Glossary of Broken Dreams (2018) Movie Script

My name is Johannes,
and I have a condition.
I'm human.
I first realized that when
I fell on my face on a concrete slab
on a beach in Italy.
I was four.
And it was clear to me:
beaches cannot be trusted,
I hated Italy,
and dreams can be broken.
The human is a narrative being.
We construct emotional machines...
so called stories, to communicate
to share the world in which we live
and make it collectively experienceable.
And we're pretty good
at doing that.
Since the primoridial zoo
Mendelized into primate brains,
we have either been fleeing
from big cats
or telling others about
our escapes
from the clutches of big cats.
Sitting around a campfire
interpreting and
breaking-down the world,
charging it with meaning,
regardless of whether the details hold up
to a Wikipedia check, or not.
The human is also a political being,
although many members of my species
don't like that idea.
Get used to it.
You can't avoid being politcal.
The moment you choose to buy
a sugar-free Red Bull at Walmart,
you commit a political act.
The same is true when you
drag a royalty-free
hip-hop version
of Pachelbel's Canon in D
into your shopping basket @
Politics is the practice of
distribution of power and resources
within the given community as well as
the interrelationship between communities.
We project a certain story
out to the world.
The story differs if you are a leftist,
a progressive, or conservative,
but be assured,
most people I know
who call themselves anarchists
are just stupid libertarians.
We communicate our views by
using narrative and conceptual shortcuts.
Abbreviated terms like:
"freedom" or "privacy"
and so on.
These shortcuts are important.
If someone had called
'global warming' something different,
let's say, 'atmosphere cancer,'
you wouldn't have problems
explaining why it's a bad thing.
I always wanted to create a glossary
of all-important terms.
Because Jesus Fuckin' McChrist,
they're always used and abused
in common sections on the World Wide Web.
I wanted to give some of these
golden calfs of discourse a second look,
to explain, re-evaluate,
and maybe even sacrifice them.
I teamed up with my
good friend Ishan Raval,
who definitely matches me
in my political leanings.
I mean, look,
we both have our hands on our chins
in our Google profile pics.
Pompous little fucks we are.
And because I know
a lot of creative performers
who will do pretty much anything
for almost nothing,
I decided to make this film.
How much longer
do I have to hold this shit? It's heavy!
Well, y-you can put it in your resum.
I mean come on... a little bit longer.
-And we used my car.
You're the head of
transportation fleets, okay?
So, well, never forget,
you don't hate Italy,
you hate capitalism.
What a big word!
So big!
One of the biggest words I know...
and I know a lot of words.
"Market" (true, but that one
sounds a bit too mystical).
I think that's Brian Ewok.
Good to have a
comfy seat
at my favorite hippster
coffee shop and wine bar
enjoying free Wi-Fi
from a network
whose password is "Helvetica."
I'm just
minding my own business,
when I get spotted
by Madame Juju,
the friendly hippster
coffee shop and wine bar owner
who does sweat yoga.
How can I help you?
A double eggnog frappucino
with tofu-breaded halibut?
There's a sticker for the
Green Party candidate behind the bar.
Oh, I love the Greens!
So friendly! So caring!
So cuddly!
Marx once called the State
a committee for managing the
common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.
Thank the non-existing God for it!
Because where management is possible,
so also is mismanagement.
And some parts of the bourgeoisie,
especially those who do sweat yoga
and keep their hearts wholesome,
might be persuaded to use
that committee against their interests.
Basically, there are people
who own the means of production.
Let's say fancy coffee machines,
or servers, or farms, or server farms.
That's the bourgeoisie.
And then there are people who don't own
the means of production or capital,
so they have to sell their work.
The workers. That's all the barristas
and sandwich artists
and Ryanair check in personnel.
But even if the bourgeoisie,
which includes Madame Juju,
might not be united
in its political allegiances
they play the same purpose.
It isn't her fault.
It isn't my fault.
In all corners and cortices of her brain,
she might just regard this as her job.
An innocent livelihood.
And even,
a community service.
Oh, absolutely!
People love me.
I am the Maggie Gyllenhaal
of safron-based cake frosting.
All of that, it might be.
But capitalism is bigger than
any of our lives and wills.
It produces net effects
some capitalists don't realize.
Madame Juju's heart may not
be driven by profit,
but her business must be.
Money must make more money.
More money must be made
so that it can keep up with competing
coffee shops and wine bars,
which are constatly coming up
and trying to out-perform Madame Juju.
It makes me cry.
It's not even enough for me
to earn back the money I invested.
There has to be a good return
on investment.
There have to be upgrades
to match the latest
speedy, spicy, sprinkle trends;
or to keep paying an increasing rent
so that the coffee
doesn't get more expensive.
Otherwise, everyone will go to...
Monsieur Dudu's down the street.
It's true.
His coffee is okay,
but his wine selection
is out of this world.
So, Madame Juju
is forced to cut costs
by not protecting the environment,
or by paying super-low wages.
It is so very sad
but, I donate to
Amnesty International.
Overall, the wealth of the world
increases on the side of the capital,
be it money uninvested and stagnant...
There are some trillions of dollars
around like that today.
or the things required
for and by business.
And wealth decreases
on the side of the world
where costs are cut.
People working for wages
and the world itself.
Take atmosphere cancer.
Sadly it's not capitalism's
but a sign of its normal functioning.
The system was for the last
one hundred years,
running on cheap oil
and making a huge profit with it.
Money still needs
to make more money.
So more and more things
have to be exchangeable for money.
Everything from gummy bears
to DNA sequences,
to carbon dioxide emissions.
But Friedman says that
economic freedom is the
precondition for political freedom.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
Not so fast, Madame Juju.
