The group, wrote Freud, “thinks in images, which call one another up by association (just as they arise with individuals in states of free imagination), and whose agreement with reality is never checked by any reasonable agency.” So it is a perfectly closed loop: terrorist groups manufacture convenient images of the enemy, and then those oversimplified images prompt attacks that are themselves highly symbolic and image-conscious. Abu Ghraib: A Global Family PortraitMaybe because I'd been thinking about it, this brought to mind the matter of blogmills (see previous post): Blogs, in this view, would constitute another component in a matrix of fuel cells incubating a mode of mass hysteria. The self-stimulating, autohypnotic loop of will, incubating incubus of fear.
The irony is, blogs are supposed to be where individual voices, liberal and loosely joined, permit themselves a civility of discourse that is both open and strong, critical yet not discriminatory, sensible without falling to mush. Blogs (pace Scoble) are supposed to be the opposite of corporate and institutionalized speech. Yet clearly large numbers of blogs, and podcasts, and all the panoply of vox populi, can be looped into breeders, incubators of ideological phantasm.
Serpentine hyperblogrolls and efforts such as Horowitz's are among the more obvious indicators that blogs no less than anything else can be, are being, militarized, incorporated, into larger cells. Self-energizing fuel cells. Table-top (con)Fusion. Which puts them squarely athwart the militant imagery of mass-marketed brands. Blog street, at the crossroads, finds Madison Avenue:
There was never an institution of production of symbolic uniformity as efficient as advertising. Alphonse Van WordenI want to get back to this - for now, let this serve as placeholder.