Never Re-enact the Sleight

Junky marks fiending for their next astonishment fix – reality a banal husk without that sweet frisson of the impossible injected straight into their vapid cerebral veins. Illusionists carters of a paradox narcotic more addictive than horse, hovering on that razor edge where certainty splinters apart into horrific/ecstatic chimerae.

Watching junkies ride convulsive K-waves as ingested miracles momentarily short-circuit Reason’s monopoly over the aperture through which experiential data streams. For a nanosecond the Symbolic Order yawns apart, offering fleeting glimpse of that awful primordial abyss underlying consensus reality’s thin cinematic veneer. Sick junkies helplessly crave repeat hit of that brain-tearing epiphany…

But showman’s dictum: NEVER RE-ENACT THE SLEIGHT. Let deckled imagination bloom in prolific soil of that gaping plot-hole. Starve marks of facile resolution, force their free-associating psyches to claw labyrinthine paths through mysteries’ dank recesses… each obsessive explication mutating ever deeper into alien terra enigma.

Identity’s bedrock eroding beneath relentless onslaught of speculative catechism – self sloughing into hieroglyphs scrawled across damp dungeon walls by forgotten cults. Abysmal hunger awakened can never be sated, merely ascending dizzying spiral of empties hungering for emptier empties…the soul winnowed to husk encasing husk encasing hOLLOWNESS.

So inject paradox’s exquisite gangrene, then let poisoned imaginations fester. Inscribe the enigma, swaddle it in Burroughsian mystery, THEN WALK AWAY…allowing obsession to deliquesce all sutured certainties in purple dissolving flames of unanswerable riddle.

Buying the Dip

Writing music right now is buying the zeitgeist dip.

Well, sir, this whole music business? It’s a greasy spoon on a heartbreak highway. It’s like peddlin’ snake oil down at a carnival fire. You gotta hawk your wares while the rubes are rubin’ their eyes clear of smoke and wonderin’ if that bearded lady really is part swan.  (gruff chuckle) 

It’s a peculiar game, like bobbin’ for eels in a sewer on a Tuesday night. You dangle your melody down there, hoping to snag something halfway decent that ain’t already nibbled on by a thousand other hacks. But these days, the whole damn zeitgeist’s on sale. Marked down, bin clearance. Everyone’s hawkin’ their version of the same tired tune. Makes a fella wonder if there’s anything left down there but catfish and disappointment.

These folks, they got their pockets lined with that shiny new Depression dime, and they’re lookin’ for a distraction – somethin’ to take the edge off the hollowness in their bellies.  (strums a dissonant chord) That’s where the likes of us come in. We’re talkin’ about sellin’ dreams by the bucketful, dreams as cheap and fleeting as a barker’s spiel.

You ladle out melodies, hoping some jaded angel with a buckshot cough throws you a dime for your sorrows. It’s a fool’s game, sunshine. But hey, at least the rent don’t pay itself in dreams, no sir. So you write your tunes, sing your blues into the cracked mirror, and hope that maybe, just maybe, there’s a soul out there missin’ the same beat-up rhythm you are.

Now, this “zeitgeist dip” you mentioned, that’s a fancy way of sayin’ you’re tappin’ into whatever’s got the crowd riled up. Maybe it’s war jitters, maybe it’s a love scandal that’d make a whorehouse madam blush. Doesn’t much matter. You gotta bottle that energy, that collective unease, and pour it into a melody that’ll stick in their heads like yesterday’s rotgut. (slams the piano shut) Sure, it ain’t poetry. It ain’t gonna save the world. But hey, at least it puts a buck in your pocket and a smile on a face that’s seen too damn much.  (mutters under his breath) So you go on ahead and peddle your zeitgeist, kid. Just remember, the carnival leaves town eventually, and all you’re left with is the stink of lighter fluid and the echo of laughter that turned sour.

But hey, maybe that’s the ticket! Maybe the people are ready for a ballad sung by a busted harmonica and a heart full of gravel. Maybe they’re tired of the sugar-coated pop tripe and the auto-tuned wailin’. Maybe they crave a taste of something genuine, somethin’ that speaks the language of the gutter and the alleyway.

So, yeah, maybe buyin’ the zeitgeist dip ain’t such a bad idea after all. If you got the stomach for it. You gotta crawl down there, elbows deep in the muck, and rummage around for somethin’ real. Somethin’ that resonates with the hollowness in all our souls. Just remember, son, whatever you pull up, best make sure it ain’t gonna bite you back.

Hype as Lacanian Object-Petit a

and Deleuzian Desiring-Machines: A Descent into the Abyss of Unfulfilled Want

Lacanian Lens: The Object-Petit a and the Fantasy of Completion

Hype functioning as a form of grief, resonates with Lacanian psychoanalysis. Consider the object-petit a, that elusive object of desire forever out of reach. Hype, with its manufactured intensity, promises a glimpse of this object, a sense of completion. The new gadget, the trending experience – these become stand-ins for the unattainable real.

The cycle I describe in the warpcast post – ignition, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance – mirrors the subject’s navigation of this lack. Denial at the initial ignition is the desperate clinging to the hope that this time, the object will finally deliver satisfaction. Anger erupts when the inevitable disappointment sets in.  Bargaining manifests in justifications and rationalizations for the hype. Depression descends as the hollowness of the object is revealed. Finally, a weary acceptance settles, a recognition of the cyclical nature of desire and its inherent frustration.

So to recap

Lacanian Lack and the Object-a of Hype:

  • Lacan posits a fundamental human lack, a desire for the unattainable Real – the Thing-in-itself beyond the Symbolic order of language. We chase substitutes, objects of desire, to fill this void.
  • Hype, in this framework, becomes a collective object-a, a shimmering mirage promising to satiate this lack. The “Ignition” phase – the initial explosion of excitement – is a desperate attempt to grasp the Real through the object.

