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Trash world and the time wars



I.


If you scroll around nationalist Twitter and Telegram accounts, you will find a common complaint that “the decades are all the same now” and “we can’t tell one decade from another”. This is taken as evidence that the West has stagnated. I think this is somewhat an illusion that comes about because, in my experience, differentiations between decades require a whole decade to pass before the preceding decade becomes distinct—so that I only had any consciousness as to what “the 1990s” was as a distinct decade in about 2010; similarly, “the 2000s” has only just begun to crystallise as a recognisable time period. This is a Hegelian observation: you only understand a thing once you have passed beyond it—as if you only know a country when you step over the border into another country and look back behind you.


Secondarily, the point is somewhat absurd and “modern” because it assumes that to speak about “that ’90s look” or “Do you remember the ’90s?” constitutes some natural law akin to gravitation—whereas “the progression of the decades” is very much a human imposition; and this is recognisable in the way that professional historians will speak about “the short 20th century” (1914-1989) or “the long 18th century” (1700-1830); the point being that if you analyse the centuries in depth you find a holistic entity within those arbitrary chronological periods that has its own existence and is what really characterises what people mean by “the 20th century”—even if it predates or antedates chronological boundaries.


However, most people do not experience the world in this way; for them, “the decades” are like the law of gravity or the way the sun rises every morning—decades change, each decade has an identifiable sensibility in fashion, technology, manners, and so on; and perhaps people on the right are particularly susceptible to this view because they tend to treat everything as immutable and natural—and also look for evidence there has been “degeneration”; hence if fashions seem not to change between decades there must be “stagnation”. A similar parallel can be drawn to borders: national borders are, as the left likes to linguistically highlight, “man-made boundaries”; they are not immutable, although they are less flexible than the left believes—since they are actually created by armed conflict and are only really changeable through force, and not everyone has an equal capacity to force such changes. However, a border is not “there” in the same way as the sun is every morn—and neither is a decade.


Indeed, the idea that every decade should be different is connected to a modern notion that there must be “progress”; and so every time parcel, every metric decade, must be distinct. However, why not measure time in the traditional way, in esoterically significant seven-year increments? What patterns would we see if life were to be divided up into “septades”? For the man in an agricultural society, as was for most of our recent history, the idea that the 1530s and the 1540s were different would have puzzled him. In fact, I find it hard to maintain a distinction between decades much beyond 1920; after that, my natural periodisation starts to mush it all together, so that there are long gaps that become “the Victorians”, “the Cavaliers and Roundheads”, and “the Tudors”.


For the rural man, endless innovation—a word that used to be considered a negative term until relatively recently—would have bemused him; he would plant, hoe, and till in accordance with rhythms that were the same back to his distant forebears; people who would, in fact, still be present in the churchyard and in his handed-down traditions. Nature is perennial, the gateway to the eternal; and time was one organic whole—not discontinuous decades, the traditions reflected the natural world.


It is only in modernity, only in advanced industrial societies, that we have such things as a fashion industry that sets “that ’90s look” or promotes, in line with large industrial events in Milan or LA, “the girl of the 2020s”. For sure, there has always been a fashion industry—as with most things technology does, all that has happened is that it has sped up; so that in the 1500s a “fashion trend” might have diffused over forty years, so that talk of “the look for the 1510s” would have been senseless (additionally, in those days, there were sumptuary laws that governed who could wear what—fashion itself was restricted, because it generates envy and lasciviousness). For the modern, in his large city and removed from nature, the pseudo-seasonality created by the fashion industry and the media constitutes his reality; his calendar is not a church calendar or nature’s calendar—his calendar is set by Hollywood, Milan, and New York.


The idea that “each decade must be unique” is an illusion created by this complex—they are the calendar masters; and, as WS Burroughs observed, it was through the calendars that the Mayan priests controlled their societies—just as our contemporary priests control ours through their calendars; for even terms like “Boomers” and “Gen X” were created by university sociologists and are, in part, designed to spark a “class war” between the generations—the idea is that you should resent your parents because they are wealthy spoilt “Boomers” and that there is an inherent “generation war”.


I like to review my life—being an introspective person; and I found that when I looked at it in increments of seven, being considered a holy number, I saw it in a very different way than if I used the metric ten. The French Revolution favoured the metric system—the struggle over metrication is not some activity by sad-o eccentrics, as the media often portrays it, rather it is a battle in the time wars. What do revolutionaries always do? They inaugurate (auger—the old Druidic technique) a new calendar, “Year Zero” in Cambodia or “Juche 72” in North Korea; once you realise that this is not just about a “fresh start” but that the calendar is a means to reach certain gods you will see how destructive these revolutionary notions really are. Everywhere I see people who write “CE” (Common Era) and not “AD”—it is a progressive attempt at “Year Zero”, they want to say it is not AD (Anno Domini—in the year of Our Lord) but merely CE; and so when you see someone write “CE” you know they are a liar.


