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Kafka as Back Up to Madonna – Video Review

“Madonna’s Peace Concert for the Chosen Only” recently posted by deLiberation is an extraordinary video that could easily be developed into a play or full-length movie. The problem would be that it might be accused of plagiarizing The Castle by Kafka.

In The Castle the main character we know only as “K” makes sisyphic efforts to contact the authorities at the Castle who, for reasons no one understands, rule over the village where he seeks residence permission.

Nothing can be done in the village without permission from the Castle, which is hard to obtain through the labyrinthine bureaucratic process. It is hard to impossible to contact the rulers in the Castle, whose doors are locked.

In the Madonna video the plot is equally simple: two Palestinians we could call K and K live in the forbidding shadow of the Jewish Wall, naturally on the barren side of it. The premise of the video is that they have purchased tickets to the concert that a self-proclaimed peace lover-cum-amateur kabbalist is going to give to her adoring fans on the other side of the Wall. To dispel the viewer’s doubts that any Palestinians would set aside his daily life worries and make efforts to enter Israel just to see this concert, the camera shows us the tickets repeatedly, with K and K holding them like products demonstrated in a TV commercial.

The diva’s name is perfect: Madonna. Perhaps Beckett, Pinter or Kafka himself would have rejected the name for this particular plot as too pat in its inevitable associations with Christianity’s support of the Wall, but reality is funny that way sometimes, not reluctant to ham it up.

K and K make repeated attempts to gain entrance to “the Castle” that zionism and “christian zionism” built, by knocking on the Wall, shouting entreaties and even calling by phone. The guardians of the Wall, just like in Kafka’s novel, are never seen. Their rumbling, mysterious voices are heard repeating the interdiction with an automaton’s verbatim iteration requesting properly documented prior approval of entry based on a request from “an organization.” K and K keep trying and fail.

Reading The Castle one is compelled to think of Israel as the Castle guarded by the Wall: nobody understands why it is ruling absolutely over “the village” where one may not be told what the charges against him are but must confess his guilt before being allowed to request pardon for it, where there are no Laws but the villagers keep trying to reverse engineer them by deducing them from the endlessly proliferating bureaucratic rules.

Above it all looms the oppressive, ominous shadow of the Wall that darkens and stifles the lives of K and K and K and K and K…. They may have tickets but those are as worthless as the very old, large keys to buildings long razed on the other side of the Wall. Yet they keep knocking on the gate of the Wall.

Kafka died before he could finish The Castle so K was left in eternal limbo. In the video K and K are left without a resolution as well. Many critics saw in Kafka’s work symbolic references to the anti-semitism of his time and place. This excellent video upholds the universality of his vision: anti-semitism, this time against the semitic Palestinian people, is strong in the Castle surrounded by the Wall called Israel, and elaborate justifications are given for its absurd existence and lack of humanity.

Madonna, a caricature of her former caricatural self, sings at the Castle about love and peace, unaware that Kafka provides a dissonant back up to her performance. Her papers are in order: she is a “kabbalist,” and a documented Castle lover. After the mutual adoration fest is over she will return to her own castle, remembering to dig up and rehang around her neck that large bejewelled cross. Her other fans love it.

It is a nice fantasy to imagine her surprising her fans in the Castle with a new song called “Tear Down That Wall,” but that song requires a really talented singer and a decent human being. The constructive work of demolishing the Wall will not be done by traveling minstrels and court jesters invited to the Castle anyway. It will be done by K and K and K and K and K and K and K and K….. Sooner rather than later. Inshallah.

 

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18 Responses to Kafka as Back Up to Madonna – Video Review

  1. who_me June 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    “Kafka died before he could finish The Castle”

    why did he do that?

  2. Ariadna Theokopoulos June 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    He was killed by a Jewish bacillus called Koch… :-7

  3. Jonathon Blakeley June 4, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Very interesting angle on this story Ariadna, fits perfectly. I think Madonna is the perfect example of Zionism. Born a catholic coverts to Jew and becomes the Zionist Empress of Pop. Moving effortlessly between USA, UK and ISRAEL. She has a tour called the peace tour in country just about to start war with IRAN. She says she is spiritual but all her songs are about is money, sex and power.
    I am not a fan… you might have guessed.

