Tired…

Bone-eyed tired I walked to get some coffee, stumbling over cracks like a somnambulist, the afternoon sun picking spots on my pupils to besiege. “Just another day in the city,” I heard a voice say and strangely it was my own. What is this? Vertigo? Am I dreaming?

A large trailer passed with an old man’s face on it grinning at me. His left cheek sort of punched out from within. It asked us to vote for him.

Have I mentioned that McCain gives me the willies.

I haven’t slept much the last couple of days. I think that’s what’s getting to me. Maybe it’s also the fact that my State is burning up and this feels like the summer of Hell with the gas prices and mortgage crises and fires and all my political vices –I start rapping unintentionally I’m so lost in my own Twilight Zone right now.

LET ME SAY IT AGAIN
I HATE MCCAIN.

But I’m sure that’s just psychological… I probably love him… he’s the best! He really is right about the war, except for the more than four thousand dead, and really is strong on the Economy. I mean, look how good it’s doing with all of his help these last eight years.

I’m just whining. Everything is just peachy.

You’ve got to love Republicans like Phil Gramm. Even more, you got to love the country yokels out there who actually thinkbelieve (I don’t think they’re doing much thinking actually) that Gramm and McCain are good old boys just like them. That somehow Obama, the latch-key kid who earned his way through Harvard, and was a community activist on the South Side of Chicago, is the elitist!

Republicans must be living in an alternate reality than us. Where Miley Cyrus photographs are provocative and Global Warming is just a small heat wave.

Am I alone in thinking that another sort of Dark Age is coming?

I think nightlife is going to go down in history as a 100-year phenomenon. Automobiles too. Camping. Stuff like that. I’m not apocryphal, so I don’t think it’s the end of mankind, just the end of the Modern World. First we used up all the whales, now we used up all the oil. Hopefully Mars has some fuel we can bring back to keep civilization running. Otherwise I’m going to get my farming on now. Anyone got some tomato plants?

With everything happening to our Environment, still, these neanderthals are so scared of the Islamic bogeyman that they’d rather spend billions and billions in Iraq, instead of investing in alternative energies at home. Really?!!!

Isn’t that sort of like putting the cart before the horseless carriage? Isn’t it much easier to just get a different kind of animal than to go to war over oats?

It’s depressing, for sure. And I’m tired, that’s why I’m talking like this, and probably not making any sense.

I’ve been reading a lot of this French philosopher whose name I can’t pronounce, Jean Baudrillard. He has a very interesting take on modern culture and mass media. Far ahead of his time, but the stuff he argued is even more apparent nowadays than in the 60’s and 70’s when he developed these ideas. I guess that’s what makes him “ahead of his time”.

Information devours its own content. It devours communication and the social. And for two reasons:
1. Rather than creating communication, it exhausts itself in the act of staging communication.  Rather than producing meaning, it exhausts itself in the act of staging meaning.
2. Behind the exacerbated mise-en-scene of communication, the mass media, the pressure of information pursues an irresistible destructurization of the social.

Okay, the translation from French is a little difficult and his prose is convoluted but the premise is rather simple: Our culture of infinite information and communication, rather than supplying more meaning and knowledge, destroys meaning and instead replaces it with more worthless information and communication. Think cable news! Think Bill O’Reily.

Baudrillard developed these views before the Internet too.

We’re surrounded by simulacra and simulation. We’re stuck in a wax museum realty. Internet Porn. DisneyLand. Not as opposite as one might think.

The Media produces a close approximation of the real, a heightened version, and thus it destroys our ability to recognize reality. The Tsunami hits Thailand and we think we’re experiencing it too, because of the pictures and videos producing a simulated disaster, broadcasted straight into our homes, we’re filled with false knowledge. In this simulacrum, meaning gets lost.

A soldier in Iraq describes the experience of battle as a game of Grand Theft Auto. Instead of movies and video games reflecting war, war reflects video games. The neo-hippies living in current day San Francisco are living a Baudrillardian lifestyle. Far from counter culture, it’s very much mainstream to copy thoughts and attitudes from previous eras, there’s nothing original about patchouli and tie dye anymore.

How many people describe their childhood in terms of TV shows or movies? “I grew up in a Leave It To Beaver family.” or “I was totally Ally Sheady from The Breakfast Club when I was in high school.”

Think of the recent ‘scandal’ involving Jesse Jackson’s comments. Fox News – if ever a Network lived up to Baudrillard’s theories it’s them – flooded the airwaves with this bit of “information” as if there is some sort of “news” or “information” in it. A waste of chatter and discourse followed. Does our current media landscape help us navigate through the world, or create it’s own hyper-version of the world? where everything is distorted and seen through prisms?

While some might argue that the free flow of information and culture is what makes America great, others might say it’s what makes us weak-minded and easily persuadable. Brainwashed, distracted, and naive. Controled.

The Iraq War comes to mind.

Which brings us back to oil!

We need fuel for all of this distraction and nonsense to continue, though, and as much as I lament the current state of things, I kind of like them too. We all need to keep believing in the myth of money and stock markets and products that we don’t need and TV shows with no redeeming value, because if all these things stopped, the floor would fall out of the Economy, whatever is left of that deteriorating house.

Too bad we can’t tap into Conservative’s hot air for fuel. It seems like there’s an endless, renewable supply of that!

I hoped that made some sense.

Gawd… I need some sleep!

In other news: Check out Generation Kill, the mini-series from the creator of The Wire. It looks like a good one.

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