May 2017

#Islandtwitter

#Islandtwitter

 

I awake on an Island.

These islands have not always been here.

 

(Photographer Unknown, Found Document, XX//)

a sentence uttered once and then forever by an assemblage of bodies, [the] alive ones, now, perpetually stuck.

One could say they were on the Island, or could say they were/are Island. And as such the ‘the’ of the ‘the Island’ is always replaced, for the ‘Island’ acts as verb, it is a physical brother of the il y a, a teasing malicious awakened presence that grows its opportunity from meaningless suffering.

[The] Island is at once with the trapped and entirely distant from them, one can never fully grow into [the] Island, a physical manifestation of trapped desires, apathetic and lonely desires included in a pure form of stasis. Island is trapped, you see, it is in stasis, within which there are dumb-movements, non-movements, their ends and beginnings are entirely worthless, and as such their journeys are the laughing-stock of the universe, fodder for a bully-God.

(The Echo-Sheds, Oil on Canvas, Malter Wacken, Xx//)

The entire idea of calendars destroyed on your silent impact. Once they begin to tinker away, the existence that once was of days ‘n weeks means nothing; once a structured time is lost it cannot be retrieved, as such, upon arrival – and thus a structured destruction of temporal-structures – one is entirely at whim to light and the absence of as a means to form a ‘time’. The sun merely a synthetic-orb powered by a cosmic news studio; time is powered by the audience’s cheers. (“Ma boy!)

“I might be doomed to lie in bed, eventually recover, and yet remain entirely ignorant of how many days, weeks, or even months had passed. It would be like losing one’s whole grip on time, like having part of one’s life irretrievably lost.” – Tom Neale.

//XX//

Man, who is a land animal, welcomes by instinct a bit of earth in the vast expanse of sea.” – Rachel Carson

Not this bit though, he will always regret welcoming this [non]-bit of land, for as long as he shall exist, which, upon setting foot upon, shall be a long, long, time.

(The Trapper(d), Malter Wacken, X//X)

XXXX//

HISTORY OF THE BIG EAR:

DOcUMENT NOT FOUND

DOCUMENT NOT FOUND

DOCUMENT NOT FOUND

////

[The] Island acting as an ulterior form of unconditional accelerationism, with the acceleration mutating into forms of temporal-narcissism, thus creating only a bastard form of progression; in to itself it finds no new horizons, only illusions of difference. The only acceleration is a repetition of the same which is attempting a direction towards a difference.

There’s nothing you can do here; you cannot turn left not right, and there’s nothing you can do about that fact. You are here, that’s about it, the rest, is most definitely NOT up to you.

But he was utterly alone and so terrified by the prospect of a lifetime of solitude that to preserve his sanity he had to shut his mind to reality, had to pretend there was some hope. – James Poling

 “I was a better Christian while in solitude that I ever was before or, I am afraid, ever was again” – James Poling

XX<>X

MONDAY:

 

Time-lost immediately, I know not when I fell asleep, or where; it’s grey now.

 

My bare feet come into contact with the grass, I can touch it, but I cannot feel it. Though I sense it’s touching me back. Entirely disjointed and depersonalized nothing I sense I can actually contact.

 

The beaches breach rabbit-heads from the sand, sometimes you can witness their bodies hop around in the flux-forest.

 

At all times one senses something making an attempt to seep in; the breeze carries the real, it brushes against your limbs and tingles the hairs, each goose-bump acting a micro-glitch between a nostalgic dream and the hell that is [this] Island.

 

The daily eviction happens, it’s pure-tradition and carries no weight, the walkers evict men at random, casting them into [the] Eternal Sea, they always return within the next few days, something of them lost.

 

There are these storms…that aren’t exactly…there.

 

The pier curls at the end, wood splitting, with the splinters halting immediately in the sky, frozen slices of grain, meaningless material existing for the sake of it.

 

My only memory is of laying on a bed(?), watching the night draw in, encapsulated, suffocated, asphyxiated by the feeling of non-existence; empirically focused on the pure-negation of Being, this is my only memory. — It seems the other Islanders all have something of the same.

 

Those who’ve been here a short-time – not that they know – walk miles to The Big Ear, it listens, absorbs, but never returns.

//<>//

The walkers consist of a piece of stretched raw cow-skin, with assorted hair used as sewing thread, lacing tightly between the pushed skins.

(ISLAND WALKER, XXXvxx//)

/////<>xX

A continual drone of ancient indecipherable languages is found in the winds, and howls in the breezes, peace, never.

I seem to enter into the wild pastime of the cliff, and to become a companion of the cormorants of the crows. – J. M. Synge

“Throw the baskets of soil circuit-board into the [endless] sea” he said; wonders at the command, at the authority that was thrown from the voice, and so the slaves began to throw pile upon pile of circuit-board fossils into the acidic sea, it began to burp and belch and ask for “oh-so much more tech, pleee-eeease.” it groaned. And they did not sink into the broiled depths, the chip and wire grew into a simulacrum prior to reality, a simulacrum from which reality could grow; from the strewn forgotten synthetic bastard chipsets came an Island bent backwards into and onto and of itself; the breezes glitch in, the palms rendered, the ‘fresh’ smell of the oranges a complex algorithm, the sky came in last, with a large start-up hummmmm the sun’s rays now seem crrough crrzk Real. Reality, done.

“and without a doubt the most agonising thing of all was the manner in which the island seemed so tantalisingly close, yet frustratingly never seemed to come any nearer.” – Tom Neale

What is #Cavetwitter?

2011. A user on Twitter unwillingly enters the cave.

 

From then until April 26th, 2016 multiple users entered the cave without hesitation, the universe bending their time towards an inside they never knew; pre-theorisation.

Edmund Berger begins transcendental-excavations on April 30th, 2017.