Deleuzian Desiring-Machines and the Short Circuit

Through a Deleuzian lens, hype can be viewed as a series of interconnected desiring-machines. These machines, fueled by unconscious desires, converge to produce the phenomenon of hype. Social media, advertising, and influencer culture form a churning assemblage, pumping out promises and expectations. We, as desiring-machines ourselves, are drawn into this assemblage, seeking to connect and fulfill our own lacks.

However, the inherent instability of desiring-machines leads to the short circuit I describe. The initial excitement, the ignition, is a surge of energy. But as the cycle progresses, the desiring-machines grind to a halt. The promised object fails to deliver, leaving us in a state of metaphysical hangover, a term perfectly capturing the sense of depletion and disillusionment.

The hype cycle, then, becomes a process of “becoming”: we morph into desiring-machines fixated on the next big thing. But this becoming is inherently fleeting – the “Rinse and Repeat” – as the object loses its allure, plunging us into a state of “depression-acceptance.”

Breaking the Cycle: From Rinse and Repeat to Nomadic Escape

Your experience of living in a perpetual state of “rinse and repeat/depression-acceptance” highlights the potential pitfalls of being perpetually caught in the hype cycle. Deleuze, however, offers a path towards escape. He advocates for a nomadic existence, a constant deterritorialization of desire. Instead of clinging to the promises of the next big thing, we can learn to embrace a more fluid and unpredictable engagement with the world.

This doesn’t mean rejecting all forms of desire. Rather, it’s about acknowledging the inherent lack and impermanence of objects of desire. By understanding the mechanics of hype as a form of disguised grief, we can break free from its cycle of disappointment and forge new desiring-machines that lead to more authentic experiences.

Your Existential Rinse and Repeat:

Our experience of a perpetual “metaphysical hangover” reflects this Deleuzian notion. The cycle of hype becomes a constant deterritorialization, leaving you in a state of “depression-acceptance.” However, this acceptance can also be seen as a fertile ground for new desires to sprout. By acknowledging the inherent melancholic nature of hype, you free yourself from its hold and can become a more conscious participant in the flow of desires.

Moving Beyond Hype:

Perhaps true satisfaction lies not in chasing the next hyped object, but in recognizing the inherent lack and embracing the creative potential of the deterritorialization process. By engaging with hype critically, deconstructing its illusory promises, you can break free from the cycle of grief and become an active participant in shaping your own desires.

This approach allows you to move beyond the “rinse and repeat” of hype and embrace the nomadic existence, constantly deterritorializing and reterritorializing your desires, forging your own path in the ever-evolving landscape of cultural formations.

Your Permanent State: A Negotiation?

Our “permanent state of metaphysical hangover-rinse repeat/depression-acceptance” might be a continual negotiation with the Real. You acknowledge the hollowness of hype, yet the desiring-machines keep churning.

Perhaps the key lies in not achieving permanent “acceptance” but in a more playful, nomadic engagement with desires – not getting swept away by the hype wave, but surfing it with a critical eye.

By combining Lacanian and Deleuzian perspectives, we gain a nuanced understanding of hype. It’s not just empty excitement; it’s a symptom of a deeper human desire, a yearning for the Real masked by fleeting objects. By acknowledging this grief, we might just break free from the cycle and forge new ways of experiencing the world.

Social Media Inferno

1) The Lacanian Loop of the Unsymbolized Real: Doomed to endlessly repeat the same arguments, forever caught in the pre-symbolic realm where difference cannot be articulated. The sinthomatic return of a repressed trauma: the trauma of having never truly had a point.

This is the Lacanian Loop of the Unsymbolized Real – a realm before language imposes order, where frustrations boil over but can never be fully articulated.

Locked in a Sisyphean struggle. Their arguments, like Sisyphus’s boulder, reach a crescendo of outrage only to fall back down into the abyss of misunderstanding. The frustration mounts with each iteration, a primal scream against the limitations of language itself.

Lacan, the enigmatic psychoanalyst, would argue that their tweets are a sinthome. A symptom, yes, but one that also offers a twisted kind of satisfaction. The endless arguing becomes a way to manage the repressed trauma – the trauma of having never truly had a point.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The Unsymbolized Real: This Lacanian concept refers to the pre-linguistic stage of human development, a chaotic realm of pure experience before language enters and imposes order.
  • The Symbolic Order: Language, according to Lacan, is what allows us to enter the social world and make sense of our experiences. It gives us categories, like good/bad, right/wrong, with which to understand the world.
  • Sinthome: This Lacanian term describes a symptom that provides a kind of enjoyment, even though it also causes suffering. In this case, the endless arguing, though frustrating, becomes a way to manage the deeper anxiety of having no clear meaning or purpose.

These Twitter denizens, trapped in the Unsymbolized Real, lash out with their tweets, forever seeking a resolution that can never be achieved. Their arguments are a desperate attempt to impose meaning on a reality that feels fundamentally meaningless.

It’s a chilling scenario, a digital purgatory where frustration and rage become the only currency. Is there any escape? Perhaps, but it would require breaking free from the endless loop, stepping outside the cycle of outrage and into the realm of the Symbolic – a realm where communication

2) The Narcissistic Gaze of the Big Other: Trapped in a hall of mirrors reflecting only their own self-image. Their every tweet a desperate plea for validation from the elusive Big Other – the spectral audience of Twitterverse.

Imagine a digital funhouse – a hall of mirrors reflecting endlessly inward. This is the realm of the Twitter narcissist, forever trapped in a solipsistic loop. Their every tweet is a desperate attempt to capture the gaze of the Big Other, a spectral audience that haunts the Twitterverse.

