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Wreath Lectures

Why 'Do One 2016' Isn't Enough & We Need Aesthetic Dissent
Joe Kennedy , December 13th, 2016 13:58

In the latest Quietus Wreath Lecture, Joe Kennedy argues that in the age of Brexit and Trump we need to sharpen and weaponise our approach to consuming culture

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If anyone from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable is trying to find an apercu to emblematise the year currently closing greyly over our heads, the philologists and lexicographers could do worse than 'Do one, 2016'. To be honest, I despise this calendarial meme for its droopy passivity, its assumption than time itself, whatever that would mean, elected Donald Trump and caused Brexit and did away with half the people responsible for our record collections. It tethers the preventably political and the unpreventably mortal under a single malign cause; it defers hope to mere chronology – next year simply must be better – and washes liberal hands of a culpability with which those hands are surely stained. And yet I'll always think not of 2016, but of 'Do one, 2016', in that this was the year that despair became not just a culture's darkening fringe, but its looming preoccupation.

But, of course: what now? For so long so many of us have responded to feeling beaten by disengaging. Knackered at the end of the week, getting home in the dark, guiltily combing the unopened bills together to the end of the kitchen work surface to make room to knock something together for tea, we're hurrying for our easily accessible distractions. This, we feel, is what we've earned as recompense. 'I just want to turn my brain off. I just want not to think.' The telly's on, the Weekend Supplements and their allegedly relatable life stories and allegedly transformative life hacks are browsed, our finger-joints are exercised in their almost frictionless grace across the touchscreen. Pause, though. At this point, I'm seemingly hurtling towards what is, in itself, the exact latitude of distraction: the hot-take mandarinism which instructs us to, say, turn off Twitter and do something else - but what, exactly? - or that reading whatever is being adapted for television this year is ultimately a more personally enriching experience than watching that adaptation. We've heard the theories of popular culture which presents it as an instrument of power and us as that instrument's dupes, the television (or the newspaper, or the PlayStation, or the strangely homogenised 'internet') as a colossal con, and we've taken them on board, and decided that, on balance, we'll just proceed with caution rather than switch off.

There's a different way of approaching this however. The relationship between attention and distraction remains intrinsically political despite the above, and, moreover, that the commitment of attention, including and even particularly aesthetic attention, needs to be regarded as a form of resistance or dissent. The argument against distraction needs to be salvaged from its own tendency towards clickbait banality, and requires caveats which take into account the fact that the capacity to commit attention in its various forms is hitched to particular social privileges, meaning that we can (or should) no longer attempt to advocate a homogeneous form of attention as though it were an uncomplicated moral choice.

Most significantly, though, I want to consider these ideas in relation to what we might call the 'critique of the critique of distraction'. Various modernist thinkers of the twentieth century, perhaps most notably Bertolt Brecht and Theodor Adorno, outlined the dangers of succumbing to the temptation to consume culture passively. For them, (serious) art's value as a catalyst for critical thought was an article of faith, but they in turn became subject to a sceptical postmodernist analysis which dismissed such ideas as elitist. While this often came from the left, it has proved to be awfully harmonious with a right-wing populism which declares that 'critics' shouldn't be allowed to 'dictate' what we think. While returning to an extreme modernist asceticism would be chimerical or counterproductive, or both, there is a case to be made for re-arming the principle of discernment to face up to the challenges of a historical moment in which the notion of the popular as an unproblematic good has been exploded.

It's not as if we weren't warned a long time ago that fascism, or authoritarian populism, would, in certain guises, try to fortify itself within a petty and arguably performative philistinism. Hitler's 1930s campaign against 'degenerate art' is probably too extreme to be cited here as evidence; it's the kind of thing which typically gets subsumed to a more generalised argument 'against totalitarianism'. Instead, I want to turn to Patrick Hamilton's 1947 novel The Slaves Of Solitude to show how we've long been vaguely aware of how reactionary politics depend to some extent on the gradual denigration of the worthwhile. In Hamilton's largely uneventful story, a sympathetically lonely woman of vaguely left-wing sympathies, Miss Roach, is waiting out the last years of World War II in a chintzy boarding-house in a Thames Valley regatta town. Hell, here, as was so often the case in the fiction of the late 1940s, is other people, notably Mr Thwaites, an armchair 'tyrant' and proto-Faragian whose political activities take the form of attempts to grind Miss Roach down without anyone else noticing. With frequent arched-eyebrow references to '[her] friends, the Russians', he is able to drive her to distraction, but Hamilton is careful to show that this subliminal, uninvited warfare also has an aesthetic dimension.

