"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Oct 7, 2010

How To Fight

Sometimes a cluster of migraines, visual artifacts and light sensitivity comes to good end. Boredom. Attempting to distract myself from the inescapable pain of my own head, I finally just got bored. Tore through six or ten books, reading through the fractal patterns. Started reading old books. Stopped.

Started thinking.

Especially about the last two replies to this.

In brief, I see no reason to worry depictions of rape emanating from the idiot screen. The palimpsest of television serves a rather singular purpose - to get you to consume shit you'd otherwise ignore, whether ideas or so-called goods and services.

Two commentators disagreed.

The first:

"Well, call me weird or whatever, but I managed to get mad at the nonstop product placement in that show and the light-hearted yukking about spousal rape."

And the second: 

"[Redacted], you are so weird. How can you think that all that shit on tv AND rape jokes are wrong? Rape is such a trifling issue. Especially when it's presented on popular tv shows as a trifling issue, isn't that the most obvious proof?"

Working backwards, I never treat rape as a trifling issue. I know in my own flesh the worm eaten corruption of it. But, I just cannot bring myself to get mad at simulations.

So, the what-what:

You do not fight the Spectacle because you cannot fight the Spectacle. Any conflict with Spectacular depiction becomes Spectacle. Our wayward conservative friends may never figure this out, since nearly all of their "struggles" aim them against, or for, fictional depictions, against or for manufactured simulations - a communist capitalist President, a Gay Agenda, a socialist fifth column somehow destroying the most mercenary political construct in the history of the human race, an oppressed dominant white Christian majority, a small government that gets all up in the uterus, a three front occupation army run by a balanced budget government, a conservative Republican Martin Luther King, Jr, Christian public education.

I cannot even begin to drum up the snark and disdain needed to aim my arrow at the earnest, weeping gliberals...

The Spectacle consummates. Its factions do not produce a coherent, cohesive film of reality. They show what suits them, often only for a season. They bring to completion some product or campaign. They run it through an artificial life cycle, controlling the whole length and breadth of it. Life lacks that quality; the actual living of it fails to conform to tropes and narrative arcs.

Those who produce their segments of Spectacular society do so for their own interests, and towards their own ends, sometimes in conflict with others. Fiction with an end. They consummate their needs, and the needs of their subscribers, in these simulations. Simulations which, if successful, obfuscate or misdirect the experience of the observer. They consummate reality by replacing it with a manufactured copy, or copies.

You do not fight this and win, because any struggle within the confines of the Spectacle, for it to identify the Spectacular form(s) as opponent, and opposable, must adhere to its rules. It must allow itself depiction. It must simulate a struggle, in order to engage the Spectacular fictions.

It becomes, in short, spectacular. Becomes one more fiction.

This cannot damage the Spectacle, or the producers of it.

If you want to actually fight the Spectacle, go unseen. Have no purpose. Offer no critique. And fight the producers and factions directly, in an arena they cannot define with cameras, lights and action...

12 comments:

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Most are resigned to playing in a game not of their choosing, under rules they wouldn't create nor endorse, toward an end that they've accepted as the outermost limit of what's possible without ever examining alternatives, feasibility, or the merits of what they're engaged in.

This reminds me of how gays and lesbians will make gay marriage a pivotal issue, and think they're advancing a big cause. While a society roundly treats them with disrespect, abuse, subjugation, they seek... marriage. As if two people can't live together happily w/o the sanction of The Goo-Goo.**

________________

**Good Government.

Jack Crow said...

The habit of resistance is bred out. School's purpose. The habit of resistance has to be relearned.

Unseen, unpublicized, uncelebrated disobedience is going to look a lot like crime, Charles. To any one who might notice it, especially the Law. But, it has the advantage of not being immediately spectacular, like protests, campus groups, gay marriages on City Hall steps, or removing/adding the Infant Jeebus Creche to the city park.

Respect,

Jack

Anonymous said...

I don't watch 30 Rock and I'm not familiar with the plot and characters. Regarding the "spousal rape" scene, the husband says he "made love" to his wife, and she happened to be sleeping. It's possible that he could have an understanding with his wife, where she grants consent for him to "make love" with her when she's sleeping. There are people, both male and female, who have these types of understandings with their spouses. I could be wrong, as I am not familiar with the show, characters, and plot, but it appears people assume it is rape because The Spectacle wants them to assume it was rape.

Charles F. Oxtrot said...

The general habit of Americans is resigned obedience. I think most people get that we are a law-bound society with lots of laws and regulations written around so many types of human conduct. I think most people don't bother trying to figure out what they can and cannot do, legally... and therefore they just go forward with caution in all ways, keeping a big distance between their thoughts/behavior, and what they perceive as being of questionable legality.

