God’s In Vogue – Kanye West’s Warhol Church

Religion as a mode of thought liquidates the tense obligation to discover purpose and direction into a thick bleach of dissonant singularity. It takes the Sisyphean chore of learned identity and attributes everything unto God. This can be used to rationalise all moments of caprice as a momentary disconnect from God. The philosophy resounds exactly because it is highly adaptable to each individuals sense of shame and able to nullify it. 

In the case of Kanye West; exonerating himself of his own decadent misdeeds developing a righteously self centred justification for deep and sustained arrogance – which stands in conflict with the essential notions of Christianity. The Warhol take on free church is undoubtably an interesting posit of originality but still exists as music with Christian censorship – it’s ideological music that effectually energises his musicians, listeners and attendees because it is music – not because it is doctrine. The binding doesn’t seem to be to about God as much as it seems to be aligned with the continuing conservative reassessment of West’s morally positioned conclusions.  

West currently exists in the Howard Hughes delusion, one of genius gone somewhat awry. Access to everything but wanting nothing. There is a Black Mirror-esque sense of accountability when even writing about the topic because it perpetuates the ultimate prison of ephemera which West finds himself in. One of an illusion: imagine attainment of all your goals – to marry the girl of your dreams, to make consecutive and unique artistic chances that pay off, to work with your hero’s and also to pass them, to be filthy rich, to be able do whatever you can generally imagine yet simultaneously wanting to do none of it. What would something like this really do to the psyche? 

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The irony of all of this relates to the obviousness of this eventuality, it was clear where West’s sustained diatribes and incoherent ramblings were headed over the years, taking on a cult leader shape in the context of religious reformatting. Watching the Zane Lowe interview, West’s lateral thought process and self confessed personality disorders are evident and that adds a fragility to the character. Whilst he’s accomplished he continually feels unstable and the role of the public in idolising him has alienated him from reality. This creates a psychological necessity for a sense of truth beyond himself which is what this journey is built around. In the interview he mentions how he would instruct the musicians he worked with to not have premarital sex whilst working on the record, also quite awkwardly in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians telling Kim Kardashian what to wear in accordance to his newly attained prudishness is a depressingly baffled type of religious megalomania and a regressive form of dominant control in the name of a higher authority.  

So where this goes as a sincere direction is a mystery in the long run – there’s chatter of West’s album functioning as religious inspiration to the most atheistic generation of all time…but that impressionable, insta-friendly version of superficial idolatry and personal conservatism which has been adapted by many American tycoons to justify contradictory and morally damning actions. With the thinness of the music I don’t see it happening – all of these criticisms and contradictions do nothing but affirm the misunderstanding West perceives as himself being a victim of, to him people just don’t ‘get it’. West has completed his transition into that of fully authentic American Republican and Jesus is King means West now see’s himself as a servant of the highest order (probably very close to the top, like along side St. Peter or something) so let us see how long God is in vogue.

The Re-Consecration of The Spectacle – Why The Queens Speech Is A Bejewelled Dick-Slap

If you ever want reassurance that things are fine look no further than a bejewelled pensioner reading a pamphlet in a sweaty golden box to 200 people dressed as pantomime side kicks – the Queens speech was a dizzying  expense with all the takeaway of a sleepy grandma recalling points from Question Time. I’m an abolitionist because we are in fact no longer a feudal state and the Queens symbolic meaning is far less relevant than the irrational persistence of her state funded life style. The ultimate scrounger. Where is the working class outrage? Why didn’t the Queen ever appear on Jeremy Kyle getting spittle bellowed onto her for her slovenly life style as an audience laughed at her shame?

Tradition of course – in the same way Americans have embedded a pseudo-religious spiritualism to the constitution, the collective consciousness of the British political class refuse to accept a version of politics that isn’t lead by the tradition of some random family saying things whilst drenched in priceless stones. It’s considered outside of comprehension that we would do anything any other way. All of the hats, horses, chariots, security and decadent trivialities that undoubtedly cost the tax payer numbers that cannot be accurately calculated are absolutely justified in the eyes of our political class. We could look to Germany who have cleverly reinvented their own society over three times in the last 100 years, abolishing the monarchy and since becoming an economic powerhouse. But no, we need those swathes of antennae like selfie sticks outside of Buckingham Palace to keep our history alive and tourism buoyant.

