I photographed this yesterday morning, at Heathrow Airport.
Me, I’m a Walt Benjamin man –
“Mankind, which in Homer’s time was an object of contemplation for the Olympian gods, is now one for itself. Its self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as aesthetic pleasure of the first order.”
We KNOW. We know that civilisational collapse (Dimitry Orlov blah blah) is baked in now. The gag about if we’re going to have songs coming out of world war three we better start writing them now (Tom Lehrer’s So Long Mom) applies – we’re getting our aesthetic pleasures in the zombie flicks, the Mad Max stuff… and, sneakily, by using doomed charismatic megafauna as an aura….
We know. Most of us repress it successfully most/all the time. Sometimes that breaks through, and we have to wink to ourselves…
Keeping our eyes shut, even if for a second, even if only one.
While tracking down the quote, I stumbled on these two –
- Richard Wolin – Apocalypse Now: Walter Benjamin and the Legacy of Jewish Political Messianism
- Benjamin’s gamble: commodifying life in the age of heroic demise by Stephanie Polsky
which look worth the time.
Meanwhile, those damned elephants…