Make Beer Great Again, Lindsay Sorell, 2016. Motorola photo.
Photo Courtesy of the artist
Unmoored in the middle of nowhere.
John finds himself stranded in the dirt-encrusted mining town of Bundanyabba on his way to Sydney for the Christmas holidays. He meets Doc, Jock, Joe, Dick, Tim—yes—even a Jim. He finds himself gambling away all his money. Getting shitfaced for days with the locals. Stabbing a wounded kangaroo to death. Tries to hitchhike out but is mistakenly brought back. Then abruptly, his holiday ends. He goes back to the even smaller rural town he came from. On to teach children for another semester.
The epigraph above comes from this book I picked up a couple years back, Going for Coffee: An Anthology of Contemporary North American Working Poems. It rakes you through labour, cyclicity, senselessness, exhaustion, ham, maggots, never-ending-ness. Senselessness—the desert, slasher films, chaos—this devolvement into the panic of arc-lessness, no beginning, middle, or finish, re-presentation with infinite iterations; doesn’t sound good, but this is Issue 005.
When Marilou Lemmens says, “…if you don’t have a goal when you act, there isn’t an end for an action. It can continue forever,” and Bogdan Cheta says:
what is the point to analyze
life when life itself seems to be
such a careless and unpredictable
and Carol J. Clover says, “slashers lie for all practical purposes beyond the purview of legitimate criticism,” and I turn to my co-worker behind the grocery counter I says, “You know, Lonnie, sometimes I just get tired of working all the time,” and he says, “You know man, I was just thinking that,” and we stand there side-by-side for a moment, looking out across the counter at the packaged nut section2
—we are left to wrestle with senselessness. I mean, on one hand: I believe the Final Draft is a capitalist notion. On the other, I strive for it. That cyclicity, questions of productivity, what is “worth” our time, what fits within our “purview,” is what Issue 005 returns to over and over again. We, members of the internet, wander, rendered helpless by the infinity of knowledge we are presented with—shocked by American politics, violence, the failure of democracy, the failure of the economy, trends in the art world, flailing, protesting—trying to figure out how to implement our beliefs as fast as we are asked to. We are wrestling with babelization, with the thoughtless blending of disciplines, cultures, and geographies, with our individuality, and most of all, with strandedness.