{THE PILL BOX } spacer
powered by blogger


PillboxARCHIVE 5
Document extract:
NOTES made
19th-20th March [contd]

Yesterday on TV: shouting at woman on silly reality-tv diet experiment. Not a problem with FOOD, a problem with LIFE! Her obvious and vast and it-must-be-said repellant BOREDOM: an absence at the heart of everyday life, filled with snacks. Unbelievable video home footage: she consults TV Quick and, finding nothing there, collapses into PURE fear/nervousness/vacuum. Nothing on TV therefore NOTHING to do or think or be… maybe the advice given in such cases shouldn’t be one or other of a fluctuation of profit generating diet fads – maybe the more zen or cutting or socially conscientous advice ought to be along the lines of: GO AND WORK FOR A CHARITY [starving kids?] for 4 months… Perhaps never in history have the ‘lowest’ on the social chain been so psychologically (mock) CODDLED. (A blanket which also, conveniently, shuts out the light of wider realisation.) Tactically, it’s ingenious, as Kapital always is: the fast food people win, the diet people win, the TV company wins…

‘Pathetic… spoiled…’
Am I also not talking to myself here too? (I never followed up on my own cat charity idea…) Maybe proper and properly supervised charity work (with concomittant parallel social education) would be a good alternative prison sentence in some/many instances? (The terrible crime of WASTE…) Instead of just picking up litter? It would give a kind of context and education…? Then again, maybe such a prospect might/would frighten certain people in power…? He said, the ever present threat of so-seductive ‘conspiracy’ thinking rising once more to - and never beyond - the surface…

WIDER POINT = the over use of terms like ‘trauma’ - and ‘addiction’ - these days. Should be educations in what REAL trauma is…

… returning again to… post-WW2: “they” could deal with WW2 and still make successful marriages etc. They could see friends family community burnt alive… and deal stoically with it for the most part; whereas today therapy and TV and TV therapy tell people they have a REAL PROBLEM if they’re shopping too much (because ‘bored’… because bored with watching too many dodgy TV therapy programmes… and round the circle goes…)

I say all this as someone who isn’t yet entirely sceptical about psycho analysis… (Or, rather: who is properly sceptical, as psycho analysis indeed teaches us to be…)

(To be developed: therapy as breaking down into dove and hawk camps… ?)

+Tangent …
ONCE we had Camus et al who dealt with world pain philosophy rebellion revolution… THEN we had derrida barthes kristeva and foucault who dealt with the texts of same (brilliantly)… NOW we have an epi-demic… of hackademics who deal with the footnotes of foucault derrida kristevea barthes et al… I mean – where next?

Or hackademcis who write about the minutiae of bad cinema, etc (cf White Noise). Interesting how someone like Fassbinder – who, you would have thought, is putatively ‘nearer’ to them, their politics, is ignored; while *they* earn a juicy tenure writing theses about Farrelly Brothers misfires…

+Tangent 11. De Lillo in White Noise & Underworld. What I have been circling around. Instead of an exact or specific fear/paranoia effect (as in Cuba, A bombs)… but rather… the hum threat of threatlessness + objectlessness…

+In NEWS last week: US housing association: their “legal right” to have cable TV. (“Spoiled, aimless…) This is what revolutionary desire / demand has been sculpted into by the US @ A! Ah, here we are: from The Week. 15th March. “A housing corp in Kentucky has listed broadband internet access among the inalienable rights of its low income residents.” Actually, in a sense, I guess, a case COULD be made… one would like to believe that… fuck it. No it couldn’t. (I mean: it’s the “broadband” in that sentence/demand that give the game away, no?)

Deleuze to Foucault [pp269 The Lives of MF]:
“In my view you were the first to teach us a basic lesson: speaking for others is shameful.”

The awful terrain of the ‘we’ columnist in places like G2 – who, they have hijacked and perverted the useful utilitarian ‘we’ of libertarian movements of 60s/70s into the absolutely trivial ‘we’ of thr cynical trivia mongering. From ‘we recognise that x is intolerable…’ to ‘we know that sarah jessica parker…’ or ‘we know that the latest Levis advert…’ or ‘we know that fashion week…’ etc. And thereby end up doing Kapital’s – house/home - work for it.
This ‘We’… from backgrnd of ‘left’ pol and media studies… but with the pol taken out or inverted. By making such things a mere ‘talking point’ they do the SPECTACLE’s work for it.

{ They live in bourgeois opulence. They consume freebies by the barrel load. They take Prozac. They talk about this weeks ‘must see’ flick. They write about giving birth as if they were the first people ever to do this. (In scientific opulence, mark you, not in a rocky field.) They portray themselves as dithery chicks … at the same time reaping the rewards of shark-like agents hardnose lawyers and strategically caught media-power husbands. They read Wallpaper and Vogue and Hello ‘ironically’… and they have nothing, NOTHING, to say. And they WILL write columns about how boring/tiring the war is, after a week of television. They WILL write about Condoleeza Rice’s non fashion sense. And they WILL be grievously overpaid for this… }

(Oo-ooo-ooh! Back in the back-knife drawer, Mr Unpacked Baggage!)

8.16 a.m.:
Early morning news. Embedded reporter, “Cordelia”, wearing gas mask @ Camp Coyote.
Normally INANE presenters suddenly way sombre… surely this is one more thing we subconsciously resent and reject? That only at times like this is any kind of seriousness an option? As though life were not interesting or serious for any of us except when the agenda tells you so…?

