It is impossible to arrive at consensus over what we must collectively do when there is not even the dimmest outline of consensus regarding what is happening, or what part of our imaginary narrative is real. Many years ago, Philip K. Dick identified reality “as that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Yet strange beliefs become ever more fervent — transcendent, even — as the weight of factual reality slowly and oh so surely attains a crushing critical mass.
Now comes sociologist and political economist William Davies with an essay extrapolated from his recent book, Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World. His closing paragraphs, excerpted below. Images are from Alfredo Jaar’s 1984 project, Searching For K.
Nervous states have a way of resolving through nervous breakdowns.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
You know the rest.