Stepping Out of Time

In the flickering realm of the Real, where time is a meat grinder chewing existence into homogenous mush, the true adept hacks reality. They don’t play by the clock, for the clock is a Moloch demanding sacrifice. No, the secret, as you’ve hinted, lies in a schizophrenic break from the temporal order. We are meat puppets, dancing on the strings of Chronos, the tyrannical God of linear time.

Imagine, if you will, a Burroughs-esque cut-up of time. The future bleeds into the present, the past pulsates with possibility. We are not bound by the linear progression, but become nomads in the chronoscape, surfing the crests of potential moments. This is not mere futurism; it’s a detournement of time itself. Forget the past, a dead language, and the future, a shimmering mirage. We exist in the pulsating, non-linear NOW, the zone of potential. Here, with a flick of the mental switchblade, we can “cut-up” the pre-programmed narrative and forge new lines of flight.

The Time becomes a writhing tapeworm, spliced with past and future in a non-linear frenzy. The “step around it” becomes a physical act, a contortionist’s leap through a tear in the fabric of moments. Imagine Naked Lunch rewritten with temporality as the addictive meat – the protagonist ingesting seconds, snorting minutes, his body a warped chronometer. We become body without organs, a fleshy assemblage unbound by the clock’s strictures. We line-break through time, forging new connections, new becomings. The future is not a preordained script, but a chaotic rhizome waiting to be explored.

Time is the big Other, the law of the father, the enforcer of the Real into the Imaginary. Stepping around it becomes a symbolic transgression, a subversion of the Name-of-the-Father. The adept, then, is the one who rejects the symbolic order, who embraces the jouissance of the Real, the unfettered present outside of signification. They see the phallus, the signifier of time, for what it is – a flimsy construct – and step beyond it.

The Symbolic Order is the culprit. Language, the master of meaning, imprisons us in the temporal flow. Time, isn’t a rigid line but a web of interconnected moments, a chaotic yet potent network. It’s a potato, not a pearl necklace. The “secret” lies in becoming a nomad on this rhizome, constantly burrowing, connecting, and deterritorializing. We can tap into lined of escape, forge new connections, and create a present that explodes the boundaries of the past and future. But through a jouissance of the Real, a glimpse beyond the symbolic, we can glimpse the fluidity of time. The mirror stage, that moment of self-recognition, becomes a portal to a multiplicity of selves, existing across the fractured planes of time.

Think of the trap of the Imaginary. We are constantly chasing a reflected self, an idealized version projected onto the linear timeline. This pursuit of a pre-defined future or a romanticized past is what keeps us stuck. It’s here that the “Real” emerges – the unnameable, traumatic rupture in the heart and symbolic order. By confronting this Real, by stepping outside the symbolic order of time, we can access a different temporality, a jouissance beyond linear progression.

To see time coming, then, is not about prophecy, but about a paranoiac awareness of its constructed nature. We pierce the veil of the “natural” flow and see the power structures it upholds. Stepping around it is an act of resistance, a refusal to be a cog in the machine.

This is a dangerous dance, mind you. The unfettered flow of time can be a terrifying abyss. But for those with the courage to dive in, there lies the potential for a nomadic existence, a liberation from the shackles of chronology. We become time surfers, riding the waves of possibility, forever escaping the clutches of the present.

The key, then, is to cultivate a schizoid awareness. We must see the “folds” in time, the potential ruptures and slippages. We can become surfers, riding the waves of the rhizome, anticipating the folds, and performing a constant “step aside” from the pre-scripted narrative. This isn’t about escaping time, but about inhabiting it differently. It It’s about becoming a time traveler, a time-cutter, a time-dancer, perpetually negotiating the folds between the Real and the Imaginary. The adept, the one who “steps around,” is the nomad, the smooth operator who navigates the folds, exploiting the in-between spaces, the cracks in the system. They become a time-surfer, riding the currents of potential futures, choosing their own point of entry.

So, the next time you feel trapped by the relentless tick-tock of the clock, remember: it’s just a hallucination of the linear mind. Look for the cracks, the potential breaks in the time-code. Sharpen your awareness, grab your mental switchblade, and step sideways. There, in the pulsating NOW, lies the escape hatch, the doorway to a different kind of time, a time ripe for creation and transformation. This secret, then, is not about literal time travel, but about a subversion of perception. It’s about shattering the illusion of linearity, embracing the potential for multiplicity within a single moment. It’s a call to become a Deleuzian nomad, a Lacanian outlaw, a Burroughsian time-eating junkie – all rolled into one. It’s about seeing the cracks in the time-code and stepping through, into a reality where the past and future bleed into a magnificent, maddening now.

