Andrei Codrescu - Where is Abroad?: The Disappearance of the Outside in the Age of Collapsed Ideologies

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Andrei Codrescu speaking at the Walker Art Center as part of its American Icons Series. His speech was titled, "Where is Abroad?: The Disappearance of the Outside in the Age of Collapsed Ideologies". Codrescu talked about literature, religion, politics, history, imagination, and the necessity of exile.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

In planning this series. We knew that to conclude it. We wanted to bring in a distinguished group of artists from around the world to the Twin Cities that would provide a different and perhaps even an objective opinion on American culture also from the very beginning. We knew that we wanted one of those artists to be Andre could rescue. I could rescue is perhaps best well known in this part of the country for his weekly commentaries on American culture for national public radio's All Things Considered. These commentaries have covered such distinctly American topics as the national Republican convention in New Orleans and Vanna White as a Dada artist. But in addition to being a seriousness to social critic that he is Andre could rescue as a poet a translator and editor and a teacher. He's a professor of English at Louisiana State University where he is also the editor of the literary journal the Exquisite corpse. He's been a regular commentator for Radio free Europe South American scene broadcast in Romania since 1987, and he's also a syndicated columnist and a book reviewer for the New York Times book review. He is also an author of numerous volumes of poetry and even won the heavyweight the World Heavyweight poetry championship in Taos, New Mexico one year. I think we're very fortunate to Mark the ending of American icons and to commemorate his talk Coffee House Press has published this signed limited edition of one of his essays called aggressive Hospitality, which I must warn you. He accused me of today and this is available both through coffeehouse, press and and in our bookstore and I encourage you to read it. It's a lovely publication and with all things from Andre could rescue very witty perceptive and concise so it is with great pleasure that I introduce Andre could rescue. Thank you. I get worse the better my introductions get. Eventually, I'll have the ultimate introduction and I'll stand up and be Justice miserably boring person. Henry Kissinger said that the great thing about being famous is that if you're boring people think it's their own fault. Anyway, the title of this talk tonight is called where is the broad The Disappearance of the outside in the age of collapsed ideologists? She's really a mouthful and the only reason it contains all of that is that I have a book coming out soon called The Disappearance of the outside and it's about that and to find out you have to get a book, but I'm happy to be here for many reasons. One of them does that I'm still alive after being here the last time And another that it's made a and this is a probably the most interesting and important made day in the history of May Day of May first because For the First Time in the history of this particular day, it is being very Ambiguously 3/3 and celebrated if you like probably celebrated is the wrong word in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. And it's no coincidence either that it's made a and I am working. And it's no coincidence. Either that what I am working at is an argument for the abolishment of the work. There was a time about 10 years ago when I didn't work rather, I worked so successfully done working that did not look like work at all. Not even to me. The consequence of course is poverty the consequence of which was Leisure Time the consequence of which was different. If I needed to travel I hitchhiked which is an operation filled with possibilities that occupy the special and often immense time zone that could not be easily assimilated into any other kind of time and either side of the preferred thumb. Since something I can do on the radio. On either side of the preferred thumb there was a country available only to one willing to enter it in a car with a stranger. I was once more in Exile. A solitary condition is great reputed values. This is what I'm going to talk tonight about the necessity of exile for everyone. Well, everyone's official Exile seem to be ending. Voluntarily exiling oneself to the interior of a stranger's car is the Mini version of being ejected into a stranger's country. The first two ejections in my life for both major and involuntary from my mother's womb. and from Romania But having been acquired a taste for the pleasures of being born I decided to repeat them indefinitely. A lot like sex and not at all like swimming education. In effect going into Exile is only partly an ejection from The Matrix. It is also an ejection into a pneumatics the unknown the unknown is both the denial and the Fulfillment of the imaginary. I say that way because so you can see the capitals. The job of the imaginary is to dream up the unknown there are many kinds of imagination. However, and it is important to distinguish between them. There is the imagination of the particular human, which is the kind of value and then there is the imagination of the market which is anti-human and against which I work. The unknown imagined by the particular human is activated by a desire of becoming an urge for transformation and Liberation the imagination of the market aims to split a body into million