quinta-feira, 3 de setembro de 2009

Citação - Mark Fisher

"Making negative judgements is held to be the result of "moaning", in other words a defective mental attitude. (With the implication, as Zone points out, that with the right mental attitude, one can learn to like anything.)

The by now familiar generational form of this argument - that the only reason anyone would be negative about current culture is that they are nostalgic for their lost youth - is equally depressing in its nihilistic relativism (for it suggests that enthusiasm is dependent upon being young rather than on any inherent features of the cultural objects themselves). But this falls down for at least three reasons. First, the idea that there is something innately radical about the young, or that there is a necessary relationship between radicalism and youth, is a kind of romantic-rockist myth that might have been convincing when youth culture was at the leading edge of popular modernism, but it is hard to seriously maintain now, when "youth" is routinely mobilised as a demographic weapon in the services of hedonic conservatism. (Why is Channel 4 crap? Because it is chasing the "young". Why does mouldy old rock enjoy full spectrum dominance - because the "young" love it.) It is this demographically-constituted "young" which is nostalgic, but its nostalgia is of a formal, not a pschological kind. In any case, the equation of youth with radicalism is merely the obverse of the idea that radicalism is a pathology of youth, put aside once "maturity" arrives. Second, whenever the young were radical, it was precisely by virtue of their discontent with the time and culture in which they happened to be living. The history of pop is the story of the tension between dissatisfaction and its commodification. Third, you you only have to look at the figures for depression amongst the young to realise that the young themselves are far from being happy-go-lucky pleasure-seekers who would just be enjoying themselves if it weren't for curmudgeonly theorists stealing their mojo, daddio. Faced with objectively appalling conditions (rising unemployment, continuously assessed education yielding qualifications that are getting worth less year by year) but embedded into a matrix of CBT, SSRIs and PR, the young are the primary victims of compulsory positivity, and even apparently hedonistic phenomena such as binge drinking are symptoms of despondency rather than straightforward expressions of pleasure-seeking. (Alex's remarks on the perils of narcomaterialism notwithstanding, the dominance of a low-level obliviate and sedative like alchohol in UK youth culture, tells its own story about the long comedown we've endured.)"

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