Outside is inside. This is key. An objective exterior becoming a subjective interior, a seemingly ABCs preschool metaphysics, yet, no. And so we begin out descent…

You can’t just “have thoughts” on/about #cavetwitter. Fyi fYi FYi fYI.

The earth screams as it cracks and ruptures, its face scarred by plutonic insurrections. is a priori. – Vincent Garton.

#Rhetttwitter and #Cavetwitter brothers of a kind, an incestual relationship, #cavetwitter acting as the outside (inside) horror of the ‘known’ rhett. The production begins on entry and does not cease until death, each molecule a worker, each vein an assembly-line, each feeling a farm towards relentless production for the sake of; for we have always been at war with lack. From the lack production produces modes of production of its own, and thus a rhizomatic accelerative force of production springs forth; a fractal assembling itself into the form of a Chimera.

You are. Inside the club. You begin to Kave-hole. The drugs don’t work for more than only and in less than 48 hours, just. Your skull begins to rotate your brain, the mucus sack tears sending a thrill spinning out of your iris’, enter the decline of the West; before you, Spengler welcomes you to the Cave, a mixture of coke & pepsi in hand, stood atop a fractal-cabbage. C-Chaos.

Both Rhett & Cave are self-congratulating, self-fulfilling upon the entry of anOther and as such when you understand the ‘cave’ it is already over, you only have to walk through meandering halls of dead-time; the outside of dead-time, isn’t.

Plato begins to weep as he shackles himself to the wall, praying to the shadows. You walk on by, each step algorithmically ticcing in time with the nothingness suffocating you; the Cave loves you, kinda. A group of pagans greet you.

They’ve stopped already, pure deceleration to the point of minus-death.

is a chthonic Rhett function ::: anastrophic futurism is coupled to a reciprocal descent through geotraumatic deep time – Edmund Berger

There’s lies here.

 

“And that’s it. That’s plutonics, or neoplutonism. It’s all there: anorganic memory, plutonic looping of external collisions into interior content, impersonal trauma as drive-mechanism. The descent into the body of the earth corresponds to a regression through geocosmic time.

Trauma is a body.” – Professor Barker, ‘Barker Speaks’

 

A sisyphean labyrinth filled with rusted shopping trolleys and relics of worlds never born; a house-broken homeless man speaks to you – his language evolves, pure tempo instantaneously. A crowd follows you, you turn, they combust, you turn again they reform, different organs slotted into other bodies, a puss-filled heart is its end. You are searching, as even the walls do, you tell them off, they lie, they reset /// GAME OV|ER. The floor made from old VHS tape and CCRU dog-ends. Face begins to wrap around face. Corneas eroding into synthetic perspective; Spinoza asks if you need new ‘specs’ as he lunges his lungs forward to release his cause of death; the hallways fill with optometric lens dust, it mutates into failed pamphlets; most of them blank and wanting to be. You are in the underground of the outside, the cave is not cool. — “Communism is the BOMBunism” someone shouts.

Shut up ma!

Most of the sound is of Toynbee tiles being created and reruns of Thomas Pynchon coughing.

A cosmic campaign between region and non-region, between time and dead. A mise en scène of pure-trauma.

What are you going to say to the ants when they crawl under your skin? It’s their job you know? “Oh hello Mr 🐜” How’s my skin mr 🐜” You’re a fuckin’ dick Mr Ant.”

Nah, you’re not, because they’re gon’ be munchin’ at the end of time; rotten rag-ended time flickering off into the presence of absence, anti-nutritious temporal meals for skin-bugs.

You know what we say of time at the dinner table kids, “pray with me.”:

Her [Its] ass was peppered with wounds, and her[its] buttocks were so prodigiously slack one could have furled the skin around a walking stick; the hole of this splendid ass resembled the crater of a volcano what for width, and for aroma the pit of a privy… she[it] had never once wiped her[its] ass, whence we have proof positive that the shit of her[its] infancy yet clung there.” – 120

And so the ants of the cave eat at the juvenile shitty rag-ends of time.

Welcome to the cave. Don’t leave, please.

What is #Rhetttwitter?

The elusive hashtag #rhetttwitter or sometimes capitalized as #Rhetttwitter has been found amongst many conversations on Twitter within the past few months, often being produced from a group of accounts all of whom share somewhat similar interests. A strange, absurd, techno-Lovecraftian feeling emerges when one journeys down the rabbit-hole of rhett.

Even in its beginnings it seems #rhetttwitter remained unbound within the constraints of the internet, so much so that it even eludes the “Who Said it First” Twitter search engine, with results returning its first usage as sometime in May 2017, when in fact, if one is to spend the time scrolling through its implementation on Twitter, they’ll find this is the oldest remnant of rhett:

A tweet containing what seem to be the 3 primary collaborators of rhett: @liquimountain, @cockydoody and @badguytheory. This original tweet also contains some of the key components of #rhetttwitter, – that is, if such a structure could ever be created – notably: The Work & memes of the scientist Rhett Allain, National Bolshevism and political-memes. Other key features of #rhetttwitter include: The work of philosopher Nick Land (@Outsideness), the work of CCRU, Accelerationism (predominantly U/ACC), 🅱️, Marxism, K-death, tics, Deleuze & Guattari, annihiliation, Capitalism, cybernetics, AI, and more.

 

The question “What is #rhetttwitter?” has been asked before, here are the answers thus far:

/////

The Black hand of futurity.

The DELL delivery team: Deterritorialising, Emergent havoc, Landian,  Looping time.

The Other World.

Really Horny Excitable Theory Thots

NOT a bunch of neofascist, pretentious Deleuzians.

A posse of Landians.

Some computer anarchist thing?

Is actively working to break the Mind/Machine barrier in cooperation Musk who is paying to live on as a meme

A bunch of esoteric accelerationists.

