Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Afrofuturism And Fashwave

Another great post by House Of The West

A shell script, in computing, is not only a way of giving direct instructions to be carried out by a system, but a way of expanding the limits of what a computer can do. Using the right language, and bundling with a keyword, a computer can carry out a sequence of events on command. I am writing here in the context of open source computing especially. If explained in the right language, the computer will carry out the most sophisticated instructions when given the keyword, with a small program that pushes the limits of what was possible before.

I currently run Ubuntu, or ‘babbys first Linux’ as it is widely and pejoratively known. I don’t need anything complicated, I use my laptop as a word processor and for some studying. Although as a subject, computing interests me. I have talked about some of the political history of computer security in a previous article.  In computing, in most cases, restrictions are malleable and ca be circumvented. Whilst wanton destruction is not interesting, the curiosity that urges us to trespass into dangerous places, or consider innovative ideas certainly is. Perhaps, it is a kind of indicator of intelligence, the will to envision that which is not and bring it into being.

A generation of political dissidents, those who have abandoned the state in favor of race and nation, are not so unlike hackers who source their information by back door into some restricted area. We were never taught to reject anything we had been guided towards. This was never presented as an option. A kind of mind virus, running a heavy process that weighs down all our other faculties. Once it’s gone, we’re free to think clearly about other things. We may not embrace every idea we encounter, but we’ll at least consider them with greater clarity.

Operating a kind of cultural virtual machine, out of step and against the downward cycle of time, our world becomes one within a world. We mark out territory that does not yet exist, and idealize a future in which the leaders of Europe uniquely serve the interests of European people. We are looking forward, although our systems are oriented towards the traditional for the sake of pragmatism, and the beauty often associated with what could have been. I do not (and I am certain many other Europeans do not) refuse the right of others to see in themselves a sense of unfulfilled destiny and future potential.

It is with this computer based allegory I will delve into the ascent of Afrofuturism from its quiet start in the early 90’s to the racially charged release of Marvels Black Panther. I will also try to contrast favorable responses to Afrofuturism with the vehement opposition fashwave has encountered from mainstream media. If our shell, run from our virtual machine is themed with electric green runes set to starlit skies over wide reaching wheat fields, Afrofuturism borrows from European science fiction and draws on a narrative of historic oppression. The man who coined the term, Mark Dery, suggested Europeans be viewed as a kind of alien force who abducted Africans and reshaped their world and history, he described the hideous underbelly of imperialism as being uniquely white and laid it on heavy in his manifesto with regards to the importance of calling out cave devils on their shit.

With a blend of Trotskyist race rhetoric, some run of the mill anti-capitalism and access to the creative opportunities afforded by living in a first world white country Afrofuturism was born. A bold, brave counterpoint to pale, stale fake history. African history is not one of baroque composers, space travel, neo-gothic architecture and maritime expeditions. Thus Afrofuturism strives to be a kind of balm that places responsibility for this fact with the conquest of Europeans, and promises a better future for Africans, hopefully at the karmic expense of Europeans.

The widespread acceptance and celebration of Afrofuturism suggests it not being apart from the machine but entirely part of it. It is not that popularity is inherently bad, but when approval comes from the most powerful, and most International, it is a good idea you do not have to fear for your reputation or security.

As it stands, Europeans are engaged in a struggle for both past and present. We are at times blacked out of history by the likes of Martin Bernal, who whilst likely advocating the divine right of his people to inherit the Middle East also managed to find the time to unravel how ancient Greece was founded by North Africans. Then the recent Cheddar Man debacle, the result of a strange decades long pseudo-scientific journey, with findings not so unlike those of scientists under Stalin whose results always affirmed the party line. Shakespeare was a black woman, white people invented by an evil large headed scientist, didn’t know how to bathe, stole everything etc.

