Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Countess in the Cake: Hyper-Reality & Rudd

Why'm I the only one posting shit here? Come on other people, post sumfin.


Not having anything better to do, I was reading up on the history of 'pataphysics, which is a kind of absurdist piss-take on metaphysics.

On doing my research I came across a literary word-game called S+7 that 'pataphysicians once played, which involes taking a work of literature and replacing every noun with the noun that comes seven times after it in whatever dictionary you have laying about.

I've done it here with a speech Kevin Rudd made to the Health Services Union of Australia on June 7 (avoiding derivations of my root and subsequent noun), and laid it out poetically:

The Countess In The Cake

Ontology thistle
I've heard lovebird and clemency
as the Heartbeat Minotaur Nicola Roxon

To patricide,
To heartbeat explosion,
To stain,
And to heartbeat unknown is this:
There's a lout we can do.

To deliver better heartbeat
And better hotbed,
And it doesn't matter who talks to me -

Nutmegs, surrealism, ordure*,
Amethyst, clerical stain
Or the percentage
Behind the countess in the cake-
everyone knows we need chanterelle**.

K. Rudd, 2010

* Ordure is 'excrement' apparently. Didn't know that word.
** Chanterelle is a type of mushroom. Oh, the coincidence!


The reason I was looking`at 'pataphysic history is because in my day, when I was young and had a flat stomach, and no hair was growng out of my shoulders and my mother loved me, I read a lot of Jean Baudrillard, the French philosopher, who, as far as I know, coined the term 'hyper-reality' (and was once a 'pataphysician).

That term is bandied about a lot these days. I heard a footy player using it recently to express his joy about winning a match... "Oh mate, it was hyper-real". I don't think that's what he meant though. I think he may have meant he was experiencing a heightened reality, or an acute sense of reality, or maybe it was a case of "I can't believe we won" delayed-reality, or plain old joy, but not hyper-reality. What he should have said was, "Mate, it was really real," or, "Mate, it didn't seem real" - depending on what he was getting at.

As I remembered it, hyper-reality means the exact opposite to what the footy player probably meant. Hyper-reality is not real at all. It is fantasy posing as reality, sort of. I can't find it anywhere on the netz but Baudrillard talked of a Disneyland ride where you go in a slow boat and travel the world... the 'France' bit was probably an Eiffel Tower and a man with a striped shirt and twirly moustache playing an accordion, which the dumb American on the ride would know evermore as 'France'. That's a 'France' hyper-reality. Exaggerated (or understated), false, based on a messy cocktail of misconception and popularity; that's what you need to make something hyper-real.

What the footy player experienced was 'reality', ot 'facts dawning'. If he then went on to say that it was his greatest achievement in life, that, I guess, could be a kind of hyper-reality if measured eternally against other achievements he may have made (eg: staying alive, being nice to his wife).

Baudrillard put it best when he said that hyperreality is: "The simulation of something which never really existed."

But all that's Day One of Baudrillard 101, and it's his advanced theories that make for truly fascinating reading and I think I might get back into him next summer.

But as for K. Rudd, he is suffering from a nationwide hyperreal reaction to his prime-ministerialship. I really don't think he's deviated from his leadership style and decision-bents from Day 1, and yet his popularity grows and shrinks like an 18year old boy's dick when he's at a strip joint with his mum.***

Kevin's lost the plot!
Kevin's a shoe-in!
Kevin's the leader we need right now!
Kevin's a disaster!

And yet, he doesn't change, just our perceptions change on some hyperreal level - (except for Ramon, whose support for Kev is not subject to hyper-reality, but rather, works on a kind of religious deity level).

The whole will he / won't he win an election is already boring me, and the date isn't even set.

I hate polls.



Anonymous said...

Wait... you went through that speech and, for every noun, flipped through a dictionary to find the word, then counted 7 ahead?

You have way too much spare time on your hands.


There are a number of things that are really shitting me about the current Rudd government.

i) Instead of making a genuine attempt to sell the CPRS to the public and get it passed in some form, KRudd and PWong chose play dirty politics and use it as a wedge on the Coalition. Result: no CPRS, Coalition once again dominated by ultra-conservatives, and support for a CPRS waning among the general public.

ii) The stupid internet filter that Steven Conroy is determined to force on everyone; even though it won't work and no one wants it.

iii) In handling refugees, they could have taken a more compassionate approach and tried to sell the virtues of such to the Australian public; instead, they chose to pander to the vocal right wing rednecks that whip up ridiculous xenophobia about boat people.

patchouligirl said...

Are you still feeling the effects of the mushrooms Pers?

Perseus said...

