her in, but ultimately relents; Desdemona sits on Iago's bed, a four-poster with red curtains. As Iago regards Desdemona in surprise, the film frames the bed as a kind of discovery space between the bed-curtains. Desdemona and Iago exchange glances — you can see Iago framed by the curtains with a cross in the background (figure 24) — and Desdemona scolds him, removes her leather jacket to reveal that she is wearing a transparent blouse that displays her breasts, walks over to him by the window, kisses him aggressively, and the screen floods with red light. The film
Borrowers and Lenders 11 ends with the lovers in a clinch, the bed in the background, after which a pair of red curtains close the scene, the film, and the play. Conclusion Bennett writes, in discussing the energy traders that the press and many consumers considered responsible for the great Northeastern blackout of 2003: Autonomy and strong responsibility seem to me to be empirically false, and thus their invocation seems tinged with injustice. In emphasizing the ensemble nature of action and the interconnections between persons and things, a theory of vibrant matter presents individuals as simply incapable of bearing full responsibility for their effects. (Bennett 2009, 37; emphasis mine) Critics note, however, that the victims of the blackout (like the victims of so-called rogue traders during the financial crisis in 2008) bore the full responsibility of the consequences. Bennett acknowledges that there's something satisfying, humanly speaking, in attributing blame to "deregulation and corporate greed," but suggests that a modified ethical response for individual human beings under such circumstances — in which assemblages, rather than individual human entities, distribute both agency and blame — must be to ask oneself about "the assemblages in which one finds oneself participating . . . Do I attempt to extricate myself from assemblages whose trajectory is likely to do harm?" (Bennett 2009, 37). Anticipating accusations of quietism, she makes the case for "moral outrage" under certain circumstances, but suggests that de-emphasizing "material agency" merely in order to condemn particular humans risks "legitimat[ing] vengeance and elevat[ing] violence" over courses of political action (Bennett 2009, 38). Avoiding blame is very counterintuitive, both to many who identify themselves as political progressives and to those who see themselves as conservatives in the tradition of populism. All of us, on some level, would love to find someone to blame for the market crash of 2008. Yet even as I resisted Bennett's notion of distributed blame among assemblages rather than humans, I thought of the success of Nelson Mandela's Truth and Reconciliation movement in the free South Africa. Resisting the urge to attribute blame to specific human beings, in that instance, indeed enabled the reconstruction of a juster and freer and more unified polity. And peculiarly enough, a focus on material trappings and gloss and sheen in Volfgango di Biasi's teen-movie is what enables tragedy to become comedy. Instead of watching silently during the eavesdropping scene, Otello interrupts Cassio and Bianca and beats up Cassio in order to take the handkerchief back to Desdemona. Otello
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 16 pages?