Kevin Thomas: Manifesto for the Infinite Now

We live in an age of impermanence.

There is no such thing as a lifetime warranty anymore. Our technology, our machines are designed to become obsolete twenty minutes after they’re barfed into creation by some Silicon Valley jackass. Most young people are renting, and will probably wind up renting out different dingy apartments for close to their entire adult lifespan, owning nothing except maybe the clothes on their back, but even those clothes will go out of style and disappear into Goodwill donation piles until 20 years later, when everything comes back in style.

The material world went digital. We traded in kleos — honor and glory — for 15 minutes of fame, and even that has shrunk to fifteen seconds. We don’t have the chance to explain ourselves in long winded letters — somewhere along the line we decided it was easier to dilute ourselves to 280 characters, though that’s twice the amount as two years ago.

The world we live in is one beleaguered by problems from the past with a future that seems apocalyptic. The only thing that we truly have, the only thing that we are able to hold onto is the Infinite Now, the everlasting present.

We live in an age of impermanence.

It is of absolute importance that our art follow into the ephemeral. It’s time to toss out the dusty tomes of yesterday, the ones our patriarchal fathers pushed upon us at an early age, the ones we were told were transcendent, representative of the common struggle of mankind. We need to set fire to the Library of Congress, get rid of Wuthering Heights, The Iliad, The Odyssey and The Great Gatsby. Those words were woven together for a different time period. They have no more place in our day, the only day that we can be certain of because it is happening right before our eyes.

Koons Crooks gives us all the Iterating Grace we might need. It is high-time we abandon the printing press for the copy machine to distribute our poetry hand-to-hand, building relationships and community with each word we speak in an attempt to stand against this inaccessible, bourgeois, isolationist world that tells us we only need to communicate via Facebook Messenger so they can sell our information, the only permanent aspect about us, to get the greatest profit. It is high-time we fill art galleries with bubbles and let them slowly pop, turning a full room into emptiness over the course of a few hours. We shouldn’t paint anymore. Not unless we know it’ll be gone over the next day.

There needs to be no more novels. The fishermen’s nets should swell with burgeoning vignettes, capturing the magical now only for it to be released back into the air, ethereal nothingness.

We live in an age of impermanence.

Our structures will not stand for longer than we will. Our mirrors, as every art reflects reality, ought to fill with light or fade to darkness with each day’s sunrise and sunset. It is necessary that our art is polemic.

It cannot address the future, or tell the past. It must recognize the now — the only thing that exists, the simple, incomprehensible, personal, divine moment of this very second — and represent it and the people of the present. Each piece must call the proletariat to action to attack the past, owned and decided by the bourgeoisie, in order to decide upon a future which has yet to come into being.

It is time for the people to print zines and publish their dreams on blogs that will go unseen. It is time to make art, tell tales and plant seeds in public forums instead of in isolated areas. It is time for storytelling to come to life outside of bedtime.

It is time for a new John Henry. It is time for a new Johnny Appleseed. It is time for a new Paul Bunyan, a new Babe the Blue Ox.

Kevin Thomas is the Interim Editor-in-Chief for the Newswire. He is a junior English and philosophy double major from St. Louis.