"If I get elected... they will be terrified. I myself will be terrified."

(thanks to the Institute for sending me down this rabbit hole.)

Koichi Toyama. Somewhere between Bakunin and Badiou, the ceaseless work of negativity speaking the obvious, our constant complicity and non-anxiety in the face and façade of participatory democracy, the "festival of the majority."

A later speech, running for U.S. presidency. If Japan, under the carrot-stick of U.S. hegemony, is little more than a economically elevated 51st state of the union, why can't Koichi run? I now deeply regret my leaving the "President" part of my ballot blank. I thought it was a null decision between the non-choice of majoritarian politics in a state where the decision toward Obamamania was a given. I have here found, retroactively, my write-in candidate.

And, as is the fate with all things that sparkle and stick sand-like a bit in our Internet memory, the mash-up is inevitable.

Although this tempts a dour response that this is analogous to the hamstringing of compelling, idiosyncratic, iconoclastic figures and moments of thought (the kind of campy defanging I've mentioned previously regarding zombies, trash, all things dirty, undead, and "low"), this works quite well, in relief to the Daily Show mode of Darth Vader-ing Dick Cheney, etc. The perhaps unbidden joke here? The imperial theme given stridency to this contemporary Mishima of anti-imperialism. There is no aesthetic experience that is fundementally imperialist. There is stirring, and there is banal. We just need to get our heads clear, wear our minority on our chests as more than joke t-shirts of virtuoso consumption, and dust off our symphonic solidarities. Minority festivals as more than a catchphrase for institutionally sanctioned diversity days... Hypocrite voter, mon semblable, mon frère! Apparently, shaving your head and admitting terror at the prospect of what you yourself advocate is a first halting, unsettling march step.


Seb said...

Japan currently holds $686 billion of US debt, second only to China - who's got whose economy by the balls?

I sampled this guys speech at a live show here in Tokyo and it brought the house down. For a country whose political apathy makes the average American look downright zealous, there seems to be an amazing amount of (at least) sympathy for the few who voice radical opinions. I regretfully suspect, though, it's more a combination of shock & envy than a spark of solidarity or inspiration.

Benjamin said...

Finally a politician with a truly constructive programme...
It's amazing - not pure 'abstract negativity' but the 'determinate negation' of capitalo-parliamentirianism coupled to the best self-demolition of the imperial self-image.
Best thing since Oshima's Night and Fog in Japan