What is Hollywood, you ask, dear children? A quorum of whores babbling endlessly on about fucking while the bordello is razed for a penny arcade -- Paul Bern

Thursday, October 27, 2011


1932. During a lull in the battle of Washington, General Douglas MacArthur, Army Chief of Staff, orders "really mean" 140 character messages to be spammed to the twitter accounts of the Bonus Army.
How the late Apocalyptists love mouthing out all about the Gold and the Silver and the Cinnamon of evil Babylon! How they want them all! How they envy Babylon her splendour, envy, envy! How they love destroying it all! The Harlot sits magnificent with her golden cup of the wine of sensual pleasure in her hand. How the Apocalyptists would have loved to drink out of her cup!
And since they couldn't: How they loved smashing it!

Ivan Krastev: The rise of populism and the mistrust of the elites have reduced European politics to a clash between the anti-corruption rhetoric of the public and the anti-populist rhetoric of the establishment. There is no new collective utopia to capture the public’s imagination. Simply, a majority of people tend to view all that governments do as corrupt, while governments tend to respond to any demand for policy change with accusations of populism. Instead of bringing new life to the political left or the political right, the current economic crisis has challenged the very notion of the left-right structure of democratic politics. Europe and the world have gone populist. But it is a strange version of populism – people revolt not to enact a clear vision of what they want to change, but to exact revenge and punishment. The rebels of today do not oppose the status quo of yesterday – they seek to preserve it. This pro-status quo radicalism can best be seen on the streets of Paris, where last year students protested against an increase in the pension age, even though the pension age in France was one of lowest in Europe. One has the feeling that Europe is populated only by immigrants and current or future pensioners. What most people fear is not the status quo; what they fear is change. The situation is 1968 in reverse. In 1968 students on the streets of Europe declared their desire to live in a world different from that of their parents; now students are on the street to declare their desire to live in the world of their parents.

This is only a little disingenuous...the protesters correctly understand that they will be the great losers in the scale of globalized "change". They aren't insurrectionists but watchers of their own fates. They naturally want a televised record of their noble rancor and defeat. When the collective ego is undercapitalized, its narcissisms must be sustained like the terminal stages of a boom, and require perpetual bailouts of media attention.

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