Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

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Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby BadgerJelly on September 7th, 2020, 3:06 am 

A whacky thought I thought I’d share ... maybe it will spark something more nuanced to discuss?

Note: If the format is too abstract I’ll amend and translate so it isn’t dumped in another forum (for a gist this is an abstract, fictional commentary on, historicism and critical theory touching on Marcuse, Nietzsche and Marx, to name a few).

It is what people hold, an emblem of their faith in life. They wander around with their sigils in secrecy communing with some imagined spirits. When awoken by spirits everyday they attend to them immediately, almost like they attend to a crying child - sometimes with greater care and enthusiasm.

What is curious about these people are those that differ from them. Some manage to sustain their lives without the use of such sigils, and without any connection to such spirits, and what is more they are for the most part indistinguishable from those that are so intricately tied to their daily sigil rites.

There was apparently a time when such rituals were less common, so it seems that inevitably the rare breed of people that somehow abstain from the use of these sigils will soon become extinct because they lack the ability to communicate in the new social paradigm, and we can only marvel and imagine how any of these people ever managed to sustain themselves without such sigils baying to them like children ... it could be said the reliance of the sigil upon the people is how this began, but that would be to insert a subjective view (unscholarly!) into my objective observation.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 7th, 2020, 7:09 am 

It is what people hold, an emblem of their faith in life. They wander around with their sigils in secrecy communing with some imagined spirits.


Who do? Apart from loonies, that is.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 7th, 2020, 7:15 am 

I suppose sigils include anyone with a cross or St Christopher round their neck. Or Islamic women in a full disguise. Or Sikhs with beards and 10' hair. Or Jewish men with pigtails. Or just about anyone with faith paraphernalia about their person.

The real question's probably why are so many human beings so completely mad?
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Serpent on September 7th, 2020, 10:37 am 

charon » September 7th, 2020, 6:15 am wrote:I suppose sigils include anyone with a cross or St Christopher round their neck. Or Islamic women in a full disguise. Or Sikhs with beards and 10' hair. Or Jewish men with pigtails. Or just about anyone with faith paraphernalia about their person.

The real question's probably why are so many human beings so completely mad?


Yes, they would. But it doesn't stop with religious emblems. What do you call a swastika, MAGA hat, red star pin, dollar sign tie-clip, fist in a circle.... There are all kinds of badges and flags and apparel whereby people show their identification with a group, an ideal or an aspiration.
All human beings are mad to some degree; only a small minority are completely mad all the time, but nearly all can be maddened by the influence of other people, for periods ranging from a few minutes to a lifetime. And sometimes the lifetime is limited to the duration of the madness, as in the case of suicide bombers, or the madness is limited to the duration of the life, as in the case of Chinese protesters.

As to why we are a mad species, the reasons are several and interconnected - and inseparable from the reasons we can accomplish such astounding feats as Stonehenge and Mars landers.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 7th, 2020, 10:54 am 

In that case it might be a question of why we bother giving silly little tokens such importance. It's like the discussion about labels on the other thread. Then it was labels, now it's tokens. Or flags, emblems, and so on. We seem obsessed with symbols at the expense of reality.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Serpent on September 7th, 2020, 11:15 am 

And that goes back to the alphabet, pictographs and rock-scratching.
You can't separate the products from the proclivity which creates them.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Forest_Dump on September 7th, 2020, 11:34 am 

Virtually any form of ideology can and is used for some kinds of solidarity amongst people. Beliefs forge alliences through belief in some form of common or shared identity or common cause, etc. While I think all have come with costs, most also have led to gains even though none have ever been universal or permanent and someone else often has to pay some price.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby BadgerJelly on September 7th, 2020, 11:55 am 

The idea of this was to look at people using mobile phones without a real understanding of what they did. It was meant as some fictional characters attempt at being ‘objective’ about something that they didn’t fully understand - ie. people staring and responding to certain chimes and sounds from an object that projected what they refer to as ‘sigils’ (viewing the device as an instrument of some spiritual value rather than of practical value: the point being the ease with which they are hard to differentiate between).

The ‘sigils’ could be advertisements, messages from distant people/s or simply a game. This is all very much tied into what Marcuse spoke of about consumerism and the subtle prices we pay in the form of our current ‘cultural norms’.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 7th, 2020, 1:39 pm 

You're saying mobile phones and consumerism have replaced occult magic?