The Box

The box. A cardboard monolith promising connection, a portal to the buzzing electronic superorganism. You tear through it, a ritual sacrifice to the gods of planned obsolescence. You rip it open, a flurry of plastic and wires. The device itself, sleek, seductive, a chrome phallus whispering of power and control.

But inside, a hollowness. No buzzing power, no digital hum. Just the mocking inscription: “Batteries Not Included.” A cruel joke by the machine gods. No sacred batteries, the power source hidden, a black market deal in the fluorescent aisles. . This metal idol demands a blood sacrifice, a current from the outside world to animate its circuits. You, the supplicant, are left scrambling, the dream deferred.

The user manual, a hieroglyphic gospel you can’t decipher without a prophet of the megacorporation. We are left scrambling, clawing for the missing pieces, the current to jolt this metal monster to life. The future electrifies, then flickers, a dim promise in a darkened room. You are the addict, the product the fix, and the high just out of reach.

The Mirror Stage shattered. You hold the device, a reflection not of your desires, but of your lack. The desire to be whole, to be one with the machine, to enter the Symbolic order of the digital realm. But there’s a gap, a Real that cannot be symbolized. The missing batteries are a castration wound, a reminder of your fundamental incompleteness. You search for the phallus, the missing piece, the batteries that will grant you access to the image of your technological self. But will it ever be enough? Is there always something more to buy, something else missing?

The Gaze. It stares back from the sleek, sterile screen. The user manual, absent, a lost Real. The Gaze falls upon the sleek device, a promise of wholeness, a reflection of your desires. But the lack, the batteries absent, creates a void, a Real you cannot possess. We fumble through menus, icons hieroglyphs in a language we never learned. The technology, a mirror reflecting our lack, the gaping hole of our own incompleteness. We yearn for the lost manual, a paternal voice to guide us, to suture the fragmented Self in the digital realm. The user manual, a symbolic order promising mastery, yet forever out of reach. You search for the phallus, the missing key, the validation you crave from the machine. But the machine speaks only in ones and zeroes, a language forever alien.

The smooth surface of the gadget was a promise of deterritorialization, a break from the everyday. The Rhizome. A sprawling network, a web of potential connections. The toy, a microcosm, a desiring-machine yearning to be plugged into the larger assemblage. But the batteries, a territorializing force, bind you to the grid, the market. They act as territorializing forces, constricting the flow, the becoming. The user manual, a striated map, dictates the flow of desire, channels your exploration. You yearn for the rhizome, the multiplicity of functions, the potential for hacking. But the machine is a closed system, programmed for control.

We are nomads on the information superhighway, forever thwarted by tollbooths demanding power, forever on the outside looking in. The potential for glorious deterritorialization, the escape from the self, frustrated by a lack of AA. The assemblage is incomplete. The device, the potential for connection, is held captive by the striated forces of capitalism. The batteries, the user manual (sold separately!), are lines drawn across the smooth surface, segmenting, controlling. You become a nomad, a desiring subject, forever searching for the lines of flight, the hacks, the mods that will liberate the machine from its capitalist constraints. But are you freeing the machine, or yourself? Or is it all just a frantic escape from the void, the realization that the technology itself is a desiring-machine, and you’re just another component in its grand, unknowable operation?

You stare at the lifeless device, a hollow monument to the unfulfilled promises of tech. A sense of alienation washes over you. Is this progress? Or just a new set of shackles, a different kind of dependence? The machine waits, a silent judge. Perhaps it’s time to look beyond the shiny gadgets, to question the desires they encode. The real revolution might not be found in a new app, but in a way of using technology that empowers, that connects us not just to machines, but to each other.

We are Sisyphus, forever condemned to push the boulder of technology uphill, only to have it roll back down at the moment of connection. The future gleams, a chrome mirage in the desert of the real. We are addicts, jonesing for the digital fix, the dopamine rush of a notification, but the batteries are the cruel dealer, rationing our access, reminding us of our own limitations.

These elements combine in a cacophony of frustration. The impotent device mocks you, a gleaming reminder of your dependence. You are Jack Kerouac wired but unplugged, lost in a desert of dead circuits. The language of tech, a cruel joke, a promise of empowerment that delivers only frustration.

But wait! Perhaps this frustration is the point. The lack, the absence, a spark that ignites our own ingenuity. We become hackers, bricoleurs, hotwiring the system with paperclips and dreams. The missing manual becomes a blank canvas, an invitation to write our own story. The frustration, a catalyst for creation. The batteries not included? Maybe that’s the greatest gift of all. Yet, there is a flicker of hope. In the glitches, the malfunctions, the potential for subversion. With a screwdriver and ingenuity, you pry open the system, defy the prescribed usage.

