Archive - 06/12/2012

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THE SPECTACLE & THE WRENCH 3.0

THE SPECTACLE & THE WRENCH 3.0

PART III: THE MONKEY WRENCH

When I think about wrenches, I don’t think about hand tools. I think about hard twists and sudden turns. I think about taking things apart and then not putting them back together. I think about fixing things by breaking them, or by subtle acts of verbal sabotage. No surprise, then, that my favorite type of wrench is the monkey wrench. The origin of the “monkey” modifier is hotly debated among tool historians and experts in other shit no one really cares about, but the consensus seems to be that…eh whatever, who cares.

Say, what is a monkey anyway?  Well, as an anthropologist, I can assure you that they’re definitely not apes, for a wide variety of uninteresting reasons. The easiest distinction to make is that, unlike apes, most monkeys have prehensile tails. That means they can use them like a fifth limb; an adaptation that enables them to excel in the fine art of tree climbing, branch hanging, and just plain fucking around. Once, while slogging it out in the middle of a Mexican jungle, I happened upon a small troop of sleeping howler monkeys. Ever the brilliant adventurer, I decided to serenade them with a series of flash photographs. Reaction from the troop was understandably pretty negative, like screening a Michael Bay flick at an epilepsy convention. The best part was in assuming that the troop would retaliate with a hail of figs and not the unholy barrage of steaming excrement that followed instead.

Most people wouldn’t be too happy about getting dumped on in a rainforest. It’s unhygienic, excessive, and totally unexpected. It can also be pretty embarrassing, if you actually care what monkeys think. But in retrospect, the entire affair serves as an appropriate metaphor for the future of my blog. I, the irreverent  eidologist, keen on illuminating the primordial depths of the social mindset, sandbags some of its most privileged spokesmen with a sudden flash of thoughtless insight. Full of shit from years of mindless excess and utterly oblivious to the rest of the world, the lazy citizens of the status quo hurriedly unleash a jumbled salvo of inaccurate shit bombs. Admittedly, this metaphor forecasts a very messy future; one where this type of melee will undoubtedly become the norm. But since the ammunition of the eidologist consists in large part of the very words people use to excuse, defend, or delude themselves, talking shit should be encouraged, even when no one’s actually saying anything.

Obviously, you’ll need a monkey wrench to provoke these aimless volleys of meaningless monkey dung. Just keep in mind that using one successfully requires proficiency in the art of free thinking, satire, and back-handed subterfuge. Oh, and you should never ever take anything you’re told seriously or at face value. And whatever you do, do not use an allen wrench. I must have a thousand of these fucking things lying around. Allen wrenches are really the one-trick-pony in the science of social satire. They’re only designed to work with hexagonal sockets, and most social phenomena are not hexagonal, whatever the fuck that means. They’re a great tool for lame duck activists and Ikea fashionistas, but lack the mettle needed to wrench apart that entangled mess of backward beliefs, mutilated values, and appallingly unreal mix of prefabricated half-facts that we call “popular culture” or “the mainstream”.

There are many other types of wrenches out there, from hook spanners and alligator wrenches, to impact drivers and chain whips. Power wrenches might seem like an attractive option, especially for beginners looking to quickly deprogram themselves, but should really only be used if you’re the kind of masochistic freak who enjoys having your noodle scrambled by Thor’s hammer on a regular basis. Then there’s breaker bars. These are basically like trying to fix a crack in a window by throwing a rock through it. If your mind has become so jammed up that the only solution is to pulverize it, well then I guess at this point you’re probably more concerned about whether that noose around your neck is going to snap when you kick out the chair beneath you than on the corrosive worldview that put you up there in the first place.

The monkey wrench is all about interrupting the steady stream of popular nonsense with a heavy dose of reality. Be cautious, however, as most people were raised to have a nearly insatiable appetite for historical fiction, self-deception, and imaginary forces. Rousing anyone from their dreamy and insulated understanding of things usually ends pretty badly. This is not to say that you shouldn’t shock them into wakefulness when the opportunity presents itself, only that you must be prepared to intercept the shit storm that will inevitably result. You won’t be able to run fast enough to avoid it, but you can use it to your advantage. You can simply throw it back, so long as you remember to ridicule your opponents for their lack of precision as you’re doing so. Just make sure to wash your hands when you’re finished.


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