There are many factions within factions on just about any side of expressive communications, from the nutjob right to even the without-portfolio micro-left. Good luck, in this over-saturated, under-productive Information Age apres le morass, in finding you a good, comfortable seat to practice your own brand of what-not jibber-jabbering, however much mutual aid or cooperation you find in sending coy dog howls across the technosphere to some other temporarily like-minded others. In the left, post-left, post- Toasties milieu, there are small duchies for ominipotent potentates, but there is no social power, no territory, no need for vainglorious declamations of prescription and analysis, though these cascade like yesterday’s Yacht Rock hits over and over the fetid falls.
Better to engage with someone, somewhere, and that is where true-blue skepticism comes in. Chaz Bufe gives AA and astrology and Christianity a good, righteous what for in his cheap, easy Provocations, a fine compendium of good, honest believer demolition, but there is also a fair amount of useless fringe sanctimonious bilge about the Occupado moverment, the right way to establish revolution in the world, and yes, anti-nihilism, in the form a short chapter bemoaning the asshole “pessimists” who tell the good Bufe that the world is going to shit. Like the other fringeists he decries, such as the “primitivists” he derides as “ridiculous,” a deft term, Bufe is lost in wingnut reverie over the great glories to come from anarchist-style “resistance,” the Peoples’ Revolution, and other fantastical phantasmogia that the folkish, anhedonic left conjures up with the ease of a rice cracker-and-jelly combo.
The data points that Bufe deftly pins on the AA, Chrsitian, and astrology lunatic camps are wholly lost when it comes to this matter of pessimism. Here’s a better data point to establish: nihilists are doing nothing whatsoever to make or break the course of the supersystem. The good works that Bufe must impute to his own actions, whatever the hell they are, giving bread to pigeons, carrying a “no smoking “sign at Turning Stone Casino, are not enumerated, so who knows what any of us should do to be responsible, personally responsible, for making a beautiful, bright day come with silver light to rescue all of us lonely borgs on planet E.
We social nihilists, we social pessimists, even stand ready to join whatever brigade of power you, the revolutionary hipster, rumble forth out out of the swamps, if that highly unlikely event should ever occur. We just don’t see it coming. There might be small pockets of social betterment happening, here, there in Berkely, back over there in the Reason Rally, over on yon contra dance square on Trustifarian Farm, but the powers of rationality need not be suspended, and the conclusion is: No.
All indications are to the contary, and are to be respected: the oceans, economic inequality, the dismal contortions of paying wage work, the defunct union corpse, theatrical overkill “politics” over neoliberal horrors blue and red, the legal lynching of abortion providers, jeezus, on an on, and yet somehow, according to the anarchists, the liberals, Bufe, Zerzan, every last semi-tenured socio prof, the PEN writers and the bloggistas, to the vast entirety of the intelligentsia both foreign and domestic, its all the fault of – yeah, you guessed it, not the actual purveyors and capitalizers of the supersystem, but those goddamed asshole nihilists. They’re the ones stopping the better world, those skeptics of the preach, those self-delimiters. The anti-theistic, work-performing, dutiful non-believers, they are the ones, go the Better-Worldists, who tell the police who to kill, who direct the corrupt judges in their daily abominations against social justice, who enable the hedge fund criminal enterprises from the less-wealthy nihilist abodes.
It ain’t us, Jack. We at FSN have accurately penetrated to the heart of the darkness within the supersystem, and that’s about the extent of it. We sap no energy from anyone, we cheerlead to no other fantasy victory. Go back to the Occupado camp to hug those formerly held public spaces, squeeze some oil on your Burning Man bike, venerate some European blip of anarcho power, but leave us out of the power portrait.