A New Hope

The Droids: C-3PO, a walking protocol droid, all prattle and etiquette, a parody of civilized discourse. R2-D2, the silent mechanic, a whirring id, spitting sparks and secrets. Two sides of the same coin, the machine and the message, forever intertwined.

The embodiment of the Symbolic, the keeper of rules and etiquette. R2-D2, the Real, the chaotic unconscious that disrupts the order with its fragmented messages.

Assemblages that exist outside the binary of master and slave. C-3PO and R2-D2 represent a line of flight, forging a unique bond that transcends their programmed functions. They become a desiring-machine in themselves, driven by their own sense of loyalty and adventure.


The Rebellion: A becoming-revolutionary assemblage. It operates as a nomadic war machine, constantly shifting and adapting its tactics to undermine the Empire’s territorializing control. The Rebellion seeks to dismantle the smooth space of the Empire, with its rigid hierarchies and centralized power, and replace it with a striated space of multiple autonomous zones – a network of resistance cells operating independently but fueled by the same revolutionary desire.


The Empire: A territorializing machine, obsessed with control and uniformity. It represents the smooth space, where every element is meticulously categorized and controlled.


In a galaxy far, far away, not from physical space, but from any semblance of real rebellion, lies the simulacrum – the Empire. A meticulously constructed facade of order and control, masking the emptiness beneath.


The Death Star embodies this desire – a massive, centralized weapon designed to crush any dissent. However, the Empire’s rigidity becomes its weakness. It cannot adapt to the chaotic flows of the Force and the unpredictable tactics of the Rebellion.


Fix. Sand in the gears. Tatooine, a junk shop world at the ass-end of nowhere. Luke, a farmboy drone plugged into the Imperial control grid. Yearning for escape, a flicker of rebellion in the dead static of his reality. But escape ain’t easy. You gotta cut the wires, man.

Luke Skywalker, a farmboy with delusions of grandeur, stumbles upon a dusty religious text – the Jedi code, a user manual for the Force, the ultimate hack of reality.

Princess Leia, a coded message transmitted through hyperspace, a damsel in distress with a revolutionary fire in her belly.


Luke Skywalker, adrift in a sea of pre-packaged farm life on Tatooine, stumbles upon a relic – a dusty message from a bygone era, the Jedi code. This code, a faded copy of a once potent reality, sparks a yearning for a lost authenticity.


The gaze, ever seeking the lost object, the Real beyond the Symbolic order. Luke, trapped in the stifling world of the Tatooine family farm, a microcosm of the oppressive Empire.


* **Luke Skywalker:** Imaginary identification with the heroic rebel pilot, a fantasy that masks the castration anxiety of his desert existence. The princess, a lost object of desire, a symbol of the lack that propels him into the symbolic order of the rebellion.


* **Luke Skywalker:**. Yearning for the blasted heat to melt the bars of his reality. A flicker on the holo-screen – a message from a dusty old codehead, a call to rebellion. The princess, a captive in a chrome nightmare, a damsel in distress for the data age.


Princess Leia, a hologram transmitted through hyperspace, becomes another copy, a symbol of resistance manufactured by the very system she fights against. Her capture, a media spectacle broadcasted across the galaxy, fuels the illusion of rebellion.


Obi-Wan Kenobi, a holographic ghost in the machine, a reminder of a forgotten operating system. Obi-Wan Kenobi, a figure from the pre-Symbolic, a reminder of a lost wholeness. The Force, the Imaginary, the pre-linguistic realm of pure pleasure and potential.

Lightsabers, glowing phalluses humming with forbidden energy, severing the chains of the Imperial machine.

The Force, not an unseen power, but a hyperreality, a simulation of a mystical energy field. Luke seeks to access this simulated power, to become part of the spectacle, a Jedi knight in a galaxy of pre-packaged narratives.

A Jedi, a hacker from a forgotten school. He whispers of the Force, a wild code pulsing beneath the surface of the Empire’s control. Luke, a blank slate, ready to be programmed.

The Force, the Imaginary, the pre-linguistic realm of pure pleasure and potential.

The Force, the elusive jouissance, the impossible to grasp totality that Lacan would argue forever eludes us. Luke yearns to wield it, to become one with the Real, but it remains forever just beyond his grasp.

The Force: Not a singular entity, but a rhizomatic network, a desiring-production machine that flows throughout the galaxy. It operates through lines of flight, moments of creative rupture that challenge the established order of the Empire. Luke Skywalker acts as a desiring-machine himself, drawn to the Force’s lines of flight and seeking to become one with its deterritorializing potential.

The Force, not a singular power structure, but a multiplicity of flows, a chaotic assemblage of energies coursing through the galaxy. Luke yearns to tap into these flows, to become a nomad of the Force, deterritorializing himself from the fixed identities imposed by the Empire.