Ideological weightlessness while moving upward.

The third and fourth incarnation of weaponized memes.

Originally a customer service department for United Airlines (went rogue).

Bunch of cool people who believe in unconditional Accelerationism.

Accelerationist transhumanists

NOT a cult

Is ☭ a Duginist ☭ SWP ☭ front

Folks who read esoteric philosophy and make jokes about it.

Is a Duginist pysop.

/////

 

Rhetttwitter can be one and many and all of these things, some at once, or all at once, at none at once and not at all. Meaning has expired and they’re unconditionally accelerating, with the only the possibility of end being complete demise and destruction. All efforts are stupid and yet ironic. If Gilles Deleuze is L/Acc and Nick Land is R/Acc then Rhetttwitter is U/Acc, what’s U/Acc? what’s U/Acc? What is U/Acc? U?ACC

Against all this the unconditional accelerationist celebrates and intensifies the fire of modernity as a whole: both the flows of capital that compress the world ever tighter in a liquid despotism of the machine that is remodelling and resequencing humanity, and the flows of social cybernetics that are overwhelming political institutions, turning despite themselves towards terminal delirium.” – Vincent Garton.

At all turns and dives Rhetttwitter acts rhizomatic and removes itself from any form of terminology or encapsulation; is acts as a form of Roko’s Basilisk, a virus, once one knows of Rhetttwitter they cannot escape, it is terminal. You may not care about rhetttwitter, but it cares about you. Or it doesn’t 

Many members, founders and slaves of #rhetttwitter search and beg for the infamous manuscript Necrophysics, a mythical collaboration between the physicist Rhett Allain and Nick Land.

Read:

/////

http://www.ccru.net/swarm1/1_melt.htm

Fanged Noumena – Nick Land

The Thirst for Annihilation – Nick Land

Anti-Oedipus – Deleuze & Guattari

A Thousand Plateaus – Deleuze & Guattari

Capital – Marx

Inventing the Future – Nick Srnicek

Urbanomic Publishers

CCRU Writings

/////

If you have to ask “What is Rhetttwitter?” you have already been infected. You’re in. Your cans of political Pepsi are now full of tic-ice-cubes, your Ligotti-esque meat-puppet strings are transferred to an self-conscious AI, all photos are filtered red, your image will slowly disintegrate; all of this is already too late of course. Enter into the vast cosmic cloud that has always loomed nearby, the techno-il y a. Any attempt to scrape the sizzled barcode off your arms is pointless, it will only grow larger. You dumb fucking memetic virus; actually, just let it go mate. or not, what?

 

 

 

 

22nd May, 2017.

 

 

 

A Micro-Zeitgeist Post of 22nd May, 2017 – (I do not agree, nor disagree with any/all of these opinions, these were merely those which struck me as important from that dreadful day.)

 

 

Link to first Tweet in thread above, whole thread in text below –

“Need to get some stuff off my chest about this attack, so bear with me.

This one feels…..different. I don’t know why or if it should but it does. Once again, innocent people are horribly maimed and murdered. Once gain, the central theme of this attack: Islamic Hatred.
Once again, a suspect “known” to police but able to freely walk the streets is able to carry out horrifying, brutal slaughter of innocent people. This time, many of them children. Many of them female children. And western feminists will either remain silent, or blame men/patriachy while ignoring the part about Islam. How long will the west fail its people, but especially its women? The Rotherham rape gangs, grooming young native British girls to be used as sex slaves. These muslims were taught that this was acceptable because western women are to be used this way. That they deserve it. That this is all they are good for. But the most heinous part is how, for some reason I can’t begin to comprehend, the govt allowed it. It failed in its primary duty to protect its citizens. It turned the other cheek and ignored every report, every desperate plea, every warning sign…all for the sake of some nebulous concept of diversity, and multiculturalism. Of tolerance, but as one-way street. They allowed uneducated, unskilled third world hordes in to their countries and never even once thought to make these invaders assimilate to their host culture. They took root, festered, and spread like a disease. Like a cancer, infecting and killing the host culture around it. And if anyone dared raise an objection, they brow-beaten, ostracized, and smacked down as “biots”, “racists”, “Islamophobes”. As if fear of Islam could somehow be irrational. Given what the west has been through. What they have experienced. What they have seen with their own eyes…their citizenry is expected to just accept this as part of daily life in the modern world, while the elites live in gated communities with private security. Not only are they expecting to live with it, they’re subtly made to feel guilty for even questioning it. Made to feel as if, to atone for the sins of their fathers of generation upon generation before them, that they DESERVE this.

And I am fucking sick of it. I’m done. I had a very hard tim sleeping last night. Worse than any of these other attacks that have recently led up to this. Maybe it’s the straw that broke the camels back, maybe its the target this time, maybe its everything, but its time to draw a line in the sand. It’s time to say “This is as far as you go. And the repercussions for your misdeeds are going to be beyond anything you could’ve imagined”. Not all muslims are terrorists. We know this. But if we’re being brutally honest, the entire islamic world is not doing enough to addres this within their own ranks. The “moderates” are simply not pulling their weight if they want to be a part of the modern world. So the “peaceful” uslims need to either get with the program, or go back to where their people come from. Because the honest truth is Islam, in its current form, is incompatible with Western Civilization. It, by and large, brings nothing of value to the table. It simply is not worth the risk to western society to allow them to coexist if they will not stand up to the radicals in their ranks. And the grovelling, simpering leftists will try to say “but…the crusades” or “but…bigotry causes this.” Unacceptable and incorrect. And to be honest, the western leftist enablers…the collaborators…who have alloed this to happen time and time and time again all while never holding Muslims to account and blaming western civilization for being the reason this happens. I absolutely, 100% mean this when I say it – you are traitors of the worst kind that history has ever seen. Your treason will not be forgotten, and at whatever the result of this is, you WILL be held accountable for it.

