5G and ‘Biohackers’: Technology Rules Ok! (or does it?)
Saturday, 17 April 2021 05:20

5G and ‘Biohackers’: Technology Rules Ok! (or does it?)

Dennis Broe writes about how 5G technology is designed to make the world safe for capitalist cultures of consumption, and reviews Biohackers

There seems to be no questioning the technological imperative. 5G will, when it is fully operative, increase download speeds such that general mobile phone internet activity will be 20 to 100 times faster, thus greatly enhancing watching Series TV on the go. 5G will also, its promoters claim, fulfill the promise of both Artificial Intelligence and the internet of things: interconnected smart homes, smart cars, and consumers served by smart farms and operated on by smart machines. Likewise, in genetics, the cracking of DNA and RNA codes—which may enable current COVID-19 stimulators to allow the body to suppress the virus without a dangerous ingestion of COVID—may eventually lead to promoting a generalized immunity from many diseases.

What could go wrong? Plenty, say 5G critics in France. Likewise, in the realm of genetic algorithms, the German series Biohackers equally sounds the alarm.

In the U.S. and across Asia, in particularly in China and South Korea, the answer to what can go wrong is, Nothing. In the U.S. the “debate” over 5G is only about how fast and efficient the service is. The “criticism” is that the Verizon-Apple iPhone 12 and the AT&T-Galaxy 5G rollout, even in the large cities, is only partial, four times rather than 20 times faster. China, meanwhile, leads the world in 5G patents and sees the technology as its way to climb out of the stigma of world’s low-end manufacturer, throwing off the “Made in China” labeling to be replaced by the Huawei branding of assembled technology, this time “Made in Vietnam.” In South Korea, the “debate” is on how soon 6G will arrive.

Europe is behind in the race to 5G, though one of its two telecom companies, Ericsson, has now announced it’s ready for a rollout. But not so fast. Across the continent questions are being raised about the safety, the consumerist changes, planned obsolescence and inequality the technology will effectuate, and about how 5G is part of the capitalist profit-driven productivist imperative that has so ravaged the planet. In Germany and Britain, angry citizens have pulled down towers. In France, especially with the rise of a progressive Green Party called EELV, the entire ethos of 5G is being questioned.

The opening salvo against the technology was fired by the Green Party Mayor of Grenoble, Eric Piolle, who questioned its supposed benefits. “With 5G I can watch porn in HD in my elevator and know if I still have yogurt in the refrigerator” is the way he described the new promised land that proponents claim the network will usher in. In return, the Rothschild banker-turned-President Emmanuel Macron, a prime promoter of neoliberal technology as saviour of French society, labelled the Greens “Amish” who “wanted to return to the era of the oil lamp.” His fellow right-wing confrères warned of a “Green Peril,” using the Cold War overlay of Red Peril, and branded those questioning this imperative as “Khmer Green,” likening them in the digital realm to Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge.

There is little doubt that the primary reason 5G, the star of the Christmas consumer push, is being so thoroughly trumpeted is the profits it will reap, forecast to account for 668 billion dollars globally in six years and predicted, with the gain in the sale of mobile phones, with an  enhanced gaming experience and with more widespread virtual reality headsets, to account for 5 percent of global GDP this year.

5G towers

5G Makes the World Safe for Consumerism  

Elements of the French left, though, including François Ruffin, a legislator and director of the film Merci, Patron, or “Thanks, Boss,” a kind of French Roger and Me about France’s richest bosses mercilessly closing factories, have suggested that this technological bounty is being asked to fill the void in lives that are increasingly despairing. Ruffin notes also how this “techno-totalitarianism,” what media critic Evgeny Morozov calls “solutionism,” will amplify already existing inequalities. The technology may widen the gaps between the increasingly more plugged-in cities with 5G, the periphery around those cities with 4G, and the country’s rural areas with no G, thus in France exacerbating what is termed the “territorial fracture” and what in the U.S. might be called the Red/Blue dichotomy.

Echoing Morozov, Ruffin points out this this kind of thinking leads not to, for example, regulating agribusiness to produce healthier and more eco-friendly food, but to supplying more intelligent forks. In Catholic France 5G is breathlessly talked about, Ruffin says, as the second coming of the Holy Spirit, illuminating our smart phones in the way the first coming descended on the apostles at Pentecost. In the holy light of such a miracle, the telecom industry shakes off the shackles of any sense of being a public good, and instead regulation becomes only about how market competition can be promoted.

