Self-destruction, decadence and sentimental banality.
So intimate, so personal, so mine.
Making it all the better to share their dark undoings on your screens, in your apps, your mass-produced mass-consumed mass-recycled mass-forgotten devices.
They took over my life recentlly. But these days I have a sudden feeling they are no longer my personal, intimate demons, but are thoughts, things, ghosts. Ghosts that belong to the outside. Ghosts that lurk, scratch, bite, bark, condemn. Claim thoughts, lives, dreams, hearts. The dream time. The fucking aboriginal high-brow dream time. The marina abramovic-style dream time.
So here we are.
We start in self-destruction.
Personal became political. Work became lifestyle. Consumption became creation. And feelings? Well, they keep breaking us up. Making oneself feel fragile, mortal, vulnerable.
We've witnessed the destructions of intimacy happening in front of our own eyes, yet these things are still too intimate...
Let me say just this - what brought us here will not bring us there. To reimagine oneself, one needs to begin in self-destruction.
Self-destruction. Here I come.
Next is decadence.
Spurred by consumerism and the leftist reaction to consumerism - which resulted in doubling down (how corporate-y America of me) on a more sophisticated version of the original problem (my lone reader don't you find it's funny how contemporary critique of consumerism shares the same foundations as the phenomena it's so struggling to destroy). American consumer - and let's be frank, as this is the only consumer in the world - is stuck between two poles: realizing oneself through mass consumption (luxury, premium or not) or realizing oneself through non-consumption (which is kind of consuming previously consumed and created stuff). Isn't this a perfect dichotomy to have? Worth hundreds of scholarship, thousands of Rhodes funds and millions of companies-funded research papers.
"One respondent told us that he has given up drinking alcohol and was saving to buy a Nirvana headband which would give him a futuristic buzz instead of getting drunk".
It's all about consumption and since not all things in life are about consumption we arrive at the doorsteps of decadence. When one's internal desires are not met in lives around themselves - one either revolts against the reality or ... falls in despair. We are close to neither of these. Hence we do what happens before - we conceive and consume decadence. From politics to personal life we fall, we forget, we abandon. Be it institutions, mentalities or beliefs - none of it really matters anymore. Yes, the "right" are rising, instability is ever more instable and the clowns are running the circus. But how different is this from getting high, getting wasted on alcohol, drugs, emotions, getting further, and further away from yourself? Decadence is the force permeating personal and political. In decadence we resist our common reality. And in the resistance we fall.
Surprisingly this brings us closer to the end of capitalism.
Our lives are no longer just about products, but are about the inherent value of human connections that such products facilitate.
Objects are props. Products are failures. They are obsolete. They have no inherent value beyond the event that they are called to perform service upon. At first desired, they are worthless once their ephemeral value is consumed. We shall not idolize the ephemeral, we shall build the eternal.
Look, for significant parts of our lives our social interactions were dominated by the digital communications. I am typing this text on my phone. Half drunk, half awake, half sane. This has naturally given rise to the desire to renew our bonds with people in real life, making real connections and enjoying real experiences. What happened is that brands naturally decided to do this job. Because who else if not beacons of mass consumerism would suddenly proclaim that mass consumerism is faulty, wrong, amoral?
They made their credos making a stand against mindless consumption, taking a stand for mindful exploration. It became about making yourself yourself and taking an ultimate ownership of your life. Something that people have been increasingly devoid of - because of (again) mass production, mass advertising and the decline of the institutions that traditionally provided that feeling - like family, religion or government.
We want to consume less. Yet our culture is built on the definition of us consuming more. In some weird sense key consumerist brands are now laying the foundation for self destruction of that consumerism, that capitalism, that what brought them success in the first place. By doing that, they are ultimately creating a new society. One devoid of singletudes, full of ambivalence and multitudes.
Pour que l'orage s'annonce.
And finally sentimental banality.
Just read this text. Pretentious nonsense, full of high brow words woven together to create narratives that pose as unmistakable, true and authoritative to their core. Words for the sake of words. Circular narratives created to disarm, hinder, disorient. Elitist and thus questionable.
With the need for dialogue with people unlike ourselves we see the salvation in multitudes, ambiguity and ultimately .... banality. Once decried as bourgeois - elitist and distant (just re-read madame bovary) - banality makes a comeback as low-key language that diffuses tension and crates a common playing field. As we need to integrate everyone into the conversation about futures, we cannot afford to lead this dialogue from the position of power. We all watch Netflix, discuss Westworld, stay/commute in traffic. Surprisingly, banality nowadays creates a playing field devoid of ambitions and welcoming conversations. The sentimental commonality is now enlightening our spirit to the new heights.
And sentimental banality.
Feelings. Emotions. Heart.
The spirit of history realizing itself.
Pour que l'orage s'annonce.
For the storm that is imminent