Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Performative media commentary

Is this commentary, in which the tv presenter cries on behalf of the audience/ the state/ the big Other, any different to mass media in other political regimes? Do our commentators do the same, albeit usually in other contexts? Is political regime maybe not an essential factor in how media is delivered, or at least overstated? ]

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


It has been a commonplace reaction to draw a connection between the Occupy movement and social media. It is a connection that resonates and seems logical. The common sense is that it empowers people to organise and communicate more effectively. 

What I propose is that the connection between protesting and social media is a rather different one: what we are looking at in the Occupy movement is a protest movement that can take a position of legitimacy by engaging in practice that mirrors the now dominant notions of "work".

Prior to the internet, protest consisted of congregating dissidents who inevitably could be portrayed as marginal hippies: their clothes are dirty, their pamphlets are ugly and their methods for gaining attention are intrusive. The "work" of protest thereby would engage in seeking and stretching scant resources and media channels by stealth and force. This could be contrasted with traditional work practices at the time which involved doing "work" that is concrete, materially productive and "actually makes a difference".

Now this has changed. Western economies are nearly wholly in the business of selling lifestyle, creating spectacle and capitalising on social networks. In other words, marketing. And most interestingly, the channels for such marketing has become homogeneous - law firms accountants and marketers spend time building their business on facebook and twitter.  All of a sudden what was once the same ragtag bunch of hippies can now be presented alongside "legitimate" business on both the plane of spectacle (they look the same) and practice.

Hence, I am looking at the Occupy Melbourne Facebook page and their feed is just as slick as any other, it is full of videos and considered opinion articles. They are engaged in full time work of self promotion that can now not be dismissed as an illegitimate practice. Their "work" now consists of exactly the same productive process as any other western business practice. 

In this context I would suggest that the mere fact that protesters and their adversaries play off through the same media channels in itself is the cause for the resurgence in protest and that the similarity in work practice provides them with necessary legitimacy. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Neo-Liberalism IS the alternative to capitalism?

So I was thinking, maybe I've come to a point where I actually in align with some Neo-Liberal thought in the sense that the Neo-Liberal condition, as espoused by its adherents in its ideal form is a kind of utopia for free labour. If I've got it right one of the basis on a practical level is for the free movement of labor, short-term contracts and the removal of worker benefits in the name of higher wages. Apparently, Germany adopted these strategies in the early 2000's when its economy was stagnating and unemployment was high and because of that it is now the strongest economy in Europe. I've come to believe in using capitalism on your own terms, basically only working for short periods of time in order to make enough to live how you want to live, and a job market where there are lots of short-term, high wage jobs is conducive to that. I actually think that having job security entails a concomitant, unavoidable internalization of the ideology of capitalism where corporations start creating bio-political structures like health benefits and pensions to the obligation to attend corporate social functions for their employees exemplified to the highest degree by the kind of neo-corporations like Google and Apple. So, in these terms, Neo-Liberalism is the alternative to this.
Of course this is completely abstract and theoretical for me, never having worked in a corporation and only having worked for four months in the past three years, is there anything in this?

South Korean twin-tower project

Controversial design ... developer stays firm on 'Twin Towers' despite fierce objection from the US and 9/11 victims.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

zizek jokes book

btw i really hate that zizek jokes book
its not because it trivialises him 
it is not necessarily a vacuous or flippant gesture
he is sort of being psychoanalytical in reading the jokes as the symptom, 
as the the noise that can seemingly be separated from the substance but is in fact crucial, 
but somehow it leaves me feeling really fkn cold like i need to take a shower

Are creative people more dishonest? ]

Alexander Singh