American Grunge

Southern Nights

It is because we know better than those who went before how to recognize the nature of desire, which is at the heart of our experience, that a reconsideration of ethics is possible, that a form of ethical judgment is possible, of a kind that gives this question the force of a Last Judgment: Have you acted in conformity with the desire that is in you?

—Jaques Lacan

Of late I was re-reading Edmund Berger’s 2015 essay Grungy “Accelerationism” (here) which recounts a short underground history of a facet of the counter-culture from the Beats (Burroughs) to the late age of slack. Informative as always Edmund relates these tidbits from a forgotten world with elan and a cynical eye toward its positive and negative effects. As he’ll tell us certain focal points were developed by the rogue intelligentsia of the era best typified by the rebels and street…

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Evolutionary Dead-Ends

Collapse of Industrial Civilization

“It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.” ~ Elizabeth Kolbert

Have things improved since I wrote my last essay a year ago for this blog? Have we miraculously transformed our entire energy system into one that does not poison and degrade the natural world? Have we slowed the onslaught of plastic pollution choking the planet’s rivers, lakes, and oceans? Have we done anything meaningful to halt the deterioration of the planet’s biodiversity toward mass extinction? Has this global, hi-tech civilization done anything significant to avert its own demise? Despite a constant flow of warnings from the scientific community and even a letter signed by more than 20,000 scientists, the simple answer is no. We have failed to address the complexity of our rising population and a degrading environment. Yes…

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“If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

What is important to realise is you are only partially in control of this process. Worse still: you are almost entirely in control of preventing it from happening. What he is talking about -what gnostic Jesus may well have been talking about- is exploring and also getting out of the way of the unconscious experiencing itself/you/the universe. And it may well destroy you if you do not.

You are free to gloss ‘the unconscious’ with whatever term you like: the spirit world, the gods, God, whatever. But I like the (jailbroken Jungian) use of ‘the unconscious’ here because it carries very little predestination. It is not ‘destiny’ as a fiat declaration of some god prior to your birth, but a plant growing: toward light, around obstacles, deeper into the soil, up balustrades. The outcome is not certain and may well be an emergent goal along the course of your lifetime. You may not ‘fulfil your fate’. I like it even more because it requires engagement. It requires exploring one’s dreams. It requires observing and participating in the patently exogenous meaning in the world. You don’t just get whisked along to your fate by some god or another.

via Saint Augustine and the Parrot – Rune Soup