PERFORMING REALITY / REALLY GOING FORM IT
AN ESSAY BY QUEUE SPERANZA
PERFORMING REALITY / REALLY GOING FORM IT PART 3.
Again, frame establishes a specific viewpoint. But in this third installment of "The Greatest freak out ever," the invisible hand of the auteur/author rustles behind the curtain of illusion, creating ripples in the velvet artificiality that until now as achieved a certain trompe l'oeil authenticity.
"He DOES NOT HAVE A MENTAL DISORDER!!! HE IS JUST REALY REALY REALY HOT TEMPERED," proclaims an internal message, juxtaposing "real narrative" with a posteriori "explanation" vis-a-vis the sterile field of the comment box. But is this constructed division actually functional, or is it merely a smokescreen employed by the auteur/author in order to muddle the perceptual divisions that structure our epistemological categories? Is the "stage" itself staged? Or is this really a bold new genre on display, one that tracks the relationship between signifier and signified as they chase each other in ever-shortening spirals around the gravity well of late capitalism?
This third installment of the series proves this point. We see a pick-up truck, so common a signifier of "red-blooded" ("real") American masculinity as to be simulacra. Stephen, struggling to emerge from the constricting chrysalis of adolescence and claim the label of "man" (presumably through a non-generative exercise of penetrative sexual activity conflated with "power") should react appropriately to this gift. It is, after all, a powerful weapon for someone socially compelled to "slay" women (we shall discuss the etymological origins of the term "lady-killer" below). The scale of authenticity tips towards awareness; the messages of the auteur/author tilt towards profit. So the world goes:
But Stephen does not react as we expect. He takes up arms against the offending concept, expressing an (un)expectedly violent anger at his double-bind: unable to be a man, unable to express his existential questioning off the very title itself.
The tower crumbles, struck by lightning generated from the friction of quantized identities reasserting primacy at high speeds. The moral field of this universe reorients towards chaos, and Stephen, a quixotic figure tilting at burning windmills, turns his aggression on the ultimate symbol-exhortation: the father.
But again, we must check our sympathies for this pathetic creature raging against the boundaries of his cage, and ask ourselves: just who is the auteur/author? and what is their larger project? Are they lobbing satirical darts from the digital wild? Or are they feigning subversion of "domestic ideals" in order to cash in on the vacuum of self-horror the bourgeoisie are said to be suppressing daily?
The story rolls on, but from where, we may never know. What is real? What is shadow? And where are the signs that will tell us so?