Quentin Meillassoux: Another Laughably Bad, Pseudo-Philosopher Charlatan ‘Exposed’

RND/ In which, by even merely mentioning such embarrassingly dire, grifting hacks such as ‘Quentin Meillassoux’ – not that anyone’s even called that in reality – you feel you’ve already given them too much intellectual credit. Is his work really the best that philosophy in France (not ‘French philosophy’) has to offer today?

Reading the philosophy of Quentin Meillassoux gives one an appreciation of what it must be like to ride a donkey in a state of inebriation [..] he is playing a game with his reader, and cannot possibly mean what he says in earnest.
– Cherry picked quote, Christopher Watkin – French Philosophy today: New Figures of the Human in Badiou, Meillassoux, Malabou, Serres and Latour (Edinburgh University Press, 2016)

The publishers Urbanomic can piss off with such lifeless, blatantly disingenuous bullshit. The recent Meillassoux interview they posted smells like something farted by a bunch of snobby, vacuous, nepotistic, self-regarding, self-backslapping, woefully uncritical jerks who, (according to the once and forever future Douglas Adams) were ‘the second against the wall when the revolution came’. More on them in later posts. Someone should call them out on their giddy ‘intellegensia’ hogwash, right? This is not merely some victimless crime, aka ‘just let them get on with it’, but a simple matter of non-philosophical dishonesty.

We’ll keep this as brief as possible to protect brain cells. Judging by this interview, Quentin Meillassoux seems neither a philosopher nor a good writer. He in fact appears to talk a load of old meaningless cobblers, precisely meaning zip for anyone actually living in the real world. He appears to use important sounding words to inflate his fragile academic ego and make grand pronouncements and speculations, utilizing a pathetically entangled, multi-layered system of violently obscurantist bullshit to hide the fact he has next to nothing of genuine worth to say to anyone.

What this satirical critique is not: Some standard reactionary right wing rant against ‘the **scary noise** infiltration of Academia by Postmodern Cultural Marxists’. Fuck conservative anti-intellectuals. Even if such a movement existed, a large portion of modern academia appears formed of the reactionary right wing from the outset, and could do with a little cultural infiltration to even things out (say socialist Midnight Data Ninjas dressed in memetic polycarbon, inserting copies of Jean Baudrillard’s America into the Economics section of the Library. At least it would liven up those humorless assholes.)

Those poor fools who state they can successfully parse Meillassoux’s La Brea Tar Pits-thick academic murk and glean any semblance of common meaning from them are either bare faced liars or morbidly deluded – finding virtue in being perpetually astonished by pretty idiocies. The laundry list of intellectual compound errors and false philosophical assumptions people like Meillassoux make with each sentence appears all too credible, alas.

Just maybe Quentin and his ilk (eg. Reza Negarestani et.al) should be stopped in their undead tracks. “Basta!” They and their ‘strictly academic’ brand of unfashionable non-sense must be quietly ridiculed into non existence and irrelevance – especially since the realm of convenient illusions and intellectual insignificance their genuine (baseless) base of origin anyway. Bad publishers of such violent theoretical impenetrability and idle, wilfully arcane speculation should have their philosophical licenses revoked immediately, be shoved into conceptual stocks and pelted with fresh intellectual tomatoes for wasting people’s time.* They should perhaps be forced to make a deliberately-failed memetic LOLtube video explaining their baseless ‘position’ on.. whatever they drone on about – to which everyone should immediately downvote and mean-comment into the oblivion from whence it arrived. Proudly blowing one’s own cognitive butt trumpet all the way.

*Whose time, exactly?

Just check out these three bizarre passages from Quentin Meillassoux’s “After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency.” (Even that dodgy, self-regarding title should be enough for anyone’s unbewitched common sense to feel wary and alert.) ‘Check out the big brain on Quentin.’

Quentin Meillassoux After Finitude feat. Galactic Mermaid Sisters (Robert What remix)

There just.. isn’t anything there. Such hollow talk is so utterly removed from everyday existence as to constitute a treat to Human Understanding – almost as if that was precisely its aim. To misuse language in the service of low-watt obscurity, to be stuck up one’s own academic ivory tower shaped hole to such a degree that it represents an attack on common intelligence.

This admittedly lousy book is now available for the first time in supermaket paperback. The remarkable debut of a former student of academic toilet poet Alain Badiou. Quentin Meillassoux, is considered by idiots to be one of the most talented and exciting new voices in contemporary ‘French philosophy’. Quentin Meillassoux’s remarkable debut makes a strikingly original (read: ‘eye rollingly unlikely’) contribution to C.F.P ‘contemporary French philosophy’ and (much like a big log hitting the surface of a bowl of toilet water) is set to have a significant impact on the future of Continental philosophy. Written in a style that marries ‘great clarity of expression’ with ‘argumentative rigour’, After Finitude provides bold readings of the history of philosophy and sets out an allegedly ‘devastating critique of the unavowed fideism’ – whatever the hell that is – at the heart of ‘post-Kantian philosophy’. (Not that anyone asked, but still.) Meillassoux introduces a startlingly novel philosophical alternative to the forced choice between academic dogmatism and actual critique. After Finitude proposes a new alliance between anti-philosophy and non science and unconsciously calls for an unequivocal halt to the creeping return of meaning in contemporary pseudo-philosophical discourse. The exceptional level of lucidity and the centrality of argument in Meillassoux’s writing should appeal to Analytic as well as Continental anti-philosophers, while his critiques of burgers in the staff canteen will be of interest to anyone preoccupied by the relation between philosophy, academic theology and the religion of Intellectualism.
– Example back cover publisher’s blurb of ‘After Finitude’

Turgid, tasteless word-stews such as Meillassoux’s feel like the language of aggressive careerists who actively hate everyone else who’s not in their little Scene. How they talk on and on about such infinitesimally minor, niche aspects of Whatever; nobody can possibly challenge them. This is because their words seem meant only for those rarefied few who’ve made the passing grade on talking that wild, loose, speculative White Academic Jive. (Especially since anybody outside their privileged circle would laugh them right out of the room.) Wouldn’t it simply seem pathetic if someone were to ask “What the fuck are you talking about, Quentin?” And he was forced to take it step by step – air out all his filthy philosophical washing in the open for once. To which the inevitable reply would be: “Well why didn’t you simply say that in the first place?” Finally, a good question!

It’s no longer enough to say such minor cognitive emperors are naked, however. They’ve known they’ve been naked for eons. But the extensive, age-old system of Strictly Academic Publishing, Inc. which spews forth such dire non-thought is just stable enough that such bullshit continues to get Published, Shared and Promoted. (That’s ideology at work, innit.)

Surely when the entire world is in such a dire state – largely suffering as it is from humanity’s unironic stupidity – anyone remotely not entirely concerned with their pathetic little Self must realize there are any number of actually vitally-important issues and concepts which need addressing. Immediately. Directly. Clearly. Not hiding behind dubious concepts that nobody (who isn’t a total pretentious tosser) gives too polite spits about. Now is not the goddamn time, dear Quentin, for ‘metaphysical subjectivists who’ve absolutized a set of features of subjectivity’. Quietly throw that into the nearest waste paper basket, and pay attention to what’s really happening for chrissakes. (This, despite the threat of sounding like someone’s ‘University Of Realist Hard-Knocks’ Asshole Dad.)

It’s all too easy to see how labyrinthine nonsense like theirs helps conservatism / fascism. By being aggressively apolitical and never once remotely discussing real world issues concerning the daily, as-lived lives of ordinary people (as opposed to, say, a bunch of well-off academics who’ve deliberately written themselves into a corner of esoteric intellectual impenetrability) such idiots help the Right win. Not they’ve a leg to stand on, but these Thinkers would probably state something like: ‘such issues, while obviously important to someone, are simply under not discussion by us at the moment.’ Yeah no shit you’re not discussing them – probably because you don’t appear to give much of a damn about people who aren’t like you, your academic-style cronies and fellow Intellectual™, boot-licking Jargonites. Imagine the self congratulatory (/virtual) conferences these people attend..

Notice also how the same small circle-jerk of names and faces keeps popping up when discussing such ‘work’. That’s for a good reason. It’s because the idea is to hold and support the greasy dick of the unsmart-about-things-that-don’t-count academic immediately to your right. A regular gentle shake, and everyone’s happy – once more unchallenged by anyone outside their Scene.

Happy writhing around in a pit of wilful ontological confusion, slamming empty buzzwords together in sentences barely retaining syntactic structure make such schmucks (to coin a tin-plated phrase) ‘Academic Deepak Chopras’. Questioning wise-sounding nonsense when we hear it, preventing others from falling into nicely decorated traps of irrational thinking masquerading as “Wowzer, Deepness!” – this is the only, humble task of the true philosopher. Anything more or less seems the fanatical narcissism of brain dead Authority and desiccated false knowledge.

Because something is happening here
But ya’ don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?
– Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man (Highway 61 Revisited, 1965)



The three quotes are as follows:

We can put it another way. Let us call ‘speculative’ every type of thinking that claims to be able to access some form of absolute, and let us call ‘metaphysics’ every type of thinking that claims to be able to access some form of absolute being, or access the absolute through the principle of sufficient reason. If all metaphysics is ‘speculative’ by definition, our problem consists in demonstrating, conversely, that not all speculation is metaphysical, and not every absolute is dogmatic – it is possible to envisage an absolutizing thought that would not be absolutist. The question of ancestrality thereby finds itself fundamentally tied to the critique of what could be called the ‘de-absolutizing implication’, which states that ‘if metaphysics is obsolete, so is the absolute’. Only by refuting such an inference, which claims that the end of dogmatic metaphysics entails the end of every absolute, can we hope to unravel the paradox of the arche-fossil.

Typical Response: ‘[..] the paradox of the arche-fossil’? Fuck right off, mate. Say something ordinary about everyday life for a change, why don’t you?

The correlationist cogito cannot necessarily be identified with a metaphysics of representation, since it can be a function of a conception of the correlation between thought and being other than the one between subject and object (e.g. Heidegger’s co-propriation of man and Being). It is not strictly speaking a solipsistic cogito, but rather a ‘cogitamus’, since it founds science’s objective truth upon an intersubjective consensus among consciousnesses. Yet the correlationist cogito also institutes a certain kind of solipsism, which could be called a ‘species solipsism’, or a ‘solipsism of the community’, since it ratifies the impossibility of thinking any reality that would be anterior or posterior to the community of thinking beings. This community only has dealings with itself, and with the world with which it is contemporaneous.

Typical Response: Of course, my dear Quentin. Anybody who knows anything, is all about that intersubjective consensus..

No doubt, this is yet another bid to overturn Platonism, but it differs fundamentally from those with which we are all familiar. Unlike Nietzsche, it is not a matter of abolishing the immutable realm of ideality on behalf of the sensible becoming of all things, nor even of relinquishing traditional philosophical denunciations of phenomenal time and of the illusions of the senses. Rather, it is a matter of relinquishing the belief, common to Platonism and anti-Platonism, that becoming pertains to phenomena while intelligibility pertains to the immutable, and of denouncing, via intellectual intuition, the ‘stabilist’ illusion of sensible becoming – the illusion that there are invariants or immutable laws of becoming. The speculative releases us from the phenomenal stability of empirical constants by elevating us to the purely intelligible chaos that underlies every aspect of it.

Typical Response: ‘intelligibility pertains to the immutable’? Pffft. Don’t be a wanker, Quentin.

Note: These are not the ‘typical responses’ of some conveniently imaginary, Everyday-Salt-O’-The-Earth ‘Joe Pub Average’ strawman, but simply of people with a functioning sense of (as Chomsky puts it) Cartesian Common Sense. Those who’ve undergone – or more precisely evolved up to the default level of – Intellectual Self Defence. That is, their Bullshit Detector is working as it should.



Founded on Nothing: An Interview with Quentin Meillassoux by Kagan Kahveci and Sercan Calci.

In this (satirically remixed) interview originally conducted for the Turkish journal Owl Shit: Anti-Philosophics, silly billies chat about the things that count (for them at least): Vague Writings, New Materialisms, New Realisms / New Buzzwords.1 Kagan Kahveci and Sercan Calci talk with Quentin Meillassoux about the nature of his ‘speculative materialism’ *lol*, its relation to ‘other figures’ in the history of non / anti-philosophy, and its practical and ethical consequences. Just ask yourself one simple question – “Who even talks like this?”*

*That is, other than ‘showers of munts’?

Calvin And Hobbes on Academia

Kagan Kahveci: One of the fundamental concerns of your laughably bad work is the capacities of thought to delude itself; you ask what exactly thought can do, and you claim that thought is capable of grasping the absolute bullshit thought – what might be called the ‘Urbanomic’. And the form in which you defend this faeces based thesis makes possible an original reactivation of materialism which for some bizarre reason you call ‘speculative materialism’. For speculative materialism, things, objects, processes, and even natural laws are contingent, and it is this contingency that can be known as an absolute lump of entirely made up shit. That ‘contingency and contingency alone is necessary’ is, you claim, an eternal truth, and you demonstrate this truth pseudo-philosophically in your awful stoner pamphlet After Finitude.2

Now, when we look at the map of existing materialisms from this perspective, most ‘classic’ materialisms seem metaphysical and most ‘new’ materialisms seem like naturalisms or modes of what you call ‘subjectalist hyperphysics’. So what are the requirements for a bad or even anti-philosopher to be materialist, and why do you think most materialisms, old or new, fall short of these requirements? *whispers* You fucking hole.

Quentin Meillassoux: Heil ze Urbanomic! I believe that materialism, as the heir of ancient atomism, never really succeeded in reconstituting myself during modernity. Modernity quickly came to be dominated by the correlation between my morning toilet thoughts (in the broad sense, comprising intellection, sensibility, and the life of stinky shit) and being – a correlation against which no materialist philosopher like wot I is ever presented any satisfying argument. What I call Correlation is the alternative between the two possible forms of this supposedly necessary link between ‘being an anti-philosopher’ and ‘the thought in the mind of the reader that i’m just pulling this shit out of my arts’: either it encloses the mind in its opening to the world, so that the in-itself – the absolute – necessarily escapes it (what I call correlationism); or it identifies the thought-being correlation with the absolute itself, so that the absolute finds itself subjectivated in various ways (what I call subjectalism). Shaka brah!

*This* is the philosophical alternative from which materialism has never been able to extract myself. Thus, the materialism of the eighteenth century, in its most interesting guise – that of cartoon figures Maupertuis and Diderot – absolutises the thought-being correlation by identifying itself with hylozooist vitalism. The chemical (or so-called ‘vulgar’) or dialectical materialists (such as Ludwig Büchner or Captain Lenin) do not provide any convincing rebuttal to transcendental or empirio-criticist correlationism. As for naturalism – which has many points in common with vulgar materialism – it seems very weak ass to me, in particular because it generally comes down to what I call a ‘theorism’: it bases itself not on Big Science – Robert What et.al – but on ze Latest theory to come out of a particular science (Darwinism, behaviourism, cognitive bread science, etc.) and draws from it a set of truths which are supposed to definitively refute any form of idealism or sexual religiosity. Until those theories collapse in favour of new theories that are supposedly just as indefinitive.

