"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear"
- Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks
I'll keep it simple here, a static file on what will be a dynamic website. Morbid Interregnum is the test site of the Marginálie communitarian zine. If anything works at all on what will be the dynamic portion of the site - there is no reason it should not from time to time - it will be changing regularly until it is ported to its more permanent home.
What's all this about? Frustration. Exasperation. Disappointment. Anger. Just anger.
We sold ourselves out. didn't we? It might be true - might it now? - that we didn't have much choice. Now that I'm getting well after twenty-odd years of the kind of senseless hell of civilisational illness too many of my generation have had to go through, I look back often at the scenes of my life. One of them that returns to me now and again is that second nervous breakdown around 1997 - 1998 where I skipped college and rode the top deck of the bus to Birmingham and back in and around the [post]-industrial British West Midlands. On this occasion I was reading Douglas Coupland's Generation X. I was, as we say, fucked up good and proper. Anti-nutrients in the food. All kinds of pollutants in the air and environment. We made out it didn't matter. That it had all ended with the leaded petrol they had banned when I was still a young boy. It was bullshit of course. For me it was depression. Not only that. There'll be a time and a place to go into all of that elsewhere. What matters here is one of those slogans that had slipped into Coupland's work. "I am not a target market", it said. Of course, I was and I wasn't.
I wasn't because I wasn't plugged into the internet yet. I had discovered the magic of typewriters. I had more or less by now forgotten the magic of computers - a magic I had known with the Acorn computers I had known as a kid. So far as I know, the internet had not yet become the Frappuccino® coffee enema for the mind it would become. It had certainly not yet began to determine all of the conversations and all of the opinions and all of the choices we would come across in our days. How quaint it would soon become that Coupland could talk of an "accelerated culture" in 1991!
I must have bought Generation X in one of those huge music stores that still existed: a HMV or a Virgin Megastore in that still unreconstructed concrete Birmingham. It gave me a handfull of tools. Later I would buy books by Jon Savage and Griel Marcus. I witnessed punk from a distance. I absorbed it from books. I have never known any cultural vitality, any real sense that music, or films, or words on a page were worth something more than money, since that time. Still, I carried it in me. Most, let's face it, didn't. When the internet as we know it hit, once, that is, the terrain had been prepared by the slash and burn of Thatcher and Reagonomics, by imperialism or that mixture of naivete and reactive ideology they would know in the post-communist part of the world, most people's cerebral immunity was shot to hell. Google. Facebook. They could suck them all up.
So much for the just anger. Is there nothing else? Too right! As with punk, there is so much more than what first slaps you around the face. Passion. Belief. Drive. Urgency. Hope. Love.
I will explain, and have explained, more elsewhere, it's just a question of getting it out there. I will be doing that over the coming weeks. The current state of play, adumbrated and summarised by the quote above, is one of transition. For myself. For the project I have made the overriding focus of my life for the past several years. And for the world we are living in. Taking them one at a time, I am coming to from a lifestyle of mental illness that would, if we accept the analysis of mainstream medicine and corporate 'science', be described as depression, ADHD, and Asperger's syndrome and have not yet found a role for myself; the project, Marginálie has grown out of its hand-rolled html origins and has not yet evolved into its Python web application form; and the world at large, our civilisation, well, it is either emerging from a particularly self-centred puberty, or entering a rapidly degenerative senescence.
Is this project itself a "morbid symptom" or is it merely describing those that are cropping up all over like mushrooms? That, I suppose, is for you to decide. But do so. Decisions are to be made. They are, in one sense, what life is made of. Don't outsource them. Don't merely listen to those who will shout loudest, those who are most often or most effectively signal boosted. Do you feel already how you are judging this page not for its words but for its appearance, so uncertain of yourself? Can you not feel as you scroll down how you will judge me, in the video below, hosted on some strange service you are unaware of, for the clothes I wear, how I present myself, rather than the substance of what I say? Perhaps not. But if so, you know most will. Remember that. Those times you exercise your own judgement and feel differently from the prevailing trends, you have to speak up. Convince one, two, three. Do what you can.
This is what I can do now. This is what I believe I must do. Below is a video laying out where I am at right now. Whether I know what I am doing or whether I do not, we'll soon find out. Should you wish, you could be a part of it.
- krozruch, prague, 9th october, 2018
* no great believer in social graphs or personal brands, I intend to live a rather nomadic on-line life
My current social media home* is on EU Public Social. Come chat to me if you feel like it. If you want to keep it old-school, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.