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

"If the punchy, claustrophobic anti-sociality of programs in early lockdown suggested a really dark vision for the future, the Motion for Black Lives road uprising of the late spring believed like its wondrous opposite—a future where programs were answering and being organized by the functions on the ground, as opposed to those activities being organized by and shaped to the requirements of the platforms. This is something worth our time and commitment, a thing that surpassed our compulsion to create, anything that—for an instant, at least—the Twittering Equipment could not swallow.

Maybe not so it wasn't trying. As people in the roads toppled statues and struggled police, persons on the systems modified and refashioned the uprising from a road motion to an item for the consumption and expression of the Twittering Machine. That which was happening off-line would have to be accounted for, explained, judged, and processed. Didactic story-lectures and pictures of properly stored antiracist bookshelves seemed on Instagram. On Facebook, the usual pundits and pedants jumped up challenging explanations for each and every mantra and justifications for each action. In these concern trolls and response people, Seymour's chronophage was literalized. The cultural industry does not only eat our time with endless stimulus and algorithmic scrolling; it takes our time by producing and promoting people who exist and then be explained to, people to whom the world has been produced anew every day, people for whom every settled sociological, clinical, and political debate of modernity must certanly be rehashed, rewritten, and re-accounted, this time using their participation.

These folks, with 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 suggests something worse about people, their Facebook and Facebook interlocutors: That we want to waste our time. That, however significantly we might complain, we discover pleasure in endless, circular argument. That we get some type of fulfillment from monotonous debates about "free speech" and "stop culture." That we find oblivion in discourse. In the machine-flow atemporality of social media, that may seem like no great crime. If time is an infinite resource, why don't you spend a couple of ages of it with a couple New York Occasions op-ed columnists, rebuilding all of European believed from first rules? But political and financial and immunological crises pile on one another in series, over the background roar of ecological collapse. Time isn't infinite. Nothing folks are able to invest what is remaining of it dallying with the stupid and bland."

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