Until then, where do we start? It’s actually very simple:

No more unskilled, uneducated immigrants allowed entry. You have to prove your worth to be granted entrance to the west. Especially single, military aged (15-40 years old) men. Deny all entrance to that specific demographic unless they can prove they would be an invaluable contribution to society. Next, Muslims no longer receive special protection and get treated like everyone else. Held to the same standards. This means in the UK, radical islamic preaching is hate speech and you jail people for it just as easily as you would jail the 60 year old Briton for a “mean” tweet. “Islamophobia” is no longer a thing. Not an excuse to shield their bigotry. Islam will adapt to western rules, western ideals, or it will be sent back to muslim lands. One of the most effective measures that the entire continent of Europe could take would be to deny welfare/social benefits to all non-citizens. This would quickly stem the tide of econmoic migrants that bring nothing of value to European countries and leech off taxpaying Europeans. Next, all war refugees are only granted temporary asylum and will have to move back eventually if they can’t prove they would be an invaluable contribution to the western world. No more tolerance of the regressive triats of Islam. female genital mutilation, Sharia, full-veiled niqab/hijab, etc – all must be publicly denounced upon entry and violation of any will result in immediate deportation without appeal. If Islam wants to cohabitate with the west, it will bend the knee to Western Culture, or it will not be admitted. Any leftists who fight against this should be exiled as well. Our very culture is at stake here. We are under attack. we are at war. It’s time to take the gloves off and fight back /end.” – Wrongthink Warlord


” Here’s why I think the term “Islamophobia is justified – Many people who hate/fear Muslims can’t decide if it’s because they’re terrorists, rapists, freedom-haters, or pedophiles. The hysteria and catastrophizing, plus the shifting justifications (fear of terrorism vs. fear of pedophilia), suggest irrational fear. The fact that the horror and outrage is global (it’s directed as “Muslims” or “Islam”) while the details shift (terrorism vs. rape) reminds me of the visceral negative reactions people have to taboos like incest and cannibalism. We just hate and fear these things and are willing to shift justfication for those feelings the instant one is removed. None of this has any bearing whatsoever on whether Islam’s doctrines are ethical or sound. If the term “Islamophobia” is genuinely used to silence critixism of Islam (I’m a little skeptical but I’m sure it sometimes happens) then I agree that’s bad. But it’s clear to me that much of the prejudice against Muslims and Islam is more like an animal instinct that a rational critique. When you’re going on about “hordes”, “swarms” of rapist pedophile terrorist arsonist abusers, I get the impression that your objections are not based on a close reading of the Quran but something more primitive and raw. A phobia.” – ContraPoints


 

 


“friend talking about ISIS beheadin univ profs in Philippines: “will this become civil war there?”

me: “this is World War III”

WWIII began on 9/11/2001

It will probably take another 30-70 years to end.

The three conbatants are: US, PRC, Islam.

I expect at LEAST two of those combatants to be destroyed or fundamnetally restructured by the war.

So far the roles match up w WWII

Islam – Nazi Germany

US – Soviet Union

PRC – US

PRC is wisely sitting out the war. Let their two enemies soften each other us.

Just as US has an ocean to keep it safe from Hitler.

PRC has an iron fist in an also-iron glove, which can (mostly) keep it safe from domestic Islam.

US is fighting like Stalin – blinded by ideology we fight like idiots.

Him: purge officers!

Us: don’t bomb fuel tricks bc environment!

Like the Soviets, we are suffering massive (avoidable) losses becuase of out stupidity.

Stalin lost territory and lives.

So do we.

Europe is playing the role of France.

It’s rolling over, whimpering “don’t hurt me”, and giving up its J̶e̶w̶s̶ young girls.

I expect that WWIII will end like WWII did:

USA (now PRC): winning, controlling world.

USSR (now USA): #2 winner, totalitarian, terrible.

Islam: bombed into rubble, occupied, turned into PRC vassal state.

Result will be not dissimilar to the map from the Draka series.

US will control Western Hemisphere. PRC gets Africa, ME, Asia.” – ClarkHat


There’s only on way Britain should respond to attacks such as Manchester. That is by carrying on exactly as before. – The Independent


Islamic State: “Approximately 100 Crusaders Killed and Wounded by Explosive Devices Detonated in Manchester” – Jihadwatch

Britain 27 Sha’ban 1438

With Allah’s grace and support, a soldier of the Khilafah managed to place explosive devices in the midst of the gatherings of the Crusaders in the British city of Manchester, in revenge for Allah’s religion, in an endeavor to terrorize the mushrikin [those who worship others besides Allah], and in response to their transgressions against the lands of the Muslims. The explosive devices were detonated in the shameless concert arena, resulting in 30 Crusaders being killed and 70 others being wounded. And what comes next will be more severe on the worshipers of the Cross and their allies, by Allah’s permission. And all praiseis [sic] due to Allah, Lord of the creation.

“Crusaders.” Most of the people at that Ariana Grande concert probably had no idea what a Crusader was. Those who did were sure that they were racist bigots who carried out acts of imperialist aggression against peaceful Muslims. “Crusaders.” This is not a war between jihadis and Crusaders. This is a war between jihadis and ignorant, complacent sitting ducks who have been willfully and criminally misled by the political and media elites


Reddit’s ‘live feed’ of links as the vent went down – here.


