Voyou Désœuvré

“Yoü and I” is comfortably the worst song on Born this Way (well, on the standard edition; bonus track “Black Jesus / Amen Fashion” is basically everything bad that people who don’t like Lady Gaga say about her songs); an all too accurate re-creation of a dark period of early-90s MOR, painful for all of us who remember the 16-week reign of terror of  “(Everything I do) I Do it for You.” The video is good, though, following Gaga’s usual pattern of stitching together signifiers in the hope of creating some kind of theoretical life. My favorite thing about the video is the presence of Gaga’s drag alter-ego, Joe Calderone. Partly this is just because of a personal, erm, interest in women in masculine clothes, but it also brings up, or at least reminds me of, various questions about essentialism and gender. Read more↴

That Jameson quote that Zizek loves, about it being easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, is often mentioned in the context of our (I mean, late capitalist culture in general’s) love of apocalyptic scenarios. But the phrase also reminds us of something perhaps more important: that capitalism itself is necessarily incapable of imagining its own end. As Marx writes:

As representative of the general form of wealth—money—capital is the endless and limitless drive to go beyond its limiting barrier. Every boundary is and has to be a barrier for it. Else it would cease to be capital—money as self-reproductive. (Grundrisse)

This is, rather unexpectedly, one of the main themes of recent computer game Portal 2. Read more↴