Capitalism's Face Market sways towards collapse. We grow sick of consuming the images of pleasure ever present in our society. We are left with a more desperate longing. The more we lust after that perfect person, who can make us feel like a kid again, the more our own misery, at not being able to laugh or play, comes up to smother us. Nothing is more horrifying than how many people these days feel obligated to take "relationships" seriously, instead of finding the delightful uncertainty and grace of playing at love.
While play is willing to play at seriousness, you can never play seriously if you really play. As kids, we would love and hate as deeply as tragic actors but it was still only another game and we could still all put our heads down for milk and cookies to play at not moving, but we would always squirm. As children, we could not really be serious. Even now when we have become so much heavier than we were then, we cannot remain wholly serious, we haven't accepted responsibility enough to die for it.
Instead we found love and a chance to make our imagination flesh. Games haven't been lost yet but with lovers, cruelty often gives as much opportunity for play as kindness. The brilliance of soap operas is that they give free play to the roles of hatred, to evil bitches (always the most admired character) who master the game of playing on people's trust, their weaknesses and their kindness (these games being the roles that the woman is officially limited to by the spectacle). Still when consuming the images of soap operas, only a feeling of play is preserved while we actually remain utterly passive.
Whether in physical threat or threat of vanishing, the permanent fear of violence locks us into seriousnes. The pre-possesion of our minds, our thinking this distorted geometry is all there is, requires us to play on the existing terrain. When we feel we have nothing, we exchange of packaged lumps experiences. Plastic images of sensual/vulnerable women on billboards are meant for women as much as for men, since their erotic excitement/supression serves to lock people into pre-planned roles.
We are left with a game we forget we are playing and are filled with desperation rather than excitement from relationships that are heavy rather than light. A dance on the margins becomes the main experiance of the dispossessed. Alienation is the normal method of people relating today. Whole lives are intwine with curlers or covered by mousse. Marriage is long term prostitution and prostitution is short term marriage. Since both relationships are fundamentally economic, lose all equality, spontaneity and play and follow the hierarchical violence of the commodity.
The inability to actualize our desires in sex or in simply being together, comes from the constant externalization. Consumption, the feeling "now I have someone (someone has me), only now can I be someone" dominates most relationships. When the relationship "works," it becomes your work. The banality of personal obligation and economic obligation fuse. Love and rape are two sides of the same coin (and paid with the same coin).
Love is experienced these days as a feeling that the loved one is impossibly good. We feel that here is a person who will let us escape ourselves. We raise the loved one by lowering ourselves. We cannot love another without hating ourselves and so hating the other also.
Rape is not the force by which this society's order is maintained but merely the consumation of the entire order. It is the social order's final proof that women are objects for consumption, that that male eroticism can be fully exnalized. This consumation is advertised via the ostensible horror of the moralistic authorities along with their tacit compliance (although rape is still a too rough a control system since the woman is shown exactly what is going on).
Two complimentary lies rattle off about relations today are "men and women are equally oppressed" and "men benefit from the oppression of women." The winner of the violent social game is the man with the big gun. But this is also the rule of things because men makes themselves things when they take the role of rulers. Violence is exchanged at a great rate today, but its marketing is centralized; man, husband, boss, pillar of the community, all these are become retail suppliers of the violence to women, to gays, to children - those to whom capital assigns the masochistic role. represent all those outside sexual or other roles. But these folks only distribute standards that are enforced by isolation.
Capitalism has automated all the systems that existed before. White or male today is now managed identities perfected for consumers. They are defined only as rational subject that attempt to reach goals. Thus the libertarian model of free people exchanging property is translated into the model of free slave owners united for democracy. From electic fuck dolls to dispossessed consumers looking for "pleasure," patriarchy becomes merely the veneer for cybernetic consumerism; no less abusive but more rational and impersonal.
