I watched The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings part 2) with my daughter on Friday evening. The absolute nadir of horror is when Frodo, captured by Faramir, is staggering around the bombed-out city Osgiliath when a Nazgul (a ringwraith) attacks on a “fell beast,” a terrifying winged dragon-like creature.
Accidentally my baby boy Simon switched on a toy that blows little balls with air. While this machine is operating various tunes play, tunes whose ridiculousness can only be hinted at.
The ridiculous music cut into the intense Wagnerian Gesamkunstwerk on the screen (and coming through the speakers). In particular, the movie soundtrack was blotted out.
Claire and I collapsed in helpless laughter as the Nazgul strafed the city...
Perhaps this is not unlike Graham Harman's idea for staging the Ring cycle in the Caribbean.
The idea of “world” depends upon all kinds of mood lighting and mood music, aesthetic effects that contain a kernel of sheer ridiculous meaninglessness. It's the job of serious Wagnerian worlding to erase the trace of this meaninglessness. But it's easy to recover it—absurdly easy, as the accidental toy experiment proves.
Stupid Kids' Toy 5, Wagnerian Tolkien movie Nil.
What can we learn from this? “World,” a key concept in ecophenomenology, is an illusion...
And objects for sure have a hidden weirdness, as argued by OOO. In effect, the Stupid Kids' Toy “translated” the movie (see here for a Levi Bryant argument on translation).