To all of these forms which I deem unsatisfying (vitalism, scientism, naturalism, bigfoot etc.) I oppose a materialism which attempts to take seriously the arguments of Correlation, offers a precise refutation of them, and provides a basis for the possibility of thinking a non-anthropomorphic matter – a matter from which thought, spirit, sensation, life, are entirely absent from my bathroom cabinet. As you say, I do this by way of a theory of absolute contingency which not only refuses belief in the necessity of any scientific theory in particular, but even the necessity of the laws of synthetic nature. Which – paradoxically – I think allows me to furnish a more rigorous foundation for the possibility of a general mathematised experimental science (independently of the successive theories to which it gives rise to cool Yin-Yang coffee table philosophy booklets.)

Sure, I believe in the perennial nature of the (hypothetico-deductive and experimental) sciences, but not that of scientific theories. Theories are a product of the time of 4:20pm, in so far as they are always open to refutation, although according to an epistemic process which itself remains contingent: to say that any theory can be superseded is not to predict that every theory will in fact be superseded in the future – that would be to believe once more in the existence of a necessary law. One outlawing awful fucking anti-philosophers such as myself.

Sercan Calci: Lol. One of the questions that we constantly return to is whether the founding concepts of your morning toilet thought such as ‘absolute’, ‘contingency’, and the ‘absolute possibility of being otherwise, thereby conveying an emphasis on ontological difference or-not.’ Do you have in mind a principle of Difference that would bracket the historical and political sovereignty of your secret online Identity as a Superhero in order to establish the field of action of contingency, which is one of the many thematic areas of your research in your awesome supermarket paperback After Finitude?

QM: That’s a complex question, baby. As for ontological difference, to say it quite brutally, I’m not really sure that the philosophical thinking of being-qua-being, in the tradition that goes from Aristotle to Heidegger to Micky Mouse, has ever really addressed what I mean by ‘bling’. For me, bling means that something is and not that which something is – in this case, shiny. For example that there is a smart looking ashtray on my table, and not what this ashtray may be. The distinction may seem rather classical – traditional and perhaps banal – but, surprisingly, it isn’t at all. Because what Aristotle understands by ‘bling’, as does My Fascist Uncle Heidegger, is the mode of being of beings. For both of these non thinkers, being is always already diffracted into multiple modes of bling – and this is why being is said in many senses. For Aristotle, the mode of being of ousia, for example, is not the mode of being of relation or quantity, and for Heidegger the mode of being of Sexual Dasein – existence – is not the mode of being of the thing – subsistence. But that there is substance, accident, Dasein, or subsistent things – rather than not at all – is a question they never really confront, despite all impressions to the contrary in Heidegger’s asshole. Their thinking of bling remains fundamentally a thinking of modes of bling. Now, for me, the question of ‘being bling’ is not the question of modes of being: because the question of modes of being is a part of that which the being is – what I call the ‘determinity’ of the bling – its empirical properties or its essence. What this nice ashtray on my table is, is at once its empirical qualities (it’s circular, made of silver-coloured metal, I use it to snort cocaine, etc.), its essence (the object of its definition: an artefact whose function is to collect the ash of my neural output), and its mode of being (for Aristotle ousia, for Heidegger subsistence, perhaps something else for other, actual philosophers). *burrrrrp*

For me, to think being bling, then, is to think that there is that being rather than not, but also that there is being rather than not – whatever mode might be attributed to bling. To address being is to address the ‘there is’, not modes of being, and to ask in virtue of what there is this being, or even to wonder whether the more general question ‘Why is there something called a Modern Philosopher rather than nothing – or just a being that loves truth?’ isn’t a genuine question for me. Here, once again, it seems we are on familiar ground, all-too-familiar in fact – but again, this is not the case, or not entirely. Firstly, let me insist once again on the fact that this question is by no means continuous with that of modes of bling – it is an ontological question, whereas the question of modes of being is still an ontic question. And then, the understanding of this question that we get in Leibniz’s ass – to whom it is generally attributed, at least in the philosophical sphere – is lacking, since Leibniz confines it to the Creation, so that it comes down to asking why Elvis created something rather than nothing. But even if Elvis had created nothing, there would still have been something – namely, Elvis. The ontological question, then, is only really touched upon – or almost – in a priori proofs of the existence of Elvis (because a posteriori proofs suppose the existence of a world whose order proves the prior existence of a powerful and wise Creator). It’s only there that, albeit implicitly, the possibility is envisaged that all reality may be contingent and may collapse into Nothingness. But even then, the question of being is lacking, since metaphysics grasped it in the form of an argument that Kant considers the fallacious argument par excellence, the ontological argument, according to which Elvis, being perfect, must necessarily exist. Or maybe not – I’m high as fuck on my own intellectual farts right now.

In acceding to the absoluteness of contingency, then, I have tried to reactivate this question of the ‘there is’ – while disqualifying the ontological argument which demonstrates the existence of a being by way of what it is (infinitely perfect). In the latter argument, it is still the mode of being that presides over teh ‘there is’: the mode of being of infinite perfection proves the necessary existence of a being characterised as-such. On the contrary, I maintain that every being is a contingent asshole philosopher, and therefore that no being can be posited as necessary as a function of its determinity: it doesn’t matter what is, what it is doesn’t guarantee that it is. Everything that belongs to the determinity of the being is contingent, including the fact that there are beings that have this or that mode of being (existent, subsistent, infinite, etc.). The culmination of the question of being, then, for me, following an argument that I can’t set out in full here, lies in grasping that there must be something and not nothing because it is necessary that there are contingent beings – it is absolutely necessary that there are non-necessary beings and nothing butt. In other words, the contingency that there is this being rather than another allows us anti-philosophers to grasp the necessity of there being contingent beings rather than nothing. This is the fundamental articulation of all ontology, once being qua ‘there is a large dictionary of bullshit inside my head instead of a working brain’ is freed from being qua mode of being bling.

Ontological difference in the My Fascist Uncle Heideggerian sense is therefore not the correct level at which to think the articulation between being and beings. Because the ontological difference between being and beings in Heidegger (before the Turn, but it could be shown that this remains true afterwards too) designates only the difference between the being bling and its mode of being – whereas the fundamental ontological question is the relation between the ‘there is’ and determinity. If I want to think about difference or identity at this fundamental level, then, I should by no means do so in the confused terms that come out of the tradition of which Heidegger is one of the last representatives: a tradition that has effaced the ‘there is nothing in my ass’ in favour of modes of being – that has erased the being of the being (that it is) in favour of the being (what it is, which includes its mode of being as well as its empirical properties, since both are equally contingent). Now, within the framework of this new ontology, will I have to address the question of secret identity and difference? Once I change terrain like this, there is nothing to oblige me to, and I will only do so if the problem of being as posed in my own terms requires me to do so, lover. Since your last question returns to this point, I’ll come back to it there. Boom!

As for the political aspect of things, it lies in the general disqualification, following from the ontology of contingency, of any political position that remains attached to an unfathomable, religious transcendence toward nothing any longer in principle unintelligible – if contingency itself becomes the first principle of rational intelligibility and if any historicity posited as destinal or necessary (whether Hegelian or Heideggerian) must also be wary of the fact that universal contingency implies that it is not up to the philosopher to guide ‘our’ understanding of concrete political situations, but the militant Urbanomic. The philosopher deals only with absolute necessity of farting into the wind – even if it’s the absolute necessity of the contingency of things; he leaves it to other activities of 3am thought to address the various domains of contingent things – art, politics, science, toast, large veiny dick pics, etc. In this sense I am trying to develop a speculative philosophy in which the absolute is no longer ‘intrusive’, where it no longer encroaches, by way of pseudo-knowledge, on the prerogatives of other fields of thought and action. Call my mother I feel ill.

KK: The concepts of speculation and of the absolute are fundamental to your materialism. And we know that in the history of philosophy, these concepts are identified with dead white Hegel. No doubt, your understanding of speculation and the absolute is very different from Hegel’s; you say that Hegel’s idealism remains a metaphysical speculation, whereas your materialism is a non-metaphysical speculation. On the other hand, you express your admiration for Hegel at various points, even portraying him as one of your two masters, along with the Marx Brothers. In my opinion, one aspect of the master and disciple relation between yourself and Hegel can be seen in the manner in which you ‘do’ philosophy. For example, in the laughable After Finitude, you claim that Hegel reveals an absolute turd by reflecting on the truth of Kant’s move to de-absolutise thoughts about big veiny dic pics; in the same manner, you yourself reveal as an absolute asshole by reflecting on the truth of the de-absolutising move in post-Kantian philosophies, for example in Heidegger and Wittgenstein. Many other examples could be given to show how you are as skilled as your gimp master in tracing the movement of thoughts and arguments in the history of philosophy and in drawing conclusions from them. Of course, you would not follow Hegel in describing these movements of thoughts as dialectical, and yet the similarity in the way you do philosophy is striking. On the other hand, there is a great difference in terms of the content of your non-thought, especially when it comes to your views on the absolute fuck fest that is modern philosophy as Urbanomic mis-understands it. We might say that the reason for this is the difference in the way you think about contingency. For you, contingency and contingency alone is necessary, while for Hegel, contingency is a necessity, but only as an irrational moment through which the infinite turd must pass. One of the things that allow you to think contingency in a very different and unprecedented, radical way is Cantor’s mathematics and the new concept of the transfinite. How would you express the difference between yourself and your dead rubber gimp master Hegel in terms of your understandings of infinity and rationality? *mumbles incoherently*

QM: For me, Hegel belongs to the current of ‘subjectalism’, that is to say the absolutisation of the being-thought correlation. Hegel endorses the Kantian impossibility of the subject’s turd exiting from itself so as to know the thing-in-itself, but he does so while also maintaining that this impossibility belongs to teh thing itself. Because for him there is no thing-in-itself that exists independently of the Subject Of Hot Toast, and this knowledge itself is a knowledge that leads consciousness (that moment of the separation of subject and object) to cease to be consciousness, to become, progressively, Spirit – self-knowledge as absolute. No doubt this is one of the most powerful forms of the thinking of the absolute within the conditions of modernity, even if Hegel is far from being the only subjectalist wanker – Berkeley, Diderot, and, in a certain sense, Nietzsche and Deleuze, are also subjectalists. But my relation to Hegel goes beyond a mere theoretical corrective to his work: his thinking of history was important to me when I was young, as was my passion for other great dialecticians such as Marx and David Hasselhoff. In a certain way, it was Hegel who allowed me to think my relation to the epoch inaugurated in the 1980s and the end of the reign of The Hoff, in analogy to his relation to the French Revolution: the enthusiasm of the beginning, the fall into Error, the abandonment of the hopes placed in the emancipatory power of the TV Revolution, the suffering of consciousness confronted by a world that no longer responds to any of my universal expectations. He gave me the determination to find other paths for shilling myself, as strange as they may be, to re-engage with the radical universalism of the young Marx, without giving up any of the exigency of the demands that have driven emancipatory struggles, but with the will to fight just as hard against the effects of violence and oppression that emerge out of the intrinsic logic of these struggles themselves – you dig, baby? And for me, this began with a rigorous refoundation of materialism, off the beaten tracks of dialectics – whether Hegelian or Marxist. *pukes on floor and large grey worms crawl among the partially digested carrots*

SC: That’s fucking disgusting, you bastard. Your emphasis on the concept of the outside or the Great Outdoors has a special place in After Finitude. In contrast to the modern philosophical tradition, where the correlational circle closes off any tunnel to the outdoors, is there any connection between the concepts of the outside in thinkers such as Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze and your conception of the Great Outdoors? As we know, Foucault found his Outside by excavating the historical structures that determine who and what we are as gerbils, starting both from language – the discursive field of the gerbillian – and the field of practical action – the non-discursive field of the rabbit and the deer. Deleuze, on the other hand, tried to pave the way to the Outside by following the schizoid unconscious investments in social desire and nomadic forces, always seeking a breath of fresh air from useless word-spewing cunts like yourself. Ultimately, both thinkers tried to think the Outside while freeing it from an inner-outer dialectic, and to think it in its irreducibility to the here-and-now. Rabbit rabbit rabbit. We see your itinerary of thinking, on the road to the Great Outdoors, as also being a quest for a non-dogmatic Absolute. Despite the fact that your shitty critique of correlationism sometimes takes the aforementioned thinkers to task in some manner, can it be said that After Finitude is in an implicit alliance with the idea of the Great Outside Gerbil that these ‘thinkers’ are seeking?

QM: I won’t talk about Foucault’s asshole here, because his fundamental problematic, it seems to me, is an analysis of knowledge-power, not the constitution of an ontology of gerbil based bling. A Foucauldian ontology, if such a thing were to exist – which in itself is already a problematic thesis – would require a reconstruction that would be entirely hypothetical, in order to ‘compare’ it to my own sexy approach.

As for Deleuze, things are much clearer. In Cinema 1, he writes that ‘[t]he only resemblance between Bergson and Heidegger – and it is a considerable one – lies here between my balls: both base the specificity of time on a conception of the open’.3 Now, these are the two principal versions of the Open that I oppose – and since they are ultimately the only truly powerful versions of this concept, we might say that the ‘Great Outdoors’ is for me a way of naming the project of escaping from the Open – escaping the ‘prison of the Open gerbil asshole’. We have a first correlationist version of the Open: that of My Cousin ‘That Fascist Old Cunt’ Heidegger, for whom being is the correlate of the opening of Dasein in the direction of the being of the phenomenon. Dasein is mortal, the correlation Dasein-being is of the order of a historial arche-fact that has no foundation – all of these are attributes of Correlation in its correlationist form, which by deploying the facticity (in a non-Heideggerian sense) of Correlation, protect it from any metaphysical absolutisation. As for the Bergsonian Open, it is quite obviously subjectal: it is inseparable from the creative power of becoming turdlike, itself thought by way of the duration which is the very weave of my insane mind. It designates the Correlation thought-becoming in a sense that this time is absolutised. Still, as always since the constitution of the ‘steel cock ring’ of Correlation, we find two versions that stand in apparent opposition but which I see as essentially complementary: the Open is either correlationist or subjectally the size of David Hasselhoff’s fat 80s TV cock.

So I would describe materialism in the modern epoch as follows: the materialist is one who feels themselves to be imprisoned in the Open. Who wishes to escape from one or the other of those apparently unbreakable bonds that ties subjectivity to being or to becoming, to reach and to think the blind spot of modernity that is dead matter, and to finally break with the *mild yawn* permanent anthropomorphism that makes us see the real solely through the prism of our own psyche – whatever form it might take. The Great Outdoors is what stands outside of the walls of the ‘invisible prison’ of the Open – a prison so invisible that, on the contrary, it seems like the infinite liberatory expansion of the mind investing a world which is, however, in the end, only ever its world (like a huge turd garden arranged according to its desires, simulating the wilderness, and thus protecting it from the harshest nature, the nature that owes it nothing and has no need of assholes like me to persist).

