RND/ To consider notes towards a general critique of Cryptoart – the corporate art of Capitalism bar none. Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

That’s the thing, we’re all human! I want people to like it and to see it. I’m not a monk living on a mountain.
– Mike ‘In The Same Boat As Yall’ Winkelmann interview with Allan McKay, Episode 285

[..] since when has practicality, possibility, or basic physics gotten in the way of tech bros, wall street predators, and other assorted vampires literally spinning gold out of thin fucking air? [..] Using The Blockchain, itself an environmentally destructive load of arbitrarily lucrative contrivance, an NFT can create a series of transactions that basically ‘prove’ you own invisible nonsense. [..] NFTs are bullshit.
– Jim Sterling, They’re Just Selling Nothing Now (Jimquisition)

[..] simultaneously rebuking both the traditional bourgeois conception of the alienated urban individual and the quasi-fascistic cult of personality that continues to be celebrated wherever art is publicized.
– Travis Jeppensen, Bad Writing (Sternberg Press 2019)

* To consider in general terms what Beeple’s $69M NFT cryptoart purchase means for artists who aren’t Beeple. Short answer: it doesn’t mean a goddam thing. Congratulations, after all these years you’re still an anonymous artist in poverty (Matthew 22:14); all such mega-sales prove is that the system’s twisted logic still dis-functions as intended (ie. for itself.)

* Beeple already appears handsomely well off; his total artwork value currently stands at $138,383,134.39. Sporting a look half way between Bill Gates and Mr. Rogers, with pearly even teeth, consider what the real surprise or story is here – “Rich White Guy Says He Feels Really Great”? Yeah, no doubt you feel great, friendo.

Painting: “Why Is This White Guy Smiling?”

* So some anonymous 1%er with questionable taste cynically purchases some malignantly useless shiny bauble (a ‘beeple’?) from a(/nother) privileged white male – and everyone else is meant to auto-applauds such selfless, hard meritocratic effort like performing seals?

* Every time Blockchain transaction takes place, a small voice inside one’s brain asks, “Was this perfectly legal, some over-the-counter Cyberpunk dark-hat hacker collective hired by an underground syndicate money (/laundering / pump n’ dump) operation? “You never know with crypto™.” That is, a perfectly legal, perfectly morally disgusting transaction taking place between equal-assholes?

What’s interesting is that Beeple, the creator of the artwork, is actually a business partner of Metakovan’s. He owns 2% of all the B20 tokens. I’m sure there is no conflict of interest here.
Amy Castor, independent reporter, focused on cryptocurrencies and financial fraud

* Indeed, truly nothing says “It’s been a long, hard journey as an impoverished artist living on the margins” like filming yourself watching your own private Christie’s auction live from your comfy designer sofa in a huge house in apple-pastel-white Stepford-Wandavision suburbia. (“Doesn’t everyone, Dahlink?”) Christie’s called him a ‘visionary’ – yeah, if the vision is of unforeseen potential for naked Profits.

* Discussing his recent re-multimillionaire status upgrade with numerous mainstream news outlets, Beeple appears disturbingly at ease, as if the excess that are Fame and Fortune were always on the electronic cards – at least, for ‘Everyday’ volks like him. As an already well-off member of an advanced technological society, ‘reacting to becoming even richer’ at the very least indicates a supreme self confidence – but as what, exactly?

* Apparently Winkelmann – whose name conjures up poor salesmen-schmuck Willy Loman – is ‘one of the most celebrated digital artists in the world’, whose art has been used by ‘high-end brands’ in their marketing campaigns. Clients include Louis Vuitton, Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola as well as ‘celebrities and superstars’ like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. Oh dear. Unfortunately such a CV smells like a dead Artistic Goatse – ie. another willingly distended hole for Capitalism. How can such art sell out, if it was already a functioning component in The Machine from the outset?

Cola Company genuinely cares as much about art and integrity as it does about global diabetes rates, or tooth decay. Louis Vuitton allegedly told an already borderline-anorexic model she looked bloated, and told her to just drink water for 24 hours. Just how willingly naive and violently indifferent does one have to act, in order to pimp out one’s arts for such blatant corporate evil? What level of cognitive disconnect do creatives need in order to convince themselves ‘this is fine’ – let’s do business? ‘Collaboration’ indeed.