working slave particles for the production of energy necessary to maintain the production consumption cycle at an Ever greater velocity. The imagination of the market depends on speed which liquefies time into an instantaneous delocalised present the imagination of the particular human tends toward the Eternal present as well. But one that is leisurely organic play specific and unique. One cannot speak of The Disappearance of the outside or the collapse of ideologies that are discussing Exile which was the major intellectual religion of the 20th century a century that began in 1914 with the onset of World War One and ended on midnight at the beginning of this decade in Bucharest, Romania. I was there. The corrupt is another handful of things and as the corrupt carapace of dead ideas that seemingly held together. The multinational red fascist empires of the East was by January 31 1989 Pierce through and through by the burrowing of Exiles emerging into the West. Is the ideological carapace would have had any life in it. It wouldn't have collapsed the ideology of the market on the other hand is much more Supple and pliable and it imitates living skin with great synthetic Talent one might even say genius. In fact what we had in the world until recently was really mechanical clumsiness versus synthetic genius a strictly technological contest. Let me go back to Exile for a minute before I lose everyone. in modern times the myth of Exile conquered the West A photograph stands out as the proper icon of the beginning of this times Lennon and Tristan tzara are playing chess in the dura Cafe while to slightly bored on Lookers watch over the board with expressions of superior Indulgence for the obviously amateurish quality of the game. The Spectators are wrong. It is a great game the game between politics and Poetics and it goes on still Tristan tzara. The exiled Romanian Jew is the founder of the Dada movement in the embodiment of poetic Exile from the stage of Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich a concentric negation rippled through the capitals of Europe bringing with it a veteran Lindley untie militaristic anti-nationalist. And untie Bourgeois wind it toward to the flimsy sales of reason and it revealed the grotesque shape of the Doom bound vessel carrying Europe from Zurich to In to Paris to Vienna, they are naturally optimistic Basques of the bourgeoisie were suddenly torn leaving the rabbit conda faces exposed to the gruesome laughter of data. Our centuries artistic self begins in the up anti-authoritarian data explosion. It was an international movement of Exiles and by the end of World War 1 it changed us forever the 18th century view of ourselves as creatures of Reason fell resoundingly apart from the debris man creature of the rational stepped forth or should we say stepped aside in the vacated center of the debris The Machine stepped in in fact reasonable man, and implacable machine neatly changed places henceforth a marginal human will forever try to reclaim the place the machine occupies. The data is to regarded with much more suspicion than the Revolutionary Russians by the Swiss authorities. Hans Richter in his book data art and anti-art says diagonally opposite in at number 12 Spiegel gasps a the same narrow door Affair in which the Cabaret Voltaire mounted its nightly orgies of singing poetry and dancing lived Lenin Roddick lived renlund lived Lenin. I'm sorry period rather Clendenin zinoviev or allowed complete Liberty. It seemed to me that the Swiss authorities were much more suspicious of the dadaist who wore after all capable of perpetrating some new enormity at any moment then of These Quiet studious Russians. Dada by its exacerbation of individual Freedom land a sudden Vitality to the myth of Exile world-weary and word profligate data finished. The Dominion of words in the west. Lenin's move was to attach a bomb to the word Tara's was to diffuse whatever still pertained of Terror to it hundreds of artists and writers in the west began going into Exile and an unprecedented scale the great cities Paris Vienna Berlin and London became Exile capitals modern American literature was the work of Paris Exiles. It was the same of British literature. This is a quote again from Terry Eagleton who says if it is agreed that seven the seven most significant writers of the 20th of 20th century English literature have been appalled three Americans to Irishman and an English man that it might also be agreed that the Paradox is ADD enough to Warrant analysis. Which is what I'm doing Terry. Learning to strengthened the myth of Exile in his own fashion after the success of the Bolshevik Revolution the country's entire Intelligentsia emigrated to the West there was no going back for these Exiles. However, and this is a major difference between them and the wandering westerners the differences of tragic Dimension and many exiled Russians did not recover their lost amidst futile hopes of return and often they suffocated in the excessive cultural demands of Their Own Me Leo the history of Romanian of the Romanian intellectual community in Paris after World War Two parallels that of the Russian situation in many respects, but unlike the Romanians For Whom the futility of belonging to the temporal have been deeply written in there almost Oriental view of fate. The Russians did not have good weapons to coat sabotage history and code Insurance phrase see Iran or Tehran is a Romanian Rider who I'll mention again twice the curse of a sometimes successful history is to Foster the illusion that things will get better. Through