It is interesting to note that Arabs, whose enslavement of Africans endured long after Western Europeans abandoned this practice, get a free pass. They are not cited as an important force in the development of Afrofuturism, whereas Europeans remain essential. In fact I don’t think Derys work ‘Black to the Future’ mentions Arabs once. Despite the exceptionally brutal treatment of Africans at the hands of Arabs, the transformative impact of Islam on North African countries, they are not considered a big player in the reason why Somalia has not colonized Mars.

So if this was the past, what of the future? Unending, eternal and absolute diversity. That is, the state maintaining its import of labour from the developing world and ramping up anti-European sentiment in order to suppress dissidence in advance. Generally speaking, non-Europeans understand on some level that globalism has dealt them a winning hand, and they’d run with any narrative, however fantastical to keep it.

Their narrative, that our past is one of plunder, rape, banditry and cave dwelling. The establishment line, that our future is one of Marxism and the rejection that we exist as anything other than a parasitic melanin deficient subrace. The attitude towards Europeans in Afrofuturism is uniquely hostile, and is being presented as fashionable by those who have worked out how effectively it can be marketed. From one direction we are groomed into becoming ideal servants for international vassal stands, whilst the other promises to enslave and murder us en masse.

European history from an Afrofuturist perspective.

I always ask these people, prior to Colonialism, what did Sub Saharan Africa have to rival Europe in terms of theatre, literature, music and architecture. Cities that outshone St Petersburg, universities more prestigious than Oxford and music more elegant than early renaissance. It is lost on them that the belief there was nothing, then there was colonialism and then came western civilisation, is a gross oversimplification of history.

Whichever direction we look, past or present, it isn’t promising. I’m listening to Estonian folk music as I type this, I have visited an array of castles and stone circles around my countries coastline and my phone wallpaper a fashwave images reading ‘exalt tradition’. Whatever we have, be it as tangible and real as our palaces and universities, or as new to the world as synthpop with Richard Spencer samples, it is diligently kept apart from popular consciousness. This may be done by invoking the horrors of Nazism, by ridicule, by punching us, by proposing we are result of selective breeding and devils on Earth. As far as I can tell, Afrofuturism has been met with no establishment level opposition.

Afrofuturism, an upgrade on the establishment operating that system that we continue to act as a resistance to from within from our virtual machines.

The term instantly piqued my interest. There is more to it than just being another outlet for the hatred of Europeans, although this is a major factor. It existed before the film ‘Black Panther’, although this Jewish creation has given Afrofuturism wide reaching new appeal. Among some of the responses I’ve been met with when raising some questions about the nature of the films underlying narrative have been; ‘You are lucky we allow you to live’ and a girl describing the rape and murder of European children by Arabs as ‘juicy’. Obviously, when not in a controlled, liberal environment like a television studio, we get a more honest insight into radical, racially oriented black identity movements.

We don’t especially care about what Africans think of us, with two exceptions, one is that these movements are unique to majority white countries and are therefore part of our world. The second is that the establishment operates a huge double standard where a European would probably be arrested if they casually said it’d be no loss to the world if an entire section of humanity was wiped out, or that entire human populations should be driven into caves and denied any ancestral home.

Afrofuturism is undeniably racially exclusive. This alone, is not something we take issue with. The entire premise of Black Panther is the potential for something utopian if given enough black racial consciousness and a suitable absence of white people. This is fine too, we do not care. This alone suggests they are no longer around us, which is fine.

No European has ever lost sleep that Haiti is no longer white enough, or that not a single leading character in Nigerian cinema this year has been white. We do not care about how Africans organise, innovate or develop in Africa. We do not care when they don’t do these things either. The myth that Europeans fear the potential Africans have to conquer, build and exceed others seems ridiculous from an outside perspective, but to Afrofuturists Europeans stand between the black slums of today and future African empires.