KK: In After Finitude, you establish the absolute scope of logic, according to which the principle of contradiction is not only the principle of thinkability but also of possibility. So for your materialist ontology, everything that is contradictory is impossible, and everything that is not contradictory is absolutely possible. From this perspective, you demonstrate that a necessary (metaphysical) god is contradictory and is impossible. However, you say that a virtual god is possible and that we can hope for it without contradiction. Hence, establishing theoretically the absolute scope of logic gives you the opportunity to present an immanent form of hope for our practical lives. We know that you also try to establish the absolute scope of mathematics. And I would like to ask, what could be the consequences of establishing the absolute scope of mathematics for our practical lives? When I asked myself this question in the mirror this morning while jerking my fat chicken, I wondered whether you could derive from it political principles regarding the current climate crisis. Because the natural sciences can demonstrate mathematically that the climate crisis is caused by human action. Regardless of whether this is the case or not, what would you say about the practical consequences of establishing the absolute scope of anal mathematics?

QM: First of all, ‘to be clear about this’ – lol – I don’t at all claim that Elvis doesn’t exist because that would be contradictory. My thinking is not founded on the logical principle of noncontradiction, but on the ontological principle of factuality – of the sole necessity of the facticity of every thing. It is in virtue of this principle – which I try to demonstrate cannot be destituted by an antimetaphysics, because it is at the root of every destitution of the metaphysics found in my anus – that I recuse the existence of an eternal and necessary Elvis. However, a contingent good, I think, remains possible. And to this extent I remain faithful to materialism: Epicurus states that even if the ‘goods of the bling crowd’, bearers of superstition, do not exist, atomic gods produced by chance, by the Marx Brothers, do indeed exist, to whom one should not pray, but take as models of wisdom. As I have written: materialism is not an atheism, because it doesn’t consist in denying the goods, but in materialising them. There are many differences between speculative materialism and ancient materialism, but on the question of the divine, I explicitly situate myself in the wake of the decaff vanilla latte I had this morning.

How might the absolutisation of mathematics affect our existence? Well baby, this thesis is not meant to have some influence on our lives in itself – but my pseudo philosophy bases its potential ethics on a certain relation to teh world. Even if, for example, the transcendental forms of time and space, in so far as they yield an account of a priori mathematical or physical knowledge, are not supposed to change our existence, for Kant they make thinkable, within the framework of his gerbil bling system, the deployment of the transcendental into the moral sphere, that of the practical reason of the existence of David Hasselhoff.

In the same way, there are consequences of mathematical absoluteness that are connected, albeit indirectly, with our engagement in existence. For I try to unknot the essential compatibility that exists between the most rigorous experimental sciences and the most irrational religiosity. This alliance is characteristic of our epoch, where David Hasselhoff based religions are not at all called into question by the advances of science, whereas the project of Enlightenment was indeed to fight against superstition (a code-word for the Christian religion) via the idea of scientific gerbil progress. The present situation is made possible by a correlationist interpretation of science according to which its sole object is a ‘phenomenal’ sphere that only has meaning ‘for us’, whereas what exists outside of our relation to the words ‘Quentin Meillassoux sounds right up his own anus’ can retain – in a hypothetical way, and therefore open to faith – its transcendent and potentially unfathomable existence. To absolutise the scope of mathematics, and therefore of the mathematicised natural sciences, makes this alliance impossible. Science becomes once again the ally of a true immanence of thought and existence – it commits us once more to seeking an absolute sense for our lives, but this time an irreligious one. Knowhatimsayin’?

SC: No. In After Finitude, you say that the division into ‘for us’ and ‘in itself’ forms the backbone of the correlational circle. Here, a context opens up that raises once again your relationship with Deleuze, who tries to overcome this division in his theory of sense in Logic of Sense. While developing an ontology of the event that moves towards impersonal singularities and pre-individual processes, Deleuze seems to be in search of a new territory between what is ‘for us’ and what is ‘in itself’. For example, consider his expression ‘fourth person singular’. Again, we find a portrait of Deleuze who mentions ‘animal sex schemas’ in his texts on Kant. Don’t you think Deleuze offered a way out of the correlational circle by discovering this territory that the notion of difference in itself implies, you dirty fucker.

QM: Generally speaking, all the objections that have been made to me concerning the fact that other philosophies than mine are anti-correlationist have neglected the fact that I am just as opposed to subjectalism as I am to correlationism – the two modern and recurrent alternatives of the ‘Correlationist era’. Because usually, as an alternative model to correlationism, they present a subjectalism. So, Deleuze’s thought is not correlationist, but in fact typically rectal. This is demonstrated clearly enough in this fine passage almost at the end of What is Philosophy?:

“Of course, plants and rocks do not possess a nervous system. But, if nerve connections and cerebral integrations presuppose a brain­force as faculty of feeling coexistent with the tissues, it is reasonable to suppose also a faculty of feeling that coexists with embryonic tissues and that appears in the Species known as Modern Philosophers as a collective brain full of shit [..] Chemical affinities and physical causalities themselves refer to primary forces capable of pre­serving their long chains by contracting their elements and by mak­ing them resonate with idiots: no causality is intelligible without this subjective instance. Not every philosophical organism has a brain, and not all life is organic, but everywhere there are forces that constitute microbrains, or an inorganic life of stupid things.”

What is characteristic of the Correlation in which we continue to be imprisoned is that we never quite manage once and for all to separate subjectivity from being. All critiques of the (humanist, metaphysical, transcendent, etc.) Subject have not liberated us from subjectivity (in the form of Reason, instinct, will to power, desire of veiny dick pics, etc.). Speculative materialism consists, on the contrary, in the thesis that the absolute non-subjective can and must be thought – because it is that in which all thought is held. And it is therefore toward in relation to this absolute non-subjective, grasped for what it is – the immense material dead-being that spreads out to the most distant galaxies – that we must orient our existences. Christ I fucking hate my job. I wish I was alive.

KK: Just as there are creatures that can live without oxygen, there are also those that can think without concepts; and these creatures are in the majority of the assholes on Urbanomic. But a thought which, clinging to the rope of concepts, can descend into those times when there was no thought is something peculiar to humans. Here, concepts ultimately serve as a means to glimpse the absolute which is independent of thought. You speak of this absolute as hyperchaotic time and, through your concepts and demonstrations, you guide us toward seeing this hyperchaos, and you call this way of seeing ‘dianoetic gerbil intuition’. I guess you would define dianoetic intuition differently, but for sure this conception of intuition is different from Kant’s sensible intuition. With dianoetic intuition we can imagine the depths of hyperchaotic time as layers which correspond to different types of dumb realities. I wonder whether some kind of ‘aesthetic experience’ accompanies this dianoetic intuition of hyperchaotic time. According to Kant, the mathematical sublime arises from our inability to comprehend enormous dimensions in space as a totality. Now, thanks to dianoetic intuition we can reach a hyperchaotic time, we can imagine enormous depths in it, and the heterogenous layers we can imagine cannot constitute a totality. I can imagine that, in the past, there were different space-times, different laws of nature, and hence different realities; and I can imagine this variety for the future of dickheads like you, too. The fact that we can imagine this depth of hyperchaotic time, even though we do not experience it in person, creates a joyful elevation in me. Of course, that’s just my own experience. But I wonder how you would consider such an aesthetic side of your anal-materialist speculation. Knowwhatimsayin’?

QM: It’s impossible, strictly speaking, you utter bastard, to have a sensible or imaginative intuition of Hyperchaos. For example, I would say that it makes sense to think that the number of possibilities that Hyperchaos could engender exceeds all determinate infinities, and can only be approached via the Cantorian transfinite, which is an unlimited succession of ever larger cardinals, with no end in sight. Although I talk about intellectual intuition, I do so to emphasise that we do indeed in a sense have direct access to the eternal contingency that strikes every entity subject with the power of this Chaos. Because any fact, whether perceived or thought, is given to us not only with its qualities – a winter evening, a snowy pathway lit by a half-moon, a coke addled pseudo philosopher who falls down the stairs and makes himself look a right cunt – but also with the fact, which surrounds it like a perpetual ravine, that it is founded on nothing. You can explain all the elements of such a scene via a complex of causes and natural laws – but you can’t explain those laws and causes via one cause and one ultimate law. At any given moment, everything is given as lacking any reason to exist, even if this nothingness of any ultimate Reason is masked by ‘secondary reasons’, the causes and laws that surround it as relative principles of explanation.. I think I hate you.

Intellectual intuition is therefore the direct grasping of the failure of metaphysical discourse and religious belief to account for the non-sense and the non-necessity of every thing. This is why I say intuition: it is a direct, nondiscursive grasp (noetic, not dianoetic) of the without-reason that surrounds every last shred of reality. In this sense, I see Hyperchaos as a sort of borderless gulf that sometimes ‘falls’ into itself, to the point of making that which produced it collapse, in favour of other realities, perhaps extraordinarily other (life within matter, thought within life). It is an unlimited force of engenderment not via infinite perfection like the metaphysical Elvis, but via the tripping into itself of an unparalleled Void, each dick spasm of which can give rise to an hitherto unexampled world. It is a (chaotic) ex nihilo eruption that is not a (divine) Creation ex nihilo, but its radical opposite – it is the Eternal, not Transcendence. Fuck your mother.

SC: No fuck yours. In a striking passage in After Finitude, you claim that ‘there is nothing beneath or beyond the manifest gratuitousness of the given’, in the context of the absolute absence of reason as well as the lacunary nature of the given. From this point of view, we want to think about a possible dialogue between yourself and Louis Althusser, who gained intellectual momentum from the possibilities of a sexual encounter with the material itself outside of both Origin and Telos. Considering Althusser’s equations about the necessity of contingency, and his remarks on the clinamen in Epicurus and Lucretius, do you find some thematic and problematic convergences with Althusser, and what is the reason for your silence about Althusser in general, you fat shit?

QM: It’s always difficult to give the reasons why one hasn’t spoken about another author. It doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t interest you, you absolute munt, but simply that they do not constitute a necessary object of discussion for the progress of your investigation. I don’t talk about Marx or Debord’s asshole either, who matter to me so much – because I have not yet arrived at the point where it seems necessary to bring them up in my daily word-puke. And maybe I never will. So get fucked, you pimp.

As for Althusser’s theory of the encounter, as you say, it draws upon the heritage of Epicurean and Lucretian atomism and their theory of the clinamen. Now, the clinamen is a form of chance, in the sense that I use this word: it can produce events without cause (the declination of atoms in free fall), but only by submitting to laws that it cannot change (the infinite nature of the void, the unbreakability of atoms, the immutability of their various forms, given once and for all, smooth, hooked, smelling like my unwashed anus, etc.). I call contingency that which can destroy, without reason, the very laws of a universe – and this projects me into a mode of thought that radicalises the materialist thinking of the without-reason. Not only is there no finality orienting material processes (as the atomists wished) but moreover there is no foundation to guarantee the continuation of laws. It is this passage from chance to contingency that makes my materialism profoundly different to the materialism of the late Althusser.

KK: You say contingency, and contingency alone, is necessary. According to you, you total bastard, there is no necessary reason why things are as they are and not otherwise. One of the direct consequences of this is that human existence is also contingent. You have distinguished the concept of contingency from the concept of chance by way of the transfinite. So human being is neither necessary nor aleatory. In the history of your pseudo or anti-philosophy, evaluating human existence as necessary or aleatory has led to different opinions about its value and meaning. So, since speculative materialism reveals that human being is absolutely contingent on being a useless twat like yourself, how does human value and meaning appear from this perspective?

QM: The fundamental point motherfucker is that the human being is a thinking being – a being capable of knowledge. The decisive issue in the consideration of beings is the factual (non-necessary) existence of thought in them – this time in the strict sense, as intellect, power of knowledge. There is no necessary reason why humans as a biological species should be capable of thought, nor why they should be the only example of the thinking being. Other living species, in the future of the evolution of species, or on bodies other than the Earth, may in future, or may already, also think, and on the contrary humans may evolve toward a non-thinking state. A nice big cock. All of that is possible, yet deprived of all necessity. However, the fact is that there is thought, and that is borne by humanity. But what is thought? Thought, in my view, is the capacity to grasp contingency as ultimate: the capacity, then, available to each of us, to not understand what might be the ultimate reason of things and of laws. The good news of my anal speculative materialism is that it turns this apparent incapacity into an astonishing capacity to understand that things and laws ultimately have no reason to be as they are inside my annus horribilis. This is our capacity to question the reason for every reality before discovering the absence of any supreme reason. Quentin Meillassoux does not exist, thank fuck.

Hyperchaos may well produce thinking beings that are more intelligent, more powerful, more effective, than humans: but it will not produce any being capable of thinking beyond the absolute that it itself is. Hence the egalitarian sense of all politics: what makes us equal, beyond our talents and our conditions, is that we are capable of not understanding the ultimate reasons. It is to this common ‘stupor’ that we owe our higher dignity. Like gerbils. And I would add that, since the absolute Urbanomic Gerbil reveals to us that everything is accidental, we must accord the same dignity to those who, among us, have been accidentally dispossessed of this faculty – by some chance accident of birth, or some sickness or injury in the course of their existence. We are all shot through with the same power of the universal which is the thinking of unreason – and this power, even when deactivated in some of us, still endows them with an essential importance to our eyes, because, able as we are, we are potentially disabled. We think the absolute, and by virtue of this, we are all ultimate and fragile – valuable, and worthy of care. Tosser!

SC: Our last question is related to the distinction you made between chaotic and mathematical absolutes. The set of conditions that you present as the principle of unreason attempt to combine the impossibility of a necessary being with the necessity of the contingency of the being. As we can clearly see in After Finitude, the introduction of this principle brings about the problematisation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason and seeks to derive new possibilities from Hyperchaos. However, we see that you do not apply the same criticism and problematisation to the principle of identity. Fucking LOL. Doesn’t the introduction of the principle of unreason require a questioning of the principle of identity? Does all this have something to do with the transition from the chaotic absolute to the mathematical absolute? Are you even listening to me anymore, you prick?

QM: Fucked if I know. If I don’t critique the principle of identity, any more than I do the principle of noncontradiction, it’s not because of the absolutisation of mathematics that I am trying to achieve, but because of the absolutisation of contingency from which I set out – and which is the very meaning of the principle of factuality. If this is also not-this – breaking with the principle of identity – then everything is necessary since it reveals itself to be originally anything whatsoever. A thing that infringes its identity with itself can no longer change or perish, since it already is that which it is not (that which is outside its identity) for all eternity: its not-being bling is identical with its being a bling gerbil. Ontologised contradiction – as demonstrated in the Hegelian dialectic – is the guarantee of a necessary being, incapable of modifying itself because it is always-already its other. The same goes for the principle of gerbil identity: if that which is such-and-such deviates from being such-and-such, then determination – that which delimits every thing as what it is – is broken, and everything is already what it is not, ie. David Hasselhoff’s anus. In truth, metaphysics culminates in the contestation of the principles of identity and noncontradiction – once again, it was Hegel’s anus gerbil who taught me this.