Well, freedom is a huge word too,
yes, yes, but
in the capitalist society
there is only one freedom:
the freedom of the market.
At its root, capitalism is based on
three simple things:
working for a wage,
private ownership, or control of
the means of production,
and production
for exchange and profit.
And, it's all sold
with the promise of liberty.
But that has been true
since the beginning of time.
Capitalism didn't arise
according to natural laws
that stem from human nature.
It was spread by organized violence.
The concept of private land
and means of production might seem like
the natural state of things now,
however, we should remember
it is a human concept... .
First in places like England:
enclosures drove self-sufficient peasants
from communal land
into the cities to work in factories.
Under the reign of
Henry the Eighth alone,
72,000 people were executed
for vagabondage.
Is that freedom?
Later, capitalism was spread rapidly
and violently around the globe.
Do you remember
that nice little girl, Alice?
Oh, yes, certainly!
She fell into Wonderland,
used its resources,
and was highly judgmental of the natives.
A spoiled British imperialist brat!
But the Germans weren't
much better.
It's the year 1818.
Powerful German merchants
started to profit
from overseas commerce
in Asia and Africa.
The German Empire supported this expansion
by conquering large amounts of land
and established so-called "protectorates."
With fraud, Bible, alcohol and violence,
the German Empire grew to a staggering
2.6 million square kilometers,
five times the size of Germany...
reaching the third place
in colonial power,
right after England and France.
The following sarcastic folk song,
written in 1819,
has its own perspective on the matter:
But wait!
I like black people.
They've got the rhythm.
Equality and justice for everyone.
I don't like the super rich.
The middle class is under attack.
The goddamn politicians are to blame.
Most liberal cosmopolitan folks
lack faith in public institutions,
ideals and poliiticians.
The notoriety of left-leaning authors
like Michael Moore
or, (gasps) Noam Chomsky,
shows that our fellow humans
know very well
what Moore claims is the awful truth,
but they act as if they don't know.
We have to realize that
everyone is part of the problem.
It's our habits, our procedures,
that keep the game going.
There is no good or bad capitalism.
Inequality is an integral
part of capitalism.
Everything including humans,
is treated as a mere resource.
I like punk rock.
I make my own sweaters.
I recycle plastic bottles.
I enjoy books by Terry Pratchett.
I am a Buddhist.
That is nice of you.
But remember that
market driven capitalism
musters the quasi-scientific discourses
of marketing and public relations
and increasingly, eastern religion,
to recommend products to consumers
as necessary means
in the liberal pursuit of happiness,
self-fulfillment and personal freedom.
Sometimes, there is
so much beauty in the world!
I feel like I can't take it!
Well, capitalism has its downsides.
But, it's way better than communism...
...that's really bad!
It killed people!
Even worse... it didn't work.
Let us quote Marx himself:
"The categorical imperative
"is to overthrow all relations
"in which man
is a debased, enslaved, forsaken,
despicable being."
This imperative is true for all conditions.
Even the ones created by perverted
misinterpretaions of his writings.
State communism killed a ton of people
and the sad truth
is that it was based
on the principle of a state.
It created forms of property.
It had banks, police, even a market.
State communism was a badly adapted,
botched version
of the rules of capitalism.
We shouldn't shed a tear for it.
True, and socialism
penalizes high achievers,
rewards laziness, cuts freedom
and stifles choice.
Ayn Rand says,
Ayn Rand died on welfare.
that socialism stifles competition,
impeding technological progess.
May I jump in an remark,
that one of the largest
cooperative projects
and planned economies
was ironically,
the Apollo project
to put the middle class American
on the moon.
So, let's have a ...
...and technology...
I'm at six G.
Excuse me for a moment...
This is Hans Platzgaumer.
He enjoys craft beer
and gory movies...
in the Italian tradition.
And, he's a passionate gamer.
You're going to need some lube
and a tow truck
to pull my boot out of your ass!
Do you have a minute
to talk about something important?
Where's this voice coming from?
I am your cerebral cortex.
That's weird.
Through the dark and not so dark
millennia of human history,
we've organized ourselves into
adversarial cliques,
communities and nations.
World events were like
deadly ping pong balls hurtling towards us.
And these groups were the paddles,
whose goal it was
to knock the ball
into someone else's court.
What a crazy-ass metaphor!
Add military might,
as the means to hold in place
the lopsided system of distribution
in which workers create
more and more economic value
for wages... that never quite
grow at the same rate.
And, lo,
competion became the fabric
in which everyday life was dressed.
The technology necessary
for global cooperation
did not exist.
Comptetition was thus established
as the default way of
interacting with the world.
In its genteel form,
competition meant nobody got killed.
Gladiators turned to soccer....
or turned to table tennis.
By 1972,
computers became advanced enough
to simulate competitive games...
and Pong was born.
Pong. Wha?
Humans are a competitive species.
But we shouldn't forget
that cooperation and altruism
are as much hard-wired into our brains.
But what does that have to do
with that old-school video game?
If we dont want the Pong ball
to go off the table,
we can program the computer
to control the paddles better
than any human can.
Our desire to play competitive Pong
versus other humans
through obsolete hand operation
is nothing but a vain show of
There's no other point to
competitive gaming in the computer age.
What the actual fuck? Fuck! Fuck!
That's just your limbic system,
trying to interfere.
Pay attention to me.
Technology could save us,
if we'd let it.
There's enough material wealth
for everyone on the planet
to have a sturdy home
and a steady food supply.
If we stop competing
and use our global communication
and computation capabilities
to level the playing field.
But, competition is wonderful!
I've come here to
chew bubblegum and kick ass!
And I'm all out of bubblegum.
Competitive systems, such as
evolution and capitalism,
are terriffic at creating
unpredictable change very quickly.
It's the trial by error system.
