Twilight Hi-Rise by Han Bing
“In the medium of technology, culture, politics, and the economy merge into an omnipresent system which swallows up or repulses all alternatives. The productivity and growth potential of this system stabilize the society and contain technical progress within the framework of domination. Technological rationality has become political rationality.”
-Herbert Marcuse, Eros and Civilization
“I don’t take it seriously, but being called a ‘bad citizen’ is a compliment to a novelist, at least to my mind. That’s exactly what we ought to do. We ought to be bad citizens. We ought to, in the sense that we’re writing against what power represents, and often what government represents, and what the corporation dictates, and what consumer consciousness has come to mean. In that sense, if we’re bad citizens, we’re doing our job.”
I think that consumerism manipulates and violates bodies neither more nor less than Nazism.
-Pier Paolo Pasolini
“The American miracle, even today, is that they have swallowed their own radiant, expansive image and spat it out in the form of dejecta, and that they continue blithely along their chosen path even as it is tending towards a catastrophically extreme situation. The miracle is that they have succeeded in collapsing fiction and reality into each other on a life-size scale, allowing themselves to be invaded by their own future (which is quite a different matter from living in real time); that they have managed to maintain a gravitation of centrifugal elements, of all these eccentric populations, minorities and exogenous cultures (paradoxically, they are today the country with the least risk of ethnic, linguistic and religious dislocation). Perhaps this is gravity’s rainbow.”
“The strategic adversary is fascism… the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.”
FEMEN Protest Violence Against Women In Turkey
“I am angry for all the hundreds of thousands of other women who continue to be violated in ways much worse than I was, and yet have no platform for sharing their experience. I want to move beyond my privilege to remember the millions of women who have none. I know nothing frightens Islamists and the equally misogynistic secular men of our societies more than the demand for women’s rights and sexual freedoms — and that is ultimately what our double revolution must achieve.
Why do those men hate us? They hate us because they need us, they fear us, they understand how much control it takes to keep us in line, to keep us good girls with our hymens intact until it’s time for them to fuck us into mothers who raise future generations of misogynists to forever fuel their patriarchy. They hate us because we are at once their temptation and their salvation from that patriarchy, which they must sooner or later realize hurts them, too. They hate us because they know that once we rid ourselves of the alliance of State and Street that works in tandem to control us, we will demand a reckoning.
The battles over women’s bodies can be won only by a revolution of the mind.”
Bring the War Home: House Beautiful by Martha Rosler
The consumer media avoids directly referring to political and economic connection between your cozy sofa and someone else’s dead body: Rosler reveals the artificiality of this severed causality. The separation of us from them, here from there, is an illusion we want, as a war-profit society and as immediately war-free individuals, to maintain. In a culture like contemporary Amerika, misunderstanding between ourselves and the objects around us happens on two distinct but interdependent levels. As recognized by Marx and Lacan, things are substitutes for feelings; they are also mistaken for value-free objects, divorced, like a baby in the cabbage patch, from any material gestation. Rosler encourages us to remember where dead babies come from. Her war montages are not constructed from divergent sources: they derive from the same physical site, the same magazine, ironically called “Life.” The divorce between war and home imposed by publishing’s division between advertising and editorial, home features and war views, was also accepted by the viewer/reader of Life: irrational mis-reading, encouraged from without, is accepted from within. Or, as Horkheimer and Adorno, writing in Amerika, exclaimed: “ideology is split into the photograph of stubborn life and the naked lie about its meaning — which is not expressed but suggested and yet drummed in.” Could you enjoy your car, your TV, your painting in precisely the same way knowing someone died for your enjoyment? This is the central question to those who enjoy the spoils of post-colonial imperialism; it implicates all of us, as the material benefits of war are not limited to the rich, the multinationals, the government.