The Psycho-Sociological Dynamics of Fascist Patriarchy 

A book the premise of which has inspired this essay.

We take the term psycho-sociological to refer to the way psychological and sociological factors combine. This is one way of understanding how the behaviors of individuals can be shaped by the groups or communities of which they are a part. 
We take the term fascist patriarchy to suggest a political structure which is also inherent in personal relationships. In this case, it is a structure which is enforced from the top down, but also from the bottom up. From the top down through patriarchal institutions such as the private ownership of the means of production, i.e. capitalism; or authoritarian structures such as a non-democratic work environment; or more obvious forms of patriarchal control such as oppressive religious institutions, which seek to restrict freedom of control over populations such as women or human behaviors such as sexuality. Then from the bottom up insofar as these same structures are reflected and enforced in individual social units such as the family. 


It is my theory that family dysfunction is ironically a function of social control. 
   The dysfunctional family can be described as such, and echoes the same in a society which is not free and equal: Dysfunction is defined as the inability of a family unit to work appropriately for all its members. 

What is meant by appropriateness and membership

   We should consider the concept of membership and of appropriateness. Membership in this case is not too different from the concept of citizenship, and is the social context in which one finds themselves independently of an individual decision. So for instance the circumstances into which one is born. One is born into a family unit independent of any decision made by the individual, and this intrinsic membership is what is meant by the concept of members of a family. Of course this membership is not immutable and also has cultural constituents. For instance in the way that it’s possible to seek citizenship in a country other than that of one’s origin, or in the ways that families continue to grow and evolve over time. Those considered to be members of a group is also culturally determined and is as much a product of who is considered to be accepted and not accepted into the group that constitutes the membership of that group. 

   As for appropriateness, this is another concept which can find its correlate in social phenomena. Let us for instance consider the concept of exploitation in economics. 
   We shall use this concept as a metric to determine what is meant by appropriateness for all members of a family unit. 

The “inappropriateness” of exploitation

   Exploitation in an economic context is defined by an unequal relationship between capital and labor, whereby in order for the capitalist to make a profit, they must expropriate from the laborer a portion of the value that the laborer creates. The laborer doesn’t receive the full value of their labor, but rather that value is extracted by the capitalist, and only a portion of its value is given back to the laborer in the form of a wage, in order for the capitalist to generate a profit. Profit is the main economic driver in capitalism, and so exploitation is intrinsic to the structure of capitalism. There can be no capitalism without profit, and there can be no profit without exploitation, and so the inequality of exploitation is what constitutes the capitalist relation. Our concept of appropriateness is defined against that. The appropriateness of a relationship is defined by its general equality. So in an economic context, appropriateness would be defined as the absence of exploitation in an economic relationship. In the context of a family unit, it would be defined as the general equality in the relationships between individual members. 

What is meant by equality of relationships

   The absence of exploitation in the workforce is what is known as socialism. Another way of putting this is that socialism is democracy in the workplace. What this means is very simple. While most people in the United States are generally under the assumption that democracy is a good and worthy political value, few seem to question why this political principle is not found in the domain where most people spend the overwhelming amount of time in their lives—besides at home—namely in the workplace.
   Democracy in the workplace basically means that individuals have a proportionate amount of say in decisions which affect them. This is generally what people understand democracy to be in a political context; that in theory members of a democracy are able to participate in decision making, by say, voting on issues which affect them. People in the United States generally find this much more amenable to their sensibilities than say, the political structure of a dictatorship, in which people do not have a proportionate amount of say in decisions which affect them, but rather have commands dictated to them. Yet these same ideological champions of democracy and critics of dictatorship don’t seem to question the way that workplaces in the United States are not democratized at all, but very much operate like a dictatorship, with one class of individuals giving orders that another class of individuals have to obey, lest they would lose their job and be submitted to a state of economic precarity. 

   Democracy in the workplace is a threat to capitalism, because if workers had a proportionate say in decision making, one of the first democratic decisions they would almost certainly make, is to put an end to the structure of exploitation. The only reason that people consent to economic exploitation is because they have no other choice. There is no one who would consent to being paid less than what their labor is worth, if there wasn’t an authoritarian structure compelling them to accept these conditions. There is for instance obviously no one who would voluntarily consent to the conditions of slavery. Rather those conditions must be brutally enforced on a population. 

   If the structure of relationships between people is equal; that is to say no one has a greater proportion of decision making power over the conditions which affect others, then we would say that structure is appropriate. We would say it’s equal. 
   However if a privileged class or individual has a disproportionate degree of decision making power, over the conditions which affect others, then we would say the structure of relationships is not working appropriately. That it is unequal. 
   An unequal structure of relationships in a family unit, is what we refer to as a structure of relationships which is not working appropriately for all members. 
   We have defined the inability of a family unit to work appropriately for all members, as family dysfunction. 

Dysfunction as control

   Just because a relationship or structure of relationships is dysfunctional, doesn’t mean it isn’t functioning according to a certain logic. 
   This is where we may notice the reality of dysfunction is related to the psychological concepts of repression and denial.
   In the case of capitalism, its “dysfunction” undoubtedly operates according to a specific logic, has clear aims and goals, and serves a specific interest. One class in the relationship is repressed—or oppressed—they are exploited, not without purpose; but because it’s in the best interest of the class above them to exploit them. A kind of analogy could be made here with psychological repression. Denial for instance, is the repression of clear basic facts, but not without purpose. In classical psychology, this has been explained as a defense mechanism. In short, when the individual psyche is confronted with anomalous or uncomfortable information which it may perceive as threatening, it is likely to react against that information with extreme emotion which is the action of repression. The initial extreme emotion will then be avoided in the future by making of the content of that anomalous or uncomfortable information the subject of denial. 

   To then return from the psychological to the sociological, we could see another kind of analogy manifested sociologically in a labor movement. 
   An exploited class of workers moves to improve their material conditions, and is repressed—oppressed—by the capitalist class which dominates them. 
   One class fights to bring to light the fact of the injustice of their exploitation and domination, whereas the other class reacts against that movement, in a very real material way, denying the movement of its push for economic justice. Because our theory as a psycho-sociological analysis, attempts to find parallels between psychological and sociological phenomenon, perhaps one of our first most basic assertions, is to note the parallel between repression and oppression. That is, repression in the psychological sense, and oppression in the sociological sense. One common factor we may observe in these separate psychological and sociological instances, is control. 