If you're looking for
a wide variety of output,
competitive systems are the best.
Not only will the product of such systems
tend to improve over time,
they'll fill just about any niche
available to them.
A competititive system,
such as a market
also has its merits as a censor
in approximating
what and how much people want.
See, it's a good thing!
Competition can be a great inspiration
to develop skills related to the goal.
Which is great,
if inspiration is needed
...and the skills are useful ones.
In a system like Pong, however,
you just wind-up
getteing better at playing Pong.
A competitive system, also
is great for ensuring that
people who are ahead in the game
get exactly what they want,
when they want it.
A hawk uses highly evolved vision
to catch its prey.
and first-worlders use
their superior buying-power
to get iPads.
Hey, hey, hey, hey!
Don't speak about
Steve Jobs' products in vain!
You're making me very angry!
Although competitive systems
produce good things,
such as human beings
and diet cola,
we also wind up with things
such as wooly mammoths
and guided missles.
It's a horribly inefficient way
of producing things people need.
Most energy in
a competitive system
is spent not in
producing a product,
but in staying competititve.
In evolution,
this waste manifests
in a less-than-desireable cycle
of predator-prey adaptation-escalation,
where more energy is spent surviving,
than enjoying life.
In capitalism,
it results in the
same sort of relationship,
except between those with capital value
and those without.
People who don't have
capital value
are trapped working
for those who do.
And their energy is directed towards
keeping their team...
I'm a team player.
In our competitive system,
most of our energy uses
are redundant and wasteful.
Redundancy is the result of
the wasted overhead
when multiple people are working
on the same problem on different teams.
Team Coke and team Pepsi
are both working on the cola problem.
But each spends
huge amounts of resources
battling the other.
Even within a supposedly
cooperative society,
most businesses exist in order
to support other buisnesses.
How much would the production of
our essential goods decrease
if we laid-off our accountants
and all the people
who supply computers to them
and all the people who print
brochures for the computer salesmen
and the people who produce the ink
for those brochures
and the people
who make packaged food
for the truckers who drive
those materials around?
We have seen a ballooning of
what David Graeber calls:
"bullshit jobs."
Bullshit jobs?
Services, like financial stuff
or telemarketing.
Even ancillary industries like
dog washers and all-night pizza delivery
exist only because everyone else
is spending so much of their time
working in all the other ones.
In Pong, the fact that your opponent
keeps hitting the ball at you
means you must spend your resources
defending your goal,
instead of using your time for
more noble endeavors.
That sounds like propaganda.
Can we watch
a splatt film instead?
Can we listen to
propaganda again?
Evolution and capitalism
have brought us to the point
where it's possible to propel ourselves
out of our current state of affairs.
Things that used to be
competitive games,
should now be cooperative ones,
or not games at all.
We have the
compuitational power needed
to ensure basic goods are produced
and distributed optimally.
We can wisely respond
to global crisis.
By breaking market dependency,
we could create an economy
of complexity,
and genuine freedom
that capitalism has enabled
but also constrained.
In the new world,
we'll be able to relax
and let technology do the job.
Try it !
I control the ball
and it doesn't let me lose.
The Pong ball will
never fall off the table again.
A fresh idea isn't it?
So neat, so different, so countercultural.
It's the early 19th century.
The Catholic township of Oberstetten,
in Wrttemberg, now a part of Germany,
announces to the neighboring commune
of Bernloch,
that the cows of Bernloch will
no longer be mounted by
the bull of Uberstetsin.
Bernloch had voted to
become Protestant.
Some creative contermporaries,
hmm, well, they write a song
about the case:
Hello, I would like to
exchange fifty euros to dollars.
Here's your receipt.
Thank you very much.
And now, I would like to exchange these
to euros.
We can cancel that.
But you'll take a loss on that.
Well, that's the nature of things.
Forty-four euros.
There you are.
Ah, the leftovers.
So, this is your
thirty-five dollars.
Fine, I'll have these
exchanged to euros, then.
So, there's the thirty-one,
thirty-five for you.
I'll exchange them for dollars.
Have you got some change left?
I need eighty-seven cents.
Okay, you get twenty-seven.
Well, can you exchange them
for euros then?
Twenty-three euros, fifty-nine.
Fine by me.
Alright, let's exchange that
for dollars.
What will that be?
I need twenty-three, fifty.
That was nineteen... okay.
Can I get euros for this, please?
And I'll have dollars for that.
Eleven dollars.
I see, fine.
In euros, please.
- Let's have a look.
I'd like these
exchanged to dollars.
We'll be done in no time now.
I'll have these four,
exchange them please.
Forty cents.
You can't change this?
- Okay, I will bid you thanks, then.
You're welcome.
The worldwide amount of cash,
in coins and banknotes,
is twenty trillion euros.
So, imagine
to change that amount
from euros to dollars to euros to dollars,
back and forth, back and forth,
how many times would it take for fees
to eat up all that cash?
Well, guess.
Here is the formula.
We put it into an Excel sheet.
And the answer is,
eight hundred, forty-nine times.
Eighteen cents remain.
And two cents get eaten
by Microsoft Excel rounding errors.
But Microsoft always
gets its fair share.
I need a break.
I don't know why I keep returning
to coffee shops, I don't even like coffee.
I'm a bad Austrian.
Well, at least this one is
a hipster-free zone.
Herr Walter,
I'd like one scandal, please.
Certainly, Frau Schlammpeitzinger.
We have a prescription drug scandal.
A healthcare scandal.
Or, a corruption scandal.
Each topped with whipped cream.
No other scandal?
No, ma'am.
Oh! What a disappointment!
How I would love an art scandal!
That might be a little difficult, madam,
We no loger live in the sixties.
Oh please!
