Douglas Haddow writes about the “coming barbarism” in Adbusters:
On a blustery February morning in 2009 I found myself stranded in Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5. My flight was delayed indefinitely due to the UK’s biggest snowstorm in 18 years, leaving me to wander aimlessly against a backdrop of scrolling cancellations and panicky commuters. Outside the billowing airport architecture London was deadlocked, its citizens sabotaged by an absentee polar jet stream.
As I wandered through the terminal I watched groups of temporary refugees from across the world form micro-communes, emptying their luggage onto the floor and building little nests out of coats and sweaters. It was a surreal image: The typically bustling and optimistic concourse was transformed into something that looked more like a deportation centre.
Having been mugged at knifepoint in a dodgy Parisian stairwell earlier that week, I was without cash or plastic. No big deal at first, but after ten hours of hunger pangs, desperation set in. After a few embarrassing and unsuccessful attempts to flog the contents of my carry-on (two books and a used disposable camera), I set up camp near an abandoned Krispy Kreme and tried to distract my brain from my stomach with J.G. Ballard’s Kingdom Come:
“People feel they can rely on the irrational. It offers the only guarantee of freedom from all the cant and bullshit and sales commercials fed to us by politicians, bishops and academics. People are deliberately re-primitivizing themselves. They yearn for magic and unreason, which served them well in the past and might help them again. They’re keen to enter a new Dark Age. The lights are on, but they’re retreating into the inner darkness, into superstition and unreason. The future is going to be a struggle between vast systems of competing psychopathies, all of them willed and deliberate, part of a desperate attempt to escape from a rational world and the boredom of consumerism.”
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