Tracked down copy of Eno/Snatch 45 ‘b’ side… “RAF”. Still odd after all these (1978?) years. “You know this may be your only contribution to being alive…” Then that strange quick talk garbled sentence I’ve never with any certainty known what is being said… “Think anyone’s worried about you?” Spooky. Why does ‘rock’ so-called acheive this SO infrequently? An uncanny of the social…

What was that Robbe-Grillet film I saw years ago at Scala? Trans Europe Express? Funny how barely digested slivers from almost forgotten wholes can HAUNT you decades later… (I seem to remember a lot of fetishistic detail involving stockings, suspenders, womens legs. Way ahead of his time, then…)

But it’s a two way street. A trance Europe exchange…

On screen at moment (Robbe Grillet might like this!) more women-in-gas-mask shots. Back in the studio this is treated like some kind of apocalyptic unimaginable imago. Like: … shock horror! War-like things happening in a war! There is at once a shocked surprise – [or] a faked surprise - at each little next thing that happens… and thereby… vulgarisation trivialisation molecularisation of TIME itself? A war reportage that shows us everything but the ‘thing itself’.

Professional killers are nominated ‘our boys’ (which boys are being strafed and burnt alive by, er, ‘friendly fire’) and the strange logic goes like this: as long as war is theoretical then protest is real. But the moment war becomes real then protest is assumed to be theoretical only and you must support real war.

Whatever happened to class consciousness? Is it accepted somehow – fatalistically – that “our boys” should go into army now, just as our girls should become lap dancers? We have accepted it? Accepted a war economy? It surely isn’t as simple as this?
It’s not that I object to the career choice of, or doubt the bravery of those serving; far from it: I respect it. But when someone uses a phrase like “our boys” I feel like my tummy is being tickled by someone with a fascist uniform hanging somewhere in their hidden wardrobe / baggage / agenda. Of course, to refer to troops as ‘our professional killers’ would be as absurd (and condescending – to them, to us) as referring to them as ‘our boys’…

Oppose only theoretical war (the spectral/spectre mirage of a harmless bloodless war) and support a real messy war. What kind of logic is that?

Especially as, the very people who are hottest to support [real] war, are those who would be first to demand the tv stations NOT broadcast real footage of real casualties, army & civilian, of real decisions and real mistakes, with real limbs in real trees &c…

+… so we see everything but the end result.
Strongest image come across recently was one framed in words.
U.S. soldiers under a bridge wading in blood – “white and trembling, vomiting, saying ‘Have we done this..?’
This from the last Gulf War, quoted by [I think] John Sweeney recently.

What IS the ‘x’ that says: no, you must not see this? WHY? Relate to Foucault. Likewise death sentences/executions. Used to be PUBLIC. Now it is a hideous dirty secret – in actuality, in end result, end game – while the proclamation is public.
I.e. George Bush can use the THEORY of death penalty as publically and as often and as TRIUMPHANTLY as he likes… but the REAL end the end result is HIDDEN AWAY from sight, like a dirty secret. DEATH is hidden. Behind langauge behind policy behind… likewise war. Burroughs here too… ‘let them see what is being done in their name…: the death ovens the electrique chair gimmick, etc…’ If there is to be total visibility – then ... instead of shopping channels have prison channels…

“Show your cards all players. Play it all pay it all play it *all* back. For all to see.”

This MOBILISATION of the media/parliament/etc…
Blair’s speech: his appeal is to the return of the great lost Grand Narrative/s…
They have been languishing since end of [or “end of”] cold war or Cold War; and they now have what they wanted again: an object of fear, of ideology of DESIRE…
When of course in real terms this means so little to most people.
The fireman’s strike is of fundamentally more real (and symbolic) importance to most of us… Most people it is schools hospitals wages that matter.. but Blair seemingly can only muster his catholic Passion for this grand macro historical stage…

God how the media love it when they get to play soldiers…
And because of media TECHNOLOGY we can now have ‘live’ reports of death and destruction… we even have the diverting spectacle of weapons which ARE AIMED specifically AT communications tech itself…

Strange reality/realities we live in.
Baudrillard: “It is the deintensified state of war, that of the right to war under the green light of the UN and with an abundance of precautions and concessions. It is the bellicose equivalent of safe sex: make warlike love with a condom!”

(At the same time, private thoughts such as:
SELF CENSORED ************************************************
Later. Maybe.

Baudrillard : Dream of war without casualties; without DEATH.

One can readily see why figures such as eg MILOSEVIC could be attractive to a certain population at a certain time… ie at least he is [superfically, relatively, SYMBOLICALLY] ‘honest’ … ‘one of us’ … blood and nation first, etc …
And “we” apparent winners become hostage to this ‘loser’ as in the court proceedings in which he REFUSES ‘our’ moral authority and puts “us”/U.S. on trial…
‘Martyr, you come at last…’

… did we dream the Afghanistan thing… DID it ‘end’?… what actually happened, is happening? Why SO little info/ interest / reporting on what is going on there NOW?
Which is, after all, crucial.
Or does one simply replace “evil” so called with AN ABSENCE OF EVIL?

+Shout today on tv report: “GAS! GAS! GAS!”
‘This is Jumping Jack Flash, ITN, Basra.’

+Sensers? Or Censors?

+ The Lexicon of Lift off: Decapitation. Shock and awe.

+THOUGHT to myself this morning watching the film of Saddam H… that he looked so OLD: looked like some friend of Jim Brenning on East Enders. Later: turns out this may be a duplicate Saddam.

posted by Ian 4/20/2003 05:37:00 PM

Comments: Post a Comment