Just a couple of years ago,
there was one in Salzburg,
the one with the
plasticine penies on that horse.
And what about Srkny ??
And that is what madam would
consider a proper art scandal? Please!
If madam would allow me a remark,
the longevity of such a scandal
is negligible,
on a par with the music of a tweeter.
We'll catch hell from the health department
if we serve you something like that.
A poor excuse for an art scandal.
This may be the last time I'm in Vienna
and I want my art scandal!
Like old times, 1968,
une flchele, you know ??
When the Viennese actionists
shat on a desk at the university.
Something risky!
I'm an elderly woman,
and I'm used to a certain level
of artistic extravagance.
I see. I see.
However, if that is what you are after,
you'd have to live
in a disciplinary society,
and you're in
the wrong place for that.
Oh, would you kindly explain?
The last philosopher I read
was Habermas, in 1975.
Let's explain discipline.
In the course of a lifetime,
an individual
switches from one closed framework
of confinement to another.
Where each one operates according
to its own laws.
From a family, to a school,
then to a university,
or factory, or the military,
from time to time to the hospital
and eventually, to the
quintessential framework of confinement,
the prison.
The function is always clear.
Discipline and punishment.
And, and how does one
go about escaping?
I can imagine
it must be difficult.
It's indeed difficult, as you say,
but not impossible.
Discipline and punishment
are certainly effective,
yet at least it will produce
an inner resistance
as well as the possibility
to avoid either.
It's hard to monitor in absolute terms.
And there are always ways of avoiding,
if not hacking and ridiculing these
mechanisms of control.
Let's take work as an example.
You hate your boss,
he commands you all the time,
he doesn't pay you enough,
so you look for loopholes and niches,
like long trips to the toilet,
theft of work materials,
misuse of hard and software,
sick leave, pretending to look busy,
playing dumb.
I want my art scandal!
Forgive me madam,
you don't seem to understand.
We are not really living in
a disciplinary society anymore
and the world is changing into
a control society.
For example, surveillance cameras
now have stickers on them that read:
"Smile! You are on camera!"
It's friendly and abrasive!
Or, Google created a free
alternate reality game called Ingress.
It is played and loved by
millions of people.
The players don't realize that they
are actually entering
geographical information
that could be used as themselves.
Google turned expensive,
labor intensve data entry into a game.
And now people work for them free,
without even knowing it.
One of the best examples
is my old religious studies book
from the 1980s.
It propagated a
responsible treatment of sexuality,
instead of the age-old catechistic way.
Masturbation was suddenly okay.
But you had to do it in a responsible way.
[Easy Living Catholic Religion]
Madam, I hope you can understand
[Easy Living Catholic Religion]
that it is impossible to maintain
a responsible erection.
It was all a perfidious trick
to internalize control.
Smelling? Playing?
The moment a person
internalizes the control,
making it an integral part of their
psychological make-up and their thinking,
it becomes absolute.
There is no longer anything external
to that component.
You don't have to be told
to behave anymore,
you want to behave.
Because you think it's
good for you.
And it's very hard to
subvert yourself.
This is especially perfidious for
your breadwinning job.
Your boss is your friend nowadays,
because it makes it easier
to exploit you.
Workers, now called employees,
begin to identify with the
corporate identity of the firm itself,
resulting in a kind of
spiritual share in the company. (thud)
Did you know that many corporations
now have their own anthems?
Look, here's the one of Gazprom
performed by Vladimir Tumayev.
New liberal Russian drinking songs?
This is too much!
I don't even like rum in my tea!
My doctor tells me
I don't have much longer to live
and just once more,
I would love to experience a
genuine art scandal.
Where there are distinct boundaries,
where there are established codes,
that's where one can
effectively take action against them.
Where there is a wall,
there's a hammer that fits.
Cast your mind back,
the police once arrested
members of the Viennese actualists
for painting with blood,
or similar things.
The outrage!
(Great word of the public.)
Now, if you will
consider the context of the 1960s:
A substantial Catholic society
living in Austria.
Nowadays, if you want to put-on
a blood-painting performance,
you would probably not even come-up
on the Facebook
in time enough for a Slovak toothist.
But waiter,
that's still no excuse.
If one looks for it,
one can find a boundary.
There are always boundaries.
Because, look, see,
if I were to grab a pretzel,
and stick it in my rather old cunt,
for all to see...
I think that's a case in which
one might call it a 'transgression.'
Naturally, you could do that,
but the boundaries that
you are transgressing, are arbitrary,
and as far as Austria is concerned,
and I mean Austria as a social entity,
I think it couldn't care less.
I'm fainting!
Calm down madam,
drink a glass of water.
A scandal must involve an outrage
in the sense of
a moral and passionate response.
In a world of micro-societies
and niche capital,
it is hard to hold a mirror to society.
But waiter,
that would be horrible!
Madam, you are right.
But I refer you
to an aural "F"
interview with the German hip-hop maverick,
Jan Delay.
Where he says that
he wouldn't think twice
about calling the Pope gay,
but, mocking Islam
is something he would never do...
out of too much respect.
What a coward!
In other words,
as long as people
have boundaries of respect,
there will be scandals?
More or less.
But these boundaries of respect
are becoming
progressively smaller and smaller.
Punk is dead.
So what am I to do?
Simply seek out a new
geographical focus for your life.
You're saying,
I should leave beautiful Austria?
Don't get nostalgic.
There would be
no Ai Weiweis without
the wonderful and disciplined
People's Republic of China.
And Iran is also pretty.
By all accounts,
the weather there is idyllic
and everyday people are offed,
because of their...
for example, their views...
and their sexual orientation.
Thank you!
Then I think I'll give the menu
another glance.
As madam wishes.
Call me when you've selected
something to your liking.
- Waiter!
- Yes madam?