the offices of both poetic and political Exiles the West between the two World Wars became a vast airport of cultural Misfits so realism, which took its energy from data and its cultural stand from the psychology of the unconscious internationalized Western thought to a new level. The unconscious is proposed by fried and adopted by the surrealist was an alternative to nationalism. It was Universal pre verbal and constant. The reaction in the making was of course fascism tremendous search for the redefinition of the Native began in Europe in the attack on the outsider began. Naturally. The Jews a visible race of Exiles par Excellence after World War II when fascism failed to stem the tide and on the contrary compounded the phenomenon by the de Rossi nation of millions of people the myth and reality of Exile continued undaunted Russian communism also perceived the internationalizing of culture as a threat and after the war the Concord Eastern European countries were forced to acquiesce in a tragic replay of the aftermath of the October revolution in a few years there best minds or in Exile, ironically communism began as an international movement that exhibited at least in the beginning the same nihilistic and utopian features that some artistic avant-gardes did those ideas LS. I have the sword alas always remember Victor Hernandez cruising LS making rhyme from it those ideas LS were the first to go with the Advent of real power power in whatever form purges itself. First of idealism. Then of the minds that still Harbor it and then of anything outside itself writer sympathetic to socialism and communism felt the brunt of the state sooner and quicker than avowed adversaries, ironically in the ruins of the Communist nationalist, fiefdom of present-day Romania, the old fascist nationalist those who didn't die in prison are coming out of the Rat holes to Aid in new Enterprises of racial hatred. My own slice of post-war history began under the ages of existentialism which popularized coat alienation and coat the outside their coat on quotes and the Exile same orthography as the main symbols of the Contemporary Human Condition this I wanted to believe was the end of nationalism the West which is the recipient of this wealth of alien Talent found its National traditional isms powerfully challenged in finally defeated whether voluntary involuntary missionary political or metaphorical. The Exile has always been directly in Conflict to the native. Generally. It has been a battle of her perspective the Exile has access to the totality of the foreign culture because he is not bound by Regional or class views having lost the regional and class size of his own culture. He has arrived outside were only two options present themselves. A futile effort to recreate the old ties in the new context or a completely making that involves the abandonment of the old in the widest possible perspective on the new most Democrats up for one or the other unsatisfactory Solutions both but then there are those who settle for nothing less than the overthrow of the entire world system that makes such massive dislocation possible. The data is sort of the first modern to Glimpse the possibility of a total Revolt leading to a pure outside. But Exile itself is conducive to the creation of dangerous organic revolutionaries of the same persuasion. Traditionally Exiles have confined themselves to a few Western capitals. But from there their influence spread concentrically because these capitals of the centers of all Western culture the native holds of necessity a historical position against the Exiles confirmed metaphysic. The metaphysic of Exile views The Human Condition as a series of tragic events. There was a fall and man was in Exile. The fall this fall repeated by every religion and mythology on Earth proves that man began. His existence on Earth is an exile leaving the wound compounds the original fall with a new sense of estrangement Life consists. It seems in a variety of ways of not being at home. Consciousness itself is an exile from biology history is an exile from Paradise a quote home unquote as such can exist only in the temporal perspective which is illusory and limited to the Indulgence of history. History is rarely indulgent. It has an it will ruthlessly displaced people. The meeting of a cruel history with the dynamic metaphysic defined The Nomad until very recently to the settled peoples of the world The Nomad was pure evil The Outsider a synonym for bad a scholar of myth felicitous Goodman posits the opposition in this way. The tiller is in constant conflict with bad plants animals and people the try to intrude into his Fields Barnes and Village. He has an intense feeling of being protected within while trying to keep the outside that which is alien and dangerous both human and alternate reality agencies from penetrating. In agricultural tradition the inside-outside that is the good bad distinction is transposed also into the Hereafter so that there is a heaven and the hell and the host of very good and abysmally evil beings Uncle so being a homeless creature of health and outside the red a nomad. I was in a Magic Magical position attested by the entire arsenal of human thought Throughout time whole races have gone into Exile. And while the reasons are open to discussion. They have made the metaphor available on an unimaginable scale the Mongol hordes found the limitations of geography unendurable. The Jews had a quarrel with God and have since held their conversations with him, whatever they could in whatever places they found