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

"If the punchy, claustrophobic anti-sociality of platforms in the early lockdown proposed a really dark vision of the future, the Motion for Black Lives road uprising of the late spring believed like their wondrous opposite—a future where systems were giving an answer to and being structured by the activities on the ground, as opposed to those events being organized by and designed to the demands of the platforms. This was something worth our time and commitment, a thing that surpassed our compulsion to publish, anything that—for a moment, at least—the Twittering Machine could not swallow.

Maybe not so it was not trying. As persons in the streets toppled statues and fought police, people on the programs adjusted and refashioned the uprising from a road movement to a subject for the usage and reflection of the Twittering Machine. That which was occurring off-line needed to be accounted for, identified, evaluated, and processed. Didactic story-lectures and photos of effectively stacked antiracist bookshelves appeared on Instagram. On Facebook, the typical pundits and pedants sprang up challenging details for each slogan and justifications for every action. In these problem trolls and answer guys, Seymour's chronophage was literalized. The cultural business doesn't only consume our time with endless stimulus and algorithmic scrolling; it takes our time by making and selling individuals who exist only to be explained to, individuals to whom the planet has been made anew each morning, people for whom every settled sociological, medical, and political controversy of modernity must certanly be rehashed, rewritten, and re-accounted, now with their participation.

These individuals, making use of their just-asking questions and vapid open letters, are dullards and bores, pettifoggers and casuists, cowards and dissemblers, time-wasters of the worst sort. But Seymour's book implies anything worse about people, their Facebook and Facebook interlocutors: That we want to spend our time. That, nevertheless significantly we would protest, we find satisfaction in endless, round argument. That people get some kind of pleasure from tedious debates about "free speech" and "stop culture." That people seek oblivion in discourse. In the machine-flow atemporality of social media marketing, this appears like no great crime. If time is an endless resource, you will want to spend a couple of years of it with a couple New York Times op-ed columnists, repairing all of American thought from first axioms? But political and economic and immunological crises heap on one another in succession, over the backdrop roar of ecological collapse. Time isn't infinite. Nothing people are able to afford to pay what's left of it dallying with the stupid and bland."


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