EFFECTIVE DEMISE

 

The woman on the radio was talking with what initially seemed like unusual candour:

 

 

“…There is a certain economy to relationships, one reflected in the language that often surrounds talking about them. Lets call it emonomics. People talk about ‘investing’ in relationships, cutting their losses, also the word ‘value’ (multi-faceted as it is) features heavily in all sorts of self-helpish communications. When people consider their sense of self-worth, how (or whether) they are ‘valued’ in their relationships, nobody ever seems to consider the hard sell, the flogging of your wares in a collapsed market. An object passes the event horizon, into the black hole, without ever appearing to do so to an external observer. I caught myself having a dream in which in an effort to persuade someone to have sex with me, I said to them: “My father always told to me ‘Nothing is free in this life, but some things are cheaper than others’”.

 

A crisis of overproduction happens when capital accumulated can no longer be invested profitably, nor all commodities sold to consumers. Capital demands profit and the paper value of ‘Love’ (that most fictitious of all capital) is propped up by destroying the value of labour needed to produce it.

 

What my father in reality told me was “You don’t have to do anything in this life except die, and you only have to do that once.”

 

He didn’t elaborate on the temporality of that death, though the sentence does imply he means something finite, perhaps quick and merciful.

 

He is of course wrong.

 

An individual might not have to die except once, but the shape and time death takes is less definite. Desire is amortised over long stretches. Further than this, the social sum of slow deaths – you could call it ‘aggregate demise’ or ‘total demise’ – overshadows the relative freedom that constitutes the core of this piece of paternal advice.

 

Marketing yourself for a cheaper price flows imperceptibly into having to ‘take one for the company’. An observer crossing a black hole event horizon can calculate the moment they’ve crossed it, but will not actually see or feel anything special happen at that moment…”

 

 

I heard her go on for a while, then the reception faded out. Or I did. In any case I couldn’t follow what was she said anymore, even if the image of her voice seemed to linger on, getting more redshifted as time passed.