When you have nothing better to do

We are masters of our destiny and victims of circumstance at the same time. There are steps we can take to better ourselves, but most of us can’t or won’t take them.

And even if we do, a more powerful entity will block our path. Break us down over time. Apply pressure from every angle. Make money, stay healthy, look good, be good, be excellent.

It also comes from within. The relentless demon of dissatisfaction pushing you to earn every day, stay fit, stay strong, stay forever young as your organs decay and your cells dream of death.

The only thing worse than being exploited is not being needed at all. First you work for less than you’re worth, then you become worthless. Join the ever expanding company of the economically redundant. For one vanishing moment of human history, your dumb, gas leaking meat bag was needed to rivet, stamp, weld and meld.

They needed you to produce a maniacal excess of goods. Then they needed you to consume those goods. The floodgates of credit were opened. You can’t afford your life but you’ll pay it back later. Someone will pay it later.

Mechanization weakened your body. Automation retarded your brain. Hardship is no wifi at the cafe. The slightest discomfort is an affront to human rights. Your wants and needs expand as your ability to meet the wants and needs of others contracts. You expect more and more as you deliver less and less.

The poor religious people of the southern hemisphere keep reproducing. They thrive on eating dirt and drinking disease. Suffering is nothing to them. They don’t have birth control and instagram. Nothing to do but eat shrubs and fuck. They don’t live in the shadows of other’s success. There’s no hesitation before the infinite menu of possibilities.

Meanwhile westerners rob themselves of their happiness. Condemning their past and questioning their future. What happens when the economy doesn’t even need you to buy products anymore? Your final occupation will be to die without leaving anything behind. Don’t have children because the brown people are taking care of that.

It would be cruel to reproduce an increasingly obsolete and threatened way of life. Persisting with vanity after the eclipse of humanity. Generations will be born into a world without light and hope. Mutant post-people will subsist in sewers and dwell in ditches, reciting myths of an ancient race of demi gods with remarkable powers.

Our ancestors dominated the skies and the waters. They tamed the beasts and glimpsed the mind of God. They grew fat and arrogant and brought ruin upon themselves. Now we live in the vacuum of their impossible promise, in the hollowed out rot of their greatness. 

This is a snapshot of a dark moment stretched out into a still life. I’m waking up in cold obscurity without work and money. The only way to release this dread and unease is by writing it out. I hope this was only an exercise, a piece of trash art.

Angels I have heard while high

Alone on Christmas Morning in the Capital of the World. Families gather to eat whole hams and watch stupefying repeats of holiday classics. They exchange gifts and remember how to love. They also argue and endure soul flaying boredom.

There are two sides to the holiday season. One side is about love, family, closeness, kindness, and reunion. People coming back together to celebrate goodness and the positive potential of humanity. The other side is about crass consumerism, isolation, and hatred of blood bonds.

The tasteless, obvious critique of consumer culture and capitalism. Tone deaf denunciation of rural bigotry. Cheap, stunted, played out mockery of Christianity. Half wits straining themselves to say something naughty about jesus. We’re staging a nativity play about gay, black jesus coming into the world through the portal of Mother Mary’s anus. 

Scrolling through instagram while your sibling open their presents. Tweeting while your frail grandmother recounts an ancient episode of her life. Bringing the all encompassing distraction of your alienated, dispersed existence back home with you. I can’t wait to get back into the city where anonymous relations reign. Cash for time, an hour in a bar for sex. Everything is contractual. If you don’t like it you can renegotiate or leave.

You can quite your job. Break up with your girlfriend. Move from place to place. Try out different religions and pick up new hobbies. Change your entire cast of friends. Keep swimming in the current of the new.

But you can’t change your family. You can’t carve out a different genetic sequence that forever links you to them. The people who brought you into the world will always be those people. The place you were born will always be that place. Even though you’re meditating in a mountain hut in Bhutan, you’re still from Peoria, Illinois.

As you troll for casual sex on the streets of Tokyo, your mother worries about your safety and health. She wonders when you’re going to carry her genes on into the future. Sorry mom, I need to flood the back alleys with my wayward sperm. Having children and replicating the family structure that provided me with love and security would be oppressive.

This isolation and ennui is freedom. This angst and alienation is healthy. Loving your family, religion, and nationality is sick. If you love your parents and your homeland, it’s only a matter of time before you’re loading jews onto cattle cars. Barren buttfucking and vegan diets will bring about a communist utopia. Mixing genetic material with someone you love and trust to form new life will destroy the earth.

I have nothing to do for the next three days except think, read and write. Here’s to hoping that I make good use of my free time. Learning and reflecting rather than moping and masturbating.

Maybe it’s time to study a subject other than myself. Maybe it’s time to think of someone else’s needs rather than my own.

For now, it’s time to bake some chicken thighs in the sweet solitude of a sequestered Christmas.

An experimental work, modern, difficult

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-frankfurt-school-knew-trump-was-coming

The Frankfurt School knew Trump was coming:

Of course they did. 

“Adorno believed that the greatest danger to American democracy lay in the mass-culture apparatus of film, radio, and television. Indeed, in his view, this apparatus operates in dictatorial fashion even when no dictatorship is in place: it enforces conformity, quiets dissent, mutes thought. Nazi Germany was merely the most extreme case of a late-capitalist condition in which people surrender real intellectual freedom in favor of a sham paradise of personal liberation and comfort.”

