"the problem lies with the fact that they (and i, if i'm honest) belong to what i like to call the 'cut and paste' generation; they see something they like, cut it, and paste it onto their naively diverse cultural image/agenda over and over again ad nauseam. this results in what is, concerning the most hipsterish of hipsters, absolute slavery to capitalism (plus complete ignorance/unawareness of this problem)."


"how can a can of soup be turned into art?... only people who embrace consumerism can see art in a soup label."


Nothing is the only truth. The universe came from nothing, all matter is essentially nothing (depending on what quantum physicist you believe) and eventually the universe will annihilate itself. Existence is nothingness feeding back upon itself.


It used to be that intellectuals created things. Now they form clubs that share the same arcane lingo, worship at the same idols, pray to the same superstitions. There is no ineffable law-of-nature that decrees a mind must be a product of the age in which it resides. It is simple to work outside of paradigms, to invent new meanings that did not exist and are not stamped with approval. There is no law of conservation of energy when it comes to thinking. A thought does not have to be the bastard child of an ideology.......The University has incubated a certain typeface of mind. It is one indentured to citation, the approbations of authorities, and slavishness to the ideas in vogue. I think even clever young people, aspirant writers, poets, artists and the like, fall into the webs of trendiness they think they are hacking through as jungle vine with a machete. It is this coyish build of mind, this ineffectual nature and reliance on moot causes, that is seeding a generation of intellectuals who will all be equally impotent with the problems they pretend to face.

The image of the solitary thinker, alone before his system, is one that has been lost to the mob and to fashionable slogans. But every valuable idea, even many that have been disinherited from their meanings and made into slogans, are usually put forth by people working outside the fabric of illusions communities of people can weave.

-Rational Ivan

Every now and then I have to stop myself. People often ask me why I delete things I have created and I tend to avoid the answer or attribute it to a need for “change” but the deletion (and subsequent creation) of a “thing” tends to represent not change but the end and beginning of a “phase”. My failure (or perhaps success), in large part, however tends to repeat itself in my inability to achieve clarity. I feel like I have written this out many times before. Even my college career has been a struggle of spectrum. My adherence to ideals tends to become shaky as time goes by and I lose sight of why I started. This isn’t regression. This isn’t progress.

Progress relies on availability, not on linear notions of time.

Lately the abundance of “art” at my fingertips via such sites as tumblr and fffound has resulted in a type of aesthetic pollution. Women and men become objects that I can simply create a folder, drag and drop and file away. Sites like Tumblr and Fffound proliferate the idea that these beings are tangible. This is nothing new. The rise of photography has largely been the ancestor of this consumption, relying on the idea of a photograph “capturing” “time” for popularity. Which goes without saying, like the majority of commercial advertising, is false.

Over and over I am faced with the popularity of these sites perpetuating ideas about fashion, weight, sexuality, gender, religion, politics and ultimately people and the result isn’t positive. I see more and more of my generation being sucked into a soundless vacuum of thoughtless inheritance. Books appear to be a novelty. Fiction isn’t admired for discourse, but furthered as another trophy. Quotations circulate in tends, just like the literature does. Books have become a collection of "covers". To add to insult, the majority of these works seem to often to be taken for face value; quotations that do circulate tend to ignore context.

Have we lost the art of reading?

It does not help that by and large the majority of my college career has been spent regurgitating the information I am fed. I have had a handful of teachers who admire synthesis but revisiting the semester after first taking their class, generally allows me to see that the majority of their lesson plans are heavily scripted and / or recycled. There is only so much revolution present in the ideology of pedagogy. Of perhaps one hundred and fifty students present, perhaps only ten percent of those are listening; maybe one or two will actually begin the process of fusion. Part of the failure of education stems from the reluctance of the student to be such. I can not count on any hand how many lectures I have been where I have felt fully engaged only to turn left or right and see someone else on their laptop chatting or updating their Facebook page. Sure it might be a matter of topic, but where has the respect for teaching gone? And this is not only the fault of the student, but the fault of the teacher as well.

My reluctance in large to obtain a Masters degree relies on the fundamental problems in see the education system already having and encountering in the future. While I admire many of my professors, I sense that the majority of them have resolved to live comfortably disenchanted and detached from the world, clinging to their “work” as a buoy, ultimately stowed away from the problems that plague my generation. They have already given up.

None of my professors have ever been inspiring enough to further my study in any particular field. The majority merely act as figure heads for the subjects, usually reiterating what I have already learned on my own years ago.

I digress.

My struggle with art has been one that has been long-lasting. How much art does this world need? How many schools of “artists” will open until everyone is one? (and thus, no one will be). While I still have a small part of me that admires art, I still see it largely as a distraction. How many hours, how many images are placed on the internet daily? How many hours have we wasted updating tumblr, perusing ffffound, updating blogs, scrolling down the endless abyss of bad photographs and good photographs? How much trash does it take to produce a diamond?

