vonChristian Ihle 05.02.2024

Monarchie & Alltag

Neue Bands und wichtige Filme: „As long as the music’s loud enough, we won’t hear the world falling apart“.

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“Every episode revolves around some poor citizen finding himself on the wrong side of the law or the victim of an alleged natural disaster or public health crisis. In a typical episode, the Paw Patrol send an entire fleet of vehicles — cars, trucks, boats, aeroplanes, submarines, and even, insanely, a recycling van — to respond to an attempted misdemeanor or a minor traffic accident.

All of this activity is carried out under the aegis of one Mayor Goodway. She is very much a ruler in the Nero fiddling or Elagabalus line, a deranged eccentric who collects chickens (curiously enough, they cannot speak in this universe otherwise full of anthropomorphic animals) and seems totally uninterested in the actual well-being of her subjects, much less the material and other costs of maintaining a rather large police force. (I say “subjects” rather than “citizens” because as far as I can tell, there is no evidence of elections ever being carried out.)

Paw Patrol is Giorgio Agamben’s nightmare, a country in which a permanent state of emergency exists, under which governments have limitless power to rule unilaterally. There is no society or even commerce in Paw Patrol, only the relentless unthinking force of the police state, ostensibly responding to a never-ending crisis. It is the most influential work of fascist art since Ezra Pound.

(…) The Ruff-Ruff Pack, collar-less and dirty, are clearly working class dogs; no attempt is ever made to reform or otherwise induce them to behave better. It’s as if they exist to be brutalised. (…)
I like to imagine that somewhere in Adventure Bay there is some sort of resistance movement, a faction of poets and religious types opposed to the mayor’s tyrannical regime. Which is when it occurs to me: they’re all freaking dead, aren’t they? Or maybe we are talking about a gulag situation. Where else is all the production happening? (…)

All of this no doubt is taking a bunch of magenta pixels too seriously. Maybe. I can’t help but think that in addition to their deleterious effect on children’s imaginations, shows like Paw Patrol are a serious political threat. I hate to go all Frankfurt School in a light column like this one, but it is always worrying when citizens of a democratic society are taught to worship the police, to accept so-called “states of exception” without question, and to delight in the machinery of punishment.”

(Matthew Walter in critic.co.uk)


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