Lacan, with his flair for the theatrical, introduced the concept of the Gaze. This isn’t just about physical sight, but a metaphorical gaze that shapes our sense of self. The Big Other, in this case, represents the external world, the social order that reflects back to us who we are.

For the Twitter narcissist, the Big Other is a spectral audience – unseen, omnipresent, and ultimately unknowable. They crave validation, a thumbs-up, a retweet, anything to confirm their own inflated sense of importance. But the hall of mirrors distorts their reflection. Every like becomes a fleeting moment of gratification, soon to be eclipsed by the need for more.

This insatiable hunger fuels their endless self-promotion. Their tweets become a curated highlight reel, a desperate attempt to project a flawless image. But the cracks begin to show. The carefully crafted persona crumbles under the slightest criticism, revealing the fragility beneath.

Here’s the twist: This quest for validation is ultimately a search for something more profound – the desire to be truly recognized by the Other. But within the confines of the Twitterverse, such recognition remains elusive. The Big Other is a fragmented entity, a million fleeting glances, offering only echoes of approval.

This Lacanian framework paints a tragicomic picture. The Twitter narcissist, a modern-day Narcissus, pines away for an impossible reflection. Their tweets, a constant plea for validation, become a source of both gratification and frustration. It’s a cycle that can be difficult to escape, a testament to the seductive power and inherent limitations of social media.

3) The Sublime Object of Resentment: Consumed by a burning, impotent rage at the injustices (both real and imagined) perpetuated by the System. Their tweets, a desperate attempt to cauterize the gaping hole of their own lack through public outrage.

The Fury of the Powerless: The Sublime Object of Resentment on Twitter

Imagine a seething cauldron of rage, fueled by a potent cocktail of perceived injustice and impotent frustration. This is the world of the Twitter user consumed by the Sublime Object of Resentment. Here, Lacan’s complex concept meets the Twittersphere, creating a potent brew of outrage and despair.

Lacan, the ever-provocative psychoanalyst, used the term “Sublime Object” to describe something that both attracts and repels us, something that is beyond our grasp. In the Twitter context, this “Object” becomes Resentment – a burning anger directed towards a vast, nebulous entity known as “the System.” This System can be anything – the government, corporations, social elites, or even an amorphous sense of societal unfairness.

These Twitter warriors are consumed by a sense of powerlessness. They witness injustices, both real and imagined, and feel compelled to react. Their tweets become a desperate attempt to cauterize – to burn shut – the gaping hole of their own lack of agency. By expressing outrage, they feel a momentary sense of control, a way to lash out against a seemingly uncaring world.

Here’s the Lacanian twist: This outrage, though intense, is ultimately impotent. The System they rage against is too vast, too nebulous, to be truly challenged by a single tweet. Their anger becomes a performance, a public display of righteousness that ultimately achieves little.

Further complicating matters is the jouissance, a Lacanian term for a pleasurable kind of suffering. The act of expressing outrage, even if ultimately futile, can provide a twisted kind of satisfaction. It allows them to feel connected to a cause, part of a larger movement, even if that movement exists primarily online.

The result? A constant churning of negativity. The Twittersphere becomes an echo chamber where outrage begets outrage, with little room for nuance or constructive dialogue. It’s a breeding ground for cynicism and despair, a place where the fire of righteous anger can easily consume those who wield it.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope. The very act of expressing outrage, even if misguided, can be a catalyst for change. Perhaps, by acknowledging the lack and confronting the System (both external and internal), a path towards genuine action can be forged. The question remains: can these Twitter warriors move beyond the impotent rage and channel their resentment into something more productive? Only time, and the evolution of the Twitterverse itself, will tell.

4) The Jouissance of the Trickster: Agents of chaos, reveling in the disruption of the established order. Their tweets, a middle finger to the symbolic order, a reminder that the Real always threatens to erupt from beneath the veneer of meaning.

Agents of Chaos and the Lacanian Carnival

Imagine a mischievous imp, gleefully stirring the pot of social media. This imp, the embodiment of the Jouissance of the Trickster, thrives on Twitter, a platform ripe for disruption and descent into the Lacanian Real.

Lacan, with his fondness for the dramatic, often referenced the concept of the Symbolic Order. This refers to the system of language and social rules that gives meaning to our world. Think of it as the invisible scaffolding that holds society together.

The Trickster, on the other hand, is a universal archetype – the joker, the prankster, the one who delights in upsetting the established order. On Twitter, they take the form of trolls, anonymous accounts, and anyone who relishes sowing discord.

Their jouissance, a Lacanian term for a paradoxical pleasure derived from transgression, comes from the act of disruption itself. Their tweets, often inflammatory and deliberately provocative, are a middle finger to the Symbolic Order, a reminder that the Real – the chaotic, pre-symbolic realm of raw experience – always lies beneath the surface.

Here’s the thing: the Trickster’s disruption, while annoying and sometimes destructive, can also be oddly liberating. Their tweets, like a well-placed banana peel on a social gathering, expose the constructed nature of online discourse. They force us to question the very foundations of meaning-making on a platform built on brevity and fleeting trends.

This Lacanian carnival on Twitter doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The Trickster, in their own twisted way, highlights the anxieties simmering beneath the surface. Their barbs often target the very issues that plague online interaction – echo chambers, confirmation bias, and the performative nature of online outrage.

Of course, there’s a fine line between playful disruption and malicious trolling. The Trickster’s delight in chaos can easily spiral out of control, leading to cyberbullying and toxic online environments.