Bit of a leap there :-)
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Forest_Dump on September 7th, 2020, 2:13 pm 

Maybe my turn to stretch but I am not sure it is that far off. People do spend a lot of time believing it is vitally important to do what they do on those devices and react as though the world could end when they are forced off line, etc. Personally I don't quite count it as communication although it can be close or partial. But when you think about how much time and money is spent on those things for questionable gain (at least to me), it comes close to religion. Of course I think of it more as addiction.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 7th, 2020, 3:14 pm 

Absolutely. It's addiction. I once started a thread on a forum, not this one, about how people, the young especially, were becoming slaves, heads always buried in a phone, not smiling, bumping into things, and all that.

They laughed, but then all these articles came out about the same thing, worried parents, and all the rest of it. And, of course, the companies involved are making incalculable billions from it.

There is a place for IT, obviously, but the danger is it takes us over. As it may have already done.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Serpent on September 7th, 2020, 3:23 pm 

Why do you think all those kids are marching around with guns, playing cops & badguys? They were raised on shooter video games. People tend to embody their fantasies (very often, and quite traditionally, with the aid of chemical substances and hypnotic devices), whether it's a personal relationship with some deity, emulation of their heroes, or acting out childhood dreams of power.
It's very easy to blur or become blind to, the border between actual and virtual reality. Electronics just make it easier - and even more lucrative.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 7th, 2020, 5:45 pm 

Why do you think all those kids are marching around with guns, playing cops & bad guys?


Rubbish. Kids have always done that, every generation of them. Cops, soldiers, cowboys, pirates... you don't know what you're talking about.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Serpent on September 7th, 2020, 6:05 pm 

charon » September 7th, 2020, 4:45 pm wrote:... you don't know what you're talking about.

Well, that explains a lot!
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby TheVat on September 7th, 2020, 7:43 pm 

Where's a solar flare, on the scale of the Carrington Event, when we need it?
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 8th, 2020, 5:29 am 

Serpent » September 7th, 2020, 11:05 pm wrote:Well, that explains a lot!


It doesn't explain how you and your friends were playing cowboys and indibums in the playground before people even had TV!
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 8th, 2020, 5:31 am 

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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Serpent on September 8th, 2020, 10:51 am 

charon » September 8th, 2020, 4:29 am wrote:It doesn't explain how you and your friends were playing cowboys and indibums in the playground before people even had TV!

Are you sure that was a popular game before TV? Where would they have got the idea? I know those images were not featured in picture books of the early 20th century. Seems to me, the children who played cops & robbers or cowboys and cattle rustlers were imitating the mass entertainment media of their time period: movies and then television. Through these media, they absorbed the values and social organization of their society, long before they were taught formally in school.

As a matter of fact, my friends and I were not playing anything of the sort. We were preoccupied with soccer. We were not even Canadian yet at the age when American [M-designated] children were routinely playing such games. By the age of ten, when I had North American friends, they had outgrown that kind of make-believe. After puberty, I do not believe any "kids" play cowboys, and after 1975 or so, I do not believe the native icon to which I suppose 'indibums' refers was encouraged even among very young children.

There is quite a considerable difference between six-year-olds running around their backyard yelling 'pow, pow' at one another and a post-adolescent sequestered in a dark basement, intensely invested in graphic adult violence in a manufactured electronic fantasy realm, which he may not, but more often does share with virtual assumed personae belonging to unknown fellow fantasists, thus forming a shadow-culture composed of the darker elements of the mainstream one. They develop rituals and secret passwords, icons and symbols and badges of belonging. Whether the medium itself is addictive, the subculture does bear many characteristics of secret fraternities and religious sects.
But there is a consistency in that both media are products of a culture, carry a set of subliminal assumptions and allow the viewer/player to assume - to some degree and for some duration - a role in that social structure other than his own. I don't think that it's practicable for a six-year-old with plastic six-shooter to lose sight of the line between reality and make-believe to the extent that he 'd jump on a horse, gallop to Wyoming and mow down a gang of train-robbers.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 9th, 2020, 5:11 am 

You're saying that these violent video games are turning kids into real-life hoodlums. I think we need to see the evidence.

