Lumpenilluminate on Wed, 9 Feb 2000 23:49:15 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Lumpen Bulletin

The media propaganda of providing populations with an endless array of 'by
proxy' expressive 'representatives' is increasingly being subverted by
individuals desperate to overcome the marginalisation and mediation in
their lives and who are resorting to guerilla actions in a type of
'cultural - politics by deed'. Obviously the promoters of our tertiary
levels of existence within the media empires are not competent to provide
a critique of the numerous counter attacks against their vested
interests,and so we the Lumpen illuminates hereby make our own attempt to
come to grips and understand this latest phase of the 'semiotic
insurrection' in our article 'Maslow's prole'


nEver vigilant or even concerned to keep abreast of the latest
developments at the white -and right- heat of the technological revolution
(though constantly amused by the chaotic consistency from its
semi-permeable boundary) we disembarked from our non-nordic spears and
spied a curious 'gift' that dripped seductively from the listings section
of a recently received 'fringe culture'catalogue. In our eagerness to
chart the focussing and subsequent correlatives surrounding the presence
of this - by now - oscillating oracle we quickly reached down and
purchased the newly formatted and updated games disc called 'Celebrity
Snuff ' (T.M) .Upon its receipt and perusal we were initially struck by
the extraordinarily excessive amount of accompanying background blurb and
unnecessary pre-run sequences ,which despite being both turgid and
convoluted are also rather cleverly designed to work on a number of
levels,depending on the age and mindset brought to the console.On one hand
it is a straightforward shoot 'em up - peopled by real life extra's in a
sort of true crime mag posing,end of pier historical photo style -that is
badly overacted and cheaply video edited,yet on another it taps into that
' messianic crusade with lives being lost at this very moment ' kind of
vibe,aimed at the bereft and schizo-politicised inadequate.Its
instructions are cloaked in the usual allegoric banality and inevitable
air of separation we've come to expect from such formulaic promotions
,that said the first character we come across is a tad different from the
usual kind of sycophant we encounter as this time our 'on screen host and
narrator' is a trans-sexual named 'Martha Davis' who begins by taking us
through the scene setting abstract with an incongruous blend of alacrity
and nonchalance and ends by her slicing shank from an effigy of Will Self
and mercilessly liquidating Alan Titchmarsh.However we found her
references to an 'axiomatic manifesto' rather intrigueging (initially
anyway) and as such felt the game warranted further investigation as it
was becoming more and more obvious that the makers of Celebrity Snuff had
gone to 'just a little bit too much trouble' for anyone who considers
themselves a transgressive to either overlook or ignore the game .For
example Davis pipes up "You comrades are about to engage in a bloody war
waged against the enemies of reality... set not in the future... but
now... in the present!" she goes on to shout that she is fully aware of
how unscientific these terms are ,but for us to please bear in mind that
NIHILISTS...within a ...FRONT..organisation called the ...'RETRIBUTIVE
FORCE'... who have apparently devised and began to implement a radical new
programme for the post modern epoch entitled ...'REACH OF THE STARS'* ...
this tract she explains "advances the novel idea that in order to overcome
the 'totalizing effects of capital' within the dictatorship of
appearances, we must first learn to stalk,murder,maim and film as many
popular media icons meeting their deaths as is humanly possible".Having
supposedly been nominated by "cultural studies tutors impressed by our
contemporary sensibilities and enlarged ears and fingers"  this recruit
and enlistment phase ends by selecting from a staged dexterity and
proficiency test which awards points according to how many radical poses
and political soundbites we can effectively demonstrate at public and
branch events supporting our cadre leader who is promoting her book
'reminiscences of a cuban revolutionary bore'.Davis begins to salivate
uncontrollably as she mutters "ya know altruistic sociopaths
..offin' professional personalities is da new rock 'n' roll" she fades out
tilting her head backwards and laughing to reveal an eight pointed star
tattooed amongst the track marks on her neck.The scene promptly cuts to a
smoke filled Groucho club where our first set of instructions have been
left on the back of a packet of cigarettes,these welcome us to the '
semiotic insurrection ' and introduce us to our glorious leader a
'R.Palme-Mutt' who explains "that in order to subvert the impact of an
overiding sense of marginalisation in ourselves and our constituency we
must first destroy the plethora of self referential signs that are
currently used vicariously to maintain a semblance of personal equilibrium
and social cohesion " at this point Martha re-enters crushing the fag
packet and feeding herself unprocessed coca leaf as a line of khaki clad
guerillas run past behind her , at which point she announces and gestures
as Alan Wicca "this army...has overcome the debilitating illness that
renders.. (get this)..tertiary recipetents of secondary information liable
to develop primary delusions !" Panning back ,her outstretched arm starts
to beckon the camera past to enter ....'Pinnochio's Playground' .....where
we are encouraged to blindly "challenge,question,feel or fuck our way
through all we encounter in order to avoid becoming the metaphorical
puppet,donkey or ass in the spectacle's masterplan .As we progress through