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her 4

The Miracle of Consumption in Godard’s Two or Three Things I Know About Her 

France has always been suspicious of consumer “miracles” which its leading thinkers have often seen as foisted on it by American capitalism in its drive for global hegemony. Witness Godard’s Two of Three Things I Know About Her and Weekend and the films of Jacques Tati (Playtime, Mr. Hulot’s Holiday) in their unfolding of a critique of a French society being remade from without.

The debate here is raising important questions that are given short shrift in the rest of the world. Europe is simply being asked to conform and told that if it does not it will be left out of a mainspring of the global economy, with its devices unable to catch up or be plugged into the global flow.

Studies indicate that the digital economy emits 4 percent of greenhouse gas, a number that is predicted to double in five years and which 5 and 6G will accelerate. The Green Party labels 5G an “enevore,” that is, energy gorging, noting that mobile phone use already accounts for 2 percent of electric use in France.

The introduction of this speedier technology is designed to increase costs, not only of a monthly mobile bill as more data is accessed and downloaded, but also necessitating replacing existing mobile phones with 5G-ready equipment, phones which are now already on the average replaced every 18 months to 2 years. Eventually, the technology with increased pixelation for faster and clearer viewing will be a part of computers and televisions and, like the changeover in television sets from analog to digital, will require a wholescale worldwide replacement.

The ecological question also involves not only the global waste in disposing of the used devices which is estimated to reach 2 million tons, but also in their creation with 70 kilos or 154 pounds of raw materials, including rare metals, necessary for the assembling of one of these super devices. These rare metals, which emit radiation, are strip-mined in the south of China where production is still largely private and loosely regulated. Elsewhere, 80 percent of the cobalt and tantalum needed for assembly comes from the east of the Republic of Congo, a war-torn area where 40,000 children work in the mining zones.

Consumer enhancement, of course, with the tech companies goes hand in hand with consumer surveillance, and 5G increases the drive to a global data centre where billions of data packages will be available to publicity and advertising agencies for use in instantaneously molding and soliciting user taste depending on the content of individual cell phones and the store any consumer passes or, more creepily, any impulses they have. By 2025 it is predicted that 75 billion objects will be interconnected, all transmitting user data so that the refrigerator that is telling you to buy more yogurt is also spying on you. The internet highway becomes a spyway.

The implementation of 5G is also wasteful. Huawei is clearly the global leader in cheap and efficient 5G construction. A mobile phone is made up of a complex of 250,000 inventions and patents. In 2020 the Chinese lead the world with 34 cell phone patents, followed by South Korea and Europe with the U.S. a distant fourth. Yet, in labeling the Chinese company a security risk—when in fact the real threat is that it is a more skilful competitor—and forcing its allies to boycott the company as well, installation of 5G will be more costly with companies required to duplicate already established efforts.

Finally, there is the question of safety. There has been no comprehensive government study on the effects of the increased sonic waves on the human body. Private corporate studies, which are not required to be made public, all negate this possibility, while public studies suggest there may be some danger. The U.S. National Toxicology Program found evidence of cancer tumors in rats exposed to high frequencies, and in Italy the Ramazzini Institute warned there were potential carcinogens in radio frequencies. The French government has commissioned a thoroughgoing study, the results to be reported in Spring 2021. The newspaper of record Le Monde and 70 legislators have asked for a moratorium until the findings are revealed, but Macron’s Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire wants to hasten 5G installation, warning that a delay would contribute to France losing its digital sovereignty.

The corporate sector sees 5G as simply an economic issue with the question being when and how, not why. The Greens and the French left see 5G, in the way it will change French life, perhaps increasing what the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze called “societies of control,” as a social and ecological issue and a place where the overwhelming drive to more and faster which has so devastated the planet must be questioned. On the continental, national and individual level, to not have 5G means to drop out of the digital flow, with capital arguing, as Theodor Adorno warned in the mid-20th century, that the worst of all conditions is to be left behind. What a bleak future indeed without porn on our elevators and without knowing if we need another yogurt in our refrigerator!