One day amidst this 'orgy of ennui', a fellow lodger politely and off-handedly asks Mr Thwaites what he is reading. His response, worth quoting at some length, is representative of how Hamilton could at times create characters so powerful that, like Dickens', their uniqueness bulges in the direction of archetypicality:

'This?' said Mr Thwaites in a slightly shamefaced way. 'Oh – only something I picked up at the library. What is known, in vulgar parlance, as a “thriller" or “blood-curdler", I believe. It serves pour passer le temps […] It may not be Dickens or Thackeray […] mais il serve pour passer le temps […] I'm not going to say it's Dickens […] I'm not going to say it's Thackeray. I'm not even going to say it's Walter Scott. But we've got to pass time somehow.'

It's important not to mistake the satire here as simply a riff on a particular English bumptiousness: Hamilton is very clear to make this unsolicited literary expatiation part of Thwaites' broader armoury of political demoralisation. His point, I think, is that fascism, in its parochial form, would always depend substantially on efforts to reign in the world's horizons, in this case via a reductio which makes all art into nothing more than something 'to pass time'. Thwaites' book, as he, in a cunning masquerade of embarrassment, 'admits', is not Dickens or Thackeray or 'even […] Walter Scott', but – by implication – it might as well be, because art is just something to turn down the ticking clock's volume. By extension, anything which pretends to do more than this is 'pretentious'. Now, think back to every single article on Joyce, or Woolf, or Rothko, or Maya Deren, or Schoenberg, or Burial that has ever been published online this century with an open comments section beneath it, and consider the tone of a good portion of what is inscribed there in digital ink. Everything is 'pretentious crap', headed off towards 'Pseud's Corner', 'tldr', put aside 'after the first page' or switched off and 'thrown across the room' or 'used as an ashtray' 'because they sounded like they were still tuning up'. One might explain the policing of supposed indulgence with recourse to a story about people being defensive in the face of difficult artworks, but something else is taking place here.

In the 1980s, most notably in America, but also in Britain as embodied by Mary Whitehouse, a figure now regarded across the political spectrum as absurd and even pitiable, there was a clear link between right-wing politics and a desire to censor offensive art. However, this situation no longer holds as such. With, on one hand, a liberalisation of many social attitudes and, on the other, a triumph-through-ubiquity on the part of the shocking – culture has been saturated boringly with sex and violence – the right can no longer count on the support of a 'moral' majority. Instead, it must construct an idea around authenticity: that 'real' people want art to give them unfettered 'reality', rather than formal or textural difficulty. Dan Fox's Pretentiousness, a slim volume published at the beginning of this year, was a timely defence of aesthetic overreach and its usefulness as a catalyst for social mobility at a moment in history when the idea that 'the people' just want to be 'entertained' has played an important role in the construction of populism's everyman. The invocation by UKIP and its analogues across Europe and the Anglosphere of a constituency who, as the unfortunate Yorkshire saying goes, 'know what they like and like what they know', has tied hostility towards this overreach into an isomorphic relationship with a politics grounded in nativism.

The last week has, of course, furnished us with an excellent example of this relationship. Michael Gove, that hellish glimpse into the usually closed reality of pustulent boys' school debate-soc contrarianism, wormed up on Twitter to share his aesthetic insight in response to Helen Marten's Turner Prize victory. Now, i don't think it really matters what you think of Marten's work (which, for the record, I was reasonably impressed by) or of the Turner Prize in general. To be honest, anything which won whilst resembling anything more modern than one of Gove's recommendations, William Holman Hunt - a painter in his own way as lurid as any Turner winner - would have been shot down. Never mind that Gove would probably have hated the experimentalism of the late Turner had he been around to see it in the early Victorian years, his intervention argued implicitly that art isn't there to challenge, it's there to, at most, soothe and pass the time. I would not expect the erstwhile Education Secretary to be able to launch any kind of informed defence of the intrinsic goodness of Holman Hunt or Turner, and particularly not of John Ruskin, the art theorist and mediocre sketcher whose superiority was confusingly offered as another example of painterly achievement to pillory Marten against. But that was never really the point, which was, really, to annoy.

