Picasso's Couch (and everything after)
'Any critical identity theory debate has become incredibly tiring, unsatisfying, joyless - and again, like speaking two different languages with the same words.'
It's a known truism that Britain imports most of its cultural activism from the USA. From Occupy to Anonymous, #MeToo to Black Lives Matter, critical theory has exploded from the campus, dominated the cultural discourse, and hopped on the QEII. With information the real currency of the 21st century, and the internet its own handy brown envelope, the subjective (it's all about me) critical theory of these movements then become profitable, being the receptacles of massive government grants (taxpayer's hard-earned). Lawyers, media executives and politicians of all colours can all do very well out of it.
All good I hear you say, right the bad behaviour of the past, accountability, etc. The problem is that the traditional activist tactic of 'set your demand impossible to reach, then negotiate downwards' when the power-holders refuse has morphed. The progressive left still sets its targets to extreme ('we want a zero-carbon world which is majority mixed-heritage, vegan, pan-orientational and owns nothing by 2030') and the New Woke Orthodoxy agrees.
The raising of the concept of societal multilateral 'consent' as an essential tool involves those who either don't understand or don't agree being marginalised, in order that it become publicly internalised to the point of inertia. These may all be interesting new social ideas for the states of California, Denmark and New Zealand to pursue, but when it becomes exported with profit as its chief promotional driver, the cultural sovereignty of other nations is threatened.
A list of some cancelled, 'socially shamed' or imprisoned artists and creatives: Woody Allen, David Bowie, Win Butler, Louis CK, Bill Cosby, Gerard Depardieu, Johnny Depp, Bob Dylan, Lucien Freud, Gary Glitter, Anthony Kiedis, Michael Jackson, R Kelly, Jonathan King, Marilyn Manson, Mark Morriss, Conor Oberst, Rex Orange County, Jimmy Page, Pablo Picasso, Ariel Pink, Roman Polanski, Dizzee Rascal, Kevin Spacey, Pete Townshend, Harvey Weinstein, Kanye West, Oscar Wilde.
Pablo Picasso was the grande-fromage of twentieth century art, defining modernism as he went. He also had an eye for the ladies, allegedly often consummating the inescapable bond between gazed at and gazer at the end of sittings. Though creatives had been self-centred and promiscuous forever - their moral concerns being elsewhere – some revisionist feminism made the blue-eyed baldy into a monster (particularly following his death). What any of that had to do with his restless invention was anyone's guess.
Away from slogans and statements, Snitch Culture ramps up a few more notches, as the peculiarly 21st century habit of doxxing, whistleblowing and ratting on your employers continued apace. It's as if every aggrieved citizen is looking to gain advantage out of someone else's momentary lapse of empathy. Anyone in any sort of position of power, visibility or celebrity has become very paranoid, and with good reason.
Prince Andrew and the New Woke Lexicon are natural bedfellows. Pale, male, stale privilege, with a dodgy sexual past? Check. Accountability? Oh yes. Learning lessons? In public, for sure, and possibly a result of the £12 million of 'femily' money he had to pay his (hardly impeccable) accuser.
He may have thought he was entering his intellectual mentor Jeffrey Epstein's House of Automatic Consent, or he may have had an inkling that the young nubiles floating about weren't necessarily all on work experience, up from Arkansas for the week. His uniquely vulnerable position has been recently redesigned in the increasingly impenetrable book of critical theory that Dr Shola, David Olusoga and the rest are seemingly determined to exhaust.
There are two different languages being spoken, both variants of English. One is rhetorical and political, straight from media-training and laden with critical theory terminology as people demand you to 'educate yourself'; the other the man on the street. Or the elites vs the plebs in other words, with few remaining agreed terms to make the process even barely worthwhile.
Legally guilty, factually innocent is the order of the day, with UK prisons filling up under the new #MeToo of Operation Soteria, once again banging multiple men up on various levels of sexual assault conviction on an ambivalent balance of probabilities, to silence from the mainstream media. It will be as if Alison Saunders never left, but with even fewer critical voices in the media.
Keir Starmer, enemy of men (and apparently women) has decided he needs to appeal to Mr Moderate to win the next election, without realising he might have to wrestle himself from the warriors of woke clogging up every institution in the West, and bankrupting the entertainment industry. Even the politicians must be missing the old territory of right and left, however responsible they are for destroying it. Any critical identity theory debate has become incredibly tiring, unsatisfying, joyless - and again, like speaking two different languages with the same words.
Incels (a movement of involuntarily celibate men) are akin to the new punk rockers in terms of anti-system sentiment; and like the original Kings Road set, can't get any mainstream media time that is not either unbearably patronising or full of Anonymous masks. Maybe they need their own Bill Grundy moment and number one single. From #MeToo to Cancel Culture is a very short, Marx-citing romp, as the kind of outrage that spawned the latter needs fuel, and anyone using the wrong kind of fuel is shut down immediately, with zero consultation.