Before being arrested for talking out of my arts I would also remark that the critiques that have been made of the principle of identity are often mistaken. What are we critiquing when we critique this principle philosophically? For example, the identity of a substance beyond the modification of accidents – one could then say that there is no substance, that all is becoming, etc. – or the spiritual identity of a nation, of a people, of a religion, in space and time. But for such critiques to be legitimate and even for them to make any sense at all, they must not concern so much identity as such, but only identity applied to a certain mode of being – substance, nation, spirit, gerbil etc. Now, for an ontology that believes only in becomings or events, identity may very well be concerned with ephemeral accidents and fleeting events. If we deny that the event was what it was, or if – refusing to apply the verb ‘to be’ here – we deny that what has befallen a nation, a people, a community, has really happened to it, we thereby annihilate the force of a revolution, of a shaking-up, of a precariousness, by saying that this happened and also did not happen. Fuck me my I’m tired.

I operate a destitution of the Principle of Sufficient Reason For The Laughble Tossers At Urbanomic, because this principle, the principle of metaphysical reason, is the enemy of authentic, speculative reason: nothing has a necessary reason to be, to be what it is – and it is from this that all true necessity proceeds. But I do not operate a destitution of the principles of logic – even if I critically assess their ontological import – because I do not operate a destitution of reason itself. This distinguishes ‘my work’, on one cum stained hand, from all metaphysics, and on the other, from the Heideggerian destitution of Fascist metaphysics (which attacks not only the Principle of Sufficient Reason, but the principle of identity and that of noncontradiction), in so far as the latter, claiming to exempt itself from reason, was also deeply compatible – and this is a vast question yet to be fully explored – with the radical anti-universalism that was national gerbil socialism. We therefore find ourselves on the razor’s edge: refusing the Principle of Sufficient Reason, but without abandoning reason. And this, in my terms, is what differentiates the speculative from the stupid metaphysical tosser that lives in this empty, decidedly theoretical brain.

– Blah fucking blah. And people actually get Paid In Full for this academic shit?

Baykus: Felsefe Yazilari, Yeni Materyalizmler, Yeni Realizmler, Sayi 3/11 (2021).
Q. Meillassoux, After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency, tr. R. Brassier (London and New York: Continuum, 2008).
G. Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, tr. H. Tomlinson and B. Habberjam (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1997), 219n15.

If, as the Internets puts it, “Nobody asked”, surely there’s a significant chance they’re not asking because such questions are bullshit non-problems that don’t need asking? Perhaps such moot or idle speculation is only for those not actively engaged with the real world or actual human relationships, but only with the bizarre internal ramblings some private (powerful), institutionally funded and ideologically backed delusion. Such nonsensical talk is not only wildly unhelpful, but decidedly antirevolutionary – and its proponents should (at the very least) be treated with the same level of mockery they assume about our intelligence by speaking like they do.

Example Reference Links

Robert What has reached out to Urbanomic (office@urbanomic.com) with the following:

> Dear Urbanomic

> Greetings from Earth. I am a UK based philosopher, writer and artist. I’m writing to humbly offer you the Right To Reply, regarding my recent site article: Quentin Meillassoux: Another Laughably Bad, Pseudo-Philosopher Charlatan ‘Exposed’. This was composed in response to your truly dire (obscurantist and nonsensical) document Founded on Nothing: An Interview with Quentin Meillassoux.

> It is said that, while we should be critical of our enemies, we should be even more critical of our friends. This is to keep them, and ourselves intellectually honest. While we aren’t quite friends yet – and despite the *cough* somewhat contentious and impassioned tone of this satirical article – I hope we can still converse in the Spirit of Philosophy (which, after all is ‘a passion for truth’.) I do feel however there’s a certain dark irony in your site’s About statement that “Philosophy has retreated into academic isolation”, given you published such a poorly conceived work / load of old cobblers.

> Anyhow. I hope this mail finds you all in good health and high spirits. Keep up the good work – but Adults Please, don’t try to fool anyone with such ridiculous bullshit. You will be politely called out for it. (Or at least try harder! ;-)

> (Site note: is postmodernism responsible for the apparent death of irony and critical self reflection?)

> Please leave your response in the Comments section under my article. Thank you.

> Most Sincerely, Robert What

Zack Snyder’s Awful “Army Of The Dead”: An Existential Movie Review

RND/ To consider the silent, angry sound of humanity coming to it’s collective extra senses, far beyond the dead movie screen and its piles of rubbish:

Bob’s Quick Akira-Capsule Movie Review: “Army Of The Dead is peak Zack Snyder RAFA (rotting ass fetus abortion.)  Do not step in it.”
– Robert What

Chrrrist what a dehydrated lump of partially fossilized tiger shit. Talk about a near total lack of effort in entirely the wrong cinematic direction. Of dialing it in while cynically ticking off all the wrong Zombie Bingo boxes. Army Of The Dead has to be a contender for worst movie of 2021 – and probably the worst zombie movie ever made. In many ways, it’s a true watershed moment for movie watchers, as it’s unique and extreme degree of true fucking awfulness makes them question if they should ever waste their time with another movie ever again. You don’t just mean with another Zack Snyder movie, or with another zombie movie. I mean this movie and how its awfulness and stupidity disrespects its audience draws all movies into question.

Like, how many more movies watching moments does one person have in them, before they start to realize they were being fucked over all along? Their precious life-time utterly wasted and their intellects blatantly, willingly insulted. “Shut up and keep watching” just doesn’t make the cut anymore.

It seems that even pointing out the truck-sized holes or weaknesses in Army Of The Dead – thinner than burger diarrhea stained tracing paper – is somehow to fall prey to its malignant, cosmic scale uselessness; to fall into its trap of it wanting you to hate it, because it’s so utterly starved of attention. It’s such utterly lame dogshit, to spend any time whatsoever critiquing it generally, or indeed any elements within it’s hollow shell somehow feels like giving it too much undeserved credit. This movie simply didn’t need to exist.

Army Of The Dead deserves not one goddam spec of desert dust off the end of your army surplus boot; to have deadpan low-key horror-survived watching the fucking thing in the first place is already too much of an insult on the mere existence of your very mortal soul.

You initially wanted so bad to point out each one of it’s dirty, shit-stained laundry list of laughable problems, both specific, ideological, innate, and philosophical – but feel you’ve already given more than enough time and energy to watching the bastard thing. Shit, nobody even has to let it die unloved under a nuclear sun – it was born undead. A thankless, rotting fetus of a movie pulled painfully slowly of of Snyder’s bloated, pop-froth asshole, hopefully soon to be mourned by.. absolutely nobody. Zack Snyder can go quietly fuck his Ayn ‘centipedes up my desiccated duff’ Rand bible for pinching off “Army Of The Dead.” (At the very least, casually nut-kick the morons who crayon-scribbled its screenplay.)

It ‘stars’ a cast of instantly forgettable and unlovable random dipshits, armed with nothing but sleeveless t-shirts and tiny titties, not nearly enough fucking radios, rapidly vanishing common sense, absolutely zero style, no real motivation, which shamelessly ripped off Aliens.. See? the bastard thing is already making you hate it again. You’re getting angry about having your fucking ultra-limited essential life force wasted – when you should already be moving on down the line to literally anything else. (We only ever watch movies to punch the time clock before death – or life?)

Las Vegas was always an ironic dead asshole of a nonplace – as perhaps was the cultural practice of sitting in front of a fucking screen watching inherently dumb images play across its lifeless surface. Images which only appeared to move – which only ever appeared to mean anything actually worthy of the word Meaning. Suckers!

Entertrainment kills the mind and needs to be safely nuked from existential orbit. Lay off all movies and movie watching for a good long while. See how you do with a little fucking cold, clear reality for a change. (It’s been a while, right?) Thankfully however, “Army Of The Dead” has shambled along, a stinking zombie turd on balsawood legs, and reminded us of what we not-so-secretly suspected all along (but just never quite had the fucking courage to admit): that slumping alone in one’s bullshit uncomfortable gaming chair till 3AM every goddamn bleary eyed morning watching utter dogshit unnecessary movies is making you all cold and undead inside. A blind consumerist corpse. Disgust and disappointment made manifest in the dim face of a lonely soul, looking up at a shining rectangle of light that doesn’t love them – but constantly feeds them useless, small potatoes dreams. Except everything is set up exactly how we like it. Pathetic, really – just like Army Of The Dead.

As soon as the ‘ugly-ass titles with the violently inconsistent and-or undecided tone’ and shitty song came up, you should have instantly switched it off and cancelled that Netflix subscription. Don’t bother mentioning this bollocks flick ever again.. *sigh* How the hell did we even make it ‘this far’ – such as (the sad state) it is. Such as we are – in all our naked human movie-making stupidity. Double tap its mildew ridden forehead and go read a fucking book. Punt that empty, rotting skull into an abandoned Vegas vault and go hug someone real. Please. Avoid the mile-high stink of this mooovie / ‘experience’ at all existential costs.

// how to play big science

Review: “Chronosis” comic book by Reza Negarestani is awful

RND/ To consider theory-fiction cosmic horror comic splurge “Chronosis” by laughably poor pseudo-philosopher Reza Negarestani (with Keith Tilford and Robin Mackay) as total bollocks.

My 3 year old daughter loves the drawings!
– Brian on Goodreads rated it: amazing

In whichi Reza Negarestani is an Iranian philosopher-hack and writer, known for ‘pioneering the genre’ of ‘theory-fiction’ with his book Cyclonopedia which was published in 2008. it was listed in Artforum of all places as one of the best books of 2009. Negarestani has been a regular contributor to crappy journal “Collapse” (oh the irony), as well as other theoretically dubious print and web publicationz such as Ctheory. On March 11, 2011, faculty from Brooklyn College and ‘The New School’ organized a symposium to discuss Cyclonopedia titled ‘Leper Creativity’. Sounds a bit shite..

Anyhow, later on in the year, Punctum books published a book with the same title that included essays, articles, artworks, and documents from or related to the symposium. In 2011, he co-edited Collapse’s issue VII with Robin Mackay titled ‘Culinary Materialism’. (I’d rather just have a burger.) In 2012, Negarestani collaborated with Florian Hecker on an artwork titled “Chimerization” that was included in the dOCUMENTA (13) exhibition. – Heard of it? Me neither.

After being associated with the utterly useless anti-philosophical movement / circle jerk of ‘Speculative Realism’ for several years, Negarestani is *mild yawn* currently lecturing and writing about ‘rationalist universalism beginning with the evolution of the modern system of knowledge and advancing toward contemporary philosophies of rationalism, their procedures as well as their demands for special forms of human conduct’. That’s right volks, in other word’s it’s flaccid sounding bollocks pulled right out of the dark arts of Academic.

Chronosis the comic is laughably dreadful. The art is crude and badly drawn – and not in a good way. The ideas of the comic, such as they are, seem to have been formed out of the greasy conceptual material found on the underside of willfully obscure and unread Fashy blogs online. Nobody asked for it and few will care now that it’s here. It both advances and brings little to the philosophical table except the feeling that Reza doesn’t have much of a clue about either Theory (not that it even matters) or how to write for the world of Comics.

Sure, if you’re an ‘edgy’ publisher whose standard output consists of painfully obscurantist ‘theory-fiction’ nonsense, cynically squeezing out a comic book might seem remotely progressive and cool. But it really isn’t; Chronosis comes across as one of those random dimestore horror comics from the 50’s – just without the necessary high camp or the cool schlock. It’s just all so very disappointing. Just look at it:

Basically it’s a set of slightly rubbish drawings done by someone slightly sad with a mild head injury and a stylus, over which have been pasted torn out sections of wee-smeared text from some nonsense ‘theory-fiction’ book that could have been written on the back of damp beermats at 3AM in a Basingstoke pub toilet. It’s just.. a minor load of disappointing nonsense. Fumbling in the dark. Shit man, everyday comics without the cosmic angst and navel gazing regularly piss over Cosmic Edgelord publications like this without even try-harding. Give it a wide berth.

Intellectual Dark Web Fascists support Urbanomic

Update: REZA SAD / FANBOIS MAD

I revel in bad reviews. There is this person who has been faithfully writing world-class bad reviews on anything I do. You think being stalked through your career is not rewarding? Well then read this gem
– Reza Twitter Thread

Dear Reza: Bite me, theory-boy. These may well be *blushes* world class bad reviews – but only because I’m reviewing a world class, low stakes, intellectual-as-pseudo bulesheet artist who gets high in public huffing his own stale intellectual Sharts.

As for ‘being stalked‘ – are you really so incapable of imagining either of us don’t have anything better to do with our fucking time? The fact you ‘revel in bad reviews’ however is telling. Keep those painfully obscurantist, unaccountably cryptic, politically indifferent and uselessly arcane classics coming because they are deadpan comedy gold, baby *sips tiny tarnished silver thimble of bitter oppressed academic-theoretician tears*

Twits

Here’s Reza at alone home in a bath robe talking about something. Sped up slightly for satirical purposes (and to make it last less long):

// how to play big science

Cyberpunk Is Dead: A Critique

RND/ To consider or imagine Cyberpunk as (/un)dead. R.I.P. That Cyberpunk might even be far better that way. A satirical critique, and study of possible near-future potentials / alternatives.

Warning: contains problematic Trans representation.

Banal Cyberpunk Is A Despicable Marxist Movement

Right off the bat: questioning the mere notion that Cyberpunk really amounts to anything less than a naked, celebration of Global Techno-Capitalism – much in the same way that GTA was only ever a pseudo-parody of the excess that is Capitalism (and not simply ‘Capitalist Excess’.) For Cyberpunks, being violent, dangerous and powerful is nothing but Cool. That being a master of Capitalist Tech (literally) rules. The myth that, through (/being) Tech, one is always anything other than a dumb pawn for The System lies at the undead beating (synthetic, strictly hypercorporate) heart of Cyberpunk. Check out this rich-asshole droid for example:

“It is what it is” and no spells or daydreams will change anything
– Adrian Chmielarz, gamedev worth $16M ffs

Cybercrunch Apologists (via LOLtube)

I can only confirm what Adrian Chmielarz wrote. Even if it comes to the situations he describes, my experience shows that there is relative top-down solidarity in game dev, regardless of the position in the company. I must disappoint you. Game dev managers are not proverbial capitalists – exploiters who count their cash while smoking a cigar and occasionally take a look at the oppressed developers (however picturesque this vision may sound).
– Lukasz Szczepankowski, a tech specialist at CD Projekt RED, replying to Chmielarz

On Cybercrunch Apologists (via Twitter)

Capitalist ideology in general, Zizek maintains, consists precisely in the overvaluing of belief – in the sense of inner subjective attitude – at the expense of the beliefs we exhibit and externalize in our behaviour. So long as we believe (in our hearts) that Capitalism is bad, we are free to continue to participate in capitalist exchange. According to Zizek, Capitalism in general relies on this structure of disavowal. We believe that money is only a meaningless token of no intrinsic worth, yet we act as if it has a holy value. Moreover, this behaviour precisely depends upon the prior disavowal – we are able to fetishize money in our actions only because we have already taken an ironic distance towards money in our heads.
― Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

Cyberpunk 2077: No Softies Allowed

‘Authentic Cyberpunk’ Examples

In which the deadpan yoke is that it seems nothing remotely like any kind of authentic Cyberpunk ever existed – just its ghostly simulacrum, floating strangely and somewhat uselessly inside a hyper specific subset of the global Sci Fi literature ghetto. Pathetically bad copies without originals (not that anyone would even care or notice.) Some scenes:

More Dead Cyberpunk

Other (slightly washed out, actually pretty cool) snapshots of dead Cyberpunk, via Flickr:

Deposit For The Courier

To consider the Post-Cyberpunk cheddar in “Deposit For The Courier”:

In which the animation by Edward Mavskegg represents the theoretical bleeding edge of Post Cyberpunk. In terms of a new potential aesthetic for video designers, some cool features of D.F.T.C include:

  • Dat hot steaming ‘#Welgestyle’ (old gamedev memes, don’t worry)
  • Haute couture realities, aka ‘Kardashiananity’
  • Minimal narrative investment, aka ‘syntactically correct but semantically meaningless’
  • High Resolution (with odd textural fetish)
  • Uncanny valley style elective surgery, aka ‘Bogdanovization’
  • Limited skeletal expression

It seems remarkably similar in its bizarre aesthetic mis-construction as “A New Reckoning” could arguably have been thrown together by the same cool state of ‘#Welgestyle’ videogame development.

