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It’s time for a NEW QUEER HEDONISM!

The current global pandemic represents an unprecedented opportunity to recontextualize the way we interact with the world, including what, how, and why we buy things. 


There is no just-in-time supply chain of relief from the looming terrors of late capitalism when we have to bleach everything we buy; when our packages are delivered to us by latex-gloved hands, like hazardous materials. 


In the new dissociated city, we can no longer thoughtlessly churn through the one-click dopamine machine from our couches. Every decision to buy something must be considered in terms of the risks to ourselves and our loved ones. 


The truth is, these packages were always the vectors of a disease. We’ve all been infected with the inability to imagine alternatives to capitalism and the belief that there’s a simple pleasure in acquisition. 


Covid-19 is making the metaphor tangible, compelling even the most laissez-faire of us to think harder about capitalism. The extent to which we have made excuses for our buying habits with narratives of “self-care” and victimhood has long needed a reckoning. Consumption is not more ethical because it makes you feel “more like yourself” or because it comes with a rainbow flag, fresh from the factory.


What if we never forget the feeling of disgust, the shame of knowing we’re buying something we don’t really need, that could actually be hurting us and the people we love? What if we realized this is always true and we should have always felt this way? 


Let’s make this the new normal, and use it to break out of our routinized consumerism! 


But of course, any psychologist will tell you, to break a habit it’s not enough to create a Clockwork Orange-style negative association with Amazon Prime. (And of course, we’re not advocating conversion therapy for capitalists, no matter how appealing the mental image….) For real progress, we have to find an alternative behavior and reinforce it. 


That’s why it’s time for a new queer hedonism! 


As decadent and glorious and expansive and inflorescent as anything known in history ~ 


A queer utopia must be founded on a liberation of pleasure, not on restriction. But instead of passively consuming, let’s create, mend, decorate, cannibalize and destroy, for pleasure’s sake. Let’s seek out sensual delights with gay abandon — warmth, softness, intimacies, orgasms, pain, let’s find a new language of luxury. 


Look into your amassing hoard of objects. In what do you see yourself? In the old, decaying trinkets, cherish the tarnish and wear, and abstain from diluting them with more gilded crap.


Our queer pleasures should be impossible for capitalism to digest without swallowing a dose of poison. Pleasure, ecstatic utopian boundless pleasure is radical. Hedonism without consumerism, desire without market forces, can you imagine? 


This is a dream, of course.


But so much of life in these times feels unreal.


If nothing else, remember to bleach your packages. 


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