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robertogreco : apocalypse   10

Gen X Is Having a (Very Gen X) Moment - GEN
“I’m using “millennial” the way boomers do, as a word that means “someone younger than me who is better at Twitter.” I’m using the generational “we” because I’m full of shit. The generational “we” is as misleading a term of art as the American “we.” Ascribing characteristics, an outlook, and an experience of the world to 84 million people isn’t painting with a broad brush. It makes painting with a broad brush seem precise.”



“But the real reason this Gen X moment feels less like an actual moment and more like a period of mourning for the absence of one is that Gen X culture is fundamentally incompatible with the way legacy-making works.”



“Recently a card-carrying member of Generation X entered the race for President of the United States. His name was Beto O’Rourke. He is 46 and a father and a former senator from El Paso, Texas. He was identifiably One Of Us. He’d been part of the hacker collective Cult of the Dead Cow. He’d been in a punk band with guys who went on to play in unassailably credible outfits like At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta. He posed for said punk band’s album cover wearing his girlfriend’s dress, seemingly less as a statement about gender and more as a big Novoselician goof. He was filmed tooling around on a skateboard and quoted about his admiration of Fugazi. He seems bright and eager to make a difference, and also completely doomed — and not just because attempting to ride the wave that swept history’s most racially and ethnically diverse Congress into office is an inherently room-illiterate thing for a handsome young white guy to do. He seemed doomed because every data point that emerged about his X-ness made him seem more like a traitor to that history. If listening to Fugazi inspires you to run for president — let alone to run against Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as a centrist Democrat — you have perhaps not been listening to Fugazi correctly.

It’s somehow perfectly Gen X that Beto has already been kickflipped-over in the polls by a millennial; at this point the race to be the white man who loses the nomination to Joe Biden by the smallest margin appears to belong to Pete Buttigieg, whose earliest entries to the historical record include a mixed Harvard Crimson review of Radiohead’s profoundly antiheroic, fan-base-downsizing and therefore archetypally Gen X art-rock opus Kid A. Barring the possibility of Kamala Harris (born in 1964, just outside the X window) and, like the admittedly very X-presenting Barack Obama (born 1961), we may never get to vote for one of our own as president.

This is totally fine. This is better than fine. We are good at ambivalence, as a generation; when we feel ambivalent about tributizing our legacy, we should listen to that ambivalence and treat it like a lodestar. We were right about a great many things — corporate rock really did suck, misogyny really was pervasive and insidious, global warming really was a huge fucking problem. But let us be the first generation to opt out of building monuments to our rightness. Let’s build no monuments at all. Let’s lord nothing over anyone. Let’s expend no energy explaining ourselves and what we stood for to younger people who could not care less. Let’s fund no biopics of our heroes, compile no box sets, commission no further thinkpieces about how the pundits actually had us all wrong. Let us opt out one more time, from the generational requirement to look dismissively at our successors. Let’s be the first generation in modern history to subsume our specific interests to the greater good instead of insisting that the kids defer to our wisdom and experience just because we gave the world curbside recycling and Lilith Fair and voted for Bill Clinton. What we fought for, or didn’t see as worth fighting for, isn’t important. The only battle that matters is between pre-teen climate-change activists and an entrenched political establishment led by a boomer who believes the world goes away when his eyes close. Let us take whatever energy we might have put toward historical reenactments of the first Lollapalooza and use it to support and amplify and backstop anyone working to cancel the apocalypse on any front. It’s our only chance to ensure that when In Utero turns 50 in 2043, there’ll still be a civilization around to celebrate it.”
generations  apocalypse  genx  momuments  unproduct  2019  politics  2020  elections  civilization  legacy 
8 days ago by robertogreco
So what if we’re doomed? (Down the Dark Mountain) — High Country News
" Kingsnorth embraced Jeffers’ inhumanism, and Tompkins his ideas on beauty. But the immensity of the ecocide demands more. Our grief comes from the takers and their modern machine, which is one of violence and injury. If our sanity is to survive the ecocide, we must address these two pains in tandem: grief for the loss of things to come and the injustices that surround us.

We can do this through beauty and justice, which are closer together than they first appear."



"However, he is also arguing for integrity, which is close to Jeffers’ ideal of beauty: “However ugly the parts appear the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand / Is an ugly thing, and man dissevered from the earth and stars and his history ... for contemplation or in fact ... / Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness, the greatest beauty is / Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty of the universe.”

Perhaps, then, the way through the ecocide is through the pursuit of integrity, a duty toward rebalancing the whole, toward fairness, in both senses of the word."



