homage to jack smith

you spend the majority of your time and energy working. it consumes useful time. it exhausts useful energy. it deters alternative activities. in order to execute some activity that the world doesn’t need nor is improved by. from which you get reimbursed with a fraction of what your work is formally worth. the rest funding a corporation whose existence is worthless. and a state that abdicates its responsibility for political equality. most of whose money and resources goes into the hypertrophy of a celebrity-politician lifestyle class and the idle chatter of a commentating industry. and the hypertrophy of convoluted legislation that is essential prohibitive and incompatible with everyday understanding. that is anathema to utility and innovation, except for those most privileged who can be educated to circumvent it. you work in order to pay monthly to occupy a fraction of a building. whose construction has been paid for. and whose maintenance is incremental. which further funds the state for the use of its land. you work to participate in an irrational market of goods and services. wherein healthy food is unaffordable and bejeweled gadgets are most valued. whose prices swell in order to further fund the state. and to further inter-corporate sport to disadvantage the consumer. you work in order that culture’s most anomalous result is cultivation. so that it makes a killing entertaining us to death. so that xenophobia is the heart of every community. so that fascism is the natural reaction to the uprooted living of capitalism’s crisis cycling. so that we disavow our own extreme wastefulness, inefficiency, overabundance, and strategic scarcity.

That’s what I want: I would want them to duplicate my ideas. But all that’s happened to me so far is that my idea that I never had doesn’t register – and they duplicate my icing. I know how just a thing like the ugly design of kitchen sinks destroyed my childhood… ’cause I had to fight with my sister all the time over who had to do the dishes. It was the ugliness, the ugliness of capitalism, making it impossible for anybody to live a life that isn’t made ugly.”

–Smith, Jack. taken from the Schizo-Culture issue of Semiotext(e) magazine. ed. Sylvere Lotringer, 1978.


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