Saturday, March 05, 2011

Krampus Sacred Clowns And Protesters Take Wisconsin

This Is Happening Now:

By James Curcio
The Krampus enter at 1:56, if you're wondering. But on a larger scale, I think it's patently obvious that this is the kind of movement which can easily peter out and be written of as performance art, or it can be an opportunity for all of us to "come out" of the closet, say no to the Plutocratic demands, no to the myth that we are separate and estranged, that we must compete with one another, that we must identify with one "team," one "nation," one "race," and kill or take from all the others, that mutual benefit isn't the only virtue. Charlie Sheen might be a egomaniac and any number of other things, who knows, I don't know him personally. But when he said "I'm a rockstar from mars," and, you know, I'm sick of pretending otherwise, that, in my own way, I could completely relate to. 

These protests could be a spark to tinder, or it could just be, as I said, performance art, a protest that lets people feel like they're accomplishing something while those who imagine they have the real power just sit and wait it out. And sure, all movements transform into something else. 

I know what the cynics have to say. I'm usually one of them. No cynic like a former idealist. All forces peter out. Beyond cynicism, which can actually be a potent force, lies apathy, which does nothing but roll over to whatever has to force to take your sweet (or not so sweet) ass. Hunter S Thompson watched the high-water mark of the 60s movement, and watched those hippies turn into corporate officers themselves. So what? If that's what they were all along, more power to them. If they were caving to social pressures around them, and not being true to what they were, then they made their own hell, and the hell that many of us are forced to contend with today. What's it going to be? 

Pre-order a copy of The Immanence of Myth, published by Weaponized in July 2011.


  1. do you really think it was the fate of all those hippies to become their own corporate evil?

    i don't know. i don't think they even thought it out properly, they didn't think they'd have to do anything in particular, like the whole world would follow.

    and since it didn't, "the world" happened to them : after a few years thinking they'd turn out better human beings than their parents, they ended up turning into what they hated the most, and they would say "that's real life for you, dig it or shut up". eventually they'd point their finger to the hippies who stuck true to their ideals, or to the needle : isolated, dead-alive dreamers, disconnected from reality. reality is going to school, then to work, and die, and that's it. that's evolution.

    from where i stand, and according to most people my age (20-ish going 30-ish) i can relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed by the need to adapt and "stop dreaming"

    as much as i dream of having been around in the 70s, i don't think i would have been essentially better than any of those guys. today, more than anything, their experience shows that, as you put it yourself, everything "we the people" do, peters out eventually and we have to "join the sheeple" or something. the only thing that cannot be extinguished, it seems, is that raging impulse to put this overwhelming, all-encompassing control over our lives and desire that some call the Empire

    i can see where you're going at with the Krampus thing (as with most of your content), like maybe we shouldn't be afraid to use myths and magical names to raise/rouse people in a massive wave to counteract the apathetic/anhedonic effet this society has on us? join in a big pagan party, even if it's just for fun, fake it till you make it and see what happens? even Radiohead, which i love, seems to be harnessing this trend, leaving codes and hints everywhere, trying to build inside the minds of those who pay attention a sort of reminder about those things in fairy tales that float in the air, among the trees and over the hills and forests, things that are neither good or evil, etc etc.
    To convey this atmosphere they heavily rely not only on music or even lyrics, but on crossmedia events, introducing cryptic hints, anagrams, videos, presented or hosted both by real people (the band itself) and fake characters (Chieftan Mews, host to fake TV-show "The Most Gigantic Lying Mouth of All Times"), posting cryptic hints on fanmade message boards, trending on twitter (including tweets by "Chieftan Mews", look for #imsmenoo), and apparently trying to sync events with phases of the Moon...

    as much as i revel in that sort of things, be that in essays, artwork, or the anticipation of fictional events coming to life (as in your own "Citizen Y" project) what i fear is that, in the end, they will end up marketing creative madness too to rebrand their products or their own ideals and agendas... like MTV longing for dadaist-like anticonformist blips as an outlet for the majors and other firms... by then counterculture becomes culture, and barbarians discover they're part of the Empire once again, or worse yet, that they were part of It all along...

  2. You mostly hit the nail on the head but missed the next logical step. Yeah, when any countercultural movement becomes large enough, establishes itself as a target, certainly, it becomes a MARKET.

    Look at the long term of cycles and pendulum swings, though. So this one does. What's next? What's after that? I don't want to give away too much but one of the guys organizing this thing has been involved with a lot of organizations that went through this process- he moved on. And still going! Someday, hopefully, other people will pick up the torch. Also, even if you don't walk, some people take success and turn it into a pile of shit like Metallica did, but not everyone.

    A lot on this in The Immanence of Myth though there is and never will be a final answer so long as we're still alive. It's an ongoing process.



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