"This is no cause for despair; it is a reminder to be meaningful, to be makers instead of takers, to be of service to something — beauty, justice, loved ones, strangers, lilacs, worms."
apocalypse  climatechange  ecology  anthropocene  additivism  2017  briancalvert  paulkingsnorth  environment  environmentalism  california  poetry  justive  beauty  via:kissane  balance  earth  wholeness  integrity  robinsonjeffers  darkmountain  multispecies  posthumanism  morethanhuman  josephcampbell  ecocide  edricketts  davidbrower  sierraclub  johnstainbeck  anseladmas  outdoors  nature  humanity  humanism  edwardabbey  hawks  animals  wildlife  interconnected  inhumanism  elainescarry  community  communities  socialjustice  culture  chile  forests  refugees  violence  douglastompkins  nickbowers  shaunamurray  ta-nehisicoates  humanrights  qigong  interconnectivity 
february 2018 by robertogreco
HEWN, No. 250
"I wrote a book review this week of Brian Dear’s The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold History of of PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture. My review’s a rumination on how powerful the mythologizing is around tech, around a certain version of the history of technology – “the Silicon Valley narrative,” as I’ve called this elsewhere – so much so that we can hardly imagine that there are other stories to tell, other technologies to build, other practices to adopt, other ways of being, and so on.

I was working on the book review when I heard the news Tuesday evening that the great author Ursula K. Le Guin had passed away, I immediately thought of her essay “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” – her thoughts on storytelling about spears and storytelling about bags and what we might glean from a culture (and a genre) that praises the former and denigrates the latter.
If science fiction is the mythology of modern technology, then its myth is tragic. “Technology,” or “modern science” (using the words as they are usually used, in an unexamined shorthand standing for the “hard” sciences and high technology founded upon continuous economic growth), is a heroic undertaking, Herculean, Promethean, conceived as triumph, hence ultimately as tragedy. The fiction embodying this myth will be, and has been, triumphant (Man conquers earth, space, aliens, death, the future, etc.) and tragic (apocalypse, holocaust, then or now).

If, however, one avoids the linear, progressive, Time’s-(killing)-arrow mode of the Techno-Heroic, and redefines technology and science as primarily cultural carrier bag rather than weapon of domination, one pleasant side effect is that science fiction can be seen as a far less rigid, narrow field, not necessarily Promethean or apocalyptic at all, and in fact less a mythological genre than a realistic one.


The problems of technology – and the problems of the storytelling about the computing industry today, which seems to regularly turn to the worst science fiction for inspiration – is bound up in all this. There’s a strong desire to create, crown, and laud the Hero – a tendency that’s going to end pretty badly if we don’t start thinking about care and community (and carrier bags) and dial back this wretched fascination with weapons, destruction, and disruption.

(Something like this, I wonder: “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin.)

Elsewhere in the history of the future of technology: “Sorry, Alexa Is Not a Feminist,” says Ian Bogost. “The People Who Would Survive Nuclear War” by Alexis Madrigal.

There are many reasons to adore Ursula K. Le Guin. And there are many pieces of her writing, of course, one could point to and insist “you must read this. You must.” For me, the attraction was her grounding in cultural anthropology – I met Le Guin at a California Folklore Society almost 20 years ago when I was a graduate student in Folklore Studies – alongside her willingness to challenge the racism and imperialism and expropriation that the field engendered. It was her fierce criticism of capitalism and her commitment to freedom. I’m willing to fight anyone who tries to insist that Sometimes a Great Notion is the great novel of the Pacific Northwest. Really, you should pick almost any Le Guin novel in its stead – Always Coming Home, perhaps. Or The Word for the World is Forest. She was the most important anarchist of our era, I posted on Facebook when I shared the NYT obituary. It was a jab at another Oregon writer who I bet thinks that’s him. But like Kesey, his notion is all wrong.

Fewer Heroes. Better stories about people. Better worlds for people.

Yours in struggle,
~Audrey"
audreywatters  ursulaleguin  2018  anarchism  sciencefiction  scifi  technology  edtech  progress  storytelling  care  community  caring  folklore  anarchy  computing  siliconvalley  war  aggression  humanism  briandear  myth  heroes  science  modernscience  hardsciences  economics  growth  fiction  tragedy  apocalypse  holocaust  future  conquest  domination  weapons  destruction  disruption 
january 2018 by robertogreco
A World Without People - The Atlantic
"For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have evacuated or otherwise abandoned many places around the world—large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to suddenly vanish from the planet. Collected here are recent scenes from abandoned construction projects, industrial disaster zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence or natural disasters, derelict Olympic venues, ghost towns, and more."
landscape  photography  apocalypse  worldwithoutus  multispecies  riodejaneiro  brasil  brazil  us  nola  neworleans  alabama  germany  belarus  italy  italia  abandonment  china  bankok  thailand  decay  shengshan  athens  greece  lackawanna  pennsylvania  tianjin  russia  cyprus  nicosia  indonesia  maine  syria  namibia  drc  fukushima  congo  philippines  havana  cuba  vallejo  paris  libya  wales  england 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Moby: Los Angeles, The First City of the Apocalypse | Creative Time Reports
"Once he realized New York had become an unaffordable city that people "visit, observe, patronize and document, but don’t actually add to," Moby moved to Los Angeles, drawn by its ethos of experimentation and comfort with failure."



