An interesting essay at Adbusters: On the digital colonization of human experience by Bifo Berardi.
The flaw (it seems to me) in Bifo's text is in "The automaton is the reification of the networked cognitive activity of millions of semio-workers around the globe." Reification (the mental conversion of a person or abstract concept into a thing) may probably not be able to trump physics. The Golem only seems to walk and talk. While we've got our heads far, far, up our semiotic arseholes - we go extinct.
A poignant moment, a watershed even. Echoes of Winston & Julia in Orwell's '1984'.
These three chapters of Jared Diamond's 'The Third Chimpanzee' (1992) may seem unrelated:
16: In Black and White;
17: The Golden Age That Never Was; and,
18: Blitzkrieg and Thanksgiving in the New World.
[For the record: Jared Diamond is not to be trusted - his whitewash/greenwash of Chevron in Chapter 15 of 'Collapse' (2005), 'Big Businesses and the Environment' convinces me of that, you too perhaps. I thought I had it on-line somewhere but you will have to get it from the library. Not to be trusted then, but still worth reading and thinking about (carefully, cautiously), worthy of consideration.]
Antichrist, explicitly, three times over:
• 1) Andrzej, my friend at school and his beautiful French-Canadian girlfriend who wants to sleep with him but he's a Polish Catholic with scruples and carnal knowledge makes him uncomfortable so he asks me to (demands that I) seduce her instead, imagining (hilariously) that I have some kind of experience & capability (in fact I am as repressed as he is), and that she will ever put up with such nonsense. Eventually we find ourselves in her parents' apartment down by Parc Lafontaine, I am being introduced (that's right, I've never met her before) and suddenly he realizes what he's doing and drives me away, calling "Antichrist!" after me through the frozen trees. We never speak again. He doesn't know that I would never have, had no intention of. I hear later that they are married.
• 2) Nan, a tutor at Architecture School keeps naked photographs of her young daughter pinned on the wall of her office and hates me because I won't play by bourgeois rules (don't know them as it happens - a lifelong deficit). She flunks me out of first year but at the last moment the other four on the committee decide that I deserve another chance. She begins to scream "Antichrist!" and has to be carried from the room between two largeish men. I flunk out of second year instead.
• 3) Councillor A, one of two pot-growers in town, a couple with a grow-op in the basement. Everybody knows. You can smell it for blocks. His father lives next door and one day his father dies. I'm Mayor at the time (with a key to the church) and after a few days I suggest we go up and ring the bell, once for each year of his father's life. We do it. Next round of council elections both of 'em are elected and when we disagree on something at a meeting not long after, he freaks out and begins shouting "Antichrist!" I know from experience that pot growers sometimes get like this but I say nothing and a few months later leave the place, in disgrace.
The short answer is no one never writ nor never loved neither.
Oh sure, I saw my very own father bear it to the edge and then some - certain & undeniable proof of something, incontrovertible, indubitable; but Pierre Ricardy goes and slips his nose in there with, «Il n'y a pas d'amour, il n'y a que des preuves d'amour.»
And soon it's all 'Who knows?' and 'Who can say?'.
What is identity anyway? Not a constant, that's for sure:
My name is Gizélia - I am made of chalk [giz=chalk]. A magic fairy told me that
if I was clever she would transform me into a real girl ...
One way of seeing the 'end of history' - be it the Second Coming of Christ, Socialist utopia, or economic perfection as defined by the Chicago School - is chaos entering into it. The tag line of this French TV program is almost exactly that (keeping in mind that France had more of the 60's than most of us):
L'histoire probably means 'story' not 'history' and what they have in mind is a kind of interactive on-line plot development gig but ... close enough for the girls I go with.
Let's finish off with something (possibly) contentious:
An article comes to me in the Amazônia newsletter - six little girls being initiated in a place called Três Jacus (which I cannot find on any map).
You can plug it into Google Translate and see what you can see, what you will see. There are resonances across the spectrum from Millenial Goals to the Golden Age and back again - a kind of nexus then, a dog's breakfast of reality & correctitude.
I have been reading 'Losing Ground - American Environmentalism at the close of the Twentieth Century' by Mark Dowie (MIT Press, 1995). Friends of the Earth (FOE) - which I am assuming has some connection with Amigos da Terra Amazônia Brasileira - is mentioned as one of the dozen or so 'Big Green Nationals', the wickedly polite forebearers who have sunk the 'movement'. I am surprised. My only contact is through this newsletter and if you have read much of my blogs you know that I consistently praise it.
There are so many ways for what I am saying here to be wrong that there is not even room to list them. Just one f'rinstance: I had Friends of the Earth and Society of Friends linked up somehow; Doh!
I do think that Mark Dowie's work awaits someone of the calibre of Naomi Oreskes to bring it up-to-date and possibly excise the gross American exceptionalism. But ... learning something about the likes of David Brower (FOE founder) and David Foreman makes the book worthwhile. Imagine! Foreman founds Earth First!, is arrested and convicted of conspiracy, and then moves on because the Anarchists are taking over(!?). What a story!
So. Six young people looking out at us from Brasil (above), mostly formed but not quite - and I don't know if the Nambiquara menina-moça ritual involves genital cutting or not. The girl to the right, in Kenya has just survived such cutting. The photographs in the Guardian article from which it comes make me cringe. I included a chapter from Jomo Kenyatta's book with his rationalization of this subject a while ago ... here. He calls such concern as mine 'sentimental' and 'misinformed'.
What can I say? I wish I were the catcher in the rye.
Eles não param. Nem nós. / They're not stopping. Neither are we: