Mid-day, after walking a superb amount around various parts of Berlin, and finding myself in a single-room bookshop focused on art+design. Various publications catch my eye; theory-based, assembled-essay editions on designing for the ‘real world’ and other thinly-veiled ‘oh fuck fascism is returning’ commentaries on The General State Of Things. It strikes me that for years now, that’s all I’ve seen. There’s no real plan for the future, no real anything.

The entire conceptual and theoretical basis for art and design is stuck in this meta-commentary because it cant loose itself from capitalism, so going forward from now and looking to the future is impossible without an admission of greed. The art world would have to detach itself from neoliberalist attitudes for that to happen—something that is ironically far easier for art than it is design, since most of design hinges on the advertising budgets of Fortune 500 companies.

I will never understand how so many spineless people make it in the creative industry. I guess once the word industry gets involved these days, nothing much matters anyway.

it never ceases to amaze me how every 11th of september i read all these hashtag-never-forget posts about the 3,000 american deaths but not a goddamn word about the subsequent hundreds of thousands killed in occupational wars or the $110,000,000,000 in weaponry dealt to saudi arabia.

like at what point does the tragedy become the irony here

can’t wait for tomorrow to go back to the business-as-usual internet of concern about russia and the democratic national committee.

the only possibly good outcome of all the bullshit politics going on in the west right now is if in 16 months Jeremy Corbyn is the PM of the UK and Bernie Sanders is the President of the United States and a new era of leftism is ushered in to the west, emboldening labor unions and taxing the fuck out of big tech to fund new public infrastructure.

of course, even in this scenario, i envision a future where the capitalist/neoliberal class lets the world burn anyway so the fragments of humanity that survive can be taught, “At the end of days, the two major superpowers of the 20th century had socialist-led governments, and look what that did to the world!”

there’s something truly disturbing about movies like this new netflix ensemble. about halfway through the trailer i realize it’s about the panama papers, which basically exposed a global conspiracy for the wealthy to dodge paying taxes. i can’t find much worth laughing at with this situation; sure the law firm it’s about got shut down, but the reporter who revealed a lot of the information was assassinated. the wealthy still have their money and i doubt they’ll be putting meryl streep in to a car and blowing it up on-screen.

it’s sort of like that flick 30 minutes or less that was a jesse eisenberg comedy that took a real life event—except for the horrific ending—and tried to build a comedy around it.

i swear nobody seems to care that the ringleader of a global child sex slavery ring was murdered in federal custody but in three years we’re going to get a buddy-cop trilogy from seth rogen about the guards who ‘fell asleep’ while jeffery epstein ‘killed himself.’

ever since Facebook debuted at my college in 2003, I was skeptical about social media. at one point, though, I was at least optimistic that it would expose certain fractures in the mechanisms of power.

looking back, it was pretty dumb of me to believe that people in power would shy away from doubling down on being complete idiots online. because really, what the fuck do they have to worry about in this world anyway? At this point, I can’t tell if it’s more masochistic to be optimistic about the internet or America.

Our World Now

Night Light · Palma de Mallorca, 2019

, we prefer screens to the stars, texts to talking, facades to the truth, dramatics to debates. age and identity aren’t real on the internet. our collective purpose is to oil the engine of this violent machine.

accelerationism is winning the culture war by being ignored as an actual problem. a system of despair that makes some successful will never be peacefully dismantled for the betterment of the masses.

everything, at this point, is for show. there are very few events that will adjust the course of this vessel; the rest is just the tide repeating.

today in “examples of how fucked capitalism is”—

A Pennsylvania school district that recently came under fire after threatening parents that their kids could be recommended to be put in foster care if they didn’t pay off their school lunch debts has turned down an offer from a local businessman to clear the debts, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

now, though NPR is reporting the district will now be accepting donations, I feel we’re all missing the fucking point here by a wide, wide margin.

it’s plenty obvious Americans don’t give a shit about immigrant children, but the incremental decline of our society steeps off a bit more every time something like this happens. that ‘lunch debt’ has been a conversation of late is abhorrent.

but this is what capitalism does: it conditions the people to believe they are at the service of the markets, and not the other way around. our systems should exist to serve us, and if they do not, they should be abolished and redrawn. chomsky said it best;

chomsky on anarchism

Noam Chomsky, On Anarchism

yet capitalism will continue to chip away at our humanity as it engages society with the psychology that a profit-based motive is superior to all, more essential than feeding children or seeking a fair and just world. and so long as people remain distracted, withdrawn and self-interested, it will keep pushing us into this void until nothing remains.