The cultural worldview of the new right, then, abhors whatever usefully absorbs our time and critical attention. It needs to produce not contemplativeness, but agitation, channel-skipping divertedness that corrodes the ability to focus. In considering this, I'm drawn once again to an analogy drawn from fiction, in this case Ben Marcus' 2012 novel The Flame Alphabet. One of the most queasily disturbing pieces of experimental fiction published so far this century, it tells of a catastrophic near future or alternate present in which the speech of children has become toxic to adults. It does not kill immediately, but gradually withers and weakens. Marcus declines to provide a epidemiology for his 'speech plague', and also – wisely – resists making it into something which is obviously allegorical, leaving space in which one can consider the implications of the idea. It's just too easy to say that 'reality TV' or 'Twitter' or 'Michael Bay' are uniquely to blame for the apparent wilting of thought so apparent in the triumphs of Trump or Brexit. To finger any of these individually would be to fall into the grossest of oversimplifications, not least because we would, in doing so, be avoiding any discussion of the failure of our supposed intelligentsia to offer anything beyond a complacent belief in their own sagacity. When I look, for example, at a typical specimen of 2016's culture-supplement 'culture' like Ian McEwan's truly appalling Nutshell, I see little more than a generation of writers trying to dine out on the same commonsense liberalism – or hackneyed humanism - that elevated them to prominence in the 70s and 80s. Martin Amis trying to execrate Jeremy Corbyn in the Times magazine belongs on exactly the same level of idiot distraction as a troupe of shiny-suited 'entrepreneurs' trying to get forty pence off a job lot of fruit cake while Karren Brady raises her eyebrow in The Apprentice. Broadsheet intellectualism, in its get-to-the-point reductionism, belongs also to what theorist Sianne Ngai calls the 'stupid sublime' or 'stuplime', cultural production so senseless it stupefies our capacity for response. This is our lived equivalent of Marcus' caustic speech: we don't have time to stop and think, or read, or listen before the next piece of knowingly 'provocative' commentary in the New Statesman, or the next new reality show, or the next tossed-off, tritely 'topical' novel from a Booker-winning éminence grise hits us. All of these things eat, rather than deepen, our time.

Of course, it isn't reasonable to assume that everyone can simply stop watching Homes Under The Hammer, or reading McEwan, and start reading Virginia Woolf for breakfast. To do so would involve an unexamined flexing of cultural capital which takes little to no account of the educational and social privileges which are involved in committing to demanding art. However, it seems to me that there is presently a choice, of sorts, to make between taking a gamble on the 'reaching out' Fox argues is key to pretentiousness and acquiescing to the idea that you're some kind of intolerable snob if you question the idea that art is simply entertainment 'pour passer le temps'. This doesn't mean falling for the fallacy of digital dualism and disavowing social media, or never watching television again, but it does involve putting a check on one's own bad faith around the idea that time is something we 'deserve' to squander because we've worked so hard and we're tired.

To restate an important point, whether we watch Bergman film or Come Dine With Me isn't a moral choice, but to pretend that doing the latter is somehow a reward for our labours is ultimately a politicised decision which, as Alfie Bown pointed out in his recent book on enjoyment, divides our time between 'important' work and passive leisure. Bown's argument is that such a division favours a late capitalist ideology which wants us to experience ourselves primarily as productive employees, but I'd argue that the separation of life into 'serious' and 'non-serious' time has also played a fundamental role in the unfolding of the populist moment. In the ascendancy of Donald Trump, or Godfrey Bloom, or Marine le Pen, we're seeing the triumph not of what liberals smugly dismiss as 'post-truth politics' – I don't recall much 'truth' from New Labour – but of Ngai's 'stuplime', a pulse-wave of targeted idiocy designed to exhaust those who would resist it. If we can do one thing right now to redeem 'Do one, 2016', perhaps it's realising that our time away from work deserves to be more than simply 'passed': that it is in 'spare' time where we have the greatest deal of agency to at least think differently.

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Dec 13, 2016 3:23pm

I can't read this.

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James
Dec 13, 2016 4:12pm

Thank you for an engaging read, much appreciated!

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Philip Mc.
Dec 13, 2016 4:24pm

Thank you for this. I very much enjoyed reading it (after the nausea brought on by the photo at the top had passed).

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John McKeown
Dec 13, 2016 5:38pm

I ploughed valiantly on but could get no further than 'the hot-take mandarinism.'

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Casmilus
Dec 13, 2016 5:40pm

"In the 1980s, most notably in America, but also in Britain as embodied by Mary Whitehouse, a figure now regarded across the political spectrum as absurd and even pitiable,"

You can remove the "now", old chap. She was a joke even before she weighed in against The Singing Detective, to pick just one of her idiotic campaigns. The only right-wingers who might have stood by her would be the ludicrous rentaquote MP Geoffrey Dickens, the man who wanted The Smiths banned on several occasions (fill in your own gags about how that might have been a good thing for "indie" music).

