Saturday, 10 March 2007
My website is quite basic at present. It mostly gives information about my publications, providing links to publishers like Amazon who sell them, and something about my interests. I would welcome comments about the site and any suggestions to improve it. As with many people, I have limited time to update and add things, but do plan ASAP to make additions e.g. further articles and interviews I've done, something about the South Bank Shows I co-produced in the 1990s and the scholarly series I founded, commission for and edit for the Edwin Mellen Press Critical Editions and Translations, etc. Otherwise, if anyone wants to enter into dialogue with me concerning work I've published or about anything that may be related to what is happening now in what I consider to be the troubled world of university education, do get in touch.
But not just education. For many aspects of life over the last ten years, I believe that the deadness at the heart of corporate mentality is a disease infecting language and our organicism as human beings, the way we are encouraged to behave toward one another. It's not just the spin-and-target-led facile policies of New Labour that's doing this, not merely 'policy' - that's more or less a continuation of what's gone on since the eighties - not all of it bad, but now rather badly skewed into culturally shallower directions.
More importantly, this market skewing towards means rather than ends embodies a power strategy shored up by an army of government under-labourers across the whole bureaucratic shebang of society. The deadly corporate culture with millions of us stuck in front of screens every day sending and responding to emails is totally counter to our biological, emotional, and social natures as human beings. Who wants to sit in front of a screen all day long - do you?
The outsourcing, market-led, dumbing-down, call-centre culture, much of it geared to consumption of either a routine or merely hedonistic kind (nothing wrong with hedonism at times of course!) and being enforced through a ubiquitous and narrowly commercial mentality promoting 'the surface,' is creating a society of what Shakespeare in his plays called 'seemers': people 'seeming' to have integrity or a concern for others but whose negotiations with life are superficial and based pretty much cynically on how things seem or look - whether they know it or not.
The deadly corporate mentality, the empty seemers-culture and the cynical spin-led mentalities which we are all being encouraged to internalise and propagate are only parts of the malaise: but it's important that these forces are reduced or reversed and overcome - for things like these embody the new agencies of power in our society - we being the agents as 'consumers' conveying them for the empty-headed celebrities (whether in government, commerce or fashion) promoting them - at the very least it's superficial and throw-away, not promoting really human connections - at worst it's creating mediocrity. I'm no killjoy - but I get little or no joy from the dream factory that moronic celebrity culture is encouraging others to believe in or act upon.
Discuss or die!!
Long live the living arts!! that must challenge and not serve the corporate/commercial/fatuous celebrity culture.
Damien Hirst and your skull take note!!