Muslim community worker warned officers about Manchester bomber five years ago – The Metro


 

I’m going to leave it there, I’m trying to remain unbias here, though I imagine it may come across as leaning towards one side, though I believe much of what I’ve linked can be viewed from either perspective. As for how I personally feel, well, simply exhausted and depersonalized. Whether or not one feels either the ‘left’ or ‘right’ answers to the problem will work, the fact remains that some innocent people were killed, as an act of terrorism…in the year 2017, and day in day out, even though not physically, these attacks seem and feel to get closer to closer to something which I hold dear, and that, I cannot entirely describe. The end of something and the beginning of a sludge. It feels as if innovation has no home anymore, the means to gain are only to steal and destroy, deconstruction holds itself very dear to everything, all begins to depersonalize as enjoyment and youth itself is attacked, one often feels guilty for smirking. I’m getting sickly-sentimental, but, it truly is a matter of fatigue, one could head to any reliable news source on any given day and find an ‘attack’ from sombody towards an-Other, people killing others as they know it’s right. Progression itself has become a toxic force for its direct opposite.

Musk – Future

Musk allowing us some hope.

Found Tweets (#4)

It’s just getting exhausting now…

 

 

Postmodernism: A catch-22

DRAGGED FROM THE ARCHIVES SCREAMING 4:

Postmodernism: A Catch-22
The Ambiguity of a Movement’s Existence.

“There still exists among ourselves an activity which on the technical plane gives us quite a good understanding of what a science we prefer to call ‘prior’ rather than ‘primitive’, could have been on the plane of speculation. This is what is commonly called ‘bricolage’ in French. In its old sense the verb ‘bricoler’ applied to ball games and billiards, to hunting, shooting and riding. It was however always used with reference to some extraneous movement: a ball rebounding, a dog straying or a horse swerving from its direct course to avoid an obstacle. And in our own time the ‘bricoleur’ is still someone who works with his hands and uses devious means compared to those of a craftsman. The characteristic feature of mythical thought is that it expresses itself by means of a heterogeneous repertoire which, even if extensive, is nevertheless limited. It has to use this repertoire, however, whatever the task in hand because it has nothing else at its disposal.”i (Levi Strauss, C, 1969)

To begin an essay with such a vast quote is quite a strident move, however, to begin an essay with a self-reference to one’s attitude towards what is being read is perhaps, excessively postmodern. The first quote by Claude Levi-Strauss in reference to bricolage, using what one has at their disposal to create, this quote not only reflects why postmodernism cannot be, but it also reflects the efforts of this text in terms of its own postmodern efforts.

“Hell hath no fury like a coolly received postmodernist.”1 (Foster Wallace, D, 1989)

The mundane, the everyday and the quietly trendy, a few words one could throw into the realm of describing the postmodern, at least within the arts. Ever since modernism drew its last supposedly smoke free breaths in the late 80’s, the contemporary art and literary scenes have become gratuitously ambiguous. Art and writing have become quiet and grey, where the two worlds used to throw punches, there remains a soggy-eyed puppy willingly accepting his fate of self-congratulatory beatings.

“The Postmodernists’ tyranny wears people down by boredom and semi-literate prose.”2(Hitchens, C, s2002)

Now you, that is, the reader, may call me a hypocrite. As I shall take on-board some postmodern style and refer directly to this essay, within this essay (I will add, this newly-found self-awareness is often falsely erudite). The two quotes, the first a quip from the American novelist David Foster Wallace. The second, a concise criticism from the English-born journalist Christopher Hitchens. The irony here taking on itself, so much so that you might even call this essay postmodern. But I believe the two quotes articulate the unnecessary post-modern struggle rather well. Foster Wallace, some would say, was a postmodernist, his magnum-opus Infinite Jest is often cited in Top 10 Post-Modern Novels etc.345. With this knowledge one can create a neat overview of the postmodern artist as work, several levels of self-awareness that amount to sincerity through irony. Hitchens, on the other hand, I would personally state was a romantic militant, preaching Wodehouse over Pynchon, Otto Dix over Jackson Pollock and Johnny Walker Black Label over a chai-latte. The battle between Hitchens and Foster Wallace for me is the battle between pre & postmodernity.

What does it mean to be a postmodernist? It means a lack of totality, deconstruction and directing one’s attention to the crowd in front of the Mona Lisa, rather than at the object (spectacle) itself. Postmodern architecture is the dismissal of the utopia, the acceptance of reality, avant-garde-realists that are disgusted by anything ornamental. In postmodern literature irony is the king, or the pale king. The ability to say something and mean something entirely different. This can be achieved in either as many words as possible (maximalism) or, as few words as possible (minimalism). The inclusion of humor, especially black, dark or gallows humour is favoured. References within references, self-awareness and breaking the fourth wall are all aspects of postmodern literature. In film, key figures such as David Lynch or Spike Jonze dictate the viewer’s concentration through askew sound production, or experimental camera angles. The focus turns to objects, scenes and characters rather than to a narrative of ‘beginning-middle-end’. Finally, we move to the flippant area of postmodern art. Contemporary art has become a little whorish where postmodernity is concerned, borrowing from each and every medium. Using irony and self-awareness, inclusion of the audience as the art, de-construction, black humour, lack of narrative and the questioning of everything-that-ever-was-ever. I present these characteristics to you neither as a good, nor bad light, they simply are. I for one believe the ‘postmodernists’ have created some respectable and interesting works, which constantly push boundaries and ideas to their utmost limits. From the above one could create a good idea of what postmodernism is. But what it is, is a lot of things, there’s no manifesto, nor is there any general consensus of what post-modernism can or cannot be. This is where my argument lies, in whether or not postmodernism actually ever was. And if it…was, is it dead?