II.


Collateral to the nationalist concern that the decades no longer change is the worry that popular culture—pop songs and movies—no longer seems to be novel; everything has become derivative. From my observations, this view comes about among people who have reached their mid-30s. In fact, all that has happened is that they have experienced enough pop culture to see the same trends come round again—just as fashion in clothing is cyclical.


It is hard to do anything truly new—fashion itself is novelty; and novelty is not new. In a Christmas cracker you find what are called “novelties”, little plastic whistles or strange stainless steel games—and these are a joke, not to be taken seriously, though it is an unacknowledged joke (you have to pretend to be excited in a serious way). “What gift did you get?” “Ooh, that’s nice. Very useful.” Pop culture is the same as a Christmas cracker novelty; to treat it seriously—as some academics do as a kind of ironic game to ingratiate themselves with the mob—would be as if you treated your Christmas cracker novelties as an actual Christmas present. “You mean that’s it?” “Well, it’s a gift, isn’t it?”


Pop culture has always been derivative, tacky, brightly coloured, trite, sentimental, sexually louche, boorish—and on and on. It was always schund. It is just that today many people only live in pop culture world and, at a certain point, they reach an age when “they have seen it all”—and that is because there is not much to see, anymore than there is much to see in a Christmas cracker toy or a joke. Pop culture, as the name suggests, is not substantial; it changes all the time, like fashion, to “shift product”—usually to gullible teenagers and women and to those people who are pueri aeterni (eternal boys); just another Funko Pop in aquamarine, not cherry red (how many Funko Pops do you need?).


There is a book with a title like 1001 Stories, written by a not very successful Hollywood screenwriter, that claims there are only 1001 story plots; every story is a variation on the “1001 nights”—so that you can have “boy meets girl…but their families are old rivals” (Romeo and Juliet); and then you just do “Romeo and Juliet…in space” “Romeo and Juliet…but they’re ghosts” “Romeo and Juliet…in the Soviet Union”; and this is what is known as an “elevator pitch”, the idea, possibly now anachronistic, that the ambitious writer elbows his way into an elevator with the big shot studio head who turns to him and says, “You’ve got fifteen seconds.” “Romeo and Juliet…but he’s a fox and she’s a badger.” “Love it. You’ve got $58M. Speak to Rikki.” *Ding*.


In fact, per Joseph Campbell, you can even reduce all stories down to one story—the monomyth; and this is more powerful than “1001 nights” because it is based on the world’s oral traditions, whereas the “1001 nights” are often culled from individual invention, from Shakespeare’s noggin, and so are not as powerful—the old fairytales encode generation upon generation of experience and knowledge, compressed processing power that represents nature; you cannot, as a single person, invent that. This is why Star Wars is so popular; actually, only the first three films have ever been popular, everything else has been bullshit ever since—the franchise has simply traded on the goodwill from the first three movies (the goodwill was very substantial). The first three films were popular in a quasi-religious way because they utilised Campbell’s monomyth; they spoke to people on a primordial level.


Unfortunately, this is itself a degeneration; although Campbell was well-intentioned, his decision to reduce all world mythology to a “monomyth” was a degeneration—just think about the detail and the particular qualities that were lost in the reduction process. Just as a Tuareg and an Alabaman can both be seen as men who eat, drink, and procreate, so too their myths can be reduced to a “monomyth”—yet think about the details that are lost in the reduction, think about the difference between Alabama and a North African desert; about the stories people tell about their localities.


Hence the Star Wars saga is rather pernicious precisely because it rises slightly above the usual pop culture tackiness and triviality; it provides a pseudo-religious experience for “the world” that genuinely does connect people, in a reduced way, to eternal time. In a modernised world where eternal time has almost vanished, Star Wars had a huge impact because it was like some very brackish water in a much diminished stream to a man lost in a desert—to have any water at all seemed as good as a pint glass effervescent with carbonated water and ice cubes that gently crack and creak in the sun.


Campbell himself saw Star Wars—his own monomyth—as a new myth, the meta-myth, for the Space Age. For him, the time’s most salient picture was that taken by the Apollo astronauts en route to the Moon: our pale blue Earth, as conceived from space as a universal entity—everyone is a human, everyone is an earthling; and earthlings must have one myth to bind them together—and this is possible because Joseph Campbell has used scholarship to work out the essential story in all myths, and his book can then be translated via Hollywood, by a technical apparatus as sophisticated as Apollo, into a new global myth; a global religion.