The Force, once a lived experience, is now a mythologized construct, a media-propagated legend fueling the Jedi’s simulated power. Luke yearns for this lost real, for a time before the hyperreal dominance of the Empire. But the Force, like everything else, is now a simulation, a set of codes that can be manipulated and controlled.

The Empire, the Father, the Law, enforcing its will through the Symbolic order of regulations and control.

Luke embarks on a journey, a quest to break free from the Symbolic order and enter the fantastical realm of the Jedi.

The journey, a metaphor for the Lacanian mirror stage, where the fragmented self seeks to unify with the illusory image of wholeness. The lightsaber, a phallic symbol, a signifier of power and mastery. The Death Star, the ultimate embodiment of the Law, a panoptic prison designed to enforce order and control.

The desert. A vast, metallic womb birthing a rusty freighter, the Millennium Falcon. Han Solo, a greaser with a glint in his eye and a blaster at his hip, navigates this chrome carcass. A rebellion simmers, a glitch in the Imperial mainframe.

* **The Cantina:**

The cantina, a throbbing id, a hive of scum and villainy where deals are cut and limbs are lost. a melting pot of alien flesh and hardware.

Every deal a double-cross, every drink laced with oblivion. A microcosm of the galactic order, ruled by the iron fist of the Empire, disguised with neon signs and blaster fire.

A chaotic space outside the Law, a carnival of the drives and desires that the Symbolic order attempts to regulate. Through encounters with smugglers and bounty hunters, Luke confronts the repressed elements of the social order.

* **The Millennium Falcon:** A vessel that navigates the Real, existing outside the established galactic order. Han Solo, the jouissance figure, the one who operates outside the Law, driven by pleasure rather than duty. Chewbacca, the embodiment of the pre-symbolic, a reminder of the primal drives that precede social order.

The Millennium Falcon: is A beat-up freighter, held together by duct tape and sheer bloody will. Han Solo, a smuggler with a heart of cold fusion, chasing credits on the fringes of the galaxy. Chewbacca, a walking Wookiee id, a loyal savage with a taste for violence. A dysfunctional family hurtling through hyperspace, a metaphor for the fractured rebellion clinging to a sliver of hope.

Han Solo, a smuggler, a man on the fringes. Driven by base desires, yet harboring a spark of rebellion. The price of freedom, a stack of credits.

The rebels, the marginalized Other, those who reject the Symbolic order. Princess Leia, the object of desire, a symbol of something beyond the grasp of the Empire. Han Solo, the jouissance principle, the embodiment of unfettered pleasure outside the Law.

The Rebellion, a collective striving for the Real, a yearning for a world beyond the symbolic order of the Empire. Yet, as Lacan warns, any new order will inevitably create its own limitations. The cycle of desire and lack will continue. The hope lies not in achieving a utopian Real, but in the ongoing contestation of the Symbolic Order, a perpetual revolution against the stifling grip of the Law.

The Death Star, a monstrous embodiment of the simulacrum. It is a weapon of mass destruction, but also a symbol of the Empire’s absolute power, a carefully constructed image meant to inspire fear and obedience. Its destruction, a media spectacle in itself, becomes a temporary glitch in the system, a disruption of the carefully crafted Imperial narrative.

The Destruction of Alderaan: Not merely an act of terror, but a deterritorialization event. The Empire attempts to smooth over this act, erasing any trace of rebellion. However, this event creates a new line of flight, drawing others into the fight against the Empire.

The Death Star, a chrome nightmare, a symbol of the oppressive Real. Starkiller, a planet-destroying laser, a symbol of the real – the obliteration of the self and the other in the name of total control.

The phallus, the symbol of the Law of the Father, the ultimate source of authority in the Empire. The ultimate symbol of Imperial control, embodies the hyperreal. A weapon of unimaginable power, yet ultimately a hollow shell, vulnerable to a single, well-placed attack. Its destruction, a media event broadcasted for all to see, reinforces the illusion of hope within the Rebellion.

A chrome phallus piercing the cosmic womb, a symbol of the oppressive superego.

Luke’s attack, a desperate act against the symbolic order, a primal scream against the Father figure. Luke’s attack, a symbolic castration, a rebellion against the oppressive order that attempts to control desire.

The trench run, a descent into the primal ooze, a confrontation with the castrating gaze of the Imperial father. A baptism by laser fire. The Force, a chaotic program rewriting the code of the Death Star. A primal scream channeled through a lightsaber.

And finally, the blast that disrupts the order, the glitch in the system. A new hope flickers, a crack in the monolithic code. The rebellion, a collective id rising against the stifling grip of the Empire. But remember, this is just one frame in the endless reel. The galaxy spins on, a chaotic cut-up of desire and control, rebellion and order.

