All Posts By: athene

Apocalypse Rising

Vice Magazine’s most recent issue on Power and Privilege includes what they call a “brief guide to making a better tomorrow.” It’s a piece that reads more like a jolt of caffeine when maybe what we really need is a hard look into our psyche. Given that this same issue addresses the robots coming for our jobs and the inevitable collapse of capitalism, the guide—a list of five simple platitudes—rings somewhat hollow.

Here at Lucenti, we aim to create conversations about “how to fight, how to organize, and how to overcome.” We try to “shine light” in a world where darkness “carries with it a fascist taint.” We strive to build a community of individuals with shared values to protect ourselves and our loved ones from rampant, unchecked capitalist imperialism. I fear we do not always have our desired impact.

It’s no easy task to build a mutual aid society such as ours. In today’s world, when even our allies struggle to find common ground, it may seem impossible. But when ecological collapse seems all but certain, what could be more important? We cannot survive the rising apocalypse alone. We need community to nurture and sustain us. We deserve more than simple platitudes to guide us.

The problem, Slavoj Žižek argues, is that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Scientists warn the UN that the environment can no longer absorb the so-called “externalities” of capitalist political economy. The leader of the “Free World™”—with his self-proclaimed “natural instinct for science”—dismisses the issue with little more than a narcissistic fart. When our only escape from the established order appears apocalyptic, we may as well prepare for apocalypse, right? But what does that even look like?

The apocalypse lies beyond an event horizon. We will never know what’s supposed to come after it. I suspect that’s why we resort to vague but hopeful platitudes in our desperate attempts to answer the question, “what is to be done?” In words that reflect what we’ve been writing here at Lucenti all along, Vice says, “Find what lights you up, and the people who reflect and grow that light, to the extent you can give your life, or at least part of it, to what you truly care about.” And while I agree, I think it’s time we start thinking about building a political program. The fight for the present will determine the path of the future, and the future is far from settled.

“Where Dust and Death are Neighbors”

On December 20, 2017, Gary Numan opened his show in Salt Lake City with the words, “We live in a windswept hell, Where dust and death are neighbors, We hide in a perfect storm, Not even God remembers.” Packed hot and sweaty into the small sold-out venue, his multi-generational fan base crooned and swayed with him, letting a godless apocalypse wet their dry lips. I commemorated the show with…

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The Botfly

I took a walk down to my beloved Utah Lake recently with every intention of stripping down to my briefs, wading into the water, and swimming out to the buoys. But when I arrived and approached the water’s edge, I hesitated. A thin layer of grime floated on the surface. I couldn’t tell if my repulsion originated in my biological intuition to stay safe or the comfortable sense of…

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Ahhh, the Good Ol’ Days

I’m not very old. But I’ve been around long enough to have experienced some shit. At thirty-six, I’ve been an adult for half my life—if you accept our society’s arbitrary age at which we supposedly reach adulthood—and I’ve watched the world around me evolve. By “the world around me,” I mean the place I live, the people in it, and my relationships to both. I describe it as “evolving”…

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But the Top Twitched, And You Missed the Point

I tell students that if they want to take my classes they should make themselves comfortable with ambiguity. To illustrate what I mean, I ask them to consider the final scene from the movie Inception. A lot of people after seeing that movie want to ask, “do you think the top stopped spinning, tumbled, and fell, revealing the current events to be a dream inside a dream?” You’re asking…

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Patriotic Inebriation

We have come to implicitly accept that ideas spread like viruses. When we describe some idea as “going viral,” we conceptualize it as a microbe that infects host after host until it reaches epidemic proportions. Some experts argue that this is not an entirely accurate way of understanding the process. But ambiguities are an inevitable result of any argument from analogy. (The beauty of language—for me, anyway—is how it…

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Ain’t Misbehavin’

“If the right words existed,” the old saying goes, “the music wouldn’t need to.” This is basically scripture to those of us who practice a spiritual relationship with music. Just as religion is supposed to connect people to a world beyond this one, music reveals thoughts, feelings, and insights otherwise unknown to language and therefore to us. Music does what lucenti describes. It lights up the darkness. Growing up,…

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High Infidelity

We left the party in a drunk stumble neither of us had the maturity to manage. The night would’ve felt warm had the house we escaped not been stuffed with sweaty bodies. I tipped the last of my drink out of the bottle and into my mouth before dropping it into the garbage can at the curb. She closed her eyes and let the air outside wash over her….

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Bloggus Interruptus

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to celebrate love. missdansie left for her honeymoon in Germany, of all places, last weekend. Don’t worry, y’all. She’ll return soon enough. (pictured from left to right: missdansie, miggs, and athene)  

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