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STUPID UNDERGROUNDS - MANN
Conspiracy - Page 30

model of the entropy of such attachments, always in search for the next one, the true and proper identification, which never arrives, which the process itself realizes as unrealizable, until desire is distributed and dissipated across the entire field. I have on my desk a volume entitled Threat By Example, a series of brief interviews with "inspiring" figures from the "punk underground."21

The format of the book--pictures and interviews lasting no more than a page or two, followed immediately by another, and another, and another--formalizes the linear movement of this narcissistic guru-surfing: continuous deferral to the promise of a greater imminent satisfaction that never occurs, until the velocity of selection itself becomes the empty signifier of the Other. The accelerated substitution of figures of power, authority, and identification reveals, by a kind of cinematic effect, the hollow at their center, but without thereby releasing us from their hold. The fabled abyss is flattened out, but it is no less fantastic or fatal.

Conspiracy

[25] The stupid underground is the home of the mutant hybrid. What would have seemed to be--what, we are told, a prior cultural order labored to preserve as--distinct, conflicting, contradictory ideas and values are tossed together; categorical boundaries are blurred by rapid movements across them. Sin, pleasure, political subversion, "nostalgie de la boue," heroism, adolescent self-indulgence, the most rigorous critique of reason: anything might converge with anything else in a network of intersections, or rather points of stupid conflation, for errant bits of commerce, science, sexuality, politics, religion. No separation of church and state (not even in order to make a religion of the state and a state of religion); no marxists taking the pledge to abstain, one day at a time, from the opiate of the people. The habitual dichotomy between the spiritual and the political is inadequate in this zone. Even more important: the convergence of apparently incommensurable truths or systems is taken as an unerring sign of another, greater, even more orderly order hidden behind the given one. For instance, the stupid underground does not entirely disagree with a certain stupid President's apocalyptic vision of world affairs, his hysterical application of the Book of Revelations

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