"this maya filled themepark" - purposely being allowed to view the stage
set parephenalia and props that emphasise the "constructed points of
accommodation and diversion involved"- we are randomly rewarded with
binoculars,electoral rolls and phone bills for little more than answering
the pressure of speech inquiries spat by the cloned caricatures
approaching us from the variety of "recuperative rides"  therein -
including a youth wing appendage to the tourist industry called
....'Manu-piss-on' ....where you are obliged to get ..'Hi- di-High'
..before you're allowed to -as it were- "move on " ! this is followed by a
succession of suburban middle class crack houses making XXX
pornography,offered to you the consumer ....'with nothing to pay for a
month' ! ....we finish by visiting places of religious and political
worship in Georgetown,Downing street and Waco - The standardized answer we
have to repeat and confirm is "I want the meme not the scene" and if we do
,we are allowed to progress to the 'meta of sexuality' section ,only to be
interrogated further as to whether we find the portrayal of womanhood by
'drag kings' intrinsically mysoginist in nature.The next extract of the
manifesto surfaces - literally - from the throne of a trouser ankled
Aleister Crowley look a like, as he hands us a soiled piece of paper,his
head on his shoulder whining coyly "in Plymouth my mummy's brethren say
I'm their lickle beast.....will thou maketh me yours ??? ...I'll lend you
instant credibility with a ' dark / neo-classical / apocalyptic / death
ambience' that can be endlessly re-packaged year after year ...really I
WILL..... I WILL...." as he is about to plead some more he is chinned by
an irreverent masked wrestler called 'Kerry' who telepathically transmits
- in thought bubbles - an assurance that "by busting caps in the
automatons of infor-tainment we are directly serving the interests of the
'Pupkin Proletariat' and that it is not only a rational and understandable
course of action but that our non-obsessional spontaneous acts of beauty
are in fact a desirable form of resistance, supremely beneficial for those
of us looking to rewire our data banks and short circuit the mechanisms of
control" he continues "iconoclastic narodnism contrary to -not so- popular
authoritarian socialist belief is never the empty, emotional gesture of
the misanthropic loner nor merely a short term panacea from the confused
minds of the mentally ill,but rather a sincere and spiritual pursuit of
the disenfranchised and noble seekers of a life without a living" he later
adds that "equal opportunities stalking and its bloody end" must become a
sociological imperative that wipes (i.e. Aleister's tissue ) layer upon
layer of conditioning clean away , each heroically inspired kill
supposedly transporting us 'from a particular a general
principle' consequently igniting a "holy trinity of death, resurrection
and union ,bringing us closer to our goal of direct and unmediated access
to genuine experience." Several discretionary items are then added to our
'flaks and packs' -including wire cutters,bleach (?) and a hyperdermic
syringe- before our entering a scene complete with rolling newsflash text
at its base which displays the legend 'Pandora's box please lock the door
behind you'...the inside is actually a cage allowing random snippets of
information sporadically - and mostly unintentionally - to fall
through.These occasional insights into the nightmares of a damaged claim
are embarrassingly missed by the 'alternative target audience'seated
respectfully outside watching 'the show'. Inside the makeshift prison is
littered with Sadean texts,ermine furs and Whitehouse c.d.s but rather
more amusingly pungent red fish that are alternately consumed first by the
punters and then the 'supermen' walking round -and round and round -its
perimeter shouting into the buckets that are fixed permanently to their
heads.The task at hand is to discriminate between "genuine creative
endeavour as opposed to the production and distribution of taboos that are
conspicuously consumed in the marketplace of meaning" if you succeed a
piece of golden faeces lights up and if you don't the rolling text flashes
its reminder that 'support and opposition are just different sides of the
same coin' (it repeats 'coin' over and over as if to remind us of their
mutually beneficial and reciprocal inter-dependence ) .If we manage to
pass these trials relatively unscathed we are permitted to "go deeper"
where we find "a sort of laboratory cum workshop" full of electrodes
,operating tables and "vices"  progressively leading to an editing suite
.But before entering this penultimate stage we are met once more by Martha
Davis - though now clad in a sheepskin coat - and a team tied Palme-Mutt
who - commentator to manager - treat us to some of the most god awful
pastiches of crass left wing rationalizations ever to see the light of
day.Firstly they tender -in tandem - that "the need for a vanguard is
precipitated due to the masses inability to synthesize non-televisual
consciousness and further to this they will require a more sympathetic
mediator to lead them walkey round the garden" (Davis actually mimes this
to camera) secondly "as everyone is defined at the point of consumption
and because we are not in a revolutionary situation at the moment we must
all wait until our - new jewel type - elected officers can shovel and pick
from the skeleton of Marx's oeuvre for the right and proper time to get a
handful of 'social democratic' M.P's to start things for us.(Davis by now
tapping her foot and looking at her watch impatiently) Mutt goes on to say
"it is naive to expect proles to abandon such reformist inclinations as
they are not capable of switching off the television or even wiping their
own arse with newspapers ,let alone stop believing in them! and so it