How many advertisements will be made? How does a movie require $500 million dollars to be made? A movie. How many celebrities will be paid to be airbrushed and play charades on screen? How many athletes will purchase million dollar homes this year?
How many children work in factories? How many iPhones will be bought and sold for who knows how many times their original cost…and worth?

I cannot submit to this anymore. I love and admire people, I love production and will always be on the fringes trying to find the art in my reality but I just can’t sit around and watch the world self-medicate using a distraction.

Every notion of reality has become commodified. Even my dissent is disillusionment. Even my reluctance asserts the opposite. The unfortunate polemic that plagues my generation is the lack of action to be without predicate. (I would take this a step farther commenting on free will, but that’s a longer discussion). Instead this “capitalist realism” encompasses the majority of my argument at present. We can not longer experience any facet of life that has not been, in some way, commercialized.

I find that the majority of my interests have become raped and pillaged by such popular sites and I look on with the predictable disdain (the irony of course addressed above as somehow feeling in possession of these "things").

It calls for a pause.
I want to return to being the "autodidact" I was so affectionately called a few years ago by someone no longer in my life. I need to figure out who I am before I unleash the same pollution and propoganda that I am condemning. I want to live because I want to.

Deciding to live is one of the hardest decisions to make today.

3 £:

Lemon Jitters said...

I've typed a paragraph in response and then deleted it. Typed another and then deleted it. I want to craft a thoughtful comment because your eloquent and disenchanted perception of this life struck a chord within me. (See? Even the very words I choose are commercialized. I allow them to chosen for me).

Recently, as a I scrolled through the many posts on my Google Reader, I began to wonder. Why am I content to spend so much valuable time looking at photos that have been passed around and around again? Why am I okay with this regurgitation?

Last year I felt like I was drowning in a vast sea of disillusionment. Jaded by everyone's complacency and morbid obsession with achieving and maintaining the status quo. Frustrated with my own life- so easily placated with self-deception. Your words remind me of that time in my life. And resonate with me because the conclusions I came to during that time were not so pretty. And I had to continue on, building what I feel is the most realistic view possible for me and still maintain happiness and joy for life. I hunger for something different. For more. I am happy, I think. I am happy to be able to think this way, at the very least. I've just begun creating from this mindset and I have so far to go. I yearn for the future, as if that will satisfy me. It won't. I need to make decisions now about who I want to be. Because essentially, our current decisions are who we are. We are not our future selves, which are often idealogical and unattainable.

You are right to begin the journey of finding yourself. Of pushing yourself. I think that this will be a difficult time for you but one that you must experience, for you are not content to be in the average ideal of mediocre. I hope that, after the initial disenchantment has passed, a quiet, motivational realism takes it place and allows you the freedom to be you and create new.

Who was it that said the mark of true intellect was the ability to hold two conflicting opinions at once?

Life seems to be a grand illusion. It also seems to be worth living.

Grateful for your post.

K. said...

First off, thank you for even reading. I know it is "too long" for some people...unaccustomed to text.

I think being able to read what I already knew was a good, swift kick in the ass saying that I need to accept who I am without all the flowery bullshit I choose to disguise myself in.

My disenchantment with art has been festering for a long time because I see myself as a being who expresses myself mainly "artistically". But the majority of my disappointment lays in seeing art generally becoming nonexistent.

To add on to this - I don't think we live in a society where individuality can be any degree of "made". All of our notions of identity revolve around being found, generally letting objects define us than us defining objects.

I've always been hyper-aware of the disjunct this creates and I think for the past four or five years I have tried to deal with it different ways - denial, deflection, acceptance, ignorance.

But I think the only thing I can now, in regards to art, is continue the sorting process. That's all you can do these days. Become a filter.

I consistently try to provide a window into the counter, or anti, or abnormals of the world and I want to keep doing that.

I'm not completely disenchanted with this blog yet and I think it can still be useful as a tool for my means.
If nothing else. Whoever else takes anything from this does so on their own accord.
But for now I think it is time for me to start embracing accurate reflections of myself. It's the only thing I can attempt to have.

I like this especially because it resonates something at the forefront of my mind:
"I need to make decisions now about who I want to be. Because essentially, our current decisions are who we are."

For the past half decade I feel like I have been in a limbo because of my inability to make decisions. I often end up in an intellectual paralysis. It sounds silly but my need to reason out every fragment of an argument leaves no clear decision.

I believe that Fitzgerald said that, but his clause depended on the ability to function.

I'm getting there.

Thanks again.

katie a. said...


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