themselves. Gypsies found a religion in mobility and an opportunity to do mock the native obsession with order as an en. Masse abandonment of place Exile is an alternative human organization. The state is the organization of the static Exile is the organization of movement until recently no madlife proliferated outside the borders of Empires today. It is being eliminated by technology by the gods of Technology who are efficiently accomplishing what religion was patently unable to for thousands of years imagination the nomads sole possession is under Fire in our time. This is what I found my cautionary note. not before a long erudite parentheses, however Because this is a one-hour talk. That's a two minute flash some. Exile and impermanence are there at the beginning of literature oral tradition speak relentlessly of Journeys Heroes leave and seldom return if they do it is under magical circumstances in an a temporal fashion with the aid of the Gods all Journeys begin in the adversities of history and ended through the benevolence of the Divine Homer wondered and song of other Wanderers who are all Exiles. If only because by virtue of his never left having sorry, we are all Exiles if only because by virtue of his never having Left the Womb God is the only native It was my mistake when arriving in America in the 60s to view the popularity of the myth of Exile as code to the end of History unquote. It had simply been a time of Triumph for the metaphor to The Graces of modern technology. The Paradox of the condition remains untouched The Poets who interests me and they have some heavy backers at least heavy in sheer volume thinking of Homer and Dante in / the Troubadours drove adores have all these have viewed the Exile trap you typically freedom of spirit is only available by leaving home. They answered the siren Call of the Elsewhere for many reasons, but mainly because they're not able to breathe at home. The deep breath is the breadth of travel of speed of horseback of movement the individual coat. I unquote had to explode it's well defined limits. I is another said Rambo my mind grew too big for the Balkans said that Sarah the mind is a rapacious Beast whose appetites outgrow geography freedom is a greedy appetite of the mind and both coats time and coat geography conspire against it under nourish and frustrated. This hunger is at the core of poetic Exile. It's need to establish an eight temporal a spatial identity capable of taking on all the temporalities and localities of its habitations this identity affirms, whatever it is true in motion and this simultaneously an escape and the remaking Religious metaphors in the clear night of noon we prefer more than one new proposition on the essence of being that sent jumpers, imagine a poetic Freedom capable of expressing the critical dictates of an instant. Namah namah. No Nomad passage the history by flash flares in its wake in the wealth of new songs available to one in a new place one can choose to be historical or disappear entirely yet one. If one is a poet can only participate in Revolutionary epics when individual expression is still at a high premium if a crowd has gathered to watch one will have to disappear. Judging from post-revolutionary and post disappearance accounts The Poets who insist too long on this revolutionary. Rockzilla Kroll will become either figures of ridicule like Casanova or Martyrs like mayakovsky changing Exiles becomes like ma was permanent revolution a declaration of Faith, but also a means of saving ones hide or Soul history of course does poets no favors, but the Instinct for renewal is above all ideological infatuation and it may survive both historical adversity and post historical diminishing and may even Grant immunity from history. Myth is capable of such dispensation this particular one in particular, of course outside the world of myth and of the poet artists who may be part of it Li the worlds of political Exiles and those of refugees of every shade or persuasion. There are millions of exiled victims of recent history whose true feelings are not known Do they secretly believe that the shores of Exile are the barbaric provinces the place of their culture is not and if so, is there Exile a constant meditation on their culture are they the subjects of a paralyzing Nostalgia do they suffer from an implacable sadness that will not ease for Generations since there are many ways of perceiving the condition and very few pure examples of it. Only exiled writers can answer these questions and they are the worst reporters. Perhaps the truly unhappy will never be heard. But if they learn to speak they will be infected by the joy of being outside and they will be unhappy no longer the speech that makes it well destroys that which it is about so my favorite aphorisms. I belong to a country whose main export is geniuses. The most famous Exile of antiquity David was exiled among the ancient Romanians and founded the literature since then in misguided reciprocity Romanians have been exiling their poets with a single-minded Devotion to their beginnings. Obligingly history didn't like far behind and provided innumerable opportunities. We are powerfully afflicted with the tragic sense of History to paraphrase to run again. We have survived by sabotaging history history belongs usually two powerful Outsiders who's coming meant only trouble time has never done anyone any good and he has been a lot meaner to those unlucky enough to be situated at the crossroads of east and west against history. We developed community Through the use of a subtle and ambiguous