The Queen worked as an apolitical relic whose fragile nattering could be ignored in the backgrounds of second round Christmas dinner, but since she decided to directly become a siren for neo-liberal dogma on a level of eye watering pomposity and negligible sincerity, we have to now understand her role as a semiotic presence in the re-consecration of ultra-division. This is no political conspiracy any more than it is an obvious reality, the determined necessity for this event was done with the intention of glamourising and legitimising a dangerous group of political actors whose intentions do not work in the best interest of the British public. Serving Prime Minister and idiot Boris Johnson looked around the room with a glee in his eye, a discernible enjoyment at the fuss he had caused. It’s for this that Johnson does what he does, the long days sitting in Parliament as he dreamt of some sort of excitement are long gone. Now he’s front and centre getting the Queen to do his job for him.

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Following Thatchers lingering queef; the idea that free market economics actually means freedom we see the house populated with ideologues – Sajid David can actually be seen contemplating the hygiene of his soul in parts. What must be understood about the Brexit issue and about this event as a re-consecration of ultra-division is that we’re dealing with capital preservation first and foremost and then enrichment. The combination of Thatcher and Reagan in the unique economic and technical landscape of the 1980’s presented Neo-liberal economics as the gift that keeps on giving and that would last forever. It has been adopted as nothing less than scripture by politicians in a fashion of dissonance that both excuses their fortunes and reaffirms their supremacy. But what this does is transcend the notion of country, for true business profit to be made, loadsa money, you need to work internationally. Therefore country means nothing to the people in the room. They are subservient avatars to a more pervasive atmosphere – one of capital accumulation.

The best way to manipulate people is to create an enemy that doesn’t exist, the fabled ‘other’ which has worked as a political tool for time immemorial. Nobody knows these techniques better than the people in power, these are Machiavellian scholars who have a history of deception to reference and revive. The EU are the other and for them we can shout and scream, they are the ones who take away our something or other as our actual government decimates our social provisions and coarsens the once poetic dialogue of British politics. The veneers of national sovereignty are illusive and more absurd than ever when witnessed in a context such as the Queens speech. She is a 93 year old puppet in this context, ruffled out of her corgi’d existence to address people she doesn’t know, a country she doesn’t know and a situation she can never know.

What happened today was powerful people re-consecrating the spectacle of power – what we as citizens should understand from this is that basically it’s all fine and don’t worry, it’ll all be alright. Let’s forget the implication of the Queen in the release of the Panama Papers, arguably the most damning report in recent history. One which showed the known and persistent laundering and stashing of wealth to avoid tax. Socialism does exist for the wealthy and if you shut down parliament illegally you get a horse and carriage for it. But please, as you divide your pay packet and dream of a bigger place or a holiday remember Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms in total…but we absolutely needed that thing today.

An Ode To The Incels – Joker Review

Joker is a film that holds a house of fun mirror up to the audience presenting societies warped disfigurement back to itself – the picture deals with a range of timely issues through the lens of Gotham in 1981, a noir Gomorrah. The city is on its knees divided into a two class strata with crime rampant, streets littered, social services being cut which directly affects the psychological care protagonist and soon to be revolutionary Arthur Fleck receives, thus beginning a downward spiral resulting in the birth of the eponymous villain. The film is a hymn for incel culture, a sort of insight into the injustices which can warp morality into an absurdity in itself exposing how social antagonists never see themselves as anything other than heroic protagonists in their own stories.

  • Jaoquin Pheonix as Arthur Fleck

Arthur Fleck is a lonely middle-aged man who lives with his sick mother and works as a clown with aspirations to go into stand up comedy. Ultimately it’s a perfect storm of socio-political events that push Fleck to insanity – from the ruthlessness of business tycoon and aspirational politician Thomas Wayne (Bruce’s father) who refers to the cities impoverished as ‘clowns’ and damns them as the cause of their own suffering to losing his job to the indiscriminate violence he finds himself on the receiving end of. The film is an analysis of the type of ‘lone wolves’ who resolve to rectify their injustices with violence – the type of psychotic and angry men who are prone to radicalisation and build up a poisonous resentment of others. The film paints a picture of a world in which capitalist dogma subjugates more people than it elevates with a bloated wealthy few existing in luxury, where morality is a weakness and friendly faces don’t exist. It creates a sense of helplessness which asks you to follow and understand the psychological process that takes Fleck to the brink.

  • Peter Finch as TV Anchor gone insane Howard Beale in ‘Network’

The film deals with the loosening seams of a disturbed society and it stands as a commentary on how evil is manufactured through political cynicism, a paranoid media landscape, the slashing of social provisions, civil unrest, precarious employment, social isolation and a complete absence of affection. It touches on the crisis of masculinity which we find ourselves in where Joker as a figure has become emblematic of male anxiety, anger, disavowal and representative of the terminally absurd ending of any hope for a future. It exists as an amalgamation of several films most notably Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’ for it’s vigilante ultra-violence and depiction of a sodden, dirty and corrupt society, ‘King of Comedy’ for it’s delusional protagonist who believes salvation lies in fame but more subtly Sidney Lumet’s ‘Network’ as a story which comments on the media’s role in blurring the lines of morality and truth, stoking anger and division and how hysteria is the prerequisite to social collapse. It presents a class struggle in which Joker is a Marxian hero – accidentally appropriated and deified by the cities lower classes as a leader of their discontent he becomes a catalyst for the flames of a social revolution but one which pushes society into a feral and incoherent insanity.

