War: Border Security

I suggest a grass roots campaign to boycott any and all advertisers for the show ‘Border Security’, but it is not screening this week!?! Crap. I’ll have to wait until it comes back on. As I write below, I shall watch the show and make a record of all the advertisers. Then we need everybody so inclined to boycott those companies that advertise and support the show. Hopefully if there is enough exposure not only will the show be pulled, but a few people will realise how damaging it actually is. Hmmm, need a banner to advertise it.

Here is the less polemical part what I wrote on Larvatus Prodeo:

Reactionary stupidity is reactionary stupidity. Both here and the US (and elsewhere) there are political paties going out of their way to cultivate it and use it as a political resource. John Howard actively produces stupidity. He is not sitting there with a hammer and chisel etching Australian identity into rock, he uses far more subtle tools. One example would be a refusal to describe Australia as racist, particularly after the Cronulla riots. Or to condemn the radio shock jocks for spreading bullshit before the riots. Yeah, sure, not racist… ‘Most’ people just want ‘others’ to ‘go home’. On the other end of spectrum of the same process, why are there currently ads running about Australian citizenship? They serve the same function. To reinscribe national identity in the most reactionary, fascist way imaginable.

I am talking about the mass-individuating capacity of representations of ‘border security’ in the mass-media. Relating this to an actual invasion is absolutely insulting and an offence to those who have suffered under the arms of aggressors everywhere in the world. Do you really not understand the function of all this reactionary shit on tv at the moment? It has absolutely nothing to do with the actual governance of the sovereign borders of Australia, if you think it does, then please demonstrate how, I would really like to know. Maybe you think it is already training the next generation of border security guards? The point is the reinscription of the idea and ‘reality’ of a border in the bodies and minds of consumers of such mass-media, and to harness these reactionary bodies as an audience and a market. Advertisers for the show should be boycotted. In fact, I am going to watch the show and write down every company that advertises in that show and name them on my blog so they can be boycotted. Not only are audiences cultivated, and markets produced for advertisers, but policians across political parties (but not across the political spectrum) use these bodies as a resource. What sickens me is that the current Australian government is cultivating a catastrophic level of stupidity masquerading as ‘Australian nationalism’ in the Australian population.

5 replies on “War: Border Security”

  1. Angry and articulate – I like it. I do wonder what the effects of “the reinscription of the idea and ‘reality’ of a border” are. I mean, it obviously doesn’t alleviate a generalised, politically useful anxiety: in fact it seems to have the opposite effect. This might contribute to the cultivation of stupidity that you mention.

    Or is it a question of pleasure in both cases: pleasure in knowing, via government policy, that people are being treated this way; pleasure in seeing that treatment on television. If this is the case, then why are two million people taking this specifically visual form of pleasure in it? Certainly the government themselves aren’t producing that audience. Perhaps its the enactment of a control fantasy, where the audience gets to imagine its own capacity to scrutinise the movement of ‘others’, a fantasy that offsets an exapserating lack of control over their own lives?

    I like your post, it’s really got me thinking…

  2. Adam, I think you are spot on with the observation of a certain kind of pleasure relation.

    I would argue the audience, or — better — the *population* that is audience, citizenry, and market at the same time, is produced by the *event of this War on Terror*. Within the event, and as part of the event. There is no straightforward causal relation between any of the leeches that use this population and the constitution of the population itself. Rather it is a transversal relation between various scales and modalities of the event: those that exploit the population as an economic resource to sell shit (Holden ads, “Holden means a great deal to Australia” they have the most ridiculous muscle cars in all of history for sale at the moment, they are anti-global in the sense of being a reactionary articulation of local nationalism with automotive technologies), to lead a reactionary citizenry (Beazely with his idiotic values bullshit, Howard with his citizenship ads bullshit), and affectively entrain an audience with ‘entertainment’ (Border Security, 9/11 bullshit). In fact, let’s coin a new word: ‘entertrainment’. A kind of affective biopolitical articulation of a population through popular culture.

    There is a single paradigm of belonging that utterly dominates all others and that is of passion. Passion of a population. You’ve got to have passion. (For example, reason is a form of passion, the Vulcans are the most passionate people in the universe because logic is seductively charismatic.) Stemming from this is therefore relations of alterity premised on 1) the charisma required to incite passion, 2) uppers/downers who attempt to incite or create/remove or stifle passion or charisma or the capacity for either to flow. Border Security modulates a certain kind of reactionary passion, realised in the self as enjoyment or pleasure. It is not a sign of a deeper societal problem, it is a direct expression of the problem itself. There is no representation; it is direct contact with the real.

  3. Er, if there’s no deeper problem maybe you’d better say it’s a ‘part of the problem’ rather than an ‘expression of the problem’. (?)

    But anyway, I totally

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