The synopsis alone is worth the price of strange admission for its tag line and grammar, syntax and punctuation.

Described as a film about how money would look in the future, what future payment methods would be in practice? This film also uniquely addresses issue of women’s shopping passion in conditions of chase – the animation story line set with in year 2050 revolves around an intriguing chase from one city to another, with the lead character a young woman cyclist employed as courier inadvertently found strange navigation device in desert. Upon closer inspection it was discovered device contained suitcase with money. The plot thickens however unknowingly as the courier realizes two bandits following want money too. Realizing the suitcase is now on the move bandits chases the money cyclist through a small city so they decide to explore this city to find cyclist. Succumbing to a passion for shopping and having found all this money the cyclist became the gang’s new target. According to the story characters live in the world of the future, together with futuristic robots, bots and devices around different places – shops and hotels.

Nice. According to its creators, Deposit For The Courier already has what some Researchers call ‘that special shine’, meaning it will be without background music with accents on mute. Such details make for a very catching film says director Edward, adding the film will be posted online after completion.

This short animated movie is targeted to audiences who like to watch animated short films animated movies short CGI films CGI computer generated art viewers who like Sci Fi genre detective fiction experimental art or art film / independent film.

– Thanks, Edward!

Regarding Cyberpunk 2077

LA has changed lot during my time
The air got dirty and the sex got clean
– Angelo Pappas, Point Break (1991)

In which even the ghosts of the 80s give neon side eye shade – squeaky clean with AAA polish and dead chrome shine; in which design by Your Dad’s oh so edgy Virtual Golfing Committee results in deep ‘Near Future Retro 80s’ designer copy pasta ultra violence. Screenshots from the WIP gameplay demo. Neon is highly overrated:

Hmm. It all seems about as edgy as a pink mohawk on some crossfit hipster sporting expensive gold sweatshop trainers, that any *cough* ‘real authentic cyberpunk’ could casually Dennis Leary neck-punch right over a coffee store table, as easily as breathing megacity exhaust fumes.

Public Displays of Alt-Right Cyberpsychosis

Oh, to watch with dumb horror as young dumb megacorporate fanbois who grew up entirely without Cyberpunk, only hearing about it yesterday for Christ’s sake (through, eg. teh flocking LOLmemes) lap that hot sheet right up like some damn industry installed F2P skull implant – GG über alles, OK right fine, open your cracks wide in public displays of wilful un-criticality – but what’s so tasty about that, if it’s all based on tropey ideas repeated till zombie undeath – just with incrementally nicer (read: hyper-generic) GFX upgrades and better framerates, aka shrinkwrapped ‘AAAA’ standard-substandards?

In which it has to be ‘good’, simply because it merely ‘exists’ aka Capitalist Realism 101 – hey, how very more actually Cyberpunk! Both cyborg Billy Fanward / ‘retro wave’ music show more interesting ideas than such generic, anti-weird mainstreaming (at least get Mitch Murder for the soundtrack!) Suddenly, nearby public information klaxons blare – “Nothing too much to see here citizens, move on – oh, it seems you’ve already forgotten.”

They will never forget you (’till somebody new comes along)
– The Eagles, New Augmented Kid In Town

Neon Code

Neon Code

Hot neon megacity nights, palm tree lifestyle, private beach front detective for hire – a cheap taste of that badly retrofitted, 80s style post noir sleaze. Where are they now..

Good ol’ Willy Gibson on Cyberpunk GTA-2077

First and foremost, to consider that the (now near-future classic) anagram of “William Gibson, Neuromancer”:

Common As Unreliable Wiring

Cyberpunk 2020 rulebook cover (256cols)

– In which Bill doesn’t seem to dig Cyberpunk 2077’s art direction or design ideology – which is rich, considering Bill seems somehow more directly responsible (historically at least) for it’s whole little hyper-nerdboy sub scene.

The trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 strikes me as GTA skinned-over with a generic 80s retro-future, but hey, that’s just me.
– William Gibson via Twitter

*Sigh* If only modern synthetic Cyberpunk would knowingly turn their own historical mode of garish cheesy camp up to eleven in order to feel more authentically Synthetic and strange.. After all:

[..] how many formulaic tales can one wade through in which a self-destructive but sensitive youth protagonist with an (implant / prosthesis / telechtronic talent) that makes the evil (mega-corporation / police state / criminal underworlds) pursue him through (wasted urban landscapes / elite luxury enclaves / eccentric space stations) full of grotesque (haircuts / clothes / self-mutilation / rock music / sexual hobbies / designer drugs / telechtronic gadgets / nasty new weapons / exteriorized hallucinations) representing the (mores / fashions) of modern civilization in terminal decline, ultimately hooks up with rebellious and tough-talking (youth / artificial intelligence / rock cults) who offer the alternative, not of (community / socialism / traditional values / transcendental vision), but of supreme, life-affirming hipness, going with the flow which now flows in the machine, against the spectre of a world-subverting (artificial intelligence / multinational corporate web / evil genius)?
– (From) Storming the Reality Studio: A Casebook of Cyberpunk and Postmodern Science Fiction/ edited by Larry McCaffery/ Duke University Press

Why Do We Read Cyberpunk (lol)

Cyberpunk 2077 Is Dead: Pre-Order Hyped Up Whiteboi Edition

Funny how adherence to Cyberpunk – a genre based around future ideas of rebellion and non conformity – so often itself conforms rabidly to cliché
– Yahtzee on Cyberpunk

To cybernetically control one’s breathing and heart rate, and consider the oh-so default (normalized) deadpan Hyper-Capitalist Cyberpunk irony of 2077’s raw videogame pre-order hype (already for pre-purchase on Steam, 10 months before release):

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Cyberpunk 2077 Is Dead (Pre-Order Hyped Up Whiteboi Edition)

Featuring the two dimensional action figure V – as in Vanity? – the main pasty ideological front n’ centre face of the franchise, obviously mirroring CD Projekt Red’s hardcore marketing demographic: eternally adolescent whyteboyz, howling for pathological, dickgun-toting cybernetic retro 80’s jerkoff power phantasy in a laughably Dark™ [say it like Batman], neon-tinged urban setting. Why.. that’s like near-future-retro William Gibson on bad Chinese underground cage fighting steroids, man – that kinda S.G.S Super Generic Sheet sure gets yer’ smart-plastic nads pumped for intense, hot nanomachine style action. Maximum “New Void Amerika“, flock yeah!

In which ‘the real you’ isn’t enough, apparently – astoundingly non-astoundingly ordinary, mostly apathetic or just plain scared, largely powerless, stuck in some crappy dead end job (for some, eg. evil Videogame Dev Megacorporation) barely making crunch-rent; in Cyberpunk 2077’s toothless ray traced nightmare however you can over ever be entirely Hyperreal – instagib whoever you want without consequence, without anyone demanding you come (/evolve!) out of the Gaming Culture basement, living forever through permanently plugging into the undead global System of will-to-domination.

Like a pack of spanner dumb ‘Youtube Influencers’, what’s incredible (and entirely non surprising) is the blind degree to which all relevant protagonists in Cyberpunk 2077 have already completely and uncritically assimilated themselves into the MegaBorg that is modern technological society. Like they were born to be true ‘winners’. (Shame there’s no instantly pluggable, fetishizable biosoft that makes one critically philosophical about one’s Capitalist world andor Worldview. “I’d buy that for a dollar!”, etc.)

Just like GTA V, the mere notion that this game or others like it somehow examine ‘just what it means’ to exist in its cardboard thin universe of casual headshots and smart drugs for storefront dummies – that it’s somehow anything more than an empty corporate ‘commentary’ on.. whatever, seems little but a self-serving, bald faced myth. Like so many others, this game’s rapidly looking to be as nuanced as a ‘second hand cyber-orgasm’. Boys and their toys; high tech, and distinctly low brow.

Move on.. Move on..
– Cop Spinner loudhailer to gathered megacity crowds, Blade Runner

– Is it remotely possible to imagine not being one of these strictly fiscal-criminal minded, techno-enhanced, high rollin’, wheeler-dealin’ jerks, yet being forced to live in an awful world where they run (and ruin) absolutely everything? That’s something no Mainstream Cyberpunk story has ever tried dealing with. And yet that’s the place where the vast majority of real, decidedly non-Cyberpunk people live today. Why aren’t their stories being told? Who really gives two cybernetic turds about the Adam ‘I didn’t ask for this’ Jensens of this dead world? It’s because he’s a cool white winner / whiner, that’s why (and everyone else can go meatspin.)

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Near Future Hashtags (Immortals Die Too)

In stories like Altered Carbon, you also get to live forever as a Cyberpunk. That sucks for those who can’t afford it. You’re elevated power and position within such a sick society already and inherently makes you a bullying, smug asshole – little more than a soulless walking credit card with legs – and mantis-razor arms.. and now you also get to exist as an astoundingly obnoxious dickhead for a thousand Roman Techno-Fascist years as well? Wow, can’t wait for that particular super-banal, doomed future to fully destiny-manifest. GOTY: pre-order today.

Noddin’ heads too hollow, forgotten tomorrow
Swallowing all that shit that’s shallow
Give the baby anything the baby wants
But that’s how them bastards get us up in them caskets
[..] If it ain’t right, I don’t give a damn if it’s sellin’
– Public Enemy, Crayola (Atomic Pop Records, 1999)

[Hypocritical B.S disclaimer: if freelance internet theorist Robert What could remotely afford a 3090 ti GFX card, he’d straight up pre-order this sheet for some sweet raytraced 4K@120hz Cyberpunk prosumer vibezzz.]

P.S In which by now you’re sick of hearing the word “Cyberpunk.” Basta! Enough already. What should be just a bad cheesy joke bursting with G.K.P. Genuine Kitschy Potential, still (after all we’ve been through) seems a perfectly deadly-serious proposition taken entirely at face value by edge-lordy Captain Tryhards who got permanent irony-gland removal surgery at vat-birth.

Cyberpunk: Lord Edge Approved

In which Real Authentic Cyberpunk™ is always Lord Edge approved. Some approved scenes and poses. (Don’t your bollocks get really sweaty in all that proprietary leather? If you want, we can all ‘chip in’ to get you some new cryo-cooled nutz.)

Dredd (2012, Dir. Pete Travis)

To consider a critical / Dredd-ful comparison and contrast with Cyberpunk 2077 – how they might each share each other’s conceptual failings:

Transphobia 2077

To imagine conceptual images emerging from media incident in which CD Projekt Red release a particularly 80s megacorporate style boilerplate apology after allegedly™ tweeting / referencing an Alt Right (ie. straight up Fascist) transphobic dogwhistle. (Welcome to modern day cultural Poland!)

Cynical Game Patch / Update: Just because you now get to choose your filthy designer in-game genitals, doesn’t mean you’re not still a dickless corporate weasel; that you don’t really give a damn about Trans people – or indeed anything except naked profits.

REEL / POST-CYBERPUNK AS STRAIGHT UP TRANS

Cyberpunk 2077 album review by Johnny Silverhand

To consider a Near Future historical review of new-classic AAA Games Industry tie-in concept album / OST “Cyberpunk 2077” by vile, little virtual Pop Rock Terrorist star ‘Johnny Silverhand’:

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Keanu Reeves Johnny Silverhand Cyberpunk 2077 album cover

LP now available, faded and long abandoned at the bottom of bargain buckets in all good abandoned supermarket stores – “I wouldn’t even buy that for a dollar.”

All information should be free. It is not. Information is power and currency in the virtual world we inhabit. So like, mistrust authority and trust me instead. Cyberpunks are true rebels. Cyberculture is coming in under the radar of ordinary society..
– Johnny Silverhand, eat me

This spoken-word prologue kicks off Johnny Silverhand’s sixth studio LP, Cyberpunk 2077, a 20-track concept album that took Johnny san’s world-famous virtual persona and multi-whatever sound and attempts to bring them into the Near Future – both in terms of the lyrical subject matter, which focused on ‘futuristic themes’, and in terms of the ‘exciting computer-based’ production methods used to create the music. Released just last week to zero fanfare, a little more than three years after Johnny’s dozen-selling My Breathtaking Life album, Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the more heavily promoted cynical major videogame tie-in events of the summer, with multiple cheap Youtube videos filmed for the single “I Want Room Service!” and a groundbreaking electronic press kit shipped to Trilby tipping fanboi neckbeards on a musty 3.5 inch Amiga floppy disk.

For Silverhand, using computers as a studio tool became something of an obsession after the freak gardening accident that left him with an artificial chrome plated hand in early 1990.

“I wanted to get back to my Cyberpop rock roots and DIY,” he explained in an interview following Cyberpunk’s release. “First I read William Gibson’s Neuromancer on a Kindle I found on a skip, then I found out a Virtual Studio where I could bring a computer into my home and record my band with it.. it was like being part of the Avant Garage once again.”

It seems that DIY vibe has not only helped revitalize Silverhand’s songwriting spirits, it’s given him the chance to – in his view at least – offer a rebuttal to the fads of the early so called Near Future Retro 80s. “I throw off the shackles of the immediate future to return to the sexy present” he explained to Synthetainment Daily.

”I was looking for a way to break the stalemate The Industry has gotten into. This is in a way my sort of answer to retro 90s mainstream pop rock. I know there’s a way of using this modern technology stuff to bring a lot of that hot sensual cybernetic rawness back.”

He’s even clearer about his urge to Remain Relevant when speaking with Tha New York Underground, saying, “It’s like it’s 1983 all over again. I better wake up and be into it. I’m sitting here, a 1987 style Cyberpunk watching Billy Idol on the MTV talk about punk, watching my mother talk about punk on my cool video watch, and this is my reply. It’s just my own way of saying, ‘Wooo! What about that, you crazy kidz? Hey, I’m totally Lollapalooza too! I’m The Cyber Punk; you guys are still all total punks!”

Unfortunately for Silverhand, all this overbearing enthusiasm – not to mention a heavy promotional campaign that included a video for “I Want Room Service!” directed by a distant cousin of effects guru Stan Winston – doesn’t quite seem to translate to the music, which so far inspires only widespread indifference and derision. In fact, poor Johnny has recently found himself beset by slow, saddened head shaking from all sides; first from members of the nascent Intertubes community, who feel like Silverhand is trying to co-opt ‘their’ culture for AAA Industry gain (oh teh deadpan ironies), then by pop rock pundits who accuse him of writing sub-par material for the album – and finally by Fans (collectively known as “Lord Edge”) who nowadays more or less completely ignore anything remotely to do with Cyberpunk, simply because it’s all too corny to be associated with.