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Dec 13, 2016 6:31pm

In the event that the gentle reader feels anemic for want of turgid prose, flaccid obscurantism, and banal cultural theories, but is too depleted to wade through this pompous word orgy, a summary:

¶01: The essayist is dejected because some politicians he dislikes triumphed and some rock stars died.

¶02: The essayist engages in solipsistic hand-wringing whilst contemplating how best to spend his free time.

¶03: The essayist asserts that one's particular choices for personal distraction are based on "social privileges" which involve politics and morals.

¶04: The essayist invokes writers to support his tenuous theories on how best to spend one's time. Sprinkle in some 'postmodernist analysis' and 'right-wing populism' for flavor.

¶05: The essayist invokes Hitler in relation to current politics. The essayist invokes an obscure novelist because Godwin's Law is growing stale.

¶06: Literary citation, because why not?

¶07: The essayist asserts that fascism deliberately reduces art to a pastime. The essayist laments that the general public does not agree with his aesthetic tastes.

¶08: The essayist asserts that art considered offensive 35 years ago no longer is. The essayist cites a writer who published a "timely defense of aesthetic overreach and its usefulness as a catalyst for social mobility". No doubt that these two are a gas at parties.

¶P09: The essayist references precious artists in relation to the Turner Prize.

¶10: The essayist asserts that the 'new right' deliberately "abhors whatever usefully absorbs our time and critical attention". Absurd non sequiturs aside, he cites another obscure novelist to buttress a meritless argument founded upon a groundless theory.

¶11: Sulfur dioxide in print with a dollop of "the fallacy of digital dualism".

¶12: The essayist unveils the grand plot twist - "the separation of life into 'serious' and 'non-serious' time has also played a fundamental role in the unfolding of the populist moment" which results "a pulse-wave of targeted idiocy designed to exhaust those who would resist it."

2016 concludes with a bang. Now, back to the salt mines or your television with a delicious bowl of junk food and join the non-resistance!

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David Watts
Dec 14, 2016 5:01am

In reply to :

Ive got to say, I love this. Why live your life in a state of good faith? Why come to terms with the sincere beliefs of fellow people even as they make their earnest struggle towards understanding in good faith of how to deal with the upheavals of the world and challenges to their values? He's just sad (Sad!) ever since his side lost amirite? Sore loser! Throw out the intellectual history! Through out the political history! Throw out every god blasted principle of charity you have because you don't need 'em when you know you're right sonny!

Look! He said "post-modern", isn't that funny? Imagine what he's like at parties! I bet he actually BELIEVES in art!

Wait a second wait a second. Did he say that there isn't anything wrong with disagreeing with his tastes? No, couldn't have done, or maybe he did, best to ignore it anyway.

Getting on then, who gives a toss? One candidate's as good as another and nothing ever changes. Pretending otherwise is a mug's game.

Now, back to the salt mines or your television with a delicious bowl of junk food and join the non-resistance!

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Casmilus
Dec 14, 2016 10:26am

In reply to :

[In reply to anonymous]

All that flapping and you didn't spot the open goal of the rein/reign misuse (along with horde/hoard and populous/populace, the most common error of illiterate graduates in the media). Also, please don't give us "sulphur dioxide", this is England not America.

I was surprised this author was citing Patrick Hamilton at all, I would have expected him to regard PH as long ago consumed by middlebrow Book Group culture, along with "The Master And Margarita". And "Slaves Of Solitude" is not an obscure choice anyway (that would be "Impromptu In Moribundia", out of print for 60 years, and the real meat for someone who wants to feast on Marxist satire of bourgeois culture). "Slaves" is such a safe choice it's been on Radio4's "A Good Read", where no less than Les Dennis was bowled over by it. Les didn't see the character of Mr Prest, the failed old vaudevillean, as relevant to his own career, funnily enough.

The real problem with the line the writer takes is that Mr Thwaites simply can't sustain the political significance he wants to put on him. He's only a bore, a "trampler on feelings", from the same cloth as Ernest Eccles in "The Plains Of Cement", and utterly pathetic and trapped in the boarding house world. "Slaves Of Solitude" is a novel about isolation, and the peculiar dislocations in British life during WW2. For Hamilton's portrait of a fascist, see Netta Longdon in "Hangover Square", who wanted to live in a bigger world.

