surfing liquid modernity
David Milne, Black, 1914
We don’t have a word for the irreparable breakdown of meaningful narratives in modern society yet but I’m trying to find it. Or a word to describe the death throes of the American dream. I’m rereading The White Album—again and again those lines, “You are getting a woman who for some time now has felt radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest other people. You are getting a woman who somewhere along the line misplaced whatever slight faith she ever had in the social contract, in the meliorative principle in the whole grand pattern of human endeavor.” Didion the oracle.
I feel so completely alienated from our culture, from any proposed mood from the moment, from the political conversations we are supposed to tune into. I go around telling people that I think the Internet reprograms us to feel anxious and alone, that how they feel inside is not personal, it’s the direct effect of our culture.
Anyone with any proximity to power and capital wants things to continue just as they are. We live in a managerial age, a financialized age. We live in the age of the centralized Internet and all the websites look the same. The inside of my brain looks like a TikTok feed. I have multiple friends who believe we need to put BCIs in people’s brains to help them cure their addiction to swiping.
At dinner someone asks me: so what does it mean to describe yourself as a neoliberal shill? And M quotes Psychopolitics. Later I film myself talking about the utopian Internet of my childhood, the forums with hundreds of pages of threads on hamsters and guinea pigs. I use the phrase algorithmic dominance.