Tuesday, January 24, 2017

An Atemporal Self

Lefty intellectual (ahem) Will Self in a recent bizarre talk to a live audience urged them to give up their sense of being individuals -because what's so good about that, we are not really unique, to paraphrase him, to put their mobile phones on aeroplane mode' whatever that is and wander about aimlessly around an urban space and attempt to divest themselves of any concept of time, to embrace atemporality and reject 'industrial time' and see what happens because to attempt this will be 'fun' and most people's concept of fun is according to him misguided and delimiting as it involves technology re iphones etc and this distracts them from their real selves.

This idea is based on some French Marxist philosopher and a intellectual movement of 'situationalism'. Which brings me back to an Orwell quote who incidentally and unsurprisingly Self despises: It was the kind of idea that only an intellectual could believe'. Self is of course a public intellectual who lives off tax funded  monies lecturing in a university which makes me wonder why any young person would want to run up a £9K plus debt to listen to his tortuous ramblings and circumlocutions. He can also be heard holding forth at regular intervals on the BBC so he can afford to make disparaging remarks about 'late capitalism' and wishing for its demise as he does in the speech alluded to. At least he identifies the necessary requirements for its destruction: people wandering about aimlessly without any human concept of time structures and imagining themselves to be some amorphous blob divested of individuation -a state of psychosis in other words and this he urges upon his listeners and one cannot help thinking that they deserve one another and that the state of intellectual collapse amongst our public intelletuals has clearly reached its ultimate and terminal nadir.

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