   The repression of a labor movement is a capitalist exertion of control; it is the denial of workers to assert their agency. To grant agency to the workers would be to implement democracy in the workplace; it would be workers taking control over their own destiny. Instead, that agency is denied them, their movement is repressed, and they are placed back under capitalist control. 
   In the case of psychological repression, the defense mechanism of denial is basically a function of the ego, either insisting on a particular narrative or on the maintenance of a particular state of affairs. That narrative or state of affairs is usually unhealthy or damaging in some way; and hence its continual reproduction is known as enabling. 
   Movements to alter the dysfunctional state of affairs, will be perceived by the dominant factor in the defense mechanism, the repressive ego, as threatening. In this way, uncomfortable or anomalous information which contradicted the dominant narrative—even if provably correct—will be denied. Attempts to alter the unhealthy environment into a healthy one, will be rejected. All this to say that living in a state of denial can be perfectly logical. 
   This is because the state of denial serves some important purpose for the individual ego; it enables the reproduction of a certain state of affairs, or the continuation of a dominant narrative. And so—like the control exerted in a sociological context of a labor movement—so too is there a degree of control being exerted over a particular narrative or state of affairs in the psychological context of repression and denial. 

A psycho-sociological summary of fascist patriarchy

   At this point if we have sufficiently shown what a psycho-sociological perspective would look like, namely, one that finds parallels between psychological and sociological phenomenon, then, we can proceed with making an attempt to define what is meant by fascist patriarchy. 
   This term itself may prove initially triggering, as these words on their own go often deeply misunderstood, and in common parlance, can often simply appear to be synonymous with what is “bad,” or trigger extreme emotional reactions, as a projection of what is perceived to be under criticism. 
   It is thus a necessary burden for this essay to define what is meant by fascism and patriarchy. 
   Before doing so, we can begin by asserting a general structuralism for the psycho-sociological perspective, which takes into account there is a complex interaction between political and personal factors. As such it must be emphasized that in essence fascism and patriarchy are institutional structures or systemic dynamics primarily. Although they do get embodied secondarily in particular individuals. 

   We will begin with fascism and then move to patriarchy. This is not necessarily because one proceeds the other, even though one is more generally enforced from the top down, and the other from the bottom up. This is because the top down and bottom up reinforcement works together mutually. One is not necessarily the cause of the other, but both mutually influence each other. 

   For the purposes of this essay, we will assert a very general, political definition of fascism. We will begin with the general historical assertion that fascism has generally arisen as a political ideology and structure in reaction against socialism. It is generally asserted that the ideologies of fascism and socialism both arise within the context of a crisis of capitalism. Although while socialism seeks to progress beyond capitalism, fascism seeks to preserve it. We limit our definition of fascism therefore to its structural opposition to socialism. For the purposes of our psycho-sociological summary, then, since we have also defined socialism in a specific, general sense, as democracy in the workplace; fascism is the polar opposite view on this issue, that seeks to preserve the hierarchical chains of command which currently exist in the workplace under capitalism, which are in effect, dictatorial in practice. 

   There are many other constitutive elements of fascism that could be gone into, however again for the purposes of this essay, which is primarily concerned with the integrity of relationships, we are mostly concerned with the structure of relationships within a fascist dynamic, that can be broadly defined as hierarchical. 
   If socialism seeks an equality of relationships—according to our definition—then fascism seeks the polar opposite which is to preserve the inequality of relationships currently present in the status quo. Here is where patriarchy comes in. Before offering our definition, let it be stated now to be returned to later, that the psycho-sociological parallel within these structures—such as the one of control from earlier—is the enshrinement of hierarchy. 

   I contend that patriarchy, is a dysfunctional form of control. It is dysfunctional in the sense that it doesn’t work appropriately for all members, and it is a form of control in the sense that it is repressive, and works in connection with authoritarian tendencies. 
   Our definition of patriarchy is thus relational. It is a specific practice and ideology for structuring the relations within a family. In psycho-sociological terms, it is a personal subset of a broader political system, that is reinforced from the bottom up through a top down structure. 

   This brings us back to the structure of hierarchy. Among other things, what the general reactionary politics of fascists and conservatives, and liberals, alike, seek to preserve, is the structure of hierarchy which is an inequality of relationships. To the contrary, what the revolutionary politics of leftists seek to create, is not an equality of individuals, but an equality of relationships between individuals. That is, that each member of a unit, be it a citizen or family member, has a proportionate say in decisions which affect them, and, that by the same token, a privileged class or individual doesn’t have a disproportionate degree of decision making power over the conditions which affect others. 
   In the economic question, to answer to the problem of hierarchy and exploitation in the workplace—the inequality of relationships—the leftist advocates for socialism, for democracy in the workplace which the fascist vehemently opposes. 
   To consider the same in fascist patriarchy, we may want to briefly consider in conclusion, the relationship between workplace and home.

The word “economy” comes from the ancient Greek word for “household”

   We have defined socialism, an alternative way of organizing an economy opposed to capitalism, as democracy in the workplace. We have defined fascism in limited economic terms, as an opposition to socialism in seeking to preserve capitalism, which rejects democracy in the workplace. Insofar as it rejects democracy in the workplace, it champions the dictatorial structure of the capitalist relation. The dictatorial structure of the capitalist relation is hierarchical, which is an inequality of relationships. In practice this inequality of relationships robs the working class of their autonomy, forcing them to submit to life conditions which they would otherwise reject, were they given a proportionate amount of power over conditions which affect them. 
   This powerlessness over conditions which affect us, is in essence a powerlessness over our environment. Said in another way, it is our inability to make a living without submitting to the conditions of capitalism. For capitalists and workers alike, the only way to make a living under capitalism is by consenting to its inequality of relationships. 
   This basic inequality and domination inherent to capitalism is present in every single facet of our society, including in the household, although it doesn’t have to be. Where you would find inequality and domination reflected in the household; it is the assertion of this psycho-sociological theory, that you would also see that reflected in the broader society. In theory, if the society was more free and equal, so too would individual households tend to reflect this. In conclusion, we also assert that where you don’t, you are also likely to find fascism and patriarchy. 

Conclusion

   It is important to understand the ways that human relationships are conditioned by sociological factors and psychological predilections. In the same way that individuals are influenced by the groups or communities of which they are a part, so too are individual households influenced by political and economic structures. The political and economic structures which predominate in the world, and the United States in particular, are fairly obvious to anyone who takes a moment to care. It is the opinion of this writer that the way these work in tandem—as a top down and bottom up structure—could be defined in a broad sweep as a fascist patriarchy. While these two terms in particular carry a lot of extreme cultural reaction, I believe I have made my eccentric uses of this terminology in a way that is fairly clear. 
   It will undoubtedly remain controversial that patriarchy is a family dysfunction. What I think is uncontroversial however is that patriarchy serves a broader authoritarian society as a form of oppression and control. 
   We have here suggested that a “dysfunction” could be defined as simply as a condition within a unit which doesn’t work appropriately for all members. 
   When seen from a psycho-sociological perspective, we simply want to suggest that such a “dysfunction” could possibly be understood as reflective of a broader structure of exploitation and inequality. 