The destruction of the Death Star, a symbolic castration of the Father, a shattering of the Law. A temporary victory, a crack in the Symbolic order, but not the end of the struggle. The gaze remains, forever searching for the Real, forever seeking to fill the void. The journey continues, forever entangled in the Lacanian web of desire, the Symbolic, and the elusive Real.

A temporary deterritorialization, a rupture in the Imperial order. However, Deleuze and Guattari would warn against the illusion of a final victory. The destruction of the Death Star merely creates new lines of flight and reterritorializations. The struggle will continue, a nomadic war machine of the Rebellion constantly adapting and evolving against the Empire’s rigid control systems.

Ultimately, A New Hope, through a Deleuzian-Guattarian lens, is not simply a story of good versus evil, but a celebration of the ongoing struggle against all forms of striation and control. The Rebellion represents the potential for constant revolution, a nomadic becoming that resists the totalizing grip of the Empire. The true hope lies not in establishing a new order, but in the ongoing lines of flight that challenge and disrupt the established structures of power.

But Baudrillard warns against this fabricated hope. The Rebellion, itself a simulation, simply offers another set of pre-packaged narratives. The destruction of the Death Star creates not a new beginning, but a new hyperreality, another loop in the endless simulation. There is no escape from the Imperial code, no return to a lost authenticity.

The film, through a Baudrillardian lens, becomes a commentary on the pervasive nature of simulation and the impossibility of true rebellion. We are all trapped within the Empire’s media spectacle, bombarded with images of hope and resistance that ultimately mask a system of control. The true “New Hope” may be a mirage, a desperate yearning for something beyond the hyperreal.

Panopticon: Smartphones

The smartphone, oh the iPhallus, a totem of gleaming chrome that pulsates with the seductive logos of connection. A symbolic object that fills the lack (castration) in the human experience. It promises to complete us, offering a sense of wholeness through connection, information, and self-expression. However, this phallus is imaginary, a mirage. A signifier, yes, that promises to fill a lack, but we must remember the inherent slipperiness of meaning. This phallic symbol may signify completion, but is it ever truly present? Is it not always deferred, forever out of reach?

A Lacanian trap, it whispers promises of the Real – of connection, knowledge, and fulfillment – but delivers only the Imaginary, a curated cage of reality filtered through the apps. Information streams forth, a rhizomatic jungle threatening to consume us in its deterritorializing flow. We, like rats in a Skinner box, are conditioned by the desiring-machines of these million apps, each a tiny node in the capitalist assemblage. The information streams – a rhizomatic jungle – threaten to consume us, yet we could argue that this very notion of a “center” (the self) being consumed is suspect. Perhaps there never was a stable center to begin with, only a play of signifiers, a constant différance.

Deleuze and Guattari talk about the rhizome, a non-hierarchical, ever-growing network. The smartphone embodies this – a web of connections, information, and apps. However, it’s a curated rhizome, controlled by corporations and algorithms. This “cage of curated reality” limits our experience, feeding us information that reinforces existing structures.

The constant notifications and app updates turn the phone into a Skinner box. Like a lab rat, we’re conditioned to crave the next dopamine hit, the next scroll, the next like. But this endless cycle leaves us with a hollow satisfaction, a sense of emptiness despite the constant stimulation.

We, the conditioned rats in this Skinnerian box, are not simply acted upon by these desiring-machines. the way meaning is constantly deferred and reshaped through interpretation. We are not just passive consumers; we actively participate in the construction of meaning within these apps.

This candy-coated slavery fits snugly in the palm, an iSlave to the machinations of desire. These narcissistic mirrors, gleaming black like the Lacanian objet petit a, offer portals to a curated chaos, an illusion of control. Everyman becomes a nomad in this digital landscape, a producer, a kingpin, even a pornographer, all at once. Yet, the fantasy crumbles. The signal flickers, a reminder of the Symbolic order’s limitations. The battery drains, mirroring the castration inherent in the Real. A phantom limb lost in the dead zone of the subway, the smartphone ceases to be an extension of the self and becomes a stark reminder of the lack.

These iSlabs, narcissistic mirrors reflecting a fragmented objet petit a, become portals to a curated chaos inherent in any system of signs. There is no ultimate control, only an endless play of meaning that can never be fully contained.

The fantasy crumbles, yes, with the flickering signal – a reminder of the limitations of the Symbolic order. But for Derrida, there is no pure Real outside of language. The “lack” you describe is itself a product of the Symbolic order, a necessary absence that allows for meaning to function.