* At the top of Winkelmann’s site, it used to state “The best I can do.” This could ironically mean “given the circumstances” (Capitalism?) or “Sorry, I’m only able to be this good.” Somewhat faux-humbly, Beeple terms his compulsive, daily mass-art production his Everyday Process ‘beeple crap’. Everyday – as in ‘already fully assimilated into’, or ‘uncritically accepted as natural and inevitable’? (Real beetles, and their crap do wonders for Earth. Unlike Tech Bros.)

* As happy creators of undoubtedly corporate-friendly Content, artists like Beeple are hardly what you’d call marginal. The notion that such a huge, manly output – perhaps more akin to a blind, Warholesque factory line – symbolizes some inner artistic purity of vision, of giving it one’s best shot as a spunky, Indie go-getter seems questionable.  It’s merely the old Protestant Work Ethic at play – the internalization of a society’s ideological boundaries and goals, the quietly hysterical obsession with almighty WORK™. “Keep shoveling hard little Beetle, and one day you’ll enter crypto-heaven.” (Or at least the millionaire’s club by the back entrance.) But again – what if you were always already a fully paid up member?

* Such an awful state of internal affairs certainly appears to work for modern, hip, morally flexible artists and their clients – busy beetles, burrowing everywhere possible. (Or maybe just flies on large, bland piles of crypt0-fasc1st eShit?)

* According the nets, Beeple’s ‘boundary-pushing body of award-winning short films dynamically challenge viewers on social issues’ ranging from ‘the apocalyptic takeover of robots, cyberwarfare, computer transparency and privacy to the subprime crisis’. Wow that sure seems comprehensive, all the modern concerned moral bases covered. What real evidence is there however that anyone’s being remotely challenged by Beeple’s anything? Take his “Manifest Destiny” pop video, which at first glance genuinely seems to be sharply critical – but of what, exactly?

We see the senselessness of conflict in the name of greed, we see ‘false gods’ being worshipped and nod at how philosophically penetrating it all seems – whatever I.T is – a postmodern advert for Something Cool, perhaps? Maybe a luxury virtual boat to float as Crypto-Anthropogenic Climate change comes flooding in.

* The Parallax View is a 1974 American political thriller, produced and directed by Alan J. Pakula. Is Beeple’s “Manifest Destiny” video an updated form of employee indoctrination video shown to neophytes at Parallax Corporation? It appears on screen, seemingly apropos of nothing. Who posted this? What is all this really – and more importantly why? A contextless, free floating exposition of random apolitical factoids over a generic beat, despite also arguably just being vacuous, actually prevents genuine change.

Viewers feel instantly possessed of all the necessary info – in an endlessly entertaining manner, naturally. “Amusing ourselves to death” as sociologist Neil Postman puts it. Immediately after however – much like the guards at the end of The Truman Show movie – they ask “..What else is on?” What’s the moral lesson being put forward or addressed by such ‘art’ – if anything?

* Thing is, nobody’s no more critical of Capitalism than itself; nothing’s consistently more Anti-Capitalism than The System. The ‘best’ of Capitalism is it’s twisted alchemical marriage of (eg.) Buddhism, Feminism, Environmentalism – and the blatant, greed-is-good lizard gospel of the Free Market. In other words, just straight up corporate-rebellion wokewashing 101.

The titles of Beeple’s sold work appears to precisely mirror this pathetic non-duality of of Critique + Capital: “Late Capitalism”, “I Miss People”, “Mark Of The Beast”, “Disney Plus”, “The Passion Of The Elon” – and especially “Crypto Is Bullshit.” Wow that’s Deep, Beep; simultaneously (and, probably-genuinely) criticizing, er.. stuff, while privately-in-public celebrating and championing inevitable, joyful runaway success within that System. (One can only imagine the conflicted moral quandary, the existential push-me-pull-you faced with every *cough no-doubt perfectly documented* mega-sale.)

* Slavoj Zizek has talked about the subtle blackmail to take part in one’s own moral subjugation to dominant market ideology – ‘for just a few cents more on our coffee you buy, we’ll give a dollar to the hardworking ingenious brown peoples of.. wherever’. Zero contradiction; merely a convenient conjunction of dialectic opposites – one white hand washing the other. One is reminded of Banksy, a reactionary artist born of (fully emergent from) the dynamics of The System, who the easily impressed vaguely imagine ‘critiques modern life under Capitalism from within, man’. As if that’s the point – even if it were somehow true. Rather, notice how laughably effortless it is for the well off few – ie. the Great Silent Majority of the elite – to continually have their next fat slice of the Capitalist-Critical Cake while gleefully eating I.T.