Todd Phillips manages to shake off the frat boy comedy legacy and creates a world which mirrors our own – divided, confused, upset and angry and most importantly one which is capable of producing monsters. The sense of hopelessness that pervades the film leads to absurdity as the only available philosophical stance, however it presents absurdity as a contextual evil – a rejection of rationale in favour of a delusion, something which corrodes the social equilibrium. A society that glorifies all the worst traits of humanity becomes a festering metropolis which inherently produces the Jungian shadow figure, the Dionysian chaos. In this film Arthur Fleck isn’t the villain, Joker isn’t the villain, society is the villain and the entire environment is an anxious and pained graveyard for happiness where in the end it’s concluded that: all you can do is laugh.  

Everything I Learned About Male Psychology From A Professional Dominatrix

Sexuality is an enduring and essential component of identity which roots itself deeply in how we express ourselves – a paradox of complexity and simplicity, real yet abstract, spoken yet hushed. It’s said that the sexual self is the truest version of yourself – the version which is representative of your core drives and desires. What’s reflected in intimacy can be indicative of your character – If you like to be dominated you probably lack absolute confidence and self-assurance. Oppositely, if you like to dominate you’re probably a pragmatist who is exhilarated by confidence, decision making and control.

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  • Emile Levy’s ‘Circe’ (1889) portraying the male desire to be dominated and controlled by female influence

I met in Dalston Superstore with Adreena Angela, a professional mistress who categorically falls into the bracket of pragmatist. I wanted to find out more about her experiences with male clients and how she strikes a delicate balance between creating a sensual experience whilst maintaining a professional standard. I wanted to delve into the intimate insight that she has with men and how they express themselves in private. I wanted to know how she managed herself into this life and made a success of herself in doing so, whether it affected her personal politics, her outlook on sexuality and what she thought it was that she’s providing…I decided to begin at the beginning:

Q: At which point did your sexuality shift from being a curiosity to something you pursued professionally?

Adreena: It started by accident – I was about 16 when I started going to sex shops and buying magazines, 17 I started going to fetish events, started working at them about 18/19, I was very much on the scene and knowing the scene but not doing it totally professionally. Then I was actually a pastry chef! The pay wasn’t great and I was working crazy hours and during this time I got invited to a foot worship party by a guy off of the internet…

Q: Was there any reservation like this guy could be a catfish type scenario?

A: I was nervous but I figured it’d be legit and it turned out to be a good experience, made some money and started doing that which led to private sessions – in private sessions people’s requests become more diverse – some people want to worship feet whilst wearing a dog collar and things such as that. I began getting enough work through that which meant I could quit my full time job. From there I began offering more services and researching different practices and fetishes and realized how much I loved it and expressing my sexuality.

Q: Was there any nerves throughout this process?

A: Oh definitely, for a really long time – whenever I get a new client you have to kind of guess what they like, whether they’re in to what you do…they can tell you what they’re into but there’s a certain amount of guess work involved also…especially via email.

Q: Which seems like, from what I understand about your interactions, examples that I’ve seen to be the most difficult part? Communication from the side of the client being difficult to discern or just simply poorly structured and opaque?

A: Sometimes it’s like that – now I get ones that are quite robust and more descriptive. Sometimes there’s emails from guys who from the start have an attitude and approach the whole interaction in completely the wrong way.

Q: …and do you avoid characters like that?

A: Yes absolutely – you’ve got to screen, if there’s someone I get a bad vibe from I don’t negotiate.

Q: What’s the average amount of emails that you’ receive from initial contact to session?

A: I try and keep it to around ten but it really varies on the client, some times it can be like forty messages…over something quite simple, like for example if someone requests electric work, I’ll say that’s fine and they’ll follow up like…’so…you’re going to use electrics on me?’…I’ll be like yes…they’ll respond…’okay so will you put it on my nipples?’…I’ll respond…well, they’re not going to be on my nipples so yes, they’ll be on yours. Examples like that where something obvious is drawn out. I think it’s a combination between nerves and some people just simply getting off on the fantasy of it.

Q:  Is there any stiff competition among other dom’s or is it a supportive network?

