What a strange world we live in! If one doesn’t pay it doesn’t look valid.
One of my best friends that I met while studying in the States, messaged me, that while she was reading a book, she was approcahed by a man, who gave her a Bible with a dollar in it – to capture her interest and make her read the book. What a good marketing strategy! Yet, what a strange world we live in. If anything captures ones attention – it is money.
We are willing to pay for conversations. With a therapist. Yet, often we don’t value conversations with family or close friends. Discredit their comments or feeling, when they are the ones who know us best.
A society without qualities – a society without image. Perhaps completely earsing an image of the young and youth is not a way forwrd, yet, the ability to see an understand the priviledges/underprivilages and sensations in the society is important not to hingde the creative potential, not to drop the futurity of the space.
When work got replaced by occupation. http://www.e-flux.com/journal/30/68140/art-as-occupation-claims-for-an-autonomy-of-life/
Similarly with the rest of areas of life. From actually living a life to being consumed by not having a certain life/by not owning enough/by not having a career good enough. I wonder when life has become reduced to things and our ability to acquire things/our ability to experience. Just by slowing down one can actually experience much more than the rest.
Disruptive effects of trauma it generates:
This results from colonialism—the blind spot of modernity—which is not just a war machine designed to extract profit as quickly as possible, regardless of the consequences, but also an apparatus that employs cultural intervention and images of salvation and progress to obliterate the disruptive effects of the trauma it generates.
We are seeing the outcomes of displacement, dispossession, military and colonial occupation, the eradication of identity, and the cancellation and destruction of a world of moral belonging.
A society without qualities: http://www.e-flux.com/journal/47/60058/the-society-without-qualities/
Like a river in China – brown, blue and grey – seemingly lifeless. The Thames is no different. London is no different. Except that people run here faster. In circles. There are more of them too.
People. Constant touching of each other, running in one another. Anonymously. Faceless daily interactions. Without care, without connectivity.
And counting, counting, counting. Tasks and lists endlessly. In a time frame. Limited.
Community? Yes, advancing one’s career through networks and presentability. Through sale of oneself.
“In trying to understand what happened and why, this extraterrestrial intelligence will be astonished by our incredible mixture of technological refinement and extreme moral stupidity. …
Heroes died, or, more accurately, they disappeared. They were not killed by the foes of heroism, but were transformed to another dimension, dissolved, transformed into ghosts. The human race, misled by burlesque heroes made of deceptive electromagnetic substances, lost faith in the reality of life, and started believing only in the infinite proliferation of images.
It was the year when heroes faded, transmigrating from the world of physical life and historical passion into the world of simulation and nervous simulation. ”
Hito Steyerl “The Wretched of the Screen”
Freedom of speech in Western societies. They say.
What does it mean to be free to speak ones mind? What does it mean to be ‘you’ genuinely? What does it mean to be you when you are in the position of serving/ selling your time to customers?
Freedom in capital terms.
It is strange that we call our lives reality when actually it is a pure performance. When an angry person comes in – we put a happy face. When the person leaves – we hush behind in unison with our ‘friends’ about their behaviour. The theatre of every day. No need to watch TV or films on the screens. We are in it. In the screen. Screened through and through by a dominant gaze of that who has the most money; who like a booking office collects it all, for the act we have just performed. It then drops us a fraction of its collection for us all to share, to ‘live on’.
The requirements for the theatre director is its imagination to create a vision for the enterprise and to think how many actors are needed in the play. An immersive theatre.
And we are all actors in it.
I remember how I used to feel embarrassed about unflattering behaviour of shop assistants/hospital workers…and etc. in Lithuania when foreigners were visiting. What a strange reaction! Those shop assistants were simply being themselves – an underpaid, bored or perhaps exhausted from the every-day realities they inhabit. They resisted and refused to engage in the parody of the ‘happiness’.
Eastern realism, once a friend of mine called Lithuanian mindset. Perhaps. Or perhaps just uncoded reality – where people act the way they feel rather than engage in an every-day theatre of disengaged minds and disconnected emotions.
Hence to freedom. To westernisation.
“the man of consumption, insofar as he consumes, is a producer… We should think of consumption as an enterprise activity by which the individual, precisely on the basis of the capital he has at his disposal, will produce something that will be his own satisfaction.”
Foucault, Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France 1978-79 (2008: 226, cited in Dilts, 2011:137)
As long as we consume – we produce our own satisfaction. When we hoard, when we acquire – we feel in power, safe and protected from…
What are we protected from? What are we lacking?
Is it a void of being loved? Is it a void of not being equal? Is it a desire to be better than others around us?
How long would the fix of having new shoes, new phone, new cars…new trips…new jobs can fulfil?
A moment? A week? A year? When is the moment until I need another symbol, another addition to the list…another validation.
“Disney/Pixar’s Wall- E (2008). The film shows an earth so despoiled that human beings are no longer capable of inhabiting it. We’re left in no doubt that consumer capitalism and corporations – or rather one mega-corporation, Buy n Large – is responsible of this depredation; and when we see eventually see the human beings in off world exile, they are infantile and obese, interacting via screen interfaces, carried around in large motorised chairs, and supping indeterminate slop from cups. What we have here is a vision of control and communication much as Jean Baudrillard understood it, in which subjugation no longer takes the form of a subordination to an extrinsic spectacle, but rather invites us to interact and participate.”
Mark Fisher “Capitalism Realism”
As long as we consume – we produce our own satisfaction.
A city of consumption we live in. It is not a place to create – one of my friends said. Small spaces, huge distances, high prices, competition and stress. And consumption to fill the moments of freedom. Because there is no more energy left. There is no more space left… just to take in. Just to consume. Just to observe. Just to entertain.
I thought that when you age you become smarter, that something changes and you suddenly become enlightened. And I am walking and walking. Time is passing and passing. And there is no flash of light. No change. No enlightenment. It is still me. That same old me. And not much have changed. I still love learning. I still love traveling. I still love conversations over tea cups.
So what have changed?
I get tired quicker. I look after myself a bit more. Rather than denying – I accept the tiredness and the natural ways my body is saying – it is enough. It’s time to end.