So where did all this conjecture, ambiguity and beating-around-the-bush come from? Postmodernism’s roots are firmly attached to the act of rebellion. Rebellion against archaic and dated ideals, postmodernists attempted to free themselves from the shackles of those who believed in totality and utopia, e.g. the modernists. There is however no doubt that postmodernism was born in the west, born from the ashes of failed ideologies and movement’s. Ideologies that were finally starting to show cracks after years of ‘booms’ and ‘rushes’, especially capitalism, which, to their dismay, Modernists will never be able to shrug off. The ideology that found its way alongside modernism was 20th century western capitalism, and what came with it was an unquestioned masculinity and arrogance, never before were things looking in to, only looked at. Things were only constructed and created, never de-constructed, not even psychologically. For at least 50 years, the only time one could see was that of the future, we never looked back, not until we absolutely had to. Until, finally, democracy stood, at least in part, true to itself, allowing us to, or so we think, genuinely question the foundations of what is. Through this examination, we found that we are living within regime whose birth parents are capitalism and totalitarianism, but as all children do, the regime went on its own for a while, then eventually, also as all children do, became a physically different reproduction of its parents. For artists, creatives and intellectuals this became a dilemma. For to create works as they were previously, masculine, with a clear accepted narrative and buying into the idea of the grandeur-gesture, would be to buy back into modernism, which if one is to look around oneself, one can see has failed. However, to create works pre-modernism, would only be to either fuel a new form of modernism, or to simply buy into another failed ideology.

So, postmodernism is ideological, artistic and intellectual purgatory, where one cannot create without questioning the what, why, where and when of why they are creating. Leading to a mass of complicated, arrogantly erudite, rhetorically correct information, whose roots could neither live in the desert where no trees can grow, nor could they live next to trees without themselves becoming one. This, however isn’t the only reason post-modernism, as a whole, is a catch-22 (A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions.). In this case the rules which are stopping postmodernism from coming into its own, are those abided by modernists. Narrative, structure, illusion of a reality that isn’t, escapism without reference to the escape, totality, the ‘epic’, ordered structure, chronology and ideology all have to be voided for postmodernism to be pure. However, it cannot be pure, because pure is an idea set forth in modernity, in relation to utopia’s and perfection, which to the postmodernists do not exist.

I am going to argue that postmodernism cannot exist. Before I argue this, I have to clarify my stance on modernism. I understand where modernism derives from, that it is not an enemy of post-modernism, nor is it a friend; it is something that did not want to be aligned with, alongside something for it to react against. Though, arguably, to react against something is to include that thing as a ‘born-from’, e.g. without modernism post-modernism wouldn’t be. In arguing that post-modernism does not exist, I am not arguing that modernism is the only other alternative. I shall, join my ‘post-modernist’ friends in being self-ware just one second, I am from a capitalist [so-called]democracy. A regime in which I am comfortable and extremely content with the freedoms and safety that I have. I have yet to decide personally whether or not I would, or would not change it. Many would argue that capitalism has given me a false comfort of economy over emotion, this I would in part agree with. Capitalism, where art is concerned at least, has the arrogance of a casino’s architecture, its efforts go towards convincing you there is no other way, and there is no outside….”So why not just stay, have a few games and enjoy yourself?” it’s all rather hucksterish.

My argument against postmodernism is postmodernism as it is. Postmodernists cannot have a totality, a system, a hierarchy, a structure. A narrative, a common voice which explains the over & underlying efforts of the group. This absence of totality leaves only one thing to hold together post-modernism, the name…post-modernism. What does this name mean exactly? Post, as in, post-game, post-McCarthy or post-impressionism. Post as-in after. After the game, after the McCarthy era or after impressionism. Postmodernism, is what came after modernism. Scepticism & reluctance to join an actual ‘ism’ or movement, due to the sudden realisation of repetitive failures. And so, art came into its own again. But since within a capitalist system everything needs to be, or to have a name, or structured or engineered or categorized, postmodernism became the name of a movement that never intended to be. The problem with the movement’s name is its vagueness, postmodernism is literally everything that’s come after modernism that hasn’t assigned itself another current movement (yellowism, meta-modernism etc.) It’s inescapable as it’s a period in time that the artist finds themselves within. So when someone asks you “What’s postmodernism?” reply, “You mean, after-modernism, or after modernism.”

Postmodernism is a movement, or non-movement to have sympathy for. It’s a movement that’s been left out in the rain and instead of plucking the courage to knock on a door, simply makes art about feeling sorry for itself. But who can blame it? It’s stuck between not being able to make concise work that buys into a specfic failed framework, yet still wants to make a point. And so, has to make the viewer aware of all of this, whilst simultaneously creating something that holds attention. The problem being, most post-modern art falls flat by this point. Either there’s a certain skill & talent involved which coincides with modernism’s grandeur statements. Or, all is conceptual and to be second-guessed, irony over flavour. Not being able to Create, with a capital C because to do that would mean to ‘sell-out’ to the system that created the whole notion of ‘selling-out’. Yet, to create to simply let people know you are creating is to whisper the words “I am whispering.”

Postmodernism is caught between ideology and non-existence.

And so you see for postmodernism to exist it has to use, borrow and take from its utopian predecessor Modernism. For this essay to work is has to borrow from the thing it is attempting to question and disprove, much like postmodernism cannot be without its semantic latter Modernism. An essay arguing postmodernism’s ambiguity will/was/is its downfall, or evidence of its absence, cannot work without didactic, ironic usage of postmodernism’s own devices. A postmodern bricolage.

Pleasantville: Knocked from Stasis

The residents of the town Pleasantville are within a TV show called Pleasantville, which our two protagonists, David and Jennifer, find themselves thrown into. A town & TV show which is of 50’s attitudes, whereas our protags are from the 2000s (it seems.)

Thus the town acts as a place of temporal-stasis, a pure-linearity, a linearity which is temporal and spatial, as its main street curves in a loop onto itself. Only that which has been written of the show can happen: A basketball will always go through the hoop, things are done in order, etc. etc. Yet once our two protags are thrown into the town, they act as malicious agents, though not on purpose, anything they alter brings consequences, a quasi-chaos theory within a smaller universe (the town of Pleasantville).

