part of me can’t wait for Trump to not be in office anymore so the amount of time liberals dedicate to squealing about him could instead be used on more important issues. but then I realize most people just want a president they can ignore specifically so the important issues don’t have to be dealt with and nobody has to risk offending anyone at whatever dumbass job they have.

the collective psyche of America is stretched like a rubber band and I, for one, am more intrigued by what happens when it snaps and Trump is out of office and people who are complaining endlessly about getting things ‘back to normal’ suddenly have to be accountable for the fact that in America, normal is fucking terrifying as well.

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.

HBO must be getting ready to re-air the first season of True Detective under the ‘True Crime’ genre at this point. Trump was one kind of shock, but this entire saga with Epstein is making my brain melt. Trump was the 80’s game show television plotline for dystopian America, and Epstein is the one-off 90’s movie based on some John Grisham book, and next we’re going to get the 2000’s fucking apocalyptic trilogy.

(the hits just keep coming, i mean, just what the fuck)

The 2020 election will basically decide the future and people are still hoping Joe Biden wins. We’re all so, so fucked.

apprehension, insomnia. soon, back on the road again.

at its core, the temptation of Ireland is good: What if I lived in America and it didn’t suck? the similarities between Ireland and the US are easily found in small towns, however in the States one might find a Wal-Mart whereas the franchise domination that plagues The Land of The Free has yet to claim the Republic.

it is pleasant to not face the daily anxiety that is living in America, the disgust of knowing every action taken is somehow contributing to the motions of late capitalism. that the State still retains some sense of responsibility for the people, and that not everyone is just out to get one another. it gives life the sense of living so often lost in the grotesque theme park of profitability that is the USA. it forces a sense of clarity to the question: what am i doing? where am i going?

(and to that end, I still do not know, which is perhaps the one thing I will take from this space. just because there is clarity does not mean there is an answer, and that I may be asking the wrong questions, or perhaps framing them in the wrong way. after all, the way that which I analyze things is essentially still American, a loathesome trait that I wish I could figure out how to rid myself of.)

though I do hope to return to Ireland, I also know that life has its way of constantly changing and it’s often impossible to keep a plan in motion once it has been even slightly altered. my time here has been noteworthy, regardless.

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.

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.

Seattle

Pike Place · Seattle

I mailed home 20 rolls of film and a couple were processed and scanned and this was one of the first images I saw from the crop—from my last weeks between Portland and Seattle—and it reminds me so much of why I just keep going from place to place. The generalized insanity of self-indulgence during the end of the world ad nauseum is enough to make a person lose their mind.

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.

“If the road you followed brought you to this, of what use was the road?”

I think about this scene a lot when I think about modern American liberalism.

I do not understand those who believe in Kamala Harris1 or Elizabeth Warren2—or really any of the other Democratic candidates outside of Bernie.3 What part of believing in a system hell-bent on profit and power would make someone think that it does not, eventually, end up with a Trump-like figure? Someone who uses media perfectly to appeal to the weakness of populism and the modern social-media driven mob mentality?4

Of course The New York Times and its ilk will try and convince America that belief in old institutions matters, and that Trump is just an aberration, but the fact is that Trump is the most recent face of the problem and not the problem itself. And to elect anyone who isn’t willing to throw their weight behind a complete overhaul of the system is to stare at an assassin pointing a shotgun at your face, convincing yourself that you can convince him not to pull the trigger.

  • Cop.
  • “Capitalist to my bones.”
  • OK so maybe include Marianne Williamson here, but more in the sense she’s the Democratic version of Trump and actually has a shot at that mindset shit grabbing a wave of new-age populism.
  • Barack Obama did it perfectly in 2008. The people were tired of war, they were tired of a dumbass for a President, and here came this educated man with a savvy online presence talking about Hope. He enraged part of the country the way that Trump is doing now. They’re really two sides of the same coin.

The eight-hour time zone difference between Ireland and America means any major event in the States, I usually wake up to instead of read about in real-time—the way most things go these days. This creates a non-specific sense of dread, in that checking The Guardian or The New Yorker each morning is going to have one horrifying new story or another.

That sort of fear creates a general anxiety, less with regard to certain doom and more that its very existence seems a pretty strong piece of evidence that everything is completely fucked.

Today is different though. Right now everyone in America is asleep. And when they wake, the horrors of targeted raids against immigrants will begin. The Trump administration has blatant disregard for any concept of human rights and the impending violence—both physical and psychological—of what will happen in America just hours from now is an indefensible atrocity.

And those atrocities will be the headlines I will wake to on Monday. That this grotesque cycle of fear is making it easier to predict the future is truly terrifying. That it is defended by some, funded by ‘the opposition’ and ignored by most is tragic. That it is becoming routine for this depraved indifference to keep advertising revenue flowing into Op-Ed pages is quintessentially American.