Friday, December 11, 2015
"Paranoia strikes a beat- Into your life it will creep" Buffalo Springfield Everybody is afraid of something it seems. Causing them to draw inward, reducing experience to its most instinctual, least analytical expressions; "a change in the structure of experience", the texture and meaning and even temperature- a little rougher, a little colder. Course, it ain't the first time. I was raised under the very real threat of nuclear annihilation and believe the effects of that still linger deep in the psyche. Lot of folks live through violent conflict as war or just daily life. So there is that. My other big theory about (post)modernity (copied from a dozen myths and sources) is that culture lags behind technology and the gap is expressed as alienation, dissociation, cognitive dissonance and yes, fear, paranoia and "Trump". Scare quotes because I think it valuable to think of him as a meme in the symbolic sphere. Think of him as Whiteness (supremacy as backlash), as Patriarchy (backlash to feminism), as Father/Leader (backlash to Liberalism) think of him not as an Event but as a long process and think of him as an actor in a good cop/bad cop strategy designed to push the discourse towards, what else, more profit and power for the few. As the project of liberal democratic capitalism begins to break into pieces, there is a lot to worry about. The void is the opposite of the womb. People didn't want to be in global competition. People didn't want to leave the land all at once and move to cities. People didn't want the "freedom" that capitalist democracy promised. The problem is they don't have any poetry or music or literature or art to express their "no". Certainly no politics. So it comes out shrill and reactionary and nationalist and racist or religious or any weird shard of identity they still cling to like a raft out on a very rough sea. Yes, yes, "The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned. The best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with passionate intensity" But as Mao said "Everything under Heaven is chaos; the situation is excellent."