki13...your words are appreciated.-Ron
-----------------------

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:55 pm 
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The literary and art critic, sociologist and philosopher, Walter Benjamin describes two kinds of experience. One kind can be integrated into our lives and the other is "merely lived through." This latter category is characterized by ahistoricity, repetition, sameness, reactiveness, a liquidation of what could be called the cultural achievements of the mind. --Ron Price with thanks to Walter Benjamin, quoted in "Clockwork Orange and the Aestheticization of Violence," Internet Film Reviews, 2002.
------------------------
STILL AT THE CENTRE
Clockwork Orange in Context

In 1962 three westerns were released: 2David Miller's Lonely Are the Brave, Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country. The raw material for westerns came from the 1840s to about 1900 when the USA expanded at a staggering rate. The first western was shot, writes Gary Johnson1, in 1898. The western genre emerged out of the embers of the actual frontier history, a frontier which formally ended in 1893. By 1962, the typical city or rural dweller lived imaginatively, to some extent anyway, in "Bonanzaland"3 thanks to the western.
__________________________________________________________
Footnotes: 1Gary Johnson, "The History of the Western," Article on the Internet; 2Richard Armstrong's Review of John Saunders, The Western Genre: From Lordsburg to Big Whiskey, Wallflower Press, London, 2001; and 3M. McLuhan in Philip French, Westerns: Aspects of a Movie Genre, Seeker and Warburg, London, 1977.
__________________________________________________________
As the world was being turned
into one vast tourist attraction,
amidst war and horror,
free-wheeling anarchic community
and staggering complexity,
I started my life journey
beyond my St. Louis1
amidst TV horse operas:
Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Virginian

Not equipped to handle
complex socio-political ideas,
we all lived under the illusion
that what we saw was
a neutral recording of events,
not cinematic artificiality,
for the eye was so much busier
than the mind, for most of us.

We mapped out personal life-stories
over these simple tales;
we found some glue for the social order,
little did we know, then,
for cinema did not question,
was not critical.
The social consensus
had not come apart back then.2

And beside Bonanzaland
a new narrative was played on the stage,
for some. It was told across
the wide-wide world,
but to the observer of mass-culture
it still looked like other stories were winning:
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
Rosemary's Baby, Amityville Horror,
The Clockwork Orange, On Golden Pond,
The Exorcist, Apocalypse Now, Dirty Harry---.
and on and on------went the complex tale------

as liberalism failed,
and conservatism triumphed;
as a strand of the radicalism of the sixties
slowly became organized
in broadbased movements
that were still at the centre
of a quiet revolution
that was difficult to assess
and had little to do with the horse operas,
which entertained but told us nothing
of any value: just pacem et cicenses
in a modern dress.

2 M. Ryan and D. Kellner, Camera Politica: The Politics and Ideology of Contemporary Hollywood Film, Indiana UP, Bloomington, 1990, p.3.
1 St. Louis Missouri was the beginning point of 'The West' in 1850; my St. Louis was Burlington Ontario Canada in 1962.

Ron Price

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