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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Thursday, October 20

eternal selvation

I've been thinking about designer identities. I suppose that's another way to look at Maslow's "self-actualization" -- which he actually actualized out of his ass. But I guess some sort of design is better than defaulting to whatever cultural mold (in whichever sense) happens to shape or grow on you. However, hmmm... what would it take for it to be intelligent design? Would we need to assume godlike powers? (Here's where weak hearts and high horses conspire.) If so, would the demand for such powers of identity creation -- or find-your-own-story identity theft -- help to explain the hot NewAge++ pursuit of spiritual puissance?

Of course. Else would we not be suffering under the Oprah, Chopra & Tolle plague of siddhi-slickers.

I'm not sure if The Designed Self offers any real insight on this score. Maybe. But this bit from the publisher makes me wonder...

Perpetual self-experimentation, constantly reinforced by the media, came to encompass everything from career choice to hair color to body shape to gender identity. In compelling clinical stories, Strenger introduces us to patients for whom the absence of any sense of cultural continuity with their parents' generation was exemplified by embrace of a "Nobrow" culture, which rejected the very distinction between "genuine" and popular culture. And we meet patients for whom the project of shaping the self had simply become another variant of an "extreme game" aiming at chronically high excitement.

Fake people blow, agreed. But this sounds dishearteningly like yet more hand-wringing re mere anarchy loosed. Genuine? Popular? Extreme? Haven't we already been over the part about the steenkin badges?

Ah, some days I wonder what's the fucking use. It's not just Mona Lisa had the highway blues.

these improprieties shout out <<
to those IMproPRieTies

this is what salvation must be like after a while...

~ dylan
visions of johanna