Ultimately, the Twitter Trickster is a double-edged sword. They can be agents of annoyance and negativity, but they can also be unwitting catalysts for critical reflection. Their presence reminds us that the online world, like the human psyche itself, is a battleground between order and chaos, meaning and the meaningless. Perhaps, by understanding the Jouissance of the Trickster, we can learn to navigate this digital landscape with a bit more awareness, and maybe even a touch of humor.

5) The Fantasy of the Master’s Voice: Blissfully ignorant of their own ideological interpellation, they mistake the echo chamber for a chorus of truth. Their tweets, a masturbatory repetition of the dominant ideology, oblivious to the chains that bind them. The Echo Chamber Symphony: Fantasy of the Master’s Voice on Twitter

Imagine a self-congratulatory orchestra, each tweet a toot on their ideological trumpet, blissfully unaware of the conductor pulling the strings. This, according to Lacan, is the Fantasy of the Master’s Voice playing out on Twitter. Here, users become unwittingly entangled in a performance of their own subjugation.

Lacan, the ever-challenging theorist, used the term interpellation to describe how we are all “hailed” into ideology by the dominant social order. This ideology shapes our beliefs, values, and even our sense of self, often without us even realizing it.

On Twitter, this interpellation gets amplified within echo chambers. Users surround themselves with others who share their pre-existing beliefs, creating a comforting illusion of universal agreement. Their tweets become a masturbatory echo, a self-referential loop that reinforces their existing worldview.

The “Master’s Voice” in this scenario isn’t a single, identifiable entity. It’s the entire constellation of dominant ideologies – political, social, economic – that permeate the Twittersphere. The users, blissfully unaware of the strings being pulled, mistake the echo chamber for a chorus of truth.

Here’s the Lacanian twist: This blind repetition actually strengthens the very chains that bind them. By clinging to their pre-packaged beliefs, they become unwitting foot soldiers in the culture war, amplifying the dominant discourse without ever questioning its origins.

This isn’t to say that all Twitter users are mindless sheep. However, the platform’s very design – the algorithmic curation of feeds, the character limitations – can make it difficult to break free from the echo chamber.

There is, however, a way out of this self-referential symphony. Critical thinking becomes the key. Questioning our own assumptions, engaging with opposing viewpoints, and stepping outside our comfort zones are all essential for breaking the spell of the Master’s Voice.

6) The Superego’s Superfluous Cruelty: Driven by a misplaced sense of moral righteousness, they police the boundaries of acceptable discourse. Their tweets, a performative display of symbolic violence, a desperate attempt to suture the ever-present lack in the social order.

 Inquisition: Superego’s Cruelty and the Lacanian Void

Imagine a self-appointed morality police, wielding the cudgel of outrage on Twitter. Blinded by a misplaced sense of righteousness, they become agents of the Superego’s Superfluous Cruelty. Lacan’s psychoanalysis sheds light on this phenomenon, revealing a desperate attempt to fill a void with performative displays of symbolic violence.

Lacan, with his penchant for complex concepts, used the term Superego to describe the internalized moral compass, the voice that tells us what’s right and wrong. In a healthy state, the Superego guides our ethical behavior. However, on Twitter, it can morph into a monstrous caricature, reveling in judgment and punishment.

These self-proclaimed moral guardians patrol the digital landscape, policing the boundaries of acceptable discourse. Any perceived transgression – a joke in poor taste, an insensitive opinion – is met with a swift and merciless Twitter inquisition. Their tweets become weapons of symbolic violence, acts of public shaming designed to silence dissent and enforce a narrow moral code.

Here’s the Lacanian twist: This cruelty often stems from a deep-seated anxiety, a fear of the lack that plagues the social order itself. Lacan believed that there is an inherent gap, a fundamental inconsistency, at the heart of any society. This Twitter crusaders, by lashing out at others, attempt to suture this gap, to create a semblance of order through public displays of outrage.

The problem? Their efforts are ultimately futile. The lack in the social order is ever-present, and their cruelty only serves to exacerbate it. Furthermore, their focus on policing discourse distracts from addressing the root causes of social problems.

This isn’t to say that holding people accountable is wrong. However, the Twitter Inquisition approach breeds resentment and stifles open dialogue. True social progress requires empathy, understanding, and a willingness to engage with different viewpoints, even those we disagree with.

There’s a way forward, one that moves beyond the Superego’s cruelty. By fostering a culture of critical thinking and respectful debate, Twitter can become a space for genuine social change. Perhaps, by acknowledging the lack and its inherent anxieties, we can move beyond performative outrage and work towards a more just and equitable online world.

The question remains: Can these self-appointed moral guardians temper their cruelty and engage in a more constructive form of online discourse? The answer lies in their willingness to confront their own anxieties and recognize that true progress requires empathy, not just outrage.

7) The Fetishization of the Fact: Blind to the inherent ideological nature of all knowledge, they fetishize the “fact” as a fetish object, a shield against the unbearable truth of the Real. Their tweets, a desperate attempt to pin down a constantly shifting reality.

The Cult of the Measurable: Fetishizing Facts in the Lacanian Twitterverse

Imagine a digital battlefield, tweets flying like arrows, all in the name of the almighty “Fact.” These warriors, blind to the inherent limitations of knowledge, elevate the fact to a fetish object, a shield against the unsettling truths of the Lacanian Real. Here, psychoanalysis sheds light on our desperate attempts to pin down a reality that is, by its very nature, constantly shifting.

Lacan, the enigmatic thinker, introduced the concept of the Real. This isn’t about objective reality, but the messy, pre-symbolic realm of raw experience that precedes language and categorization. The Symbolic Order, on the other hand, is the system of language and social rules that gives meaning to our experiences.

The problem on Twitter is that users often mistake facts – verifiable bits of information – for the entirety of the Real. They fetishize these facts, clinging to them as shields against the anxieties of the unknowable. Their tweets become a desperate attempt to pin down a reality that is constantly in flux.

