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

"If the punchy, claustrophobic anti-sociality of programs in the early lockdown proposed an especially black vision into the future, the Movement for Dark Lives block uprising of the late spring believed like their wondrous opposite—a future by which systems were answering and being organized by the activities on a lawn, as opposed to these events being organized by and formed to the needs of the platforms. This was something worth our time and commitment, something which exceeded our compulsion to write, something that—for an instant, at least—the Twittering Equipment couldn't swallow.

Maybe not so it was not trying. As people in the streets toppled statues and fought police, persons on the systems modified and refashioned the uprising from a road movement to a thing for the use and expression of the Twittering Machine. What was occurring off-line needed to be accounted for, described, judged, and processed. Didactic story-lectures and photos of well stocked antiracist bookshelves seemed on Instagram. On Twitter, the usual pundits and pedants jumped up demanding details for each and every mantra and justifications for every action. In these concern trolls and answer men, Seymour's chronophage was literalized. The cultural business does not just eat our time with countless stimulus and algorithmic scrolling; it takes our time by creating and selling individuals who exist simply to be told, individuals to whom the entire world has been developed anew every day, persons for whom every settled sociological, scientific, and political controversy of modernity must certanly be rehashed, rewritten, and re-accounted, this time making use of their participation.

These people, using 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 guide suggests anything worse about people, their Twitter and Facebook interlocutors: That we need to spend our time. That, but significantly we would complain, we find satisfaction in endless, circular argument. That individuals get some sort of happiness from boring debates about "free speech" and "stop culture." That individuals find oblivion in discourse. In the machine-flow atemporality of social media, that appears like number great crime. If time is an infinite resource, why not invest a few years of it with a couple New York Times op-ed columnists, restoring all of Western thought from first rules? But political and financial and immunological crises pack on each other in succession, over the background roar of ecological collapse. Time isn't infinite. Nothing of us are able to pay what is remaining of it dallying with the stupid and bland."


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