Soteriology of the impersonal
We’ll be saved until we’re out of date. Meanwhile, we’ll be incompetent, benumbed, and addicted in the cold embrace of our idols — education, medicine, finance, factory farms, studios, technology, think tanks, and therapists. How’s that for a metanarrative?
You and I, we’re the feedstock of institutions, the tail having come to wag the dog. The grand monopoly manufactures our appetites, then manufactures the evanescent satisfactions of those appetites, that float and pop like a bubble machine. We produce until we no longer can, then we become like forests or mines — loci of extraction, our final phase “lived” out in some fluorescent hell of a room, on a bad pillow, attached to money-extraction machines, our souls electrocuted and displayed on cardiac and oxygen monitors. In the very end, we can be harvested for organs. Recycling.
Consider yourself managed. Call it progress.
What was I? I was educated, brand loyal, politically active, participatory, obediently dependent. I ate, shit, slept, worked, talked, listened, sang, danced, wanked, and let myself be distracted . . . inside the grand monopoly. Outside of it, I (and you) are already out of date, already anachronisms. Move along.
Most of all, we hurry. Keep busy, stay very busy. The bestest is the fastest. Logistical life is lived on the clock, a tempo task, a permanent panic — the circulatory system for the machinic monopoly’s disembodied aphrodisia — an illusion sustained by a managerial priesthood. In constant communion, we become one with the illusion, the ephemeral characters in a vast electronic hallucination. Saved from our fleshy obsolescence, we become the children of the new gods, born of crisis — velocity and novelty — until we can’t keep up and are ready for the recycle.
Patience, restraint, modesty, humility, reflection — even suffering, especially suffering — have become our final insurrections — the ultimate heresies in the face of this totalitarian disequilibrium. How dare we suffer . . . and wait! How dare we not respond to the crisis! How dare we not be saved by efficiency and speed!