Postmodern Détournement Analysis of the Popular Mechanics Spectacle using Stories and Photos of the Festive Community Life of Nickerson Gardens" by: David Boje Abstract This article uses "Tympan" text juxtaposition with minor and deceptive "Détournement" postmodern narrative (consult annotated references for definitions and explanation of concepts). "Tympan" is Jacques Derrida's to his introduction to Margins of Philosophy (1972). "Tympan" enacts two columns side by side on each page. In this article, one the left is the complete Samuel Katz (1997) Popular Mechanics' article titled "Felon Busters: When the cops are outgunned, LAPD SWAT breaks up the party." I also analyze the left column (see annotated references) for minor détournement, the strange Popular Mechanics' image juxtaposition and respond with my own acts of what Debord and Wolmanl (1958) term the "deceptive détournement." Deceptive détournement in this article is my act of putting the Popular Mechanics' stories and photos in a new meaning context, but putting festive stories and photos in the right column. On this right column are my storied field notes of participant observations at Nickerson Gardens between 1990 and 1999. My purpose is to highlight the thin margin between photo-images and stories of Popular Mechanics mechanistic and Hobbesian account of urban combat technology and Nickerson Garden's Resident Management Corporation (NGRMC) mothers' organic and non-violent storytelling. Between Apollonian spectacles of violence and Mothers' Dionysian festive enactments (Wallace, 1996; Brown, 1998). There is also an incessant crossing of the "the thin margin between" the two columns. One silent crossing is effected by the label "Nickerson Gardens" which appears in both columns. Another crossing is to contrast to the "spectacle" nature of the left column (a reference to Guy Debord's work, Society of the Spectacle) and the "festival" stories and images on the right, of mothers, children, professors, and students doing a Halloween Parade as a way to initiate a tutoring program in the Gardens. Only in the very last section does the NGRMC and I unsilently interrogate the Popular Mechanics article. Each column seeks to pierce and penetrate the other, to cross over the thin boundary margin. Both columns repeatedly address their very different strategies for what to do about, not just Nickerson Gardens, but all public housing. The left column is the current policy of urban combat technology deployment of the Clinton Presidency. The right column is the faded policy of resident empowerment through economic development, partnerships with universities, self-sufficiency (e.g. the NGRMC), and community beautification. Therefore this article is fundamentally a deconstructive work, juxtaposing a popular and spectacular view of public housing with an insiders' and participative, and at the same time more festival view of living community. Click here to read the full article.