Thursday, March 29, 2007

Reading Raoul...

Hey you, the guy (or girl) languidly dreaming about changing the world simply by riding his bicycle every now and then, how about putting down the remote, getting off your fat, lazy, winter-swollen ass and using your finger (any one, your choice) to turn off the glass teat*, and (understanding that it's asking way too fucking much to suggest that you actually BUY THE BOOK) heading over to nothingness.org (brilliant name, that) to read (that's right, expose your mind to something alien: theta brain waves) Raoul Vaneigem's excellent take on creating a meaningful existence that recognizes the imperative gravity of space-time lived experience, The Revolution of Everday Life".

What the fuck does that mean?...click on the link, FFS!

Oh, got there, did you? And now your back, in a proverbial and utterly urbane flash. What's that? Topic too profound? Decided it wasn't for you? You want—no, need—to just turn off your mind and relax after a tough day at work designing rockets, to not think (oh, the agony!)? To simply be "entertained" by watching some bullshit Tarantino flick—where "creative" acts of violence substitute for plot and represent high art, the target of innumerable theses in an ever increasingly absurd world where the quantifiable reigns supreme over the qualitative—that came to your door in a little red envelope—bingo!—like magic (but not the magic, the one that was all but eradicated by the Age of Enlightenment, with its monomaniacal pursuit of rationalism and objectivity and its intransigent persecution of all things mysterious—in effect, its efforts to nail to the floor once and for all the very feet of God)? Or maybe a tribute to cop culture that makes you feel tough and proud and devoid of the need to do violence yourself, like the popular, pustular television drama "24"?

Fine. Help yourself (feel the irony?). All the world's a stage: take your seat. As the French say, "retour à la normale." Back to the herd.

End of alcohol-induced rant.

"Psychophysiologist Thomas Mulholland found that after just 30 seconds of watching television the brain begins to produce alpha waves, which indicates torpid (almost comatose) [slow] rates of activity. Alpha brain waves are associated with unfocused, overly receptive states of consciousness. A high frequency alpha waves [sic] does not occur normally when the eyes are open. In fact, Mulholland’s research implies that watching television is neurologically analogous to staring at a blank wall."
Wes Moore, Television: Opiate of the Masses

"To be rich nowadays merely means to possess a large number of poor objects."
—Raoul Vaneigem

"Who wants a world in which the guarantee that we shall not die of starvation entails the risk of dying of boredom? "
—Raoul Vaneigem

"Television knows no night. It is perpetual day. TV embodies our fear of the dark, of night, of the other side of things."
—Jean Baudrillard

*Harlan Ellison's term, respectfully pinched for this post.

4 comments:

AteMrYeats said...

Is this Raoul guy French, or something?; because I, like, don't read French. Sorry, dude.

gmr2048 said...

wow man! you're fired up and pissed off! at least, i think you are. you used so many big words up there that i couldn't really understand what you were saying. but you said it well. i think.

;)

butch said...

You sound like my dad he used to say Led Zeppelin was noise. Comparing Tarantino movies to "high art" is like comparing Black Sabbath to Vivaldi.

iconoclasst said...

The Tarantino and high art juxtaposition isn't my comparison. But it happens:

"There is a clear post modern mix of ‘high’ and ‘low’ art apparent in Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino successfully uses both popular culture (‘low’ art) and traditional literary techniques (‘high’ art), which blend extremely well to create a tense and gripping Film Noir. These literary techniques include the use of chapter titles and a non-linear narrative, which can usually be found in novels rather than in films. This use of ‘high’ art techniques can be seen to be linked to Tarantino’s influences, such as Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing..."

Led Zeppelin IS noise. It's all vibrating sound waves, my friend.