"hahaha they profess to feel the same pain at the industrial production of suffering that we profess to," all intone as one, a gregorian chant of approval, reverberant and throbbing, no counterpoint in sight- "this is truly satisfying, luxe shit." another shut-in makes another manic post on the rhizzone, choked with an unspoken mewling for help, human contact, anything that isn't the soulless void suffusing the world around them, or the rigors of their own disgusting pathology, or anime. "wow lol this is funny stuff. 'Failure AIDS'? i'm gonna print this macro out and put it on the office refrigerator. i cherish this online community." yet another severely mentally ill person is exiled from the forum for the horrible contents of their own mind, a series of horrors only slightly more terrifying than the actual lived world, to say nothing of the miseries inside the posters of slightly less blatant abjection clamoring over each ostrakon. "oh man, can you say IFAP? Get that failtard outta here! Methinks the internet left has struck a righteous blow via these noble moderating processes. and with jokes." not very many miles away a child is shot by agents of this state as if to punctuate this inane display. another follows, then another.
The members of The Baffler have coalesced in a semi-circle around the macbook pro upon its column. They wear tasseled mortarboards below their hooded cloaks and nothing below that. The chanting grows out of tune, pitch deviates and acquires a lascivious beading, the staff members excitedly stiffen at the sight of another post mocking the new inquiry for its revolutionarily-veneered impotence. One cloaked adept has written a piece on the salacious idiocy of a large media conglomerate's youth arm that's redolent of the same inept sneering tone and studded with the clumsy asides that she derides. She is more educated and less bigoted than the slavering commercial entity she writes about. Another has taken aim, transgressively posthumously (a delectation that tightened the hair of the editor's nape, who proceeded to lacerate himself in excitement, his right leg uncontrollably thumping), at an array of ghostwriters writing the lowest common denominator of military-fantasy pap. He is more educated and less bigoted than the gibbering commercial entity he writes about. One has uttered thoroughly mundane words on what constitutes "nerdiness" and decrying a lack of mental diversity within technofetishistic business culture, which is somehow due to tone and syllable count "critical" and thus vaguely leftist, thinks the editor. The mundane utterer covertly caresses the macbook pro's charger, hoping that his newly flushed face and rising temperature will be thought to be part of the general self-congratulatory hardening.
A trio emerges from the semi-circle and steps in front of the pillar upon which is mounted the macbook pro. the unison chant is broken off, the collective looks up, anticipatory, wondering what piece of bravura could pre-empt their pleasurable cheering of internet ephemera. A rondeau! glorious triplum counterpoint in the manner of the french pre-baroque comes ululating from the three palates, hoods thrown back, mortarboard tassels twirling to and fro. The audience surrounding them grins with delight, anxiously awaiting the unison refrain that they shall be allowed to join for ecstatic moronic chorus.
The noted anthropologist has the cantus firmus, the thematic grounding upon which all variation flowers. it's an impressive reading of certain assumptions within the biological sciences. He offers a novel and insightful alternative to these assumptions that happens to align with his notions of what constitutes effective political practice. In the wake of this political practice's most public manifestation (its name still on the audience members' lips, spoken or unspoken), conversations were started, ideas were floated, MIT-affiliated self-congratulatory magazines found things to talk about, and fuck-all happened to anyone with money or power. The noted anthropologist does not question this. It does not influence him. He continues warbling and trilling in his merry nothing way. The state creates carceral slaves from those living in the next neighborhood and rapes them repeatedly. An entire zoning district of the same town is cordoned off and declared a target.
