I have finally managed to track down an English translation copy of Gerhard Schulze’s The Experience Society. On my way I found this article on gaming in the computer age that may be of little interest to people as it is far too simple… Anyway, originally published in 1992, apparently Schulze’s book is a classic in the German cultural studies traditions. It is a precursor to the woeful effort by a couple of rampaging capitalists hell bent on world domination, or at least domination of the ‘coffee experience’. For some bloody reason amazon.co.uk have put it up as available. I don’t know why, it was not available the last time I checked with the normal amazon.co.uk shop and the second hand sellers earlier this month. Amazon.com still don’t have it as available (but they have the German version available). From what I understand most of Schulze’s book will be worthless to me, except for the argument that today’s ‘experience society’ is based on a cavalcade of events. Yee haa! My little friend the ‘event’ is back with a fuckin vengeance in its 23rd sequel.
Speaking of amazon.com, I finally got stooged for their mistake about multi-volume set of books edited by Gary Genosko (I could not find it on the US amazon site anymore;). They had it for sale in paperback for $55.01, which was obviously a mistake, because, for example, the UK amazon sells the hardcover for Â£475.00. They sent me an email telling em they couldn’t fulfill the order. Oh well. If anyone wanted to be my sugarsomething (sugardonkey is ok with me) and seduce me then all they would have to do is buy this book set. I would whore myself for Deleuze. I’ll bring the vaseline and the Miles Davis CDs.
Hmm, some other interesting books appear to be newly out or soon to be released. Ian Buchanan has this one. Which is co-edited or written with someone called Gregg Lambert, but the way it is written on amazon.com it is Gregg, Lambert (like two separate people) and I was going to send the dashing MC Gregg a nasty email asking her WTF hadn’t she told me about this book she had written with her old honour’s supervisor… but it is not her and it is funny. Then there is also this book by Todd May. May wrote a killer essay for the Peter Hallward edited collection on Badiou so after I have recovered my bank balance somewhat I shall be making a few more purchases.
Also, relating to past rants on my blog, I now have a new definition of success.
The middle-class whinger is a close cousin of the aspirational voter in whose hands, the pundits tell us, government lies. These voters aspire to wealthy lifestyles characterised by access to private education for their children, private health care, flash cars, home theatres and whatever else marks them out as having “made it”. Such voters are open to political bribery.
But for downshifters the “hip-pocket nerve” has been cauterised. Comprising at least a quarter of the adult population, they might be called “anti-aspirational voters”. Perhaps a similar number may be considered to be closet anti-aspirational voters, those who agree with the basic values and life priorities of downshifters but lack the resolve or, in some cases, the wherewithal, to make the transition to downshifting.
The numbers of Australians taking the downshifting path appear to be growing. Many are baby boomers who have done well financially, but just as many are in their late 20s and 30s. Younger downshifters are somewhat more likely to articulate post-materialist values, those that explicitly reject consumerism in favour of simpler and more sustainable lifestyles. Many have taken advantage of the flexibility permitted by the deregulated labour market. They can more easily change jobs, work independently, reduce their hours and negotiate more time off. Rejecting the consumerist definition of success takes courage, and the absence of everyday role models makes it all the more difficult.
I wonder if it would be possible to somehow mobilise all of these people? (I also love the ‘government lies’ pun, lol!)