Thursday, January 25, 2007

One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society - Starring Gary Busey

He slinked out the side-exit of the bus with a stammering motion and an expletive in the throat, like a man cocked and loaded with a vat of liquor shots in the liver. Too verging on fact that statement is; unassuming and unpaid for measures of whiskey downed so quickly they still remained swirling in their glasses long after Busey left the bar. Now, with the bus a bland slice of red amongst a homogeneous collage of blurs and gelatinous outcroppings of colour, Busey stumbled upon a hobo more beard than man, who turned out to be, in fact, a rose garden.

Shunning the banal reaction of outraged pain, and actually taking encouragement from the junior puncturings, Busey ran on, thorns accentuating his caution-sign aura, increasing the font of the exclamation mark that stretched over his bones. A quizmaster attempted to shout Busey into cessation, but was consequently rammed by the vanilla whip frenzy intercoursing on our hero’s pate. Like a backspace eroded by prosodic indecision, the quizmaster found himself pummelled into the bitumen of the road by the index digits of Busey’s twitching claws.

A long-shot of the planet revealed Busey indenting the crust with an obnoxious kick in his kicks. Sometimes he even looked up – at what? At his own consciousness, projected high above the putrid iconography of modern day life – of Ms, of Is and Bs and Ms, of Gs and Ms, of Cs and Ks. Swells of parasitic, recuperating, incorporated viruses; regretted tattoos from nights before spent breathing alcohol – swishes and apples and senile Kentuckians. Vision molested, manipulated, browbeaten to the extent that it clouds with sickness at the idea of a visual space not sprinkled with interconnecting rows of LTDs and PLCs, blank eyes staring out from suits stitched in bank notes and exploitation, noxious multicoloured roundels plundering the human condition, a slimy layer of grime imprinted with hyperboles extrapolated from market-survey results, not simply violating the limited mortal existence, but stealing the very lives of the populace – larceny captured on the CCTV of the quotidian, broadcast straight to the neural networks of us all, yet accepted, embraced, eyes too close to the picture, “I can see the clock and the ant”, but oh no, so much more can be glimpsed were you to just pull that head away from its rut of a perspective, you’ll see all sorts of other details and you might be shocked and surprised and enlightened.

Gary Busey, his jarring discontent immolating the frame of this image, a trident wrapped in the last linguistic freefall of bullshit spouted from the orificial black-holes of the power elite clasped in his fists, a molten ravine of white teeth and unsteady eyes fuzzed into a totality, grinding along, cessation disappeared, unimportant responsibilities forgotten, sweated out with yesterday’s hit of gin.

The Busey machine, now tunnelling a passage labelled subterranean, and with shards of critique visibly rectifying corneas abused by years imprisoned in the latter chunk of the twentieth century, began to mutter legions of a philologist’s nocturnal sleaze-fests. They were words, but not words contaminated with the condescending raison d’etre of advertising, or the narcissistic Gestapo slogans of organised mysticism. Slinking out in a dance of repetition, these words gesticulated to one of our favourite members of the Frankfurt School, good old Herb Marcuse.

With retinas orchestrated in the key of shredded manuscripts of Marcuse’s classic tome, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society, Busey’s lips cradled and moulded the words first spun out of the German cycle-spin back around 1964. The infectious oratory mingled with elves and goblins and unicorns and altruistic corporate bodies and other such fictional entities. Busey’s pulverising trip downward had continued to spit rhetoric at the “halt” pleadings from the weak and reactive media commentators who gathered to objectively cover what one inarticulate Harvard graduate named ‘The Busey Bulldozer’.

But the barrels of Busey did not stop for inane front-page headlines. Magma sweeping his intestines, he eliminated silence by shoving the information of the one-dimensional society at us, where technological rationality signs the death knell notice glued to our faces; administered society where the logic of paperwork dictates all; technology that, rather than free people from the burden of toiling, turns them into “fungible objects of organisation”. In short, cogs in the machine, little cogs enveloped in flesh and with consciousnesses that yearn for something beyond the mechanical. Rationality controls the natural, a scientific miasma descends on the elements, and subsequently, to put it in Heideggerian terms, the ordering is extended to humanity, classified and filed away in some perverse tribute to The Trial.

Revolutions of Busey limbs cause a platypus to take up checkers, with the ultimate intention of moving up to chess. A towering and potent cyclone oozing erudition seemed to be catalysing occurrences rarely imagined, as more and more Busey bullets sailed through the societal fog of myopia. Beginning with a diatribe mirroring Marcuse’s own critique of the analytic school of philosophy, the logical analysis and mathematical abstractions, the Xs and Ys, the Wittgensteins and G.E Moores, and the tautological thought underlining the technocratic milieu blowing in off the sea, he segued into a vicious tirade highlighting a late capitalism that perpetuates labour, fear, subjection and a total acquiescence in mind and body.

It was then that Busey ceased his movement, for he had come to the Earth’s core. Had this place too been infected with the commodity spectacle so rife beyond its periphery? Was he to discover more products to buy, more people to sell, new and exciting ways to subordinate creative minds to the mandate of work-sleep-buy-die?

His ears puckered up to the empty winds that sang in this vacuous tomb, deficient of the tampering, profit-driven fingers of the systemic malady that has totalitarian status out in the exterior. It had the sort of stillness and placidity that’d be used to sell deodorant as soon as you could say “put the bikini girls over by that wellspring”. Truly a paradise. But this tranquil place was not for Busey, too corrosive his biting angst was for this serenity. And so the motors deep down in Busey’s being fired up once again, their pistons burning with furore and the critical knife-edge eyes required to emancipate the masses, embroiled in the compulsory negation of life as they are.

The one-dimensional man is he who’s subjected to the narrowest of thought paradigms, imprisoned in an ideological construct that dominates the individual and establishes false needs in order to sustain the system.

Travelling through space/time, and along the axis of a line graph, Busey reflected on this, deducing an affirmation in the generally negative frameworks of critical analysis as laid out by the Frankfurters, and how absolute criticism is the epithet written all over that clichéd first step. Busey trundled the banks of the real with these ruminations fizzing and rapturing inside his mind.


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