Are you ready for more genetic engineering?

biohackers netflix review

Genetic Mind Games on Biohackers

A series which similarly questions how technological prowess is being implemented and controlled, this time in the area of genomes and the human body, is the German show Biohackers. The series is financed by German government and Bavarian Television funds, and shot in the same studio as another German series, Dark, both available on Netflix. The simplicity of Biohackers, which begins with a highly dramatic bio attack on a train and then flashes back to explain how the young female student Mia got there and why she is not susceptible to the attack, works in its favour, as opposed to the laboured three-era, almost impenetrable flashbacks of Dark.

The action takes place on the Bavarian campus of the University of Freiburg, the German centre of all kinds of genetic engineering experimentation. The students at the school, a band of renegades working on their own socially uplifting mutations, are part of a do-it-yourself biology known as the biotechnological social movement or as bio- or wetware hacking, similar to the early rough and tumble cyberpunks of the internet. Mia’s roommates—botanist Chen Lu, monied beauty queen Lotta, and nerd seed experimenter Ole—form an international group of scientific Scooby Doos who come to her rescue as she is first taken under the wing of the university’s star biologist Dr. Tanya Lorenz and then threatened by her, as Mia and her friends expose the ruthlessness of their professor’s experiments to perfect a subject immune to disease.

Mia’s futon and her rumpled student quarters are contrasted to the corporate-funded Dr. Lorenz’s elaborate multi-storied, impeccably furnished and ordered home in the Bavarian forest, complete with lab in the basement. As with 5G, Dr. Lorenz issues a warning that Germany, which has lost out and is behind in digital mastery, must conquer the realm of biotechnology to compensate.

Two Scoobys

The Scoobys in Scooby Doo

Dr. Lorenz, though, is revealed to be experimenting on human subjects, leaving a murderous trail behind her and recalling earlier experiments by the Nazis who also claimed to be benefiting humanity. She is Dr. Mengele in a pants suit. This contemporary version of the former ethos features Lorenz, as Mia points out, marking her subjects with a bar code, as the Nazis burnt prison numbers into their subjects’ flesh.

We are reminded that the Bavarian countryside and its dark forests hatched Hitler in his first coup attempt and that Freiburg University was the place the philosopher Martin Heidegger, in his moment of embracing National Socialism, accepted an appointment as head of the university until his gradual disgust with the movement resulted in his resignation.

Biohackers, renewed for a second season when the conspiracy to hide the experimentation reaches a national level, does not shy away from the subject of chemical and biological warfare. However, instead of the hackneyed usual and usually insane “terrorist,” the terror here is far better organized and financed not by rogue fanatics but by a corporate-medical ethos which values profit above human life.

Cannes 2018 vs. Cannes 1968: What a Falling Off Is This!
Saturday, 17 April 2021 05:20

Cannes 2018 vs. Cannes 1968: What a Falling Off Is This!

Published in Films

Dennis Broe's final report on the hyperspectacle which is Cannes 2018.

I would like to begin this Cannes Festival wrap up with the opening of At War, a film about the immolation of the French working class, which is an apt quote from Bertolt Brecht for these media-induced apathetic times: “It’s possible to struggle and lose but if you don’t struggle, you’ve already lost.”

Now to the hyperspectacle. The dust has settled, the prizes are bestowed and Cannes 2018 is in the books. The American trade papers subjected the festival to consistent attacks with The Hollywood Reporter suggesting, as one of its “Five Reasons why Cannes is no Longer so Relevant”, that there are not as many billboards along the Croisette or Boardwalk for American blockbusters. The Festival is having problems but lack of billboards championing masterpieces like Cars 12 and Fast and Furious 27 are not among them.

Hollywood boycotted the festival, perhaps figuring that Venice, which is closer to nomination time, works better for highlighting Academy Award fare. On their side, the French cinema owners also closed ranks, threatening to fire the Cannes director Thierry Fremaux if he again allowed Netflix films, which do not open in French cinemas, in the main competition.

Foreign profits

Fremaux, whose natural disposition is more ecumenical, then returned the festival to arthouse competition only, but without Amazon and Netflix, two of the main American producers currently of independent fare. The open war that broke out at Cannes is really the expression of a competition between Hollywood/Netflix and the rest of the world. Foreign profits are now more crucial to the Hollywood/Netflix bottom line and when the studios and the streaming services took their toys and went home they wanted to make it seem like the sandbox would then collapse, though both were highly active in snatching up films in the Cannes market.