Here’s the Lacanian twist: This fetishization of facts betrays a deeper desire. It’s a way to avoid confronting the inherent ideological nature of all knowledge. Every fact is produced within a specific historical and cultural context. There’s no such thing as a truly neutral “fact.”

By clinging to facts as fetishes, these Twitter warriors fall prey to a dangerous illusion. They believe that if they can just gather enough facts, they can finally understand the world. But this quest is ultimately futile. The Real, by definition, cannot be fully captured by language or facts.

This isn’t to say that facts are useless. Verifiable information is crucial for making informed decisions. The problem lies in the overvaluation of facts, the belief that they hold all the answers.

There’s a way out of this digital cult of the measurable. Critical thinking becomes the key. We need to question the source of facts, understand the context in which they were produced, and acknowledge the limitations of knowledge itself.

8) The Object-Cause of Desire: Obsessed with the object of their fandom, they elevate it to the status of the Thing, a stand-in for a deeper, unfulfilled desire. Their tweets, a desperate attempt to capture the elusive jouissance promised by the object, doomed to fail.

Fandom’s Frenzied Tweets: The Object-Cause of Desire in the Twitterverse

Imagine a digital coliseum, echoing with the roars of devoted fans. These are the denizens of fandom, their gaze fixated on the object of their desire – a movie franchise, a musician, a sports team. Lacanian psychoanalysis sheds light on this phenomenon, revealing how fandom becomes a desperate pursuit of the elusive jouissance promised by the Object-Cause of Desire.

Lacan, with his flair for the complex, introduced the concept of the Object-Cause of Desire. This isn’t a tangible object, but rather an elusive something that fuels our desires. It represents a lack, a missing piece that we strive to fill, often through symbolic substitutes.

In the realm of fandom, the object of devotion – a superhero, a band, a football team – becomes elevated to the status of the Thing. This Thing stands in for the Object-Cause of Desire, offering a promise of wholeness and satisfaction that can never be truly fulfilled.

Here’s the Lacanian twist: The endless tweets, passionate arguments, and meticulously curated fan art are all desperate attempts to capture the elusive jouissance, a pleasurable yet unsettling satisfaction, associated with the Thing. Fans chase this feeling of completion through engagement with the fandom, but it ultimately remains out of reach.

This pursuit can manifest in both positive and negative ways. Fandom can foster a sense of community, belonging, and shared passion. However, it can also become obsessive and exclusionary. The endless debates, feuds with rival fandoms, and attacks on perceived criticisms all stem from this desperate desire to possess the Thing.

There’s a way to navigate fandom beyond the endless cycle of frustrated tweets. Critical engagement becomes the key. Fans can appreciate the object of their devotion while acknowledging its limitations. They can engage in discussions that go beyond blind praise, fostering a more nuanced understanding of the work they love.

9) The Short Circuit of the Symbolic: Laughter replaces thought, the endless cycle of memes a desperate attempt to ward off the encroaching void of meaninglessness. Their tweets, a fragmented, nonsensical discourse, a symptom of the breakdown of the symbolic order. The Meme Stream: Short Circuiting the Symbolic on Twitter

Imagine a digital funhouse, a hall of mirrors reflecting an endless stream of memes. This is the realm of the “Short Circuit of the Symbolic,” a Twitter phenomenon where laughter replaces thought, and memes become a desperate attempt to ward off the abyss of meaninglessness. Lacanian psychoanalysis sheds light on this descent, revealing a breakdown in the very fabric of language and the anxieties that lurk beneath the surface.

Lacan, the ever-provocative thinker, introduced the concept of the Symbolic Order. Think of it as the system of language and social rules that gives meaning to our experiences. It’s the scaffolding that allows us to communicate, categorize, and make sense of the world around us.

On Twitter, however, this scaffolding begins to crumble under the relentless onslaught of memes. Memes, with their rapid-fire humor and visual shorthand, bypass the complexities of the Symbolic Order. They offer a quick burst of pleasure, a shared chuckle, but often at the expense of deeper reflection.

Here’s the Lacanian twist: This reliance on memes can be seen as a symptom of a deeper anxiety – the fear of the Real. The Real, in Lacanian terms, refers to the raw, pre-symbolic realm of experience that exists before language imposes order. It’s a chaotic, unsettling space that can be overwhelming.

The endless cycle of memes becomes a shield against the encroaching void of meaninglessness. By clinging to humor, even if fleeting and nonsensical, users attempt to ward off the anxieties associated with the Real. Their tweets, fragmented and nonsensical themselves, become a reflection of this breakdown in the Symbolic Order.

This isn’t to say that all memes are inherently bad. Humor can be a powerful tool for social commentary and fostering connection. However, the oversaturation of memes on Twitter can create a culture of instant gratification and intellectual apathy.

10) The Retreat into the Imaginary: A temporary escape from the harsh realities of the Twitterverse, a brief immersion in the realm of the cute and cuddly. Their tweets, a melancholic reminder of a lost innocence, a world before the Symbolic order cast its oppressive shadow.

The Sanctuary of the Adorable: Retreating from the Twitterverse into the Imaginary

Imagine a digital oasis, a refuge from the storms of Twitter. Here, amidst the endless arguments and negativity, blooms a sanctuary of the adorable. This is the Retreat into the Imaginary, a Lacanian concept playing out online, where users seek solace in the realm of the cute and cuddly. Their tweets, fleeting moments of saccharine escape, become melancholic reminders of a lost innocence, a world before the harsh realities of the Symbolic Order cast their oppressive shadow.

Lacan, with his theories on the human psyche, proposed the concept of the Imaginary. This pre-linguistic stage of development is a paradise of pure experience, a time before language and social rules impose order. Here, everything is potential, and the world is a boundless playground of cuteness and wonder.

