… if we exist in a world without bodies, we also exist in a world of infinite form. The mind will forever shape reality. We as a culture are already looking inward into our machines; to reach the next phase, we must blend both internal realities. The ease of our IRL-disconnected social lives means that cultural shifting is accelerated, and we are the ones accelerating it. We have control of the visual, and therefore we have the ability to ascend faster than we ever did. We are both the fake and the real.
at this point technology and changing industry standards has made the void between musician and fan so thin that the idea of a ‘music idol’ is obsolete. Via the medium of dissolving, re-ingesting and mutating our pop culture we’re slowly seeing what the future is going to be like: a looped cycle. Reinterpretations and micro-dissections of trends past and present; life through a sexualization/conceptualization lens, filtered through the digital corporeal….these are the best of times and they are the end of times because they are becoming One Time.
"We’re all in free fall towards an abyss of death and trying to reach out and try and connect with someone to ignore that it just seems pathetic, somehow, and trying to do anything is pointless because any fraction of infinity is functionally zero." - Norm MacDonald
on that note…happy new year everyone, i wish you nothing but the very best in all things
“A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens—second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day’s events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths”—Reynolds Price, via Theresa Duncan’s last blog post
The university, with its obsessive reflection upon authentic and inauthentic modes of existence, put his hyper-analytical mind into a philosophical death spiral. His art and life crashed because he fixated on the wrong things… the sort of things that academics fixate on. He over-intellectualized, and he wasted time dreaming of an authentic life when he should have been living among and writing about people experiencing actual lives.
Although Gough doesn’t offer examples of the sort of literary artists he has in mind, UD figures he means someone like Tom Wolfe, with his out there, fully connected, electric acid America… In a way, Gough’s argument goes back to the sort of thing critics like Georg Lukacs, a Marxist, were saying in the ‘thirties and ‘forties when they attacked modernists like Kafka and Beckett: An art of surreal depressive nattering fails to engage with the realities of human lives; it also — like suicide itself — undermines our will to live, and our faith in our ability to improve the world.
“But now that government has largely withdrawn its “handouts,” now that the overwhelming majority of the poor are out there toiling in Wal-Mart or Wendy’s—well, what are we to think of them? Disapproval and condescension no longer apply, so what outlook makes sense?
Guilt, you may be thinking warily. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to feel? But guilt doesn’t go anywhere near far enough; the appropriate emotion is shame—shame at our own dependency, in this case, on the underpaid labor of others. When someone works for less pay than she can live on—when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently—then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The “working poor,” as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else. As Gail, one of my restaurant coworkers put it, “you give and you give.”
Someday of course—and I will make no predictions as to exactly when—they are bound to tire of getting so little in return and to demand to be paid what they’re worth. There’ll be a lot of anger when that day comes, and strikes and disruption. But the sky will not fall, and we will all be better off for it in the end.”
— Barbara Ehrenreich last lines of Nickel and Dimed : Undercover in Low-wage USA
10 years on, this feels maybe even more relevant
in all of her writing there’s this brilliant, cellular biologist’s, talent for analysing things at an intimate level, getting right into the psyche, and considering the profound implications of what she observes on a globalised//international//macroeconomic scale of systems+hierarchies [& vice versa],
e.g. inviting the reader to consider the phenomenon of poverty as
"acute distress…as a state of emergency"
there’s a fundamental state of being, a mentality that gets switched on, bound to squalor and to deprivation —i’m talking about abjection— programmed deep in the psyche of a person, which i think her biological metaphor taps into.
it’s that link between scales, an unclear but beautiful, universal link that you can distil from the sociological to the individual to the medical//psychological to the psyche or the soul which i’m currently engrossed with. foucault discusses this sort of construction in madness and civilisation (current read)
while she invokes the plight of sisyphus in her description of time undercover, the utter despair she brings to nickel&dimed is just as reminiscent to me of notes from the underground, which i guess is pretty fitting
Maciej Ceglowski’s “The Social Graph is Neither” (10 points for great title alone) is a hilarious dissection of what’s wrong with explicitly declared relationships and even with the act of declaring relationships. It is also a blistering critique of Facebook…
technical but totally lucid explanation of the fundamental divorces of faceplace & reality
there’s something deeply personal amongst the most impersonal technical terms here - that’s the absurd and why it feels so profoundly important