falls to us to orientate around their 'choices' gradually gaining their
confidence and learning about the mentality of those willing to accept the
crumbs that 'fool' from the table" .He tells us "we must work within the
prevailing historical limitations in a policy of 'No-cialist' realism,
accepting the complimentary role of centre left newspapers like the
'Guardian' and 'Mirror' despite the blatant paternalism and distortion
apparent in their choice of names ,and the peace meal thought framing in
both"  (After all this gobble-de-gook and looting I suppose we should be
grateful they steered clear of the arguments surrounding the
monopolisations currently devastating a 'democratic' and purportedly
'free' press).Finally in response to Martha's question of where next for
the club the wise one responds that "we must translate our
"f...ff....fear...feories" so that the average harbinger of the cathode
consensus can understand them in terms relevant to themselves and their
virtual lives" ... Davis interjects "and the form Raj tell us a little bit
about the teams form" ,at which point Mutt says "..its got to be back to
basics hasn't it..good strong defence in the parliament of
perception...with the midfield supporting a developing and entertaining
entrism...and the attack....well we've got to look for any gaps left in the
industry and exploit them..I'm thinking patronisation of morbid
fascinations....pandering to the visceral dialects and psycho-somatic
manifestations that the lumpen rump are powerless to see we
owe it to the supporters.... we've worked hard and bided our time ... I
reckon the only way up is the dungeon ..where notions of well
being and fulfillment are purposefully inverted as we begin to film
...CELEBRITY SNUFF" (his emphasis).Pastiche turns to piss-take as the
games graphics go into overdrive coming forward at speed toward the screen
with a number of detourned news items - for example what were
Lockerbie,Iraq,Kosovo and Ocalan crudely become spliced redirections of
dubbed footage and photographs showing -severed- heads of the B.B.C and
'Noose' international alongside suggestions that the N.U.J. and equity are
responsible for bankrolling a recent spate of cowardly aesthetic attacks
upon innocent civilians - minor figures are then fired at the player
including images of ..'dead Ken'..Charles Satchi and radiohead before
proceeding to layer scrawled blood slogans like..'better dead than red'..
and ..'never have so many..given so little ..and taken so much'..across
press photograph's of 'all the usual suspects' arriving at a film
premiere.This last piece of sensationalism is linked to a serene,sanctity
and stillness that quells the previous epileptic bombardment with
lingering,poised and sainted snaps of Jill Dando and Princess Diana that
are suddenly undermined by headlines like 'the tears will never stop' and
'it was the pun wot won it' as we cut to the coked up guerillas of the
previous scene rolling and hollering with tears of laughter while their
cadre leader reads extracts from 'turn illness into a weapon'and
Saguinetti's 'on terrorism'.

All in all this general and overiding reliance upon an existing
journalistic style and content -which is apparent from the moment we start
to play the game - just obscures,replicates and compounds the underlying
authority pose struck by the current owners of the means of expression,and
veils the vested interests of the standby salvationists who fetishize the
state hoping to inherit the whole debacle with summary lies about
extending the length of our chains and creative promises about co-opting a
symbolic and cultural placebo to the nations fevered brow.The romanticism
associated with the numerous references and longing for a
'genuine,true,actual or real experience' is synominous with the faded and
jaded sounding out we've come to expect from the sub-cultural right, who
seem oblivious to the extreme reification and simulation that has rendered
such fantasies obsolete,but these 'instinct' based 'natural orders' of the
philosophical fascists -who apologetically hope to avoid detection by
vainly suggesting that they "would be the first up against the wall" if
the nationalists came to power-don't bare up to close scrutiny when one
considers the inductive nature of their 'still believing' clutched to
catch phrases and credo's.The morphing scenes that allow us to click mug
shots onto doctored 'guinea pig' footage occur in the editing suite and
directly parallel the police's attempts to drown out physical
confrontation and support for popular protest in mounting its panoptical
putsch and successfully entering manipulated and re-contextualised footage
into the collective unconscious.The constant referalls and name-dropping
proof of sale ,tendered in the games subjective reading of Nietzsche
(another right wing trait) exacerbates matters further when they overlook
the implication that in establishing that 'god is dead' he is in principle
detailing the demise of the real, and as such they are guilty of
deliberately ignoring the pervasive strength and full potential of the
virus.Personality cults aside the whole premise of Celebrity snuff is akin
to the investiture carried out by the number 12 shirt wearing followers of
sport across the globe, who in responding to such purposely nurtured
distractions are conned into staking personal,regional and national pride
-along with their respective identities- on the fortunes of a football
team .This reliance upon role models and traitors fosters a desire to
escape ones class but never one to redress the inequities it suffers, and
shows just how the makers of C.S. would have us join other 'fans' in other
domains that aimlessly bounce off of who,when, and where the real is
located as foretold by P.R. marketing machines and style 'programmers'.