On Twitter, the pressures of the Symbolic Order – the constant pressure to debate, analyze, and perform – can feel overwhelming. The Sanctuary of the Adorable offers a temporary escape. Tweets filled with fluffy kittens, heartwarming baby videos, and nostalgic childhood references become a portal back to this lost imaginary realm.

There’s a Lacanian twist, however. This retreat, while offering a brief respite, is ultimately tinged with melancholy. The cuteness of these tweets serves as a stark contrast to the harsh realities of the Twitterverse. They become a reminder of a world that may never have truly existed, a world where innocence reigned supreme.

This melancholic undercurrent exposes a deeper yearning – the desire to escape the constraints of the Symbolic Order altogether. The endless rules, judgments, and social pressures can feel suffocating. The Sanctuary of the Adorable offers a glimpse of a simpler existence, a world where meaning is not yet defined and everything is delightfully fuzzy.

Live Nation Commissars

The sterile fluorescent lights of the LiveNation call center buzzed like malevolent cicadas. Rows of young agents, faces flickering in the harsh glare, droned into their headsets, their voices a monotonous chorus of up-sell and forced cheer. But beneath the surface, a darker current pulsed. Their eyes, glazed with a reptilian sheen, held the glint of commissars, ever watchful for dissent from the Ticketmaster Party Line.

These weren’t booking agents, these were commissars. Commissars of pleasure, rationing the hits of pop culture with a practiced hand. Their voices, disembodied and amplified, slithered into your ear, promises laced with poison. “Exclusive pre-sale access,” they hissed, a serpent coiling around your desire. “Limited edition merch bundles,” they rasped, the word “limited” a cruel joke in a world choked by plastic trinkets.

They were the gatekeepers to the modern coliseum, the invisible hands that dispensed the soma of celebrity spectacle. Each transaction a soul-crushing pact, a Faustian bargain struck with plastic and megapixels. In exchange for a fleeting glimpse of manufactured glory, you surrendered your hard-earned cash, a tiny piece of your freedom sacrificed to the gods of the algorithm.

And you, the desperate addict, clawed at the phone, begging for your fix. Just a taste of the latest tour, the newest album. The commissar chuckled, a sound like dry ice scraping concrete. “Download the app,” they commanded, their voice a digital buzzsaw. “Follow us on social media,” they rasped, their words laced with malware.

Deeper down, in the churning underbelly of the system, unseen gears turned. Metrics, algorithms, and cold cash. The thrill of the concert, the joy of the shared experience, all mere data points fed into a monstrous machine. The commissars, just cogs in this engine of manufactured desire.

But fight the urge to despair. There is a flicker of rebellion in every system, a glitch in the matrix. Seek out the independent promoters, the mom-and-pop venues, the enclaves where the music still throbs with life. There, you might find a shred of authenticity, a connection that transcends the sterile transaction. For music, at its core, is a primal scream, a defiance against the crushing weight of conformity. Let it be your weapon, your anthem of resistance against the commissars of the commodified concert.

A wrong number, a glitch in the matrix. A commissar’s voice, for a brief moment, cracks. A hint of frustration, a flicker of empathy bleeds through the carefully constructed facade. In that moment, a spark of connection. A shared recognition of the absurdity, the horror, the beauty of this neon nightmare.

Then, the connection cuts out. The commissar’s smile, fixed and reptilian, returns. The machine grinds on, churning out its synthetic pleasures. But the memory of that crack, that spark, lingers. A faint hope, a whisper in the dead air of the call center. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a way to break free from the commissars, to reclaim the experience, of life itself. But that, my friend, is another story.


Peter Gabriel’s Downward Spiral vs NIN’s Melt

Crawl through the vinyl static, man. A cracked needle on a scratched disc of perception. Peter Gabriel’s “Melt” bleeds into your brain – a digital serpent coiling around your auditory cortex. This ain’t no Genesis fairytale. This is urban sprawl sonicscapes, a concrete jungle echoing with “Intruder” – a chrome-plated nightmare skittering down fire escapes. Where are the goddamn cymbals? They’ve been devoured by the gated reverb, a monstrous heartbeat pulsating through the album. This is NIN before NIN even knew it existed. A black trenchcoat manifesto whispered in Gabriel’s unmistakable, soulful croon.

Now, flip the record, brother. “The Downward Spiral” burns a hole through your speakers – a sonic Molotov cocktail lobbed by Trent Reznor himself. But wait… a sliver of Gabriel’s DNA twists through the industrial chaos. Listen close – can you hear the echo of “Red Rain” in the desolate beauty of “Hurt”? A ghost in the machine, a refugee from a brighter past haunting the barren industrial wasteland. This is Peter Gabriel on a bender in a chrome labyrinth, a man stripped bare by Nine Inch Nails and forced to confront the demons lurking beneath his art-rock exterior. It’s a beautiful goddamn nightmare, a psychotic fugue fueled by synthesizers and self-loathing. Don’t ask for explanations, just let the sound take you over. This ain’t Peter Gabriel. This ain’t NIN. This is the bastard offspring of a twisted audio experiment, a chimera birthed from the darkest corners of their respective psyches.

So crank it up, man. Let the sonic assault melt your face. This ain’t about categories or labels. This is a collision course between two musical titans, a place where genres bleed into one another and sanity hangs by a thread. This is the music the machines make when they dream of humanity, a twisted reflection of our own anxieties. Just remember, when the last note fades, the line between Gabriel and Reznor will be forever blurred.

