Does Megan Fox Foreshadow Our Posthuman and Atheist Future?

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses  (in Book X), Pygmalion carves a female figure out of ivory and falls in love with it:

File:Falconet - Pygmalion & Galatee (1763).jpg

And I couldn’t help but notice, in this Interview  magazine cover promotion, the ivory-skinned Megan Fox making of herself a Pygmalion aesthetic object:

Ernest Renan once wrote of the Anglo-French Enlightenment that “after having walked for long ages in the night of infancy, without any self-awareness . . . [humanity] took possession of itself” (quoted in Zeev Sternhell’s The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition, pg. 74). And Sternhell, on pg. 80 of the same text, says this:

[Johann Gottfried von Herder’s] critique of the Enlightenment was a barrier against the encroaching forces of destruction, as religion had been replaced by deism, which he saw as a by-product of mechanistic philosophy and an ally of enlightened and antinational rule. In that world going to its ruin, all vital forces were sapped by rationalism, the search for happiness had replaced the idea of service, and the idea of progress had undermined faith as well as the cardinal virtues of obedience, self-denial, and respect for authority and the family.

Herder and [Edmund] Burke both knew that modern thought was born at the moment when man took the place of God.

I think that the above video would have terrified Renan, Herder, and Burke (even as it secretly aroused them), for moving into the third century after the Anglo-French Enlightenment is this glamorous fruit of its movement: Megan Fox as the human form divine, her body capable of assembly and disassembly at will, divorced from limitation, and foreshadowing an internationalist aesthetic that is on the cusp, via genetic engineering, of going posthuman.

What, afterall, does it mean for humanity “to take possession of itself”—to take the reins of history from tradition, from authority, from God?

Maybe Pygmalion is one of the things it means.

And Megan Fox.

Look at the video again. Does the future scare you?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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6 Responses to Does Megan Fox Foreshadow Our Posthuman and Atheist Future?

  1. Paradigm says:

    “What, afterall, does it mean for humanity “to take possession of itself”—to take the reins of history from tradition, from authority, from God?”

    It means to seek perfection without the source of perfection (God or whatever you choose to call it). We end up with Megan Fox – a perfect form with no content.

    • santitafarella says:

      Paradigm:

      No content?

      Isn’t that the same problem that the theologian and the Buddhist meditator discovers on close inspection of the ultimate?

      Mystery (God, beauty, truth, love, the self, happiness, utopia) deconstructed dissolves into emptiness—the nihil.

      —Santi

  2. “What, afterall, does it mean for humanity “to take possession of itself”—to take the reins of history from tradition, from authority, from God?”

    This also reminded me of Nietzsche urging us to “overcome” = Taking possession of oneself.

    Your knowledge of classics and literature impresses me. I guess it’s your profession.

    As always, nice post 🙂 and I hope to write as well on my own. (You’re in my RSS feed)

    • santitafarella says:

      Spritzo:

      Nietzsche is the elephant in the room, isn’t he? Maybe the will to power partly accounts for Megan’s fetish garb.

      —Santi

  3. Doesn’t seem so fearsome. What is most interesting is the way the future is fetishized. And clean. Why does the future always look so clean?

    The future seems less clean…These days.

    • santitafarella says:

      Necromancer:

      Cleanliness is next to Nietzscheness.

      Think about it.

      I like what Gregory Bateson told his daughter. She asked him why her room was so persistently in a way that people call “not clean.”

      Bateson replied (teaching her the concept of entropy): “Because there are many more ways that we call a room ‘not clean’ than that we call it ‘clean’.”

      Cleanliness is an Apollonian gesture over Dionysian forces. If it feels empty to achieve Apollonian control perhaps it is because the ultimate nature of all things is emptiness. Maybe clutter and fucking things up is a way for us to conceal from ourselves the emptiness of our dreams. It keeps things interesting and perfection just out of reach.

      Think hard about the things that you ask of the gods (or try to achieve without gods). You just might get them.

      Then what will you do with yourself?

      Alexander wept because he had no new worlds to conquer.

      —Santi

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