language. That could be heard in One Way by the oppressor in another by your friends. Our weapons of sabotage War ambiguity humor Paradox mystery poetry song and Magic when the solar powered armies marched over us we met to the moon in the Deep forests, whether it was the Roman's Turks the magyars the gods or the Russians the only defense of a small people as a massive trust in the miraculous than active hatred of history in 1965. My mind is already imbued with the mystical potencies of dearest Nation. I wanted to suffer the way our great exiled poets had suffered and the way only in adolescent can when he dedicates himself to something greater than himself. It was delicious suffering made painfully pleasurable by the drum beats on certain smuggled tapes of western music. Which announce to the world that an entire generation is on the verge of upheaval no matter where they lived the decision to be a poet. I told myself carried with it intrinsically the necessity of Exile he who writes in the lake and writes a note meals as the proverb. As for what the poet does the answer was playing he wanders from me. Oh Rita to the poems of your own Barber Romanian literature is one long epic of rebirth based on the metaphorical Journey, but metaphor and reality are not divisible in our culture indeed our language in answer to history Revels in the ambiguity in the University. We whispered the names of our great Exiles, which had come to replace those of our smaller national heroes among the recent ones in these were the ones who most felt for the name of Constantin brancusi Tristan tzara you Genuine s commercially Ade and Emil cioran sent shivers up our spines. bankruptcy and Zara had been poetic Exiles which is to say that they left on their own fleeing poverty brancusi or boredom Zara but poverty and boredom are political as well the difference between the poetic and the political is only two letters and l and an e this Devon venesection those two letters belong to the state. Which can insert them at well in forms ranging from conscription in the Army a form. I decided to avoid at all cost of course. To see what that sentence begin the state can insert them at will and forms ranging from conscription in the Army to erase your from memory see Ron and Ellie re who fled from political persecution by respectively fascists. And Communists were consigned to Oblivion for decades until the reputations became too great to ignore fleeing as they did at the height of their creative Powers their Exile took on an added sense of the irremediable for us the meaning of the regs aisle overshadowed by far the meaning of their creations with which at the time we had but a furtive acquaintance this is important because I've always thought that the idea of anything is much more powerful than the content until I got to New York. After reading the book how I got here. It occurred to me, of course that many Romanian intellectuals had fled the idea of what was coming and that I in many ways was a product of what came I was a young poet educated by the new regime and made to absorb a variety of notion to which would have a part of my predecessors but I saw the cultural gap between us is irrelevant Exile unified us and in my mind, it assumed the proportions of a place I wouldn't be just leaving my country. I would be going to a place called Exile. I imagined Exile as a vast territory a psychological place of vast Dimension two distinct boundaries its own Customs as well as its peculiar tourist attractions geographically. This may have been Paris Rome New York Buenos Aires or San Francisco, but spiritually it began at the borders of the Soviet Empire. This archipelago was inhabited mainly by creative citizens resembling Plato's Republic of letters. It was an international idea State the only anarchists Them in working order. The discomforts are seriously outweighed by the heady possibilities of emigrating into the company of such men as merch aliotti Emil. Cioran and Vladimir Nabokov as a country Exile has a far larger Pantheon of Heroes than let's say the United States of America. The actual existence of the place was never in question in the thought that in order to get there. I would have to pass through several real countries did not seem terribly important the discomforts including the natural bureaucratic nightmares that the accompany expatriation would have little import to me the demons that chased me were more poetic than political the case can be made for the reverse. Well, I hope you do. You don't have to be a poet to flee the Romanian Army. I mean no or any army for them are actually just a sensible person. As a baby dissident whose early poems had attracted the attention of sensors because of their heavy-handed and murky metaphors. I was sure to end up in the precarious and undesirable position of full-blown dissident. But at the same time the mid 60s were a Time short-lived of cultural opportunities. There was a certain pre-1968 Prague freedom in the air. If no decisive works of social protest came from writers and artists at this time. It wasn't because jail and execution hung over their heads, but because self-censorship takes a lot longer to overthrow than State censorship. I was aware of the climate and I could have published spoken in possibly agitated as I pleased but in my heart and mind the myth of Exile beckoned my abilities would remain potential until taken out of the country. This consistent refrain was so much in keeping with the historical thrust of our culture to the presence of small by comparison in addition to the mythical