Desperate to divorce himself from Johnnyhand’s Cyberpunk Try-Hardness, William Gibson, whose laughable, impossibly overrated 1984 supermarket checkout novel Neuromancer helped inspire Silverhand’s Cyberpunk journey, hinted at the cultural disconnect that probably doomed the project from the beginning. “I just don’t quite get what he’s on,” Gibson admitted when asked about the album. “I don’t er, quite see the connection.” This is interesting, especially considering that Gibson was recently interviewed for TV on the set for Straight-To-Torrent Cyberpunk Classic “Johnny Mnemonic” and was basically short stroking over how incredibly mazeballs it all was – how His Private Cyberpunk Dreams were being realised realtime before his eyes by couldn’t-direct-traffic director Robert Longo.

A London journalist said that, when Johnny did his Cyberpunk press junket over there, he made it a condition of getting an interview with him that every journalist had to have read Neuromancer. Anyway, turns out they all did (and only ever thought it was nothing special) but when they met with Silverhand, the first thing that became readily apparent was that Johnny hadn’t read it. So they called him on it in a roundabout way, and he said he didn’t need to – he just absorbed it through Techno Osmosis.

While “I Want Room Service” was a minor hit in one expat bar in Thailand by the docks, cresting at the upper reaches of their Rock chart hanging in the toilet, the album barely cracked the Top 500, falling off in less than two months and bringing a quick, undignified end to Silverhand’s promotion plans for the record – which seems a cheap laugh riot, because whatever the music’s merits, Silverhand’s genuine plastic excitement for ‘cyberpunk technology’ points the way toward a lot of the recording, production, and promotion methods that will no doubt come to dominate the AAA Games Industry in the decades to follow.

“We’re going to be lit by these stream-of-unconsciousness images,” Silverhand enthused to The New York Underground when asked about his ideas for a Cyberpunk tour. “It’s going to almost be like, that’s your mind, man. And we’ll have four people swarming the gig with camcorders, which then will be put live into this hot blend. And people from the audience can bring their filmed footage – them with their cyberpunk mother, I don’t know! And then we’ll slap it all up on the big screen. I think you have to start looking to get to ‘the future’ of what Cyberpunk should be like. Like, we’re working hard; we’re pushing ‘the tech’ to the edge of reality and beyond, man.”

Ultimately (ie. from the outset), Cyberpunk seems to be the birthing death knell for Silverhand’s continued irrelevance as an artist; his highest-profile project for the remainder of this week is a cameo appearance in the computer generated Adam Sandler Drew Barrymore rom-com Rectal Colon Cancer Chuckles, and he isn’t scheduled to release another album of new material until the circa-2000s roll around again. But while it would be a stretch to say it doesn’t include any memorable songs, Silverhand can at least take comfort in the knowledge that Cyberpunk 2077 is a public record of embarrassing, narratively clunky failures made ahead of its time.. well, twenty minutes at least.

Indeed, to consider modern, darkly laughable (/undead) versions of “Cyberpunk” as a total ‘Johnny Mnemonic’ (aka “I WANT ROOM SERVICE!”)

That is to say, a quaint yet embarrassing reminder of the fact ‘you are a dickhead’ (in the UK, a ‘johnny’ is school day slang for a condom.)

Just garbage. Get that out of here!
– J-Bone on Johnny Mnemonic (Dir. Robert Longo, 1995)

Cyberpunk Is Dead

To consider Cyberpunk as (un)dead; a sub genre of plain bad Sci-Fi badness, mixed with cliché film noir – its brand of fiction presenting Researchers with a future composed of overwhelming technology – universal computer access via ‘Cyberspace designer violence’. Example images of (/Un)dead Cyberpunk:

As a movement of new synthetic 80s, it’s based on spiralling greed and growth of mega corporations so big they’re more powerful than governments – but then the ‘Near Future Now’ is soon to arrive again. Up till that nodal point it seems reasonable enough; afterwards of course Cyberpunk will once again became mere idle speculative fantasy. Most frequently dystopian, it has become heavily calcified in its official aesthetic definition, ie. as mere hyper generic can of something internet Edge Lordy any wanker can instantly spray on.

Cyberpunk defines itself as a story of people in an age where they don’t matter any more – where technology has made them obsolete as discrete entities. The constant daily rediscovery of the ‘quantified self’ during this paradigm, shifts and strains; in classic supermarket novel Neuromancer by William Gibson this is evidenced in the overwhelming hopelessness of all the characters – of their constant struggle to survive their own efforts, to glory in self destruction – a whirlwind inferno burning inwards.

Cyberpunk’s use of implanted machines – of merging of humanity with machinery, of Capitalist ‘Big Science‘ as so wide an idea that cyberpunks forget to look around. Machine implants are the be all and end all of awfulness of Sci-Fi, the entirely logical (pathological) obsession with technology is to be read as the core strength of the genre. Probably one reason its creators like to declare it undead, is because while they’re acutely embarrassed to be remotely associated with it, they’re secretly as pleased as pigs.

On Cyberpunk as dystopian meaning and apparent opposite of Utopia; as bad as things are at the beginning they’re always predictably worse by the end for pretty much everybody except of course the titular heroes of said Sci-Fi pulp; Cyberpunk also utterly / deliberately fails to address issues of humanity losing to machines of alienation from one’s fellow Researchers, of death, of love, honor, of annihilation of the soul in face of relentless technological progress – Cyberpunk themes are depressing when good and entirely happy when badly written.

In this sub genre, human beings are connected to computers their own reflexes only relevant to their ability to steer around nets in competition with other computer security systems these hackers and crackers are trying to break into. Most of these people have skull jacks – simple plugs wherein really expensive computer cables connect directly to the empty brain pan; thereby the user becomes an organic component to a global system of computation.

Re: Shadowrun – as exactly Cyberpunk-edgy as Your Dad’s vision of Cyberpunk after watching Lord Of The Flocking Rings:

Cyberpunk was once popularized by the nerdy pink skinned “Mirrorshades” group during the 1980s when the Cold War was going strong; ‘Big Blue’ was on top and the world looked to become the place where everyone worked for mega corporations, which had become feudal in nature. Then the Berlin Wall fell and the genre went with it, but like the wall its ghostly memory-shell remains; mutant children of the 80s witnessed its rampant zombification; all Cyberpunk fiction today is the result of such mainstreamed hackwork – simple undead momentum keeps it going now.

While originally proposed as a cool, post modern mode of science fiction, it took Researchers out of the halls of power culture into the slums and back alleys of ‘twenty minutes into the near future now’ without really leaving it; consider Cyberpunk as ritualized, stultified and deeply undying – vaguely fun while it lasts, people still write such (cheesy) ‘flan fiction’ in the genre but most quietly move on – nobody discusses Cyberpunk at sophisticated wine parties, except when they’re doing hot lines of DMT-spiced chocolate crack in the designer toilets and want to appear groovy to the other gathered meat puppets.

Further weakened by its own popularity, there have been efforts to bend the imagery and technologies of the genre to more publishable popular ends – attempts at suicide by the mundane are regularly attempted; at lukewarm nerd parties, annoyingly-nasal sounding author Bruce Sterling still repeatedly refers to his colleague’s very public obituary to the genre on the New York Times editorial page and his reasoning appears sound.

As a genre of rigid rules the best source for such cultural writing / coding is from the “Cyberpunk 2020” source books, which is still a role playing game of significant popularity these days among those with interest in RPG’s who anally skim-read Gibson’s ‘Neuromangler’ over and over again, working from an established set of magical technologies for use in their settings. Watch as they wilfully read non-existent meanings into its timelines which apparently predict all events for the next coming 20 minutes. Obviously things don’t quite happen like that, but modern Cyberpunk flan-fictioners of all shades are careful in their public attempts to constantly realign reality with Cyberpunk prediction (indeed their success in un-living suspended within this very cognitive gap or reality dis-junction marks them out as true synthetic Cyberpunks.)

According to its proponents, Cyberpunk is a word applicable to whatever users wants it to be, which results in an immediate absence of meaning or over abundance of real fake plastic meanings; to define it is to ostracise oneself which makes Cyberpunk more akin to a random bowel movement in the chemical toilet of a crashing plane, rather than just some pseudo philosophy or actual setting. Cyberpunk is undead, sure – but it still seems a neat practice area for expansion and expulsion of dodgy ideas best left behind.

Cyberpunk Is Dead: An Imaginary Videogame

Where puerile, side-eye rolling 80s style internet manchild Edge-Lord dick tech power fantasy meets accidental hyper-camp with heavy neon accents.

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Cyberpunk Is Dead: An Imaginary Videogame

Ideal / Idealized cost for such a concept as this: £10M – contact Robert What today for details.

To consider paradoxically ‘good type bad’ examples of standard Cyberpunk excess and high end naffness (Note: ‘naff’ is Endland slang for not very good; ‘a bit shit‘.)

Yet if only such a pose were fully conscious and deliberate – how oddly wonderful / actually more dangerous and strange could expressions of Cyberpunk feel! High tech A.I driven vehicle crashes into the global swimming pool while the pool deck burns and thicc holographic dancers tease.

All Amerikan Cyberpunk Vision Apocalypse

To consider a collapse in the vision that once (/never) was Cyberpunk:

If they think you’re technical, go crude
– William Gibson, Johnny Mnemonic

Check out this cool wired warrior – with a (literal) camera for an eye, an oldskool CD player for a hand, chest embedded tape reels and an eagle (with a radar on the top of its head) for a companion – all on the merry lit road to hardcore action and high adventure in the great dystopian outdoors, probably.

amerikan-cyberpunk-vision-apocalypse
American Cyberpunk Vision Apocalypse

Sweet! In which the colour palette evokes Latin American street art murals. Such a collapse / brutal desimulation of the techno-utopian ideal and the resulting sleazy outsider “Bad Art” represents and codifies current unconscious dreams / wishes for the near future of advanced Cyberpunk aesthetics – that it evolves into what it more actually was before, just underneath its glazed neon surfaces, ie. gloriously camp, confoundingly ugly, amazingly rough – in short, smeared with delicious synthetic sleaze. More please.

“Uh, Cyberpunk Is Dead, Mike” (Pondsmith)

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Cyberpunk Is Dead: Mike Pondsmith

In which the writer and game developer Pondsmith wears a lurid purple T Shirt featuring the (now classic) “Cyberpunk Is Dead” slogan underneath a sweaty, slightly unfashionable leather jacket with neat metallic album cover fan pins against a typically dystopian megacity backdrop. Faded old man dreams best resigned to the late night supermarket history channel.

Cyberpunk As The New Zombies

To consider crying for real if you read the word “Cyberpunk” just one_more_time.

Cyberpunk Is The New Zombies

Equation: if generic manga art with glowing ‘Tron’ line accents somehow remotely equals “Cyberpunk,” FFS – then “Cyberpunk” most certainly equals “Zombies.”

Neofeud

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Neofeud Hypertography

To consider some other garish Cyberpunk side show from the (/z_) distant trash aesthetic future. Mo hyper-trash legit!

Second (Undead Cyberpunk) Life

Second Undead (Cyberpunk) Life

To consider unexplained scenes from some long undead and painfully obsolete browser based aesthetic experience.

Max Headroom Is Flocking Dead

To consider visual, un-rewound VHS style celebrations of (the UK version!) of “Max Headroom” – cult ‘Near Future Retro 80s’ TV series; virtual reruns broadcast nightly live from Channel Zero. Hello? Is anyone still watching this?

Nameless Megacity

To consider some nameless near future megacity of living undead default Cyberpunk cliché – with monitor glitches, naturally.

Sterile Corporate-Cyberpunk Storytelling

To consider narrative design in many Corporate-Cyberpunk games the nuanced storytelling equivalent of (say) “Escape From L.A” (John Carpenter, 1996.) This movie rules, BTW.

This, from a medium constantly claiming to be the final word in.. whatever. To imagine possible minor improvements to narrative / storytelling technique in (say) Cyberpunk 2077 – whose gameplay demo sounds designed by people called Meredith Stout with joyless faces of corporate convent nun’s privates – who seem to get their Tryhard ideas about futuristic storytelling from listening to LOLtube comments left by mutant EdgeLords.

Cyberpunk is Dead, part n

“Why do you sound like a badly written 2D character from some oldskool videogame?”

To consider Cyberpunk as expressed in 2077 as simple vat clone of contemporary global Capitalism – only with wack visible seam lines in faces – but with exact same awful cheesy speech one merely puts up with like anal warts – merely ‘passable’ rather than actually good.

cyberpunk-2077-joyless-corporate-narrative-agent
Joyless Corporate Narrative Agent

Where such hammy ‘Life Is Strange’ level dialogue sounds like prerequisite for communication in this universe – as though one can only express meaning via commonly accepted cliché and poorly directed acting – all subtlety / nuance seems positively outlawed. In which 2077 feels like two fish in tank who don’t know or care that very synthetic air they’re breathing consists of vast network of info / capital – strictly fiscal universe built from groundless ground up for nothing but (brain stunningly big) business. Perhaps it’s this wilful ignorance of social context – ie. ideology – that allows or rather forces us to blindly mill around our sterile megacity like utter wankers – call us flatheads – brainless fashion models out of some awful reality-invading Reality-TV show, strutting around like remote controlled robotic peacocks on catwalks – str8 trippin’, as Hip Hop says.

And where are the plain n’ ugly people in such a future? Even the ones with extreme body mods look nicely presented; clean dirt carefully applied to the faces of bad actors.

Just take look at them; it’s like they don’t have a clue, or even look like they remotely feel need to go look for one – oh, except for our two titular, laughably swaggering cold-pressed antiheros, taking total control of their Financial Destiny for a better tomorrow via the same simple fiscal based force used by inherently evil near future megaCorpses.

Simply because they do what ‘corpses do on smaller daily scale – dirty schemes, scams, common & garden holdups / data muggings done dirt cheap – this apparently (automatically) gives them the upper moral upper handedness – heck, they’re just another economic hit team in all but name eg. “Murda R Us.” Note also the ironic symbolism: people in 2077 refer to money as ‘eddies’ – tiny whirlpools of chaos with violently unpredictable patterns of movement / growth.

Despite the flash dash hype on this Cyberpunk train to nowhere – it’s just more of the same material conditions of monetary virtuality we see today, just even more amped up on bad designer media steroids – like some top floor executive producer saw the gameplay footage and said “It’s fine I guess – just er make it a bit Darker.” Thing is, modern Cyberpunk seems about as dark and dangerous as a Cybergoth Dance Party – which appears far more enjoyable:

Incidentally, ‘Dark’ here just means “Oh wow cool! Another futuristic™ tangerine manchild jerkoff scenario where I grow up to be the biggest version of the hateful, wilfully ignorant cyber-hole I am already, and get to stamp my feet and do whatever the hell I want [/without Auto-Mommy telling me off].” What a lame bunch of laughably bad White Noise.