How Cybernetic Propaganda Works

Good ol’ Quasi-Fascist Tucker

Let’s do a quick analysis of how this news-image works. I would suggest it is emblematic of how propaganda works on the internet. The process is cybernetic. Maybe in another post I can try to do a more rigorous analysis of what this means to me. However the short version would be to say that it operates on the phenomenon of attitude polarization.

The caption is a bit small, so I’ll write it out in full.
The main headline is, Russian media, Fox News war narratives converge. Under that, the subhead reads: “Russian media has increasingly seized on Fox News’ primetime segments to paint a critical portrait of the United States and its foreign policy.” Finally, the most important bit to me, reads: Criticism of NATO expansion.
So, what is this bit of cybernetic communication doing?

In short, it is making those who do not identify with Fox News, realize that if they are to hold the right position-the position which is the opposite of Fox News-that means they must not be critical of United States foreign policy and especially of NATO expansion.

I’ll belabor the point a little.
The objective of this bit of cybernetic information, is to conflate two positions, for a specific purpose. That purpose is to try to discredit one position by lumping it in with another.
In this case it is to conflate a far-left position with a far-right position.
I propose the intention behind doing this is to create a specific ideological effect, which will tow the ideological line of Neoliberal fascism.

What do I mean by Neoliberal fascism?

I am using the term neoliberal fascism here to refer in general to the ideology of the United States.

The legitimate, far-left, antiwar position to hold, is criticism of NATO expansion.
However, this article conflates this far-left position, with the far-right media outlet Fox News.

If I have to explain to you that the far-left and the far-right are not at all the same thing then I think it is beholden on you to educate yourself a little more about politics.

The far-left is anti-fascist.
The far-right, at least in the United States, is quasi-fascist, and sometimes it is completely Fascist.
This is the truly nefarious truth about a far-right media outlet like Fox News. It is so far to the right as to represent a basically Fascist, or quasi-fascist media institution.
But those in the United States who are under the delusion that Fox News simply represents the dissemination of conservative ideology, are unaware of how deeply quasi-fascist the institution of Fox News really is. And to be more clear how the ideology which it generates and reinforces is one that is Neoliberally fascist.

Liberals in the United States, are Neoliberal Fascists too, but simply on the opposite pole of the spectrum. This is an ideological perspective which contains within it both liberalism, and fascism.
The liberal side of this polarization is conditioned to identify everything to do with Fox News as bad. By the same token, those taken in by Fox News ideology, consider everything that contradicts what Fox News is saying to be bad.

If you take the legitimate far-left, antiwar position that is critical of NATO expansion, and conflate it with the far-right ideology of Fox News, you will get liberals, or Neoliberal fascists, who think Fox News is bad, to think that criticism of NATO expansion is bad. And hence, this destroys the legitimacy of the far-left, antiwar position, by conflating it with its opposite, conflating it with what it is not.
By conflating it with the far-right, it destroys the far-left. It destroys the semantic consistency of the far-left. It destroys the semantic consistency of these polar opposite ideologies by conflating them. And hence the balance of Neoliberal fascism is maintained. That is to say, the balance of Neoliberal fascism excludes an anti-fascist critique, and brilliantly, by conflating anti-fascism with fascism itself.

In short, these two opposites cancel each other out. And you are left with an ideology which excludes anti-fascism. And if you have an ideology that has an absence of anti-fascism, that leaves you with an ideology that has the presence of fascism. For there is no element of the far-left in American ideology. There is only Neoliberal fascism, which has a far-right side to its polarization. A far-right side that the liberal wing of the ideology, which is simply in the center, is made to believe contains elements of the far-left; a self-contradictory statement that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

So, what do you think about NATO expansion? Do you think it is bad to criticize NATO expansion because Fox News, a far-right media outlet, for some reason or another, seems to be aligning itself with the antiwar position?
Why would Fox News be aligning itself with the antiwar position? Does anyone actually believe that the far-right in America is legitimately antiwar?
Please let me know in the comments below.

End the war in Ukraine,
Free the Russian peace activists,
NATO has got to go we sing.

白森

Propaganda as a Language of Power

“Like an infant that has not yet smiled.
I droop and drift, as though I belonged nowhere.
All men have enough and to spare;
I alone seem to have lost everything.
Mine is indeed the mind of a very idiot,
So dull am I.
The world is full of people that shine;
I alone am dark.
They look lively and self assured;
I alone, depressed.
I seem unsettled as the ocean;
Blown adrift, never brought to a stop.
All men can be put to some use;
I alone am intractable and boorish.
But wherein I most am different from men
Is that I prize no sustenance that comes not from
the Mother’s breast.”
-Tao Te Ching, Chapter 20

Propaganda, perhaps not only in inverted totalitarianism, follows a dialectic.
This may be because language itself follows a dialectic, and propaganda is the language of power.
It is a language in the sense that it is a narrative. The narrative is also instilled immediately into the subject’s brain through a process of indoctrination. Thus the absorption of propaganda is not unlike the way a language is acquired. As a culture would be acquired with a language; as a subject of the nation-state, so too does one acquire its language of power.

Note: (1) Inverted totalitarianism is a form of grassroots totalitarianism where power originates from the ground up as in the oedipal family unit. (2) The oedipal family unit is a family grouping with sex repression functioning as a form of power formation, ultimately patriarchal, which formulates power as a privilege of ownership and authority; dependent on the atomization and inequality of family members effectively fractured by the State, and forced to sell their alienated labor, taking the form of an ideology of becoming “self-sufficient,” i.e. taking a spouse and reproducing this cell of authoritarianism being at the root of a so-called oedipal conflict.

Dispatches from Heuristic Halo Press #5

ValidateExploitFish plays in the PollutedInfoFoolLake with SystemicCrapCrammedShrimp and both of them enjoy MuddyShallowMarsh because they get to SwimDiveDeep together JollyFunGood

               M.

Like swimming in poison

the psychic atmosphere

of this eon,

               a dominant ideology

                              is hidden & toxic,

all one can do is remember

               to breathe deeply

And to, like a tree,

               suck up this latent toxicity

                              & produce a cloud

               of equanimity.

               A.

iLLpUNKuAted

Drifted off shore floor earth touched electrocuted by lightning
sky dark yet no rain . . .
Then heavens untamed. .
Pained waves of stormy sea strike as tsunami lives in agony
nonetheless the crazies can still find joy in miseries

               M.