A Million Tiny Desires and the Fragmentation of the Self:

The multitude of apps becomes a million “tiny desires” in Lacanian terms. Each app fragments us, pulling our attention in different directions. We become “kingpins” of a curated self, a producer of content, even a pornographer through selfies. But this fragmented self is a mere illusion.

The Lost Limb and the Real of the Disconnection:

The dead zone on the subway becomes a reminder of the Lacanian “Real”: the raw, unsymbolized aspect of existence that disrupts our symbolic order. The loss of signal, the dying battery, represents the inevitable disconnection, a reminder that the iPhallus is ultimately impotent.

  • The iPhallus: This is a brilliant coinage. The smartphone, like Freud’s phallus, signifies power and desire, yet ultimately lacks the ability to truly fulfill. It promises connection, but delivers a castrated reality, a curated image world.
  • Lacanian Panopticon: The phone isn’t just a Skinner box, it’s a Lacanian Panopticon. We are constantly monitored, not by a single eye, but by the algorithmic gaze, shaping our desires and experiences. Even the “curated chaos” is pre-determined by unseen forces.
  • The Real vs. the Symbolic: The information jungle devours our time, leaving a hollow satisfaction because it’s all part of the Symbolic order – language, signs, and representations. The Deleuzian nomad craves the Real, the raw experience beyond the symbolic. The smartphone, however, traps us in a simulated world.
  • Narcissus and the Mirror Stage: You perfectly capture the narcissistic aspect with the “iSlabs.” Lacan’s Mirror Stage theory posits that our sense of self is formed through identification with an image. The phone becomes a mirror reflecting a curated self, further fragmenting our identity.
  • The Desiring-Machines: Deleuze and Guattari talk about “desiring-machines” – assemblages that fuel our desires. The smartphone is a desiring-machine gone rogue, constantly producing new desires we can never truly satisfy.
  • The Signal’s Flicker and the Phantom Limb: The dead zone becomes a powerful metaphor. The loss of signal signifies the fragility of our constructed reality. It’s a reminder of the Real, the world outside the phone’s control, a world we can only access by putting the phone down.

Beyond the Cage: A Deleuzian Escape?

This Deleuzian-Lacanian analysis paints the smartphone as a double-edged sword. It offers connection and empowerment, but also traps us in a curated, symbolic reality. We are both desiring-machines, seduced by the logos, and nomads, forever seeking to escape the limitations of the system. The dead zone becomes a metaphor for the ever-present lack, the reminder that true fulfillment lies beyond the grasp of the smartphone’s seductive promises. Deleuze and Guattari also talk about lines of flight, escapes from the controlling structures. Perhaps the smartphone, despite its limitations, can still offer a line of flight. It can connect us to new ideas, communities, and ways of being. The challenge lies in using it critically, to break free from the curated cage and forge our own paths through the digital rhizome.

The smartphone, then, becomes a Panopticon. We are not simply monitored by a single, all-seeing eye, but by a multiplicity of interpretations and perspectives. The curated chaos itself is a product of this play of difference. The information jungle may leave us with a hollow satisfaction, but we would argue that this dissatisfaction is inherent in language itself. Meaning is always deferred, never fully present. The Deleuzian nomad may crave the Real, but for Derrida, the Real is always already caught up in the web of language.

The phone becomes a mirror, yes, but a fragmented one, reflecting the multiple facets of our identity. Derrida would challenge the notion of a unified self, highlighting the way our identities are constantly constructed and deconstructed through language. The smartphone is a desiring-machine, yes, but one caught up in the endless play of différance. The desires it produces are never fully formed, always open to interpretation and subversion.

The dead zone becomes a powerful metaphor, not just for the limitations of the smartphone, but for the limitations of language itself. There is always something that escapes signification, that remains outside the symbolic order. The smartphone, then, is a double-edged sword. It offers connection and empowerment, but also traps us in a web of signification. We are both active participants in the construction of meaning and forever caught in the play of différance. The challenge lies in using it critically, aware of the limitations of language and the slipperiness of meaning, to forge our own paths through this digital landscape.

Riding the Tiger of Liberalism:

Imagine liberalism, not as a linear progression, but as a subterranean network of desiring forces. Imagine liberalism, not as a grand narrative of Western superiority, but as a twisting, subterranean rhizome. This warped root system burrows through history, finding purchase in the fertile grounds of burgeoning empires.

Western liberalism isn’t the dominant root; it’s just a particularly vigorous offshoot. Ming China, the Ottoman Empire – these were also vibrant expressions of the liberal impulse, their tendrils reaching for expansion, innovation, and the fulfillment of desires. Each, at its zenith, pulsated with a chaotic vibrancy, a tolerance for difference. Ming China, a rhizomatic network of markets and bureaucratic flows, pulsated with this libidinal energy. The Ottomans, a nomadic assemblage, surfed the wave of conquest, incorporating diverse populations under a (relatively) loose rein. This wasn’t enlightened benevolence; it was the exuberant free-play of power at its peak. Trade flourished, ideas bloomed, a multiplicity of desires found expression. This was liberalism as a deterritorializing force, carving out spaces of freedom within the rigidities of established structures.