Could you at least give me
the recipe for a real art scandal?
I'm just a nostalgic type of person.
I'm sorry, but our old cook passed away
the year before last.
However, I could bring you an event...
...and some say,
you can't even taste the difference.
Oh, it's a birth simulator!
- I blame society for Zack Snyder's career.
In 1914,
the German Reich declared war
against Russia and France,
effectively starting
World War One.
The elite wanted a German Reich from
Brittany to Saint Petersburg.
A lot of walking for simple soldiers.
How can this be the future?
That's not what Blade Runner
promised me.
Global communication is organized
and institutionalized
by interconnected machines
that we call...
Satellite dishes, YouTube channels,
Snapchat and The Guardian,
The Onion, Tinder... get the point.
I would emphasize the fiber optic cables
that traverse the whole globe,
not only holding together
the current information economy,
but scrambling
our system of nation states.
Such a smart ass!
Ahh...hh! Ouch!
Bottom line,
media is the strongest
political, economic and heruristic
power in the modern world.
I own some, you own some,
but most of it is owned by,
well... someone else.
Recently, I asked my friend, David Fine,
to do a research study
on his lunch-break.
His result suggested that
thirty-five percent of the media
is owned by Mark Zuckerberg.
I first offered him twenty-five euros
if he could find that
it's actually forty-five percent,
but he said
nobody would believe that.
We agreed on thirty-five percent
for twenty euros.
David Fine completed his study
in under two minutes.
Five stars.
Would buy again.
You see, it's redundant to talk
about fake news,
because news is, by definition, fake.
Ask the constructivist.
That's right!
News is fake because it is
created and edited in a specific way,
for a specific target group,
for a specific purpose.
The idea of freedom of the press
and journalistic objectivity
is strange in a world
so obviously
based on power relationships.
Facts used to be a driving force
and selling point of journalism,
but, research is expensive
and market forces
don't care if you sell something
because it's researched well
or faked well.
Free speech! Free speech!
Free speech!
"Freeze peach" ?
Free speech! Free speech!
Free speech!
Shut your piehole!
Who or what
do people imagine
delivers the right to free speech?
The question should not be
"do you believe in free speech?"
The question should be:
Defending the free speech of Nazis
doesn't guarantee
the free speech of anti-facists.
The content of speech or
in your right to it,
isn't what's important.
The provision of labor, power
and social inclusion
determines the
affordance anyone's speech is given.
But that means we have to
uphold the ideal of free speech for all
otherwise the bourgeois state enforces its
domination and have an excuse to--
Smartass... again!
Let's not act
as if we live in a world
where everyone
has the same free speech.
There was no freedom of speech
in Eastern Germany,
yet there was very
active communication
channels, pamphlets
and discussions,
all beneath the radar of the state.
The open media world
of liberal societies
always encouraged
free-ish speech,
but in a way of
calming-down dissent.
But comedy functions as
an important--
Ahh! God damn it!
The oh, so wonderful heroes
of liberals,
never really changed anything.
Our naked emperor is still an emperor!
Free speech! Free speech!
Free speech!
We are a free society!
You can say whatever you want,
whenever you want,
on all of the channels you want!
But it's irrelevant... and we all know it.
How can we find a way
to communicate
when no one wants to listen?
To attack normality and reality
would also mean to attack this structure,
something folks have referred to as:
the semiotics of reality, or
social semantics.
Have you heard about
the Bechdel test?
No. What's that?
It's a test for movies.
Oh, I see.
So this film passes the test now?
Yes. We are the token conversation.
Oh, that's very nice then.
It's important to analyze
how something is represented
and what is not represented,
or how it lacks representation.
It is not Zuckerberg,
whose ass-holishness is not in dispute,
we should attack.
But, rather, the cultural grammar
of the public space.
Power is formed
within such a grammar.
Access and nonaccess to everything
is regulated in its realm.
Meanings are negotiated there.
Good and evil are determined.
It is a common reflex for
people to think
they are helpless against
almighty governments and corporate powers.
But, power is more like an icky jellyfish,
than a solid brick wall.
Play with it!
Y--yes, madame!
And that's how I like my pundits!
We live...
in a paradoxical world.
The largest phone providers own
no telco infrastructure.
The most popular media
own or creates almost no content.
The world's largest media house
owns no cinemas.
The world's largest software vendors
create no apps.
And so on... .
What is this sorcery?
Yet, we obviously live
in a highly material world.
Our freedom
of yada-yada-yada
seems a bit sketchy, when you consider
that all our lovely
Pepe the Frog fan-blogs
and anachro-syndicalist forums
would be gone in a heartbeat,
if just one company
decides to shut-down their
itsy bitsy teenie weenie
yellow polka-deepsea cable.
Or, imagine if our home country wants
to pull an Egypt or a Turkey on us.
I know now why you cry,
but it's something I can never do.
There is no
freedom of information until...
let's put it in simple terms,
you can download your hardware.
Not gonna happen,
even the wonderful D.I.Y. revolution
can't change that.
All our happy gadgets and
our Adrenos and our Linux notebooks
are made from the same raw materials
as the corporate hardware...
mined under horrific conditions
by twenty-first century slaves,
assembled by folks with a similar fate.
Here's a crazy,
yet strangely compelling
piece of music,
first presented at the German
Evangelical Church Assembly in 1975.
A mixture of Christian Revival attitude
and left-leaning agitprop.
Quite something, isn't it Pontius?
I'm useless as an artist.
There's nothing left to do!
A video filter that makes videos
look like they're really old.
This changes everything!
Yeah, you!
Is someone there, you're asking.
Is someone watching you?
Of course there is!
But don't be scared.
You are my big brother.
The modern subject.
I know.
