Saturday, July 7, 2012

Adversaria 3

Ad`ver*sa"ri*a\, n. pl. [L. adversaria (sc. scripta)]  
A miscellaneous collection of notes, remarks, or selections;  
a commonplace book; also, commentaries or notes.

"I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.
-John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (153)

"This childish idea that the authoer of a novel has some special insight into the characters in the novel... it's ridiculous. That novel was composed of scratches on a page, dear. The characters inhabiting it have no life outside of those scratches. What happened to them? They all ceased to exist the moment the novel ended."
- John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (191-2)

 "I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed."
- John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (223)  

"And by the way? For the record? America didn't 'lost its innocence' all at once on November 22, 1963. That was the midpoint, the end of the beginning, the moment when a wild new strain of crazy could no longer be denied or ignored. I started reading the newspaper every morning when I was eight, in 1957, and my scrapbooks, full of crinkly Elmer's-glued press clips, seem like the libretto of a dark modern opera, all the darker now for my schoolgirl conscientiousness."
- Kurt Andersen, True Believers (24-5) 

"The supernatural myths of American childhood - Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny - were ostensibly for the sake of children's enchantment. Their real function was habituating adults to perpetuate pretty fantasies, to get them comfortable joining a routine conspiracy of fabrication, to make telling the plain truth seem churlish and wrong. Using cute little Peter as a pawn, Easter was all about trying to turn me into a liar and a cynic.
- Kurt Andersen, True Believers (178)

"Don't assume you're powerless. That's what they count on."
- Kurt Andersen, True Believers (308)

"'Interactive voice response. I got angry and the computer knew I was a woman and knew I was angry. It told me to "please calm down, ma'am." Fuck that. Fuck texting every five seconds and Foursquare and Facebook and the rest of it. It's DIY fascism, you know? Totalitarianism lite. Big Brother as a group hug. Fuck the fucking Singluarity.'
The thing about young people who glimpse malign truths? They're hyperbolic and annoying, but they're not necessarily wrong on some of the essentials. Although my parents' generation may have paid too much attention to our generation's shocked and breathless truth-telling in the 1960s, nowadays I think a lot of us probably err too much in the other direction, shrugging into our Snuggies and pouring another drink."
- Kurt Andersen, True Believers (430)


Our legacy will be outdated technology, squalor and mushy brains. We'll lack the ability to focus, to think critically and independently, and thos who cling to truths, who question our trajection will be silenced one way or another. It's all bullshit, and we're dripping of it. Submerged in this fucked up consumer culture, making ourselves into indentured servants in the name of [progress] without comprehending the consequences.

And what of those who came before me? The men (and some women) who made it through the system before it began to careen out of control? My parents, my neighbors. Well, they've also bought into the system. Keeping their doubts to themselves, their satisfaction comes in the form of nice cars (that now track your every move), nice houses (that are inefficient, too big and often unused and overpriced) and big, flashing screens mounted to living room walls. These expensive billboards are a portal, allowing marketers and the Mass Media to shoulder their way into your subconscious... and it's ruining us.

I've realized that this cannot be helped, cannot be stopped on a grand scale. The media's strangle-hold on everyone will not lessen because we've convinced ourselves that we like to be used; like our new, futuristic, "comfortable" lifestyle that revolves around the voices of others, constantly seducing us with flashing colors and empty promises.

So. There is no solution that will save humanity. There is no way to wrest power from the 20-dd wealthiest families and their many puppets that dance before us, everywhere we look. 

1 comment:

Mark said...

Well, you never know. I'm not really an optimist, myself, but a lot of our problems, going forward, are really the same problems that previous generations have had, just in new forms. And if you figure we've gotten through a hundred thousand generations so far, you may find reason to think that we'll muddle through somehow.

That doesn't mean that the muddling isn't facilitated by a mighty effort by a small percentage of the population, though.

I've always been of the northern philosophy, believing that doom is the natural destiny, and that value comes from not giving into it easily. Beowulf asks his men to help him fight the dragon, and only one guy is willing to go with him, but Beowulf goes to fight the dragon anyway. He doesn't survive, but who does?