Writing *about* (the necessity of, the difficulty of) imagining new futures, is not the same as actually *imagining* new futures, even though it could be a first step to doing so.
You are misunderstanding what I said, perhaps because you didn't even read what I said, which was "unreadable" for you.
The project of imagining futures was absolutely what these books are about, but they are not about it in the sense that they consist of doing that imagining, but rather in trying to get to a point where that imagining can occur once again.
This project begins by assessing why and how it is currently so hard for us (including for the author) to imagine that post-capitalist future.
If Fisher himself had been able to vividly imagine a post-capitalist future, Capitalist Realism and Ghosts of My Life would make no sense, because in these books he is assessing that inability to imagine a future, a condition in culture and society that extends beyond any of us.
No matter whether individually even depressed or not, in Fisher's view we are all collectively depressed, lowering our expectations and no longer dreaming of revolution.
If Weird and the Eerie marks a fundamental break with that, and consists of a more... free? revolutionary?... kind of thinking, by all means school me. But from what his other friends and associates with access to that manuscript have written, it seems like this project of actually conceiving a future was going to wait until Acid Communism, the book he was unable to finish.
So the future he needed and wanted to conceive was actually, inconceivable within his lifetime, in his published work, and incompletely conceived even in his unpublished work.
That, btw, is a failing of other people and institutions, not of Fisher. He was pushing against immense odds to try to explain why this collective failure of imagination is occurring, while others like Land were trying to make it even more impossible to imagine a post-capitalist, just and equal future, or even to conceive of humanity in a collective way at all.
Where did you address that? Not in this thread. In the essays you linked?
The point isn't that he was a bitter old man in terms of personality, of course not, but-- despite being the opposite of that in his own personality-- he may have slipped into that role more than a few times when he assessed our cultural situation, in his published work and public lectures.
Unlike you, I apologize that I can't draw on whatever he said privately or in secret PDFs only shared with masters and doctoral students, if that was totally different from his public statements. For example on the Land thing, if your posts are correct, he was closer to him up until the end than his public persona would let on (even many people who have studied these guys in depth, but perhaps did not know Fisher personally, have written about a break between the two of them).
I mean no disrespect by this, but I feel like I shouldn't read those essays of yours, given that they seem very personal in nature, and you've been pretty consistently rude to me going back years on here, which I'm afraid could make me react against whatever you say in a way that would not at all be fair to you, and might negatively color my views of Fisher's work, which would be even more unfair to him.
The work in my view is completely separate from what one of his grad students says it means, or even what Fisher himself said it meant. That doesn't mean I'm right about it myself. But I'm within my rights to form my own impression, and out of respect, I've also read a wide variety of things about Fisher written by his friends and colleagues and students, which offer direction in understanding what he was saying.
As you said, he isn't actually all that difficult to understand, because he is not aiming his work at academia solely, and he tries to be clear. My "objectively wrong" take can't be too outlandish either, since you say I exhibit "common" misconceptions, which is to say that a whole lot of writers and critics (and casual readers like myself) have already come to similar conclusions as I did.
I haven't read Fisher himself shoot down most of those interpretations either, which makes sense given that many of his own friends who are music critics or musicians (including Steve Goodman), did not agree at all with his negative assessments of post-2003 music, which unfortunately is not just a matter of divergent taste, because of the way Fisher built that taste judgment into the political observations in Ghosts. As someone who disputes his music taste judgments in that post-2003 time period, of course I will always take issue with the book unless I, too, decide that almost all post-2003 music sucks and even the best is not innovative compared to the '90s, '70s or whatever golden age.
Judging by your own comments, it sounds like he may have actually taken some of this Ghosts criticism (which, unlike certain other criticism he received, seems to have been mostly constructive and respectful) to heart, or in any case for whatever reason, according to you he "moved on" a huge amount from Ghosts in his later work.
You're actually writing more about Weird and the Eerie, which I haven't read, nor am I familiar with Lovecraft beyond a couple of stories. I want to read Fisher's own words before reading one Fisher student's commentaries.
But I WILL read your stuff if it addresses this issue of the "hardcore continuum," and the alleged loss of innovative momentum in post-2003 music, because to say modern music is objectively lacking in *technical* innovation is such a counter-intuitive idea and I actually don't feel it has been adequately addressed by any of the other stuff I've read about Fisher.
You earlier claimed that I'm objectively wrong to dispute Ghosts' view of post-2003 music, which must mean you agree with the "hardcore continuum" theory. Do you give evidence in your writings for how electronic and dance musical innovation allegedly ceased in a technical sense in 2003? Fisher uses jungle's patented technique of time-stretching as an example, claiming that it was the last time a truly unprecedented sound was created. But surely we've all experienced entirely new sounds (whether we love or hate them) created in recent times? What about the use of vocaloid for example, and recent experiments in AI-composed music? Grimes next album has instruments performed by AI.
In this area, I suspect even Land would agree with me: for all its flaws (not that they are flaws in Land's view) capitalism continues to accompany massive technological changes that cause continued disruption-- and technical innovation-- in popular music and dance music.
As I've said, Reynolds did originate the concept of "hardcore continuum" (aka "music has sucked since I turned 35") but Fisher heartily endorsed it and built his own thesis around it as well, going even further than Reynolds in assessing the death of "popular modernism."
I feel that any theory about the struggles we face in moving toward a post-capitalist society needs to eradicate this type of nostalgia, because there will already be almost insuperable obstacles in creating the required revolution, and making it a judgmental cultural revolution that also pisses on the music everyone loves (everyone younger than Fisher and Reynolds) will absolutely ensure its failure. No one wants (or needs) that kind of culturally fundamentalist revolution.
Well, he is no longer around and both of us are still here, so yeah in that sense, any relationship we have with depression or mental illness is very different, but otherwise I would really hesitate if I were you in making generalizations about how my life (of which you know nothing) does or doesn't resemble his, nor have I ever claimed that it did resemble his in any way, beyond saying I *could relate* to what he wrote, which I now learn I am apparently not allowed to.
You sound like one of those mythological Beyhivers who said white people or men aren't allowed to listen to Beyonce (note, almost no one actually said that). I suppose, to REALLY understand Mark Fisher, one needs to have multiple degrees like he did and not only that, to study with the man himself AND share his exact psychological profile.
You know what tho? The Mark Fisher described by every one of his other friends besides your pompous ass, would've hated that idea. The Mark Fisher described by his other friends was interested in *popular* modernism, not elitist modernism (thus his arm's length relationship with the prep school pretense of Radiohead) and he wrote with the intention of reaching more than just some fucking Radiohead-obsessed academics in London.
The Mark Fisher described by his other friends was actually, in his friends' words, so anti-elitist that he was even willing to tolerate faulty thinking (as you've ascribed to me) to a certain degree if the alternative was to isolate himself in an ivory tower and not engage with the less educated sectors of the public.
Various people mentored by Fisher stated that he was incredibly giving of his time even to students who, frankly, were not particularly bright or were intellectually or politically deluded.
You are not Fisher, and I'm not expecting you to show that kind of patience for my alleged ineptitude to understand his ideas, but your posts in this thread-- from your defenses of Land's racist trolling, to your elitism about who has the right to read Fisher's work, relate to it and respond to it-- just are not at all in tune with the way Fisher was described by any of his other friends or students. So I'm a little hesitant to embrace your personal interpretation of who he was. Why don't we both agree to let his work speak for itself from now on.