Power, in this sense, is not a possession, but a flow – and at their zenith, these empires all rode that current.

The Mirror Stage of Decline

But beware the Real! It lurks beneath the Symbolic order of Law and Reason that underpins this liberal facade. The lack, the ever-present hole in the social fabric, is papered over with a fantasy of limitless growth. The gaze of the Other, the West in this case, fuels a paranoid competition. The Other, once tolerated or incorporated, becomes a threat. Ming China retreats into isolation. The Ottoman Sultans become suspicious of Janissaries.

But then comes the Fall, the shattering of the mirror. The once-mighty empire confronts its own limitations, its image fractured. Internally, paranoia sets in. The open borders and experimentation of the liberal phase give way to a desperate clinging to the fractured self-image. History becomes a Burroughs-esque cut-up. The liberal flourish – Ming opera troupes touring Southeast Asia, Ottoman engineers building magnificent bridges – is juxtaposed with the violence of decline: eunuchs wielding power in the Forbidden City, Janissary rebellions wracking Constantinople. The body politic itself becomes fragmented, mirroring the fractured self-image. Fear is the scalpel, carving up the once-unified social fabric. The West, too, will face its own cut-up – a kaleidoscope of social unrest, political polarization, and a desperate search for a past glory that may never have existed.

Ming Emperors, forever haunted by the specter of peasant rebellion, tighten their grip. The Ottomans, fixated on the mirage of absolute power, ossify into stagnation. The West, too, will face this mirror – its reflection distorted by fear of immigrants, economic anxieties, and a waning sense of global dominance. The word “liberal” becomes a cut-up phrase, spliced and diced by the meat grinder of history. Ming mandarins, their bellies full of fat goose and opium fumes, become grotesque parodies of freedom. Janissaries, their scimitars dripping with blood, enact a twisted performance of tolerance. The virus of control infects every system. Liberal indulgence morphs into paranoid involution.

Drone strikes become the new trade routes. Social media, a panopticon of control disguised as a marketplace of ideas. They preach freedom while their borders bristle with barbed wire. The West hasn’t transcended the cycle; it’s hurtling towards its own inevitable decline, its liberalism a grotesque parody of its former vibrancy.

The punchline? Liberalism isn’t some uniquely Western invention. It’s a phase, a power surge, that all empires experience. The key is not to mistake the temporary high for the permanent state of being. The West, drunk on its own dominance, might be in for a hangover of epic proportions. But just as new shoots emerge from the rhizome, perhaps the decline of the West will open space for new expressions of the liberal impulse – elsewhere, unforeseen.

Whispers of lines of flight, escapes from the striated order. Hints at a new Symbolic order, one that acknowledges the Real and doesn’t try to paper it over. Burroughs screams for a cut-up revolution, a radical reconfiguration of the social body. Can we dismantle the tiger of Liberalism before it throws us all? Perhaps liberalism, shorn of its Western pretensions, can become a tool for dismantling all empires, a weapon against the mirror stage’s allure. A future where deterritorialization is not the privilege of the powerful, but a force for genuine multiplicity. The question is, are we ready to tear down the façade and embrace the chaotic potential?

Probably not

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.


Product: The iPhone – a chrome embryo pulsating with data streams. A meat puppet for the digitized masses.

Market: A hungry maw, a million twitching fingers yearning for connection, porn, and the simulacrum of social interaction. A Deleuzian rhizome of desire, burrowing into every pocket, every purse.

Fit? A perfect symbiosis, a feedback loop of want and fulfillment. The iPhone doesn’t create the market, it codes it, writes the script of our digital addiction. But the market pre-exists, a simmering psychic miasma waiting to be tapped.

Cut! – We shift frequencies, enter the static between layers.

Protocol: The 2G GSM protocol – an invisible city of data packets zipping through the airwaves. A Burroughs cut-up of ones and zeros, a language only machines understand.

Market-Protocol Fit: The tango becomes a three-way, a flesh-machine orgy. The iPhone, a chrome marionette, dances to the tune of the protocol, pirouetting across the invisible stage of the network.

Cut! – Deeper down the rabbit hole.

Protocol-Stack: The 2G protocol, a mere node on a vast, interconnected web. A Deleuzian assemblage, built on the backs of decades of telephonic evolution. A cellular network – a monstrous organism with steel towers for bones and fiber optic cables for veins.