* Much like the unshakable mental prefix ‘God’, if ‘Money!’ is the cognitive basis of one’s every question and subsequent answer then sure, Rap-casual about life’s little inequalities while doing precisely zero about it (because how could one really, with one’s expensive design degree from a nice university in a safe, gated neighborhood using state of the art 3D rendering software on modern hardware only handfuls of people can afford, for hyper-corporate clients able to pay handsomely for the ‘artistic’ results?)

* A cursory glance at Beeple’s output: numerous Instagram-friendly posts, often expressing vague socially progressive messages – ‘Boo, Trump sucks, etc‘ that don’t truly alienate anybody’s corporate golfing partner. The rest seems amazingly-unamazingly generic, professionally polished ‘near future retro 80s’ style Sci-Fi comic book output. The images featuring ‘critical’ content often express desperately common ‘public secrets’ nobody sane could possibly disagree with; War = Bad, Wintertime is cold, etc. Real bears-shit-in-the-woods stuff. Merely what’s dumb and popular and disgustingly NOW – basic Capitalistic Memeification.

The unquestioned assumption however is that one has to be seen constantly agreeing with such (actually anti-political) sentiments. Conceptually however, such art feels flat and uninteresting; Your-Dad style ‘edgy’ displays of some long abandoned Vaporwave AESTHETIC, unironically tinged with ugly Trumpism-kitsch. Pedestrian homilies, toothless home truths perfectly safe for postmodern corporate consumption. No need to be native here – everyone involved in Cryptoart at this level is already ‘on the same (ideological) page’.

* One word that keeps popping up about such art-work: ‘genuine’. Especially now with such a large cryptoart sale to cement the artist’s legacy and commitment to That’s Just How [/Great For Me At Least] Things Are. That apparently some little slab of crypto generated and ‘secured’ code can provide one with instant digital authenticity – spray on karmic copyright legitimacy, Matrix-style. Literally (virtually) ‘proof of work’ – proof that The System Works (for itself, and it’s own.) Slow claps all round.

Can digital certificates however provide philosophical truth, existential authenticity – actual meaning? Such art often only appears as genuine as Cola Company’s “It’s the real thing” – a tautological illusion, an endlessly self-justifying system of hyperreal electronic deadness.

* To hear LOLtube comment Stans rave about such awesome ‘rendering’ – literally ‘making the ideology of Capitalism manifest’; it’s as if such artists who Make I.T. Big on the world stage of global capital are to be held up as avatars, righteous paragons of selfless artistic dedication. But dedication to what exactly? That is, other than nakedly careerist self advancement – the aggressive ascent / manifest destiny toward the dead Middle; the trite art of the state.

* The Blockchain actively dis-embodies an Ayn Randian ideology of self-reliant edge lords, joining together to promote their respective self-interest (when market forces drive such cooperation.) Free from government tyranny, they believe Blockchains the key to a new world economic order – the tyranny of a Capitalism unrestrained by ‘token’ nods towards Democracy and worker’s rights. Like a mainstream news network journalist sent in with the invading army to cover their war, the very (dubious) notion that ‘blockchain can help artists’ is itself already fully embedded within a (mythic, self-serving) narrative of rich whiteness, educational privilege, access to technology and the domination of a particular technological society. In other words it’s just another goddam lie.

* Fungable (as Non Fungable Tokens) has as its root the Latin “to perform.” In this sense, what such multi-million crypto sales signify is the public performance of dim, ‘Everyday’ truths – a slick, cryptographically auto-legitimizing ideological handshake between members of an elite, private members-only club. And what kind of goddam sour grapes, Commie party pooping ‘hater’® couldn’t get behind that particular techno-$atan?

* Such awful, hollow, soulless art, and the system which anoints it with digital legitimacy appear all but functionally indistinguishable; the true poverty of art in a post mechanical age. In such light, Beeple’s expensive digital collage of his works – “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” – brings to mind the decree of some ancient emperor, whose reign ‘starts here’ – made unquestionable through ubiquity (much like finance’s grand Network), apparently tabula rasa, violently shorn of sociopolitical history, and rivals.

