NARRATIVE COLLAPSE: OR ENJOY YOUR MUTATION.
According to certain psychologists with a philosophical bent, PERVERTS (or to be more generous and expand the playing field), FETISHISTS are HAPPY. They’ve boiled their desire down to one repeatable ritual focused around an object that subsumes all their illicit desires. So in short order, fetishists have learned not only to live with, but also to ENJOY their mutations.
And that’s the goal of this blog: Embrace the all-consuming mutations around you.
NARRATIVE COLLAPSE is not a new concept per se: Thinkers such as Paul Schrader and Douglas Rushkoff have diagnosed our culture with it. (In all fairness, I think Schrader termed it “exhaustion”, but “collapse” is the end result of “exhaustion”, so I feel like I paraphrased him and gave his terminology some extra juice). However, most of these thinkers apply the “exhaustion” stamp to filmic NARRATIVE, or advertising NARRATIVE, or literary NARRATIVE, but I’m going to apply it to the UMBRELLA TERM of NARRATIVE because…
…That’s what HUMANS are. NARRATIVE GENERATORS. The bedrock of our identities — both national and personal — revolve around telling shared stories. This human habit goes way beyond sheer ENTERTAINMENT.
ECONOMICS is a STORY. DEMOCRACY is a STORY. PROGRESS is a STORY. HISTORY is the SEDIMENT OF CENTURIES we’ve congealed and jerry-rigged into a husk resembling NARRATIVE coherence.
All the stories are collapsing, and not in the old-fashioned postmodern “end of GRAND NARRATIVES” way, where the hegemonic patriarchal model was cast asunder into a thousand “isms” and collapsed binaries. Nope…
…The NARRATIVES we made up just a few years ago to plug up the postmodern hole have sprung leaks (“YES WE CAN” for example) and no amount of post-human posturing is going to put them back together again. It seems like even NARRATIVE has become sensitive to MOORE’S LAW. Whatever story we came up with TWO YEARS AGO to put ourselves to sleep, now requires DOUBLE the effort to hold afloat whenever the next cycle comes around.
BUT DON’T DESPAIR.
Jean-Luc Godard made his landmark film “Two or Three Things I Know About Her” when he became cognizant of the cultural and economic mutations sweeping across Europe in 1966 (preceding the end of labor and a fully FINANCIALIZED ECONOMY), and it’s arguably one of his funniest films (dark funny, but FUNNY nonetheless), and which necessitated an entire rethink of his earlier aesthetic, and veered him into an intensely essayistic and fractured form of storytelling.
And I offer this blog in the same spirit.
I’m changing my aesthetic (I’m a novelist by trade) to suit the mutation, and I’m going to chart it wherever it appears (economics, world news, technology, the arts). I will offer commentary on events (sometimes short, sometimes full ESSAYS), provide VITAL LINKS to provide CONTEXT and stay informed. PLUS, I’m going to POST my FICTION (short stories, novella’s, and full novels, which my FOLLOWERS can provide FEEDBACK on during the writing process).
My hope is that by keeping all of us in the mutation loop, we can devise NEW NARRATIVES to provide much needed social and philosophical glue. But even if we can’t, maybe we can all learn to –-
ENJOY THE MUTATION TOGETHER AS IT ACCELERATES…