Needless to say the attacks advanced in Celebrity Snuff do nothing to
impact on the procession or principle of the real and the pre-occupation
with the political patsies of the minority economic racket obviously
leaves the need for a radical offensive on the mental order effectively
unbreached, as if to suggest that the numerous instances of a
disappearance no longer occurred ! (if anyone still subscribes to such
folly they should examine the christ-mass viewing figures for an east end
dope opera where of the 11.1million viewers, a stunning 73 % of us
actually got up to check if it was snowing outside when one actor
mentioned it a non live broadcast !!!) Several organisations
within the anti-media-ocracy movement have previously detailed how the
intelligence services routinely fund the making of 'snuff films' so as to
provide a convenient censorship debate that injects the idea that the more
'extreme' end of cultural production in the 'arts' - and consequently
anyone that endorses freedom of expression - can become responsible for a
range of social problems as opposed to the more accurate analysis of it
being a pox ridden 'profession' that robs and disarms while triumphantly
screaming "life we'll get others to do that for you" , we should point out
that whilst we may share an inclination in our ideas about the counter
productive role of 'art' and agree that those who live by the sword must
not expect preferential treatment when dying by it ,the illuminated rank
and file does not endorse the retaliation as suggested in the game as we
believe people must learn to bypass and outflank the coercive mediation we
face, and whilst it is felt that this particular attempt to agitate
against manipulation is politically incorrect (don't you know it's
currently politically correct 'to be' politically incorrect ? ) we also
believe there are obvious lessons to be learnt, especially when one
considers how cheap the technology to make such 'objects of desire' have
become.However another point of divergence we have is regarding the
adolescent address snuff attempts to employ when communicating with the
internally slaughtered child we all carry, as it perishes in the hearts
and minds of both the directors and viewers lost in the fixated ambiguity
of 'death' on film -including mondo editing and re-enactment
techniques-which are designed to placate a craving for something
-anything- that connects or alludes physically to a tangible,evident
experience in a world of encroaching uncertainty and erosion.These
dramatic replays and searches echo the florid pubescent cravings we all
tried to negotiate when trying to metabolise the harshness of exteriorised
script after script, within a system that is designed to crush the spirit
and determination of psycho-sensually orientated human beings.The subtext
within snuff is supposed to stem the flow of anxiety and open the
floodgates of apathy when creating de-sensitized objects that we can own
-and by association master- to use within anti-septic interactions based
on pseudo - empirical evidence.This genre's brand value is associated with
an acute alienation from oneself and equates with the apotheosis of an
economic derive that has an insatiable appetite for dispossessed
sensations, divorced from unfamiliar emotional currents that can readily
be split off to become temporary titillation and abject relief within a
simulated refuge of terror.Celebrity Snuff whilst at times thought
provoking ,ultimately fails to distinguish itself from its contemporary's
by refusing to detail the geography of interpersonal and social
confrontations at their points of production and presentation. As to
whether we actually bother to finish the last parts of the game - with its
endscene ,scanned canonization enabling us to join our peers who've
"successfully stalked the lifestyles of the rich and famous" - it simply
doesn't matter as the whole thing reeks of yet another aping of socialist
-and capitalist- realism's 'heroes for zeroes' policies employed by the
numerous retail intelligence departments that make and market cheap
accessories for those of us who require a more proximate and insular
relationship than the one we have with our t.v's, newspapers and
'battoned' down front doors. 

(Bulletin 4 of the L.I. 'subverting the de-humanizing  process by allowing 
its cognitive manifestation'.2.00.) 



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