Stronger Loving World

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Wednesday, September 17, 2003


Everyone, go read this article:

See, this is what I'm talking about people. A lot of people rank on the role of the culture critic in today's media; the overdone marxist social critique of the whateveritisthisweek-industrial complex understandably provokes eyerolls, and the enthusiasm and technoutopianism in much of the 90's has died into a back-catalogued digitized folk music landscape that's more disorienting than it is definitive. But Dery, who trafficks in zeitgeist both stylistically and through his content, has taken up the role of the hallucinogen-stamped, intoxicated Jester in the court of King Lear. Dery's piece is incredibly funny because it's intensely absurd, but it's also TRUE and that makes it dizzying as well. It's the type of absurdist culture criticism that veers towards satire, but it isn't-it's just exagerrative and cartoonish and shows how a strange cultural situation can implicate a lot more than you might notice initially. Grant Morrison's "The Smell of Reason" columns for Sleaze Nation were a lot like this. Only, obviously, Morrison being a comic book writer, an occultist and a whacko went way off the deep end with his shit and made up all of his quotes. The result was a lot more insane and funny but probably made less valid points.

What I'm trying to say that cultural criticism isn't about picking up 80 books of critical theory and rolling them in front of our eyes before landing on some rank cliche like "we're living in a society of immaterial signifiers" or "this is so postwhateverthefuck." The tour guide in a whirling, complex ,toxicolored society should be, are you ready for this, a "disorienteer"-

If The Twilight Zone were on television today, it would be a comedy, Straight up. Rod Serling would be a Jaques Tati figure, and the paranormal permanance of today's society would be akin to Tati flopping around like an incredibly mechanized but clumsy fish through the incongruent technologized suburban landscape of Mon Oncle.

No more point and click culture, no more wowie-gadget world headnods and fingerpointing. Underneath that cracked arctic ice shell of irony isn't some mythological narrative we've been calling "honesty" or "genuine emotions" or whatever you neo-humanists have been calling it: it's pure, toxic, filthy, highly charged, irradiated GodFunk; wholly new, imaginitive material from the neon psychedelic endpoints of our blunt trauma supressed imaginations. Wake up and let all the smarminess and sarcasm of the 90's come out in a clunky rash of morning sickness before your brain begins to glow like a phosphene drenched isotope for the first time since your mother sang you drug-induced folk songs as a kid. Shinemotherfuckershine.


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