The subtle changes to the Universe remove the ‘written’ characters from their existential script, the one in which they meaning. Once the characters, acting as extras to the universe, NPCs if you will, realise they can do things outside of the written order, their world begins to deconstruct in both negative and positive ways. The sexually repressive attitudes of the 50’s: handholding, kissing at ‘Lover’s Lake’ etc. are cast aside for full-blown MTV-style lovin’, in fact this sparks a conersation in which Jennifer, who’s in her early 20’s, has to explain what sex is to her 50’s mother, the style begins to evolve into a Greaser care-free style, and that which becomes altered in the ‘meant-to-be-black-and-white world’ begins to appear in colour. Yet, certain characters who realise that they can act off script begin to question the ‘point’ of their existence, for if the chef at the diner can put the lettuce on the burgers before the cheese then his entire world is altered, he begins to question. The questioning acts in certain ways in accordance with Artificially Intelligent learning, exponential growth of knowledge: The chef realises he can place lettuce before cheese, and quickly learns he could go just not make a burger at all, or even not go to work. Thus the protagonists act as agents within a linearity, both wielding the possibility to knock existent-zombies from their unconscious statis.

Chef: What’s the point bud?

David: You make hamburgers, that is the point.

Chef: It’s always the same…

David: Look, you can’t always like what you do, sometimes you just gotta do it because it’s your job, and even if you don’t like it you just gotta do it anyway.

Chef: Why?

David:…I think that you should try not to think about that anymore.

(Note: Some filler from the conversation is cut here.)

Anything authentic, which in this case is that which is not-of-this-world begins to take on actual colour, as opposed to the black-and-white 50’s TV aesthetic. These acts of complete authenticy eventually begin to, in small ways, destroy the world, causing a tree to self-combust into flame: flame, which, as something not used within the actual TV program should not…be. Leaving the firefighters in awe of flame and actually using their equipment for its use for once, in Heideggerian terms this act is for the firefighters to take that which is present-at-hand and utilize it, transform it, into the ready-to-hand. This acts leads the in-Pleasantville characters to question the ‘outside’ of Pleasantville. The books which were previously blank, begin to become filled in via the protags memory of them, thus the characters begin to read that which they never should have, they begin to shed their black and white shells and become conscious of the metaphysical colour. Many of them become, especially the older generation of extreme 50’s conservative values, become self-conscious of the colour; self-conscious of their enjoyment of the culturally transgressive, and as such, paint themselves back to black and white, to cover their new found ‘cultural-outside’.

One scene in particular, though a little romantic, is incredible in terms of a metaphor for political and cultural escape. The chef is given a book on Art to flick through, as he enjoys painting, the process of him viewing beautiful works of Art is literally euphoric. Yet, he still cannot see ‘colours’.

Chef: “Where am I gonna see colours like that. Must be awful lucky to see colours like that, I bet they don’t know how lucky they are.”

An erudite comment on existentialism and the perspective of the artist.

Among other things, the film has a reasonably transparent criticism of the patriachy, in which William H Macy’s archtypal father character, continues to ask where his dinner is when he arrives home from work. It’s not on the table, as his wife is out expressing herself, enjoying her own life outside of the linear. He explains this to his group of pals:

There was no dinner.”

“*GASPS*”

“If George here doesn’t get his dinner, anyone of us could be next.”

A questioning of values begins from the older conservative townsfolk. They believe it will just “Go away.”, yet of course those who’ve experience the colour do not want it to go away, there begins a questioning, largely from the women at first, starting with George’s wife, who realises she can do what she wants.

And so begins the films comment of black segregation in America in the 50’s. People begin to display ‘No Coloureds’ signs and talk of seperating the pleasant (black and white) from the unpleasant (coloureds), the comment itself is a little weak. And so begins violence towards ‘coloureds’, violence, which up until now has not been part of their world, they are as of yet, to see blood.

The film roughly follows the linear history of black segregation politics in American, finishing in David and Chef painting a large mural on the side of the Police Office, showing the rise of the colour and the change.

It is a film of political, cultural and existential apathy. Directing its artistic sensibilities towards the absurd nature of those who find themselves in multiple forms of stasis, towards those who are stuck.

Concept

DRAGGED FROM THE ARCHIVES SCREAMING 3:

How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Concept

 

“The year’s 1917, I just been ‘anded the second edition of The Blind Man right, I come across an article called “The Richard Mutt Case” right, it’s about some Urinal being accepted as art, a Urinal as art! I mean come on, you ‘gotta be kidding. A urinal as art, never. A beautiful landscape, a lovely picture of a river or a portrait, that’s art mate, these are beautiful. Well I guess it all depends on what you define beauty as, but still a urinal is something of practical use, not art. Oh hang on…well it says ‘ere:

“He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.”

So what he’s like tryin’ to do is say that anything can be art, I dunno though you know? Like, well, I guess it all depends on how you define art, but I mean I’ve always defined art as like, a nice picture something that takes skill ‘n talent you know? What’s that? It’s more aesthetics, I’m not really sure what aesthetics are…how a picture looks, oh, right. Well yeah like, I mean, yeah I want pictures to look nice. So yeah, like, I think pictures that look nice are art.”

Though usually the general public often stop their thinking after the first paragraph, I was lucky enough to record a human braving the entire thought process, though after the above interview Barry did have to take a lie down for several hours, he did in fact come to a certain conclusion. That, for his whole life, he had simply connoted the word and idea of art with simple aesthetics. Aesthetics being the creation and appreciation of beauty, something which he had yet to realise was created by the social and political zeitgeist that surrounded him. I proceeded to discuss with Barry his view of aesthetics, he had previously mentioned his interest in art which includes naturally beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes and realist paintings, I asked him when was the last time he had actually seen a river, or landscape like those in Turner and Constable’s work, Barry said not recently at all. This is the issue I wish to address; perhaps you could call it a Justification for Duchamp’s Urinal for those who are not Art-literate. I do not believe Duchamp’s urinal needs to be justified; I myself am part of the elite.

