XI. pursuit of happiness (moment for life)
‘wow. i don’t know how to fix this. i don’t know how to fix any of this shit. . . . i just wanted to get some pussy.’ – Project X (2012), dir. Nima Nourizadeh
the last failed attempt at keeping the dancefloor free of communicational intrusion was, according to mark fisher, lady gaga’s telephone. it made impact a decade ago, at a moment when a spotify account still could be obtained through invite only, something that now seems a calm before the platform economy storm that holds the current in its dizzying state.
XII. heads will roll (hit this city)
emptying bins in the street, throwing bags of trash, tvs and vacuum cleaners from a speeding car, jumping fences and smashing mailboxes with sledgehammers, tearing down flags, fucking shit up, lighting shit on fire, throwing it into the air to see glowing specks all over, kicking down signs. all property belongs to everyone, nothing is nobody’s. let’s fuck shit up, let’s go fuck shit up, it’s the mantra throughout ryan trecartin’s junior war (2013). a supercut of parties and open airs and parking lot hangouts, as if real life itself isn’t a web of highlights and fast forwarded passages. the senior is at war with the junior, the junior is at war with the senior and the self simultaneously. damage is inflicted on the nothing-things of the suburb streets, to perform a resistance act of teen punk logic against the world bound to swallow you. the real damage is always the self-inflicted, the arrest and the curfew that will never meet its restrictive goals. damaging oneself is nothing to a teenager, even less to a group of them. it must be that way because observing the adult world approaching like an iceberg at the horizon necessitates training in endurance. if life is passages of nothing and points of ecstacy the ‘one night only’ is a fully logical conclusion to the growing up trauma. the parent never understands the worth in ruining your life over one night only, because the parent is wrapped up in only days, forever laid bare in sunlight, stripped of secrets and counterproductivity. the junior recognises the power of counterproducing, of focusing the energy of a lifespan onto a select few early morning summer hours. the real damage is losing touch with damage. it will happen to most of us, to the best of us. at best we’ll, from the other side, subtly observe and approve the mayhem of youth.
XIII. play hard (all of the lights)
the junior-senior war plays out on account of the senior’s admiration of the junior’s recklessness. just as thomas sees his dad’s mercedes getting fished up out of their pool, and just as his college fund has been deducted from him in favor of repairing his parents’ still smoking house, a stroke of pride flashes in the face of his father. It is apparent that, even during his son’s prison sentence, the father, taken aback at the surprise of his son’s unexpected actions (he is heard early on in the film assuring his wife of their child’s nonexistent coolness), will paradoxically cherish the opposition to his own rules. using this moment as an analogy, žižek likens the father to the ultimate one; that is, god, who tells man to have no other god before him, implying that rules are off when he’s not around watching. the father authority seems to walk a fine line between permission and prohibition, one that doesn’t necessarily fluctuate at times but manages to caress and spank with the same hand movement. žižek continues on to point out the “quasi-sacred character of the party: when it runs out of control, it explodes into what one cannot but designate as a collective experience of the sacred, [...] a vulgar adolescent party [...] ‘intensified’ to a sacred orgy”. the party is at first glance, and probably described this way in the craigslist ads and mass texts that attracts the thousands of people attending, an event of beauty–strobe lights over toned and tanned topless teen girls, cocktails in red cups and fireworks. but as easy as it would be to accept this quick sales pitch of a description, the reality of any rave–the sticky skin, stained clothes, ruined shoes, aching feet, lips swollen from early morning stubble, lukewarm red bull–makes an acceptable one night only neither because those aspects nor the experience they form is particularly enjoyable. just like žižek construes of the event of falling in love with a person as an indifference towards physical attributes (you’re pretty because i love you), the one night only is fallen in love with and therefore ‘fucking shit up’ feels so good–the father constrained by his own regulations can do nothing but watch, despair and regard highly.
XIV. stay high (when love takes over)
love is boundless pain. it is surrendering the future, not to capital, but to the hands of beauty, of a perfectly entrancing person. if pain or stress triggers adrenaline, love must be a perpetual intoxication, as it is nothing but the promise of being cut off. you do not truly love a person who can not potentially destroy you. equally, a summer, or merely a summers night, that has not left your liver, your brain cells, your soul or your criminal record fleshed out and ripped apart on the highway, must have been of no importance. what kills you is your passion, and living passion-less is a life of bureaucracy. that is a death sentence, meaning suffering for a lifetime for the sake of suffering. suffering equally as long for love will go by quicker than batting your eyes at a bartender.
XV. one more time (beautiful exit)
endeavours to reach point X are attempts at forging three forms of bodily removal. the teen is pressured into their own body like fossils into oil and conducts any research possible into ways of releasing pressure. the party, while never engaging enough force to perform simultaneous removals, is a platform for removal of the necessary convergence. like oil extraction, the retaining of energy increases in difficulty–commence the fracking of the self. the framework for removal is ignited and cemented by music, as any proper ritual guidelines are. within this space it is possible to envision exit, transcendence and suicide, a triple vision to end dys-morphic dis-reality.