A Haven Made of Memories

by Zo

Back when I was 4 or 5 years old, I used to sleep in my parents’ bedroom. There was something peculiarly cozy about that bedroom which still sends a warm soothing feeling down my spine whenever my mind wanders back into the elusive memory of it.
It was a small, windowless room directly beneath the only staircase of the house. It was so small the sides of the bed touched three of the four walls of the room leaving only a narrow space on one of its lateral sides that acts as an aisle between the bed and the only door of the room. Not only was the room particularly small and dark, it was also dimly lit with only one small electric light source that blankets the entire room with a comforting faint glow; all of these added to the whimsical atmosphere of the room.

Besides the observable features of the room, what also made it special are the memories tethered to it. I remember waking up late to the mumbled voices of the rest of my family chattering at somewhere that sounds far away from where I was snuggling amongst the piles of pillows and heaps of blankets. I also remember waking up early and listening to the distant sound of my mother’s gentle footsteps roaming around the house doing chores before dawn. I remember the crackling noise of the radio left turned on by my father who had already left for a morning walk. I can even remember the slightly rough touch of the cotton bed sheet and the tender fluffiness of the woolen blankets which I liked to mindlessly caress with my small palms and feet. In the mornings when it was raining, I would nestle inside the embrace of the thick, soft blankets as the blurred cacophony of raindrops hitting against the roofs lulled me back into my nocturnal dreams. Some mornings, I would quietly read a book or a cartoon journal that I snuck into the room previous night under the poor white light of the room alone. However, some other mornings, my cousins who lived next to my house would sneak into the room and then we would have pillow fights and wrestle among the messy blankets as we laughed and shouted in silly voices. When I was sick, both of my parents would stay inside the room with me and I would crawl into my mother’s bodily warmth as I was listening to my father telling me stories he had read in the books.

Whenever I think of such memories, I can taste the bittersweetness of them for I know that I will never be able to recreate those memories ever again during the remainder of my life as much as I know that such is the very thing that makes these memories precious and special. Nevertheless, at least, the room with its memories will always be a haven inside which my inner child can snuggle up among its wrinkled bed sheet and piled blankets whenever I want to escape from the overwhelming hustles of life no matter how many years had passed.

ChildJoyRide 

A crow with uneven feathers at its wings
Took flight
Like a kid in delight fly a kite 
With a kitten by his side
Oblivious to all things aside
Obliged not to any adults ‘coz he knows not wrong or right
Fight for his own joy wherever he might 
Till he finds in a park, a slide 
Much of oozed joy, what a ride!

MarsDust, 8:09, 30 June 2021

               M.

In the screened porch

The paradise of inside

for a stray

               cat,

what’s in there but

               clammy solitude?

O the world is yours,

               unowned feline.

Why gaze through the window

               into the emptiness of the

                              human

               isolating; what desires

Are to be believed fulfilled

               in these animal cells?

Your fur is dusty,

clinging cobwebs from repose

in a shadowy nook.

Your tail curls up in

the window reflected.

Did you find your worms

that ate the rodent,

               little bird?

               A.

Insein the panopticon
which shades our brains like a Giant-Eye
Defiant individuals slain behind bars
Yet asked the remaining freedom-lovin’ ones: How far?

How far is control willing to go to punish defiance,
making those who fight to be free or those who wait
and see believe they have it already, lining their
prison cells the idea in the punished brain, “I am free,”
those who fight against it will Punished be.
Pen fished in papers and questioned the heated brain
to the punished and the murdered: is it near?

Distance seems to blur, the pen seems a sword
of power dangling precariously above my head,
my thoughts are they near to the Truth I seek,
or does this Image on the screen
pull me deeper into the Money Magic Machine?
Funny tragic “Kaching,” pulled by slick billionaires
with pandemic states of minds, sick frisked in time
and we still know what we are deep down
so tell our selves: fear not dear. . .

Hope but not the phony Wall Street Obama
doin’ drone strikes on our brothers and sisters kind,
pardoning Chelsea Manning who sits in prison again,
how not gone Insein
Assange deprived of his mind 24/7
and thank you Mister Trump!
While I can feel it, the souls of the murdered
Became an image,
a memory, this has happened before
O to all the young & old proletariat, 
Freedom Fighters committed to nameless graves
or Numbered of an asylum
Still Kaizen is what drives ’em
citizens be citizens in responsible selves
and despite laws flouting itself though times are tough;
then ask our selves: how well can we preserve what
we value while still holding our lives on the line. . . .

O the flower of life worth preserving,
O everyone creating resistance to Tyranny
& beauty in their life-lines of Art & Poetry
O get me out of this Pandemic State!
of mind, of body, of Soul,
Your sickness generates more profit
& control part of
like a global chessboard Monopoly game,
I’m going Stateless, son
we all Live under the holy light of yon up there Sun,
O light which shines the disinfectant of All
Peoples working together in global cooperation 
Not your sick Corporations, son!
Bits of demonic gold rain down from the crimson sky
and will we clink the clank or will there be any fair trade
of pure air for gold just for us to breathe?
Metallic breezy evening carried with it
an eerie helplessness. . .
still hope ablazed. Burning. . .

Seas rise like the Creek, will We?
Breathe. . survive. . . thrive. . . build we hives
fight not caused till all our wits lost,
cross we boundaries of thoughts at times.
Blinded and fold ‘fore we go, into the hell hole
boldly some gave lives, some gave others hope. . .
some survive. . . but mostly hope.

               A & M.

Nmko

Thy smoked finely wrapped tobacco
Chewed in red nuts packed in betel leaves
Breathe in moist air on the bridge across the green creek
fecund with different breed of fishes & birds
Then walk thy across the street deliver looks of fury
on thou betel chewing visages
Yet laymen choose their attention in turning the pages
which seemed to take flight by rages
of flapping wings above still water
Why ask we not ourselves to reason out of blind faith
paying homage to only the creator within us, without
breaking trust to our own selves? Take a deep breath.

               M.

(a)
The illusion of progress is a carrot on a stick
that masks the possibility for immediate justice
in the present.

(b)
Life has no meaning in words alone.
For only words can mean, whereas life can merely be.
And yet being has a meaning singular to itself.
Hence all words are a metaphor.
Language has precisely the same function as
symbols do in a work of literature.

               A.

SnotBoogerStickyMaskBabe yelled at BlurryDirtyWrinkledFaceshieldTom when he was about to go for groceries shopping: Don’t forget to put on your NewMaskWithFaceshield so you won’t die! 

               M.


Got anything to contribute? Contact Marshall at Heuristic Halo, or Alex at ascottbuch@yahoo.com.


The evanescence of property.

Intellectual property establishes a dominion over time in the way property does space. This is because concepts unfold in time in the sense that language is syntactical.

