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

"If the punchy, claustrophobic anti-sociality of platforms in early lockdown recommended a really black perspective into the future, the Movement for Dark Lives road uprising of the late spring felt like their wondrous opposite—a future by which tools were giving an answer to and being organized by the activities on the floor, as opposed to these events being organized by and designed to the demands of the platforms. This is anything worth our time and loyalty, something which exceeded our compulsion to create, something that—for an instant, at least—the Twittering Equipment could not swallow.

Not that it wasn't trying. As persons in the roads toppled statues and struggled authorities, persons on the platforms altered and refashioned the uprising from a street movement to a thing for the use and reflection of the Twittering Machine. The thing that was happening off-line would have to be accounted for, explained, evaluated, and processed. Didactic story-lectures and photographs of effectively stored antiracist bookshelves seemed on Instagram. On Twitter, the most common pundits and pedants sprang up demanding explanations for each and every mantra and justifications for every action. In these matter trolls and answer men, Seymour's chronophage was literalized. The cultural business does not only eat our time with countless stimulus and algorithmic scrolling; it eats our time by producing and marketing those who occur simply to be told, people to whom the planet has been made anew each morning, persons for whom every resolved sociological, medical, and political debate of modernity must certanly be rehashed, rewritten, and re-accounted, this time using their participation.

These individuals, using their just-asking issues and vapid start words, are dullards and bores, pettifoggers and casuists, cowards and dissemblers, time-wasters of the worst sort. But Seymour's book implies something worse about people, their Twitter and Facebook interlocutors: That we want to waste our time. That, but much we might complain, we find satisfaction in endless, circular argument. That people get some type of satisfaction from boring debates about "free speech" and "stop culture." That individuals seek oblivion in discourse. In the machine-flow atemporality of social networking, this seems like no good crime. If time is an endless resource, why not invest a couple of years of it with a couple New York Times op-ed columnists, rebuilding every one of American thought from first maxims? But political and financial and immunological crises heap on one another in succession, around the backdrop roar of ecological collapse. Time is not infinite. None of us are able to spend what is left of it dallying with the ridiculous and bland."


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