Sold via the Ethereum platform, such an artwork appears a smeared mishmash of digital nothing, and-or anything; what’s really important, the truer art here seems the mere ‘Real Cost’ paid; the symbolic primacy of the system’s inherent philosophical legitimacy. That one just got paid-in-full like a mother.. and therefore (as a privileged white male) one deserves every virtual penny, baby. (The totalizing worldview of such art can be expressed thus: “I Am, because The Rich Buy.” A game of optical narratives about what delusional insanity it’s possible to believe, and to what degree.)

* To consider Digital Art therefore as merely the next new tradeable token of one’s uncritical renewed membership to global capital’s Big Club. Amen. And yet a beautiful, glaring and un-washable kernel of doubt remains among all this Good White News: “69 mill for a f’ing jpg.. really?” Perhaps what’s being questioned is the very (/lack of) meaning of Value™ itself – a lifeless plastic world reducible to the coldly cynical (true believing) digital transfer of virtual speculative asset classes between inherently psychotic Human Artificial Intelligences.

* Now, when every 2bit internet influencer-personality schmuck and their ugly Martin Shkreli looking cat is mainlining NFT themed ‘beeple mania’ (repeatedly pressing Print Screen or making b.s TickTock gifs to slang to any eCash-grabbing putz able to afford them) there’s no better time to support real genuine change and equality for truly marginalized artists. NFTs are only novel, because they make stark the financial gold rush machinations that facilitate the dirty business of artful business-art; a collective hallucination cult of ‘memetic e-money printer go brrrrr’ monitization (/of one’s inherent advantages as an ‘entrepreneur’, ie. total asshole.)

* The idea that art dealers artificially inflate prices on a regular basis, rests on the false idea that the very idea of ‘price’ isn’t itself already an entirely artificial inflation – in this case, of the pathological self importance of the art world, its asshole inhabitants and their shit-eating smugness.

Much like ‘Time’, art brought and sold in the gallery system always was merely ‘Money’ – either as a strict investment, or a symbol of the holy self-worship of shiny, useless things. Similarly, the notion that the cryptoart is the next ‘bubble’ is itself already a pus filled inflammation in a sick networked body of global capital. Control and manipulation are the very virtual bedrock of such undead mechanical thinking (ie. Economics.) Cryptoart therefore may be seen as inherently vulgar – as vulgar as the rich themselves. Despite the digital synthetic nature of cryptoart, one constantly feels like having a wash around such topics.

* Watch in deadpan horror as the stunt economics ideology of blockchain continues to eat itself. Like the old graffiti pseudonym-tag of Jean-Michel Basquiat, all this terminally boring, Amsterdam fiat-Ponzi-tulip-pyramid crypto-speak seems very ‘SAMO’ – despite the hype (or rather because of it.) The underlying myth of ‘rational actors merely seeking to maximize financial self-interest’ is that such a rationality is itself rational – and not merely and actually just outright batshit. Similarly, the artificial scarcity of the blockchain is merely the mathematical expression of the need to keep everyone else who isn’t ideologically on board (‘wired’) with the latest Capitalist innovations constantly in debt – where they belong.

* Money money everywhere, nor any drop to spend; this isn’t a problem of distribution – the blockchain is a distributed, decentralized network ensuring widespread scarcity for everyone else who can’t afford its self-serving myth of untold-riches-for-all. As though ‘riches’ what everyone even asked for – especially artists concerned with truth. The seeming self-evidence of the ‘naturalness’ of such artist’s success under Capitalism really only shows how well both conceal their origins.

Any sufficiently advanced financial technology is indistinguishable from white, self-congratulatory, crypto-colonialist, techno-romantic bullshit
– Paraphrasing Arthur C. Clarke

[ADVERT] “Salutations. This is an Conceptual NFT, valued at $420M by Resident Internet Theorist Robert What. Entitled ‘Only Kapitalist Kunt$ Buy NFT’s’, it is meant as a pseudo-critique of Blockchain Capitalism. If you buy this as an NFT, you are a truly just one of many Kapitalist Kunt$, and are in actuality about as original and rare as a fly needing to vomit on a pile of designer dogecoinshit. You should probably (ie. immediately) seal yourself inside a spinning electrified black iron ball with spikes on the inside, which is then fired into the heart of the nearest star – and doing the rest of us (non-lizards) a favor.