Have criticisms, or even tiny misgivings, about sexualised theories of society, our effect on the environment or the fact that all human beings are inherently 'racist'? Shut them up, or put them on Discord/4Chan. Psychopathy and narcissism in politics also seem to go hand in hand, as the toxic relationship between MP and pleb intensifies to the point of complete indifference. It's a power trip, virtue-signalling dressed up as hero-ideation, empty, changeable and hollow. Just like all toxic relationships tend to feel after the severing has been done.
The reaction to every stance stance increasingly depends on your perceived politics, in a way that it might never have been before. The Internet has amplified every opinion to the point that the catchiest wins, without ever having to prove itself. The social rehabilitation of the sexually accused is nearly impossible in the commercialised media climate - when everyone is left depending on a court system they know to be corrupt, and only answerable to itself.
Probation is somehow the biggest obstacle to rehabilitation, as it keeps the defendant in the past while pretending to be interested in their future. Legislating for 'feelings' is an legacy extension of dumbed-down culture, and PR is now the art of getting majority opinion to side with minority positions. Culture has become fully neurotic and the justice system increasingly draconian. US legal-dominance feminist academia versus the UK trans lobby media is the place where progressive activists meet round the back, and the sane decide that the Rights Olympics might just have gone too far (yes there is still such a thing as going too far, whatever the amplifiers blare).
With the ousting of Cressida Dick and victims commissioner Dame Vera Baird, the sensible centrist Campaign Against Ideological Policing found its feet in culture, with certain no-nonsense decision makers actually making decisions. Frontline police still get a good deal of public support (amongst the white sections of society anyway), with an understanding that their job involves policing behaviour, not genetic heritage – and that the activists have too loud a megaphone for any sort of societal cohesion.
The Hotness Heuristic definitely persists, as people such as Charlotte Proudman spout inanities such as 'Misandry is Misogyny!' on an almost hourly basis, ratcheting up work for her chambers by the economy of Twitter views. You can emit whatever nonsense you like when you keep up appearances. Never mind diversity of heritage, you still don't see truly ugly people on current affairs TV.
Fitting the evidence to the theory is often the identitarian critical theorist's default mode, and now they are running the mainstream media: thus, cognitive dissonance is rife, while the public mouth things like 'What did he/she just say?' at each other. #MeToo was blatantly not an unmitigated good, but the women's prisons/men's prisons incompatibility debate rumbles on, everyone forgetting that prisons weren't actually designed for innocent people of either sex in the first place. Woe betide the approximately 1400 people wrongfully convicted each year. Their complaints are never heard, dressed in ladies clothes or not.
Woke establishment infiltration has led increasingly to a situation of toxic teaching, done by toxic teachers. They may not 'paddle the boys' so often nowadays, but they will report a child to headteachers or parents for misgendering another pupil or for being openly proud of their country. Is a closed mind the only remaining obstacle to a fully subjective future? Media reports stand in the way of rehabilitation, as in this opt-in-or-marginalise culture, anyone seen as a moral outlier is toast. The reports keep them there, in the past, in a context which may or may not be accurate.
The democratisation of sexual assault brought on in waves since 2003 - and significantly ramped up ten years later with the quiet importation of US Title IX decrees - has led to a situation whereby national probation either doesn't know or care about how to deal with those maintaining innocence. It shouldn't be so hard to appeal in a time of Soteria Solutions helping bring ideological charges to 'successful' conclusions - guilty verdicts; but JSEPs (justice system experienced people) and Pcosos (people convicted of sexual offences) are regularly hampered in their progression by potential employers using Google reports as references.
Prison post, social media sites such as Facebook and maintaining family ties are all acknowledged as being essential to an individuals' societal rehabilitation, but they are also all tampered with on a regular basis, and viewed as suspicious elements. Twelve Angry People sit on juries, generally people with enough time to spare to attend, inflamed by media reports not directly related to the highly nuanced case before them, and with increasingly popular media tropes like the (recently denounced) 'rape myths' flying around the room - with a sceptical, let alone male, voice highly unlikely to raise objections. Being a rebel in a jury room isn't as satisfying as Henry Fonda was able to make it out to be.
So as the erosion of nation state's behavioural sovereignty continues unchallenged, The Other Man is a position increasingly no one wants to find themselves, as the lone-wolf character is more and more seen as somehow irredeemably perverted or deviant. The fishbowl psychosis inculcated by social media echo chambers, shadow-banning and politicised editing keeps conversations in a race to the bottom of the tank, as we simple
Animals with Empathy collide due to those momentary lapses. Still, repetitive prison work
is good for PTSD, so at least that particular silent industry can roll on, unmolested.
By Sean Bw Parker