“Your Cyberpunk Moms”

To imagine if someone street NPC were to gaze off longingly in middle distance and suddenly state “I miss the memory of trees” or “I hate working. I just want the chance to live” or “My boss is a total goatse and I want to spatterkill him with a remote jacked orbital lazor” – but no; people here are simply raw human resources – material for coldly calculating (death) dealing machines to process into re-sellable consumption units.

Small yet meaningful (in terms of relationship) things could drastically improve such a deserted narrative blandscape.

  • If one of the main characters sniffed and then rubbed ir nose slightly
  • If they blinked as though thinking, indeed if they didn’t just say their lines straight from beginning to end but paused for effect: “-And *you*.. you positively *reek* of Militech”
  • If they quietly asked if someone else had a stick of pineapple gum
  • If they seemed remotely concerned for their partner in rhyme, acting like big brother or sister figure
  • “You really like those spicy noodles, huh.. I can’t eat em, they give me raging gas”
  • If there was some 24/7 feeling of intense weariness (weltschmerz) resulting from living in city built entirely of unceasing Capitalist crime
  • About how racism and tribalism are still deeply serious problems
  • If someone robbed an obvious out-of-towner tourist of their smart phone (say ripping it out of their idiot skull)
  • If someone were told to hurry up or move out of the way
  • If someone were on the street alone homeless and crying, expressing reel social problems generally
  • Long term side effects of constant drug use of all kinds – chemical or informational
  • If players are forced to infer indirect information

Indeed relationship / friendship is all we have – not OTT guns or cool jackets that give ‘street cred’ *pfff* – what’s our intimate, inner relationship to others – fellow megacity dwellers – as expressed through careful and deliberate narrative choices / queues – or is it all just unceasing automated ‘dance of biz’ as Gibson states?

no-mean-city-rodney-matthews
We love tourists here: “No Mean City” by Rodney Matthews

Rather than some / yet another effortlessly, narratively cringy [CYBERCRINGE] hyper generic gunporn power fantasy – to consider it’s about relationships to “in-world relationships expressed as things” – responses both emotional / aesthetic – which delicately signal to players about whose skin they currently, actually inhabit.

‘Neuropink’: Post-Cyberpunk Sci Fi Concept

In the exact same way Post Punk was always far more interesting than Punk, perhaps whatever manages to emerge fresh from the dead toxic waste ashes of Cyberpunk will be far more truly vital – genuinely strange.

Uterus Man OP by Lu Yang

First off, a useful ‘Big Science’ term – “The Near Future Retro 80s.”

In which the NFR80s describes a unique present – similar to a dreamy, un- rewound, straight-to-VHS movie version of the future.  The NFR80s – another garish, psychedelic Sci-Fi metaphor that floats on mirrored hyper surfaces and (generally speaking) hurts nobody.

Where the NFR80s not only seems a dis-location but complex states of minds or mood tones; an energy condenser lens for super shamanic night visions – a dark light mirror reflection on /of memory, in relation to current (unknown / unknowable) trends in unexpected techno-evolutionary change.

So called ‘Big Scientists’ not only ask what ‘the 80s’ consist of, but also how such ‘Researchers’ may fully utilize the 80s in their R&D projects. Two classic in-scene phrases exist to describe that special ‘NFR80s’ vibe – which is always on verge of going-to-arrive..

Warning: Researchers not yet fully intimate with ‘Big Science’ can get sucked unprepared through intense, hyper-visionary dream portals generated by such neo-Cultural ‘power core’ DNA. The first stream of classic in-scene image generating code as follows:

The Near Future Retro 80s: where liquid neon memories flicker, twist and reflect off dirty chrome pools outside random backstreet videogame arcades in old Shinjuku at some eternal 3am – electric dreams, forever adrift in the crying megacity rain..

Second classic phrase andor vision-stream as follows:

Wow – the ‘Near Future Retro 80s’ – awesome; like Tron on Xenomorph-secreted DMT

*slight sob* That’s beautiful.

The 80s: Some Background Theory

The NFR80s takes passion and nostalgia from the 80s to create something new and enjoyable for today’s retro loving culture.

In which Researcher Robert What – well known for using retro techniques and expression – connects a not-so-far future with today’s de-generation. A strong attention to detail allows What to authentically recreate astounding visions of the ‘new future now’ as if they were right out of tomorrow’s 80s era. His bold meta-digital brush strokes resonate through hot mirrored chrome and dirty neon megacity eloquence.

When modern players or ‘Researchers’ discuss the ‘near future’ they’re specifically talking about a unique vibe, born of an age most ‘flans’ and practitioners weren’t even alive in, ie the 80s – yet instinctively feel they understand or ‘wave with’, deep in their artificial bones.

This is the ‘liquid neon’ vibe of raw emotion; of out-of-control alien technology – a mildly profound sense of ‘love-on-the-run in a time of danger’. Some think the ‘NFR80s’ are only about, or spring directly from the historical 80s era, but that’s not quite correct.

One of properties of the NFR80s is that it’s forever still yet to occur, broken off and unhinged from local space-time; rather the near future is a cusp between dimensions, unlinked from any specific cultural period.

Indeed, such a moment never quite arrives – rather the NFR80s describe a non specific ‘mood tone’ – an always just on the verge of going-to-be arriving ‘retro 80s style’ or ‘final approach’.

The actual 1980s – a bizarre period of global, All-Amerikan history dominated by haunted video arcades and Mom & Pop video stores – with those bizarro / psychotronic top shelf titles which used to freak you out (like the lonely canyon echo of rolling Zaibatsu thunder) – certainly seem the cultural wellspring, but not quite the full implied meaning of ‘NFR80s’.

To Break It Down

– In the 1980s: it was as though nobody fully realized what was happening in or with the 80s – especially aesthetically – so our hyper fragmented, MTV attention span electro-media culture seemed totally ‘sincere’, with arguably little sense of self.

Some explain this by suggesting the special cultural effects of or implied by ‘the 80s’ are best considered as a shadow or wave – cast from an imagined hyper alien future, back into our (often missing sense) of The Present.

– In the 1990s: by the time the 90’s had rolled around, teh Kool Kidz had caught on to and started fully realizing that the ’80s aesthetic’ existed and was something in itself to use, played with or inside.

This explains why lot of early 90’s TV programs display a strong 80s vibe – lots of neon afterglow, combined with dry ice fog in their neural DNA – a lo-fi psychic backwash from previous future eras.

– That weird state called ‘The Near Future Now’: what Researchers experience when the scene has a NFR80s vibe – perhaps psychic aftershocks of the 80s coming back out of collective cryogenic storage – out of an all-too hyperreal state, forever ‘tears-in-rain’ type dystopian megacity visions downloading onto our internalized holo-screens.

Now Equals Wow!
– Typical ‘totally 80s’ psychology

Consider the ‘mainstream underground’ movement of the NFR80s as: “Pressing Escape to some private version of the imagined 80s”.

This is despite (or even due to) its highly techno-dystopian ‘Neuropink’ nature – players want to escape to personalized ‘gamespacetime’ where the seductive neon lure of midnight dangers of endless vertical megacity streets seems somehow super cool and viable – an imaginative ‘tech noir’ backdrop or extreme psychic augmentation to their (current, imagined) Western Turbo-Capitalist, Alternative Meta Lifestyle.

NFR80s-feeling electro-culture seems highly escapist. One of its main messages: you have to ‘hold on to your dream’ – if you do you will get your rewards – become the online all dancing TV queen of dark paradise skies. How to “Hold on to your dreams”:

  1. First, play and immerse yourself inside your favourite NFR80s soundtrack andor bio-psychic vibe-aesthetic.
  2. Then suddenly stand up straight, looking up at a 45 degree angle while bringing your two closed fists together up to your chest while a ‘forever distant megacity horizon look of extreme longing and-or confusion passes across your blandly handsome face’ – or flashes across your ‘extremely futuristic looking’, hyper-mirrored wet look bio-quantum superblack smart hyper-combat neuroplastic wraparound data shades (with the thin blue neon LED outline.)

Seen as a shifting (possibly even sentient) superfluid, the whole Near Future Retro 80s are an experimental construct – a vitally important way for modern ‘Researchers’ to describe, generate and emulate “Big Science” – ie. the truer experiential, experimental feel-sense, ambiance, atmosphere, aura, attitude, impression, quality, semblance, sensation, surface tactility – personal symbolism, implanted near future memory, sociocultural import, psychological impact, etc. of one’s modern hyper-aliveness of full immersion in uniquely techno-psychedelic electro-environments full of sentient machines / freaky ass situations / astounding digital mytho-landscapes of bright information pulse and flow.

In short, consider the NFR80s a sub-cultural method used for approaching unresolved issues of ’80s’ style or associated aesthetic Research phenomena – a mode or lens to think of other poptastic aspects of ‘Big Science’.

NFR80s methodology pseudo-reappropriates glitzy and kitschy, seemingly easily consumable pop as culture back as fecund source of raw explorable / exploitable research immaterials – to be played with / in / otherwise creatively transformed for sustained improvisational research purposes – a chance to allow a fresh understand of particularly ’80s’ modes / moments in evolution of experimental media based self reflexivity – an odd instrument with which to modify digital consciousness on the fly – perhaps organize new modes of critical New Media sensibility, oscillating between hidden / foregrounded ideational operations.

That is, our 80s themed emotions, our 80’s-esque / retro-80s pop culture media and Research culture often emanate and embody certain, uncertain ambient vibes, untied to or from any specific era; such strange and sublime ‘NFR80’ super subjective background emotions or hyper futuristic mood tones often appear at unguarded moments, eg. while researching odd theories, playing or practising ‘Big Science’ – an irreal, delicate superspace freed from ordinary time ever deferred, or that constantly re-manifests in/as our online dreaming.

Indeed, the NFR80s may be seen as a shadowy presence, indirectly indicative of the influence of some impossibly hyper-alien near future of infinite cosmic potential – complete with neon megacity afterglow.

Note: while virtually all modern ‘Researchers’ play or hang around aspects or modes of retro culture – they also express difficulties or reservations regarding full articulation of such intense sets or scenes of highly complex, actual shifted emotional calls / responses of or especially from and inside their alien tech / their technological super spaces – where concepts like The NFR80s often come in to play.

This term (in such a context) means: post categorical – unconfirmed, intangible, undeniable, usually unquestioned, unverified, incorporeal, insubstantial yet fleshy, sublime, animal, human, immaterial, strangely sensual, organic, somatic delicate – even perhaps techno-spiritual.

Common culture tags associated with the NFR80s: #dreamwave, #electropop, #Valerie, #synthwave, #new_retro, #neuropink, #BloodDragon, #drive, #montage, #darkwave, #hyperreal, #virtual, #neon, #video, #glitch, #laz0r, #electro, #recyc, #simulation, #synthy, #vision, #flux.

Theoretical outline for open, Post Cyberpunk concept – v1.0. Note: consider this as virtual code which needs self compiling. In which Neuropink refers to psychedelic / psychological science fiction that can be applied to many different kinds of interactive media.

Neuropink: Plus Nine Jewel

Consider the general symbolic coordinates of Neuropink; a Post-Cyberpunk ‘Visual (/Reality) Language’ for “Big Scientists “- a fuzzy network of modular co-evolving elements; for example.

  • Contrapoints: for the aesthetic
  • Lawrence Lek’s Sinofuturism
  • Polyhedral Soap
  • King City comic
  • ‘Reality coding in dark light liquid scanning mirror’
  • ‘UHF dimensional test transmissions from/to aether’
  • Bio-quantum pulses from missing present colour of anamnesis vision superstrings
  • Uncreative W/Riting on tight /planetary schedule
  • Imprecise yet deadly velocity of lime green lawn furniture
  • Slippery crushing love of giant baby squid by self elective c section of mutant oversoul
  • Sleeping meditations under deep data snow drifts on holy mountain
  • Close quarters dance routines with ontological night fever
  • Black wishing stones from a river in Uapan
  • Self andor identity as just another technique: only as postmodern as required
  • Making understandable unseen automated dramas of advanced social networking
  • Xenomorphic / superflat corrosives, eg. Bake meets The New Aesthetic while skydiving backwards into the near future now
  • Artificiality as intelligence; bio computational polyversality, holographic ‘source equals open’ everything
  • Baboon Television – it bites: multiple eyes of hybrid jungle hive mind projecting chameleonic / shamanic predator dreamstates
  • Exploring the omega maze: contemplative labyrinthine pathways through collective post Jungian neural hyper-matrix

Notable Neuropink programmers / states

  • Jean Moebius Giraud: for senses of cosmic life infinite
  • Paul Laffoley: for working time machines
  • Chris Cunningham: for post digital fx
  • Ian Francis: for endless neuro-smeared summer
  • Redline: for when Funkyboy also destroys Roboworld
  • Warframe: super ninjarific
  • Mahakala: for unquenchable radiance of supreme emptiness
  • Ray Ogar: for technical glitched precision
  • Jean Michel Jarre: for his exoplanetary senses
  • Roy Batty: for its midnight megacity poetics
  • Captain Blood on the Amiga 500 / Atari ST: for alien communication
  • Shandra Manaya, Argon Queen: for raking virtual video flesh now gone
  • The Future Sound Of London: for the impossibilities of lifeforms
  • Cephalopods: for ir hyper surface manifested thoughts
  • Alex Colville / Eric Fischl: for stark alienation / violent haunted potentiality
  • Sentionauts: for being beyond the black rainbow
  • Horse Ebooks: for meta surrealist daring
  • Galaucus Atlanticus: for grand oceanic form
  • Geek City: for cool cats
  • Thumper: for entomological mytho narrative
  • Shinya Tsukamoto: for psychological character intensity
  • Elias Koteas as Vaughan from Crash: for that R&D drive
  • Bruce Sterling’s Artificial Kid: for instant grasp of emergent media
  • Yo Landi Vi$$er: for zef rats in the walls of the worlds
  • Laurie Anderson: for her Big Science
  • David Shields: for poking at leaky literary dams
  • Haikasoru / Kurodahan: for delicious sci flavours
  • SCP Foundation: for databases of the aggressively unexplainable
  • Reza Negarestani: for geo traumatic sensors and theory-fiction
  • Robert Smithson: for Hyper-Ballardian mind spirals
  • Dr Hans Reinhardt: for grand dinners / ego blinkers
  • Blue Cube from Mulholland Drive: for acute ontological disruption
  • Tetsuo Shima from Akira: for extreme psychic deformation
  • Tetsuo II: for the body hammer
  • Killy from Blame!: for tardigrade toughness
  • Raiden from Metal Gear: for hammy dialogue
  • Hyung Tae Kim: for long shiny legs
  • Visual Kei: for that raw Cyberpunk-era style embarrassment
  • Nordic LARP: for traversing narrative at oblique angles
  • Insilico roleplayers: for grace under information pressure
  • Fist Of The North Star: for flawless technique
  • Quantum Cathedral: for hardcore oldskool cyber gothics
  • Stephen Shaviro: for metaphysical theory laz0rs
  • Mark Leyner: for the menthol of autumn
  • Omni Magazine: for that immense vertical vision
  • Mariko Mori: for bioquantum colors of combine dropship carapace
  • Kenji Siratori: for the raw fucknam
  • Baden Pailthorpe: for military hyper aesthetic space drone critique
  • Simulacra Syndicate: for aesthetic hyper specificity
  • Max Capacity: for transgressive glitch aesthetics
  • Zoran Rosko Vacuum: for dedicated reviews
  • Future Interfaces: for more input
  • Hatsune Miku: for hyper-virtual tonality
  • Kidmograph: for animated near future
  • Kilian Eng: for the details
  • Theo Kamecke: for the polish
  • Rob Hardin: for fistic hermaphrodites
  • International Journal of Baudrillard Studies: for the lean clean blade
  • Vaporwave: for Windows 95
  • 3D Additivism: for plastic extrusion into other
  • Unknown Fields Division: for research in wild
  • Berserker Powerup / Soul Cube: for the sudden metallo-clang
  • WonABC: for hyper detailed undead
  • Pussykrew: for the political aesthetics
  • Porpentine: for the slimy sense of psycho-nymph exile

To consider any sufficiently advanced biotech as indistinguishable from postmodern metaphysics
– Amateur Postmodern Internet Theorist Robert What

Update Patch: Neuropink coding guide – initial outline

  • Deep systems rather than charismatic individuals
  • Full spectrum neural remix rather than heroic pinky-whites
  • Algorithms rather than attitude
  • More Eggy-ness

Example Neuropink Logos

“Neuropink” logos

A .xsy-fi seared ‘humalian’ space-ape brain unit.

