2012, Setp.

Suburban Warriors


We often attribute gender to people. "What is your gender?" seems like a perfectly reasonable question to ask. We even grow up holding beliefs about our gender. 'I'm masculine", "I'm feminine" or what have you. This is all wrong. People don't have gender. Things are gendered, and sometimes people are confused with the things they have or they are made into things themselves. Objectifications are a deep issue: First-order objectification, the objectification of people. Second-order objectification, the objectification of processes/practices/play. What is troubling about suburban warfare is the dual spectacle: Not simply 1) the mimicry of a cinematically-coded warfare, but 2) the re-performance of the performative or cinematic component of modern warfare through the medium of home video. Today war play is not simply playing "war". Children are not content to embody those practices and behaviors we have come to associate with war. They are already far ahead of us, now playing the recording, editing and narrativizing of war. Displaying war. The home video becomes an element in the arsenal. A toy gun of its own, but more powerful than a military grade shotgun, shattering images of nascent suburban masculinity across the globe. What odd order of objectification is this, to turn your play into an object? In turn war itself becomes a game, and all is always already waiting on the other end of a camera.


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