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Toy Atrocity

Author: • Aug 1st, 2008 •

Category: America, Ballardosphere, conspiracy theory, politics, short stories

Ballardian: John F. Kennedy

Over at Fantastic Journal, Charles Holland has a fabulous post that begins with a rumination on the 1:43 scale model of JFK’s presidential limo sitting on his mantelpiece, and makes its way to a very perceptive analysis of the nature of conspiracy theory as it applies to Ballard’s Atrocity short, ‘The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race’:

Ballard’s story differs from conspiracy theory in an important respect. Although, like them, it uses collage and displacement – the sliding in one of one scenario for another, storylines and characters cut and pasted from alternative worlds* – it works through absurdity, highlighting the seam between the accepted reality and the absurd version he posits in its place. Ballard’s story uses collage as an avant garde device of radical disjunction and violent displacement… Conspiracy theory strives for truth, but one that always slips away. By casting doubt on truth in the first place it inherently unbalances itself. Despite its controversy at the time of writing, Ballard’s story is as much a satire on conspiracy theory as it is a tasteless deflation of the importance of the event itself.

More at Fantastic Journal.

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3 Responses »

  1. we all want a 60’s Lincoln Continental…

    these days one can smell Ballard everywhere…
    Memories of the Space Age…:


    btw, the CCCB in Barcelona has launched an special contest of Ballardian Home Movies:

    The winner gets a very ballardian price: two days’ full board for two people in a 4-star hotel (low season, of course) at the Marina d’Or Ciudad de Vacaciones tourist complex (a really bizarre place, complete with scaled reproductions of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty).

    My cellphone is ready…

  2. Man what is that? is that a model of the people who were in the car when President Kennedy was shot and killed

  3. … Why is President Kennedy missing an arm?

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