            Modern science corporatizes intellectual property. Establishing an interdependent relation between power and knowledge, this is analogous to the interdependence between political power and wealth.

            Concepts are a reflection of illumination, a consequence of the conditions for existence made up of electromagnetic gravitation in a void; the emergent property of consciousness in a system; or the complex order arising out of chaos, making up a whole composed of parts. This is precisely intelligence, the ordering, the structuring of a vast infinitude of data.

            Ownership of intelligence implies an individualizing or atomization of intelligence which is specifically human insofar as the human being creates hierarchies out of its understanding.

            The problem with this is existence or the world as an environment, gets excluded from the system of understanding that informs our understanding of the world. In other words in order to create a system out of something one must isolate a part from a whole, effectively complexifying that part into its own whole. For instance, in the structure of language that is a system of communication, this system effectively becomes a parallel or mirror reflection of the world it enframes by signifying. Signification itself is a mere reflection of a state of affairs; and explicitly not that state of affairs in-itself.

            And yet, in being a snapshot of a state of affairs, it does manage to be an illumination of conceptual knowledge, knowledge being not intrinsically separated from the power that it mirrors, its absolute existence as energy; existing under the relative conditions that make it perceivable as matter, distinctly reflected through an apparatus which has evolved over time to be sensitive to light in specific ways that create perceptions.

            Trying to “own” something as evanescent as this is the very definition of illusion. For to “own” it implies that it could be grasped once and for all, and preserved in a specific state. Which is not only impossible—for it is impossible to grasp one’s own reflection—but also betrays a deep delusion to think that the reflection has existence in-itself, in the same way that it is a delusion to think that language is precisely reality, or that these two things are necessarily separated by an absolute border.

            That border is purely conceptual. And this is why knowledge cannot be “owned,” for it betrays the fact that this flows equally through everybody.

Reflection of the Moon

The universe is like
a piece of paper,
A bounded infinity
with determinable shapes.

The world is like a constellation,
made out of fixed stars
          that the mind
Connects distinctly at places.

And if a concept is a reflection
then what’s reflected is light
Like sun energy
            shining on the moon;
As matter condenses
            because there is shadow
I can understand, you.



On sex-positivity & reaction

Conservative ideology must be sex-negative and acclimate the perspective to a pessimism for life. For several reasons, for instance the class hierarchies that are grounded in injustice are to be seen as natural, and hence the miserable world they create must also be seen as natural.

            The things in life that are inherently positive, like sex, must be governed through their enframing as negative, for sex-positivity would inherently create a more balanced world insofar as the human reproductive function can be linked to love and not violence, freedom and not slavery, equality and not compulsion, and so on. This sex-positivity would threaten the hierarchical order of things, and hence sex and therefore life itself, the consequence of sex, must be pathologized; constructed through sex-negativity if the order of the world itself, as Western Civilization as such, its supremacy, is to be preserved.

            Sex-negativity as status quo then, also the conservative position, with the upper hand but also the mandate to preserve, can attack progressive forces which would seek to liberate sexuality as degenerate. Without addressing the systemic nature of sex-negativity, conservative forces can criticize left-wing forces for being idealistic, not being able to see the presupposed naturalness of sex-negativity.

            By negating sex, construing it as negative, the bad consequences which come from this, can be framed as natural, when putting the abstract concept of civilization before the anthropological reality of human beings.

            The conservative ideology will put the abstract concept of civilization before the anthropological benefits of sex-economic progress in order to preserve the hierarchical structure of class relations.

            This is why the conservative ideology will sacrifice individual happiness, by acclimating the perspective to pessimism regarding life, because the imperative to conserve general power privilege through class relations overrules particular instances of truth-knowledge or individual self-control, happiness or contentment, for the sake of this systemic goal.

            The contentment of sex-positivity in the broad anthropological sense as sex-economic, threatens the structural violence that grounds civilization through the power of hierarchy and class relations.

            Another way of putting it; by linking the idea of sex-negativity to civilization itself, the sex-negative position becomes the correct, or moral position.

            By linking civilization to hierarchy, it becomes moral. Injustice and inequality by degrees are also moral.

            Sex-positivity becomes immoral, and linked to the idea of degeneracy, or “anarchy,” the dissolution of civilization.

Fragments of a concept of cyberspacetime

If postmodernism is in a way characterized by an eclectic return to the past, then in what comes after postmodernism, the singularity of information which characterizes a control society, has flattened the former distinctions between spacetimes altogether. This is perhaps the capitalist realism effect of cyberspacetime.

            Rule by cyberspace time is algorithmic. It facilitates the gig economy, a way of personality construction and hence memory-making that is image-cinematic, based around profile building; and a generalized understanding of everything that encompasses the self and the world, which looks similar to a kind of generalized mental disorder.

            Despite its real material, technological character, cyberspacetime is primarily a mental phenomenon.

            Whole patterns, phases, fads, memetic stages play out in cyberspacetime, in ways that are cyclical with similarities to actual spacetime, but ultimately in a separate realm though this area is, as I speculate, still largely in the mind.

            In theory cyberspacetime could fuse with the brain in the way that language capacity became a biological inheritance of human beings. This concept seems to show the fluidity between the technological and biological. One begins to wonder if beings evolved a capacity for language, becoming human beings, through generational contact with the world. Cyberspacetime wouldn’t so much as be fused with the human brain, as be a catalyst or stimulus for the evolution of new neurological capacities.

            In conclusion, we may be approaching an analogy between something like the psychedelic experience and representational thinking. That is, a drug can change brain chemistry, in the same way a mere experience can change brain chemistry. And prolonged experience with a certain kind of chemical reaction could create transformations of a so called alchemical nature.

            If duration is the embodiment of spacetime, then cyberspacetime is like a cell of duration. In this way cinema is both its precursor and most apt symbol of representation.

            The Influencer is cyberspacetime embodied.

            One quality of cyberspacetime is that it is at once eternally fleeting and oppressively permanent.

            A reified Now that swells and keeps swelling infinitely to monstrous proportions of seeming omniscience, it occludes the impermanence of mutability in the natural flow of things.

            The algorithmic influence of cyberspacetime is ultimately psychological, that is to say the artificial intelligence of the algorithm learns enough about the individual user to make them feel like they are being influenced. This feeling of influence is real though real insofar as it is psychological. In this way the effect of influence is similar if not analogous to the effect of ideology; of propaganda more broadly which has always taken its manipulative techniques from psychology.

The Slough

Blood flows in one direction,

            towards the heart.

Freedom, if the concept exists, never

Shall leave behind a single soul ever

Trapped inside wage

            labor to do their part.

Not money but freedom is what I need.

Don’t give me none of that

            wage slave’s currency.