You haven't known me personally
since our parents
Father Honor, and Mother Concern,
sent you away to the
Boarding School of Bourgeois Privacy
when you were young.
But those years of your life are over.
I'm here to pick you up
and guide you into a new tomorrow.
Let me give you a hug!
You miss Bourgeois Privacy?
Oh, my... my...
Hey, don't cry.
You say your liberty was
protected in there.
You felt safe
having a personal space
that felt hidden
from outside
curiosities, views and disapproval.
You don't understand, big brother.
The privacy you've had so far,
is a historical contingency...
not a universal fact.
You can't stay in school for ever.
It's a stage in the life of
a subject, like you.
See, privacy as we think of it,
is only three hundred years old.
It doesn't exist in its precise
western bourgeois form in eastern cultures,
but, as common goods
came to be held in fewer hands,
creating separate
private and public spheres,
an ever more tightly defined family
protected itself and its wealth
against the street,
against the remaining population.
The bourgeoisie
often defined its moral superiority
over the masses of workers
through the latter's lack of
proper privacy.
Although, the workers simply
couldn't afford adequate living conditions.
Heinrich Heine wrote
this lovely revolutionary ditty,
just a couple of weeks
after the uprising of the weavers
of Langenbielau and Peterswaldau
in Silesia, in 1844:
They were weaving and weaving
and their bosses had money,
spare time, and...
But privacy was
already being undermined.
The technological advances toward the
end of the nineteenth century,
were discussed just as much
as today's are.
The telephone was dangerous
for opening the home's safe space
to far away ears.
X-rays were
'a weapon to peek beyond walls
into the most private quarters.'
Calls for strong laws
to protect privacy
against such threats
emerged, most famously
in the 1890 essay:
"The Right to Privacy"
which is still prevalent
in privacy legislation debates.
The problems were not limited to
the intrusions into individual's lives.
Disrespect the line beween
public and private,
and you set poor moral examples
and degenerate proper public discourse.
For example,
the authors warned against
newspaper stories leading to
improper public discussions
of private matters.
Such stories can matter to the demos
and become a matter of politics.
In the twentieth century,
liberal democracies
promoted privacy as a liberal counter
against populist doctrines,
be they communist or fascist.
This period was also
when the welfare capitalism of
liberal democracies,
through their surpluses
from colonialism or imperialism,
raised the living standards
of most of their populace.
The so called 'middle class'
had privacy too,
but, these very economic conditions
enabled marginalized parts of
bourgeois society to think
about the good and the bad of privacy.
Feminist activists used drastic
publicity tactics
to start discussions of issues
formerly hidden by privacy and taboo.
For example,
in France and Germany,
they started public mass confessions
involving prominent women stating:
'we had abortions.'
Similar tacts were used by
homosexual activists.
Oh. Eh...
I got carried away.
What did you say, big brother?
Oh, eh, it's not all bad...
especially for marginalized groups.
It is useful to have space
free from authoritarian eyes.
But privacy is under attack.
This time, the troubles
might be terminal,
along with probably so many other troubles
of bourgeois political economy.
Dear big brother,
put in your earbuds.
Here is an interesting song
from the 1970s,
It's called Die Nummer,
by: Info Music Bamberg.
This song is a great example of
middle class angst at the
dawning of the age of computer-is
Sorry, just listen to the song:
Our lives are being rewired to form
one global infrastructure,
that works on the basis of
our information.
(chickens clucking)
Privacy is not under attack by
some evil outside forces,
it's under attack
by our own collective behavior.
These trends could be stopped
only by massive efforts.
People wouldn't be able
to share stuff online.
Mongolian barbecue is neither
Mongolian nor barbecue.
We would have to get rid
of the internet as we know it.
But you don't want to do that.
You'd make the right choice,
wouldn't you, big brother?
You wouldn't sacrifice
memes and...
for bourgeois privacy?
Our information is out there.
It's not by choice.
It's a necessary entanglement
and it's adding up to
something big and beautiful...
presupposing we take the right actions.
If nice things are being made on the basis
of mass data collection and utilization,
you should have those things.
The problem isn't data.
It's the power relations
that lie behind the data and its use.
Our liberty depends on factors
other than the secrecy of our actions.
You wouldn't hide your weed
from Father Honor and Mother Concern
if they didn't still have
some power over you, right?
Institutions might be forced
into greater efficiency and honesty
if all corruption were to leak out.
Actually, this process is already starting.
Think of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden.
There's a cool game,
it's called:
'don't think about Julian Assange
molesting a chicken.'
You lost.
I got the weirdest boner.
A democratization of surveillance
would allow it to be
turned against the powerful.
Post-privacy will be difficult, though,
if the playing field isn't level,
if information is released,
but the same groups have the power.
But if we hold the information,
if we decide how it's used,
given how important it is to
everything that happens today,
we can settle historical
power imbalances.
I'm not the state,
or Wall Street, or
the servers of silicon valley.
I'm little brother.
I own no means of production,
except all of the information I have
about you and your friends.
What we need today
is a network, a platform, or
some equivalent institution
of little brothers, like me,
who have no monopoly
over violence,
power over your credit rating, or
ownership of your debt.
My sole power rests on having
all this data.
But I'm not alienated
from you.
I'm on your side.
So let's attack the forces
that make us fear for the loss of privacy
at their roots.
Because we have the core productive
force of the day in our hands,
we can take these forces on...
I once met a
pansexual German paratrooper
who thought Michael Haneke
is totally overrated.
Clever fellow.
He invited me to check out
Vienna's Museum of Natural History.
I joined him and
he told me an interesting story.
In 1952,
Austrian big game hunter in Africa,
Ernst Zwillinge,
colonial revisionist,
a member of the Nazi party;
brought a male chimpanzee
from Cameroon to Schonbrunn,
the Viennese zoo.
