So I said that when I finally finished my dissertation that I would delve deep into Z/Acc. Well, now is that time. I wasn’t sure what to call this series. Mainly because I know it’s going to be my longest yet, I’ve got so many ideas for blog posts on this topic its almost crazy, as a blogger you get a certain kind of buzz from finding new points of overlap. I was initially going to call it Dirty Future as a sort of tongue-in-cheek jab at the sphere I’ve been working in prior, yet, that doesn’t feel right. I can’t say for certain that the prophecies of Kurzweil, Land etc. haven’t/wont come true. Many most definitely have (see here), and many will come true in a stranger fashion…not the future we wanted, but the one we got etc. Then I was going to call it Notes from a Dead Dog, because that sounded cool and sort of harsh, the corpse of a rotten, loving mutt seems apt and I can’t really explain why. Perhaps Z/Acc journal, I don’t know, anyway, I’m writing this post as a means to figure out what it should be called, so I can group it all together.
A few thoughts,
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” – Pablo Picasso
I’m not much of a fan of Picasso, yet I always liked this quote, not in its relation to art, nor even aesthetics. You see, it took me 25 years to exist as a modern man, and it’s going to take me a lifetime to simply exist again. I grew, and much like the rest of the West (male and female) I sort of nonchalantly was whilst being parasitically infected by various external stimuli. This could be misconstrued as a Chomsky-esque Manufacturing Consent type thing, perhaps it is, I don’t massively care. Either way, as I grew, I became slowly formed. Mass-media, TV, Internet, Carbohydrates, Diet-Fads, Low-Fat, excess sugar, video-games, ‘public education’, binge drinking, smoking and more, more…more. Always a distraction.
I note Picasso’s quote because I feel, at current, that the task set for me is to strip off as much of this excess modern/progressivist/consumer bullshit as possible. Sounds angsty, it is, it can’t be helped. I haven’t watched TV for years now, I borrow a Netflix account but can’t really focus on it anymore, it seems like a mimicry of TV more than TV in itself. I highly recommend David Foster Wallace’s E Unibus Pluram on this. I kept up with the political stuff for a while, moved back and forth, up and down, between colours, isms etc. It’s all sort of dry after you come to accept GNON in abstract. Even then I couldn’t care less, largely because anyone whose very nature inclines them to be interested in becoming a politician leads me to distrust them (I am pro anonymous-leader). The Internet was great, most of the old net is gone, weirdly lost. Now we’re post-Facebook-slump. An odd malaise of repetition where due to the absolute influx and accessibility of data very rarely are arguments even formulated, we can attend to multiple biases at one time, alluding to the fact that we probably don’t really know, or maybe we do, either way, there’s something inherently shut-the-fuckable about the internet in general. The carbs thing is a little bit of a quip, sure, but it’s true. I grew up in this era of culture so removed from its substance that what one interacted with was either consumption & production, or malaise and a sense of mourning. Normie or death. I could go on.
My point being is a point that has been repeated time and time and time again, you’re probably not very close to yourself, strip back the layers and see what you find. A digression. At work, before I leave off, I eat a can of tuna out of the tin prior to the gym. My work colleagues still sort of grin, grimace or poke fun at the act, it doesn’t bother me…it bothers them, ha. However, it was an act that made me realise how utterly removed from reality the average person is. “Look at this dude! He’s eating food in…in a…err…not normal way! HA! Got ‘im!” What happened? It’s like Oedipus got an upgrade between 2000 and 2010, was Facebook Oedipus’ upgrade?
Anyway, it was strangely enough a sort of pinnacle moment for me. I was just finishing up my dissertation around the time the tuna-mocking began and was going to be freed up so I thought for a long time on why it resonated with me so much, why that simple act had really conceptually rattled me. I’ll be honest, I still can’t really pinpoint why, or what about it is so apt, but the long and short is, it was the most perfect metaphor for the reality of the average homo-economicus, it was as ‘the consumer’ had suddenly popped out of the simulacrum as a pure concept and laughed at me. Imagine being that locked into to some strange form of consumerist normality that someone else just eating bland food is cause for disruption, cause for annoyance, anger…perhaps even a sort of gut level disgust at social tenacity. It was the moment that made it all click, ‘Yes,’ I said to myself ‘we are literally amidst a global socio-economic and environmental collapse…and that attitude is the nerve-system.’. All of a sudden I was free to do what I wanted, I always have been, but another layer of social gravity had fallen off – one of the last, the one just before living in the woods in a loin cloth – and I no longer gave a shit about so many more things.
Firstly I ditched my smart phone, there’s nothing smart about them. In actuality, they’re likely the most boring things ever made. Pray tell, what do you do on a smartphone? Check Facebook, dull. Check apps, you don’t need to do that all the time. There’s little point to them and most likely you’ll never look at anything you do on them after the first time. So I’m back to an old phone and text mobile, which is basically just for calls…so it’s basically always off and I’m free to do what I want without people interrupting me. Mobile phones are inherently rude, “Sorry, I’ll just stop you there, I have to answer this.” Wait, what? Since when did that become the norm. Then I basically stripped back my possessions. I still have a few bits I’m clinging due largely because of sunk cost, but I’d argue that in monetary terms my possessions (leaving aside my car and home) are as follows: 80% books, 10% clothes, 5% memberships (gym, karate and online) and the other 5% is random. I eat a carnivore diet but will be transitioning to locally sourced soon ‘cus of the collapse. Get Used to Local Potatoes Now and Avoid the Rush.
I’ll be honest once you ditch your smartphone, Facebook, Netflix, TV and having a PC on all the time, your half way to getting back to some sort of original state. By that I don’t mean authentic, I just mean as close to un-tampered with as possible. You suddenly have loads of time, more worth, less worry and more concern and conscientiousness.
You ever try take a walk in the woods in last 5 years, on your own, no attachments. Try it, your brain will most likely act like a worm having a seizure. “But…but…what the fuck do I….DO!” Go be.
Anyways, that was a little thing I wanted to sort of shoot out very quickly tonight, will touch on many of these topics again. But be prepared for Z/Acc stuff, lots of it.