Good Company: Noam Chomsky
Derek G. Larson
How does the relationship between Executives and their companies relate to how much you love your partner, your best friend, and even yourself?
Both dynamics are functioning in the competitive market of current-day capitalism. Whether you are admitting it or not, your relationship’s capacity to yield a profit and increase your status and power is going to factor into your feelings. Which leads us to bell hooks’ question, what kind of love, if any, can exist under capitalism?
And speaking of literally nothing being uncontaminated by the detrimental effects of capitalism, what if I told you that during the Cold War there was a secret operation in Mexico City to create anti-communist propaganda cartoons by the U.S Government?
And the animation studio wasn’t just making local shows. It was also producing beloved American cartoons that your parents probably watched, like Rocky and Bullwinkle, to disseminate anti-Russian and anti-German stereotypes to kids globally. What do you think––did it work?
For episode 6 of Derek G. Larson’s Très Mall, Jon, in a beret and smoking a cigarette, decides he is going to get to the bottom of this controversy by traveling to Mexico and researching obscure cartoon archives. Given that he himself is a cartoon, this suggests a long overdue existential crisis on the part of our inscrutable main character might be near.
In fact, druggie-chic eyebags and deadpan delivery aside, Jon is pensive and alert when he finds himself far from home in the streets of Mexico City and in conversation with Noam Chomsky animated as a monkey in tourist apparel, sporting his signature glasses. This is a nod to Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee who was the subject of a controversial and extended study of animal language acquisition at Columbia University in the 70s. Scientists are still debating to what extent Nim actually learned English, but what we do know is that he loved alcohol, fast cars, and his longest recorded "sentence" was the 16-word-long "Give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange give me you.
Alongside an original score written by Jim O’Rourke, Jon and Chomsky muse on the effects of corporate-funded campuses, the influence of advertising on morality, U.S-Mexico labor relations, and the possibility of love under capitalism.
Featuring Spanish subtitles.