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You see the same thing in cinema history, if we look at the impact of sound. Okay, 'what's the problem?', you might say. By adding the sound to the image we simply get a more realistic rendering of reality. But that is not at all true. Interestingly enough, the movie directors who were most sensitive to what the introduction of sound really meant were generally conservatives, those who looked at it with scepticism, like Charlie Chaplin (up to a point), and Fritz Lang. Fritz Lang's Das Testament des Dr Mabuse, in a wonderful way, rendered this spectral ghost-like dimension of the voice, realising that voice never simply belongs to the body. This is just another example of how a conservative, as if he were afraid of the new medium, has a much better grasp of its uncanny radical potentials.

In Charlie Chaplain's film The Great Dictator, he satirises Hitler as Hinkel. The voice is perceived as something obscene. There is a wonderful scene where Hinkel gives a big speech and speaks totally meaningless, obscene words. Only from time to time you recognise some everyday vulgar German word like 'Wienerschnitzel' or 'Kartoffelstrudel'. And this was an ingenious insight; how voice is like a kind of a spectral ghost. All this became apparent to those conservatives who were sensitive for the break of the new. [1]


  1. The One Measure of True Love Is: You Can Insult the Other

Kid A In Alphabet Land

Kida v.gif

Kid A In Alphabet Land Vanquishes Another Vacuous Vagrant - The Vacillating Voice!

Wouldn't I Like To Shove A Bone Down Your Throat - But You've Already Got One Stuck Down It! Don't Get All Choked Up - Just Spit It Out! I Wanna Hear You Scream! But Once You Regain Your Faculties, And Rid Yourself Of That Foreign Body, All You'll Scream Is No! A Vox On Your First Born!

Kid A In Alphabet Land

Act · Blot · Commodity-fetish · Death Drive · Ego-ideal · Father · Gaze · Hysteric · Imaginary · Jouissance · Kapital · Letter · Mirror Stage · Name · Other · Phallus · Qua · Real · Super Signifier · Thing · Unheimlich · Voice · Woman · Xenophobe · Yew · Z-man