The distinguished editor, an ethical and well-meaning journalist and author in her own right, has the alto counterpoint but- wait- no, it's just unison with the cantus firmus. it proposes a slight expansion on the anthropologist's line but in effect says the same thing, sings the same song of diversionary processes within a complex world, and that's not a bad little ditty at all. still, doubling at the unison isn't counterpoint! the audience, beginning to pleasure themselves but quietly so as not to interrupt, fails to notice. They fail to notice their parental institution's affiliation with research in an apartheid state, an understandable omission, and thus fail to notice the pregnant women jackbooted, the children burnt alive by chemical weapons. When celebrities become involved the magazine's adepts then deign to talk of a Bantustan "nuance" (goo.gl/rp3Bsd). The audience's self-pleasure, growing warmer and wetter at the good idea that is spoken in two mouths, is both intellectual and cultural.
The third voice rises above the regretful, twinned pair below. It, too, sings of diversion. It lacks the facility and strong intelligence of its predecessors. It stumbles and plods where the others elegantly progress. It talks of manners of pleasure, of an affected nostalgia through "lyric reminiscences" of juleps and fanciful outfits, a semiotically mediated longing for novelty through the lens of consumption and relaxation. It talks of this relaxation, leaps from parallel to parallel, drops a panoply of unrelated cultural references, and conveys nothing. It says "play should not be too much like work" and smiles at this anodyne inanity. It is very timely, very contemporary, full of vague generalizations about How Life Is Now, What Hipsters Do And Why They Do It, Younger Grownups Are So Immature Now, How Parents Have It Hard In A New Way. This contemporary and timely article, so together! so with it! pays lip service the difficulties of life under capitalism without actually thinking about them, only saying that the products the author is presented with and dutifully consumes are ultimately unsatisfying. In conveying nothing and yet being presented for consumption it is the exact same frivolous, regressive amusement it decries. In its useless babble of cultural touchstones we see the unintended character of the thorough-bass and harmony beneath it- Distraction, veneer, apologia, commentary. Dust of "socially cognizant" pretension.
This author preens over the other two, crippling them by cack-handed association. They collapse, limp and bleeding, under the auditory onslaught. The state consumes and rapes its victims on an unprecedented scale, with drastic new methods of organization and propagation, but this is beneath them, not worthy of their song of Intellectual and Insightful Cultural Commentary.
The audience smiles after the last crippled reference to consumed media. They know that it's their time to shine: Here comes the refrain! The gleeful chorus in which they can all join in together! The polite poets and illustrators walk to the front, then move in for the kill. all gyrate and shout in haggard schoolyard unison, spittle and limbs flying, revolting neglected bodies pumping each other, the poets and illustrators yelling the loudest:
"We Swear We're Not The New Yor-Ker, We Swear We're Not The New Yor-Ker"
There are orgasms from all assembled. A puddle of inertia emerges. No, not the ephemera they publish, I mean they're all tired now.
They delve deeper into the onscreen saturnalia out of boredom and the rhizzone is rewarded with non-federal pageviews. A grown adult who is convinced that his ability to function at the most basic level in the weight room will make him "more revolutionary," ineffectively embodying the workout montage in his private superhero's tragic backstory, who may in fact be relatively correct given the anomic immobility of much of the forum. An actual lackey of the state who comforts himself with the trappings of bygone eras in a cargo-cult attempt to imbue himself with distinction from his peers. He lives in isolation and must work tirelessly to incarcerate the poverty-stricken in his district. Dreams of global male castration that frantically demand to be taken seriously, that crave validation but above all obsessively crave human contact, jut against fears of female rapist boogeymen enveloping a pile of helpless microphalli. Depressives crosstalk the manic, who then trade places. Each poster's personal disgusting horror becomes catchphrased grist for the collective mill. Cucked by swedes, enveloped in nonsense syllables, affectations swarm upon each other and pathologies breed together. Every poster a transgressive revolutionary of interior life, yet another screenbound occasional bookreader outside of it. "god, i love these POSTS" purrs the editor, still sticky from prior pleasures, excited for new diversions. a way out from the assembled array of frivolous cloaked incompetents with a second array of invalid just-as-incompetents. "what they need is a contest for a subscription to my vanity pile of shit."