A: Absolutely a supportive network – I know professionals and colleagues and we regularly meet up to share sob stories, experiences, advice…it’s a strong network. It’s women you know, women generally stick together. From my experience there’s no animosity from other dom’s it’s all very supportive. There’s a night called The Queen Bee Society where educators, professionals will meet up and discuss all of these issues.

Q: Do you have a large range of clients in terms of demographics?

A: Huge…the stereotype is middle aged businessman but it’s totally diverse. You actually get quite a lot of young guys. I think it’s because of the internet, people will search their kinks and find communities online that validate and share their fetishes whereas traditionally people would try to repress these things.

Q: What do you think drives men to want to do these kinds of things?

A: I wish I knew…it’s just sexuality.

Q: What’s the average duration of a session that you’d undertake?

A: Between 1-3 hours dependent on the person, their financial situation, the amount of times they’ve seen me, if we have a developed idea of kinks and preferences they usually last longer because an hour isn’t enough to get to where you ideally want to be.

Q: Have you had any experiences where sessions have gotten emotional?

A: Yes – there’s a saying that it’s 80% counselor / 20% dominatrix. There’s been situations where I’ve been jamming a rod down a mans urethra and he’s telling me about his mortgage. Clients have to trust you so it’s important to develop a relationship of openness. With this comes certain admissions, I’ve had men tell me about the times they’ve tried to kill themselves, about their depression, some will start crying. It can get heavy.

Q: How do you set boundaries and stop the illusion of intimacy from developing into a full blown obsession?

A: It’s hard…sometimes you can see it happening and you have to cut it off – there are signs that it’s beyond professional. Things like receiving texts late at night, a certain level of over familiarity, making jokes that are a bit inappropriate…that kind of thing.

Q: How long does a working relationship typically last?

A: It varies – I have some clients I’ve been seeing from the beginning, I’ve have one client who I’ve been seeing for two years, some people are one timers who come and go. It depends on if there’s any changes in financial status and other factors like that.

Q: I would guess that you’ve had to develop a character for this to function properly, would that be a fair point considering the fantasy element to it all?

A: I think you get different types of dom’s who have different approaches – I would describe what I do as fairly naturalistic, I would say it’s kink positive, nurturing domination. When you’re dressed for it there’s a different energy – I try to keep it as natural as possible though because I want them to know when they’re sessioning with me that they’re sessioning with me and not a character.

Q: What’s your opinion on FinDom?

A: I think it’s really upsetting for people who have a respect for the culture – to see these girls thinking it’s a case of simply exploiting men for profit. They’ll create profiles and just say to men online ‘loser, pin dick, give me all your money’ and there’s just a complete lack of creativity. If you’re going to do it, do it with some creativity and style.

Q: Has there ever been any extreme requests which you’ve had to turn down?

A: There was one time where I had a request for me to break someones leg, I had to explain I can’t do that, even if you tried to explain you wanted it – it’s illegal. That was quite intense. There was another time where I got a request of racial degradation – a Muslim man wanted me to insult and degrade him on the basis of his ethnicity and religion which I couldn’t possibly envision doing, even if he wanted it.

Q: How does this lifestyle relate to your personal politics?

A: Through doing this I find out so much from myself, I’ve discovered so much about my own sexuality and my own kinks whilst also understanding more intimately who I am. Outside of these personal discoveries and outside of work I feel more confident with who I am in general.

Adreena spoke with a candour, softness and sincerity about her story and experiences, she shed light on the real humility involved in her practices as she manages not just peoples bodies, but emotions along with it. She’s localized a part of male identity which hides itself away and she convinces it to come out; with confidence. My motive to speak to Adreena was to try and exact in on whether there was any correlation between the current mental health crisis that is claiming men’s lives on a daily basis and the submissive element of BDSM culture. It’s difficult to tell where this overlap begins and ends but the testimonies would suggest that BDSM culture is a form of therapy for certain people and it knows no stereotypes.

What is clear is that from the feedback Adreena receives and the service she provides is that it’s imbued with a rarely addressed nobility. It’s a type of experience which lifts these men’s spirits and invigorates their lives with a paradoxical submissive freedom. After our conversation I was left with the impression that despite the fringes of social stigma that exist toward the practices, in a sense; dominatrix’s are the unsung councilors, assuming a dark divinity which can influence men to lose control and feel comfortable without it.

