2014-09-05

Welcome to the Digital Music Torture

If we had to propose a vector that articulated the famous notion of progress, one possibility could be the transition from sadism to masochism. We know that human culture is inseparable from cruelty, that developed societies are such because they learned how to internalize the social repression in order to transform it into the individual repression (Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, 1972). In other words, because they knew how to turn sadistic into masochistic pleasure. Enjoying the own suffering is definitely on the basis of Christian asceticism, but also acquires a protagonist role in the neoliberal regime, in the framework of an increasingly poor, artificial and torturous life, that needs to be presented as desirable by the systemic propaganda and advertising, while its believers must represent themselves this illusion as truth.

From this perspective, it doesn't seem strange that two phenomena apparently so distant as torture and contemporary leisure bear in fact a deep affinity. Especially when you consider the most advanced techniques of torture that the agencies of intelligence have been regularly researching and implementing worldwide for half a century (Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, 2007). It seems as if both phenomena pursued a similar objective, but one "as tragedy" and the other "as farce": the "shock", the regression, the journey to the realm of the dead. What would, if anything, propitiate the renewal of life; something increasingly valued on a regimen sustained on death.

Image after iPod advertisement [fu/fd] and Shane T. McCoy's Guantanamo Bay detention camp (2002) [fu/fd].