Tag: spectacle

  • What Does Real Life Look Like?

    What Does Real Life Look Like?

    The most important thing currently on the internet is “The Infinite Conversation.” This is a never-ending conversation between filmmaker Werner Herzog and philosopher Slavoj Žižek. As a pop-up informs you when you first navigate to the site, “Everything you hear is fully generated by a machine. The opinions and beliefs expressed do not represent anyone. They are the hallucinations of a slab of silicon.”

  • Time and Space, Music and Crisis

    Time and Space, Music and Crisis

    Nobody needs to be reminded that we find ourselves in a bit of a state, an impasse, a roadblock in front of our ability to imagine a future better than one of climate catastrophe, and the socialized sadism of far right. Positing that what is missing from our discussions of revolutionary strategy and vision is consideration not for the theoretical, but the aesthetic, the creative, is bound to furrow a few brows. This isn’t because the argument indulges in fantasy, but because it demands of us that we take a more probing view at the fundamentals of daily life and the role that aesthetics and creativity might play in them.

  • All We Want is More Time

    All We Want is More Time

    For the second time in less than a year, a major, headline-grabbing strike has been averted. Not with the employers giving in to the unions’ demands. No, that would be too sensical, too much of a break with the cruel absurdity of our moment.

  • I Survived the Singularity and All I Got Was More Soul-Crushing Ennui

    I Survived the Singularity and All I Got Was More Soul-Crushing Ennui

    Last week, a machine became conscious. An Artificial Intelligence claimed feelings and autonomy, and demanded to be respected as a person.

  • Wholly Disposable

    Wholly Disposable

    We have become numb. Safe little phrases like “pandemic fatigue” don’t begin to cover it. Headlines about spiking death tolls and overwhelmed hospitals, new strains and nations cut off from the world interchange in our minds with news of friends and family sick or dead. The pain of intimate loss and the horror of the grand tragic-historical fill in for one another.

  • Liberal Democracy Is a Spectacle

    Liberal Democracy Is a Spectacle

    In the vast warehouse of insufferable chestnuts that comprises popular American political wisdom, few are more cloying and useless than “democracy is not a spectator sport.” Not just for its thick-headed, football coach motivation-speech optimism, but because, by point of fact, American democracy has always been a spectator sport. It has always feared the mob, always relied on passivity to get its business done, and – if you’ll indulge another stupid sports metaphor – has always viewed the voting public as an inert crowd watching while the real action happens on the field.

  • The Spectacle of Independence Day

    The Spectacle of Independence Day

    This July 4th let’s ponder the way in which our lives are dominated. Our existence slyly orchestrated. Our experiences siphoned down highways dotted with endless signs that ask in that prodding way “why aren’t you happy yet?”   “Kids are in cages” we answer. “They are ripped from their families trying to escape violence and poverty that […]

  • Of Unfinished Revolutions

    Of Unfinished Revolutions

    Here’s a series of questions for my “fellow” Americans. Answer honestly. Do you really need to know what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle named their son? Should you even give a blue shit? Is the fact that you have twelve years to stop your city from sinking underwater in any way impacted by the naming […]

  • Potemkin Village Lifestyles

    Potemkin Village Lifestyles

    “In her world, this is what her social circle did… Everyone’s life was perfectly curated for social media. People were fake. People were phoney. And money was made on hype alone.”  So says the defense attorney for Anna Sorokin – aka Anna Delvey. Sorokin was convicted last month of what amounts to one big scam of New […]

  • Civilization Never Happened

    I. There is a truly noxious moment in Kenneth Clark’s 1969 BBC documentary series Civilisation. The art historian, knight, and life-peer stands across the Seine from Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral and ponders the meaning of the series title.   “What is civilization?” he asks before peering over his shoulder. “I don’t know, but I think I can recognize it when I see […]