That aside though, many of the films this year were problematic. They often began well but succumbed to various faults. The Godard film was a milestone, but the Lars von Trier and Jia Zhangke films were both lacking. Two Italian films, Happy As Lazzaro and Dogman have wonderful first halves, then seem to succumb to the same malaise that is afflicting the country as a whole, which this week saw the first far-right party take power in a Western democracy. Blackkklansman, which did win the second prize at the festival, is the best and worst of Spike Lee. Under the Silver Lake begins in Hitchcock/David Lynch ecstasy in its perceptive presentation of capitalism’s compulsion to erase mystery and wonder from the world, but then substitutes lazy Hollywood pseudo-philosophizing for critique.

Nevertheless, there were films to like and a top five in and out of the main competition. They were:
- Yomeddine, an Egyptian road movie that is a tour through a brutal neo-liberalized Egypt;
- Cold War, a unexpected complex examination of both sides of that conflict;
- The Image Book, Godard’s masterful indictment of and paean to European civilization and its troubled relationship with the Arab World;
- The Spy Gone North which begins as a Cold War missive itself then morphs into a revealing look at the powers on the peninsula wanting to maintain the war; and
- At War, Stephane Brize’s penetrating examination of what may be the last stand for French workers losing their place in the globalized capitalist economy.

There were also films not to like. Two of these were: Solo: A Star War’s Story, where we find out how Hans Solo met Chewbacka and a whole lot of other things we didn’t need or want to know in Disney’s attempt to push the franchise well beyond oversaturation, and On the Road in France, a cross country trip by May 68’s Daniel Cohn-Bendit. He is now a Macron backer, and his grilling of the workers he encounters about how they can be more productive and relevant is a very Macroniste take on a French working class which now must justify its very existence.

The best

First the best. Yomaddine is better and more trenchant than most critics here thought. An ageing leper in rural Egypt, whose wife has just died, goes on a quest with the boy he has adopted to find his long lost parents who had dropped him at the colony. What he finds though is an Egypt full of corruption, competition and greed as the police shackle him, fellow travellers steal from him and his family at first shuns him – in short a trip though the American backed Al-Sissi dictatorship which betrayed the Arab Spring.

Hope though comes from social outsiders and outcasts including the Muslim Brotherhood member who escapes from jail with him, three cripples, including one a former truck driver run over by a drunken scion of a wealthy family, who re-instill his confidence, and the boy Obama who will not forsake him. A chilling scene is his watching a cruise ship at night in his first time gazing at the Nile from his perch next to his beat-up mule-drawn wagon with the Egyptian elite streaming by and partying in the face of and oblivious to his misery.

Godard believes in the power of images and in their constant juxtaposition and The Image Book somewhat akin to Elegy of Love, Film Socialisme and his 3-D Goodbye to Language simply overwhelms with his quoting and mixing of films from Johnny Guitar to Vertigo. He also quotes art, Delacroix for example. The film mixes works of creation of Western civilization with footage of napalming and massacres in Vietnam, atomic explosions, and devastation of the Arab World. The overall impact though in this case is not the celebration of the images as in his Histories of Cinema but a sense that the image culture which Godard loves/hates is complicit in the destruction and devastation that the West has unleashed on the rest of the world.

This festival’s other masterpiece is Polish director Pawel Palinowski’s Cold War, an instant Oscar contender for Best Foreign Film. The film, which covers a decade in frayed European relationships because of the Cold War, is shot in resplendent black and white. The monochrome approach catches the drabness of the Eastern bloc, but also in more high contrast the glitter that is not gold of the West, and particularly Paris.

The film explores the way the aspirations of artists – here star-crossed lovers, a singer and an composer/accompanist – were similar in the Second World to the First World, with the performers from the Polish countryside wanting to get to Moscow instead of New York and London, and with divided Berlin as their meeting point. The Cold War of the title also refers to men and women but that conflict between the two leads takes second fiddle by the end to the way they can find no peace on either side of the socialist/capitalist curtain and are eventually consumed by this war among peoples who were more alike than different.

Cannes 2 At War

The presentation of Stephane Brize’s At War received a 15 minute ovation at the end. The film details the way that French workers at a factory, who were promised work for five years and who gave back hours and wages after two years, find out that the German owned company, which is making a profit, is going back on its word. It is closing because it can reduce wages even further by moving to Romania.

