To The Triumph Of The Talkies (first letter)


We’ve voluntarily suspended quietude and the concreteness of things. We can no longer marvel at their infrequent, brief and unexpected disappearances from our everyday lives. You have promised an unprecedented autonomy, an illusion of instantaneous reconstitution, an imitation of life possessing vast, stylized control, reproducibility, seeming wholeness and permanence (a defiance of death far surpassing the visceral limits of the spectral and undead).  The trick was so immediately powerful that our seduction and imprisonment have seemed inevitable from the start (and certainly not our fault). We jumped into bed with your assertions of equivalence – a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing — and haven’t left yet.  Representations of meaning no longer depend on unanswered questions, concerns and traditions, existing facts, past experiences or accumulated wisdom. Your victory has been totalizing, extending beyond all increments of time, erotic charge, morality and purpose, finding perpetuity in impotence, deferral and sleep, or so it seems, forever in and out of the dark, our minds, glowing monitors and hearts, among strangers while estranged from ourselves, dreaming of social necessities, transgressions and conquest, of winning and losing as the world falls apart.
Life before your victory has remained exhausted, unable to rest, pushed further and further toward complete erasure, always depleting, unconscious and unspoken.  The show must apparently go on and on.
You could never replace the Silent Era but it doesn’t matter really.  We’ve replaced ourselves instead.