Patriarchal violence is now being factored into today's generic alienation. Patriarchy, the violent rule of men, has been partially under-come by the violent rule of things; plastic animated musclemen will rule men and women equally rather than real patriarchs ruling women. Equality today, not yet close to reality, promises the equal right of everyone to be a white male; the equal right to an empty shell waiting to inflict your emptyness on others (while it is equally a promise of the equal right to be a bitch or a niger; thus liberals feel proud to see the occasional white homeless person or a male prostitute)
This enforced neediness, this inability of people to gain real pleasure from relationships, is what makes them subject to easy manipulations by images of pleasure. The neediness is equal in the enforce sadistic and the enforce masochistic role. Today we only have the freedom to choose between these. The cock and the cunt hang over us in horribly repressed forms, from women in Bakinis on TV to cigar smoking businessmen in fifty story office towers. Rather than liberating sexuality, what we have is a massive edifice of free alienation, free alienation.
For social planners, this is an endless font of manipulations. People exchange images of themselves as dominating, playful or submissive, images created by the economy, in a dance of mutual self-sacrifice only because the rythm of work and commodities has already taken away their ability to create an authentic way of living.
People are kept in constant state of pleasurelessness. Sensations of pain and pleasure have been desected into smaller and smaller blocks, suited perfectly for addictive consumption. As with coke, a commodity where the crisis of consumption is made physical, this experience of physical exhilaration simply causes people to swing more quickly into depression and desperation. Building on the "normal" role of the domination of women, the sado-masochistic roles of this society use every connect experiance with every immaginable externalization.
Psychiatrists are the basic helpers of ad men. Repressed desires, especially of suburban housewives, are harnessed as the motor of the economy. But this only makes people search for more satisfaction without experience. This is the only way shopping as pleasure can be imagined (a shopping spree is simply as boring as work but offers the image of living in a role).
But all this focuses closer and closer on waves of brutality skulking at the bottom of the pot. Jackels are more loyal than dogs. And playground bullies are easily turned into teachers helpers. And every black market supports the current regime. The true criminals of the capitalism naturely are its greatest supports. Rapists, serial killers, mass murders, these are the frustrated small bussinessmen of America.
But when bullies bully, things are too obvious. A hierarchy of objectified of relationships has formed here. We go from play to love to hatred to fairness and neutrality. Each progression downward contains the a mutilation of self (by giving up playfulness) and thus creates a further mutilation of others. These disection are necesarry to the bottom of things.
Pleasure is harder and harder to find in these hierarchies - the poor quality of "pornography" and the pornographic quality of "normal" media must be considered here. Pornography is the most logical development of a society which narrows sado-masochistic relationships into commodities. We are not here to reiterate the oppressive quality of pornography but to show the possibilities that it's supersession opens up. Like TV dinners, pornography perfects TV by allowing all "needs" to met while siting passively. Pornography is a logical out-come of the consumption of all life in images; it sells itself as a consumption of pleasure though it expresses objectified misery at the same moment. In the sex-economy, pornography is equally product and progaganda.
Life cannot be constructed by the purely rational desires of purely seperate, calculating beings. Each person subjects themselves to their own impressions, from sensual feelings to the existing means of social intercourse; it is impossible to remain outside of current modes of sensuality, it is only possible to be moving away. every free expression today remains an expression of the negation of the current situation. The play of negations is necessary to move us beyond the life of today.
The only important discovery of the "sexologists" is that sexual fantasies are critical to most peoples' sexual experiances. Naturally, these "fantasies" are not arbitrary. While these reflect our societies focus on dommination and submission, they are also ways that allow us to go beyond the poles of "purely physical gratification" and "true love" that are constructed today.
Today "pleasure," like sugar, is refined to a point of causing psycho-physical imbalances. The refinement of pleasure comes with its praise/repression; from religious ecstacy to S&M fantasies, it is not the "naturalness" of sensuality that has been lost but its wholeness.
