of media A Going death the psychoanalytic Postal: social and drive reading

"If the punchy, claustrophobic anti-sociality of programs in the early lockdown suggested a really black perspective of the future, the Movement for Black Lives road uprising of the late spring thought like its wondrous opposite—another where tools were giving an answer to and being organized by the activities on the ground, rather than those events being organized by and designed to the requirements of the platforms. This is something value our time and loyalty, something which surpassed our compulsion to create, something that—for a moment, at least—the Twittering Unit couldn't swallow.

Maybe not so it wasn't trying. As people in the roads toppled statues and fought authorities, people on the tools altered and refashioned the uprising from a road action to an object for the use and expression of the Twittering Machine. What was happening off-line would have to be accounted for, explained, judged, and processed. Didactic story-lectures and photographs of well stacked antiracist bookshelves appeared on Instagram. On Facebook, the most common pundits and pedants sprang up challenging details for every mantra and justifications for each action. In these concern trolls and answer people, Seymour's chronophage was literalized. The cultural business does not only consume our time with countless stimulus and algorithmic scrolling; it eats our time by producing and selling people who exist only to be explained to, individuals to whom the planet has been created anew every morning, persons for whom every resolved sociological, scientific, and political controversy of modernity should be rehashed, rewritten, and re-accounted, now using their participation.

These individuals, with their just-asking issues and vapid open words, are dullards and bores, pettifoggers and casuists, cowards and dissemblers, time-wasters of the worst sort. But Seymour's book suggests anything worse about us, their Facebook and Facebook interlocutors: That we want to waste our time. That, nevertheless much we may complain, we find satisfaction in countless, circular argument. That we get some type of happiness from tedious debates about "free speech" and "cancel culture." That individuals seek oblivion in discourse. In the machine-flow atemporality of social networking, this may seem like no good crime. If time is an endless resource, you will want to invest a couple of ages of it with a couple New York Times op-ed columnists, repairing all of European thought from first maxims? But political and financial and immunological crises pack on each other in succession, around the background roar of ecological collapse. Time isn't infinite. Nothing of us are able to afford to invest what is left of it dallying with the ridiculous and bland."


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