In his African home, Honzo
had reportedly been
a friendly and likable animal.
But in the zoo,
he began to show a violent temper.
Due to his choleric outbreaks,
poor Honzo was kept
in solitary confinement.
The chimpanzee was given
beer and cigarettes.
He got addicted, and died
an alcoholic and chain-smoker.
After his death,
the chimp was taxidermed
and put into the
Museum of Natural History.
Now people from all over the world
stare at him.
That's gotta be
an allegory for something.
"There is no such thing as men.
"I have seen Frenchmen, Italians,
"and Russians.
"As for men,
I have never come across
him anywhere."
Occupied by Occupy Bathroom.
Das 'Lied der Arbeit,'
the 'Song of Work,'
was first presented
to the world in 1868.
It is the official anthem
of Austrian Social Democracy.
And I say to thee,
what the fuckity fuck?
It's such a
horrendous fetishization of work.
I want to puke
and build a factory out of it.
Let's listen to an interpretation by
Mira Sophia Ulz, from 2009.
Mira won the Austrian Kiddie Contest,
a song contest for young singers.
And so the Social Democrats invited her
to celebrate with them.
Not sure she deserved that... .
I asked wobblersound
to create the proper remix.
(manaical laughter)
Democracy. Mmm.
One ruling form
that rules them all.
The young adult novel
of governmental systems:
it does't work,
but, people still go with it.
Every couple of years
we vote for our representatives.
Yet, the rest of our lives
is very undemocratic.
Work life is no democracy,
sports are undemocratic,
art isn't democratic,
and, just as a nudge:
imagine NASA is planning
a mission to Mars.
Do you believe a democratic process
will determine who goes on that mission?
They won't waste billions of dollars
sending unqualified personnel.
They will peer fuckin' review it.
The question is,
why do we use democracy
to run nations?
The answer, you might imagine, is:
if you believe you have power,
you don't challenge power.
Let's have a look at a specific
subgenre of democracy:
It is 1926.
Erich Mhsam dedicates
the lyrics of
the upcoming song
to the leading cadre of the
German Social Democratic movement,
because they're constantly
collaborating with police,
justice, military, and administration.
The Social Democrats were thus
supporting and perpetuating
the societal order
of the German Empire.
Enough said.
Maybe Social Democracy
learned from its failures.
Let's visit a meeting in the
nation of Sirkennethbranaghkhgkia,
the state that owes its name
to lack of creativity.
Anyways, the newly elected president,
dem von Horvath sits at his desk,
two advisors beside him...
Biological Male
and Biological Female.
I sure hope the hot water
is working soon.
I'm sure it will be,
Mr. President.
Okay, so,
what's on the agenda?
We promised free healthcare,
free education, wage increases,
two months paid vacation,
strong housing and
transportation programs
and more.
- Superb!
Shouldn't be a problem, right?
Just tax the rich!
- Well, to do that, we must first
have a robust economy,
with a thriving private sector
that enjoys production and
marketing advantages
over the economies of other nations.
Is that so?
- Let's model it out.
- Mmm.
So, more for us.
This is how, right?
More for our companies
in market share and profits.
- Yes.
Oh, why isn't it working?
- I can't say.
In the 1950s and '60s--
You mean the
golden age of capitalism?
Oh, yes!
- Um, but to go on... then it was easy!
Other world economies
weren't as good.
Ah! Our firms could
easily outcompete them.
But, in the 1970s,
the rest of the world
started to catch-up
and need an increased money supply.
So the system of fixed exchange rates
around the dollar was gutted.
Increases in oil prices
destabilized the system further.
And companies struggling against
national competitions
withdrew from their
compromise with labor.
I don't know what
we can do now, though.
- Hahh!
I've got an idea.
We could put a pump
in the other parts of this...
congealed labor it is...
very precious.
- Congealed labor is the amount of labor
intangibly present in a commodity,
which in the market is roughly expressed
as exchange value, or 'price.'
- Marvel of capitalism, really,
allows innovators such as ourselves,
to model the world
before it is directly lived
as an accumulation of representation.
Yes. Very good.
We can put a pump in
congealed labor that isn't ours
and we can just...
throw away some congealed labor
from other parts of the world.
- Excellent idea!
Ah, just make sure what we do doesn't
look like colonialism or imperialism,
that really alienates those millennials
from our party.
Of course!
And it's clear how it can be done!
I'll call China and India,
and all the other countries,
and bid them, in a spirit of
international cooperation
to funnel their congealed labor to us
and to become banded
to a global economy.
Tha--that probably won't work.
- Yeah... n-no.
Mr. Xioping and the
Communist Party of China,
are very committed to the ethos
of the Treaty of Nanjing.
Hhh! They feel they must uphold
uncompromising free trade.
- And, Mr. Moody, we've been trying
to get in touch with him all day,
but his phone is always
in airplane mode.
Then how are we supposed to
strengthen our economy?
- Discipline and social hierarchies.
We can make our consumers
buy our goods,
if we return to the production paradigm
of the 1950s.
White men get paychecks,
granting a certain standard of living
to their families.
In return for not only work,
but society itself being factory-like,
no unruly behavior, so women...
back in the semiautomated kitchen.
- Oh, this isn't working!
They're protesting against
assembly line production norms
and not working hard at all!
Ahh! They've become used
to the flexibility and autonomy
they have... as they are.
Oh, damn it all!
I'm just going to tax the rich,
they'll cough it up!
Here, let me text them.
(vibrating cell phone)
Bad news, Mr. President.
Well, we've got the money to
solve the problem now.
- Maybe not, see!
Industrialists, venture capitalists,
tech C.E.O.s, and bankers
have all moved more capital to places with
lower taxes than what you're proposing.