imagination belonging to the aesthetes. There was another kind called internal exile. In which many people lived people are capable since early childhood. To affect and withdrawal from the written Skies of propaganda that verged on the total. neither the front pages of newspapers nor bullhorns penetrated an internal Exile one discovered an immense leisure Leisure was in fact the mode collectively achieved by the populations of the Soviet Empire countries. Nobody worked as the Soviet Joe goes they pretend to pay us we pretend to work. It's brings me back to May Day International workers day. Mayday workers day in Romania was the day. Nobody worked. We Pioneers are out of school our mothers. I earned our little red kerchiefs straight and we went out marching in front of the dice in the Central Square jammed full of fat men. We went past them screaming gura party do which means long live the party only Aura is a funny word in Romanian because if we put the accent on the last letter, it means hated. So when we got older we often went past screaming hoorah partido, which men hated the party as if the party was an actual party American style and we had a dreadful time there. But reality, they could have jailed us for it. But in truth everyone had a good time at made a because it never rained. The sky is always blue. The girls are beautiful and they all went to the woods afterwards to flirt eat hot dogs and rowboats with sweethearts in them. When I did March in the parade, I used to watch it go by and I was always impressed by the strong girls from the Stella soap Factory and the tractor machinist sub Engineers went by with enormous cakes of soap engine wheels and shiny cogs lifted high above their heads rhythmically chanting production figures that proved that they were way ahead of the five year plan 7,000 units done socialism has already won. This is one slogan. They never fail to give me the giggles but we we had variants like 700 upright weenies golden communism steamy bomb sounds terrible in English, but it's great too many. But really a bad guy of young punks we met there was a big day for us because everyone was out on the street so he could run wild the hot dogs are important though hot dogs is what unites the workers of the world. American Labor Day which is also a day to celebrate work without working would also be inconceivable without hot dogs. Even that capitalist alternative to May Day and Labor Day, which is called the company picnic. It's also a nod to not working and the hot dog. The picnic the picnic is in fact East and West in different of ideology the true alternative to work. We can safely call the work ethic of the late twentieth saber Century labor force the culture of the picnic or the religion of the hot dog. What is the really still stirs my heart especially these days on the Parade's really have stopped in Eastern Europe or you know, I haven't heard the news today. So I don't know what happened. I'm sure interesting things to do Russians parade their gigantic nukes this year. Probably not what happened. Gorbachev resigned that's wonderful. Are you serious? Are the health of the old wonderful things may day is the day to do all things my first grown-up slogan when I came here was workers of the world disperse. Now that they have two are about to any way. We could have kind of a permanent made a right the last E1 like the medieval English the hungarians who have actually made a feast on the 1st of May call the pinching of the maids what the soldiers go to the market and pinch the maids. So bad that actually this was the last major in Moscow that said workers of the world. We apologize just pretty great degree. Actually every day should be made a we worked enough. Anyway, let me get back to you. To my house so I could you let you go back to hitchhiking. I stopped hitchhiking in the early 70s. So I deprive myself of a small dose of daily exiled and never fail to refresh me. I started taking the bus because I was beginning to make a little money as a result of my meditations on exile. On the bus, I was likewise inside the capsule of sorry Humanity that lives in a time apart. I still take the bus to work Greyhound as it happens the scab Hound because I don't drive. It's what I can rest in the way of time from my increasingly delocalized and instantaneous world. I used to set apart the few hours. I spent on airplanes as well, but then I bought this laptop computer and now I've lost it to work. My friend Greg. I have a friend who's a professional philosopher. He just bought his first computer and millions of words have been written by now about to change relations between the writer and writing because of the computer but in spite of them every new user has to talk about it's a offenders siecle rite of passage, you know, it's an initiation into contemporaneity. I used to look out the window and I wrote Greg said now I find myself looking at the words. I have just finished writing. Very soon. I said you'll not need the computer to see words on the screen. It will be words on a screen everywhere you look there will be the words. You just thought I should have said the words you just thought you thought. With the computer the Philosopher's window disappears. He will be staring henceforth that his own propositions interiority has taken command insofar as Greg is a professional philosopher the computed only formalizes a fait accompli. It is only amateurs who feel keenly the loss of the sky. What Greg had been saying out his window had been rapidly diminishing in any case even the great rain forests of Brazil are under