Saturday, July 04, 2009

Creative Destruction of Monstrous Dream Machines

I first learned about MJ's death from a post on Marxmail. My first reaction was to arrange a personal commemoration ceremony on YouTube, of course, starting with "The Way You Make Me Feel", one of first the two songs in English that I memorized its lyrics (The other one was "It's A Sin" from Pet Shop Boys). After an hour or two, my short attention span turned towards to another musician, who in a way has nurtured a comparable image with MJ's. I'm talking about David Bowie, the man of thousand looks. Then in a moment of poetic intuition, I discovered that, MJ is David Bowie who was permanently caught in the video of the song "Life on Mars". I think his tragedy was not being a sort of a nonfunctional signifier which had been trapped in repetition, but, it resides in his stubborn but at the same time affirmative (in the sense of negating while preserving the form) resistance to the elasticity of free-floating signifiers. Therefore, his artistic transgression was that he debased the essential necessity of empty formalism, i.e. obsession with new forms which also dictates to maintain the possibility of demolition and reconstruction of its objects in an endless repetition. He debased it by transforming his body always for good, therefore confined the desire of infinitude to the finitude of his body. MJ, as being both an artist and a commodity, embodied the destructive ambition of formalism and commodity production in his exhausted and synthetic face. He was a tragic hero who snatched the nightmare from the jaws of Other's dream.


MJ exposes the fake novelties of formalism insofar as The Luddites had attested to the ultimate boundary of the revolutionary character of capitalist production, i.e. perpetual revolution intended to keep the Capital intact.

Whereas he was supposed to preserve the capacity of his body as an image placeholder for endless bodies deprived of any representation, he denied the very material of this formalism by gradually transforming his body to a complete mask, in Lacanian terms, to an idol of the absence of bodies. He changed for good since at every stage he destroyed the preceding body with no return.



it seems that I forgot to add my fundamental critique about MJ. I doubt this malevolent guy ruined my sexual development on adolescence with his video that I mentioned above. I was sort of a sheepish and suffering boy like the one in Traveling Wilburys’ song “Handle with Care”, but his video encouraged me to act like an verbally insistent man who knows what he wants, which usually ended up with an emotional disaster. When it worked though for a couple of times, it didn’t take long for girls to realize actually what a pathetic creature I am, just to make me act again but this time as a Woody Allen in famous break up scene from Bananas. As now the King is dead, I feel I finally have the courage to embrace the male lesbian inside me.

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