The bookends of Republican and Democrat are very safe and for this reason they have much support among Americans. Especially when you add in the dimension of patriotism/jingoism and the "civic duty" to vote. Hell, it is at least communissss and possibly illegal to vote for a Green Party candidate... ain't it?

From that perspective, we can understand why college students seem the segment of America most inclined to be "activist" (euphemistic quotes) -- college is an insular environment where much debauchery is tolerated well beyond how it's accepted outside the collegiate campus/environment. People are still "growing up" when in college, eh?

As more of the populace seems restive, the po-po and "homeland security" domestic spookery grow greedier about how much of our privacy they may deprive with legal sanction. This means you're right, Jack -- the smallest things will be criminalized. Evidence of thinking "subversive" thoughts will be interpreted in one's text messages, blog posts, emails, phone conversations, traffic light behavior (gotta love those traffic light cameras!). One's vehicle bumper stickers may result in imprisonment, waterboarding, disappearing.

That is the direction, isn't it? Are other Americans going to be willing to oppose it?

Probably not. Not until the Auschwitz analog opens and has been operating for a year or two, at least.

JM said...

I think it's a sign of bravery that people are actually out there and unashamed by protesting, but that's just me.

What kind of quiet resistance are you suggesting?

Jack Crow said...

Anon @ 12:19

I don't know if "the Spectacle" in the specific can be understood as an entity that wants or desires. I think the word works much like "the State," as a descriptor of a kind of behavior.

If what you're suggesting is that constant contact with certain images or types of them conditions people, though, I'm inclined to agree.

Respect,

Jack

Jack Crow said...

Charles,

Perhaps resignation is a defense mechanism. Americans have never overthrown the American state. Contrary to Old Republic mythologists' claims, the US has always been a war state. Nearly three hundred years of it. It has almost always been war time, where dissent or armed resistance is verboten, because the homeland is in a fight for its alleged mortal life. That westward expansion, as we know, was one hundred years of armed conquest. And then off into the Pacific, the Caribbean, Mexico, Africa and then the WWs.

So the habit of obedience, as a matter of culture and law, is fairly well ingrained, no?

We're not like the French, or the Brits, or German, Lithuanian, Polish or Bohemian peasants. They've all had petty nobles they could overthrow, until very recently, historically. They've had successes. Successes they remember, and liberties they have won.

We've pretty much always had the universalist, well armed, awe shrouded structure that's in place. Sure, it's gotten bigger. But, it's always done this wetwork and warfare thing. It's had no downtime, where the barons and margraves could fuck up their fiefs, or strain at the constraints.

So, we're the idiots with the exceptional-ism and the coded belief that what is will always be.

Respect,

Jack

Jack Crow said...

Jenny,

I personally think protesting is posing for the police. I know others have a different opinion, but when the opponent has the resources, databases, filesharing and enforcement powers of the cops, it just makes no sense to me to pose for their camera men.

And I don't believe in the power of numbers. Not today, not in this climate of opinion. When tens of thousands of mill workers struck Lawrence (my home town, that) they did so as incipient reds. There was always the threat that they would just take the owners' shit. Or mob up and smash in their windows. Frick and and that ilk had the Pinkers on the hunt because the labor radicals were radical. They were a threat. They could do harm.

Now - four hundred thousand slogan consumers on the Mall, or marching through Central Park with bulk ordered signs? Are they gonna despoil the Upper West Side? Are they going to march out to Alexandria? Or the Foggy Bottom? Or the NSA's little enclave in Maryland?

Nyet. And the PTB know it.

So protesting is just posing for their databases captures.

Respect,

Jack

Jenny said...

What the laborers did was protesting too, I think but that's just me.

Jack Crow said...

Jenny,

A fighting strike, especially a general one, is not a mere protest.

lunch said...

Successes they remember, and liberties they have won.

Their liberties won generally do not measure up to what the US population still has, despite everything restricting that has occurred since the Vietnam War/1960's.

The question should be why is the US population so dumb about class issues as compared to the European strikers and protestors?

In the late 19th century through the middle of the 20th labor agitation kept class issues alive from generation to generation. Now we are, essentially, all 'middle class' in a bogus so-called classless society.

I suggest that the overall success of the American expansionary project has operated to stifle class awareness. There has been enough access to class mobility to allow an individualist ethos to dominate the US Weltanschauung.

That the success has always been based on theft (i.e., dispossession) and murder, to be blunt, has never been much of a cause for reflection. "Let the good times roll" has been the watchword from the beginning. People who gripe that something or other is unfair are losers. So many of us feel that we are winners or could become winners that it is and has always been relatively easy to dismiss the losers.

Apologies for the length of the rant.

Jack Crow said...

lunch,

I guess it depends on how you define liberty. I see your point, though - if American liberty is understood as a superficial veneer which is granted to the subject population by a off times distracted protection racket.