Lacanian Review Online: Slowing Down

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When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender
This I could not do

(Leonard Cohen, The Partisan)
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LRO 163
22nd June 2019

Microwave Push – Next! 
Ines Anderson
 

In our epoch, I see a tendency toward what I call “Microwave-time” in our lives; where we want everything fast, fast food, fast services, fast results, sharing instant outcomes in real time… Hypermodernity’s discourse regarding time overvalues rapidity and that the subject experience as a push toward speed, and acceleration in everyday life. [1] This I would call “Microwave-push” in this need to go faster in order to catch up with so many demands of our multitasking lives.

The imperative of cost-effectiveness is all over the place. For example, speed datingoffers a maximum of chances in the minimum of time. This procedure does not generate anxiety, which seems to be its function – the embarrassment of being rejected is absorbed by the mediation of the process. The dating market teaches us about the modern treatment of the real at stake in the romantic encounter. In other areas this format is being modified for finding jobs, investors, or a baby-sitter… as hiring becomes casting and recruitment replaces flirting. Next! Compare, delete, choose the best product that corresponds to your “needs” [2]

Benjamin Franklin’s “Time is money” introduced the accountability of time, which followed the empire of measure. This quantification of life introduced an equivalence for every object in terms of money. Time itself became a value of exchange, as in a “time bank” where there is a reciprocity-based work trading system in which hours are the currency. Time thus becomes an object of jouissance. To enjoy time, particularly the “free” time, comes under the command of jouissance. [3]

But while we value time, we cannot waste time, things tend to have ever-shorter duration, tend to disappear or perish too fast. Ephemeral is the new trend in the Internet of expressing oneself in real time, and that once published, disappears within 24 hours – like Instagram Stories, Snapchat, Facebook Poke, and Slingshot. Nothing lasts – a job, living in the same geographical space, common life, family unit; there is a feeling of having to adapt to a new form of life, abandoning the expectation of a continuity, solidity, duration. [4] Even looking for a therapy, people look for a brief approach, short-term here-and now solutions… like in brief therapy.

As all objects are perishable, they end up causing dissatisfaction in the long run. So, if we consider hyper-consumerist desire, the answer is novelty, itself is an object of jouissance. Time accelerates and is never enough. Hypermodernity is hypervelocity articulated with the imperative to jouir. [5] In response to this command to go faster and faster with this microwave push to run and be ready for the next thing, psychoanalysis can offer a space to slow down to find a different time for the singularity of the subject.

 


[1] Assef, J. “The Push of Hypervelocity”, The Lacanian Review. Hurly Burley. Journal of NLS & AMP. Issue 6, Fall. P. 230
[2] Pfauwadel, A. “Speed Dating”, “A Real for the 21st Century”, Scilicet. A New Lacanian School Publication. Paris 2014. P. 423-424

[3] Bassols, M. “Money, Time and Not-all”, Hurly-Burly Issue 11, May 2014. Pag.184
[4] Dessal, G. “The Spark of a Desire Can Transform a Subject, a Community, a Country”, Hurly-Burly Issue 11, May 2014. P. 227
[5] Assef, J. “The Push of Hypervelocity”, The Lacanian Review. Hurly Burley. Journal of NLS & AMP. Issue 6, Fall. P. 232

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