Sunday, December 28, 2008

Slouching Toward the New Year - a little thought experiment

All that we really need to do is to measure our wants. In a world of fragranced french fries and balooning obesity, it may already be beyond disputing that what we want is want. In this country, from where we have accomplished the immiserating of the rest of the globe for our greater comfort, we may have moved well beyond physical want to a baptismal immersion in the fear that our very comforts are themselves at risk.

Of course I don't mean to implicate every last one of us, since we clearly have internalized those third-world realities within our own boundaries, and live right down the road from clear and present want.

But folks like me, who doubt our talent for speaking out and acting meaningfully, live in a strange kind of panic that we won't make it somehow. That we will be discomfitted by the discomfort of our children. That we won't have launched them sufficiently along the road toward neo-liberal accomplishment, and worse that we will be a burden to them in our old age.

Or is it simply that we want space for more art and music? More community and communication? More touching and less digital stimulus? Imagine a world where there truly was more expectation of surprise from the cultural production of consciousness expanded and even bloated on our glut of oil. As opposed to the contraction in fear that we now experience that the powerless, terrified and sociopathic will overcome us. That the complexities of ecological sustainability will foil us as we fumble our stewardship of even the plot we live in. That we somehow have to exercise still more rather than less control.

Did I already write that I recently test drove the infamous Wii and was severely underimpressed. Saddened, really. That this is that to which desire has been reduced! That anyone could possibly consider this kind of play at play actually to be fun! That people are likely waiting for the elaboration on the theme at least to the point where the feedback loops are in place and touch, too, can be simulated.

Have we not finally completed our libidinal investment in things, outered and perfectly reproduced? Is there not still more surprise in the people around us, once their minds too have been liberated from the mandated measures of worth which invest our late capitalist so-called democracies? I think that Žižek did already actually adequately explain why modern democracies require a kind of instrumental reading of worth, which purports to be itself content free. Why IQ must become a thermometer of intelligence and SATs a measure of admissability to the permanent elite. (although I can't seem to verify by web search that it was actually Žižek who did that)

Can we even begin to know what wonders remain unrealized behind the fetters holding back those not even invited to play the game?

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