Speculative Disrealism: On David Lynch

The charm and intelligence of David Lynch’s films (i.e., Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Dune, Fire Walk with Me (Twin Peaks), Lost Highway, etc.) is that they commoditized the commodity of the cliché, the underbelly of capitalist paranoia, the blended dreams of paradise and hell woven into the very fabric of a catastrophic universe. But in doing so he made no judgment, no ultimate statement, provided no prohibition of Law; but rather left us tossed upon the blank sea that is our lives, unable to resolve truth from falsity; knowing there was nothing behind the mask, behind the appearances: that this is it, the oscillating rhythm of the Void. He brought us a speculative disrealism that hinted at, but could not be stated, the unraveling of the very representations of filmography, and unleashing their flows instead. The images that flashed across the screen broke against narrative technique, portraying the frayed time-loops our lives take each moment, the inability of Mind and Consciousness to grasp either the world of appearance nor the world of our symbolic traps and cages; but rather bringing us to that point where we begin to know we are nothing more than cartoon constructions of both a social and a natural set of algorithms we can never decipher. Victims of neglect we live our lives within the impoverished eclipse of knowledge, having forfeited our memories to the world of external mirrors long ago we float between a brain that reveals us to be mere shadows, and a social machine that produces us as mere commodities and transactions in a process of endless negotiations and circulations. Artifacts of an evolutionary scheme we are clueless to its cause or effects, merely blanks upon the abyss of time, lost among the images of a screen we cannot behold nor free ourselves. 


Note: here I use “dis” as – in a different direction, between,” figuratively “not, un-,” also “exceedingly, utterly,” to set the sense of what is Real apart, as both not reality, and exceeding reality – that which is in-between. Therefore a disreality is both “not” and “exceeds the Real”; the performative contradiction (Shaviro) that cannot be reduced nor dispersed, but only confronted and suffered.

Revolt or Piss Off….

Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight.

—Sir Francis Bacon, The Essayes or Counsels, Civil and Moral (1625)

Reading some posts on the plight in the UK and the passive inaction that seems to be pervade I’m reminded of my own country here in the US. It’s as if we’d stepped back in time, entered a pulp world, a realm of full blown paranoiaville with cartoon figures invading the political spectrum. Hilary and Trump are both constructions of the mediatainment system, bit actors in a scripted spectacle that even Debord couldn’t have dreamed up in his wildest moralistic nightmares. We’ve truly entered Baudrillard’s simulacrum where the shadow players rule and reality takes a vacation.

Here in the US we’re already so poisoned on the Left and Right there’s not much hope in left for the extremes of the parties. Even Bernie couldn’t stem the tide of corruption. Now with Hilary and Trump dividing the obituaries of American death between them it doesn’t bode well for those of us left within the vital zones. Politics is a sham here in America, been that way for a while but people had to see it for themselves to believe it. Too bad, too, with the world going bonkers the traditionalists and establishment mad, and the Reality Satyrs like Hilary and Trump the world is taking a nose dive into the cesspool of total nihilism. So don’t expect the tears of the Saints or Secularists to get you out of this one. If people refuse to revolt and instead sit back and bewail their fate they deserve what they get. Brits have got to lead the way, get up off your asses and do something rather than continue to bewail the fact your divided. Hell, here in the US there’s been an unwritten civil war going on for a while now. No end in site… Paranoia’s: Us or Them mentality seems to be our mode of existence, a sort of hidden tendency of the consumer mind.

Catastrophe or the fear of catas­trophe is most likely to elicit the syndrome of paranoid rhet­oric.

– Richard Hofstader, The Paranoid Style in American Politics

Madness and mayhem wander the Halls of Washington and New York, LA and Miami: the establishment shakes its head, and the demos like Zombies from a D rated film can’t even find their way to the flesh bombs, much less cannibalize the fetid and corrupt consumers that highlight the latest Reality TV show.

Capitalism has always tended toward a duopoly, we just happen to have perfected it. A true duopoly is a specific type of oligopoly where only two producers exist in one market. In reality, this definition is generally used where only two firms have dominant control over a market. In the field of industrial organization, it is the most commonly studied form of oligopoly due to its simplicity. We’ve just turned the firms into Parties and let them shake hands behind the scenes while playing to their constituents in a fake semblance of gestural disaffiliation. Nothing remains of democracy but its name.

No it’s a time-between-times a sort of farcical prelude to total collapse. We keep thinking someone else will figure it out, someone else will provide an alternative. Nope, not going to happen folks. Too late for that. People thought the revolution would come someday, but instead we got the trivial whimper mechanics of an End Game measured out in Zeroes and Ones. A counting game that even the philosophers would be hard-pressed to resolve much less offer a solution too.

So instead we belittle each other and everyone else, feel superior for our efforts, awaiting the great savior to return and fix things. No one is coming to save your ass my friends, there are no more saviors, no avant garde’s, no philosophical arguments, no political recourse. Nope. It’s ACT or Dying time again…

The only way out is the one you must choose: revolt or die, there is no last instance, no final choice beyond those two alternatives; either act or piss off