"I don’t want to create a New York-L.A. dichotomy, because both cities are progressive and wonderful, and there are clearly many other great American cities. Artists aren’t just leaving New York for L.A.—they’re also going to Portland, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia and countless other places. And, as an aside, I don’t know why they aren’t moving to Newark. It’s 15 minutes away from Manhattan and remarkably cheap. I think it’s the unwarranted New Jersey stigma that unfortunately keeps people from crossing the Hudson. People would rather move to the worst part of Brooklyn and still have the magical “NY” in their address. That single consonant on their mail—”Y” as opposed to “J”— seems to keep people from making that 15-minute trek to Newark.

Plenty of other cities in the United States and abroad are, of course, interesting and beautiful, but I moved to L.A. due to its singular pre-apocalyptic strangeness. It seems equally baffled and baffling, with urban and suburban and wilderness existing in fantastic chaos just inches away from one another. There’s no center to L.A, and in many ways it’s kind of a fantastically confused petri dish of an anti-city. If you’re in New York, Brussels, London or Milan, you’re surrounded by a world that has been subdued and overseen by humans for centuries, sometimes for millennia. They’re stable cities; and when you’re in an older city you feel a sense of safety, as if you’re in a city that’s been, and being, well looked after. You feel like most well-established and conventional cities know what they’re doing. L.A., on the other hand, is constantly changing and always seemingly an inch away from some sort of benign collapse.

If you look at some of L.A.’s patron saint artists, like Robert Irwin and James Turrell, their work is about the vast, unknowable and at times uncaring strangeness of the world we live in—not the human world, but the natural world. And it makes sense: nature, with all its empty, otherworldly expanses, is the constant, hulking neighbor to Los Angeles. The moment you leave L.A., you’re in a desert that would most likely kill you if you left your water bottle at home. For southern California, humanity is the weird exception, not the rule."
moby  losangeles  apocalypse  change  2014  nyc  jamesturrell  robertirwin  nature 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Stan Cohen - Diary: The gradual anarchist | New Humanist
"late 60s…heady years for libertarian left…new generation of radicals had gone through rapid education that skipped orthodox Marxism & traditional anarchism, plunging straight into dialectics of liberation, Fanonism, International Situationism & more. Under this influence group of us…had begun to question assumptions & boundaries of our academic discipline…looked for links to anarchist tradition &…flirted w/ late 19th-century idea of criminal as crypto-revolutionary hero.

What attracted us to anarchism?…3 obvious affinities:…distrust of all authority…undermining of professional power (Illich-style de-schooling, anti-psychiatry…critique of state, especially its power to criminalise & punish.

These standard anarchist concerns always informed Colin’s agenda…had little time for “apocalyptic” or “insurrectionary” anarchism. His approach was pragmatic, gradualist, even reformist…His anarchism was not a glorification of chaos & disorder but encouragement of special form of order…"
politics  activism  anarchism  obituary  colinward  situationist  marxism  pragmatism  1960s  2010  hierarchy  creativity  individuality  socialspaces  architecture  criminology  insurrection  apocalypse  chaos  disorder  deschooling  ivanillich  anti-psychiatry  criminalization  behavior  society  fanonism  liberation  freedom  cities  urban  urbanism  defensiblespaces  space  place  housing  state  pruitt-igoe  stlouis  hopefulness  patience  insecurity  victimization  crime  housingprojects  oscarnewman 
march 2011 by robertogreco
FreakAngels
"FREAKANGELS is a free, weekly, ongoing comic written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield"
warrenellis  freakangels  comics  free  online  scifi  steampunk  daily  webcomics  apocalypse  toread 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Welcome To The Soft Apocalypse - Books - io9
"By now, the apocalypse story – which goes back at least as far as the ancient Hebrews – has fractured into numerous sub-genres. Our favorite, these days, is the soft apocalypse, where the end has come but life goes on." Also: http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=58054 AND http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2009/nov/25/cosy-catastrophe-fiction AND http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/01/the-soft-apocalypse-genre/
scifi  2010  apocalypse  catastrophe  softapocalypse  dystopia  books  novels  sciencefiction  io9 
february 2010 by robertogreco

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