Transmission from the International Institute of Insomnauts, Bloomsbury, London, February 20, 2009:
The widening chasm beneath our trembling feet now eschews overarching narratives, delves deep into one’s own experience where things are all called into question. And if in the tender precariousness of insomnia our firmest grounds and our finest distinctions become untenable or irrelevant where all the sensorium gets kaliedoscoped, the insomniac will have ample time to write new contingency plans for important things, a trans-valuation…
A giant, lidless, Sauron-like eye watched over today’s launch of the International Institute of Insomnauts’ exploratory commitee.
Our goal: to research the viability of a new manifesto, one from a strictly insomnautical perspective.
On the exploratory panel: Myself, M. Wraith, C. Guedon, J. Law, J. McKay. Tom McCarthy, an emissary from our sister school the International Necronautical Society (INS), was also in attendance, perspicacious as ever, amid a roomful of our most trusted advisors, well-wishers, a few unaffiliated passers-by, and maybe, here and there, a sleeper, a spy.
As the proceedings proceeded, it soon became clear that everyone who chimed in was always already won-over to our cause, pre-convinced of the eminence of our domain. Yea, seeing as the insomnautical take on things must always be naturally all-seeing and never-sleeping as from the perspective of a hyper-vigilant Argus Panoptes, it was difficult to extract from the pool of panelists any opposing view whatsoever, counter-angles to this omnimodal consensus conclusion: insomnism must be carried forward at all costs.
We, the usurperfriends, may have been presaged a century ago, we were loath to admit. Our launch happened to fall on the 100th anniversary of the publication of F. T. Marinetti’s “Futurist Manifesto.” in Le Figaro on February 20, 1909.
Our eyebeams peered thought these peers, however, saw through their flimsy gauze of century old causes rolling out the red carpet and trumpeting our arrival. Were we to trod down that path untrippingly, unswervingly, unabandoningly, we would have disappointed them, but we did not disappoint.
Their fanfare was to us naught but vain cacophony. We are post-futurists, after all.
[click here for our own self-induced theme music]
We began the night by nonchalantly throwing a century-old copy of Le Figaro into a wastepaper basket, just as Marinetti suggested we should, and then, just to spite him, we dumpster dove and resurrected him, disobediently scrutinizing the oft-neglected role of the avant-garde in centuries past. This was done only to orient ourselves. No phony orientalism was left unexposed.
Then, brothers Law, Wraith, and McKay and sister Guedon offered several scintillating rebukes of all consciousness-terrorizing sleeper cells.
We ended by laying into the hordes of faux-academic obscurantist jargonizers. This provoked a question from McCarthy as to how we should proceed in quotidian life, as academics and pseudo-academics ourselves, to counteract such a tendency. I pointed towards several of Steven Connor’s list of renounced narcotics from the lazy postmodern apothecary.
It was good question, a tough question. At this point I wished F. Gooding could have been in attendance to assist, as he and I had been discussing just this sort of thing.
After the Q and A we all headed over to the pub for further discussions on this and affiliated topics, and we stayed out late, sucking in the atmosphere of this grand nite, and burning up that oxygen in blue flames behind out all-seeing lidless enemy eyes.