the best part about ‘art’—and when I use that term, I just mean the general expression of a specific sense of expertise in a creative medium—is the appetite it allows for. When I was working in design, my goals were relatively simple and easy: impress my director, wow the CEO. Generally succeed within a relatively narrow boundary of potential, solve problems.

It’s that type of general corporate thinking that is a menial path to insanity

When you actually are searching for your own soul through creative outlets, it keeps you general. It makes a person consider the entire potential audience—meaning all people, all beliefs, everything. When you begin to curate your own creativity you volunteer for self-censorship.

Art lets us be who we are at our most honest for anyone else who will listen, and if this world wasn’t so hell bent on critical profiteering then we’d be much better off. But for now, I’m just going to enjoy obsolescence and the opportunity it has so that I don’t have accountability to the classist structures that are currently letting rain forests burn down and racists run governments. Figure shit’s better off without their input, anyway.

Airport security has to be one of the grandest displays of security theater ever. It’s marvelous how completely random standards seem to be from one place to the next.

En route to Copenhagen and both of my bags are taken for a hand search. A corkscrew is removed from one and a small bottle of shampoo from another, both thrown in the bin. These are things that I’ve traveled with not only for all of this trip, but also on previous trips in and out of Europe.

This is all just an annoyance because if someone was plotting to carry out a destructive act, they would likely make sure none of it involved trying to be sneaky with airport security. We’re all just putting little bottles of liquid in little plastic bags (environment be damned, apparently) as a way to pretend that something has changed other than how much power the state is willing to enforce over the people.

It’s so patronizing when minor inconveniences are played off as making me ‘safer.’

even with a long-standing history of revolution, unrest and the remarkable culture that stems from it, the deeply romantic aspects of Paris make it the saddest city I’ve ever been to. —the combination of everything gives it such a high bar in terms of social makeup: political, artistic, caring—

and though New York is an uncaring city, given that it’s American it still lends opportunity, or at least welcomes anyone who can generate some economic kickback. that’s not necessarily my vibe, but at least it’s not fuckin’ England.

London is a brutal city. it’s beautiful in the way a luxury store is, where by default it is there to say, if you can’t afford, don’t even ask. the city itself seems to operate as a grotesque advertisement for a caste system.

I guess who can blame them, the Brits have had a system based on inherited wealth longer than most, and at this point the despair that comes with it must just be so deeply ingrained in their social consciousness that the rest is useless. but roaming around, I see America’s future.

It’s not so much an admitted sadness, but an obvious one where nobody has any hope of getting beyond a certain place in life, and even if they achieved an extraordinary amount, somebody else would always be looking down on them just because of their name.

this culture is trash.

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.

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.