Ghost Divers

[S1E5] Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, eps. 20–26

3 years ago

Episode Notes

It’s time to finish out our episode discussions with our breakdown of episodes 20 through 26. We get right into this with high energy because we recorded [S0E1] Welcome to Ghost Divers immediately prior to this recording, so Niamh is already fully on one. Thankfully Connor is here to rein fem in.

We start the discussion by trying to put a bow on Niamh’s theory bullshit with Benjamin and Bazin while Connor gets on his own theory bullshit train with Koestler’s The Ghost in the Machine. Throughout the episode, we cover the tension between individual and society, Aoi the individual as distinct from the Laughing Man, Aoi’s reverence to the original and the truth, the Major’s rage as she fights for her body and her need for control, demedicalization and bodily autonomy as part of trans liberationism, the value of the individual vs. the value of the team, the theoretical origins of the ghost in the shell, the similarities and distinctions between Aoi and the Major, the culpability of individuals in institutions and the need for individuals to break with the institutional imperative in order to create change, the tension between individualism and collectivism, the conversations between Batou and the Major relating to her body and why she chose it, the final act of self sacrifice by the Tachikomas, Batou’s own struggles with gender and oppressive systems, and ultimate finish by teasing out some of the quotes provided by the Major and Aoi in the show’s own version of a Works Cited.

Also sorry, we had a few audio issues again but Niamh thinks fae figured out the main issues so it should be better going forward.

Lastly, don't forget that we will be recording the Question Bucket soon. The deadline to write into our Question Bucket for this series is January 30, 2020. You can write into ghostdiverspod[at]gmail and follow us on Twitter!


Works Cited in this Discussion

“The Ontology of the Photographic Image” from What is Cinema?, vol. 1 by André Bazin

“Beyond the Image in Benjamin and Bazin: The Aura of the Event” by Monica Dall’Asta, published in Opening Bazin: Postwar Film Theory and Its Afterlife

“The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility” by Walter Benjamin

The Ghost in the Machine by Arthur Koestler

Kino-Eye by Dziga Vertov

The Political Unconscious by Fredric Jameson

Content Warnings for this Discussion

Intense Violence / Gore / Head Trauma / Suffocation
Sexual Harassment / Abuse / Rape in a Medical Context (40:36-41:38)
Threats to Autonomy
Transphobia / Having Conversation With Cis People As A Trans Person
Self Sacrifice

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