attack. It is possible that if Greg had been an amateur, he could have seen these forests and perhaps all that was left of the Wilderness standing there before his window his window would have given out in two places where the roads don't go even then he would have only seen them through the glass. Mia's glass know that that's the fetish of Modern Art which separates the eyes from all the other senses keeps you behind glass. So I wear glasses. I don't really need them to see just what I'm to be modern. It is not only the Wilderness that dies outside Greg's window. It is also the central life of humans the our own inner outside the computer screen completes the last turn to the interior the word William Burroughs. It is virus. The work to be more specific is the virus of interior. They the computerized word is interior t-squared the word on TV equal the word times the image of it the way out of the mirror is cut off and speaking of mirrors. It was another lovely metaphor that somebody presented to me when the Berlin Wall fell and said the wall went down the mirror went up. In the past ten years the outside has greatly diminished in all its Dimensions geography imagination. Liberty Transcendence has closed shop or perhaps the last room in a shop that has been closing since the Renaissance even science fiction is distressed by our premature arrival on to its territory. It has become Nostalgia fiction a Gloom a gleam of the tail fins of EDS. Olsen sputnik's the unknown once accessible in various ways has been sealed off at the borders. The police have arrived everywhere in the East they are the tattered remnants of the uniformed police now freelancing until the bureaucracy returns. In the west they are the invisible police of image manipulation. The militarization of the plant is complete. There are no more civilians as poverty up and that of outer space is well underway, when the Berlin Wall went down but we saw was our own reflection the well one the wall went down the mirror went up for that reason. I can speak of Hope barely the Revolutions in east of Europe are revolutions of the young against old bureaucrats their 60s type of revolutions that may yet bring back to us the gift of our own idealism. This is very wishful thinking here. However, for the most part American reaction to the Revolutions in Eastern Europe has been cautious and fearful, we would rather bury our heads in rows on bars Folds. Then attempt to understand the spectacular history that we are only spectating not causing or helping years of image manipulation have rendered our media suspect to most of us power goes on question because our eyes are full of images that obscure it only rarely and then without passion does it occur to us that our Brave New World of consumer goods is only the anesthetic before the great Juggernaut of power. How can such useful in Pretty Things hurt us. The cult of the commodity has rendered everyone powerless while removing the critique of power to an abstract realm' hard to connect with the otherwise busy senses and yet here is a great opportunity of brief reappearance of the real in the dream glimpse of the outside in the vast interior. It is only a blooms because the bureaucrats are sure to return the chains of tormented mankind said Kafka are made out of red tape. The new interior of our computerized Western World Is Not the interior of the earlier decade. It is an interior that has learned to mimic some of the characteristics of the outside. It has learned above all to project a sense of inevitability few people are to be found anywhere who do not think the technology code causes problems unquote, but you quote can't stop progress on quote fewer still who believe that bureaucracy is not Eternal the three-dimensional posters pasted over the windows of skyscrapers offices open onto Alpine Vistas Swiss, no and a device. The notion of community has been stripped of definition no longer does community any community stand outside the state in direct challenge to it. All communities have been reoriented through a neat trick of generalization to become the state and electronic super states that is a combination of traditional nationalisms and electronic globalism. When Community was a means of resistance. It was constituted to point from the inside out. It proceeded from a center of internal concerns to make progressively wider contact to the outside world the community redesigned by the state points inward. It is a producer of Silence television has redesigned Community Life by pushing its electronic imperative into the center while marginalizing true Community concerns people find the hyper reality of TV more real than their own unpublicized life. They know TV families the Nelsons the Cleavers the huxtables better than their own. Of course, I mean he knows that incredible lump sitting on the couch next to the unknown territory. The language of the media has become the only language which is the same as having no language the silence displays centers of community life orbit about the desolate periphery like pieces of cosmic junk around the space station the techniques by which the western state has insinuated itself at the heart of Community are visual read fascist bureaucracies in the East had ensured that unproductive Interiors by closing tightly that borders the uncirculated stale Interiors of the East compared unfavorably to the circulating energetic expanding Interiors of mass Market Societies in the East Interiors or already even before the collapse of communist bureaucracies in the final stages of Decay their structures