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Joe K
Dec 14, 2016 11:42am

In reply to Casmilus:

Well, s/he didn't point it out, but I'm grateful that you did!

A few points about the use of Hamilton. First of all, the fact that his writing is, in broad terms, 'pretty middlebrow' isn't really the point - I just wanted to show how Mr Thwaites is, to my mind, a pretty far-sighted glimpse of the boring pass-agg fascism of UKIP. Reactionary politics works differently in every country (it's always conservative, but it has different things to 'conserve') - in the period Hamilton was working in you could look at Italy, Germany and Spain, amongst others, and see three radically different visions of fascism. You might argue that one of Mosley's biggest political errors was to try and import the Italian version; he'd have perhaps had more success if he'd appealed to all the Mr Thwaites of Britain's various Thames Lockdons. So, I'd strongly dispute your claim that he doesn't sustain 'the political significance [I] place on him' and, moreover, the attendant point about Netta in Hangover Square. I've been teaching HS this semester and one of the things my students have largely, and I think correctly, argued is that Hamilton's stroppy misogyny clouds his portrayal of fascism there. Dunno - maybe as the war went on Hamilton realised (probably rightly) that the long-term political threat would be from armchair reactionaries suffocating progressive morale rather than frustrated Mosleyites. Isn't the work of much of the new right/ alt-right precisely to circumscribe political space by 'trampling on feelings'?

As to your other points, I'm not really that interested in Impromptu in Moribundia. I've read an interesting defence of it, but for me it fits into that category of naive 'Marxist' allegory/ satire you find a lot of in the thirties - inanely wacky and ultimately quite twee novels like Warner's Wild Goose Chase and Ruthven Todd's Over the Mountain. SoS isn't, to my mind, a satire, but a (mostly) realist study of how politics works at the micro-level - those 'peculiar dislocations' are carefully politicised by Hamilton.

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Lukas
Dec 14, 2016 12:00pm

Thank you very much. - To respond to two comments: I can read this. I join the resistance. The core assumptions of this text are nailed to the point. Although kept in a slightly mannerist way, the essence presented here is the deal. "pompous word orgy" etcetera by anonymous-reaction troll is the perfect mirroring of the content above. To me it's less about discussing art/culture as a broadcast, but rather the inherent work (-time) on yourself, which is distracted and squandered. Ideas separating not only our time, but also our society and minds thus, by dissolving and annul solidarity between people. "Social media" pretending a community, while the isolated -productive- individual is loosing discernment. Hooking into art context again: I miss the concept of "Soziale Plastik" by Beuys mentioned here. Beuys exhibit to picture: An installation of 60's office furniture and a tape recorder. In the back: giant copper plates cased in wooden boxes. A voice loop calling: "Hört endlich auf mit diesem Scheiss! / Stop this shit, already!"
Clear enough. A call to re-armed principles generally. Against the stuplime.

PS: I don't like Virginia Woolf but like PK Dick, I know my Schönberg, I prefer Tarkovsky to Bergman.
I watch The Voice of Germany with my 11y daughter who listens to Bob Marley. I told her what Babylon means ....

PS II: The Quietus rules!

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Lukas
Dec 14, 2016 12:00pm

Thank you very much. - To respond to two comments: I can read this. I join the resistance. The core assumptions of this text are nailed to the point. Although kept in a slightly mannerist way, the essence presented here is the deal. "pompous word orgy" etcetera by anonymous-reaction troll is the perfect mirroring of the content above. To me it's less about discussing art/culture as a broadcast, but rather the inherent work (-time) on yourself, which is distracted and squandered. Ideas separating not only our time, but also our society and minds thus, by dissolving and annul solidarity between people. "Social media" pretending a community, while the isolated -productive- individual is loosing discernment. Hooking into art context again: I miss the concept of "Soziale Plastik" by Beuys mentioned here. Beuys exhibit to picture: An installation of 60's office furniture and a tape recorder. In the back: giant copper plates cased in wooden boxes. A voice loop calling: "Hört endlich auf mit diesem Scheiss! / Stop this shit, already!"
Clear enough. A call to re-armed principles generally. Against the stuplime.

PS: I don't like Virginia Woolf but like PK Dick, I know my Schönberg, I prefer Tarkovsky to Bergman.
I watch The Voice of Germany with my 11y daughter who listens to Bob Marley. I told her what Babylon means ....

PS II: The Quietus rules!

