Based Safety vs Cringe Propaganda #16

This Week in Based and Cringe

Freddie deBoer, who still tends to legitimize some of the underlying concepts that allow the redundancy of the left to reproduce itself, is admittedly writing some pretty great stuff these days. In this new piece, deBoer lambasts this disgusting article written by the WHITE academic Chris Lehmann, in which Lehmann makes the claim that the mostly white Vietnam vets who fought for their healthcare and benefits after coming home were, in fact, doing white grievance politics. You can’t make this shit up, seriously. Lehmann is sick, clearly, but the sickness he suffers from is more widespread than I ever thought possible.

Dennis Cooper, whose content always brightens my dreary internet excavations, publishes a fantastic ode to the terrific transgressive Japanese filmmaker Sion Sono on Cooper’s blog (I just watched Sono’s Strange Circus, a terrific Grand Guignol of psychological derangement). Also, the surprisingly excellent literary podcast Wake Island interviews Cooper in the most recent episode.

Hermetix podcast host Meta Nomad lectures about Nick Land’s theory of cryptocurrency, and though I’m unconvinced that crypto renders Marxist analysis of political economy obsolete all together, I’m rather fascinated by this line of thinking. The Perfume Nationalist has some friends on the show and discusses two of my all-time favorite artists, Matthew Barney and Norman Mailer. Angela Nagle discusses art museums selling off old masterpieces and art history itself to appease modern day NGO ideology (perfect timing given the current ArtForum issue I’m about to discuss below). Angelicism01 asks when frustration became the primary mover for the amateur to manipulate the attention economy (I’m not sure exactly, all I know is I personally got involved with this side of the Internet over a year ago, so maybe around then? haha).

And, the Australian psychos of theatrical extreme metal Portal released two new albums on the same day! Avow is the kind of record we’ve come to expect from the band: an amalgam of both death and black metal, dark ambient, and experimental noise. Hagbulbia, on the other hand, is weird even by Portal standards, often leaning into pure abstract territories of sonic deconstruction. They aren’t my favorite Portal albums, by any means, but I’m very glad that this band exists.

Before I forget, here is that disgusting Chris Lehmann article that Freddie takes to task, in The New Republic. Lehmann’s article, technically a review of a new book by the equally WHITE and low IQ woketard academic Joseph Darda, posits: “As white Vietnam vets struggled with the challenges of adapting to an American social order transformed by the politics of anti-discrimination and cultural representation, they were not simply echoing the well-worn refrains of white reaction. They fashioned their own new brand of therapeutically inflected grievance politics, poised to capitalize in a host of ways on America’s emerging postliberal backlash.” You read that correct. The predominantly working class Americans who lost friends, limbs, and their very souls in one of the most violent and philosophically existential conflicts in American history weren’t fighting for restitution for their sacrifices, but were actually just aggrieved white men that were no longer central to American politics and angry about it, according to this despicable, attention seeking sociopath Lehmann.

Though it feels redundant and beneath me to even say so, Paul Krugman is still one of the dumbest men in all of media. Hyperallergic is going crazy over the artist Lilliana Castro and her efforts to create a “new identity,” as if more identities (ie, more atomization) is the thing that culture needs right now. Matt McManus, who is so uniquely milquetoast in his brand of Judith Butler-inflected democratic socialism that it’s something of a punchline on the TL, disagrees with Karl Marx and asserts that John Stuart Mill is a heroic “liberal socialist.” This can be read as an assertion of the Jacotards’ uniquely terrible, pro-capitalist politics. Some doofus at Salon wonders out loud if the Democratic Party will ever fight back. This is brand maintenance. The Democratic Party is fighting its ass off for the class that it represents. It could not be fighting harder to make life shittier and less free. This is like a Cenk Uygur 2012 argument done all over again. The Democrats are not cowardly allies. They are enemies of working people. Feels boring to even have to say so.

This is absolutely not to be taken as anything personal against Christina Quarles, who I met once and seems like a nice person, but it’s becoming very clear that Hauser & Wirth’s strategy is to sign any contemporary artist who can both produce work very quickly and has a little bit of buzz around them. It’s not like I expect these galleries to act as anything other than profit making entities, but the Hauser strategy in particular comes off as a bit cringe and demystified, no? Adam Morris critiques Helen Andrews’ book about boomers, and though there’s much critique to be made about Andrews’ ideas, he misses the point a bit in doing so.

Finally, David Velasco and his groovy friends dedicate an entire issue to museums having to change, “Amid an ongoing global pandemic and growing demands for decolonization, racial justice, and economic parity, culture needs new tools for structural transformation.” In what seems like a direct rebuke to Angela’s aforementioned piece, ArtForum declares its allegiance to the anti-art movement. They will not stop until EVERYTHING that art is supposed to represent (beauty, philosophy, transcendence) is replaced by ideology. And not just any ideology – THEIR IDEOLOGY. That magazine has gotten exponentially worse for years now, and now its true purpose is revealing itself: sticking the final nail in the coffin of the dying culture.

That’s it. I’m out. I love you. I love you ALL!

Illustration by Adam Lehrer