Not only am I too poor to even set up a cryptocurrency wallet in the first place, I simply couldn’t be fucking bothered to learn about blockchains, NFT’s and all the rest of that terminally fucking boring, white nerd asshole tech-bro bullshit. Feel free to use this shitty gif – based on a sweet Cherry MX Ultra Low Profile Switch – as an NFT. Just make sure to donate at least half of your profits to a nearby deserving artist living in relative poverty. To whatever ultra rich tosser purchases this cosmic digital uselessness, I say ‘On behalf of art, fuck you’.”

“Only Kapitalist Kunt$ Buy NFTs”: $420M

– Resident Internet Theorist Robert What, March 18 2021

Robert roleplays as the Internet’s Resident Theorist, on a long hard journey as an impoverished artist living on the margins. Contact Robert What today for money transfer details.) As a form of followup, he has sent Beeple the following email (still no reply):

> Dear Mr. Winkelmann

> Hello. Congratulations on your recent historical crypoart sale. I’ve recently written a about this, and as a keen follower of the arts kindly offer you the opportunity to respond. This critique was formed in the spirit of good faith, artistic cooperation – and ultimately compassion. I believe in the old socialist adage that we should be critical of our enemies – but even more critical of our friends. (As a group, such a practice keeps us honest.)

> Sincerely, Robert What


Oh Nos the NFT Market Has Collapsed. Gotta find new ways to wash all that hot ca$h.

// how to play big science


RND/ To consider some – at this late stage in the game of AAAA Global Videogaming (/Culture) – ‘plainly odd’ screenshots of Paris, as much a fantasy as place – a grand displacement:

In their nascent incompleteness, indeed in a form still more dreamlike than actual, these technologies are ripe, as it were, for various imaginary schemas, projected futures, dreams, hopes, and fears. Just as the emergence of steam, electrical, telephonic, and other technologies clearly exerted powerful effects on the imaginations of the populaces in which they appeared (which seem to decrease to the degree that these technologies become normalized and socially integrated into the banalities of everyday life), exponential growth has also occurred not simply in technological advances but more significantly in cultural fantasies surrounding the eruption of new and altogether different futures from those we had previously envisaged.

Cyberspace and virtual reality (VR) represent arguably the most intensely concentrated focal points for this phantasmatic explosion, firing the imaginations not only of the technologically literate but of those interested in entertainment, knowledge, and information – in short, of global populations.
– Elizabeth Grosz, Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space (The MIT Press 2001)

3840 x 2160 .jpg

In which the large grey blocks of undeveloped real estate seem to be encroaching on the (virtual) Paris. Or perhaps they’re its default state – the ideological / architectural underpinnings of the whole (hyper-fragmented) city.

One is also reminded of the opening of EVANGELION 3.0+1.0.

// how to play big science


RND// To consider notes toward a response re: the desperately blatant ad hominem hit piece on Slavoj Zizek and his book Pandemic! (Becca Rothfeld, Times Literary Supplement, February 5 2021.)

Note to anyone living outside Dismaland: The T.L.S is a corporation owned cultural institution of supposedly progressive, actually just reactionary, pseudo-liberal, conservative (small and big C) literary commentary and associated commentary. Internally it imagines itself as some corner of a foreign field, forever stinking of warm beer, nuns riding through the mist for morning worship, the sound of leather on willow, and the intensely erotic, terminally dull memoirs of some small-potatoes dean at Oxford, left unread in an antique oak drawer. Basically it’s just incredibly fucking posh, prim and proper and quietly up its own ass – but contains the bare minimum of socially ‘inclusive’ writers and subjects that Guardian reading tossers will imagine it wholesome, sytlistic and non-offensive. The barely-hidden fear and disgust the upper middle classes have for an intelligence like Zizeks is to be all-too expected. Poor dears.