  4. Ariadna Theokopoulos June 4, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    “Madonna is the perfect example of Zionism. Born a catholic coverts to Jew and becomes the Zionist Empress of Pop. Moving effortlessly between USA, UK and ISRAEL. She has a tour called the peace tour in country just about to start war with IRAN. She says she is spiritual but all her songs are about is money, sex and power.”

    Zing! I wish she could read this.

  5. who_me June 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    “I am not a fan… you might have guessed.”

    i cant remember any friends who actually liked her music, or her. in fact i cant remember an example of anyone saying they liked her work that i’ve talked with and the subject came up. yet she performs in front of 1000s. i must move in the wrong circles. :)

  6. Jonathon Blakeley June 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Totally over-rated lousy singer. I have never been clear as to why she is famous. There seemed to plenty of people more creative and with better voices.

    Kate Bush she was/is great and with a voice of an angel.

    Let’s not forget Madonna is not an artist she is a Celebrity Diva.

    now this is singing…

    • who_me June 5, 2012 at 1:25 am #

      “I have never been clear as to why she is famous.”

      in the usa famous is bought. it has nothing to do with talent, or even potential popularity. the popularity comes from media hype. most americans listen to/watch what their televisions and radios tell them to without thinking about it. madonna didn’t become popular, it was bought and hyped for her. likewise, she wasn’t selected because she had talent, she was selected because she could be depended upon to be a loyal useful employee. someone who would be marketable and not cross her handlers once she got famous.

  7. Ariadna Theokopoulos June 4, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    “I have never been clear as to why she is famous.”

    It’s got nothing to do with her voice. It’s the getups–also why gays adore her:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/madonna-cone-bra-2012-concert_n_1561781.html

    Imelda May–great singer! Thanks for posting it.

    • Jonathon Blakeley June 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

      Horrific Photos. Fascistic Fashion conveyed in masks of vogue violence. All that is missing from the photos are the Armbands and Death-skulls.

  8. Jonathon Blakeley June 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Madonna’s market is weird.

    Young teeny girls,
    Torries & Republicans.
    Gays ( As you say she is a Gay Icon)
    Jews
    Catholics

    I have never found her attractive but i have know other men who “said they would with Madge” but really that was nothing to go by they would with anything that would oblige.

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos June 7, 2012 at 3:08 am #

      I have just finished an excellent book called The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning by Hallgrimur Helgason (Icelandic author whose work was described by a critic as “Imagine if Henry Miller had written Tropic of Cancer on crack instead of wine…)
      The main character in the book (a hitman) looks at every woman he meets trying to imagine if he were stranded on an uninhabited island how many days would pass before he would “approach” her so he simply calls them all Day 3, Day 7, Day 14… etc. In the whole book there is only one Day 1.
      He has no doubt all of them would “oblige” because he is after all a hitman, but he has his standards. Madonna is not mentioned although many other actresses are. She may well be Day Never…

      • who_me June 7, 2012 at 3:21 am #

        why would he wait past “day 1″? what urgent matters could be pressing on a desserted isle that would get in the way?

        • Ariadna Theokopoulos June 7, 2012 at 3:28 am #

          I guess he had BEAUTY standards

          • who_me June 7, 2012 at 3:47 am #

            ah, he waited till desperation would allow him to wait no more. :)

          • Ariadna Theokopoulos June 7, 2012 at 3:54 am #

            Yes, that’s exactly how he put. In fact in the book, although he is never on a deserted island, he often “promotes” a woman to an earlier Day

          • who_me June 7, 2012 at 4:01 am #

            “he often “promotes” a woman to an earlier Day”

            he’s unprincipled then.

  9. who_me June 8, 2012 at 2:10 am #

    apparently madonna has influenced american culture more than i realised:

    http://rt.com/usa/news/drug-bath-salt-zombie-321/

    “Last month, however, the now infamous encounter between a homeless man and a suspected bath salt user reignited discussion of the drug. On May 26, a 31-year-old man stripped a homeless person naked under a highway overpass and attempted to eat his victim’s face for minutes until police shot the suspect dead — but not before he devoured three-fourths of his fleshy feast. Officers investigating the Miami, Florida incident say that they believe bath salt use could have played a role, and less than a month after that episode, similar accounts have been reported: police say that, across the US, there have been no fewer than three incidents since late May where persons high on bath salts tried to literally eat other humans.”

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