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April 13, 2024, 02:48:58 PM

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Russell Brand: In Plain Sight [renamed]

Started by jazzy_sabotage, September 15, 2023, 04:30:40 PM

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lauraxsynthesis

Most of the time I see Vampire Castle brought up, it's people pretending that 2013 Mark Fisher was defending Brand himself, often with reference made to all that we knew about Brand in 2023. The point Fisher was putting across was the gross patronising and dismissal Brand got from Paxman and the Establishment generally which ultimately came from class snobbery. Brand's a cock, but he also was on the receiving end of classism and scorn for not having gone to university, having an Essex accent etc.

Fisher largely disavowed Vampire Castle, but it seems to me that the critique of identity politics holds up. Whenever I see kids on Twitter slagging off Fisher for defending a rapist he didn't know was a rapist, it turns out it's because they're angry that anyone would dare say that there are problems with idpol. 

Video Game Fan 2000

#1951
"the vampire castle" image itself being one of the biggest foot bullets in the history of discourse. of course people who think idpol are cool are also gonna want to hang out with vampires and like gothic imagery

Quote from: lauraxsynthesis on January 12, 2024, 04:05:08 PMWhenever I see kids on Twitter slagging off Fisher for defending a rapist he didn't know was a rapist, it turns out it's because they're angry that anyone would dare say that there are problems with idpol. 

exactly and the real offense here is that this attitude often expresses that someone thinks being critical of identity politics is a worse crime than rape, that rape can just be instrumentalised to attack critics of malignant particularism and reactionary trends in the academic/ngo world. that really greivous acts of violence and abuse mainly have value in how they can be used to defend idpol or attack idpol depending on which side one is on. school shooting? celebrity commited horrible sexual crimes? i must immediate take to twitter and make it clear how this shows how people who hate identity politics are always bad/always right

im not a big fan of fisher and he definitely was occassionally guilty of misrepresenting right wing or 'bad' figures to suit whatever theoretical construction he was promoting, but this was bad

part of the issue with Vampire Castle is that it ending up with the wrong audience. if you read it understanding the offline trends that went into the online trends he's complaining about, how austerity ended up repeating the embrace of institutional embrace of postmodernism that happened alongside thatcherism and reaganism in the 80s, then it makes logical sense. however a lot of peopole reading it i think we only aware of things online and specifically how online was influence local politics for the first time. they lacked context and it seemed like one set of unalloyed good ideas (tolerance, difference, inclusion, etc) were being pilloried for no good reason other than White Man Wants To Be Protagonist

authenticity is an idea that always comes back when people are poorer, and its a bigger and bigger cudgel the poorer that they are. i think Vampire Castle choose the wrong target (my complaint with Fisher in general) - he went after the behaviour and not the clump of fallacies and thought-terminating clichés that justifies it. the job of a theorist should be to provide alternatives, and in the 2008 - 2014  window a lot of really shitty ideas were getting nailed into the walls and a lot of them are still with us. not least the twin fallacies that a universal is just an oppressive particular, and that there are no generic or shared positions to speak from, only unmarked categories.

neov1974

Recall when this all came out and his defenders were staunchly advocating that "they" wanted to take him out because of how close he was to the Real Truth.
And now, months on, he's still grifting away, with the only even vague consequence that he's unlikely to return to the conventional mainstream that he'd already moved past anyway.
It's almost as if the reported allegations were based on people's real lived experiences and weren't part of a conspiracy to silence him after all

Video Game Fan 2000

Quote from: lauraxsynthesis on January 12, 2024, 04:05:08 PMWhenever I see kids on Twitter slagging off Fisher for defending a rapist he didn't know was a rapist, it turns out it's because they're angry that anyone would dare say that there are problems with idpol. 

there's also the grim idea that its "obvious" who is guilty of this sort of things are we should have known from the beginning, everyone in the know already knew, etc.

the idea that it should have been obvious is uncomfortably close to the idea that victims should know better

Pink Gregory

being remarkably ungenerous here, and I am willing to be corrected, but I get the impression that in the case of any putatively 'left' figure embracing Brand once he got hold of the revolutionary imagery, started saying things in that direction etc was probabably a bit of a case of 'someone famous and popular agrees with us!'

there was an enthusiasm to embrace him that I feel was a little premature, perhaps

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on January 12, 2024, 04:28:00 PMthe idea that it should have been obvious is uncomfortably close to the idea that victims should know better

this is what comes along with the increasing understanding of consent; probably a lot of what he was doing with people who didn't end up as his victims was consensual, so it was easy to assume that it all was.  That was the space that he committed his crimes in and convinced his audience - well, some of his audience - of his innocence in.

Video Game Fan 2000

Quote from: Pink Gregory on January 12, 2024, 04:39:09 PMbeing remarkably ungenerous here, and I am willing to be corrected, but I get the impression that in the case of any putatively 'left' figure embracing Brand once he got hold of the revolutionary imagery, started saying things in that direction etc was probabably a bit of a case of 'someone famous and popular agrees with us!'