The film premiered the day after Oxfam announced that of the leading industrialized countries French businesses returned the greatest share of their profits, 68%, to shareholders who simply pocketed the money, a factor which is revealed in the film as also driving the plant closing. The film concentrates solidly on the attempts to resist the firing of the factory workers with little psychologizing of his characters in a way that keeps it focused on their economic plight. The only problem was the overemphasis on one worker, played by Vincent London, one of the only professional actors in the cast, but miscast in a film whose subject was the collective group of workers. This character though does come finally to expresses the near hopelessness of workers caught in the global corporate capitalist vice, and the ovation at the premiere seemed to be as much for French workers themselves as for the cast, crew, and film.

Cannes 2 the spy gone north cannes

The Spy Gone North, a taut espionage and suspense thriller, begins in promoting the Cold War itself as a South Korean spy dressed up as an entrepreneur attempts to ferret out in the 1990s whether the North is constructing atomic weapons. Strangely, that task is forgotten in the film’s much stronger second half, as it details the ways that military men on both sides want the buildup to continue and in the South the way the intelligence service was used to attempt to sabotage the election of a peace candidate. The films feelgood ending affirms a friendship between the spy from the South and his corresponding contact in the North validating the will of the people on both sides for peace.

Cannes 2 blackkklansman

Not so good

Now to the problem films. Blackkklansman, like its bombastic title, is a narrative that too often stays at the level of style in this story of a black police officer in Colorado in the 1980s who helped infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. The presentation of Stokely Carmichael and the black liberation rebels is superficial sloganeering and the celebration of police informants, here both black and white, hews too closely to the current Democratic Party strategy of celebrating the FBI’s investigation of Trump. Be careful what you wish for and who you are celebrating.

The strengths here are Spike’s mixing of materials and use of documentary including:
- the magnetic presence of Harry Belafonte telling a story of a 1916 lynching intercut with the Klan’s watching of the film The Birth of a Nation;
- Alex Baldwin’s impersonation of a Grand Klan wizard in the opening using Trump phraseology;
- the closing montage which highlights the resurgence of right wing street violence at Charlottsville; and
- a transcendent dance sequence in a black club to the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose’s “It’s too late to turn back now.”

jie zhangkes Ash is Pure as White

Jie Zhangke’s Ash is Pure as White has another miraculous performance by his muse Zhao Tao in a film about three phases of contemporary China’s transformation into a freewheeling, profitable, but less communal, economy and society. Her performance recalls first her role as ingénue gangster's moll in Unknown Pleasures at the moment of the country’s initial capitalization, then as female action figure from A Touch of Sin as here she saves her gangster boyfriend and takes the rap for him, as wronged wife in Still Life in its critique of vast expansions such as the Three Gorges Project which shows up in the film as a place. Here, she is swindled by a would-be entrepreneur, and finally as gambling parlour elder which recalls her struggles to triumph over a hard life in Mountains May Depart. The problem is we have seen it all before and though this adds to Zhao’s luster as perhaps the greatest actress in the modern cinema it does not add so much to Jie’s work or deepen his concerns.

Two films which initially appear promising but then end up vacant are Lars von Trier’s House That Jack Built and the actually more ambitious and penetrating film by It Follows director David Robert Mitchell, Under the Silver Lake. House was von Trier’s return to Cannes after being ousted for a previous provocation.

The film begins as a characterization of the American male as that of a serial killer. It’s an orgy of male violence against women and the kind of film, even as critique, that perhaps the MeToo movement will change so that we get the other side of this violence, and indeed 100 people are said to have walked out at the premiere.

It then descends into a parable of the artist as serial killer with Matt Dylan/von Trier as Dante visiting hell accompanied by Bruno Ganz’s Virgil, and at this point becomes simple, meaningless and offensive provocation, citing Albert Speer as tortured artist. It’s a far cry from von Trier’s better work, which had cast a penetrating gaze on the American psyche. House is the violent companion piece to the equally lifeless Nymphomaniac – von Trier has managed to make two boring films about sex and violence.

