the ecstatic erotics of binge watching

Stranger Things…a heartwrenching, heart-opening, well-written, well-acted, extraordinary take on science fiction horror, nostalgia, childhood, family, friendship, and love, wrapped in a 17-episode escape-binge unto bliss. Five stars out of four.

Crowley spoke in Book Four of the mystical state of dhyana as “You will completely forget who you are, what you are, and what you are doing.” Clearly I’m not in the physiological state of that, with the pleasure in interruption of thought and engagingly interested interrogation of experience…but metaphorically, yes and indeed. We are born for bliss, and sometimes certain artworks are designed for…nay, deserve consumption in a speedy way, like a hungry man laps up food after a lengthy and unintentional fast. The blurring of the edges between subject and object takes place in states of brilliant flow where creation and consumption occur concordant.

This has been my first legitimate binge-watch. No, I didn’t go without sleep…but the addictive quality of compulsion did quickly override every other desire and plan after my morning routine was complete each day.

Luckily, I’m in the top 1% of income levels globally – yes, in case you were unaware, the exquisite privilege of wealth isn’t merely in the hands of the super-rich billionaires, but rather (when seen from a cosmopolitan view) in that of those who make more than $36,000/year and above – and so I have the luxury to spend a few days focusing only on rest, sleep, and bingeing.

The philosopher in me has interesting questions, like could the demand that art makes on one ever surmount the demand of the ethical? How does one choose from the panoply of options available for consumption of this or that artwork? A meta-ethical/aesthetic criterion? Could it really be an “addiction” if at the end you run out of both the substance you’re consuming…disproportionately and with only a frayed hold on intentionality…and if the desire itself to consume dies as well?

The dream builder in me has more questions…standing in the future fulfilled, my ideal life involves connection, creation, and…consumption? “You have to feed the mind every day,” goes KT. However, what gets chosen is the ethical/pragmatic question…and the impact it has on performance is the next question.

There appear to be good reasons to binge watch.

But then again, perhaps the artwork is only ever equal to the mind experiencing it, created in the experience itself.

insomniac gifts

One major gift of insomnia is that, rather than sacrificing one’s earliest and best energy, intention, and memory of the day to the vapid gods of global capitalism with its imperious colonizing of the best “working hours,” 9-5…you get to spend your time in pursuit of intention, desire, creation, expression.

Or so have I discovered.

This year has been a study in sleep, a research in insomnia.

A choice

Faced with failure and with the possibility that things might not work out how you want them to…how you work so very hard for them to…how you strive and struggle and strain and long for them to…

How do you choose?

Is it more empowering to believe that there’s some meaning to all this, or not?

I’m reminded of John Sheridan…

Capt. John Sheridan: You know, it’s funny, I was thinking about what you said, that the preeminent truth of our age is that you cannot fight the system. But if, as you say, the truth is fluid, that the truth is subjective, then maybe you can fight the system. As long as just one person refuses to be broken, refuses to bow down.

Interrogator: But can you win?

Capt. John Sheridan: Every time I say “no.”

I say no to nihilism. Over and over, as a practice. There must be something to hope for, something we can achieve, something we can do. And if we stay in the game, keep trying, keep moving…eventually we will get there.