Categories
history

The Oscillating Horrors of History

Context: Jonathan P. Baird: Nazi Germany and the fall of law It is a curious property of the dissociative logic and intractable pathology of any extreme ideological position, not just to sweep along compliant and unwitting collaborators who see in the asserted “strength” of their hollow belief system a reflexive framework upon which to hang […]

Categories
culture

Femme Fatale

The “femme fatale”, a dangerous, panther-like beauty in which all of man’s desires and fears are realised in one gorgeous, dark and explosive bundle of alluring seduction and imminent volcano-like fury. This is the fantasy of woman upon which an unwitting, gullible and endlessly-amorous male identity anchors itself – in language, image, technology, culture and […]

Categories
Psychology

Partisan Pathology

There is quite a lot to be said for the psychological dynamics of a partisan pathology (on all sides of any conflict or adversarial competition) that can only ever define itself reflexively in opposition to and by difference from a fictionalised, idealised and almost entirely abstract fantasy of Other. It is an infantile symmetry that […]

Categories
culture

Cultural Anxiety

The ways that fear and stress shape cultures and nations may have corollary systems, symptoms and processes to those that haunt individual brains, personal experiences and memory. The amygdala hijack is in some places and at some times a distributed cultural phenomenon. Microcosm/macrocosm explanations are useful in this context but can be (and often are) […]

Categories
Psychology

Human Beings Being Human: Anger

It is a simple truth. Fear drives most of our irrational decisions and our inability to admit it is in fact the greatest fallacy of all. Violence, war, hatred, discrimination, cruelty – it is all at base and in essence just fear under another name. People fear the truth of their own essential vulnerability more […]

Categories
culture

Things fall apart…

Perhaps “the centre cannot hold” because there is no centre. Chaos and disorder are far more the native state of material (thermodynamic, dissipative) facts than are the projected order and control around which we reflexively and aspirationally self-validate. Curious, indeed, (and under one perspective) that everything emerging out of the complexity sciences suggests that it […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

Riots and Disinformation: the United States of Disunity

Context: Officials see extremist groups, disinformation in protests A Gordian Knot. How much of this disinformation is generated internally and how much externally to national borders? Have we all (i.e. Globally) arrived in a set of circumstances that suggest that, functionally – at least, the differentiation of source and attribution is not as (ultimately) significant […]

Categories
art

Malevolent Machines of Fear and Fantasy

Not so much “in the belly of the beast” as she is orchestrating the mechanism and behaviour of her own projected monsters. Similar observations might be made of humanity in gestalt: we find ourselves inadvertently consumed by these malevolent machines and embodied technological architectures of our own manifest fear. Art by Will Murai

Categories
culture

On Nipples and other Taboos

The form and flow of culture forms in no small measure the persistent expression of an introspective neurosis. The abstractions of convention, of time and place are small and hollow. A thousand years from now, everything we now hold to be self-evident will be unveiled as rank absurdity but taboo will, like the ball being […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

The Ghosts of Pandemic Isolation

What already seems as though it were some distant, mythical past when human beings gathered en masse in carelessly-shared social places and no one had to hold their breath or jealously secure their body-borders for fear of some invisible viral death. How soon we forget the frenzied rush and crush of crowds, the night-lit noisy […]

Categories
Psychology

Control is only really Fear wearing a Mask

No one is in control of life anywhere near so much as we might choose to believe. At some level we all know this but we also rarely choose to acknowledge it; it frightens us. Our endless fascination with pattern and order, with declarations of certainty and knowledge – these are at least in part […]

Categories
Alien Anthropology

Crown of Thorns: this gathering storm

This nauseating fear and gathering storm, the manifestation of an unacknowledged, unknown horror: our bodies were never impermeable, our minds – never infallible. The juggling, shuffling and dancing patterns of information and entropy from which we emerged – these were never some distant Otherness and isolated (or tamed) danger and threat of difference, of distance. […]