Pleasure has equally become a black quantity sold on the same blackmarket as herion and cocaine. A blackmarket with a constant auctioning of roles and images, a blackmarket that supports that system only more fervantly given their fear of being exposed. Thus there is no more use in advocating pleasure than advocating drug use or advocating breathing.
The power of pornography is power of mass produced fantasy, fantasies that can be believed because people have been taught well not to touch. Fantasy is the most powerful element in sexuality and our society has opened up all possible fantasies only to enslave us to the consumption of prepackaged fantasies.
Sexual relationships is an single area where the total condition of society is felt almost directly; they are the most dangerous area for any escape from the present myths. Because of social conformity and because the even more repressive myth of pure patriarchy lurks just bellow the surface. Under today's relationships, the seperate roles careen away from each other until we are overwhelmed; only a few stereotypes remain in the ashes of our individuality.
In games, each role is switched from player to player. The masks change in a rythm with a rythm within a rythm. Even in the most dangerous situation, the game can be preserved if there is a lightness that does not associate the players with the roles; children can be a powerful reminder of this.
The chemistry we must create is the quantum mechanics of the present circumstances. The rules, the tendencies, are toward banality. We must consider the exceptions.
We will light the embers that die in either in childhood memories or moments of pleasure; we look for moments of grace not simply ecstacy. The manifold difficulties of continuesly living such a practice will immediately confront of us. Our practice will supercede them only by being conscious of them. At present, we must look backwards in all our steps forward - but we must equally look forward to a future that our activities can only anticipate.
Nietzsche knew that the strongest degradations must be for only the strongest types. He did not realize that these strong types will not be created by breeding but by the science of history. The existence of this theory is the same at its use; these strong types must create themselves. The confrontation of the present alienations must be based on organized and coherent efforts to superceded them.
The emotional swamp that erotic love represents must be explored thoroughly. Superseding pornography, the perfection of commodified relationships, is necessary to get at the heart of all commidified relationships of our society. This is not a stunt since pornography lurks within every desire that comes into being within this society. To play with desires thus will mean braking the holds that pornography has. This naturely involves more than "deconstructing" pornography to show what reflexes create its power but also reconstructing these desires in ways that are more pleasant to us.
We do not wish to move history back but to reverse it on itself once again. Alienation is the point where people give up their human, subjective qualities for material needs. People are now used as objects for the satisfaction of materialized needs, needs that are only slightly related to human needs.
We will incidently create a situation where people as people satisfy their needs. This can only be as proletarians creating their own pleasures, the very opposite of students and workers -dispossessed people - out to find to good time. We must create a situation where people use themselves consciously for their own satisfaction.
We must create objective poetry.
1)It will naturally be with the language, the interactions of the present society. It is not a process of sorting out right and wrong eroticism but an eroticism that makes its own pleasure and elaborates its own practice from there.
3)As long the present society continues, escapes must be erruptions of negativity. They will rearrange the unitary mediocrity into a subjective richness - since they must be a negation of capitalism, they must be unitary and thus each part of a temporary negation must reflect its attack against capitalism.
In its condition as a conditional negation of capital; a negation that exists within the present order of life, it must fill itself with the language of subverting the system. It must be a continues tapestry of resistance.
A society that actually changed the system would naturally have a very different order and speak with its own voice. It might incidentally use a language that evolved from the present but meaning would be internal to the new era.
4) It is unlikely that sex can ever be made safe, although AIDS and advertising are making an effort. Each moment of pleasant interaction presents a challenge to capital. (This challenge is absorbed in many ways).
5) The end of morality is critical here. Without extreme rigor, discussions of new possibilities become discussions of new moralities. Many of us are guilty of atrocities. Some are more guilty than others. Our guiltiness is not a practical tool for creating a new practice. Like many conditions, it must be taken into account simply to get on with a new events.
Paranoia is the normal though of this society. Morality is merely a means of staving off a spiral of paranoia at a level where a person is still functional.
6) Every form of therapy has atempted to encapsulate desire within bourgeois rationalism.