Steel & Glass Suffocation: The Bondage of Manchester’s New Architectural Developments

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Manchester is a city blessed with a distinct aesthetic, the clay mined from the nearby areas during the industrial revolution was an abundant, cheap and malleable resource. This clay was taken and formed into terracotta which gave the city its vernacular red brick aesthetic. The reason why Manchester’s architecture is so important is because it defines the city in a way that it tells its story. The terraces, the mills, the estates, the Edwardian houses with such dynamic space populate the surrounding city. Inside the city is a plethora of world class buildings, from a variety of styles spanning across decades and centuries. Architectural students from across the world visit Manchester to witness the achievements it’s blessed with. As the world’s first industrialized city it’s paramount that we preserve the iconic spaces that the city is endowed with without compromising our integrity for political gain.

In recent years, a variety of inner city luxury housing and office space skyscrapers have been green lit under the political semantic of ‘regeneration’. The proposals are not only set to give nothing to the local communities that they so sorely need but they also threaten to compromise the inner cities unique heritage by glazing it in hideous steel and glass. These developments propose clusters of atypical post modern abominations, utterly devoid of inspiration. Most modern developments funded by foreign investors are primarily dictated by accountants instead of architects. What you’re left with is buildings that are ideologically driven by economization – this means a complete lack of cultural and artistic vision.

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Project: St Micheals Skyscraper    Practice: Hodder + Partners

The idea that these buildings will influence long term investment in the city is simply wrong, for a city that is  suffering deeply from homelessness the projects do nothing to alleviate the crisis. Manchester is home to the second biggest homeless population in the country outside of London. The council of Manchester should be fighting for social housing initiatives that directly benefit the local communities or at least affordable initiatives.

A good example of ambitious and economical housing models that already exist in Manchester include aLL Design’s project ‘CHIPS’ in New Islington; a post-modern development which considered the local impact during construction whilst also maintaining a distinct creative statement.  Another example would be the Bowker & Sadler’s program to regenerate housing in West Gorton. This project creates distinctively modern housing with practical and environmental considerations including a key focus on eco-efficiency by integrating solar panel and rain water harvesting features.

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Project: ‘Chips’    Practice: aLL Design

Manchester has always represented forward thinking innovation across a variety of disciplines – the hazard in the neo-liberal age is that there’s a proclivity for local councils to support banal foreign investment because they believe it will bring money into the constituencies. This is a short term solution to a more insidious problem. Manchester needs to maintain its cultural and philosophical integrity by playing in the long term – it would be more economical to retrofit preexisting structures which would also benefit local community’s long term. Conversely, if you look at a city like Athens which in the wake of the financial crisis regenerated preexisting structures with great success.

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Project: West Gorton Housing Regeneration   Practice: Bowker/Sadler

We now see Athens establishing itself as a creative and artistic hub without relying on foreign investment. It’s also worth noting that buildings in Athens exceed no more than seven stories which keeps a level playing field and preserves the city for what it is. Manchester should follow suit with such self determination.

The famous phrase as it goes is: ‘What Manchester does today – the world does tomorrow’

The question is: what do we want tomorrow to look like?

The Incarnations of XXXTENTACION and How It Relates To Jungian Symbolism

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The death of 20 year old musician Jaseh Onfroy a.k.a XXXTENTACION created a storm of controversy as the public drew a line in the sand. The stage was set and the ultimatum was this: you either support the condemnation of domestic violence by rejecting his art or you sympathise with a monster and disgrace the victims if you don’t. This kind of black and white moral compartmentalising is a brilliant analogy for the current state of global politics. It’s tribal assimilation without any consideration of winder context. Life and more importantly people are never as simple as two options.

XXXTENTACION embodied the dichotomy of the human temperament, he appealed to both sides of the individual – rough yet smooth, loud yet quiet, different but the same. The reason why X had such a devoted legion of fans and the reason he had such a fierce opposition is because he represented the duality of the psyche. He evoked a response whether you wanted to pay attention or not and his image and life was loaded with symbolism which perfectly relates to Jungian symbolism – here’s how:

According to Carl Jung’s theory, men and women can be loosely broken down into two categories: Anima (female) and Animus (male). In each of these categories are stages of development which relate to the understanding of self.

XXXTENTACION: first incarnation (2015-2016)

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The first Jungian archetype within the theory of the Animus is ‘Man Of Physical Power’ this is also associated with the Freudian ‘id’ which is the primal, reactionary part of the psyche. It’s the part of the mind that operates on pure impulse – manifesting in heightened sexual drive, arbitrary violence and a utilisation of physicality to assert your presence. All of this is encapsulates X within this period, he was briefly put in jail and his mugshot accompanied his breakout single ‘Look at Me!’. His mugshot went viral and at this stage the symbolism of his contradictions was already laid down in this image: he has his hair in two separate colours subtly and unconsciously representing a conflict within the self. During this stage his presence was defined by physicality and violence; reports of his domestic abuse surfaced, he instigated chaotic riots at his shows, he assaulted fans and the violence culminated in him being knocked out on stage. The footage of this incident is an insight into the unrelenting nightmare of the unbalanced collective consciousness. His own instability infected the entire room and erupted into a version of hell on Earth.

