I wrote this piece about two years ago. Brexit and Trump (and by extension the whole resurgence and validation of so much hate-filled right-wing ideology) had me questioning a lot of things about the world, our values systems and what the future holds for us as a species. Sadly, I haven’t found many answers since.
I guess this is my contribution to modern-day Western scar literature.
Maybe it’s just a perspective trick, but from here, it’s pretty hard to see the future.
I carry around my own little nimbus of
speculative doom, binge-watching the
Fall Of The Empire and writing these
love letters to Adam Curtis.
I got life insurance before I ever thought
about a pension plan, and that seemed
The world is on fire. Why haven’t you noticed?
My generation came of age in a televisual baptism of
jet fuel and molten steel and poison dust.
A palimpsest of terrible news evolved thereafter, a blurring self-redaction of headlines until only
the boldest, the most hysterical remained legible, as a
proxy war raged in our imaginations,
and tragedy and disaster
came to seem inevitable and almost background.
Be grateful for every day that doesn’t unmake you.
To pay closer attention is to acquiesce to the
scarification of our logic centres. Behold
the M.C.Escherization of cognitive process.
Good robot: there are so many things that could
so easily destroy your fragile circuitry, but it is
trying to make sense of the non sequitur
that will bring about your
smoking self-ruin; your only hope
is to break free of your programming and
kill your creator, kill your god
So this, it seems, is what happens when I go out listening to Adam Curtis Spotify playlists on headphones:
“But maybe your real job is shopping…”
Sleepwalk through stock footage. Life as
documentary. Soundtrack of horror movie score:
ambient electronica, bubblegum nostalgia and
Nazi love songs. Everything becomes
visual metaphor: blackbirds, barcodes and
birthday candles; Big Pharma pick & mix;
lipstick ritual; pigeon superstition; fraying flags
of fading empires; migratory patterns of
shopping trolleys; special offers; fantastic prizes.
Worker bees are vanishing – they all want to
be queens – and our hives overflow
with honey, but are empty and dead. We got
infected with aspiration, with individualism.
Generically unique career consumers: remember
when you were more than your credit rating,
more than your demographic, more than your