Frames Electric Again

There’s a certain sinking feeling that arrives in the neighborhood south of the breastbone that brings you back to the sluggish, thoroughgoingly banal task of being alive. Though, I wonder, is it being alive? If not something like being alive, perhaps living? Certainly not “existing.” The task of “existing” doesn’t make very much sense in the twenty-first century.

But now, you’re sitting in your swivel chair and pivot your waist, left and right, while your left leg is folded, criss-cross applesauce, under your right thigh. Your head is, somewhat unnaturally, resting on your right shoulder as you stare off into the distance, imagining nothing in particular. The nothing in particular coexists with your unprepossessing fixation on the coat rack in the corner of the room. You entertain the useless observation that die ‘Ungleichzeitigket’ des Gleichzeitigen (Bloch’s “the non-simultaneity of the simultaneous”) could conceivably entail the contiguity of experiencing two temporalities at the same time. What would it mean to actually (read: materially) exist in two ways at the same time? Moreover, how do you feel two-ness? Inevitably (one could say), this boils down to not paying attention and letting your mind drift while your eyes register the sheerness of things in their thinghood. Say we supposed, however, that what you imagine is the real thing, and the world in front of you is imaginary. Would that make any difference? …

These are the things you wonder as you procrastinate on a Friday afternoon, sipping cold coffee out of a paper Dixie cup that’s been embellished by ugly pictographs of green and aubergine foliage, as if someone drew from memory a toddler’s detailed account of leaves wilting on the ground after the first snow of the year.

The mood, you say, is torpid and the world is languishing—quite far indeed from the atmosphere of Wednesday, 25 June 1873, in Paris. The French conservative daily, Le Petit journal, observed,

On Sunday evening at ten o’clock, the sky began to cloud over. At nighttime, a thunderstorm broke out from two to four in the morning, with heavy rain and lightning. A very curious feature was noticed. At night there was a black cloud on the southern horizon of Paris. For more than an hour, this cloud—which undoubtedly hid a distant thunderstorm—was, at very close intervals, lit by lightning. It forming a screen, you could clearly see the broken lines of lightning. Around ten o’clock, this cloud got bigger and soon covered the sky. Yesterday passed without rain, the atmosphere became electric again.

Le Petit journal, 25 June 1873 (Paris)

The atmosphere stopped being electric for a time. Somehow Zeus (as is customary for him) was preoccupied once again, the rain stopped, and the joyful electricity of air returned, just as he was departing, on Tuesday, it seems. That’s the nature of things, it seems. The electricity comes and goes.

But the sinking feeling takes you back down—you sink quite low in your chair. Why am I still here? Why isn’t there something happening? You ask very good questions. Really, you think people imagine that you’ve grown dull—the truth is, they don’t. Your own insecurities have led you to think this could reflect poorly on you, yet you negate the fact that people don’t particularly care about very much at all.

The news that has arrived, the news about which you have the most sublime misfortune of hearing, is that nothing happens anymore. This is the gospel of the aeon (αἰών), this present evil age-world (τοῦ αἰῶνος τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος πονηροῦ). The forerunners of this news, the voices of many crying out in the wilderness, “Rien ne se passe plus,” were Bataille, Cioran, and the Judas of the gospel of the aeon, Nietzsche. That false prophet, Fukuyama, peered into the depths of the nothingness of the aeon, and spoke about endings perversely. The news was not revealed to him, but only to those who serve, not themselves, but the Nothingness, in the things that have been announced by those who spoke the truth of the Void, things into which even angels long to look. The news of the aeon is the death of metaphysics, of new ontologies, of horizons of new meanings. What it means is the vindication of the martyrdom of St. Foucault. We have seen his vindication in his most veridical proclamation of the Death of Man. Indeed, he never lived.

Time won’t ever be electric again. The stale atmosphere will grow spores of mold. Reanimated, recycled, reiterated circuits of global necrosis cut and paste infinite relays of meaningless information, over and over again.

There is nothing to discover in sex or in sexual identity; there is no inside. The truth about sex is not a disclosure; it is sex-design. Pharmacopornographic biocapitalism does not produce things, but mobile ideas, living organs, symbols, desires, chemical reactions, and conditions of the soul.

Paul B. Preciado, “Architecture as a Practice of Biopolitical Disobedience,” Log, no. 25 (2012): 126.

Sink further and feel the borders of the frame of your life. The lines signify what could never be there, what has never been there. If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.

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