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Casmilus
Dec 14, 2016 1:58pm

In reply to Joe K:

Warner and Todd may have been regarded as "Marxist" at the time but I don't think either of them were seriously trying to engage with theory (unlike someone like Edward Upward, or Christopher Caudwell). "Twee" isn't really fair considering how much violence is in those books, and the implied horror of the "Research Department" in WGC.
I see WGC as a precursor of the left-wing thinking that arose in the post-Stalinist 50s, the mood of E.P.Thompson (a great admirer of Warner). "The Professor" stands as a non-allegorical tale of the failure of liberalism to stand up to fascism, by not siding with its real allies on the left.

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Dec 14, 2016 2:57pm

In reply to Casmilus:

This is why I didn't mention Upward as a point of comparison. Hamilton's Marxism was also deeply untheorised and this is why I think WGC or Over the Mountain are good comparisons for Impromptu. I do think these are interesting novels, in terms of seeing how British authors were responding to early translations of Kafka, but they're suffused, I think, with a grating public-school whimsy even at their most brutal (I think Warner pulls it off much better in The Aerodrome, a far more controlled piece of writing which creates the same air of unease Auden was good at in the 30s). I have to admit going through a big period of loving WGC about ten years ago, but suspect that was mostly obscurantism. One of the things I find irritating about it now is that I think it's stuck between a desire to be doctrinaire and a complete lack of knowledge about what that doctrine was.

It's a long time since I've read The Professor, but from what I recall it's still got elements of allegory (the hacked-together Ruritanian location and so on). I suppose a lot of that depends on how you want to define allegory, though.

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Dec 14, 2016 4:48pm

In reply to :

The reference point for "Impromptu" was Elmer Rice's "A Voyage To Purilia", which is jolly old fun though of course it isn't as angry about racial stereotypes as it ought to be, reading it now.

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Dec 14, 2016 7:43pm

To summarize this gibberish, detractors of Brexit and Trump must "sharpen and weaponise [their] approach to consuming culture", so declares the 'cultural theorist'. Stated detractors complete this task by reading Marxist novels more frequently and by tweeting (and watching television) less frequently. Understood, and in hundreds of less words. In the service of authentic free thought, why not invite a Pro Trump and Pro Brexit essayist to publish here? Every single "Wreath Lecture" on this topic thus far is contrived left-of-centre cant. This rhetorical question is easy to answer. So-called progressives are singularly tolerant of ideas that reinforce their utopian (and misguided) brotherhood-of-man fantasies, whilst rejecting any idea that pierces their sanctimonious bubble. Enjoy your rubbish novels and vacant cultural theories. The rest of the civilized world will continue enjoying real life (and yes - one that does not involve twitter, television, or third-rate novelists).

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Jive Ass Slippers
Dec 14, 2016 9:05pm

In reply to :

"The rest of the civilized world will continue enjoying real life (and yes - one that does not involve twitter, television, or third-rate novelists."

And yet, here you are posting on a blog at all hours of the day. It's late. Put the internet down and go have some cake.

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Casmilus
Dec 15, 2016 9:08am

In reply to :

I don't have any "Brotherhood Of Man fantasies". I always knew they were a crap version of Abba.

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Taun Aengus
Dec 16, 2016 7:48pm

Better to resist standing up, than to resist laying down. Nuf said. Interesting read.

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Stu
Dec 16, 2016 10:47pm

Aye well.... the 80's were politically awful, but then I was young and didn't realise how much time there wasn't for things to change.
Now.. we'll the sheeple get what the sheeple want. To be honest would Hilary have been a great triumph?
What I do realise as I get older is just how opinionated the news channels are, even our much revered BBC is really a wing of the UK establishment.
Sadly the reaction against the ghastly economic downturn is the rise of right wing populism, more so than innovative leftist policies.
Perhaps there is anlacking of the latter or the manipulation of the sheeple by the billionaire owning media moghuls. People have lost the will to question? Why shoulder they trust the mainstream? Brexit Trump Corbyn SNP Greek govt etc times are changing ? Sadly I suspect not. The trumps, Brexit will only give more power to the free trade soulless idealogies who dragged us into this shit in the first place.
Then again in the 90's things did change, or so I thought.. maybe it was the (admittedly) crap drugs I was taking at the time.
Ess

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JT
Dec 18, 2016 7:23pm

The propositions and conclusion laid out in this article do a solid job at providing a clear picture of just how utterly impotent and complacent the average member of the "2016 liberal resistance" ultimately is(and how extremely comfortable they are in their pondering complacency, even if they don't want to admit it or don't even realize it). It's why they lost, it's why they'll keep losing.
Beyond that, ehh.

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