before i forget autumn wallpaper, the wall fetish, crunching beauty

before i forget autumn wallpaper

Building divisions Political scientist Wendy Brown explains why the world is seeing a boom in wall building

Sensible homeowners know the solution: put up a fence. Keep what’s yours in and what’s theirs out. Nation states have increasingly taken notice of this strategy. In the last 20 years, several dozen wall-building projects have commenced around the globe, from high-profile projects like the US-Mexico wall and Israel’s ever-evolving, near-schizophrenic wall into and along the West Bank to less well-known projects like Morocco’s berm against the Western Sahara, Padua’s Via Anelli Wall (separating white middle-class neighborhoods from the so-called African ghetto), Brunei’s wall against immigrants and smugglers from Limbang, or the double-wall being built on the China-North Korea border, China building to stem the flow of refugees and North Korea seemingly to appear important.

[  ]…In “Walled States, Waning Sovereignty,” Wendy Brown, a political science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, traces this spate of wall building, and argues that the recent explosion in wall building during an era of ever-increasing global connectedness signals an underlying anxiety inherent in the modern state. When culture, ideology, and religion are the dominant perceived threats to nationhood, a kind of hysteria introduces a state of more or less constant emergency. The best technology nations seem to be able to find is also the oldest.

There has never been a wall that has been successful for long. The U.S. border fence with Mexico (estimated cost $3 billion) is already a failure , an ecological nightmare and an intrusion on the property rights of U.S. land owners. Desperation so intense that it would lead 5,000 people die will never be defeated by a wall. Physical walls do seem archaic in a world made so much smaller by technology like the net. Every advanced nation in the world is racing to get new satellites into space, mostly to facilitate communication. We’re having a technological orgy as while we seek to maintain a physical distance. It is almost as though nations have become emotionally distant cads from the 60s. I’ll share with you to get what I want but I won’t hold your hand.

Maybe I’m thinking about this wrong, but I wonder about the subconsious desires of the Mexican border fence supporters. Mexicans risk their lives to get jobs washing dishes, picking grapes and changing sheets. They’re obviously not lazy. The population of Mexico is about 112 million. $3 billion dollars is enough to make every single person in Mexico a millionaire – enough to start a new business and/or make safe investments which would guarantee an annual living income; with enough left over to save the American tax payer a few dollars to keep some teachers employed. That is rational and practical. Which is probably not what motivates fence lovers.

Why Beauty Still Cannot Be Measured

Rather, there are indeed universal patterns of appreciation of beauty – aesthetic preferences valid for humans in every culture.  All humans evaluate objects that correspond to these patterns as beautiful.  /…/ Analogously, recent brain research also teaches that the experience of the beautiful is determined by the internal architecture of the brain, that our subjective neural disposition is decisive for beauty – that beauty is indeed brain happiness.

Not every brain is the same in its aesthetic refinements and preferences even though there are – when it comes to human attractive – some average proportions which are found universally attractive. Which is why discussions – which frequently turn into heated arguments and had feelings – about objectification are too focused on changing people’s organic tendencies and not enough on what they do with those thoughts. Being the thought police is even more fruitless then building walls. Much easier to stop the bullying, humiliation, cultural idolatry and nearly institutionalized prejudices then getting someone to overcome feelings about beauty that go Freudian deep. Rooting around in someone’s psyche is scary business and while it might need doing, as practical matter most of us either can’t  or are not allowed even if we could. Unlike romantic comedies, in real life it is as rare for a young woman who has always dated chisel jawed jocks to suddenly fall for the brainy thin nerd. It is possible to get her to see the nerd as a human being worthy of respect and stop being cruel. Isn’t that the trend in current self-help books – to set reasonable goals, best outcomes, achieved one step at a time.

Wait in line
‘Till your time
Ticking clock
Everyone stop

Everyone’s saying different things to me
Different things to me
Everyone’s saying different things to me
Different things to me

Do you believe
In what you see
There doesn’t seem to be anybody else who agrees with me

Do you believe
In what you see
Motionless wheel
Nothing is real
Wasting my time
In the waiting line
Do you believe in
What you see

Nine to five
Living lies
Stealing time
Everyone’s taking everything they can
Everything they can
Everyone’s taking everything they can
Everything they can

lyrics from In the waiting line by Zero 7