Hauschka, “Familiar Things Disappear”
Yes we can even
Over the last twenty-four hours you may have seen several variations of the following points in your social media feeds: 1) Can you believe this? 2) Is everything going to be like this all the time from now on? 3) Is this real life? and 4) I can’t even. I know you are fragile and confused right now, so let me address each of them in at attempt to help you cope with your new environment.
- Can you believe this? Yes, you can believe it. Even if it is not true you can believe it. You have heard every man with a platform and an unerring belief in his own authority go on about the post-truth era in which we now live and, at the risk of affirming these self-propelled wind farms, I have to admit that they are correct. In this era you should probably believe everything, because almost anything that we thought was too crazy to be true wound up happening. Also, and this is more important, nothing matters anymore. Regardless of how ridiculous or offensive or outright inhumane any behavior would have been considered in the past it no longer carries any weight, particularly with the people who would be been the most vociferous in denouncing it in earlier times. It is no longer important whether something is technically true or not: Everything is true enough, and none of it makes a difference anyway.
- Is everything going to be like this all the time from now on? Yes, everything is going to be like this from now on. The present moment, in fact, is the most sedate and reasonable that things will be. It’s good that so many people have spent so much of their time watching reality TV over the last decade, because now that every aspect of American life will follow along the lines of its cheap manipulations and tawdry twists we will all be somewhat more prepared for each successive revelation. If there is still a civilization a decade hence we will look back at the way things once were with shock and incredulity. The past will be unrecognizable and any accurate depiction of earlier norms and conventions will be dismissed as propaganda and deceit.
- Is this real life? Yes, this is real life. I don't like it any more than you do, but this is it. I understand your asking the question, but deep down you already know the answer. There are two truths you need to remember going forward: 1) Everything is terrible and only getting worse, and 2) That’s it, that’s the deal, it’s just getting worse, don’t look for a second thing to save you. You could certainly choose to get Baudrillardian if you are desperate enough to deny reality, but have you ever seen someone reference Baudrillard who wasn't a Grade-A asshole? You have not. This is real life. Sorry.
- I can’t even. Yes you can. You do all the time. Human beings are programmed to get used to it. It requires an incredible level of strength, resilience, determination and discipline to resist, and those skills are needed every second of every day in spite of terribly dispiriting odds and a crippling sense of isolation that comes from watching everyone around you acquiesce and go on with their lives. Do these sound like attributes that are prominent in your make-up? Do you feel as if you are one of the very few people who are able to bear these burdens and endure these discomforts when it is so much easier to simply submit? Of course not. You totally can even. Most of us can even, and do.
There you go. I hope I’ve answered all your questions. Now let’s have something new from Hauschka, whose What If is out at the end of March. Enjoy.