XXXTENTACION – second incarnation (2017)

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X’s second incarnation was in response to the mounting controversy and psychological pressures he faced. During this period his fame reached unparalleled heights in tandem with his infamy. His ex-girlfriend took her case to court and a damning article was published which created a wave of opposition, disgust and fury. Following him being knocked out on stage his already unstable psyche was thrown completely out of balance and this was manifest in his redesigned perception of self. Paranoia and distrust began to mount, his friendships broke down, the chaos grew. He began to hate the ‘pretty thug’ image of himself that his mugshot had created and opted to symbolically destroy that version of himself. This relates to the second stage of Jung’s Animus ‘Man Of Action’. Somebody who takes their life and attempts to radically alter it in the face of imminent threat. He created a sterilised, blank version of himself – symbolically bleaching his persona, ridding himself of the previous character.

XXXTENTACION – third incarnation (2018)

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The final version of X combined the final two stages of Animus which are ‘Man as an Orator’ and ‘Man as a Spiritual Guide’. Towards the end of his life the unsustainability as the Loki character became apparent, with the global fan base he had amassed he was faced with many personal questions about who he wants to be and how he wants to use his power. He commented actively that he had played the role of ‘villain’ in an effort to garner respect but it was the wrong type of respect and it only invited pain. It was during this stage on the other side of the chaos that he began to rationally evaluate his position and his influence and how he could utilise that for the betterment of the self and the betterment of others. He began preaching constantly via Instagram Live to an average of 25,000 people at any given time. He was spreading a message of redemption and positivism. It’s important to note that this doesn’t exonerate him for his previous crimes but we’re only studying this as a symbolic process. The visual associations with his hair being blue are themes of  sadness, introspection, purity and calm.

The story and symbolism of X beyond his music encompass a large amount of associations that cannot be simplified. Just as the complexity and contradictions that are present in the human psyche cannot be simplified. Potently, X’s last music video to the song ‘SAD!’ features him literally fighting a previous version of himself. The chaos that wanted to come back out, the anger inside the id, the reactionary pain and violence. Jung often spoke of the duality within humanity. How people are not simply one thing or another but a multitude of influences  and contradictions that coalesce and overlap. This is represented in the character of XXXTENTACION, there is clear stages to his development and the indications towards the end of his life were that he was reaching the psychological stage of self actualisation. He began to understand how to relate to people and how to interact, his work with charity and his attempt to right his wrongs in the past serve as a lesson in how a person is not defined by their past but rather their future. If our society begins to relinquish the idea of redemption we will regress into a fascistic conservatism which leads to all people being defined by their mistakes. This pathway is a dangerous one because it doesn’t allow people the opportunity to change. Change is essential in the development and redemption of humanity as an entity destined to fall on it’s path to a better future.

 

Fight You’re Fired with Fire – How To Defeat He Who Shall Not Be Named

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On Friday the 13th July a politician is coming to the UK for a state visit, this is no ordinary politician. In fact his career has been defined by being diametrically opposed to what society would consider an ordinary politician. There is a planned march against this politician as well as a giant inflatable caricature which cost £16,000 to create. Both of these things are devastatingly misguided.

We’ve nearly had two years of this politician permeating and dripping through every single pore of media, every device, every screen. He is a fixture in our lives, an image which we see on a daily basis, more than our friends, more than some of our own family. He’s an inescapable presence in the modern world. Yet we have no tactic or familiarity with his temperament and psychology. First and foremost, this man is a narcissist – arguably the biggest narcissist in living memory. This man exists on controversy the same way fire relies on oxygen.

What would be more devastating to this man then I ask: hundreds of thousands of people in the street chanting against him while a giant inflatable version of himself that people have spent time and money developing floats in the sky? or an eerie quiet, a plot at hand, a political stillness?

The former is the oxygen, this persons ego is so deformed that the former will be taken as flattery and the blaze of ignorance will burn as brightly as it ever has as the small hands of idiocy wave to the subjects he’s summoned. We are as much to blame in his ascent by our lack of vision in credible and effective tactics. The message will not be received, he will not shiver at the people, he will not second guess his politics or quake in his expensive boots at the politely angry and humorously committed British ‘onslaught’. There is no symbolism here, his ego won’t be hurt and we do nothing more than continue the reach of his acidic brand of self promotion by being complicit in it’s distribution.

