In today’s episode, language blows about the room, the latter’s surfaces pulsing, oscillations occurring in rapid unit time intervals. Nothing works anymore; media bubbles have us quarantined. The ungraspable totality leaves us lost by the river, our hours stolen away from us, leaving us little time to think. Consciousness drops anchor, sinks part of itself down into objects. I’m also trying desperately not to get sucked back into another asceticism. Object-worlds: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. (Thanks, folks, I’ll be here all night.) Friends throw shade, say “Take a look at yourself.” None of this happens: I’m just making it up in my head. Isn’t that sometimes a fantasy of ours? The DIY primitivist aesthetic. By Season Four, the characters on Halt and Catch Fire have become the early 90s Silicon Valley types hallucinated into being via Wired magazine. One of these days, I’ll get around to writing something about videogames and their relationship to the psychedelic aesthetic. Osamu Sato’s LSD: Dream Emulator will certainly figure prominently, as will Fernando Ramallo’s Panoramical.
Dig out the hidden, suppressed history. That’s one thing I really enjoy about Halt and Catch Fire: its historical revisionism. Capitalist education system structured like a pinball table, locking subjects into a downward plummet. I made bad choices, poor decisions. My body failed to comply with my aspirations, and there was no one there to correct me. There is a fundamental tension, Sarah declares, late in the evening and by this point well in her cups, between parental responsibility and truth. No matter how fucked up things are, she says, people have a sensibility that if they tell that truth to their child, they are not a good parent. Your parental responsibility is to give your child a sense that the world is improving, following an upward trajectory. Do you rear a child to think the future is fucked? How do you do both? That’s most people’s only way of imagining they can change the world. When in fact, it’s the way you perpetuate it. We would all be far more radical if we believed and thus lived our lack of a future. “Be like Foucault,” I reply: “Drop acid while camping in Death Valley.”