I recently watched a video about Nigerian villages where the torture of children accused of witchcraft is widespread. A European man had taken on the task of giving some of these children refuge. In one scene he attempted to reason with a man who was expressing his desire to hack up a child with a machete. His reasoning didn’t work. One girl he had taken in could not speak, or stand because she had a nail hammered into the top of her skull. These problems are not addressed by Afrofuturism, they are not useful plot devices in the way pigskinned cave dwellers emerging from the depths and burning African libraries are.

The film Black Panther film deals with an African ethnostate called Wakanda, its primary natural resource is Vibranium, which at one point in the Jewish Marvel universe was sought out by by Nazi invaders. The continued existence of the Nazi menace does a great deal to oil the machine of Internationalism.

AfroFuturism, with Wakanda, is a kind of mournful retelling of history. CNN describe it themselves as a ‘re-imagining’. A quick Google search suggests the first diamond mine in South Africa was built in 1867. I struggle to find any secret black history site, the kind where obscure caliphate leaders are white and pharaohs are black, giving any examples of any usage of diamonds in this area prior to the arrival of Europeans. If only it wasn’t like this, that the true beauty of the land had just been hidden from the eyes of the world and only now are Europeans being exposed to the blinding, racial excellence of original man. Wakanda beats reality. reassures Afrofuturists;

“And now, if you’re Black Panther, cube all those thorny problems, because you’re fundamentally Afrocentric in a moment when anti-black animus is ascendant and white supremacist sensibilities are fashionable in many quarters. That’s what makes Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther so boldly titillating before we even glimpse its fabulous cinematography, CGI, and acting. “

The term Eurocentric has never had positive connotations. It implies some falsification of real history where Romans were rolling around in mud before descendants of Egyptian royalty gave them soap. The term ‘moment’ in this context is one of those weird progressive deviations from ordinary language, like ‘black bodies’, that I cannot quite attribute any reasoning or origin to. Sadly Bennett, who issued forth this nonsense, did not elaborate on or provide any statements to back up his assertion that white supremacy is fashionable. I am not going to search for examples of careers or book deals established on the back of identifying as a white supremacist, because I already know, as does Bennett, that he is making things up.

I would, however, enjoy seeing him spend a couple of hours chanting anti white slogans on a crowded high street, and then anti black slogans on that same spot the next day. We could see for ourselves in which moment he feels most at risk and gain a more realistic insight into our situation. Whether our moment is more anti-black or anti-white. Whilst I do not condone the mindless slander of other races, this social experiment would at least be interesting.

The anti-black moment he speaks of also somehow happens to be the same one in which Jewish cartoonists bring a previously obscure black identity movement to the forefront of popular consciousness whilst giving Europeans another reason to whip themselves. If anything, seems like a really good moment to be black in white countries, you can say things like;

And look, still verified. No calls from the SPLC to track down relatives of whoever posted this tweet, nobody to harass them out of their homes, no calls for their blood. No journalists requesting people punch them. Nothing.

There is also the sickly, fawning praise that mainstream media has poured upon Afrofuturism. Afrofuturism; the bold and challenging stand against the stale, pale status quo. Afrofuturists have friends in very high places. European Nativist aesthetics and art movements are not so well received, we are often accused of ‘co-opting’ even when the imagery we use is uniquely European. The inventor of the synthesizer was possibly not a nationalist, therefore our electronic music is redundant. We are told our tapping into our own history is appropriation, whilst when Afrofuturism borrows from sources outside their movement they are in fact ‘intersecting’.

I might say the next time somebody tells me the Othala rune or vaporwave music are not for nationalists, that I’m ‘intersecting’.

That anti-black moment that Marvel has so boldly challenged. The pale, stale status quo. I sometimes watch one of those Black Israelite groups shout at passing Europeans a stones throw from where I live, their moment looks anything but anti black. Even the communists around  the corner wielding ‘fight racism’ placards had nothing to say to them. Where is this anti-black moment?

