Friday, September 01, 2006

They have colonized my memory...

Welcome to Luddite Fridays, where we sit back, unplug, and let loose about the over-accelerated state of things and the general dehumanization of our existence. It's old news but hey... Pull up a tree stump. Grab a leaf full of rain water and let the kvetching begin... It's fun! Try it!

I have lost the battle. And so have you. Memory was never demarcated as sacred turf and so it has been usurped. The world of markets and mergers and ceaseless electric transaction is too powerful, too noisy, too hungry for psychic territory, and the brain is too involuntarily sponge-like to put up a decent fight.

Our memories may be our own, physically, but how much say do we have in making them in this environment? Can you choose what lives in your memory when you are barraged with flashing lights and synthesizers, ego trips and the olson twins, marketing agendas and breaking news every waking moment of the day? We have become storage vessels for the useless ephemera of our culture - meat-based hard drives onto which hi and low culture inscribe themselves mercilessly. Mental file cabinets emptied and then overstuffed with non-stop junk mail. No chance for organization or review. Personal memories corrupted with inflicted ones. The spindly shoots of art and imagination striving upwards to find some light are violently bent over like broken car antennas crumpled down by the gravity of our situation. The default mode of Elvis. Pop culture, the shining jewel in the crown of frenzied excess, may be fun on the surface but who's monitoring its deep impact? Evidently, It forms a plaque. It clouds the lens. It crosses wires. Jams the systems. All those images. All those commercials. All those carefully contrived moments. The flashes and the brainless compulsions. And we must learn to love it or drown.

Wait. Are these the terms of participation? How'd this happen? Sure I can go live in the woods, but I don't want to. I like the civilized world, but a quick scan of the horizon begs the question: what happened to the civilization part? How do we counter this monster we've created so the whole thing doesn't collapse upon us and crush us all in electrified piles of twisted metal and burning porno mags? And you. Why do you cling so dearly to this crap? Are you afraid of what's underneath it all? Or is this hypnotic state all you've got?


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