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.

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.

the dead-end ephemera of The West used to be plastic toys on the middle shelf sold at grocery stores. now it’s the intangible, all-consuming cloud of frustration that is the interconnected contemporary human psyche.

—sitting today listening in one ear to Tom Waits and the other to stories from East Germany Before The Wall Fell and reading the various official documents describing the President raping a child and i have to remind myself that any light i see at the end of this tunnel is that of an oncoming train—

we all just flail through the patterns of personal belief, each a fragment on this fractal of existence. every life an equation, dividing itself down to zero. the heart is a chisel and time is the hammer that hits it into our fragile bodies. history is a sleight-of-hand trick. the future is a dead rabbit.

if art is just going to entertain the people who don’t have to afford to give a shit about anything until the end of the world, then what the fuck is the point? opportunists and amateur humans come in all forms.

reading the news is a trap. daily routine seems more like existential prison than maintaining a balance of information and culture. the grotesque, pointless discourse of the internet seems more intent on attaching itself to the world of profiteering than the mechanics of change (in which action follows words).

whereas my rage used to be enough to keep writing, as if the words would make a difference, that accumulated static appears to hide its nature like one of those magic eye posters; underneath the patterns are a hamster wheel of despair, exhausting the minds of any and all who participate in the trivial cycle of debate about when and how this all is going to come crashing down.

—if we spent half as much energy trying to change this system of parasitic, psychopathic capitalists and their corporate oligarchies as we did blindly fighting one another about invisible divisions based in propagandized paranoia and pretending we’re on different sides of armageddon, maybe it all could actually be avoided—

this fucking world.