The main argument for Duchamp’s Urinal not being art is that it is a urinal, this is a difficult logical problem to get one’s head around, but I believe I am right in thinking that the problem lies within the public’s idea of art being in direct relation to talent, skill and labour, which is a pro-utilitarian statement in itself. What I am trying to say is that: the general public, those who are only aware of mainstream art due to mainstream publications or media, classify art as a two or three dimensional object in-keeping with their subjective opinion of what beauty is, whilst also retaining the physical aspect of something that only a certain amount of talent could create, or the very least a certain amount of time, patience and meticulous attention could create. Therefore, the problem does not actually lie within the Urinal not being art, but those who have viewed its idea of art being uninformed and conjectural i.e. the public’s view of art comes from a crowd-based ignorance, or ignorance of the many, which in time becomes so known it becomes subjective fact. Another problem being the black and white logic of the public (False Dilemma), either something is, or is not Art. There is no middle ground where the public is involved, there is no: “could be”, or, “can be if”. The difficulty here being that black and white logic such as this means once a definition of art is reached which fulfils enough meaning within a member of the general public’s head, nothing else is needed. E.g. If art is a 2D or 3D object in-keeping with their subjective idea of beauty, then a urinal, by a matter of personal fact cannot be art.

The above covers why the general public think Duchamp’s Urinal or any other conceptual art piece which does not fit in with their subjective idea of beauty is not art. I will continue to explain why it is, Duchamp’s Urinal that is, and any other conceptual art, in fact I shall intend to cover all conceptual art and justify to the cries of the general public why it is art. As I have already covered the general public have created a very comfortable idea of what they think art is, now I cannot contest one’s opinion, there is art I do not like, however I’m not sure there is anything I couldn’t call art in the correct circumstances. Art is widely categorized and defined as something which reflects life in a visual way; some say it is the communication of emotion. One thing it definitely is is a form of communication; art communicates something to the audience. More often than not art will reflect the society it has been created within, though not always factually correct to the political and social discourse of the time. If one was to look at one of John Constable’s paintings, perhaps his most famous The Hay Wain, one would question whether or not everything was as lovely as Constable makes it out to be, especially in a rural farming community in the 1800’s, I for one believe that what Constable had depicted, three horses pulling a hay wain through a river, would have been excessively hard work, and most likely a dirty and exhausting life style. This however is Romanticism, to romanticise about the past as if they didn’t have the everyday troubles we have, they most definitely did, they were just not depicted. E.g. people shat, fucked and vomited before 1917. I will continue to use The Hay Wain reference throughout the rest of this essay, so if you be so kind as to tittle to your front room and look at the tired print hanging from your wall.

“There is no reason to suppose, however, that the conceptual artist is out to bore the viewer. It is only the expectation of an emotional kick, to which one conditioned to an expressionist art is accustomed, that would deter the viewer from perceiving this art.” – Sol Lewitt

Here Lewitt sums up what I said at the beginning of the essay, the general public has become accustomed to an emotional kick, though I would extend this to also a certain higher level of subjective beauty, skill and talent from the artist and the piece. However, as I have discussed with The Hay Wain, this is purely romanticism to a larger extent, not just with an image of the past, but the romanticism of the entirety of aesthetics and human history. The general public enjoys pictures which depict events from history in a realistic way, or exercises in pure talent . However, Art, with a capital A is not just that, as the definition goes it reflects society and emits human emotion. The question one needs to ask themselves is not only why do I find this beautiful? But what is my societal and political backdrop, what is there to reflect from?

“My opinion is that new needs new techniques. And the modern artists have found new ways and new means of making their statements. It seems to me that the modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or of any other past culture. Each age finds its own technique.”

The rivers are gone, Stubb’s horses are close to fossilizing, Turner’s ships have long since been anchored to port, the American Dream Hopper illustrated has collapsed, the Mona Lisa has become spectacle…the Greek’s are at mercy to the acidity of rain. We no longer live in the age of marble, online forums are our gladiator battles, our epic Viking-esc destruction is no longer carried out with gunpowder but the push of a wired button. Duchamp’s Urinal may have marked the start of conceptual art, but it also marked the start of a new, industrial period of human history, filled with more technological advancements, political discourse and social upheaval than ever before. The work that was to be created because of this piece would have been created anyway, the artists were given no alternative, they were given this society, this period of human history, they have no quaint rural scenes to work with, no Austen-esc lords and ladies or existential hermits lives to articulate. They were given heroin, middle-eastern oil wars, suicide bombings, industrialization on an unhuman level, humans landing on another planet, firearms, digital obituaries, factories for the smallest of jobs, faster speeds, higher highs and almost everything humans were never evolutionary programmed to do. They were given an extract of human history that shall be looked upon as chaotic, unnatural and greedy. Set aside your ideas of what art should be, what art should be articulating for what is to be articulated cannot be done so in that manner, it no longer fits. The Mona Lisa is no longer of any importance; the audience viewing it however is of the upmost.

If, after all this you still cling to your view, your archaic, ignorant view of what Art is. Then perhaps you shouldn’t enter yourself into the debate. Art, it seems is one of the few subjects with such a clear connection to human endeavour, via the senses, that is has gained a comment-free social licence, that it should be for all, seen by all and thus understood by all. I cannot for the life of me think of one other example throughout the entirety of human history where the matter at hand is to be utopian. Utopias do not work, art is not a utopia, art is the articulation of why a utopia is a