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September 19, 1990 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-19

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 19, 1990 - Page 9

A bitter pill that's not good for you RECORDS
Continued from page 8

'Hardware
dir. Richard Stanley

I

A

by Mike Kuniavsky
Igot the world up my ass,
And I gotta jump fast,
'Be the first.,
Won't be the last,
L got the world up my ass.
-Circle Jerks
'There's a place on Baxter Road near
JNorth Campus that's called Property
Disposition. Theygsell everything
,that the U. no longer needs: chairs,
desks, computers, electron
picroscopes, dental drills. When in-
side for the first time, one is usually
awed at the amount of old technol-
logy lying around like garbage; the
second shock comes when one real-
4zes that much of the electronic stuff
*where is less than 10 years old, most
of it is less than five.
Thus, desks that were made in
1940 are sold for $80 a piece while
computers made in 1985 (and origi-
rally costing in the thousand of dol-
lars, costing the U. thousands of dol-
lars) are sold for 25 bucks a piece.
$andy, a friend of mine said it best:
"Way up above big people get big
ideas, but by the time it's trickled
*down to us all that's left is a bunch
of junk.",
In Richard Stanley's film Hard-
ware, a post-apocalyptic garbage
collector finds a mysterious robot.
After bringing it back to an unnamed
post-apocalyptic city and selling it
to a post-apocalyptic junk dealer, the
robot puts itself back together and
proceeds to terrorize a young post-
*apocalyptic artist and her boyfriend
-in her post-apocalyptic apartment
until it is destroyed by a cold post-
apocalyptic shower. This is an un-
fortunately trite treatment of a poten-
tially interesting theme: where does
,all of society's obsolete technology
,go?
Regrettably, Hardware doesn't
address the questions it poses, nor
does it ask them at the right time:
* 4long with the Berlin Wall and
4geausescu, so disappeared the cyni-
.cal fear of being trapped in a post-
,apocalyptic society, having to re-use
what is left over from civilization in
order to survive in a barbaric, anar-
chic world. Nevertheless, he does
bring out an interesting point,
though not a new one.
As we progress technologically,
'we are increasingly dependent on
J technology for our very existence,
foregoing other amenities and
University of Wisconsin
Platteville

putting all of our energies into
maintaining the technological status
quo. By setting the main conflict in
the young artist's, played by Stacey
Travis, apartment, where almost ev-
erything - including the front door
- is controlled from a central ter-
minal, he's presenting the we-are-
parts-in-a-machine-of-our-own-cre-
ation metaphor. So it's natural that
when the robot taps the "power grid"
of the building for its electricity fix,
the front door malfunctions can only
be repaired from the main console
(where, of course, the robot still is).
Thus, humans are again pitted
against their own creations
(remember The Day the Earth Stood
Still?). And though we eventually
win, it's only because the robot has
an insulation problem: a ridiculously
lame weak spot, and one which a
good dipping in rubber would cure.
So, in reality we don't win, we just
get lucky.
Ultimately, though, this techno-
phobic exercise does nothing to re-
ally explain what the real problem is
nor to propose any solutions other
than the "give up, smash the ma-
chines, and live on unleavened bread
and goat cheese forever" default.
Hardware, like the Circle Jerks,
Motorhead (Lemmy makes a cameo
in this flick, by themway) and the
Mad Max films, does nothing but
point and yell. But while there was
reason for the latter three, there re-
ally is no reason for Hardware.
HARDWARE is playing at Fox Vil-
lage and Showcase.

Predictably, the crowd goes nuts
when the wall comes down. The
final song, "The Tide is Turning," is
a USA For Africa-like ode to the end
of the Cold War, which features the
whole cast and somehow works
despite its sappiness. All in all, it

probably would have been better to
have been there or to even have a
videotape of it. But The Wall works
as a document of the event.
Moreover, Waters, in a move that
his money-grubbing ex-bandmates
would never have done, is donating
all of the proceeds to The Memorial
Fund For Disaster Relief, which is
just another reason to give The Wall
a thumbs up.
-Mike Molitor

Write to us!
(PIlease)
Daily Arts wants, make that needs
feedback from readers. Without it we
work in a vacuum, smugly praising
and condemning without knowing
how good ajob we're doing. So send

a message via MTS to

"Michigan Daily

Staff, 99

or bring

a letter

in to 420

Maynard. Don't let

us run amok.

As for the good news... There is no fucking good news.
-Iggy Pop, as a post-apocalyptic DJ in Hardware
....::4fr: IM
:1Daily gadtei .cc

Need the hot news fast?
Find it in the Daily.

This semester, take some electives
in communications.

I

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