It’s a great irony of civilization

that pure reason

            is in fact

a Gateway drug of insanity.

the God of the West,

            realism of capitalists—

Our spirit is formed

like water from hydrogen,

it counters that from

            which it was formed,

                        the flame

And therein lies the Great

Mystery of palingenesia,

            of the interconnectedness

                        of the heavy

                                    & light,

the hot & the cold.

Emptiness is pure potential

at bottom chaos

the interconnectedness of all things,

butterfly effect

ultimately the unknown:

what Rimbaud sought

through his long dérèglement de tous

            les sens

to know je est un autre.

“Truths are illusions

which we have forgotten

            are illusions,”

(Nietzsche). This is

the matter of simulacrum,

            for the utility

            of an illusion

                        is in its

            being seen through.

Stuck to facts,

all truth is

always the truth of power

in this rigged dimension

where might makes right;

Our human rights

are always the product of surrendering

personal sovereignty;

Our freedom of speech

is always the right of the State

to take that away;

Human freedom

under State government

is only that which can

            by brutally denied

                        to you

if you’re standing

            in its way.

            thinking and writing,

Creating an edifice—

the mind is a calculation

            machine,

striving to bring concepts

            & things

            into balance.

& Civilization is already

            a simulacrum,

especially when imposing

            a center on the boundless;

Hierarchizing creates

            classes of Master

            & Slave,

Language and mythologies

            are a semiotic code

            that justifies the Order,

and hence Ideology

            & material subjection

            reign.

The singularity of information

            is the boot

            of the control society,

And sold as liberating,

            a freedom

            that is slavery,

which is its neoliberal character.

Freedom as a War

            of all against all,

Law that codifies in Justice

            that the mighty will rule,

This is the neoliberal regime

            & tyranny of the market

—making us, in the mythologies

            of pseudoscience, believe

Competition & violence are

            intrinsic to the human species.

Art sought pretentiously

            to immortalize

By resisting death,

We’ve petrified life

And the contrivances multiplied.

The Lords even in death

continued to rule with their legacy

like mummified pharaohs,

The canon was haunted

            by the auguring

            of an Ozymandias,

And we all fell into a cult

            of personality from Shakespeare

On, as if under the spell

            of one such

            fragile Ego.

Every poem kills,

like in an exchange

            of value

alienated persons

can’t simply be

but in capitalist agony.

Write, rights

some have more,

much more time

deserving of value

to make their thoughts

on being an artist rhyme.

Being a subject

Every conception

is a form of syzygy.

Deny the poetry

            in philosophy,

the ideology

            in reality,

the magic

            in thinking.

The Lords are artificial gods

whose powers are godlike.

They may not even exist

apart from the human mind,

Whose power is nowhere

when it is everywhere,

nowhere in the people

when in institutions;

Nowhere in communities

when in the State,

nowhere in our bones & sinews

when in our bellies as processed meat,

in our brains as pharmaceuticals,

Surrounding us as in a spider’s web

            of digitized capital.

Power is a frame,

a picture frame,

The capstone of representational

            thinking,

A Master code.

The structure of language

            itself,

Structures of the unconscious

Like dinosaur bones,

            an unending history of brutality,

Arranging in spacetime

the black blood of Empire.

Flowing always to the top

            of the cybernetic head

                        of Talos,

As its structural hand

shatters the skull of the

            indigenous

with a billy club—

Brutalize your Ego,

Kill It dead,

            the Fascists

            inside your head.

            Give us

competition without resentment,

cooperation without hierarchy.

law absent of violence,

rule drained of domination.

            We must

revolt against the given

with “[a]n impossiblist élan”![1]

For to be a poet,

            a good poet,

an actionable one,

             is to be

a magician.

            Desire is the means of production. No emancipatory structure can exist that doesn’t first collectively free desire.

            (ii) It is consumption that primarily defines a late stage of Capitalism. Production and consumption are two sides of the same coin, like Master/Slave morality.

            (iii) Desire must be overcome not through denial, but rather through disinterested affirmation. Denial is what fuels compulsory consumption. Production becomes pathological under Capitalism.

            Be disinterested

                        in how

                        the State

            defines your Self.

            Be disinterested

                        in forms of power

                        that are slavery

which is the privileged

                        domain of currency. 

            Be disinterested, in the sense of free from commodity fetishism; disinterested in the sense of free from fetishism in general. Fetishism is a pathology of object-subjects.

            Need is fundamental. Making need equivalent with money is a historical contingency.

            (b) Desire is a complex need, an emergent one. Under Capitalist Realism, fundamental needs and superfluous desires become conflated.

            (c) The reproduction of the system requires poverty; to perpetuate this injustice, the petty bourgeois who could align with the proletariat, are kept in bad faith illusions that equate a lack of superfluous desires with a lack of freedom and even the threat of impoverishment. In practice it becomes a check on challenges to capitalist realism, by limiting one’s imagination to see life without superfluity as meaningful or gratifying.

            -白森


[1] Randolph Bourne, Twilight of Idols

Oedipus and the State

The Hegelian Left, or Young Zizekians are a Cybernetic Left, a dominant trend in the online left, and why?

            Why counterpose Zizek to Chomsky, acting as if there were something in Chomsky that was missing or wrong, in need of filing in with Zizek. The Hegelian Left seems to react against the trend in thinking in Deleuze and Foucault. Is there anything bugged about this Hegelian left? Is there something in the identitas that makes it primed for Schismogenesis?

            Does the Mark Fisher splinter of Zero Books mirror the outgrowth of an alt-right vis-à-vis Nick Land? Is War with China, or the equilibrium imposed by a Neo-Cold War, pandemic new normal, the end result?

            We must run Sufi-dances of resistance around that Cybernetic Control system, using our Reichian theory and vision of Burrough’s Lemuria, to fight the Time War!

            This is the shape of the conflict we are looking at in this age of influencers.

            (ii) Difference-in-itself is an Infinity of potential Ideology. The differences which make a difference in Gregory Bateson’s formulation of the Bit, or unit of information, is the same as the Idea. Idea simply isn’t separate from the world, but informs it in key ways, especially in the form of control.

            Now has Jim Morrison not anticipated this control society, the Police of Qualities with his concept of The Lords, dramatized symbolically in the poem called “The Movie”?

            The Police of Qualities is the Naming, “the imposition of a categorical hierarchy,” (白森), and Lacanianism, which is key to the Cybernetic Left, would seem to have given the Occident a theoretical foundation for the Cyberneticization of the Self; that at once reifies the Occidental notion of the self in its perpetual absence. This rhetorical move is what I would identify as the bugging.

