Author Topic: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?  (Read 14547 times)

Cramulus

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2009, 05:10:58 pm »
I love that both Dery and Hosler dislike Kalle Lasn  :p What I meant to say was that Hosler et al invented the term "Culture Jamming" (at Jamcon 84), not Dery. Dery popularized the term in his famous essay. Totally inconsequential quibble, sorry.

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2009, 05:24:19 pm »
I love that both Dery and Hosler dislike Kalle Lasn  :p What I meant to say was that Hosler et al invented the term "Culture Jamming" (at Jamcon 84), not Dery. Dery popularized the term in his famous essay. Totally inconsequential quibble, sorry.

Thats cool.  I just wasn't sure if you were saying that (there does seem to be some disagreement or confusion as to who invented the term, but that's what you get for relying on The Masses) or that I was confusing Dery for Hosler.

Also (because I posted that literally a second before I hopped into the shower, as it had suddenly started running hot - THANKS PLUMBING) the CM passage in particular I was thinking of was:

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We should be aware that our enemies know all this stuff and are putting it into practice already. The Israeli army, for example, trains in the works of Foucault and Deleuze to think up strategies to not only defeat the Palestinian nation militarily, but to disrupt it on the memetic/social level and render its members docile and obedient. The main problem with "radical" politics, as we know it today in the West (i.e. small cliques of middle-class dropouts playing toy Bolshevik or pretend Emma Goldman), is that all the strategies in it stem from the Situationists at best, and the early 20th century at worst. Science has marched on here, guys. We need to be applying the most modern memetic theory - including CBT - to our political work.

[...]

We need to do more work on the idea that the "individual" is interpellated by consumer-capitalist society. To put it in CM lingo, the corporate infosphere is in the business of selling an identity. And having an identity is like having a job - if you don't have one you drop out of society altogether. Losing one's identity is even more terrible a prospect than losing one's job, and of course for many working people they're virtually the same thing.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2009, 10:17:35 pm »
Nonsense is dead. Just like punk and the hippy movement. It died the minute the consumer machine began feasting on it's corpse.

Either lead with something new or follow something old. There is no in-between.


The punk and hippie movements are not dead, they are recontextualized into consumerism. To characterize them as "dead movements" seems to identify that movement's "life" with its countercultural weight.

The argument put forth by Christine Harold in Ourspace is that it's a false dichotomy. "Coolness", and "the revolution" is produced by a commercial need - the need for an authentic experience which is not contained by the establishment. In doing so, all counterculture ultimately serves the establishment.

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In their book Nation of Rebels, philosophers Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter go to great lengths to dispel as myth the notion of an unbranded, utopian space populated by countercultural outliers... [They] argue that rather than offering an alternative to rampant consumerism, countercultural "rebellion" is actually the engine that drives the competitive consumption on which neoliberal capitalism thrives. Contemporary culture, according to Heath and Potter, does not lack choice, or simply offer a mass-produced conformity masquerading as choice. Instead, our love of all things "alternative", "indie", and "authentic" produces "cool" assets (like MySpace), which capitalists like Rupert Murdoch want desperately to add to their holdings. Hence, for Heath and Potter, "Countercultural rebellion is not just unhelpful, it is positively counterproductive."


So the point then is not
          whether or not absurdity is effective in fighting the Man.

Absurdity is powerful is because it is one of the few tools not easily manipulated by the forces of commercialism.




What I was getting at was the product lifecycle - counterculture leads. It leads to product. At that stage it ceases to be innovative or, to be more precise, it generally ceases to be as innovative. Once the product lifecycle has dragged it through the mill from "in-crowd" early adopters to bargain basement - yesterdays news, I would class the movement as dead (me and the marketting men, both)

Absurdism has been done. Post war underground revolution was strictly counterculture. Python and their ilk introduced it to the early adopters and it shot into the mainstream like a fucking torpedo, blowing up everything in it's path. The point where I'd have planted it's gravestone was when the Crazy Frog tune got in the charts. Nowadays you can't give that shit away.