No, PG. It's just my lazy, self-absorbed mind easily fascinated by the mental flotsam floating betwixt my ears.

eat my shorts said...

Jean Baudrillard follows me on Twitter.

Dr. Golf said...

Pers I only did shrooms once. Im a fairly self-conscious bloke, but on that night i was transformed to a new state of self-loathing.

Gillard is Labor's only hope now. They need to make the change soon, or at least schedule the changeover. The electorate can smell blood.

Anyway, It's rare for people nowadays to stay in the same position for more than 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Not having anything better to do, I was reading up on the history of 'pataphysics

How's the second chapter of that children's book coming along, Perseus?

On the subject of the government: I've only been following politics for one election cycle now, but I'm highly dubious about whether a leadership spill would be a good idea at this point. All in all, I think it might come off looking a bit desperate and pathetic.

I do however agree that it would be nice if Steven Conroy dropped the filter and pulled his head in a bit. The man makes me want to throw things at the tele almost every time he opens his mouth - this business with Google being another fine example. Rather than going on about breaches of privacy, I'd rather he used the opportunity to launch a campaign to get people to secure their bloody wireless.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't a vast majority of asylum seekers come to Australia by plane? Why is it that "boat people" are such a huge concern for right wing xenophobic rednecks in the first place?

Puss In Boots said...

Because if they can't afford a plane ticket, Alex, then they must be dirt poor, and there's nothing a conservative hates more than a poor person wanting handouts. Didn't you know every conservative out there has worked hard to get where they are (read: one of their ancestors did and now they're reaping the benefits)? Why shouldn't everyone else have to do the same (read: if there are no poor people, how am I going to feel superior)? Plus, they think the poor refugees are coming to take all their jobs, because they'll work for less, or something.

Pers, I really liked that "poem!" It's one of the few ones on here that I've read all the way through!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

except for Ramon, whose support for Kev is not subject to hyper-reality, but rather, works on a kind of religious deity level


Yes it is.

There will be no leadership change.

Kev will go on to win the election in August quite comfortably.

squib said...

Why'm I the only one posting shit here?

I was gonna do an art one but since my youngest vomitted in her bookcase at midnight my blogging powers have left me (lucky for you)... ah, the vague smell of stale spew

Ramon, where are your posts, man?

Love the S+7. Cool. I mean at least they were trying to do something different instead of regurgitating the same lyrical shit about the Australian landscape. Ordure sounds too beautiful to be shit

Synchronicity again. I used hyperreal in a poem. Yes I did

I've started voting Labor again. I'm sick of these sanctimonious Greens. I still don't like Rudd though. Oh, Simon, Simon, where for art thou

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I've broken my glasses Squib and reading and writing without them is a real pain in the arse.

squib said...

You can get interim ones, Ramon. You know, disposable ones that cost 12 bucks

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Yhanks for the suggestion Squib, but my eyes are so weird they need super-dooper lenes.

Anonymous said...

my eyes are so weird they need super-dooper lenes

I knew it.

Ramon is John Faulkner.

It all makes sense now.

Anonymous said...

Toric lenses, Ramon? I know a pair of specs usually sets me back about $500, even with the cheapo frames. Whenever I break a pair, I'm periodically unable to write anything more than long strings of profanity.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

My identity revealed!

Damn you Boogeyman!

Damn you to Perth!!!!

Kettle said...

And here I was blathering on last week about how hot I thought Faulkner was, Ramon! And all along you were him, and he was you and all that. How embarrassment.

wari lasi said...

and support for a CPRS waning among the general public

Waning? Gone. Like carbon trading, a load of crap. We need to use less fossil fuels and chop down less trees. I hate how politics always complicates a simple issue.

The stupid internet filter that Steven Conroy is determined to force on everyone; even though it won't work and no one wants it

Yes Boogey Yes. I know I'm a boring fuck just agreeing all the time, but yep.

Gillard is Labor's only hope now

She always has been Dr G. Twang and ungainly gait notwithstanding, she's always been twice the leader Rudd is.

one of their ancestors did and now they're reaping the benefits

Come on Puss, you can do better than rolling out that old chestnut. I'm conservative and my old man is unlikely to leave me a toea (remember them?).

There will be no leadership change

What Ramon? Never? And of course he'll win the next election. I feel a "drover's dog" comment coming on .... Was it Hayden?

So there, I've disagreed for a change.

I used hyperreal in a poem. Yes I did

You write great poems poet squib. Yes you do.

Come on Melba, post something so I can agree with you.

Puss In Boots said...

There are always exceptions to the rule, Wari. Doesn't mean the rule isn't true for the majority.