The Revolution Issue

Fictitious lives

A loving look at unreality.
Our Lives Are Just Fictions - Grounded not in reality, but in illusion.
In China people get together in the corners of parks and dance. The unofficial history of America is not a story of rugged individualism and heroic personal sacrifice in the pursuit of a dream. It is a story of democracy derailed, of a revolutionary spiri

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We forget too often that our lives are just fictions, that this human life of ours – abstracted from the land, abstract in itself – is not grounded in reality, but in drama, illusion. Our lives are no different from dreams, a scattered blur from one meal to the next, from one conversation to the next, one megaplex, one strip mall, one coffee cup, one beer, one fix – a ceaseless drifting from sensation to sensation, a constant sating of the base desires.

We are raised in this “reality” so its contours are invisible to us. We see each moment but fail to see the unifying thread – the alienation of humanity from nature, the ills of domestication, the dependence of humans upon technological death machines to survive and a growing inability of these generations of young humans now in possession of the planet to connect to it in any living way. We have lost our ability to experience the grander trends as revealed through the almighty Moment. We cling to our petty satisfactions as a paddler fallen from a canoe clings to the rocks. We do not dare to imagine a life without pizza, ice cream, microwaves, transportation, convenience, comfort, ease.

The 21st century has been too kind to us so far. It holds new horizons for us as an übersoul and as an überspecies, but it remains pregnant with disaster. There must be wars, Great Wars, which span all frontiers, in which all are embroiled in conflict: the inner war spilling out into our long-abandoned commons, opening up doorways between men and women to converse freely, tearing down walls between minds and bodies, flesh and the soul. Bottles will be uncorked and men in pajamas will run terrified and buoyant through the streets. If there is not madness, there will be blood, midnight rivers of blood rushing mad like the Mississippi through the markets of the world, stampeding through those who stand still, toppling those who once towered above the meek and lowly, lifting the strong and light, buoying them up on its terrible tide …

—Hudson Spivey

133 comments on the article “Fictitious lives”

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Rodrigo

Not Adbusters best. Anyone who has visited China would never make a contrast between people dancing in a Chinese park and a hillbilly eating fast food.

The revolution as described by Spivey is romantic at best, barbaric at worst, and ignores many of the fundamental connections humans experience towards each other. While there may be a deep disconnection between humankind and nature the answer is most likely not in revolution (In fact I am uncertain if there was anytime when humans had some profound and deep connection to nature). At least not in the way in way revolution is typically understood. The new future must arise outside the confines of systems built upon power relations and deconstruction.. A new future requires a new revolution that most likely will have to be closer to evolution.

The hope for a violent and instantaneous revolution by the adversaries of consumer and corporate culture rings familiar to the Christian notion of revivalism. Where radical and abrupt change in individuals alters and fractures society in hopes of a better future. Yet 500 years of "revolutions" has built this insane world in which we live and most of these so called "revolutions" created horrific situations of human suffering and loss. Perhaps there can be an evolution where people can deny the benefits of empire thinking and truly learn to embrace each other. I am not sure whether anyone has painted a viable picture of this future yet. To deconstruct the present regime without a viable alternative vision sounds like a disastrous revolution.

Anonymous

"(In fact I am uncertain if there was anytime when humans had some profound and deep connection to nature)"

There was evidence found recently of the invention of tools before the emergence of homo sapien. If this is true, it could mean that humans evolved as a result of technology - not nature.

src: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100811135039.htm

Anonymous

I'm just imagining a sullen, disillusioned 20something banging this out on his Macbook Pro his mummy bought him after watching The Matrix high.

Listen, just because your life is a meaningless search for creature comforts and semi-connection doesn't mean you speak for the whole 21st century human race. America is not wholly what you describe, just as the rest of the world is not wholly much better. Contrasting pictures of dancing Chinese and fast food eating Americans is just gimmicky and immature, not to mention ridiculously unaware of what urban Chinese life is like. And what are these grand, vague prophecies of doom? 'Technological death machines'? 'Midnight rivers of blood'? Give me a break, I'm begging you.

If you want to write an article, write an article. If you want to foretell of But spare us your juvenile, hokey, half-assed attempts at doomsaying the US. You're making those of us intelligent youth with hope of an actual change in the collective consciousness look like starry-eyed, ineffective idiots.

Anonymous

If you want to write an article, write an article. If you want to vaguely foretell a Dystopian future in flowery prose, do it. But spare us your juvenile, hokey, half-assed attempts at doomsaying the US. You're making those of us intelligent youth with hope of an actual change in the collective consciousness look like starry-eyed, ineffective idiots.*

My mistake, overzealous backspacing...

D'bert

Ok, i'm getting deeply disapointed in adbusters. This is yet another of those "dear diary" pieces which i see no point on inflicting to curious readers: it speaks about nothing but a vague sensation semi poteized over forced imaginery, it does not speak about society nor societal processes but about onanism and yes, FANTASY! (is there a chance that Spivey is doing a subjective piece on his own perception of his own life?).
i have devoted several years of my life to the study of social revolutions trough history and i can't see one piece of thoughtful insight about that word with which this publication has so obscenely filled its pages with. All i can read trough recent articles is self absorved impressions on the general feeling about the world and revolution. Not one note of informed nor studied issues.
One thing is clear, no significant revolution has been binded by this kind of slef observation, it requires more that whinnying, it requires to be taken seriously. Even the failed 60's revolutionary mood (that in structural terms did not succeed) had some kind of intellectual background in Althusser and others.
I'm not saying those people got it right, i'm saying that those people at least went trough the trouble of thinking.
I'm subscribed to adbusters from latin america (so please forgive my spelling and general use of the english lenguage), and i'm cancelling my subscription right now.
Adieu adbusters.

Anonymous

The below comments prove that as the revolution approaches, all sorts of people will turn into counter-revolutionaries.

ken vallario

Oy vey!

anybody who has ever really been enraptured by a moment of true historical chaos would never romanticize the magnification of disassociated anarchy and violence...

such a person cannot, in my mind, be distinguished from hellfire and brimstone preachers in primitive revelationists...

there is no solution is begging for the bottom...

revolution for its own sake is like art for its own sake...empty and ultimately as dangerous as that which it rebels against...

i absolutely would be 'counter' to such a revolution...

blood is sacred...human life is sacred...we are sacred...the earth is sacred...fellowship and the tedium of progress is sacred...service and the humility to push onward into unknown territory is sacred....

come on adbusters, go within and dig deeper...

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