Cards Against Humanity are digging a hole.
It is postmodern collaborative performance art, enough to inspire chin-stroking thinkpieces like this one which are, in all fairness, likely to be vomit-inducing to the artists. I can only apologise to them.
Personally, I am enjoying watching people punching angry missives into their multi-hundred dollar smartphones about this project—smartphones filled with apps that allow them to spend $25 on a toilet bowl of crystal turds which can then be exchanged for the golden cistern they’ve been working towards in Toilet Builder 3.
The moral outrage, like all of the moral outrage that has ground us down to the point where a giant orange trashburger in a red cap can become King of America, rings hollow.
The battle to prove ones own righteousness by continuing to up the stakes of what the money could have been spent on is a bait and switch to what’s really going on, which is that we judge ourselves on our intentions but others on their actions.
We always intend to give money to our favourite charities or political organisations. We always intend to get more involved in local politics. We always intended to work towards dismantling the system that has created such gross inequality that the opportunity to nuke the thing from orbit has become, not just a shrug from the dispossessed, but a rallying cry. Something to actually believe in. Let’s blow this thing and go home (we’ll figure out where home is later).
Somehow the most cynical, emotionally empty husk of a human, having ran the most disgusting campaign a democracy has seen in a long time, is President-Elect of the United States.
So excuse me if I roll my eyes at your outrage at some guys digging a hole, especially if you voted for him.
Our constant, puritanical neighing is like verbal barbed wire being continually wrapped around the heads of anyone we can reach. Ironically, those people we do reach are the ones most likely to agree and echo the outrage, which we enthusiastically nod along to while munching our $5 cookies and drinking our third $4 beer, all the better to make us forget the existential emptiness that our addiction to the digital has brought to bear.
The deliciously-timed stories about the fake news breaking today do not fill me with horror or anger but only with a kind of inevitable exhaustion.
Of course this is where our love of easy feeling over difficult, complicated, messy reason leads us—the perverse joy of turning inward pain outward in collective nationalistic anger can only lead to a place where even the whiff of possibility in any given story is enough for us to swallow it whole. Anything to keep those partisan fires burning. It’s the only warmth we have.
At least the CAH hole is real. At least there is a direct and visible effect that follows the cause of handing over cash. Money is taken. The hole—a real hole in the earth—gets deeper. Tragically, this is possibly the closest many of us will get to actually building something of our own.
(The irony of companies now giving absurd amounts just to have CheapTshirts.blog appear at the top of the list of donors to a literal fucking money hole is not lost on me, though I suspect it is on them.)
The creators go to great pains to point out that it isn’t a metaphor, but one of the beautiful things of art is that artists can only supply so much meaning. The rest comes from the audience, and we have an audience desperate to find any meaning at all as capitalism’s empty promises leave us feeling cold and alone and notions of honour or integrity or dignity seem like quaint anachronisms, ready to be sacrificed at the alter of nihilism.