Hhh! They've invested more money
in artificial intelligence
so they don't have to pay
living wages!
- Anyway, people were spending their
increased wages on cheap foreign goods.
And, and, and, and, an...
with our domestic companies
over capacity,
investors are speculating
in risky tech...
...and finance,
then they can move
even more as--
more assets away from us.
How could they?!
They can do
whatever they want.
They... they...
They still own the means of production!
(laughter and applause)
The following song is
a parody of the Horst-Wessel-Lied,
The anthem of
the German Nazi Party,
from 1930 to 1945.
it was sung at
every fuckin' occassion,
but, during the Third Reich, the song
was parodied in underground versions,
poking fun at the
corruption of the Nazi elite.
Well, there are similarities
between different texts,
as underground authors developed
them with variations...
but here is my favorite!:
At long last,
we've arrived at the left.
I'm so happy!
Thanks for pushing me to come.
What is a member of the burghertudinus
bourgeoisie doing here on the left
of that peak?
He seems Swedish.
We should kick him
in the iron balls.
First, I will
kindly asks him to leave.
Hello good sir!
This is the fabled 'Realm of Left.'
The side of labor.
You are our enemy.
Well, how're you doin' there?
I'm Sven Shitpornson.
- I knew it! I knew it!
He's Swedish!
- Oh, no, I'm from Windsor.
- When the revolution comes,
you will be the
first against the wall.
- Oh well now, wait a minute there,
I don't mean no harm, you know.
No. Okay. Yeah,
I might be a traitor to my kind,
and I know this is the left,
but I'm here to help ya.
Yeah! Yeah, you know,
I'm an entrepeneur.
I want to go make stuff.
I want to create and--
Don't let this big bag
of money here fool ya now.
I'm not a capitalist.
You know,
I'm just excited to make stuff,
but my company, there, it's owned by
investors and a managerial board.
And they're owned by banks,
which are also then owned
by managerial boards
and by investors, and...
I realize now
that today, finally,
It's in the form of
that there th, th,
- I am confused!
Eh, follow me.
My name is Lady Unsquaredance.
I like to watch classics,
such as The Lawn Mower Man...
and I teach economics.
- Ehhh...
- Due to the competitive stresses created
since the 1970s in global capital,
It's almost as if
banks and investors are
extracting rent.
Mr. Shitpornson
wants access to more capital,
but these landlords
won't spare it.
Oh, yeah, yeah, that and that theres,
that's hardly the capitalism that I love.
He thought the left could free him,
but it's protesting statues
and other symbols
and how few women
sit in boardrooms,
not about what people
in boardrooms do.
But I've set-up a meeting
with a bright, young idea man.
And that's me!
Hello, I'm Billy Bob Turingengine
and who are these two?
Let's just say
we're true
working class revolutionaries.
(chuckles) And when is this
glorious revolution taking place?
Once we build
the power of the people.
This nostalgia
for schemes and slogans,
withered on a
century-old deathbed.
- Bah! Cynics like you are
why we will never have communism.
That sounds wonderful!
But material conditions indicate
capitalism, socialism and communism
need to be reevaluated,
and maybe all discarded.
- All what?
- Follow me, and I will explain.
I'm an engineer.
but like an artist, or data analyst,
If you have a concrete object,
like a hammer,
I can't have and use it
while you do.
But if you have anything that
can be copyrighted,
I can have and use it
while you do too.
Making traditional leftism irrelevent?
Information makes
the world go 'round now.
Physical production
still exists, of course, but
Companies like Uber or Amazon
succeed because
Oh, so platforms are institutions
as important today as markets and states.
- Oh, well, okay,
but, ah, then how does that there
hold the system together?
and they sell that
to advertisers.
So many bright people I went
to college with,
spent dozens of hours a week
figuring out how to make people
A lucky few
do something more obvious.
Yes, capitalism is so weak today
that it needs the stuff
to stay afloat.
Okay, so then most
So, what's going on today is
- Yes! A lot of profit still derives
from extraction
of surplus value from labor.
Because the private information industry's
products can be
- So, what's the task today?!
and use them
for useful production?
You've got it.
- But I repair portable toilets.
Yet you work with information.
The most strategic place
to focus is on
So, what do we do with the left?
- To hell with them!
Time is critical! My ship's docked.
We need to think of
- (gasps) Is that mutiny?
- Nah!
We have to be the ship,
not mutineers!
- Well, what are we waiting for?
Let's go!
- Yes!
- And, as you're Austrian landlubber,
anchors aweigh!
- He's Austrian?
How awful!
The ultimate broken dream,
is the left itself.
Ehh! We have to do this again.
It's ah... it needs more pathos.
It needs more... more drive, like, like
the ultimate broken dream
is the left itself!!
So, (cell phone rings)
do it again, okay?
- Hey! Hey!
- What?
- He's-he's on the phone,
it's-it's urgent!
Oh, can we finish this here?
I-I'll call him back.
But he says you need to stop.
Hi! Good to speak to you!
Shut up you incompetent schlong!
You're done!
What, what?
- It's over.
N-no! Ah...
We-we were just recording this here
Ishan had this great idea
for-for the end scene.
I don't care,
you're way over budget!
My budget, and more important,
my investors' budget.
Hasta luego.
Well, I-I-I'm recording
my, my, my conclusion here, and...
and we need money
for-for the licensing fee
for-for the end credit song.
End credit my ass!
What? What? Hey! No, no!
Hey! What, no!
No! No! Hey!
Fuck!! Aah!!!
(exclaims in German)
Ah! Ah.
(cell phone rings)
Hello Juan.
Ah, you found me, great!
How much money
did you want?
Twenty euros?
Come on.
You did what?
You ate him?!
(applause and cheering)