I intend to use this as a marker to catalyse a new approach in this warfare. Let’s take the weight from the name, let’s never say it. Let’s take the gaze off the face as we never see it. Let’s diffuse the distraction that keeps all of our eyes fixed. We provide the platform as he stands on our backs as we bark his name like obedient dogs. This will be the last time we discuss it. Rather than protest, let’s create strategy and solutions – anything else is a passive waste of time. If we truly want to take the power away from this person we can, the same way he took ours: ignorance.

@thesilenthour

FinDom – The Psychology of Submission

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‘If you dare become my submissive – you’ll be rinsed, humiliated…and blackmailed’

Typically the last three words are situations to be avoided in life, but in the online FinDom community the submissive’s applaud the opportunity to be degraded. Degradation isn’t a new element in sexual psychology, people have always enjoy playing with power dynamics in varying ways. Now however, a new community has emerged online which completely removes the physical element: ‘FinDom’

‘FinDom’ is a combination of ‘Financial Domination’ and it’s a morally questionable trend that is developing quickly in online communities. The basis of this fetish is that dominatrix’s verbally demean their voluntary subjects, explaining to them how they’re weak and pathetic, how their wives cheat on them, how they’re pathetic for cheating on their wives by being optionally degraded – at the center of all of this is money.

The loyal subject willingly donates cash, sometimes hundreds of pounds, usually via PayPal or Apple Pay for absolutely nothing except the thrill of being exploited. I became interested in this as a psychological study because of the exact reason that it’s effectively platonic in most cases. In the sense that it’s a wholly unconsummated abstraction. The sexual thrill for the submissive isn’t based on any physical sensation but only the consistently upheld mental construct of their own irrelevance and humiliation.

Within the FinDom community it seems to be a perfect storm of damaged minds, it would be foolish to suggest that all people involved are deranged and lack the capacity to understand what they get out of it. Whilst at the same time there is a common thread of damaged personalities and illusory character roles. It seems to be the case that the dominatrix’s justify their exploitation in the voluntary nature of their submissive’s – I saw screenshots of a dom celebrating the fact a submissive had literally cleared out his entire account of money that month in donation to her. To me it suggests two things – Firstly, that the dominatrix has an alienated and contemptible relationship with men, as depending on your definition of morality, no moral person would design a life style off donations from somebody whose clearly in a confused state of mind. Secondly, the idea has developed ostensibly from inner neuroses of the dominatrix – whether it’s from previous emotional trauma, or professional instability – it’s effectively revenge porn for suppressed trauma which elevates the female individual with a new found liberty, confidence and sexual superiority which could’ve been lacking previously in their lives.

So the question is what do the submissives get out of it? If we look at BDSM culture as a whole and it’s pervasive nature in society in large, down to the individual psyche it speaks for itself – people yearn to be told what to do. Life as an individual is layered in daily uncertainty – people don’t know if their profession is the right one, if their partner still loves them, if their family are on good terms, if they’re reaching their full potential, if they’re doing the right thing. This manifests in it’s purest form in the setting of BDSM culture – people quite literally break down in these settings and submit to a higher authority in a pseudo-religious sense – in some cases breaking down into tears.

The way this relates to male identity is of particular interest in the sense that I feel it’s reactionary to uber-masculine culture, if you look for example in suicide statistics for every 3 men that take their own lives 1 woman does. There has been many proposed theories for why this is, with the most common explanations ranging from the instilled societal pressure on men to be ‘successful’ and lead financially prosperous lives to men lacking the emotional and vocal capacity to express their feelings. This is capitalized on by dominatrix’s for financial merit and to the submissive it seems like the perfect solution. An opportunity to break down, to be told what to do, to find order in chaos. It’s predatory but knowingly so. In moralistic terms it presents a complex philosophical conundrum – is it immoral if both sides are consenting to the act?

FinDom is only one emerging trend in a new wave of digital sexual identity in which we will continue to see the separation of physical sexual acts and psychological euphoria. Sexual identity will become more abstract as a socio-technological singularity occurs – as we reduce complex individuals to swipes on an app, reduce individuals from people to submissives, as we reduce women to sex dolls, intimacy to a virtual experience the emotional landscape alters.

J.G Ballard summarized it in his famous equation: sex + technology = the future

The question is – what are you into, really?

cccompass

Image result for hans bellmer degenerate art

In which way should I direct myself, we often ask, peering forward with squinted eyes to try and define the blurred images of the future. Nobody can say, no oracle to describe, no map, no idea, only a compass.

Hubris

Go beyond your means. Dream bigger than what you know to be physically real. Deconstruct the laws of social decorum before disassembling the maxims of physics. Locke, Newton, Democritus, Plato, Aristotle can all reverberate in the still chasm of the mind; making only slight murmurs of truth. Find yourself somewhere new, your eyes tired at the end of the day from processing all those new compositions. Find yourself somewhere sterile, where manners have all but dissipated and then compressed into the ether, passing as softly as a breeze without a flicker of remorse.