Cannes 2 under the silver lake

Under the Silver Lake begins very promisingly with hints of a mystery in this gentrified capital of Los Angeles hipdom, as an out-of-work slacker attempts to solve the disappearance of a girl who lives next door, as in Rear Window. He follows her friend in lush travelling shots via Vertigo, only this time as farce in a paddle boat; acts like Jeffrey in Blue Velvet in his claim that there is a mystery he is trying to uncover; and watches at one of the numerous parties he attends a whispered version of “To Sir With Love” that recalls the “Crying” sequence in Mulholland Drive.

The film’s enlightened conceit though, is that while Lynch and Hitchcock explored genuine social and psychic mysteries, late capitalism has destroyed the idea of mystery and replaced it with nothing but brands. The slacker Sam in a conversation with his nominal girlfriend after having sex, during which they watch celebrity news, talks about the first magazine he masturbated to and then asks his actress-friend what was her first – not her first lover or first person she had sex with, but the first image she masturbated to. She answers that it was a character, a logo, on a tube of tooth paste, a double remove from human experience. Where Hitchcock had the Raymond Burr character in Rear Window as a murderer, Sam spies instead in the window of the missing girl, the landlord looking for the rent. The film does eventually dissolve into a haze of ramblings about pop culture, as the so-called solutions to the mysteries become more and more trivial, actually unintentionally illustrating its thesis that what is meaningful in culture has been destroyed by profit mongers, unfortunately that includes the latter half of this film. The real secret of Silver Lake - the gentrification that has moved Hispanic peoples out of the area and replaced them with hipsters - is elided in these pseudo-solutions.

Problems also beset two Italian films, both about the contemporary issues plaguing that country. Dogman has an astounding performance by Marcello Fonte as a dog groomer in a forgotten, left-for-dead, suburban wasteland somewhere in Italy. Fonte is the new Dino Risi, the Italian everyman actor of the 1950s. Only where Risi was a conformist who somehow managed to do the right thing, Fonte’s character is a decent man who is drawn into a net of violence as his way out of the poverty facing the country’s small business class. The opening sequence where he is gingerly washing a vicious bulldog is recapitulated in the film with his relationship with a local thug Simone, who is Mussolini-like in his brute violence. The film though in the end succumbs to that violence and can find no other way out.

Happy As Lazzaro exhibits director Alice Rohrwacher’s gift for recalling the ‘50s golden age of Italian social comedy, especially in its opening serenading of a young girl by a villager, seen not from his perspective but from the jaded view of the girl’s older sister. The film is about the village enslaved and in debt to a contessa who does not inform them that their medieval sharecropping relationship has been outlawed in modern Italy and who claims they are better off enslaved.

The second half purports to be a fable about how these times continue in the present but by the bumbling of the peasants in the modern world instead simply illustrates that what the contessa claimed about them needing their own domination is true.

A similar problem besets the Japanese film Shoplifting, which won the Palme d’Or as best film. A gang of loving misfits live by pilfering but form what the film contends is a better family unit than the more traditional one, adopting a girl who is beaten in her supposedly more loving, upwardly mobile family structure. Ultimately though the film does not sustain its critique and ends up taking it back, by showing that the outsider family is as morally bankrupt as those it seems to oppose. Wonderful performances highlighted by Ando Sakuro, the wife of the lead character, who is alternately carefree, seductive and maternal.

Patriarchal capitalist culture

Finally there is the documentary Whitney, which opens with shots of the Newark Riots and places its subject Whitney Houston in the middle of the riots where she grew up. The film details her rough schooling and abandonment by her mother Cissy Houston, who was on the road with Aretha Franklin, her father stealing from her, and her husband Bobby Brown beating her and leading her further down the path of drugs. It also details her remarkable vocal ability nurtured in her gospel background, her energy, and the way her voice and the famous kiss at the end of The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner, a relationship with a white man in which the black woman has the upper hand, was a point of pride for the black community.

Unfortunately, this type of tell-all film can easily degenerate into its own form of exploitation. The moment where a friend reveals that Whitney was molested – and then pauses and reveals by whom and we find it’s a celebrity molestation – feels simply designed to sell the film rather than to get to an inner truth about the singer. Her desperation was indeed there from the beginning in her first mega hit “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” where the next line is “with somebody who loves me.” She searched her whole life to find that somebody, did not find them, and the search in all the wrong places and her pumping up by the male dominated, profit-seeking celebrity machine, combined to kill her. Like so many other black female singers, she was a victim of patriarchal capitalist culture.