from summer 2022
"the summer of (automatic) poetry"
a critique written by a friend about someone else's writing; I initially misread as a celebration:
"The piece is perhaps the most exemplary of those substack-sphere dystopian cyberpunk theory-fiction polemics that manage to communicate a deep, congenital incompetence in a manner that no other style of “alt-writing” quite can. Burroughs, for better or for worse, laid the groundwork for this brand of literary radicalism that often veered into the cartoonish, and its tendencies, after its appropriation by the CCRU and subsequent identification with the modus operandi of internet culture, seem to have degenerated uniformly into serving only those flourish use-cases taken up by ham-fisted theorists who, as Joe Panzner has said, “couldn’t cut-up their way out of a paper bag”. The worst theory-fiction then functions as a Trojan horse whose contents are insidious only in their ultimate uselessness, always purloining in small amounts the intellectual cache provided by certain concepts and terminology in service of what is not much more than an inchoate creative writing exercise that would nonetheless like to be kept among the ranks of the discursive and the philosophically informed.
To pontificate sardonically on the “cultural rot” from a view from nowhere as this author does, having no apparent compunctions about levying acerbic critiques against “both sides” of the inane culture war that bears some portion of the piece’s focus, is a trite posture that should convince and impress no one who isn’t a teenager. What one can take as more salient from the manner in which this posturing is enacted is what it betrays with regard to what the author actually has to offer the reader beyond superficial laments communicated via an “online subculture references” aesthetic: he will consider no potential prescriptions, provide no insights or analyses that reflect any extended efforts of engagement or capacity, and formulate no theories of potential creation or escape—he is only here to give you a petulant complaint in the style of the “internet derelict”. It may perhaps be argued that such rigor or ameliorative efforts should not be expected from a work like this one, and that one is intended only to enjoy the perverse aesthetic exercise despite its pervasive intellectual inadequacies—this is, after all, how one often justifies the cultural value of the “political” works of our gay junkie progenitor Burroughs. Here I suppose is where the much simpler matter of personal taste lies—the author is just a bad and dumb writer. The petulant complaint that is the work, naturally lacking the skill and self-awareness to be anything but, bears the irony of being ultimately indistinguishable in form and content from the exaggerated sociocultural phenomena it takes as its subjects: lurid, vapid, incoherent, and simply not worth the time of one who perhaps wishes to stop consuming trash and instead conceive of a 'real way out'."
email 02 - unanswered proposal:
missing link: youtube - Bobby Hemmitt, “Melanin Angels”
missing link: youtube - Frank James, "Born in an Insane Asylum"