            When Bateson says, “quiescence and activity have equal informational relevance,” in The Cybernetics of “Self” : A Theory of Alcoholism, what he’s talking about correlates precisely with the concept of 無為. And what this is, is no less than a basis for the method of schismogenetifying.

            What is the connection between Lacanianism and Bateson’s Cybernetics of Self? Both cement an identity through difference, or reify a non-presence through absence, or create a Self that is a non-self by theorizing a stability based on lack. This lack is the desire which is sublimated.

            Theory for Theory’s sake is defined by inaction. The part that would act is sublimated into theorizing. This is where the politics of Anti-Oedipus become essential for us. For as Reich showed us and as James DeMeo demonstrates in Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence in the Deserts of the Old World, there is nothing universal about the Oedipal conflict. Alternative social formations can exist which are not Oedipal or coercive, involving sex-repression, or delusional Cybernetic Self-formulations that reproduce Capitalist social formations; insofar as they require a State, putting the myth of Civilization above the collective desires of humanity to live free and in equality.

iii

Ask me why any tree in nature should

Command your respect more than

            a political state.

Why be moved to appreciate

Order growing out of chaos

As opposed to the violence of State law?

Is anything more naturally manifested

            than democracy

From perpetual occupation by

            standing armies?

War vanishes along with

            the mandate for peace.

Arboreal parliament never divvied

            one clod of soil

Never zoned roots based on

            vested interests

Or compelled a single leaf to change.

Like to claim with a straight face

States serve the people as

            provider, as protector

As shelter from the storm?

            You’re nuts.

Servants need masters as

            masters their servants alike.

So as the earth is to water,

The body is to spirit,

            & each guides it and shapes

It. So too is the individual

            to the community,

A heautonomous part

            of an absolute whole

That functions as a symbol.

            “I” works in this way.

The Police of Qualities Arrests the Whole on the Other Side: Reading THE MOVIE by The Doors

In the Emperor’s mania

            to master uncertainty,

The data flow determined

            to eclipse the bottomless source,

A heat-seeking missile

            like mercury in a thermostat

Closes the gap between

            the human psyche & A.I.

The synergy of the

            diachronic & synchronic

Dialectical matter,

            one apprehends in time

The circular causality

            of a War on the Mind.

            “a Same that always manages

                        to integrate the Other,”

Demogorgonic consciousness,

            Who borrows the Medusa’s eye

            Resigns to the empirical lie.

            The knower petrifies the known:

            The subtle dancer turns to stone.[1]

            cyberneticization programs

A double bind into ψυχή

            making of the butterfly

                        a rorschach blot of

            ink,

                        spun into a simulacrum

Made of text;

            its qualities now policed.

            You become the singularity

Composed of “collective totalities

            [working] together like gears

                        to replicate History

            in the form of a feigned

                        movement of evolution,”

(Tiqqun, The Cybernetic Hypothesis).

This program inverts

            uncertainty into

                        an invisible order

That gains equilibrium

            out of contrived chaos,

A stimulation of reactance

            which binds uncertainty

                        to replicatable cycles,

Enabling a potentially unending

            schema of probabalistic

                        loops.

This is the essence of Time War,

            a construction of roads;

            (re)mixing universe on haunted

                        four-track at dawn.

Apparitions of ghost faces in car windows,

            FYE parking lot in the dead of winter,

Cradled in dex coma

Then we ran out of gas at Huntington Bank.

Months passing in seconds

Lost on the seemingly endless road of time,

It’s essentially this

that Morrison means

            by THE LORDS,

its insinuation

from all his thoughts

            on cinema

& condensed into

            one statement

                        his spoken

word called THE MOVIE.

ii

We begin our analysis by focusing on two key words in the opening line, “[t]he movie will begin in five moments. The mindless voice announced,” the words moments and mindless. Why moments? It’s an odd choice that invokes a tension between the words minutes and moments, the notion of a movie beginning in five minutes a much more standard usage in the English language, the choice of moment therefore serving as a linguistic provocation. Why not minutes? This is in order to provoke this comparison between a minute and a moment, these synonymous terms that both signify a short duration of time. The key difference between them is that the former emphasizes a quantitative aspect of time, whereas the latter emphasizes a qualitative aspect. Five minutes is always five minutes, 300 seconds, etc., but five moments could very well be five important milestones of a life, the moment of “birth your life and death” for example, as the poem continues further on. It’s not precise to measure time quantitatively in regards to “moments,” “five moments,” and yet this is how the “mindless voice” proceeds. Why?

            It brings us to the use of mindless, to its connotation that aligns it more with the category of the quantitative, it implies a mechanical quality. The artificiality of the announcing voice that carries out its automatic function has an element of the routine, the robotic and in a sense transhuman, while there’s also another meaning to mindless, in fact, the more primary meaning of foolish or negligent, mind-numbing. “Mindless” as a quality of either the cause or effect of a mind-numbing process, the result or prerequisite of the automatic activity or indeed “entertainment,” as we are made aware later on that the audience at The Movie will have “seen this entertainment through and through.”

            “[They] appease us with images,” Morrison writes in THE LORDS. “Through art they confuse us and blind us to our enslavement. Art adorns our prison walls, keeps us silent and diverted and indifferent.” This indifference is key. The “entertainment” has become blasé, “your birth your life and death” that’s been seen “through and through” has become blasé. Hence the audience files “languidly into the hall.” Languid means “lacking in vigor or vitality,” “lacking in spirit or interest,” “indifferent.” Everything about the process has an unsettling feeling of having become a routine, it’s as if going to the movies evolved into a ritual, in both senses of the word, as a routine but also as a religious ceremony. “The program,” “this entertainment,” The Movie is a modern ritual, a ceremony of mind-numbing effect that produces indifference in the viewer and saps them of their vitality.

            “[A]s we seated and were darkened” is also interestingly phrased, “[we] were darkened” implies not only that the cinema hall, the room darkened but that the audience themselves “were darkened,” creating an analogous relationship between the individual hall and the individual members of the audience, the hall as macrocosm and the mind of the spectator as microcosm, as if the hall were a representation of the audience’s inner life. Indeed this classically oneiric metaphor recapitulates the age old homology between cinema and dreams. The Movie is a mass delusion or fantasy, a mechanical dream; it’s the quantification of moments and in a way, it’s a policing of the qualities of consciousness. “Did you have a good world when you died? Enough to base a movie on?”

            This line turned out to be eerily prophetic, like another vision of Morrison’s that came true in his anticipation of electronica music of the new millennium, in an interview with The Doors on PBS’s Critique show on April 28, 1969.