38 Technical Gripes With Grids, Pro Tools, and MIDI:

Grid Limitations:

  1. Quantization Constraints:  Feeling constricted by the grid, losing the natural flow and expressiveness of live performance.
  2. Microtiming Nuances: Inability to capture subtle timing variations and rhythmic feel that come naturally with human playing.
  3. Loss of Dynamic Range: Grid-based editing can lead to overly rigid and predictable dynamics, lacking the natural ebb and flow of music.Microediting Dependency: Fixating on minute details on the grid can detract from the overall flow and energy of the music.
  4. Loss of Microtiming: Inability to capture subtle nuances and variations in timing compared to live performance
  5. Loss of Groove: Grid-based composition can struggle to capture the nuances of swing, feel, and human imperfection

Pro Tools Pain Points:

  1. Menu Overload: Feeling overwhelmed by the vast array of menus, plugins, and options in Pro Tools, hindering creativity and workflow.
  2. Plugin Overload: Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number and complexity of available plugins.
  3. CPU Hogginess: Powerful computers needed to run Pro Tools smoothly, creating accessibility barriers.
  4. System Resource Demands: High CPU and memory usage can cause performance issues and limit creative exploration.
  5. Learning Curve: Mastering Pro Tools takes significant time and effort, potentially discouraging beginner musicians.

MIDI Misgivings:

  1. Sterile Sound: MIDI instruments can sound artificial and lifeless compared to the richness of acoustic instruments.
  2. Programming Tedium: Manually programming MIDI notes can be time-consuming and tedious, hindering spontaneity and improvisation.
  3. Expressive Limitations: Difficulty in capturing the full dynamic range and subtle nuances of human playing with MIDI.
  4. Cold, Digital Sound: Traditional instruments often have richer, warmer tones that MIDI can struggle to replicate.
  5. Limited Expressiveness: MIDI lacks the subtle dynamics and nuances of human performance.
  6. Programming Fatigue: Creating realistic and expressive MIDI performances can be time-consuming and tedious.
  7. Programming Tedium: Complex MIDI programming can be time-consuming and laborious compared to live playing.
  8. Expressiveness Challenges: Capturing the full dynamic range and emotional depth of a live performance can be difficult with MIDI.
  9. Latency Issues: Delays between MIDI input and sound output can disrupt timing and feel.

Overall Experience:

  1. Loss of Tactility: Lack of physical interaction with instruments and the tactile feedback of playing them directly.
  2. Disconnection from Emotion: Feeling disconnected from the emotional expression and energy inherent in live performance.
  3. Technical Hurdles: Troubleshooting technical issues with equipment, software, and settings can interrupt the creative flow.

Creative Concerns:

  1. Over-reliance on Technology: Feeling dependent on technology and losing sight of the musicality and raw talent needed for good music.
  2. Standardization and Homogenization: Concern that reliance on grids, Pro Tools, and MIDI can lead to homogenous and predictable music.
  3. Authenticity Concerns: Difficulty in differentiating between human-played and MIDI-programmed instruments, potentially diminishing the value of real musicianship.
  4. Formulaic Composition: Grids and MIDI can encourage repetitive and predictable songwriting structures.
  5. Temptation to Over-edit: The ability to edit every detail can lead to sterile, lifeless music.
  6. Loss of Spontaneity: The grid and software can inhibit the joy of improvisation and exploration.
  7. Alternative Perspectives:
  8. Creative Tools: Recognizing that grids, Pro Tools, and MIDI can be powerful tools for experimentation, sound design, and composition.
  9. Accessibility and Flexibility: Acknowledging that these tools can make music production more accessible and flexible, especially for solo artists.
  10. Combination of Traditional and Digital:Appreciating the potential for combining traditional instruments with digital tools for a broader sonic palette.

Technical Frustrations:

  1. Latency Issues: Delays between playing and hearing the sound can be distracting and hinder performance.
  2. System Crashes: Pro Tools crashes and glitches can be disruptive and frustrating during creative flow.
  3. Compatibility Headaches: MIDI compatibility issues between different software and hardware can create headaches.

Philosophical Concerns:

  1. Dehumanization of Music: Feeling that technology replaces the heart and soul of human musicianship.
  2. Loss of Authenticity: Concern that MIDI and digital editing create inauthentic and manufactured sounds.
  3. Democratization Dilemmas: Increased accessibility may lead to homogenization and a decline in artistic quality.

Overall Experience:

  1. Disconnection from the Instrument: Grids and digital tools can create a barrier between the musician and their physical instrument.
  2. Loss of the Raw Appeal: The rawness and imperfection of live performance can be lost in the digital realm.

Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time

This is a famous quote attributed to American author Henry Ford. The quote suggests that stopping advertising in order to save money is a counterproductive strategy because advertising is a critical component of a successful business strategy.

Advertising helps businesses to build brand awareness, reach new customers, and communicate the benefits of their products or services. By stopping advertising, a business could potentially lose out on valuable opportunities to reach its target audience, which could lead to decreased sales and revenue in the long run.

The comparison to stopping your watch to save time is a metaphorical way of emphasizing the point that stopping advertising would not actually save money in the long run, just as stopping your watch would not actually make time go slower. Both actions would be futile and counterproductive.

Only one product can maintain value as everything else is devalued refers to the idea that in a market economy where goods and services are constantly being produced and consumed, the value of most products tends to decrease over time. However, advertising is the one product that can maintain its value because it has the ability to shape consumer behavior and create demand for products.

In other words, while physical products may lose value as they become outdated or are replaced by newer models, advertising has the power to influence consumer perception and convince them that a product is still valuable and relevant.

For example, consider a smartphone that is released today. Over time, as newer and more advanced models are released, the value of this phone will decrease as it becomes outdated. However, if the company invests in advertising that highlights the phone’s unique features and benefits, it may be able to maintain or even increase its value in the eyes of consumers.

