If we could only pattern-recognise a perfect storm of theory. Retcon some uniquely specific old story & claim it pre-emptive coagulum of the trendiest currents. We’d be geek giddy. But it, our found ur-text - could it rebuke those paradigms we (in philistine misprision) deemed its progeny?
What narrative could possibly be adequate? It would labour under such demands. It would have to be so fecund, so evocative of so many later moments. We might require of it that it let us take, say:
- from Gnosticism, our universe as a flawed, broken, buggy echo, its creation not preceding but the result of a Fall;
- from the intoxicating if rapidly moribund Salvagepunk, a commodity-inflected version of the vision, a garbage world, & a political subjectivity of the wreckscape;
- from Darwinism, an awesomely amoralised, desperate & contingent niche-struggle (rigorously antipathetic to Nietzschean monkey-spanking);
- from Speculative Realism (which, though precipitously kitsch & still smarting from a brutal smackdown by one of its erstwhile pin-ups, has a few years to run as favoured hipster text-cluster), fascination with i) the arche-fossil, that remnant from before the very possibility of thought, & ii) slime;
- from every single current cultural artefact, an obedient predilection for eschatology, apocalypse porn;
- & from the Weird, that evasive, indispensible aesthetic of crisis-midwifed monstrous, backwashed sublime, formlessness & radical alterity - the abcanny - troth-pledging to incomparably the most important animal in the history of philosophy & the world.
Had we access to such a template, what then might we do?
From Oceanic Mythology by Roland Burrage Dixon.
Take a moment.
This is wreck & ruin of an earlier world. & only the octopus remembers.
We, not octopus, read & reread & reread it, chests fucking hollow with awe.
Now this is what I call a good start to a Saturday morning.