Issue 2.1 Homepage

Article Contents
·Ordinary Life
·Odd Moments
·The Public
·A Still
·Still Life
·Home Alone
·The Perfectly Ordinary Life
·Still Watching
·Works Cited

Printer Version

Kathleen Stewart, "The Perfectly Ordinary Life" (page 3 of 11)

Odd Moments

At odd moments in the course of the day, you might raise your head in surprise or alarm at the uncanny sensation of a half-known influence.

Private lives and the public world had gotten their wires crossed. Any hint of private movement would be sniffed out and thrown up on public stages and people now took their cues so directly from circulating sensibilities that the term "hard wired" became a short-hand for the state of things.

Public specters had grown intimate. The imaginary had grown concrete on public stages. All those bodies lined up on the talk shows, outing their loved ones for this or that monstrous act. Or the reality TV shows where the camera would bust in on intimate dramas of whole families addicted to sniffing paint right out of the can. We would zoom in to linger, almost lovingly, on the gallon-sized lids scattered around on the living room carpet and then pan out to focus on the faces of the parents, and even the little kids, with big rings of white paint encircling their cheeks and chins like some kind of self-inflicted stigmata.

S&F Online - Issue 2.1, Public Sentiments - Ann Cvetkovich and Ann Pellegrini, Guest Editors - ©2003.