The week finally ended with Krugman being a ‘bumblefuck’. But let’s backtrack a bit. Part of the Brooklyn arts resurgence is heavily financed by student loans. Be it on the one hand people in ‘programs’ or for the graduated strata people feeding themselves to the youngens as adjuncts to get a piece of that loan money by maintaining the plethora of ‘programs’. Sure in speculative hot Billyburg you’ll have a chauffeured SUV pop out a discreetly hipster camouflaged tech mogul of the new bit pay or almost passé sharing economy who then disappears behind some nondescript warehouse door. Most are glad to know these well positioned individuals on the tit of the vast sloshing money streams that might be VC or just HFT. There is the disquieting realization though that the aesthetic of a glasshole video stream is similar to a Shark in a fish tank preying on the violations of mere mortals tripping on some new social faux pas as defined by the lawyered up. In any case these guys know how to hold onto their money.
Big promises are made for philanthropy in later life but right now its best to just get a buzz started, keep the costs down, and build some culture sharing cred. Krugman, nobel laureate et al, can’t fathom why the financial voodoo machine might be continually mythologizing the ‘skills gap’. He makes a great liberal case for not ‘punishing workers’ but is unwilling to recognize that what banks want to do is print money and the current AAA way is to issue federally backed student debt that can’t be discharged. No one is interested in imparting ‘skills’. It’s about loading up debt, stupid. And managing endowments. It’s what funds the arts, makes the rental market hot, keeps the Apple hardware refreshed, and defines ‘sharing’ as the most natural thing in the world, affording all the illusion of free by reducing with a grand gesture of de-commodification all (creative) human activity to an experienced ‘fun’ value. Getting compensated is a matter of hustle yet discharging debt means turning some pretty large tricks.
Next up a gaming conference. Serious business these days because games have sex appeal – nothing like a line of peeps snaking around the block willing to drop a fitty for GTAV. This one happened to be serious speaking about sex in video games and the conundrum of the buxom female form lifted from comic books as wire frame, super hero boys aren’t too shabby either, yet the complete absence of the depiction of sex. Seems there is some enforcement code involved policing the virtual, tinkered with by politicians who we learned this week are engaged in real world gun running.
So there I was making a day of it in the BK, a day later painting the walls of a photo studio belonging to a young woman running a successful small photography business. I wanted to ask about the crunk that was issuing off a tommy’s iPhone. Were they listening to the lyrics? Just the beats? Does the blackness function as a mask so the lyrics don’t matter? Is it just that the misogyny isn’t real? For sure it’s hot painting walls to that. Up and down, surface coat glisten. Slosh it all about to get some more paint on the roller. In the back of my mind is the concept of “Happy Ending” which really only has one connotation while listening to Crunk. Yet at the gaming conference the two German women presenting their game with a protagonist female character, “Happy Ending” is still the stalwart fulfillment of marriage prospects with the added twist that they come at the end of a long series of sexual conquests in a surprisingly extensive set, rendered in 8-bit diversity.
While the irony that marriage might still be considered a “Happy Ending” at the end of a string of sexual conquests escapes no one in the US, the nostalgia is bitter sweet and not as brutishly funny as it might be in German liberated feminist circles. The stark reality is that in the US depending on the social safety net leaves one pretty much destitute for generations to come. The literalness that a marriage might imply a better shot at maintaining the economic status quo for raising offspring remains with societal imposed conflict a source of anxiety for women. While not happy, marriage may spell relief from a life of economic struggle.
It takes a lot of resources, luck, and less and less so hard work to be able to provide the chance for a child to attain near the same economic security that a parent enjoys now. So irony in this case, inspired by the freedom with social support existing for young women starting families in Europe seeing the happy arrival at marriage as a series of sexual conquests of men does not hold out the same possibility for turning the tables in America simply because of the level of predation and lack of support that bootstrapping freedom ‘offers’ young folks in America.
This might be why in the US “Happy Ending” in practice is a negotiated commodity, forbidden or not, with no illusion that this activity might be seen as conquest. Instead more and more so it is the currency that delineates just another form of income to keep the ravages of the well situated profit takers at bay ensuring that you live another day above squalor.
Not to take this argument too far, but this situation does predicate a level of anxiety that is fostering a new found solidarity among young women, esp. in the social media space. It is easy to launch campaigns in this new found solidarity space to say, stop telling women to smile on the street, or commiserate about creeps lashing out on the subway. In this sense oppressed groups are learning to be enforcers of new sorts of mores to counter the anxiety and the discomfort imposed by artificial societal scarcity.
Yet these campaigns do nothing against the true mechanisms of injustice. They may fill costly prisons with sex offenders with no hope of rehabilitation and may put a cop in every subway car. But they do not make the subway run any quicker, quieter or provide any other modern comforts. Lastly they don’t make it any cheaper for the commuter either or relieve any more of the anxiety. All they do is make taking a cab more enticing and something to strive towards by joining a hurried elite actively wrecking the world with their amplified and shielded “activity”.
After such Washington Mews academic inspiration, heading on down the Bushwick rabbit hole for deeper shades of gray wondering on the elaborate fiction spun that when Mr. Disney has the rights to the Poppins novel and has made idle fantasy from it, showered her with a small stack of cash yet then ignores her. At the premiere will the corporate entity Disney fill in for the failings of the man, take her by the arm to lead her into the palace where all anxiety is relieved in fantasy? Bullshit.
After much Wildlife wild night inspiration, the masked protuberance of the day again makes itself felt. A conference, this time “Make it Green” with envy rather than red with lust. Yet these aspects of sustainability are two sides of the same shard. Fashion in the form of amoebas – kits for hands and head all pointing to a littered ocean yet providing minimal mitigation.
Sustainability quickly draws the focus to material, possession, reuse and the concept of the local. Major concern – how do the models feel? Protuberance seen as protective or even shelter rather than cumbersome. A question on below the border scrap issues the response “I don’t live in a society where I am deprived. Rather the opposite, excess is the norm.” In another room a pop-up shop laments the fact that we refuse to reuse refuse. Even the prospect of “free” can’t counter the notion of getting dirty. “There exists still some shame in making things. Everyhting I have on has a story. That’s a wonderful thing for objects to have.”
Finally after having endured existential woe, a spectrum mechanics spanning from game play to fabrication, with a late night respite full of dead on perception, a light drizzle of rain leads me knocking on a Clinton Hill front door to learn that life itself is churning creation and nothing but form and effort is truly new. A pop up with a fashion past and politicized awareness for the things that might have been… discarded.