A FREE MARKET PRESS

mangle2X

Abstract: The naked and frightened novice in the world begins his or her slide downward. First meeting business men out for a quick buck, then celebrities posing for a price and finally lovers in it for themselves. The lovers are not as single-minded as the others, the rich and powerful. Neither lover wants it all. One only wants to watch and the other wants only to win.

[ . . . ]

This Bosch (or maybe Bruegel, Hogarth or Grosz) -like work is an explication of the life of suffering beings. Typical of these artists mentioned as instructor to this work, the “painting” shows a crowded scene from a somewhat elevated view. the artist is above it, all so to speak. The figures show are types everyone encounters in life rather the real people encounters by any one individual. They are what they are doing, nothing more.

In the beginning, Mr. or Ms. Dasein gets pushed into the machines of existence as a social being, a self among other selves, he or she gets flattened over time: all individual qualities are pressed out for the benefit of others. The first press extracts wealth. This press efficiently remove wealth from workers’ labor then return a tiny bit of it as wages. The economic elite knows full well it will get it all back eventually with additional pressings.

The ever-more two-dimensional individual is pressed again and his or her just-earned wages are extracted, and returned the economic elite. Here the workers exchange wages for status or rather the illusion of status because with this pressing all they get is a passing association with a consumable only superficially and temporarily associated with a celebrated or powerful other.

Then there is lovers, smitten with a desire often felt before that for wealth and status. But here, for the composition’s sake, made last among them to be memorialized. Love, at first, is a pleasant combination of sex and other intimacies, but eventually the antagonisms inherent in its work-like nature drive out the good and the fading of its thinly applied status expose the bad. Love, then, becomes a third pressing, also for the benefit of the others, where often nothing remains and there’s nothing left to extract.

 

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