I had a long awaited Zoom catch up yesterday with a long standing and dear friend who I worked with out in the U.S over twenty years ago (I was a mere embryo, hence my youthful good looks.)
I would help make money by heading out to steal luxury goods and deal high grade narcotics, which was the perfect crime as my finger prints had yet to form.
These days we are all grown up and responsible Gents, of impeccable character – just ask my probation officer.
After we had dispensed with the reminiscing of the joy we had trolling the Spam(tm) telephone hotline, with bizarre questions and requests, (one such example was asking if it would be against copyright to name our fictional child ‘Spam’ – the poor child still has no name), it was time to get down to the nitty gritty.
Situationism, is a topic of conversation that is usually met with the glazed look of a sheep trying to understand quantum physics I usually whenever I broach the subject. Mostly because, people in general do not care for conceptual ideas, particularly those which have a suffix of ‘ism’.
Art in general is an area of study which is often viewed as not having the same value as a ‘proper subject’, like Power Klingon. And I would suggest reflects modern societies perspective on art, as either high pomposity or contrived artefacts created for the purpose of making money.
My view of ‘art’ (and I use this across all disciplines, theatre, painting, sculpture, etc.), should grab the audience/reader by the throat and repeatedly smash itself into your psyche and then set you on fire.
Perhaps one reason for the lack of value placed on ‘art’, in today’s modern world, many original or powerful artefacts have been appropriated and homogenised into the machine of commercialism and arguably has lost any actual value and is merely another spectacle to distract an individual from theirselves.
Situationism, is about smashing through that spectacle, even for a moment and give the individual a break from the constant bombardment of images designed to fuel consumer behaviours of, more, more, more.
The machine tells us that more = happy, yet I have yet to buy anything which has filled the void within the self.
Within Stoic thought, ‘happiness’ is considered a vice – for it is a transient state of being.
Where as ‘Joy’ is considered a virtue, this separation does seem strange as some might argue that they are two sides to the same coin.
But are they?
Joy is something which is attainable and more fulfilling as it has fixed boundaries, which can actually be accomplished by doing an activity which you enjoy.
Happiness on the other hand is perhaps harder to define its boundaries, how many of you would like to be happy – yet outside having more money (to consume) what other metrics are there to measure happy?
Consumerism is like eating at an all you can eat buffet, yet never being satisfied (arguably not dissimilar to McDonald’s.) Or chasing a rainbow which is always three steps ahead.
Joy comes from within therefore attainable, why not take a moment to consider how you can find some simple joy/pleasure in your day?
It has to be cheaper than a new I-Phone.