On Wisdom and Satire (from 2010)

The most effective form of education is marketing. And the most effective form of marketing is disguised as wisdom. I write “disguised”, there, as though “wisdom” is an absolute, and absolutely positive, value. But what is it? It’s not a stable body of knowledge, it’s a subjective, essentially conservative category of opinion. “Wisdom” was Ronald Reagan’s shtick; the presumption being that, at his age (and position) he just knew certain things… don’t worry, I’ll take care of it: you’re still too young to know. Reagan was beloved by Americans on both “sides” of the Left/Right pseudo-dichotomy. The concept of “wisdom” … Continue reading On Wisdom and Satire (from 2010)

IT’S GREAT TO HATE (sometimes)

An early sign that the culture has entered a grim new phase of propaganda-enfeebled herdthink, in which “feeling” trumps thinking (as though feelings literally originate in the heart while the brain, that elitist seat of mere cognition, should be avoided at all costs), was the hosing-down we all got, some time in the 1990s, with all that Positivity bullshit. I can see Bill Clinton’s sinister, duping-you grin as I type the word. I can see that vacuous fauntlet Prince shaking his ass to it. People felt “empowered” to reject and avoid any and all Negativity while embracing  any and all … Continue reading IT’S GREAT TO HATE (sometimes)

THE FICTIVE IN A SIMULOCRACY

Part Two-C: The Passive-Goebbels function: “The sexual revolution,” he says, “was the greatest social change I lived through. It was a tremendous break with the past. You could feel it in the air. You knew something was happening. It was scary and intoxicating and definitely new. Suddenly you felt all these restraints were lifting and you were wondering how you were going to navigate this.” For boys this navigation could be fraught. But “the girls had to make all the difficult choices. And the girls suffered and some of them got a bit twisted out of shape. It was a … Continue reading THE FICTIVE IN A SIMULOCRACY

A BRIEFER PRECIS of SECRECY

Life is a baklava and/or onion of secrets, open secrets and secret secrets. A good example of an open secret would be George Michael’s sexual orientation while he was famous… or, better, the irredeemable fact of Mortality, itself, which we manage to hide from ourselves to the extent that we bother to do things like develop languages and plan cities and catalogue the heavens. If we, as the species capable of it, faced squarely the abstraction in the fact of Impending Death Unending, would we really bother? With anything? We function at all by keeping this blatant fact a sort … Continue reading A BRIEFER PRECIS of SECRECY

US(ofA)

  Take a few hundred million people, erode their senses of family, community and overall humanity, condition them to treasure fantasies of wealth, fame and power over all other feelings or values, stuff them with junk food, over-medicate them with psychoactive drugs, poison their water, bombard them with divisive propaganda, give them 24-hour access to hardcore porn and gore, addict them to hyper-violent, hyper-realistic shooter games, put them under extreme financial pressure, give them easy access to high-powered assault weapons and implicitly guarantee global fame for anyone who commits a big enough atrocity…. what could possibly go wrong? Continue reading US(ofA)