The cinema is a religious venue because it elides day and night—you have probably gone into a cinema in the morning and emerged blinking in the strong afternoon sunlight, as if from a cave; or you have gone in during the afternoon and emerged in the twilight—the sensation makes your skin tingle, it has poignancy because you have emerged from the magic cave with its magic lamp where time is meaningless. Storytelling must always be done by a campfire; it is just how storytelling works—the fire creates day in night, it allows opposites to interpenetrate and so allows us to access eternal time. The cinema builds day-night-day; it creates an artificial night in its dark screening room, so dark you fall over your own feet and spill your popcorn and coke, and then illuminates the darkness with an artificial fire to tell a story. As with all technology, it just happens faster—you do not have to wait for night time and the tribal shaman-storyteller, you can buy a ticket anytime.


What has just been said about cinema can also be said for pop music—for pop culture in general. It all belongs to the same moment, to the degeneration characteristic of the kali-yuga where all races and religions and families are mixed together; and all that remains from genuine access to eternal time is the debased form or active counter-initiation. “One race, the human race; one religion, Star Wars”; it should be “Many races, many paths; many paths, one destination”.


The fussy old conservatives with names like Peregrine Worsthorne and the like who, in the ’60s, sneered at The Beatles were right to do so. The sounds are primitive and the topics are directly sexual or sexual-sentimental; popular music—to include all genres, rock and so on—can only deal with the most superficial themes in life, mainly sex. Pop music is different to a folk song because a folk song emerges organically from a human activity—a sea shanty to help raise an anchor or a rural ballad to sing while you fork hay. Today, the form has been adopted as a skinsuit by men like Bob Dylan to represent “workin’ class authentic protest against the system”, but his folk songs are pop songs not folk songs—they have no connection to anything deeper than his need to preach and moralise.


There is no depth to this music, so that the difference between “Love, love me do” (1962) and Ava Max’s “Kings and Queens” (2020) is effectively nil unless you take pop culture seriously on its own terms—“The sound of ’77” “Not your daddy’s music”. Indeed, it took me a long time to realise this is so: when people talk about pop bands and so on it has nothing to do with the music; it is about in-group association—just teenagers jockeying for position, for a mating opportunity. The number of people who actually appreciate music is tiny—and they do not take pop music seriously, even if they occasionally listen to it.


Pop culture inverts tradition in the sense that it is always changing and yet always predictably the same—hence there is a lassitude to it eventually, it is like used up bubblegum when the flavour is all gone (happens quickly). The other side, as offered by tradition, is an experience that is always the same—in the sense that it is ancient and archaic—and yet always refreshes and is always youthful.


Once you stand back from it, this is obvious; and yet many people are so absorbed in pop culture—never leave its folds—that they cannot see this is so; and so they seriously ponder a “degeneration” in Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise—it is all degeneration. Indeed, today, many people effectively derive their religion from pop culture, and not even from the relatively high-quality Star Wars; and so it as if you made a religion from a Christmas cracker novelty—and were even proud to do so, at your comic book convention (yet if you saw a real gift you would be amazed at its depth and sophistication).


Really, you can only appreciate pop culture ironically, as in that pale and sickly young man in the suit, a sort of errant Lovecraft character, who reviews KFC and McDonald’s meals in his car on YouTube. So much as I like Cher as what she is—an Armenian whore—I would not go so far as to call her “an artist” without irony; and can anything rankle more than a Spotify ad that talks about “your favourite artists?”. Unfortunately, the academic world is complicit in the degeneration because they ironically appraise pop culture and so give it a credibility among the higher classes it does not deserve—as I once found, there is very little difference, possibly none, between doing something ironically and sincerely (observers often cannot tell the difference).


The nationalists who complain about “degeneration” in decade definition and pop culture are lost and do not even know they are lost; they are still within the progressive calendar system, primarily upset that a Lord of the Rings miniseries purposively removes white characters from heroic roles—“We’re oppressed! Rights for whites!”. Rather, “rites for whites”—and, in fact, not for “whites”; itself a term from techno-scientific universalism—because what these people really need is a reconnection with eternal time, not a return to a purer pop culture (the tropes that lead European characters to be removed from contemporary pop culture products were inherent from the beginning—it is for the masses; judged globally, even the humblest white is an “aristocrat”).


As these nationalists age, they see this naturally; they can see “it’s all the same”—“Seen it all before,” as geezers have said from year dot—and their explanation is that pop culture was once good, perhaps when they were a teenager, but has now turned woke-bad. Really, it was all a degeneration—always was; it was all a false calendar. Tear off this page.










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