Friday, February 02, 2018

"Who's writing the script here?" Following breadcrumbs on the Splinter-Net

POTUS 45 delivered his first State Of The Union (SOTU) address. I paid as much attention to it as I've paid to all the others delivered in my lifetime  — little to none.

But this year it finally dawned on me what this bit of absurdist theatre most closely resembles  — the average person's Facebook feed. Every third sentence uttered elicits a dog-whistle Standing O, hate-clapping, dramatic miens of perplexity, etc. One can only speculate as to what any of this achieves, but one fact is abundantly clear — as with your Facebook feed, the SOTU situates a near ideal triangulation of desire. More about this later, but first some links.
  • Over at Medium, Umair Haque delivers his own SOTU: Why We're Underestimating American Collapse. Says Haque, "America has always been a pioneer  —  only today, it is host not just to problems rarely seen in healthy societies  —  it is pioneering novel social pathologies never seen in the modern world outside present-day America, period." He lists five, and makes a largely compelling case.
  • "Those familiar with poststructuralist social theory will understand the shiver of alarm I felt on reading recent interviews in which the billionaire Facebook investor Peter Thiel celebrates the work of the philosopher Rene Girard." This is where the triangulation of desire comes in — Thiel evidently payed VERY close attention to Girard, and ran Girard's concepts in a direction that would have, I suspect, delighted and horrified the theorist in equal measure. Guy Zimmerman unpacks the unsettling significance of it all, here.
Be well. Be kind.  — WP/dpr
"We're all Neo-Pagans now, Henry."

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