            The new generation’s music will be, it’ll have a synthesis of [country and blues] and some third thing. It’ll be entirely, maybe it’ll be, it might rely heavily on electronics, tapes, I can kind of envision maybe one person with a lot of machines, tapes, and electronics set up, singing or speaking and using machines.[2]

            “Did you have a good world when you died? Enough to base a movie on?” A movie based on Morrison’s life was produced sure enough in 1991, featuring this track, “The Movie” by The Doors, right in the opening scene no less. Ironically or according to fate, or the prescience of Morrison’s vision, the film famously gets him embarrassingly wrong, turning him into an awkward caricature. It is in its own ways mind-numbing and negligent, for example in misrepresenting aspects of the way that Morrison died by framing him as obsessed with death. It conjures up a maniacal dream image of a man who seemingly wanted to die, and whose death is hence no mystery but rather a blasé event, that “is not new,” for we’ve seen it “through and through.” And this is especially true in the wake of the many clichés and tropes of a musical biopic on the self-destructive rockstar, of which this film is in some sense a founding example.

            “The Doors” movie does for Jim Morrison what The Movie does for its audience in his spoken word poem, to a degree it’s a policing of qualities in who this man was; what the factual details of his life were; and even in the final analysis, of what his life means. The sum total of a life gets reduced to a few moments of mind-numbing screen time, to “entertainment,” a “program.”

            To be fair the 1991 movie “The Doors”—though a seminal event in shaping the image of Jim Morrison—is still part of a longer tradition that existed before the movie existed; the overemphasizing of the darker aspects of Morrison’s personality, through representational works is a tradition inaugurated with the 1980 publishing of his salacious “biography” No One Here Gets Out Alive. But the effect remains the same. Whether intentional or unintentional, conscious or not the effect results in a policing of qualities. Although arguably any biography, representation or symbol is inevitably going to do this, precisely because any textual or symbolic representation of anything ever is always already doing this. We can never know anything or anyone completely through mere words or images, through a text or symbolic representation of any subject, alone. For “the map is not the territory,” (Alfred Korzybski). It’s never the territory, and yet this is the mania of the Emperor, “[described by Jorge Luis Borges] who wanted to have such an exact map of the empire that he would have to go back over his territory at all its points and bring it up to scale, so much so that the monarch’s subjects spent as much time and energy detailing it and maintaining it that the empire ‘itself’ fell into ruins,” (Jean-Francois Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, 1973).

            I’m getting out of here. Where are you going? To the other side of morning.[3]

            This is where the thrust of the poem shifts, “the best part of the trip” (The Soft Parade, 1969) or more like the moment of freak-out. It’s as if one of the spectators in the audience experiences a bad acid flashback or a rotten sense of déjà vu, there’s something uncanny going on. “Where are you going?”

            The question comes on like a voice in his head, from that same announcing “mindless voice” from earlier, but now in the theater of the individual’s mind. Microcosmic, it speaks directly to him, responding to his actions or his fear, the desire to run, and so it must be hallucinated and not actually experienced in the macrocosmic hall, experienced as a real illusion on the screen. Or perhaps it could be; what exactly is the difference between a real and a fake fantasy? “Where are you going? To the other side of morning.”

            A double meaning is deployed here through the homophones morning and mourning, which taken together allude to the classic analogy between sleep and death. The poem then becomes more hallucinatory or surreal, passing into the next image through the dream logic of non sequitur, “[p]lease don’t chase the clouds, pagodas.” Still there’s cohesive symbolism packed into this densely. The dreamy image of a cloud has archetypal significance as a labile thought form, a symbol of forms that are impermanent, connected as much to a natural function of dreaming or to the imagination as it is to the concept of Mutability, as in Shelley, “[w]e are as clouds that veil the midnight moon; / How restlessly they speed and gleam and quiver, / Streaking the darkness radiantly! yet soon / Night closes round, and they are lost forever.” As an oneiric juxtaposition “clouds” and “pagodas” are as if edited together or associated through dream logic, but it’s clear there’s also already an implicit connection between the two images in their relation to the concept of impermanence. Enlightenment in the Buddhist sense derives much from learning how to stem the sufferings which arise from impermanence, understanding how to avoid clinging to that which can never endure according to the cyclical qualities of existence, as in “birth your life and death.” Not to “chase” after impermanence reflects this bit of wisdom. And yet coming from the omniscient announcing voice, “mindless” but internalized by the spectator, it’s as if the command intends to dissuade him from engaging in this more natural—one might say archaic—form of imagining, free from any technocratic policing of qualities where the “clouds” are like a functioning libido, a desiring freely or classically, that is, neither directed nor contained within the automatic, ritualistic, blasé and prerecorded control scheme of The Movie.

            From this airy to solid image of the structure there is a phallic connotation that furthers the underlying dream logic of the next transition, into “her cunt gripped him like a warm, friendly hand,” carrying with that the implications of sacrilege; and causing further resonance of tensions between the sacred and profane, implicit in the ritualistic, and ceremonial function of The Movie—not to mention in the rendering automatic or blasé of a more profound, human or spiritual quality as we shall soon see. For the simile that Morrison employs here is to render sex as a handshake, making of it a routine, ritual, automatic event, precisely like The Movie—blasé, emptying of moments that are arguably profoundly spiritual their natural vigor, sapping them of their meaning or at least policing their qualities by reducing the ground of all human reproduction to a mere “cunt,” and sex to an automatic activity performed solely for the sake of “entertainment,” or as a “program” of escapism. For it’s precisely when the spectator tries to flee that he’s reeled back into the hallucination by escapism in another form, which is of course the real structure of this particular prison constructed by THE LORDS, it subjects us to escapism that’s no real escape at all, but rather the very shape of our own cybernetic prisons. “[A]rt [used to] confuse us and [which blinds] us to our own enslavement,” The Movie is the escape that is no escape; a poison masquerading as a cure; a delusion or a “counterfeit infinity,” (Theodore Roszak) that was marketed to us wholesale as a mind-expanding entheogen.

            At this point the oneiric passes into the onanistic, and we shall be left pondering the classic literary symbol of the gates of horn and ivory.

            i see

            In one there’s life & function

                        the other artificial scarcity,

            value from death.

                        Rarity—

            “You favor life

            He sides with death

            I straddle the fence

            And my balls hurt,”

                        (Jim Morrison)—

iii

            a subtitle of THE LORDS

                        is NOTES ON VISION.

concentration

            connotes both

                        fixed attention

            & a density

                        of fluid

biological & narrative

            climax,

the mechanistic,

            violent,

                        sensuous

            & horrific

all

condensed into this

            one last

                        equivocal line.


[1] Theodore Roszak, The Making of a Counter Culture (1969)

[2] “A Profile of Jim Morrison and The Doors – On and Off Stage,” PBS’s Critique (1969)

[3] “The Movie,” The Doors, An American Prayer (1978)

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