of complex ruins whose inhabitants dreamed only of escape the escape the imagined was inevitably into the West into the Eden of TV the East spilled infrequently into the West. It's inert material made active by boredom. But this very moment as the East spills totally into the West we are witnessing a brief opening the recirculation of interior's could energize the entire world if we could wake briefly from our hypnotic sleep here are ecological Global opportunities to rethink everything failing that the expanding techno interior will become all there is because there will be less and less to opposed to it. There will be nothing to compare it to the memory of the outside is also a form of interiority the outside resides in memory. It can be argued that some French writers have especially baudrillard that the interior is the space or everything disappears including the bombardments of the media that it is an active vacuum or a series of vacuums one inside another but we are seized the massive black hole capable of absorbing anything reflecting everything giving up nothing. The only thing that exists in the interior is a hyper conformism a flattening out of all differences and mechanical and Collective mass that is either manipulated or manipulates the social political. Economic and philosophical attempts on it. This kind of interior can only be the result of a new institutional nature rapidly growing projection of a new bureaucratic automatism that severs the organs of descent including most importantly the mouth hence the silent majority this new nature is historically recent and it has to do less with ideology than with the technological structures that now link everyone in a new electronic electronic nervous system. The new passivity is the result of hormonal electrical engineering we are being fed saltpeter on the one hand in ginseng on the other we're being castrated of expression, but kept excited for consumption that explains both the mind-boggling conformism of the mass here. We all were Reeboks and the extraordinary empty physical Vitality that possesses it institutional nature substitute itself for every aspect of all the danger imposing its mechanical models on those of Life most often painfully penetrating the resistant tissue with levers and push buttons the old organic connection to dependent on Quantum leaps for communication. They were inseparable from what they became. They were in fact composed entirely along the entire range of awake informed substance life was unquantifiable in a way that is in question today when the Machinery of the new Nature has become so natural. The outside is a substance increased and diminished the outside exists most importantly and before anything is an appetite. We are losing our appetites for everything food Adventure Freedom. They are replaced by controlled Cravings induced by Visual and oral stimulation at the same time. We can see the diminishing of what lies outside ourselves outside the feeble light of our cravings and their consumption needs 50 percent of the world's population will live in cities by year 2000. The other 50% will have no more room. However, they will be inhabiting prescribed areas on the edges of toxic pits. The environmental be rigorously gridded to serve the needs of the electronic brain every human being living now can see the shrinking of the world and feel the effects of Relentless metering the outside the sometimes increased in unexpected ways. We're witnessing this in Eastern Europe right now. Two decades ago quote the doors of perception were blown wide open and flying became commonplace. I was to do it a lot. There are seemingly unlimited space drunk and so much outside. We took it for granted that our institutional life would soon be flooded by the infinite. We look forward to transparency to policy based on the awareness of light perhaps what we were experiencing was not the true outside. It could barely be in view of all the already operational Horrors, but only a glimpse of it through briefly opened philosophers window what the Glimpse revealed was the outside the possibly the same moment as it was disappearing what lens substance to the Glimpse then was the ongoing war in Southeast Asia a war marked by ecological and human defoliation real mirror of new conditions in the East likewise, the Brezhnev Doctrine the same time provided the find syntactical view of the language of Tanks guns poking through the holes in ideas from the brief meeting of the Transcendent with the historical that form the certain critical Authority a certain weight. It was the palpable weight of this new resistance that almost amounted to jailbreak. The personal familial and societal structures all felt its impact the invasion of the outside in the 1960s transcended Politics, the repressive approaches of the two major political systems of the time were different. However, because the transports to be attacked demanded different tactics in the East memory had to be fought with a false history made. So ubiquitous that what scattered individuals remembered the seemed fleeting and insubstantial and faced by the collective memory of an inductor native younger generation. Imagination on the other hand had to be attacked at the root. It was not to be given time to take flight no take off from the red fascist bureaucracies failed in the vacuum left behind by the collapse of ideologies that now Russia's detect no monster of capitalism what to do about it is the question right now and stop working is Minds. Thank you.


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