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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But I'm beginning to be suspicious that all of this was somehow "planned" in some form or another. If there are a minority who have trillions of dollars of assets and control huge industries like finance and energy, how can they not influence the government or the events that are unfolding today?

Ken Vallario

i believe the conspiracy fantasy is one that even the rich engage other words, conspiracy allows us to feel control...even if at a distance...the rich and elite are engaged in the same kind of back and forth struggle to find meaning and control our fate as we are...i'm not saying i don't resent their greed and corruption and neurosis....but i refuse to give my power to them, by assuming their ubiquitous contradictions make sense in any way other than that they lie to protect themselves, as we all do....their actions do cause suffering and problems, but i don't think it is because they have a master plan, but because they are at the wheel of this crazy machine, and the windshield is obscured by the sh%tstorm...what would we do if we were at the wheel? do we drive out of the we stop? do we get out of the car? all poor choices....


it's not the rich that I'm worried about. It's the extremely wealthy. Wealthy to the point where they wield pharaonic god-like powers over the world. Basically international bankers who create our money out of thin air. Those people who can buy out congress and influence which industries will succeed is my fear. The reason we started the revolution in 1776 was to stop the international bankers from gaining control of our currency. We lost that battle in 1913 with the federal reserve act. The only places that have centralized public banks would be china, iran, afghanistan, and few others. But it's either submission to the bankers or submission to the communist party, your choice.

ken vallario

of course i agree with all of this...
but, it is either submission to bankers or communists, because we have yet to formulate the 3rd option, and that means we have yet to create the 21st century culture...
once a culture takes hold it spreads quite naturally...but religion was destroyed in the lost its sway in the 20th century...we are a ship at sea looking for something solid to land on...
of course, you may fight the extremely wealthy, but they have no real plan, other than to enjoy their omnipotence...and that too is an illusion, even though it is one that causes a lot of very real pain in peoples' lives, those who have not learned how to be free, to live in the cracks....
of course, there must be a revolution, but not a 20th century fact, to show my cards a think our only hope is a miracle...i mean a real, undeniable, massive experience of something absolutely miraculous...the reason i say this, is given our scientific orthodoxy, something miraculous would strip us all down and remind us that we are the same is exactly because we are all so reasonable that a miracle would mean so much...
so, i know it's not an economic system, but that is what i think will separate the last two thousand years from the next one...


Maybe we'll invent robot slaves to do all our work for us or find an unlimited energy source so we can live like gurus in our close knit communities having all the time to philosophize on the ultimate nature of reality and smoke ganja. We'll let nature heal itself and learn to find a balance between the external world of materialism/consumption and the internal world of spiritualism and the value of human relationships.

Ken Vallario

i agree with this...but the first is other words, one can shift and say 'something has already gone wrong'...i feel this way whenever i see glen beck or the tea party...i say to myself 'there is a great disturbance in the force', pardon the pop-culture, but when we accept that it is already wrong, that allows us to be awakened, allows us to embody that state...i have gone through the grief, and i have awakened to the utter lack of a clear answer, other than continuing to reach out and make every exchange meaningful, and important. occasionally, when a discussion erupts on a blog, people will get frustrated, but long, deep discussion is exactly what we ought to remember how to do...

i am a contributor to another blog, and in that blog we defend our posts, we engage in a socratic dialogue with those who criticize us...sometimes we are proven wrong, and sometimes, we make new friends, but do not remain distant...i would love to see adbusters contributors 'belong' to their posts by defending them...that would be exciting...

i agree that this is a virtual space, but all forms of social contract are...


I agree. Adbusters shouldn't be complaining about disconnection until it writes an actual article, one with a clear thesis that has well-reasoned facts and arguments supporting it instead of vague emotional statements.

J. dG.

Adbusters had REALLY gone off the deep-end in recent months. Seriously, the views I've seen expressed in this magazine are so wild, violent and extreme, it's pretty much a guarantee that they will never be accepted by people in this country.


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