there was an enthusiasm to embrace him that I feel was a little premature, perhaps


i think there was a lot of disillusionment at the time where a lot of figures who'd end up in media rolls, supporting vaguely left wing ideas were either doing a bad job at it or were not leftist themselves, just peoples whose politics aligned. thinking of the Hitchens/Galloway thing as an example - neither of them was a very respectable figure, neither of them "left wing" in any appreciable sense. in the states and europe it could often be the same, where people leading "left" discussions were either libertarians or progressives who had little to no commitment to left ideas beyond totemic ones like War Bad and Ecology Good. we've kind of regressed back to that point already via all the liberal "anti fash" stuff online that's somehow both anti-idpol and anti-socialist

someone who was a bit edgy, briefly had a big youth audience and was skilled in interviews seemed like a break. no one had any idea that the internet would take over everything and fill every inch of left discourse with collegiate american bilge. so it felt like the Occupy moment and everything around it might have gone somewhere other than the old media/new media fork that was being presented.

fisher himself had a history of projecting leftist beliefs on people who gave him no reason to think that (the stuff about Mark E Smith will always stick with me as a terrible example of how to engage with alternative culture material as an academic or writer) so it was utterly predictable that he'd want to cast Brand as a distinguishing moment in the left's engagement with the media. 

ajsmith2

Exiting The Vampire Castle sounds like the title of or even a prompt from a mystiqueful half forgotten dark fantasy 80s text adventure or 90s point and click adventure game. Lure Of The Temptress kinda vibes. The title does make it stick in the mind as this huge portentous thing.

I don't think it's defence of Brand is spurious cos he is alleged to be a serious sex offender a decade on, I think it's spurious cos his politics seemed to me (and I think time has proven them to be) empty shallow grandstanding bollocks, they came across that way to me at the time and I can't believe so many found him impressive.

Video Game Fan 2000

Quote from: Pink Gregory on January 12, 2024, 04:41:47 PMthis is what comes along with the increasing understanding of consent; probably a lot of what he was doing with people who didn't end up as his victims was consensual, so it was easy to assume that it all was.  That was the space that he committed his crimes in and convinced his audience - well, some of his audience - of his innocence in.

this is what hate the most about the way the liberal internet engages with these issues

they have a whole sophistry about tropes, discourse, the way people present themselves and what gestures and reference points mean "rape" in an abstract sense. so anyone endorsing a figure who does these bad things must themselves also be bad. it turns the whole issue into one about being smart, knowing and seeing the fnords, being aware of the latest consensus about a certain person. what goes for "supporters" can all to easily also go for "victims" and we've already seen a manufactured distinction between high status victims whose plight demand sympathy and a reckoning, and low status victims who just should have known better.

with brand and manson you do see glib "wow what a surprise" reactions by the dozen and i can't think of anything less personally charitable or understanding. and its even worse when people want to quickly tie to that to a condemnation of whatever political or cultural bugbears they might have.

Quote from: ajsmith2 on January 12, 2024, 04:49:05 PMExiting The Vampire Castle sounds like the title of or even a prompt from a mystiqueful half forgotten dark fantasy 80s text adventure or 90s point and click adventure game. Lure Of The Temptress kinda vibes. The title does make it stick in the mind as this huge portentous thing.

i think that was the point. it was by Mr Hauntologies and his House of Psychedelic Mysteries after all

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on January 12, 2024, 04:47:12 PMi think there was a lot of disillusionment at the time where a lot of figures who'd end up in media rolls, supporting vaguely left wing ideas were either doing a bad job at it or were not leftist themselves, just peoples whose politics aligned.

it stinks of desperation a little bit - the idea of having a voice to get the 'ideas' out there, when surely the point is that those ideas are, at their heart, quite simple and the difficulty is how they are prevented and subverted by ruling class interests or more liberal diversions of them (as opposed to communist or anarchist)?

Like, you don't just get turned leftwards because a figure like Brand says something vaguely left-sounding on television; it can be galvanising, sure, my own nascent leftward turn is largely down to social media and podcasts rather than e.g.workplace organising or study, but like everything he did it was about him.

Video Game Fan 2000

state and for profit media were both relunctant to give a platform to serious anti-war, anti-capitalist and environmentalist people and grandiosity

but its not such a problem to have someone just saying IF ONLY WE COULD ALL JOIN HANDS AND RESIST THIS EVIL, YEAH? if only the people could just get together and each other, and end pain! we'd be free! it says nothing dangerous. same reason as 90s media was full of coverage of quirky conspiracy theorists going on about the moonlanding, jfk, david icke and his lizards, area 51, etc. it was much better than presenting a realistic view of the 90s/00s far right

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on January 12, 2024, 05:05:55 PMstate and for profit media were both relunctant to give a platform to serious anti-war, anti-capitalist and environmentalist people and grandiosity

but its not such a problem to have someone just saying IF ONLY WE COULD ALL JOIN HANDS AND RESIST THIS EVIL, YEAH? if only the people could just get together and each other, and end pain! we'd be free! it says nothing dangerous. same reason as 90s media was full of coverage of quirky conspiracy theorists going on about the moonlanding, jfk, david icke and his lizards, area 51, etc. it was much better than presenting a realistic view of the 90s/00s far right

one has to be wary of people that disavow theory, because those vague notions of shadowy figures in power and images of spontaneous popular, vaguely defined 'revolution' as opposed to organisation or even historical understanding of revolutions, maps really easy on to boilerplate far right conspiracy stuff.

Video Game Fan 2000

well yes that's we've had the idea of authentic grass roots revolution versus out of touch intellectuals and national-level parties fed to us since the cold war era.

fisher himself wrote about this more than a few times which is why its a bit sad he fell for it himself with Brand

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Video Game Fan 2000 on January 12, 2024, 05:15:40 PMfisher himself wrote about this more than a few times which is why its a bit sad he fell for it himself with Brand

can't say he was wrong to feel the desperation, just now he's ossified in time because he died