Archive | May 2016

The End of Irony?

I don’t know why some observers now speak of a “post-ironic” phase. I see ironies everywhere. Neo-liberalism now on the defensive, even according to the IMF — withering from with, as Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty describes it, (citing an internal IMF research paper “Neo-liberalism: Oversold?”). Meanwhile The Brain of our time, the inheritor of Sir Isaac Newton’s chair at Cambridge University, Stephen Hawking, who announces the death of philosophy but expresses bafflement and perplexity at the popularity of Brand Trump in America with average Joe and average Josephine of The Adverse, while North Korea’s LittleBig Dictator, Kim Jong Un, heartily endorses Trumpismo. He apparently likes the idea of walls.

Looks to me more like the intensification of the ironic rather than any kind of “post-ironic” transition.

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Nocebo Effect

I have a humourous anecdote to relate about my own experience with the “nocebo effect”. Nocebo effect is, as you may be aware, the opposite of the placebo effect, although both belong to what we might call “the magical mode” of consciousness and are very much involved in the “intentionality” of consciousness.

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You are all familiar with the myth and legend of Parsifal (or “Percival” in English) — even whether or not you realise it and know it as such. It’s blasted across the airwaves every day. It is, perhaps, even the ruling myth of the Western sensibility, with very old roots in the Hermetic Philosophy. Rudolf Steiner reputedly even adopted the legend of Parsifal as his pedagogical model and pattern for his Waldorf Schools. Luke Skywalker, in The Star Wars franchise, is consciously modeled on Parsifal, and the legend is the very likely candidate as model also for “holistic branding” or “brand religion”.

Years ago, in the old Dark Age Blog, I commented on how the Parisfal legend marked the beginning of the High Middle Ages — the story of the fool who becomes a Grail Knight — and ends with Don Quixote, the knight who becomes a fool once more and is mocked by the upcoming revolutionary bourgeoisie. Parsifal and Don Quixote “book end” that Age — are its Prometheus (forethought or foresight) and its Epimetheus (afterthought or hindsight); it’s rise and fall. The original Parsifal, though, is Hermetic code — an alchemical fable.

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