Thanatos

Search for dampness, follow the aroma of rotting flesh as you sail down the styx, there isn’t anything in the water but sadness, scoop your hand in it and wash your face with it. Walk into sodom but don’t be afraid, even a spectre has a conscience. Nobody is going to hurt you here except yourself. You can’t spend this much time in the shadows and retain a pure soul. Soon you’ll find you like the damp, there’s warmth in the moisture. There’s a friend in the isolation. They’ll greet you with a broken grin and you can return the same sentiment. Hold each others hands in the epicenter of chaos. People know not what they do, but demons do it for a reason.

Eros 

You could say it’s an anesthetic, or perhaps a responsibility – to use a compass you need a destination, if you pick a destination you’ll get there much quicker. So keep it micro. At the start it’s primal, there’s something to be proven in one another, on one another. Any candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. So ensure there is a slow burn to avoid spillage. Once you’re there it’s different. Now there’s a citadel you can find refuge in, but what happens if the refuge becomes a prison? How can the warden escape their imposing structures? If you build walls high enough you won’t be able to climb over them. So be sure if you build a citadel you’re on the right side of the wall, with the right people.

Ataraxia

We will all be here together – in the space between the shimmers of light is a layer of thin luminous film that vibrates and scatters the colors and sounds of the universe into floral patterns across the sky. Collapsing and rebuilding is how we’ll find the essence of ourselves, speaking without words is how we’ll know we’ve said enough. Only when the pyramids fall, when the pillars between one another erode away into a fine dust and are consumed by the wind. Only when we see that we are the architects of our own labyrinth can we discover the compass that will lead us to the warmth that’ll incubate our souls for all of eternity.

Art as salvation – Identifying who we are through the lens of media

Image result for black panther premiere

We find ourselves in a time where paradigms are being broken, on purpose.
There are several social revolutions taking place at the moment they all have one common denominator – identity. The way we define ourselves is an ongoing process full of apprehension, contradictions and confusion. The reassuring development that we’re seeing in modern times is that people are becoming comfortable with themselves in a way that they weren’t previously.

With films like ‘Black Panther’ set to redefine the role of Africans in film and high end cinema and films like Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ nominated for various high profile awards (including an Oscar for ‘Best Picture’) we’re seeing a mainstream recognition of what is is to be everybody who isn’t the archetypal white middle aged male. There’s a line from The Simpsons (my life compass) that summarizes the old paradigm perfectly:

‘Lisa: it’s awful being a kid nobody listens to you

Grandpa: it’s rotten being old nobody listens to you

Homer: I’m a white male aged 18-49, everybody listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are’

The narratives we’ve used to structure our world view have been told through a rigid lens – a perspective that isn’t shared, that is exclusive. We know that all revolutions start from the bottom up, we cannot rely on politics to develop an inclusive world. Politics isn’t progressive – it’s reactionary. Pressure is exerted externally and politics adapts to the mood. An example would be the integration of the LGBT community in the world – an identity which was a punishable offence less than 60 years ago is now accepted in the West as a perfectly normal state of being. Politicians know that there would be an outrage if homosexuality was critiqued (here’s looking at you; Tim Farron) and this progress was not achieved through the benevolence of our officials but rather a peaceful social revolution, a conversation and an enlightenment.

What we’re seeing now is a refreshing diversity in representation – media is the epicenter of the modern dialogue, the images and content we see proliferated world wide such as blockbuster films generates a global conversation in which people can talk about complex topics using the film as a reference point. It opens up debate which provides perspective and opinion which in turn creates a more democratic and equal atmosphere.

In terms of the future of these developments Black Panther is speculated to signal the revival in Black Cinema with studio’s eyeing up reboots of classics such as Shaft, SuperFly & Sweet Sweetbacks Baaadasssss Song. This gives more exposure to Black cinema and projection to the Black voice in the contemporary forum. Meanwhile, Greta Gerwig has expressed a desire to continue down the route of industry equality by aiming to achieve a film in which all the key roles are filled with women – normalizing the presence of high profile female creatives. These events parrallel the #MeToo movement and the Weinstein scandal as a rejection of the rigid patriarchal status quo and a reassessment of entertainment infrastructure.

The times we’re living in now are taking the jaded template of the past and smashing it, breathing a new vitality into the body of creativity and it feels like time. Film is supposed to make a statement and for too long it feels as though nothing has been said, with the social revolutions that are taking place now, we’re not just hearing new statements…but a harmony of voices that have never sang so loudly before.