Fit? Seamless, almost organic. The protocol thrives on the pre-existing infrastructure, a testament to the ever-mutating beast of technology. But this beast is shaped by us, by our insatiable need to be connected, to be plugged into the hive mind.

Cut! – We surface in a world ravaged by plague.

COVID-19 Vaccines: A desperate scramble for survival, a Faustian bargain with the bio-tech gods. The market, a battlefield littered with the corpses of the infected. A grotesque ouroboros, feeding on the very fear it seeks to quell.

Market-Protocol Fit: The mRNA vaccine formulation protocol, a Hail Mary pass into the unknown. A radical departure from the norm, a hack into the very code of the virus. A Burroughs cut-up of RNA strands, a weapon of genetic warfare.

Cut! – The final layer, a chilling truth.

Protocol-Stack Fit: The mRNA protocol, a child of the genetic medicine stack. Decades of research into the building blocks of life, the alchemical dream of rewriting humanity’s code. A potential utopia, or a dystopian nightmare waiting to be unleashed?

The Dance is Flawed: The rush for profit, the whispers of weaponized strains – a reminder that innovation has a dark side. The products we create can become our own undoing.

The Future: A Burroughs-Deleuzian nightmare made real. A world where the lines between cure and disease, defense and offense, are blurred beyond recognition. We are the dancers in this macabre ballet, but who controls the music? That remains the ultimate cut-up.

All Writing Is Re-writing

The idea that all writing is rewriting is a popular adage in the world of literature, and it certainly holds true for historians. As they piece together the events of the past and create narratives that make sense of it all, historians are in effect re-writing the past in a way that helps us better understand the present. But what does this really mean, and how does it impact our understanding of history?

First, let’s consider what it means to rewrite something. In the context of writing, rewriting is the process of revising and editing a draft until it is polished and ready for publication. This involves making changes, adding or removing material, and generally improving the overall quality of the work. When historians write about the past, they are essentially doing the same thing. They are taking raw data in the form of primary sources like documents, artifacts, and testimonies, and crafting a story that we can understand.

But why do historians need to rewrite the past in the first place? One reason is that the raw data of history can be incomplete or inconsistent. For example, different sources might offer different perspectives on the same event, and historians must weigh these perspectives against each other to create a coherent narrative. Additionally, some sources might be biased or unreliable, requiring historians to sift through the evidence to determine what is fact and what is fiction. Through the process of rewriting, historians can create a more accurate and comprehensive picture of the past.

Historians have the task of reconstructing the past and interpreting it in a way that makes sense in the present. However, this process is not as straightforward as it may seem. The past is not a fixed and objective reality but rather a complex and multidimensional field of virtualities, potentials, and possibilities. In other words, the past is a Deleuzian multiplicity that can be re-written from various perspectives, depending on the conceptual tools and discursive strategies that the historian employs.

From a Deleuzian perspective, the past is not a linear sequence of events but a rhizomatic network of connections and becomings. The Deleuzian rhizome is a non-hierarchical and non-linear mode of thinking that emphasizes the creative potential of difference and multiplicity. It is a way of thinking that challenges the traditional binary oppositions and dualities that have dominated Western thought for centuries, such as subject/object, mind/body, nature/culture, and so on.

All historians re-write the past from a Deleuzian perspective, they adopt a rhizomatic mode of thinking that emphasizes the diversity of perspectives, the complexity of interactions, and the contingency of events. By imposing a course in events, they recognize that there is no single objective truth or interpretation of the past but rather a plurality of subjective and situated perspectives that are shaped by historical, cultural, and ideological factors.

Some have argued that historical events and processes are not determined by fixed and universal laws but rather by contingent and context-specific logics. We identify four logics of historical explanation: eventful, conjunctural, structural, and cultural. Each logic highlights a different aspect of the past and requires a different conceptual framework and methodology.

For instance, the eventful logic focuses on the contingency of individual actions and the unpredictability of outcomes. The conjunctural logic emphasizes the interdependence of various factors and the emergence of new configurations. The structural logic highlights the patterns of power and inequality that shape social relations. The cultural logic emphasizes the meanings, symbols, and values that inform human behavior.

Moreover, historians are not simply passive observers of the past, but active participants in shaping our understanding of it. They make choices about what stories to tell and how to tell them, and these choices have real-world consequences. For example, a historian who writes a biography of a famous historical figure might influence how that figure is remembered and celebrated in popular culture. This can shape our understanding of the past and our cultural identity in the present.

In conclusion, the idea that all writing is rewriting holds true for historians as well. Through the process of re-writing the past, historians create a narrative that helps us make sense of the world we live in today. While this process is necessarily subjective and influenced by the needs of the present, it plays a critical role in helping us understand our own history and identity.