Posts Tagged ‘ Anne Sexton ’

Sound of the Spectacle

I do wonder what will happen to me when I’m old sometimes. Certainly I’m not interested in accumulating material wealth, and the idea of being able to afford to save for a pension (let alone mortgage) seems as obtainable as being able to shoot lazers from my eyes. I don’t even agree with the concept of the private pension (which pension monies generally being invested in some of the more unsavoury activities that go on in the world). Aside from which the limited financial security that such products offer really doesn’t seem like anything that is goign to make my life any easier or happier in the long-term – apart from perhaps (arguably) offering a small amount of protection from the vicisstudes of the market.

Anne Sexton said in a poem once that: “In a dream you are never eighty”. It’s funny hpw youthful rebellion is completly valorised in Western culture – on TV, in films books, and music. It suits the hegemonic system  to have these notions of rebellion as youth-cult promulgated through mass culture. If idealism and rebellion can be boiled down to being ‘just a phase’ then that’s all good as far as the ruling elites go. What is not tolerated is the same atitude expressed by a 40 year old. In such circumstances the voice of the spectacle screams: “grow up (and submit yourself to a living non-existance of wage slavery, unfufilled desire and potentital and ultimately, emptiness).” And of anyone does decide to follow another path aside from the pre-prescribed: marry>procreate>climb the career ladder>buy financial services and products>indulge in an orgy of consumerism>die; life preogression then we are taught to look down on them, to mock them and to fear them. Meanwhile, depictions of the transgressing 02 year old are filled to the brim with positive signifiers. We all love a Rimbaud (so long as Rimbaud grows up to be a slave trader).

The answer to all this lies in stepping beyond what is sanctioned, finding alternative ways of living and different notions of ‘community’ and ‘family’. It means being a pioneer, existing without antecedents, growing old disgracefully, making art for its own sake, telling the siren call of the spectacles to “shut up” and embracing chaos. As E.M Cioran said: “Chaos is rejecting all you have learned, chaos is being yourself.”

A version of this articles appeared in issue 1# of Another Catastrophe Zine.