Zocialist-Communizm: Zizek Brand Soviet Era Propaganda Poster (via Robert What)

Ideology is strong exactly because it is no longer experienced as ideology [..] we feel free because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom.”
– Slavoj Žižek, In Defense of Lost Causes

* It’s all in the ridiculous title: “Agent non provocateur: How Žižek was tamed by Covid-19.” Interesting that ‘inciting agents’ were historically used (illegally and immorally) by union busters. What particular political opponents (other than say ‘happy stupid people’) does the writer imagine Zizek is (/now) non-provocative against? One potential irony here of course is that such blatantly skewed, badly researched articles appear as an naked ideological incitement to dismiss Zizek out of hand, thereby catching them inside the paper thin web of right wing polemic they love to (/media) spin.

* Re: the particular image used of Zizek: hair ruffled, possibly deep in philosophical contemplation / having a quick doze / feeling world weary of the same old right wing bullshit?

* “The most offensive thing about Pandemic!, Slavoj Žižek’s hastily composed monograph, is that it is not especially offensive.” This sounds vapid at best. (The rambling, privileged hissing of Karens is offensive.) ‘Hastily composed’ it may well of been – but better to be hasty and meaningful than deliberate and spiteful, right? The writer seems offended by the not-especially-offensive nature of Zizek’s text, possibly indicating deep confusion caused by the experience. (In fact the whole article is at least potentially interesting, in that it expresses precisely so little about Zizek, or his book.)

* “Despite its cover (outfitted in shrieking magenta, with five of the title letters enlarged to spell out ‘panic’) [..]” As though being a wickedly intelligent Commie humanist wasn’t already bad enough – a shrieking magenta cover! Oh, the cosmic horror. Imagine being seen in public with such a publication (let alone discovered reading it.) Sounds like magenta’s under the bed again. The ‘shrieking magentas’: a possible new term for what naked Zizek-haters get.

* “[..] its sensationalist subtitle“, yeah nothing like the classy, low key article title actually used in the T.L.S.

* “Sobriety is the last thing we have come to expect from Žižek.” ‘Drunken philosophy’ sounds like a cool deadly ancient internal Chinese Taoist martial art, though in comparison such articles appear positively pissed to the gills with the drooling love of attacking Zizek.

* “The jacket blurb brags that he is ‘the most dangerous philosopher in the west’“. This material obsession – about the garish cover, its design aesthetics, the jacket blurb – all make it sound like someone who idly picked up a physical copy in the local hipster supermarket of Culture, casually turned it over only to think ‘urgh, what a pulpy little publication’ and dropped it back on the rack with snobby manicured fingertips. OK. But why tell anyone? How does this consumerist attitude help us weight up Zizek’s words and ideas on a hugely important subject? Has he nothing to say on the subject of Covid 19? As for being the ‘most dangerous’, it’s just that – standard marketing blurb, a casual double blind because a) he isn’t, and b) what’s the point of being either the second most dangerous philosopher – or one who (to quote the mighty Chuck D) doesn’t come with the hard jams, treat it like a seminar, teach the bourgeois and rock the boulevard?

* “[..] usually also one of the most entertaining“. Yeah, that is, Zizek as merely a clown, never to be taken seriously. (Indeed, the only thing that must be taken perfectly seriously, is that one never take Zizek seriously.) Ironically such an attitude would be laughable, if it weren’t repeated so often by the ideologically conservative press. They’ve got to get some new material.

* “The author of countless blockbusters“, as though Zizek was merely some Barbara Cartland figurine, another hack cranking philosophical Da Vinci Codes by the pound. Sour grapes much?

* “[..] renowned for his stylized negativity“, shit I’d say that was a plus – at least when compared to hopelessly sarcastic sniping from the strictly-academic trenches.

* “[..] performative dishevelment“, what like the UK’s very own charlatan Dr. Johnson and his blond buffoon’s mop? Really?

* “It can be difficult to tell whether Žižek is a parodist or proponent of the dense Lacanian and Marxist theory he champions in print and in viral videos.” Only for some. The point about ‘viral videos’ feels bizarre – this obvious, elitist disdain for vulgar (shrieking magenta) populism – when such articles could have easily been pinched off by any gross, Harvard uneducated Trump supporter. And yet Zizek’s (barely) popular enough to be considered casually spitting at by holy literary-political rags like the T.L.S? Seems Slavoj can’t get a break in either camp.

* Mention of the excellent, thought provoking “Pervert’s Guide to Cinema” (2006) here is again information content zero. A willful avoidance of saying anything of actual substance (or genuine interest) about Zizek and-or his work. A thin diversionary tactic.

