Sunday, 14 March 2010

Review: Mediated, Thomas de Zengotita (2005)

Ever wonder why there are so many fashion/ideological/attitudinal options? Have you even been surprised by one of your own statements, so that you said to yourself, 'Where did that come from?' Thomas de Zengotita, a contributing editor for Harper's Magazine and a teacher at New York University may just have the answer.

I've certainly wondered about these things. In fact, back in February 2009, I made a post here about what I called 'The Age of Reinforcement'. Irony, I said, was dead because these was no core belief against which to rank any judgement/opinion/viewpoint.

Every option is indeed available, says de Zengotita.

Best of all, tho, is the author's amazing reach. He possesses a protoplasmic credibility - in other words, he can reach into any area of human endeavour and find signs of the Blob.

Maybe an explanation is required. The Blob is de Zengotita's word for the plastic modality that subsumes everything we do, and makes these things resemble itself. You may be completely sincere when you strive for originality and exceptionalism, but as soon as the Blob comes along, you're likely to find that what you've done is merely another element within the commonwealth of ideas.

You're likely to be Blobbed when you least expect it.

"Whatever," is the catch-word of the Blobby generation. We perform our lives, says de Zengotita. We are enacting one role among many in the snowstorm of available roles. I just happened - today - to choose this one.

But don't believe me, read the book. You won't regret it.

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