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Solitude in Context – Part I: Being and Culture

The first in a series on solitude and solitary activity, this article outlines the personal, interpersonal, and social modes of being before discussing how postmodern culture obscures solitude and attenuates personal being.

A consideration of personal being in the postmodern world.

Solitude is an integral aspect of human experience, hence its eternal relevance. By intention or by circumstance to either positive or negative effect, people experience periods of aloneness to some extent and degree. More fundamentally, a human being is a separate sentient entity prior to his associations with others, no matter the degree to which he is immersed in a social environment. Thus, solitude is an inherent aspect of life whether one cultivates it personally or suppresses it collectively.

Based on my regular practice of solitary activities (which are to be the topic of subsequent articles), this article establishes solitude as an important yet misrepresented aspect of life. After outlining modes of being I then discuss the sociocultural status of solitude in the postmodern world, specifically, the various ways it has been disassociated from its authentic meaning and demoted from its traditional value.

Continue reading “Solitude in Context – Part I: Being and Culture”

Russia-Ukraine for ‘Years and Years’ – Part IV: Concentration Camps (Neo-Fascism)

Part IV of an article series examining themes from the British dystopian series Years and Years that have become pertinent following the Russia-Ukraine War.

From beginning to end Years and Years – through the character Vivienne Rook and her Four Star Party – illustrates the process by which pantomime politics produces perilous populism—and how Britain becomes a mirror image of its historical Nazi nemesis.

Parts I, II, and III of this article series examined the various societal and international themes derived from the prophetic fiction series Years and Years, specifically those that have become ever more pertinent due to the Russia-Ukraine War and its emergent consequences. Respectively, the themes discussed were Refugee & Housing Crises, Nuclear Attack & World War, and Financial & Employment Crises. Furthermore, this particular succession of socio-international themes was shown to comprise a logical chain reaction of crises that can be traced through the series’ narrative, implicitly when not explicitly.
    Part IV presents the culmination of this chain reaction of developments in what can be thought of as their sociopolitical ‘endgame’ and the ‘comeuppance’ of accumulated follies: neo-fascism*.

*To avoid ambiguity in using this term, the Wikipedia definition will suffice here: “Neo-fascism is a post-World War II ideology that includes significant elements of fascism. Neo-fascism usually includes ultranationalism, racial supremacy, populism, authoritarianism, nativism, xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiment as well as opposition to liberal democracy, parliamentarianism, liberalism, Marxism, capitalism, communism, and socialism.”

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Russia-Ukraine for ‘Years and Years’ – Part III: Economic Collapse (Banking & Employment Crises)

Part III of an article series examining themes from the British dystopian series Years and Years that have become pertinent following the Russia-Ukraine War.

‘…and War begat Sanctions… and Sanctions begat Banking Crash… and Banking Crash begat Financial Crisis… and Financial Crisis begat Unemployment… and Unemployment begat…’ So continues the Years and Years prophecy

Part I and Part II of this article series discussed the themes of housing crisis and limited nuclear war, as represented in the prophetic fiction series Years and Years and in relation to the ramifications of the Russia-Ukraine War, both primarily with concern to British society.
    The theme explored in Part III is one emphasized in the second episode and remains a consistent theme throughout Years and Years: Economic Collapse. In fact, the series shows multiple economic crises to be indirect effects of the nuclear attack, thereby suggesting the consequences of an equivalent action in the real world; and more specifically, the political (re)action to it and the ramifications of such an action.

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Retroverdose (on Strangely Familiar Things)

An article on Stranger Things (SPOILER: it’s duffing long!)

Stranger Things – A Netflix Original [heh] Series

Retromania: from the 2000s onward, pop culture has lacked the creative, future-oriented, dynamic energy of the previous decades: rather than opening the future, it inaugurated the ‘Re’ era, i.e. dominated by the ‘re-’ prefix – such as in revivals, reissues, remakes, re-enactments – thus representing endless retrospection.
  The post-millennium ushered in an era of unoriginality that feeds on its own history, trades in references, and quickly begun to rework material from a past that is increasingly immediate—thus has pop culture turned into an endless act of regurgitation.

What does this have to do with Stranger Things? With the debut of this series in 2016, pop culture has seen a particular development of retromania: from the mania of retro, i.e. the cultural pervasiveness of it; to the intensification of retro, i.e. the artifactual over-dosage of it.

And hence: Retroverdose (on strangely familiar things)…

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