the magnitude of how fucked things are right now is pushing the boundaries of absurd moments in the entire history of humankind

it’s almost incomprehensible to me that we live in an age where there is so much to critique but, due to the availability of criticism, reports don’t really matter for anything, no matter how well-done their accounts.

children dying in concentration camps, fearmongering entitled rich kids running empires, billionaires hailed as gods for no reason other than wealth accumulation. i just cannot fathom the mindset of people who somehow still believe in capitalism. like how much fascism do you need in your daily newsfeed before it fucking dawns on you, “hey maybe we should do something about this collectively”

There’s a lot of outrage in the United States over Donald Trump’s latest comments, because of course there is. This time it happens to be an attack on Representative Ilhan Omar and a subsequent literal rallying cry by his supporters, but I mean, who the fuck is even surprised by this anymore?

Trump made an administration based on the mechanics that allowed him to win: escalation combined with a forgiving media—and by ‘forgiving media’ I mean one that is so entrenched in news cycles as a form of profitability that all new stories eclipse the old. This notion of existing only in-the-moment allows for the outrage to repeat as long as Trump gives a new reason for it to.

And this outrage is easy. It’s hollow. Take another recent abhorrent event, the blocking of health coverage for 9/11 First Responders (a cause to which Jon Stewart has thankfully reclaimed some air time for). After 9/11, the talking points were You’re with us or against us and It’s unpatriotic to not support the President and Never forget.

—Now the talking points are about cost structures, even though the state seems hell-bent on spending a trillion dollars on a war plane that can’t fly. But the talking points begin with Rand Paul and at Fox News, subsequently resonating across the internet. The idea that trolling liberals is more important to these right-wing morons than common decency toward people who show up for jobs these online idiots would be far too cowardly to attempt is just as bad as the spineless democrats who try and compromise with their ilk instead of telling them to sit down and shut the fuck up like the children they are.

Maybe it’s that Americans have adopted the news cycle as a model for civilization; that the past is not an accumulation of evidence but simply an archive of Well, that happened sentiment. Maybe it’s because the actual issues that plague society—capitalism, technocratic ideologies and individualist motivation—would threaten the wealth of too many in power and the dreams of those working to get there. Maybe America is just doomed to repeat these vicious cycles of faux-rage and self-indulgent victimization as immigrants get rounded up and representatives threatened until it all breaks down.

How soon we forget.

Since the world is filled with horrific problems, literal Nazis and absolutely no end in sight, television—or streaming content, or whatever the fuck we’re calling it now—has somehow eclipsed its dominance from the pre-internet era, going from a social norm to a bastion of the Potential Economy of New Technology. Netflix spends billions of dollars on ‘original content,’ and the word Binge has gone from an implication of bad behavior to a promotion for weekend indulgence.1 Entire websites have writers for re-hashing plots and speculating about future character choices.

It makes me wonder, maybe this is because television is the one thing right now that can’t be disputed. Fifty years ago a man landed on the moon and it wasn’t six months back I was sitting at a café when the guy next to me tried to convince me it was faked and the world is, in fact, flat. Television is one area of society—professional sports being another—where there is no such thing as Fake News. You can have opinions that can be ridiculed but everyone starts at the same area of common knowledge.2

This investment in fantasy is dangerous. The more a culture digs a psychological hole into what is not real, the more it allows for the terror of reality to propagate unchecked. Millions of people have signed up to ‘Storm Area 51’ while not a couple hundred miles to the south, camps that actually need liberation only grow more entrenched as a norm in the minds of American society.

People wonder how Donald Trump became President, but let’s not forget that guy was a prominent figure on TV for 15 years.

As America grows more fascinated with its creations—few of which have any artistic integrity and most of which are, at best, forgettable—while it allows for social problems to go unsolved, the country sets itself up only for a more dismal future. That politics are now on display as entertainment and issues play out like seasons on a TV show is no mistake; it is a catastrophic failure of those given responsibility for guarding the merits of political process from the institutions of capitalism.3 Integrity and credibility have long been sold down the river, but people are too busy expressing themselves with GIFs from Game of Thrones to be bothered enough to care.

  • Hilarious how excessive indulgence can either be considered good or bad depending on who profits and what the status quo says.
  • This is one reason I love the ending to The Sopranos, because its open-ended interpretation managed to really piss people off.
  • Similarly, the exponential growth in disposable culture is the opportunity of money, uncaring of the consequence toward the actual craft or ideas behind the concept of American art.