*At his best, Žižek is more of a performance artist than he is a philosopher.” Why is one Bad and the other Good? And what would be so bad about being both? The writer appears both genuinely confused and excited by the prospect of encountering either.

* “Several passages have been ‘shamelessly but gratefully lifted from Wikipedia’, and the footnotes contain not citations but website URLs.” Again, this sneering, thin-lipped hiss at Popular Culture (let alone the lack of House Style) – this time the Internets itself, on which their awful little article was published (sorry – first it was published ‘properly’, on paper by Very Important Rich White People.)

* “Its guiding sentiment, insofar as it has one, is anti-capitalist.” One is suddenly reminded of Walter Sobchak’s “Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” The guiding sentiment of the writer’s article appears to be thoroughly, nakedly Capitalist. And yet so utterly toothless (ie. appearing harmless, when in fact it’s deliberately composed with intent to attack, to undermine with feigned casual dismissal.)

* “That Pandemic! is digressive and derivative is only to be expected. What is unforgivable is that its conclusions are so sensibly presented.” What nonsense. The article as a (deeply fractured, internally divided) whole, seems torn between being forced to at least minimally acknowledge Zizek as a cultural force, and forcing others to swallow the notion that nothing he says is remotely worth anyone’s time at all. Perhaps the virus of Ideology has infected and warped the authors brain more than they realize (which is precisely how ideologies work)?

*Nonetheless, while we are overrun with commenters eager to tell us what we already know [..]” This innocent yet all knowing ‘We’ smacks of Nixon and Ronnie’s great ‘silent majority’, the big innocent Other that must be protected at all costs. As for being overrun with commentators from Conservative publications informing everyone about those desperate Magenta individuals *not* worth knowing about, well..

* “[..] that the economy is broken and that it is imperative for us to distribute resources more equitably in the future” is precisely what Zizek never tells anyone. Broken implies ‘fixable within the ideological horizons of the current system itself’, which is nonsense; Capitalism can’t be patched or O.S updated by the mere ‘equitable distribution of resources’. Anyone remotely familiar with Zizek’s work would realize he’d never suggest something as asinine.

* “When Slavok Žižek’s is the voice of reason, the world must be very sick indeed.” Unlike of course the hyper-rational voice of ideologues, cold calling the faithful though dense philosophical fog toward the sane, clear light of the fucking Times Literary Supplement. Christ.

* “Becca Rothfeld is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Harvard University.” Well that’s all white then.

Had any writer – in an unguarded moment of mewling Ben Shapiroesque cosplay – submitted such a term paper to a University actually worthy of being called a place of learning, chances are they’d get unceremoniously told it wasn’t worth a gob of Covid infected spit on the end of Rush Limbaugh’s rotting, pencil-end eraser dick. Try harder, T.L.S, et al. Pulling that sort of shit helps nobody out of this Covid mess:


// how to play big science

RND/ To consider eight conceptual paintings regarding artistic freedom in the age of neoliberal copyright ideology:

3356 x 2190 .jpg

// how to play big science

RND/ To consider a popular ‘guilt free gaming manifesto’ as formally named in 2020 by The Mighty Jim Sterling:

Jim Sterling, ‘Guilt Free Gaming Manifesto’ 2020


“No think. Game good! Game good so no think about sad when fun good game is a big yes to play. Gameplay? Fun. Graphics? Yes. Politics? No politic. Because having politic make a sad time. And sad is a bad time to be. 10 out of 10 for good new video game, no lower. Lower is bad and game good. Videogames are never politic, so don’t question. Don’t challenge. Just consume! Only buy, thank you. Devs no put politic in game anyway, so don’t look. No question. No doubt. Don’t speak. No talk, only play! No think, only play. No sad because to sad is to bad and to bad is not videogames. Because video games good and happy and no sad. Sad is bad. So don’t be bad, because if you are sad, then you bad. You bad.”
– Jim Sterling, Shut Up, Stop Thinking, And Play Games Guilt Free

Jim clearly identifies the complicit, blindly consumerist, pro-industry ideology of mainstream ‘shut up and take my money’ gaming fanboy culture, and it’s classic Orwellian Newspeak style.

Example Reference Links


// how to play big science