AUTO: EROTIC

Lust after material wealth, taken one logical step further. A visual story of commodity fetishism by your faithful screenslavers Brian Sonia-Wallace and Keith Warren.

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Love in a Time of Crystal Displays

//by Keith Warren//

I haven’t really seen myself since New Year’s Day, twenty-thirteen.

I’ve been in love with a different mirror since then.

Sure I looked in my bathroom mirror in that time, but only ever with the vainest intentions. Beholden, in a culture of images, to the images of cultures arranged in pixels on the screens.

One held in hand, one in the next room. Another in earshot.

Anxious concern of how will I be perceived?

Situation A… Situation B… Situation C…

Not much concern for the future and more a concern for some other place, but that’s not here.

Some other place ISN’T. HERE.

I guess you might say it’s just the landscape, now, but that’s still so vague because what it is is all the tools we, the animal, are wielding while inhabiting space in our fields of being.

The tech is now an ever-present plasma display screen, mainlined into our psychical heads-up display. Big stuck pixels swiss cheesing mental faculties.

It’s somehow, now, pushing toward total saturation. The external world crashing in on us. A solid white tsunami noise wall of data. All the wall space is getting colonized by the empire of the screen.

I mean that both metaphorically and physically, by which I mean of course mental walls and walls as in brick walls. Walls of city buses painted with HBO shows and sexy new night club nights, because night clubs rent out space between time walls too. Medium-rise buildings rent entire facades to toilet paper campaigns, do Charmin bears shit on cinderblocks? Seemingly yes.

Inside a loud world, clamp hands over ears. Shield the searing brightness, clamp them over eyes and isolate, inward.

Don’t think of true self, persistent self. Think instead of instances of personae, slides or stills, that flash across mind’s eye.

Overestimate how much better are some times, underestimate other times. Would so much rather be doing [other thing] right now(!), also sprach the novelty license plate frame.

Then feel defeat because here and now isn’t there and now. Somewhere else isn’t here.

Imagine the alternative and picture life otherwise. Keep the journey to or from that point outside the frame. Reduce it out of the equation entirely. The hypothetically simultaneous ‘other’ self is far more exciting––the mysterious other path but implied.

A separate simultaneous world disappoints by design. We cannot possibly achieve it. We cannot be both here and there, and now.

But still I only looked at myself vainly, jealous of other instances of myself. And never once, it doesn’t feel like, did I stare down the barrel of my own life, straight into my own eyes. I saw gaunt eyes in an otherwise healthy face. I see that I’ve changed my posture for the stronger; my whole attitude and energy more natural. Fluid. But not advancing.

Sometimes you trick yourself into having someone else look at you so you don’t have to. You can see it all already anyway.

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#Ferguson Problems: How Social Media Mangles Critical Thinking

//by Ryan Taylor//

TL;DR: Twitter destroys the integrity of discourse and reinforces cheap appeals to ideology.

Although what’s going on in Ferguson right now is incredibly problematic––not to mention: despicable (also: alarming, infuriating, insulting)––the social media explosion that preceded (and which continues to comment on) the Michael Brown case is symptomatic of another problem, that is: the dramatic lowering of the bar for what constitutes legitimate political discourse.

Our soundbite news culture, exacerbated by Twitter’s 140-character format, has been disturbingly successful in its ongoing replacement of more traditional modes of dialogue. Modes of dialogue which, not viral in any sense of the word, share as a foundation a rigorous analysis.

Before critically examining any of the evidence in the Mike Brown case, I admit I was ready to condemn the police (and all police) in much the same way the Twittersphere and my own Facebook News Feed™ has done. Based on my own political lean, I consumed and dispersed a narrative that appealed to me despite a lack of substantiated evidence therein.

After taking some time to read up and think about the case, my perception of the incident has completely changed.

What’s problematic is not the quickness with which my opinion was able to change, but the quickness with which it was first formed.twitter_evil

Ideology led me to conclude that the Michael Brown case was just another example of institutionalized racism and fetishized violence coming to a head, á la George Zimmerman. Twitter confirmed my conclusion, muddling and mincing the facts.

While the actions Officer Wilson took are inexcusable, even idiotic, the way he has been represented in this case as a ‘cold blooded killer’ is probably disingenuous. Trigger-happy yokel? Yeah. Racist? Very likely. Cold blooded killer? I don’t know the man that well.

To the point: ideology will always play a role in human judgments––this much is certain––but that doesn’t mean we should not be critical of ideology and the mediums through which it influences us.

Now, this post is incredibly ironic, given that its thesis concerns the impotence of social media platforms (like the one I’m using right now) to be politically productive or rigorously composed. This post is certainly neither. But that doesn’t preclude me from pointing to a growing problem: the disavowal of reasoned argument in favor of the easy-to-consume rhetoric of social media.

LeBron Signs With Cleveland, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!

//By Ryan Taylor//

In the preface to the first volume of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s magnum opus, Anti Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, academically in-vogue philosopher and cultural theorist Michel Foucault describes the work as an introduction to the Non-Fascist-Life.

The co-authors of Anti Oedipus would later reimagine Foucault’s interpretation and expound on what they call the “Nomadic” way of life, an ethos that makes imperative an endless multiplication of possibilities. For Deleuze and Guattari, to be the Nomad is not only to be open to widespread and diverse change, but, even more, to actively pursue a lifetime of constant modification of the self, of the Other, and of the blurred lines between the two.

What the hell does any of that have to do with LeBron James?

Quite a lot, potentially. Without further ado, let’s get retarded in here.  Continue reading