Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This blog is called "More self-absorption, more apocalyptic thinking."

I am frequently labeled as a contrarian, especially by people I've been in classes with. There is a lot of argument about this- contrarianism is linked to assholishness. You know that Onion headline "devil's advocate really just an asshole?" There's truth to that, which is why being labeled a contrarian irks me to the degree it does- I'm not playing devil's advocate, I mean the things I'm say. I do it a lot because I'm frequently presented by people who are being ideologues, and the world is more complicated than that. I feel conflicted about a lot of things, but I'm at the point where I can see things and disagree with them on the basis of there being things I disagree with, rather than just agree on the basis of there being things I agree with and end up in a cult. You know, the point is progress- thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

Note that for one class I was known for saying that Hegel, the philosopher associated with material dialectics, was a douchebag. This was specifically in the context of me disagreeing with the idea that followed, from Marx, that you're either a master or a slave. Come on, that's not true! I do agree with the fact that ideas if presented with their opposite lead to compromise at some point in the future- Which I think is what makes me not an asshole just saying things for the sake of saying them, because I believe in compromise.

What I want to get to is apocalyptic thinking.

But first, a digression- The fifties version of the future is a lot better than the one we have now, but couldn't modern technology be selectively applied to have that happen? So much of that was design.

Anyway, things get weird because there's this feeling of the conflicts ending. The idea of post-modernism is based on there being a lot of threads and people not feeling objective about things, there's this "end of history" phrase used by certain people in association with the end of the cold war. The latter is an especially stupid term. But still- there's a lot of conflicts which just kind of don't matter anymore. A lot of the positive thinking done by hippies with regards to an idea of enlightenment is that all conflicts will cease, because they'll realize they're all part of the same thing- which is basically humanity, but can also be described more complicatedly.

But I was thinking about the conflict between hippies and reality. Oh, that's putting it harshly. How about between the culture at large and the counterculture? I know that using those terms is stupid, because of how many different tangents and subcultures abound in each of them. That conflict has maybe largely been solved by appropriation. Which I don't mean in a bad way. Gary Panter's Rozz-Tox Manifesto works for me better than most manifestos.

So another way to phrase it, the thing I care more about, would be a conflict between spirituality and actual day-to-day living in a practical manner. This is I think where hippies are hoping to make real progress, when the shit goes down. But oh wait hey, the reason this blog exists, is to say that maybe that's already ended, and the good side lost, and that now what persists is this awful bullshit found in The Secret, and megachurches- you can pray for wealth or you can have positive thinking for wealth. A fake spirituality? Arguably, but it makes people feel the same way as the real stuff, seemingly.

So- yeah, apocalyptic thinking. The awfulness of that last bit combined with a lot of other things is what strikes me as symbolic of the end times, like there's this paradigm that exists that's just kind of terrible. Probably because it's one thing where I'm stuck on the thesis and the antithesis and trying to square out my own solution.

I don't know. I guess going back to that tangent is the solution- That we have alternate futures already envisioned instead of the one that we just slowly progress towards. There's the fifties one and also the Fort Thunder one. Oh and going back to victorian times there's also time travel and undersea adventures postulated. But we don't actually have time machines, same as we don't have jet packs. You know, I think it's better to stick with the recent past- a lot of people who decide to opt out of the future go back to a cavemen future, where they hunt and there's not actually agriculture, but there's technology like guns to make hunting easier, which I'm sure was basically imagined by some caveman.

1 comment:

evie said...

i hate the fucking "secret" so much.