Jean’s last name translated into English is “blowhard.” The photo gives me a good idea though. For my next few posts I need to take a Selfie holding an unlit cigarette in front of a corner of my library shelves. That’s pretty much all it takes for people to take whatever gibberish anyone spouts with utmost seriousness. The Selfie with library books is essential. No great intellectual figure is complete without a Jean Blowhard-style Selfie. Of course the other ingredient is to talk total bullshit day in and out, something I’m incapable of doing. That’s the reason I’ve never been allowed to teach art. Talking total bullshit is mandatory.
OK… enough jawboning, guys. On with the post:
For some odd reason I’ve yet to understand the mechanism of, but let’s just call it synchronicity for old Jung’s sake, whenever I happen to be thinking deeply (like Jean Baudrillard except minus the bullshit) I invariably stumble across an insight in line with my own thinking. The insight is never in the same location, but scattered across hundreds of books or articles I habitually pore over in my obsessively compulsive manner. Oddly, and with uncanny accuracy I happen to open the books or articles right to the exact spot where I receive a striking illumination.
This, of course, is a confirmation to many of the shrinks I’ve consulted for a few sessions before realizing that they’re hopeless imbeciles, that I have some kind of untreatable bipolar disorder, Asperberger’s syndrome, acute anxiety disorder or what have you. All which require medications up the wazoo, which I’ve always politely decline at first. Needing to eventually tell them to fuck off, symbolically of course as I just tell them I won’t be needing whatever services they think they might be providing people. Guys like Mark Rothko were into this, which is as good explanation as any of why they’re painting stunk to high heaven. And the pharmaceutical fog that most artists today, along with coke highs and whatever else they shove into their mouths is the explanation for why the other paintings stink even worse than Rothko’s.
In my delusional state I also consider the Internet the Source of all Evil and run by Satan, but every once in a while there are some illuminating things found on it as well. In this instance, it’s a remark I ran across it on the Dark Ages America blog where Morris Berman ventured the opinion that serves as the title of this blogpost. The exchange runs as follows:
Cel Ray Tonic said….
A good article here (some of it relating to our Po-Mo discussion earlier):
“Our cultural embrace of epistemic or intellectual arrogance is the result of a toxic mix of technology, psychology, and ideology.”
And from earlier in the article, “One way the internet distorts our picture of ourselves is by feeding the human tendency or overestimate our knowledge of how the world works. Most of us know what it’s like to think we remember more from high-school physics or history than we actually do. As the cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach have detailed recently, such overestimation extends farther than you might think: Ask yourself whether you can really explain how a toilet or a zipper works, and you may find yourself surprisingly stumped. You assume you know how things work when you often don’t know at all.”
Morris Berman said…
Personally, I think pomos need 10 yrs of round-the-clock therapy; altho I don’t think it wd work. But again, speaking as a declinist, I’m opposed to Americans developing any type of wisdom or humility. What we need is arrogance and more arrogance, and I have a feeling we’re going to get it!
True Outsider adds….
I’m also a declinist, although there are many differences I have with Prof. Berman’s point of view other than that. Declinist means, in Berman’s vernacular, somebody who believes that the US is undergoing a permanent and irreversible decline that has been picking up speed since the beginning of the Obama Administration. This resulted from Obama’s absolute failure to address in any substantive way at all the widening problems brought about by the collapse of the Wall Street just prior to his election.
Frankly, I don’t see how anyone with even rudimentary rational abilities and critical thinking skills can argue with the case Berman makes. My reason and critical thinking skills are hardly of the caliber of the Ivy League intellectuals so all I can do is try my best. Being an inarticulate and generally insane (as proclaimed by the psychiatric community in America), not to mention being a visionary artist (which in my insanity I consider myself to be) I have very little to no use for reason or critical thinking when I’m making a drawing. Reason and artmaking do not mix. If they ever come together the results are invariably disastrous. Take, as sterling examples, Duchamp, Greenberg and their million acolyte global armies of Postmodern Artists.
All I can do is stand in front of the steady stream of excited lemmings waving their PostModernist theories and hurtling themselves off the cliff as soon as the generation before them has gotten out of their way by leaping into the abyss themselves.
Nietzsche was quite right. “If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.” I even did a little artist’s book that is all about this called Sailing Into Oblivion. This was made back before, after and during 9/11 alongside another book I made called Memories of the End of the World. But did anyone look, much less listen? I’ve been speaking as a declinist since the early 1970s. My attack against GreenbergDuchamp the year I entered art school in 1972 is no different in any way whatsoever than it was the first year I entered art school. This is the reason when I was in art school I lived in poor all white neighborhoods initially before moving to a poor all black neighborhood. One thing I like about poor people is they by and large agree with you when you tell them the country has entered a state of permanent and irreversible decline.
All that’s happened since 1972, from my perspective, is that my analysis and predictions were one hundred percent accurate. I’ve watched helplessly as they’ve played out inexorably within the rotten art world system that was cemented in place in New York City before I’d even been born. I long ago gave up the hope of persuading anybody at all about anything at all. They aren’t going to listen to somebody who doesn’t have a huge personal fortune or a list of degrees after their name or world wide fame and recognition. How many people do you know go up to a homeless person with a sign asking for money and ask him what he thinks of the current state of affairs? I have a habit of doing it from time to time and have invariably found they have a far better grasp of it than anybody the lemming masses go to for insight and advice. Namely, their television set or its portable version, their computer.
With the kind of critical thinking employed by virtually all of our news organizations and TV media, along with their fair, balanced, and politically neutral coverage, it appears to me that we’ve moved from Sailing Into Oblivion to heading there in a speedboat named Trump, Inc.
Let’s take a listen to Sun Ra’s It’s After the End of the World, Don’t You Know That Yet? as I hate to end on a down note. I saw Sonny Blount and company perform this on a number of occasions. Sonny changed my life.