I agree, it can happen, but AFAIK not that often. Most kids aren't dumb and can tell the difference between fantasy and real life.

'Although adults tend to view video games as isolating and antisocial, other studies found that most young respondents described the games as fun, exciting, something to counter boredom, and something to do with friends. For many youths, violent content is not the main draw. Boys in particular are motivated to play video games in order to compete and win. Seen in this context, use of violent video games may be similar to the type of rough-housing play that boys engage in as part of normal development. Video games offer one more outlet for the competition for status or to establish a pecking order.'

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newslett ... ung-people.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Forest_Dump on September 9th, 2020, 7:52 am 

Trying to remember...... didn't Mark Twain have Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn playing cowboys and Indians? Haven't quite gotten to it yet but Pinker's book, "The Better Angels...." does argue that these times are less violent than the past.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby Serpent on September 9th, 2020, 10:55 am 

charon » September 9th, 2020, 4:11 am wrote:You're saying that these violent video games are turning kids into real-life hoodlums. I think we need to see the evidence.

No, I'm not.
I'm saying that "kids" is an indistinct term that could be construed to cover every age from pre-school to university. I'm saying that playing cowboys and Indians in the 1950's doesn't equate to espousing Blue Lives Matter in 2020.
I'm saying that the two kinds of "kids" and make-believe that you conflated are not comparable.
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby charon on September 10th, 2020, 8:15 am 

Blue, green, orange... how stupid it's getting. Just stop peddling guns and violence.

The bottom line is society, its failings and corruptions, and the total irresponsibility of us human beings. Is there not one sane voice anywhere?
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Re: Culture, Memes, Aesthetic Sensibility & Domestication

Postby BadgerJelly on September 11th, 2020, 7:25 am 

Forest_Dump » September 8th, 2020, 2:13 am wrote:Maybe my turn to stretch but I am not sure it is that far off. People do spend a lot of time believing it is vitally important to do what they do on those devices and react as though the world could end when they are forced off line, etc. Personally I don't quite count it as communication although it can be close or partial. But when you think about how much time and money is spent on those things for questionable gain (at least to me), it comes close to religion. Of course I think of it more as addiction.


I don’t think it comes close enough to ‘religion’. Meaning I believe the core of ‘religion’ is something that is beneficial to humanity (or rather intrinsic to our being), but I’m quite aware that my use of the term ‘religion’ doesn’t fit comfortably with other’s use of that term.

I still maintain that the pervading state of ‘religiosity’ in the world today is that of patriotism. I think the apparent magnification ‘nationalistic’ stances is due to the mass global communication of today that has disrupted people’s general (possibly unconscious) weltanschauung, thus leading to a doubling down on what is ‘true’ to there identity. Previously ‘religion’ was a strong focus in the political sphere but this has certainly been replaced by ‘patriotism’/‘nationalism’ and in doing so the premise of ‘nation’ has been given a more ‘concrete’ and ‘real’ meaning that often rides on the back of mysticism or attempts to replace it entirely by levering in the illusion of logical positivism as the ‘correct’ approach to place ourselves in the world.

Personally all I see is the poor replacement of ‘nation’ above ‘religion’ beginning to crumble before our eyes. I’d be surprised if there is anything left people would call a ‘nation’ at the start of the next century. I think the shift is already very much towards human identity based almost entirely on representations online. Whether or not this will be generally ‘better’ or ‘worse’ for human civilisation in the long run is fairly redundant as I don’t see how this can be reversed because practically all major relations between peoples and group identities goes through the internet and for the most part is slipping further and further away from any meaningful regulation by any individual body (be this a governing body or some public movement).

We’ve created a perfect mirror with which to view ourselves. The questions we’re now having to face is ‘do we like what we see?’ & ‘can we aim higher than where we are right now?’

Once a few more generations come through we’ll have a better informed populace (on a global scale) who can grasp what is happening - or rather has happened. I literally left secondary school as the phenomenon of ‘the internet’ was just kicking into first gear. It’s shocking to see that the majority of the youth (anyone 30 or below) are now mostly obvious to the idea of a world with no internet. I cannot really imagine what they will be thinking of the generations that come after them as I do now ... I only hope I have my finger on the pulse enough to have a inkling of what the hells going on! Haha!
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