Adorno hated the mass culture apparatus because he was a snob. Why would he have given a genuine goddamn about American democracy? He wasn’t afraid of conformity and oppression, he was disturbed by large scale enjoyment. 

The Adorno’s of the world have a serious problem and preoccupation with dumb people having a good time. The ignorant masses  should be consuming art made by subversive jews that hate them. Anyone who doesn’t gravitate towards art that makes them feel bad is a dupe of the system. 

It was the malevolent culture industry that prevented people from listening to Arnold Schoenburg. It wasn’t that Schoenburg composed horrifically ugly, dispiriting music. Atonal music corresponds to nothing beautiful in the human soul. It necessarily appeals to a small group of arrogant critics and artists  who don’t listen to it for pleasure, but use it to increase their status. 

I love the phrase late-capitalist too. You know you’re dealing with a degenerate marxist hack when you start hearing that one. What the fuck does it mean? Late capitalism, as in you were once again dead wrong about the end of capitalism and now you have to act as though it’s really, this time, you mean it, almost over? 

Excuse me sir, I couldn’t help but notice that you are living in a home you have purchased with the wages you earn in exchange for your labor. This home is heated and air conditioned and has a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and a washing machine. You can have light whenever you want it thanks to the electricity. There’s plumbing and hot water. With your free time you listen to popular records and go to the movies to relax and enjoy major studio backed feature films. Were you aware, good sir, that what no doubt appears to you as comfort and personal liberation is in fact a sham paradise?

Wouldn’t you be far happier with real intellectual freedom? No, you wouldn’t be able to talk about race. Also you would have to be careful with what you say about gender. And class. And a bunch of other categories we’re going to invent. No, you will not be able to question equality or emancipation. Yes, your standard of living will go right down the toilet you won’t have, you’ll be shitting in a hole at the edge of the woods. 

We’ve prepared the script of real intellectual freedom for you, so you’ll just read from that. And we’ve gone ahead and decided how much money and food you need. We get human need, unlike you yokels and yuppies who get caught up in greed and false desires. We know what you and everyone else needs. You have too much and it’s time to give back. 

Read this petrified turd of Adorno’s:

“Lies have long legs: they are ahead of their time. The conversion of all questions of truth into questions of power, a process that truth itself cannot escape if it is not to be annihilated by power, not only suppresses truth as in earlier despotic orders, but has attacked the very heart of the distinction between true and false, which the hirelings of logic were in any case diligently working to abolish. So Hitler, of whom no one can say whether he died or escaped, survives.

How can anyone take that seriously? It’s like a shit log that coils around itself. When people write like this, it’s because they either don’t have a point at all, or their point is so shamefully weak that they have to hide it. 

That paragraph is the literary, intellectual equivalent of a penis rapidly going limp. It’s a pinched, helium fueled fart with one cheek lifted off the seat. In the thicket of gnarly verbiage the only thing I can make out is that nowadays, we don’t even care about the difference between true and false because….Hitler. 

The article has one point to make. You know the drill. Popular culture set the stage for the Trump presidency. The masses were conditioned to choose a charming demagogue as their leader. If only more people had listened to Schoenburg and gazed at toilets as if they were works of genius, we’d have elected Hillary and the progressive future would have marched on. 

 

I think, therefore I’m annoying

I can’t write about ideas anymore. My voice becomes stiff and artificial. All the jargon, the complicated syntax, the dense references. Sentences stretching on and on. I wanted to write about living in a simulated reality, because I think it’s a stale bong rip of an idea promoted by detached fart huffing nerds, but after one paragraph I started to hate myself. I’m going for it anyway.

Simulation presupposes reality. A simulation is built into a prepositional structure. By this I mean that a simulation is always of something and for someone. You take away the reality of what is simulated and the reality of the act of simulating for someone or something and you lose simulation itself. I hope that makes sense. I despise not being clear and the frustration of trying to do this right now makes me want to punch a migrant.

It’s the same with consciousness. Sometimes people crawl so far up their own assholes that they think that consciousness is an illusion. What if maaaan….

But illusions presuppose consciousness. There can only be an illusion for a conscious agent in an act of perception. It make no sense to say that not only is a perceived object or experience an illusion, but the awareness of the experience is also an illusion. How can my consciousness of an illusion also be an illusion? To whom or to what is this illusion appearing? Another illusion? Not only am I not seeing things as they are, I’m not even seeing?

Consciousness can’t be an illusion. If I’m thinking that there is no such thing as thought, I’m still thinking. The very act of negating thought affirms its reality. This is basic Descartes, people.

After all, it must be true that my experience isn’t real and that my consciousness is an illusion. But that truth is only given to me through my consciousness. How could something false and unreal access the truth? An illusion recognizing itself as an illusion is also an illusion? I can imagine something that isn’t the case but I can’t imagine the very fact of my imagining.

I don’t think this has been helpful or enjoyable. My stomach is churning and I’ve had too much coffee. I’m irritable and don’t think I made whatever point I set out to make. How do people write about these things for a living? They must be smarter and have more patience.

I’m too dumb for this kind of talk nowadays.