Monday, 19 July 2010

Reading Theory

Reading Alain Badiou's 'The Century', and I wont pretend it's not an agonizing experience, but I know it's worth it. His thesis, that the C20, in all it's terror and flux in every field, was at least dedicated to an encounter with 'the real' (or at least an interrogation it's companion 'semblance') where very many very bad things happened in the name of finding out what life was all about is convincing.
And as ever, when somebody concentrates us on exactly what that century was, it leads us to consider how this century isn't. This, our C21st century (it's clear to me, beginning with 9/11) is a century dedicated, in inevitable reaction, to insurance in all it's forms. This, plus our dedication to consensus, leads us to an endless diet of 'Go Compare' adverts on tv, and nothing to read except various forms of agony in the popular newspapers, and entertainments; 'Cash in the Attic', 'Bargain Hunt' and 'Antiques Roadshow'; alongside anything to do with transforming your life out of one hell in to another via some sort of celebrity that by definition 'Means so much'. The marxists despised the family, now we are dependent on them for the inheritance, and who and where, is anybody 'interrogating the real'?
Theory may fuck you up, but it is useful.

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