17 November 2006

If I can't jump and dance to loud music, it's not my revolution

From a memetic point of view, extremely interesting that the images in the media coverage of the uprising/riots in Tonga focus on the property damage - and give coded hints that the rioters are OMG racists - but we don't see these people "jumping and dancing to loud music". Probably because the latter is what these people are really scared of.

The mass media like us to think that a "revolution" is when a bunch of intellectuals get a big budget from the CIA to hire Black Memetic Engineers (aka a PR firm) to summon the masses into huge, orderly and docile mass rallies, until a government which the USA doesn't like quits and goes into exile. You can tell these "astroturf revolutions" by the way that they are memetically branded with a cute, non-threatening aromatic-plant coded name (Orange, Cedar, Rose, Tulip etc). The last thing that they want is an actual godsdammed Festival of the Oppressed. People don't wear nice colour coded symbols in a real revolution. They get drunk and smash shit up and in all other ways go over the top. A real uprising-that-might-turn-into-a-revolution is nasty, messy and immensely liberating - a Mass of Chaos on a truly mass scale.

The energy has been released - now is it going to be a firework or a laser beam? Only the people on the ground in Tonga can tell, and so far we're only hearing all the voices yelling "SIT BACK DOWN AND SHUT THE HELL UP".


In other news, for those who don't know, the comics writer Grant Morrison is something of a guru for the pop-occultist crowd, and he definitely has some challenging ideas (google "hyperstition" and see what happens). But I'm afraid that for someone who talks about changing the world, this is a pretty shitting thing to say:

Asked about the current state of the world, particularly the war in Iraq, Mr. Morrison offered, “perhaps it’s just an essential part of the system, as horrible as that may seem.” He wasn’t particularly interested in being part of any active anti-war movement, and noted that in his previous experience, a number of those people only seemed to be “interested in meeting up with the police.”

Well, of course it's an essential part of the system, dingbat. That's why I'm in the business of changing the system - and I thought you were too. Or does the idea of changing the world seem less important when you're earning big money? The Occultism of Small Businessmen raises its head again - fifth-dimensional aliens, yes, threatening my stock option? Well that's just going a little too far. I wonder whether he's changed his mind in the last few years since the anti-war movement became "safe" for the establishment.


  1. I'll probably be sounding a bit like a cult-member for defending Morrison here, but here's a later quote that explains his position a bit more.

    But I've always been uncomfortable with his passitivity. It would appear it stems partially out of a sort of nihilism and partially out of some sort of psychedelic faith, neither of which I can condone.

    "AN: How do politics affect your work?

    GM: Not much. Politics, in the sense of party antics and showbiz elections, is just misdirection and bullshit to divert our attention from the real work of the world, which is all done by very rich people we don't get to see much of. Once you've watched a couple of governments do their pathetic dance and come and go, you've really seen it all. The same kinds of people do exactly the same kinds of things and continually try to keep us interested in their daft, unconvincing shtick. I lost interest once I realised how boring, repetitive and stage managed the whole circus is, with even a new Bush cropping up every generation. All I want my elected officials to do is make the trains run on time and stop spending my tax money on useless weapons of war, so I'm already screwed.

    Issues of class, authority and privilege influence my work much more than politics, I'd say. I grew up in Govan, Glasgow, at the decaying heart of a dying industrial city and I had a rigorous Scottish education until the age of 18. I still have enough chips on my shoulder to scoop up a whole big mess of hot salsa."

  2. Oh, and when he says "the system" he means it in a sort of systems-thinking as religion sort of way, not in reference to "the capitalist system."

  3. when he says "the system" he means it in a sort of systems-thinking as religion sort of way,

    In a sense, that just makes it worse.

    Don't worry about sounding cultish, btw - I've duked it out with fundamentalist Wiccans, orthodox Trotskyists and schismatic Scientologists, and you don't even register on that scale of cultitude.

  4. It's notable and kind of sad that some occult-ish/"consciousness-changing" types seem to be uninterested in fixing the problems of the world. I think this might stem partially from the old tired dichotomy between "Earth" and "Heaven". Although Morrison has a point, I think, in pointing to what I'd call a real dichotomy between politics in terms of electoral horse races on one hand, and the way those in power affect people's lives on the other hand.