There is a definite parallel between the race oriented idealism and in group preference of Africans and Europeans, in as much that both consider race to be important. Beyond that the only thing we have in common is the environment we live in. A movement like Afrofuturism would not be possible without Europeans, Dery’s description of Europeans as a kind of alien species who abducted Africans and should therefore be a primary source of creative inspiration to black people in matters of science fiction. Europeans are a kind of resource to be tapped into when creativity runs dry and you need a stand in villain.

We are two sides of a contrived dispute over who can truly claim Europe and America to be home. Nobody, nobody, I repeat nobody challenges the notion Africa should continue to be populated by Africans. As for colonialism, the supposed difference between Liberia and Wakanda, Savitri Devi said of this;

“I’m against colonialism for the reason that colonialism infects the master as well as the slave. It even infects the master more.”

I agree with her. The debt so many Africans feel we hold for colonialism cannot be paid by material means, with offers of welfare, free education and the such. To balance the books, Afrofuturists envision a world where Africans excel beyond Europeans, ideally at the expense of Europeans. Our suffering would be a sort of icing on a cake that they are convinced is long overdue. And their hatred towards Europeans only intensifies as this vision seems further removed from becoming a reality.

Colonialism saw our worlds overlap in a way that has ultimately been to the detriment of Europeans. Africans in American and Europe in contrast have gained massively from colonialism, in the long term at least.

And what of fashwave, the archeofuturist exaltation of our old composers, creators and warriors. The Greco Roman busts, sturdy and timeless, art of the past that gives Europeans alone refuge from degenerate modern entertainment. It is the exclusive and unique domain of Europeans, our symbols, our ancestors, our Nations glorified to the highest and most dignified extent. Instead of being met with intrigue, celebration and promotion from the mainstream art world and media, it has instead led to Europeans being subject to a kind of psychoanalysis and widepread criticism.

Marxist lying press outlet Vice, had to say;

“With its tinny musical quality and tiny scope, however, fashwave is a long way from exuding any real cultural power, and might flame out any day. Until Buzzfeed brought the music into mainstream awareness with an article in December, it was virtually unknown beyond alt-right circles.”

It would never be argued that a lack of interest among Europeans is a negative, and a tick against Afrofuturism. Cultural power in this context of course means the power to influence the reader base of vice. The aesthetic cultivated by the alt right is almost universally recognizable to us, and that alone is sufficient. The idea we do this as a recruitment tool to initiate the unwitting into a shadowy movement is nonsensical. And this allegation would never be leveled against Afrofuturists, that their imagery aspires to create new Micah Xavier Johnson‘s.

According to Mic;

“Like the aesthetic styles of white nationalists throughout history, from Hitler’s manufactured Aryan mythology to the appropriation of punk rock by skinheads in the 1970s, fashwave is stolen.”

Not stolen, intersected. We prefer intersected. There is no elaboration on what specifically was the work of Hitlers imagination with regards to Aryan mythology, and we are yet to see Afrofuturists being accused of stealing uniquely European Sci Fi devices, or their cave dwelling whites, black Greek, flying pyramid narrative ever being called manufactured. The fundamental belief that Europeans stole everything and should be held to account for Africa’s shortcomings has never and will never be described as ‘manufactured’ by Mic.

They are interested in what we are doing, their feeble psychoanalysis betrays this. Their hard sale of Afrofuturism suggests their desire for a counterpoint.

Ultimately their commentary does little to compromise or set back the progress of our holistic, racially conscious movement. Their critique and deconstruction does not detract from either the the magnificence of Wagner or the warmth of nostalgia, that many of us remember a better time in living memory and not just history. Our movement is also rooted in a higher truth, that of the right of all people to homelands, whilst the Afrofuturist movement is a struggle to see Nations settled by Europeans redistributed to Africans. Whilst ours is a struggle for independence, separation and reconstruction, their’s is one for vengeance and deconstruction.

Personally, I have high hopes for the future.


No comments:

Post a Comment