Art Economics Low Politics Decline Political Theology Power Geopolitics

Academic Agent on 'The Anywhere-ization of all Places'

Academic Agent on 'The Anywhere-ization of all Places'
taken from our interview on 11/6/2023

This is the start of a new experiment. I’ve decided to upload moments from my show where the guest has expressed something profound as a sub-stack post. I’ve edited what was said only to improve clarity as a written piece. This is all the thought of my friend and mentor Academic Agent . If this interests you check him out. There’s one section where I interject that has also been edited for clarity.

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Academic Agent :

In the recent past, every ethnic group had its hometown hero. There was enough genuine culture that it meant something to be an Italian-American. Many of these guys were first or second-generation immigrants. They were taking something of the home country and reproducing it in that part of New York.

Fast forward from that era to now and almost all of the descendants of those people have become like sludge. If those people are watching I'm not trying to insult you. I'm just saying that all of those genuine cultures have been replaced with a kind of ersatz McDonald's culture.

The further you get away from the original referent point of that original immigrant, the further you get away from a genuine culture and the more you get the fake and gay culture.

I'm sure there are a lot of people who will recognize that in their own families. I see it as a tragedy.

You're destroying all of the separate cultures that once existed in the name of what?

To produce what?


You see this trend in the destruction of regional accents.

I noticed this in talking to people where I live. You have to go back two generations in order to find people who speak with the regional accent. Effectively, other than a few words, I could have been born in Southern California, in Milwaukee, almost anywhere in the United States. As that kind of homogenization occurs, there's a destruction of culture.

I have a friend who watches the Premier League. He's a massive stats nerd, and plays football manager, all of that. He's watching it out of spite at this point.

One of the things that I learned from him is that many of these organizations were originally clubs. It was an armature organization. The players would get paid, but they were expected to have another job. These clubs were intensely regional. Everyone was from the same community and they knew each other.

Look at it now, and it's all owned by Arabs. If you're lucky a third of the team is born within the boundaries of the UK. There’s no true regional identity.

AA Continues:

Not only is that the case, but the fandom is the same. The picture of a Premier League fan is a Pakistani guy with a mobile phone and a football top or an African dude in a Barcelona shirt.

I mean it's just the worst global brand. Everything's a global brand and it fucking sucks.

It's crap.

I used to love football when I was a kid. I can barely feign interest anymore because it's all just like nothing's connected to anything.

It's just nothing.

What does this mean to me or anybody else?

There's a town near here called Woking, which is a giant mall. It doesn't begin or end. There’s a massive mall that takes over the middle of this town. If you find a way to get out of that mall, it's dotted around with these statues of random normal people. For example, a woman with her hands on her hips looking a bit fed up, a black woman in a hoodie, or any random ethnic person.

That is what Woking is now.

It's a mall filled with chain stores and these completely meaningless random statues. They are not only aesthetically displeasing, but also these people could be from anywhere.

And this is it.

It's the anywhere-ization of all places.

It makes me sad when I look around is all of the little signifiers that would have marked out places unique and different. All those little things, they don't survive.

They close down.

Hundreds of pubs are closing every single week.

All of these things have been destroyed within 15 or 20 years of full-on neoliberalism, as you might want to call it, or double liberalism. It has fucking wrecked everything that anybody loved.

It's happening everywhere, you know, whether it's Virginia or Woking or France, it's happening everywhere.

And it's horrible.

You can see it in the people, right?

In this little town, Woking, there's this passage that you have to walk through to find your way out of the endless mall. This passage is lined with these stores that sell mobile phone covers. It's like a mobile phone cover stall, vaping stall, you know here's a shop that sells like you know the little connectors that you get on a mobile phone and you look at well who is behind the counters of each of these places and it's some brown guy

I honestly don't think they do because they look miserable as fucking sin.

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