Quantum Cathedral

To also consider a Wayback Machine deep dive of “Quantum Cathedral”, a before-its-time Post-Cyberpunk (‘Neuropink’) art project by John Stifter. Featuring heavily CGI generated models of holy meta-warriors on a galactic mission out of America The Infinite.

That Salty Slpunk Taste of Mainstream Corporate Unboxing Rebellion

Look, Cyberpunk is dead Samurai, just get over it and onto something better. (Didn’t you get the popover holomail? Update your eyeball drivers or something.)

Eye-rollingly (90’s) generic, certified irony-free corporate rebellion. Pathetic.

// how to play big science

Lost In A Froth: Hideo Kojima Death Stranding Eurogamer Review

RND/ To consider the wider meaning of the end summary by Eurogamer, in their memorable AAA videogames industry embargo review of Death Stranding (Hideo Kojima):

3994 x 2314 .jpg

Lost In A Froth Hideo Kojima Death Stranding Eurogamer Review

Both the Likes and Sam’s job – a kind of heroic, public-service version of a gig-economy courier – have a deliberately mundane and contemporary resonance in this otherwise otherworldly setting. I think it’s deliberate, anyway, and Kojima does have something to say about how we are engineering ourselves into a state of busy isolation (though some might question his thesis that the best way to bring people together is by expanding network coverage). The commentary is earnest, if a little on the nose. Sadly, it gets lost in a froth of stoned-undergrad-grade existential waffle towards the end of the game, as Kojima strains unsuccessfully to make something meaningful of his nonsensical story and garbled lore.

As the credits roll on Death Stranding, heavy with unearned pathos, the impression you’re left with is of a self-congratulatory monument to the ego of a creator who is high on his own supply. Has Kojima always been this full of it? Maybe. But then you return to the game proper, select a humble delivery order, lace up your boots and plan another reckoning with those unforgettable, haunted moors. And you realise that this game has got under your skin in a way few do.

Eurogamer, Death Stranding review: a baffling, haunting, grand folly

#ALLHAILK0J1MADEATHKULT

Death Stranding: a *cough* ‘unique vision’ delivered by state-of-the-art technology. A absurdist, satirical remix of an article by John ‘Frame Rates’ Linneman, Staff Writer Digital Foundry:

When Death Stranding was first unveiled in 2016, its ‘unusual design’ left us in the #K0J1MADEATHKULT all with questions that would persist and multiply with the arrival of each new trailer like a collective nut rash. As Kojima Productions’ first independent release, it’s clear from its marketing hype-cycle that the team was focused on ‘upending traditional AAA expectations’. What this means is simply more of that old ‘disruptive’ shit that Capitalism loves so much. With most games, you know what you’re in for before you even pick up the controller and start to sigh. By contrast, Death Stranding is an enigma – but some of the feigned mystery lifts today, and it’s a stunning achievement – only from a technological perspective.

In many respects, showing is far more effective than telling, so I would suggest watching the videos embedded on the internets for some idea of how Death Stranding delivers *cough* a truly unique experience. (Sorry, I have a bad cough.) Going into this one, I thought I was done with open world games – the genre has devolved and homogenised into the kind of experience gamers love to hate. However, we’re being sold the idea that “Death Stranding is different and stands apart, bringing back the magic of discovery in a way gamers haven’t experienced in years.” Ok, whatever you say. Sure, it’s one of the most visually striking games of the generation – another new, bland benchmark for the medium – and this dark, isolated world adopts a style that leaves an itchy mark on your stinking #K0J1MADEATHKULT genitals long after you’ve finished with playing.

There’s a singular vision here, all right – based on nothing whatsoever but a strong technological foundation. When Kojima Productions started work on the title, the team had the opportunity to select from Sony’s stable of tools and technology, eventually settling upon Guerrilla Games’ Decima Engine – the same technology that delivered the brilliantly bland Horizon Zero Dawn. As an open world game with a focus on the cinematic, Decima is a perfect fit for Death Stranding. Many of the key technical and visual features supported by Decima are utilised to er, effect, while the few shortcomings found in Horizon such as water rendering, are improved.

Like Horizon, Death Stranding delivers excellent image quality using Guerrilla’s bespoke interpretation of checkerboard rendering. Pixel counts suggest the same 2160p resolution as Horizon Zero Dawn, with the checkerboarding remaining ‘one of the best in the business’. This directly mirrors Death Stranding’s overall marketing hype, with its clean edges and minimal artefacting. Combined with excellent texture filtering and temporal stability, the marketing team produce a very filmic image that looks almost pre-rendered. Rest assured though, nearly everything about the game’s hype is generated in real-time by the #K0J1MADEATHKULT, augmented greatly by a top tier HDR implementation. What impresses most with Death Stranding hype is the blend between small details and a vast sense of scale. It doesn’t feel as if the minutiae has been sacrificed in pursuit of its wider fanbase environment – and while Kojima’s worlds are too often little more than deserted husks, there’s certainly plenty of life to find in the characters which make up its rabid fanbase – and how they are told to realize the game’s standout technological triumphs make up most of the very meaning of Death Stranding itself.

Since its inception, Kojima Productions has focused heavily on a cast of minor b-movie stars, including Norman ‘Fetus’ Reedus, ‘Mad’ Mads Mikkelsen, Léa ‘Warm Blue Exploitation’ Seydoux and the violently talentless Nicolas ‘You Must Be Winding Me Up’ Refn, so it’s no surprise that the importance of rendering these characters as ‘important’ is a huge focus for the hot #K0J1MADEATHKULT. The first thing that stands out is the quality of the eyes – this is where their virtual models often fall flat, but the eye material and way in which light penetrates the outer layer feels remarkably realistic to nerds who imagine It All Must Mean Something. The area around the eye of the cult itself is just as impressive, with superbly detailed eye lashes and skin. We’ve seen a lot of progress in this area from many gamers this generation, who often come across as human, but this is one of those rare moments where you almost feel as if you’re looking at other real human faces when the presentation camera pans back to the crowd.

Skin shading is similarly impressive – with realistic sub-surface scattering present as light plays off the surface of the marketing simulation. Multiple texture layers are used to simulate skin folds as characters animate, while small hairs can be observed across the surface, glistening in the light of global[ marketing reach and AAA games industry penetration. Even aspects such as allergic reactions and goose bumps whenever new Death Stranding trailers appear, are represented beautifully and realistically. Again, many gamers do a great job with their own skin rendering, but I feel the #K0J1MADEATHKULT behind Death Stranding is a step above, while its ability to realistically render a variety of psychotic fan types without artefacts is also highly impressive. Yes, in-game models of players pissing into rivers aren’t quite on the same level, but they still hold up – retaining a great degree of incidental detail.

Equipment and cloth rendering in members of the #K0J1MADEATHKULT are also first class, with a consistent level of detail right down to every buckle, strap and piece of fabric you see at fan conventions. So much work has been poured into every inch of every model and it’s almost unbelievable to see this much detail in a fanbase – even in an era where most gamers already feature highly detailed characters. Put simply, ‘the bar has been raised’. Death Stranding Marketing Incorporated also features a layering system for dirt, grime and rust: fanboys becomes increasingly dirty during gameplay and the real-time nature of their cutscenes ensures that this muck remains visible until they hop in the shower for the inevitable Norman Reedus shower jerk sequence. Yes, there’s a often lot of walking to the shops and back in order to buy multiple copies of Death Stranding to sell on ebay, but even this has been approached in a unique fashion with a complex animation system designed to simulate weight and movement across a rocky urban surface. As cult members run from Nintendo fanboy throwing rocks, they precisely plant their bare feet according to the terrain type and incline. When hiking up or down a steep hill, watch with pride as they shift their considerable weight into slopes realistically.

And this bring us to the execution of traversal of Kojima criticism in general, which I feel is handled in an interesting way. In most democratic open world critiques, you spend a lot of time moving from point A to point B, but doing so requires little effort from the player – it’s usually a matter of just holding your ideas about Kojima forward towards a waypoint. In Death Stranding however, negotiating the terrain of critique itself is a key challenge and carrying extra existential cargo increases that challenge still further. There’s actual momentum to the movement toward being brave enough to present non pro-Kojima based ideas which the #K0J1MADEATHKULT may find remotely palatable – yet when you’re weighed down, you can’t just stop on a dime, especially on a steep hill formed of raw pulsating hype. It’s all about the management of speed, balance and positioning: this makes the act of hiking through the world of fanboys and their psychotic internal Kojima-based fantasies more complex and engaging and the quality of the animation really helps sell this.

Death Stranding Marketing focuses on creating a huge sense of scale and its mountains tie directly into the movement and physics systems. Of course, motion blur helps improve overall fluidity as fans run down hills like bare assed monkeys with copies of Metal Gear Solid stuck up their shitty backsides.

The same philosophy of applying equal focus to both macro and micro detail to the fanbase also extends to their environments. The AAA videogames industry hype landscape of Death Stranding may take place across the ruined landscape of America, but it’s clear that its world design was inspired by monolithic mountain ranges of Iceland. This unique scenery is breathtaking from minute one, with an apparently immense sense of scale. The Decima Engine supports GPU-based procedural hype placement – something we saw in action in Horizon Zero Dawn. Kojima Productions has crafted a wide range of hype formations and other assets and this system is likely used to create a ‘natural procedural marketing landscape’. Every piece of that landscape is intricately detailed – from the snarling fan formations that fill the landscape on social media, to the stony fields of raw love and uncritical admiration pooling at the base of the mountains.

All are a sight to behold but it’s the smaller stories of personal obsession found alongside rivers and in dry lake beds that impress the most. I’m not sure how these are generated – perhaps a mix of bizarre cognitive maps and emotional geometry – but it’s clear that the level of detail is off the charts. More impressively, object pop-in is kept to a minimum – and the transition between between near and far-field detail is handled smoothly.

The private interior world of the #K0J1MADEATHKULT also features detailed grass and plants at certain points, and most of this foliage reacts to player collision – so you’ll notice plants and blades of grass moving as you make your way through your daily cycle of worship. The terrain is offset by the sky above which plays a key role in defining the overall atmosphere: the cloud system available in Decima is the ray marched volumetric solution crafted for Horizon Zero Dawn that Kojima Productions takes full advantage of. It’s designed to be fast but flexible – variable cloud types and thickness are present while light penetration is simulated as the clouds absorb and scatter this light that shines from the ass of Kojima Himself.

Eventually, the cloudy skies give way to rain or – as gamers refers to it – Time Fall – rain that accelerates time. The rain simulation produces thick droplets that react to light and soak everything caught within its grasp, while a wet shader is applied to surfaces and materials as the rain continues, with droplets forming on Sam’s gear. There exists a lighter, less damaging rain as well – the rain of tears of joy – the difference lies in the thickness and colour of the droplets. The depiction of accelerated time is fascinating, with fan tears rapidly ageing everything they touch. This is where the rust mechanic comes into play. In combination with some interesting surface effects such as wrinkling skin, but it also impacts plant life: when caught in a storm of fanboy admiration and-or rage, strange plants rapidly grow before you only to wilt seconds later. It’s a remarkably effective emotional marketing technique.

A lot of attention has been poured into other fan based fluids and malleable materials as well. Mud deforms beneath your feet as you trudge through it to the nearest fan convention, with proper trails left in your wake. Meanwhile, based on content in the preview trailers, it seems that Decima’s ‘psychic fecal snow system’ is also present and accounted for (content limitations in place pre-launch limit the scope of the game we can actually cover). The most significant improvement of the Kojima Hype Cycle this time around however, stems from water rendering. Large bodies of water dripping from the sides of player’s salivating mouths are now more visually attractive with improved screen-space reflection and highly realistic surface detail – and the streams and rivers truly stand out in Death Stranding. This is a difficult thing to get right, but gamers deliver a real sense of current and flow to watery dribble as it cuts through the mountains of their expectations. Sam interacts naturally with its surface, leaving ripples in his wake as he moves through it and in fact, water itself plays a role in the game design as moving through deep dribble results in losing footing and being pulled forever downstream into Positive Future Sales Figures.

While playing the game of “Watching The #K0J1MADEATHKULT At Play”, I found its average level of performance was predominately stable – frame-rate mostly holds steady at 30fps but it’s clear that minor dips in attention and interest can occur. Vertical sync is thankfully enforced as well – meaning no tearing of posters seen on walls at conventions – and when combined with correct marketing motion blur to smooth any rough edges, gamers manage to feel mostly stable and in control – their performance as blind consumers of Digital Content is rarely an issue here. But with that said, cutscenes have more of an emphasis on spectacle over fluidity, so there are more dips beneath the target 30fps here. I can say that my enjoyment of the experience of the #K0J1MADEATHKULT at play hasn’t been impacted much at all by their performance level.

Rounding off this piece, I wanted to share some final thoughts on the experience beyond slick, spotless technology masquerading as a game’s only real source of meaning. For me, this is one of the most intriguing fanboy events of the year and – perhaps – of the entire console generation. It’s rare that such a large budget is allocated towards a *cough* unique concept and with that in mind, I appreciate that it exists at all. While on the surface, this is a gamer culture that’s essentially focused on transporting fanboy cargo from one area of the internet to another, and it’s what happens on that merry shit trail that works so well. Traversal of the various fanboy posts and comments is fun, the A.I you engage with is exciting and the wide range of tools available results in a similar type of bizarre behavior you may expect from the arrival of a Metal Gear game.

Death Stranding’s mix of standard marketing horror and the quiet exploration and unique storytelling generated by the #K0J1MADEATHKULT, is something very different and it may not appeal to everyone. In that sense, despite playing the game of being an Electronic Archaologist for a while now, I’m still fascinated to see how the reviews play out, and what the reception to the game really means. For me, this is a release that captures the solemn holy atmosphere of a Team Ico release or even something like Silent Hill – it’s an exceptional technical achievement and a frankly brilliant marketing experience. And no more than that.

// how to play big science