File spoon-archives/avant-garde.archive/avant-garde_2002/avant-garde.0201, message 26

Date: Mon, 21 Jan 2002 10:14:20 -0800
Subject: silence broken

Wonderful rave-up, Saul. Just a couple things--first, in my experience, 
"workers" don't identify themselves as such. America is the country 
where everyone is middle-class in their own minds. If this doesn't quite 
accord with reality, it's regarded as a temporary state of affairs, an 
accident, an injustice (not committed against the class of workers, but 
against this particualr individual, who is only by some fluke relegated 
to a non-middle-class status), or a source of shame. Or all of the the 
above. In this country one doesn't belong to a class, one is instead 
always on the way out the door of class. Supposedly.

And I don't think 9-11 changed anything for art's putative relevance or 
irrelevance. The hammer of circumstance has always existed. Art has 
never cured anything. the acte gratuite is always irrelevant, and that's 
its mercy. not everything is linked. Is this a license for freedom? 
Perhaps. Perception is always one's own, although sometimes its 
interpretation is borrowed. Gratuitousness  refers those perceptions 
most immediately to their physical causes, and can go some way to 
betraying or forbidding ideologically based interpretation.

Do you really think that 9-11 will have longterm cultural consequences 
(other than the small matter of serving as a license to crank up the 
Surveillance State and institute a new permanent war footing. But how 
long could power have stood its nostalgia for the cold war? Some pretext 
would have been found, don't you think? The overwhelming fact is the 
fact of monolithic American power. the collapse of the towers just laid 
some fill light on the spectacle.)


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