Time for something new.
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Jenne

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2009, 01:43:13 am »
Awesome thread, Guys.  Cram, brilliant OP, and the comments here are golden.

Nonsense seems to have a bullshit test that makes the (to borrow from Cain) "holistic" part of it what's salient and therefore gives it some oomph or momentum within whatever target or audience it has.  The lack of this salience is what in general sets off the bullshit meter.  LMNO's example of "Jabberwocky" is so apt, it's awesome.  (only poem I know in its entireity, more's the pity)

I do believe the routinization of our brains, and what makes that routinization so attractive to them, is what makes the saliency so important for nonsense to be effective.  "Radomness" seems to be the "hawt" item of the nowaday, and I can't say that most things that seem "random" are actually thus.  In fact, the well-read consumer (and for an American, that's just someone who pays attention to our bullshit news programs and maybe a few fringe ones) will never view anything produced by anyone as random every again.  The focus-group-statisticianized-pollster-generated-figures-charts-and-percentages neo-neo-post-post-modern age seems to have created a nonentity in randomness.

But that people can recognize randomness, and not see it as 1) the Devil 2) God 3) another deity 4) their neighbor (eh, this one is still being worked through) but rather a pattern in the universe or something imposed on them by a big corporation is a large step into figuring out how we can be manipulated.

So this idea of a salient or recognized nonsense that shocks you out of your normal routinization becomes more important and actually I think less irrelevant, especially when you think where memology in the internet, the "big brother is being watched" phenomenon of the video cell phone + YouTube access, and all other bottom-up ways of introducing the Dadaist, formerly-left-field but now rather kitchy field of WTF? might lead to.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2009, 01:44:50 am by Jenne »

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #34 on: May 28, 2009, 12:18:04 pm »
Absurdism has been done. Post war underground revolution was strictly counterculture. Python and their ilk introduced it to the early adopters and it shot into the mainstream like a fucking torpedo, blowing up everything in it's path. The point where I'd have planted it's gravestone was when the Crazy Frog tune got in the charts. Nowadays you can't give that shit away.

Time for something new.

I both agree and disagree.  The absurdism of Python has been adopted and packaged, but all that means is that "a fish" is no longer an odd enough answer.

Incoherence is and unexpected juxtaposition is still effective though.  Example:




















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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2009, 12:50:18 pm »

Incoherence is and unexpected juxtaposition is still effective though.


Agreed. It's how zen koans work. Basic psychological premise. I'm reminded of a quote I saw on a book once - "Clive Barker dislocates your mind".

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2009, 12:51:47 pm »
So, Absurdism may have been commodified, but Absurdity is still alive and well.
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Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

Cramulus

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #37 on: May 28, 2009, 01:14:34 pm »
well said

also:

There is a difference between absurd and arbitrary.

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2009, 01:16:46 pm »
Also:  Just because it's random, doesn't mean it's interesting.
LMNO
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First Church of Last Exit Before Toll
The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2009, 01:44:22 pm »
So, Absurdism may have been commodified, but Absurdity is still alive and well.

My point being that yes you can be absurd and yes this will be effective but you are no longer able to create a movement based on it due to the fact that it's been done, diluted and sunk. And forget revivals - they are almost always commercially driven.

Your new movement may harness the artform of absurdity to it's own end but the marketplace will no longer respond to absurdity for it's own sake.
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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2009, 02:33:07 pm »
Fuck a movement

just  have fun
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”



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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2009, 02:45:24 pm »
What could be more fun than herding people?
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"And National Geographic got interested because National Geographic has the theory that the last century, discovery was basically finding things, and in this century, discovery is basically making things."-- Stewart Brand

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2009, 02:46:11 pm »
What could be more fun than herding people?

Making a fuckton of money from it?

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2009, 02:48:10 pm »
What could be more fun than herding people?

Not dealing with people.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”



“All that goodness, with a frozen chicken in the middle.”
― Doktor Howl, 2014

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Re: Dada Black Sheep: Have You Any Pull?
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2009, 02:48:46 pm »

 farming people - its just about as pointless and has a slightly better cash return
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