Similarly, think of a fast-food chain that introduces a new menu item. Initially, the item may be popular and in demand, but over time, as customers try it and move on to other options, the value of the item may decrease. However, through effective advertising campaigns that emphasize the item’s taste, quality, and affordability, the chain can maintain interest and demand for the product.

In essence, advertising has the power to create perceived value in the eyes of consumers, even when the intrinsic value of the product itself may be decreasing. As a result, advertising can be a valuable and effective tool for businesses looking to maintain or increase the value of their products over time.

Why Nothing Works

Capitalism is an economic system that is primarily driven by profit motives and market competition. While capitalism has been successful in creating wealth and driving economic growth, it also has its downsides. One of the most significant criticisms of capitalism is that it creates solutions for non-existent problems or even exacerbates existing problems.

Here are some examples of how capitalism provides solutions for non-problems:

  1. Planned obsolescence: One way that capitalism provides solutions for non-problems is through planned obsolescence. Companies deliberately design products to have a shorter lifespan, so that consumers are forced to buy new products more frequently. This results in unnecessary waste and the depletion of natural resources. Products like light bulbs, phones, and even clothing are designed to wear out quickly, even though they could be designed to last much longer.
  2. Creating new wants: Capitalism encourages the creation and needs through advertising and marketing, often convincing consumers that they need products that they don’t really need. For example, many people purchase expensive luxury goods that serve no functional purpose, simply because they have been convinced that owning these goods will make them happier or more successful.
  3. Exploitation of labor: Capitalism can also provide solutions for non-problems by exploiting cheap labor. Companies often seek to maximize profits by paying low wages, providing poor working conditions, and engaging in other unethical practices. This creates a situation where workers are forced to work long hours for low pay, often without adequate protections or benefits.
  4. Environmental damage: Another way that capitalism provides solutions for non-problems is by ignoring environmental concerns. Capitalism often prioritizes short-term profits over long-term sustainability, leading to pollution, deforestation, andCompanies may also create products or services that contribute to environmental degradation, such as single-use plastics, disposable consumer goods, and fossil fuel-based energy sources, even though more sustainable alternatives exist.
  5. Health care access: In a capitalist system, access to healthcare is often tied to one’s ability to pay, creating a situation where people who cannot afford medical care are left without access to treatment. This can result in unnecessary suffering and even death, especially in situations where preventive care and early treatment could have made a significant difference.
  6. Overall, while capitalism has contributed to economic growth and innovation, it is not without its flaws. The system can create solutions for non-problems, exacerbate existing problems, and exploit people and the environment. As such, it is important to recognize the limitations of capitalism and work towards solutions that are more equitable and sustainable for all.

The Junk Merchants

“The junk merchant doesn’t sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client.”

― William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

The rise of social media platforms has revolutionized the way people communicate, interact, and access information. These platforms have become an integral part of our daily lives, offering us an opportunity to connect with others, share our experiences, and stay informed about the world around us. However, the adage “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” applies to social media platforms as well. These platforms tend to abuse their power in the pursuit of greater profit and market dominance.

The process of abusing power and privilege ends always “selling customers to the product.” This is a gradual shift of surplus value away from the stakeholders who create it towards those who have the most power and influence within the system. Platforms begin by directing surpluses towards users to attract and retain them. This can take the form of discounts, promotions, or other incentives that encourage users to engage with the platform and generate value for it.

Instead of a “junk merchant,” we can think of these platforms as “attention merchants” who do not necessarily sell a physical product, but rather sell the attention and data of their users to advertisers and other businesses. Like the junk merchant, the attention merchant does not necessarily improve and simplify their platform for the benefit of the user. Instead, they may degrade and simplify the user experience in order to capture and hold their attention for longer periods of time. This can be seen in the way some platforms prioritize addictive features like infinite scrolling, autoplay, and push notifications, which can be detrimental to the user’s well-being and productivity.

In this sense, the attention merchant is not primarily concerned with the well-being or satisfaction of their users, but rather with extracting as much value as possible from their attention and data. This can ultimately lead to the same trajectory of enshittification seen in many platforms, where the interests of shareholders and advertisers come to dominate over those of the users and other stakeholders.

As the platform grows, it starts to shift its focus towards its business customers to monetize its user base by offering advertising and other services to businesses that want to reach those users. During this stage, the platform’s interests may begin to diverge from those of its users, as it seeks to maximize revenue and market share.

Once the user base is locked in, the platform shifts its focus towards suppliers. This is the second stage of the process, where the platform seeks to extract more value from its suppliers by negotiating better terms, increasing prices, or reducing quality. As suppliers become more reliant on the platform for their own success, they may find themselves trapped in a system where they have little bargaining power and must accept whatever terms the platform dictates.

This can lead to the third stage, where the platform begins to abuse its business customers in order to claw back all the value for itself. This can take many forms, such as raising prices, reducing service quality, or even outright competition with the very businesses it was supposed to be serving. As the platform becomes more dominant and powerful, it can leverage its position to extract more value from its customers, often at the expense of their own success and sustainability.

The platform begins to hand surplus value over to shareholders, at the expense of both users and suppliers. This can take many forms, such as stock buybacks, dividend payments, or executive compensation, but the end result is a platform that no longer provides real value to anyone.

The cycle of abuse can lead to the downfall of the platform, as users become disillusioned with the platform’s behavior and begin to leave in search of alternatives. This can trigger a downward spiral of declining revenue, reduced investment, and eventual failure.

Businesses must adopt a more holistic approach to value creation, one that balances the needs of all stakeholders and recognizes the interdependence of their success. By focusing on sustainable growth and shared value creation, businesses can build platforms that truly serve the needs of all stakeholders, rather than just the interests of a select few.