The Viewer Tomorrow

To the brave Alexa O’Brien

1. There is something extremely annoying about Julian Assange’s first episode of The World Tomorrow: it forces the viewer into acknowledging the other.

2. The viewer, I have said: a reader. But here I must explore a little further: not a receptor of a message, but an active de-codifier. Restrained by its own ideology, a fighting will.

3. I hate doing this, but here I must add: the western viewer. For that subject is the only one I know, since it is the one I am. There is no need to learn every individual-made-subject’s thoughts to understand every single one of them—us, for we are all contained in the expressions of our ideology—that is: we are contained in our ideologies.

4. These lines follow Althusser’s understanding of the referred terms—individual, subject, ideology [Get here].

5. It has also been somehow irritating to catch up with the reactions to Assange’s first episode of his show—being some of them better than others. They are so predictable! But there is no little interest in them—which may be the irritating part of the whole thing: they expose how unaccustomed is the western viewer to the possibility of the other. So much so, that we have become unable to understand ourselves—our part of the world, our point f view, our ideology—as a kind among many.

6. Dismissing Assange because he is working now with Kremlin funded RT when undoubtedly such criticism would not come to mind if he were working with British Broadcasting Corporation—for instance—pays to the opposite argument intended. It also speaks little about the critique’s target, though volumes about the critics. It seems that the western reader still must learn to disagree. I rather celebrate the way Assange has found value in the resources of many different media organizations, marrying none—and feel even like predicting a difficult split between RT and Assange in the future. This practice makes of such networks useful machines of actual information or, like a puerile commentator has said, useful idiots.

7. Consensus is the real enemy.

8. The sole receptor of a message, the one who lives in continuous ideological consensuses, is a victim, a corpse. Not without reason have I called the viewer a fighting will. Disagreeing is a beautiful thing, but siding with one is not disagreeing with another—it is just being a receptor of someone else’s speech.

9. The World Tomorrow presents the scenario of modern human tragedy: the viewer cannot side with either interlocutor—the two presents, and the many implied. None has a solution, all are the problem.

10. “None”, “all”: these words include us all, of course. Myself. (Should I say that these points do not imply there is total equivalence between the parts in conflict?)

11. In an ideal scenario, this realization should make us bend our focus, change the course of our participation in the debate—nobody is innocent. This change of focus, revealed by the other, would lead us all to ourselves, paradoxically, the same way our negligence to recognize the other keeps making us enemies of the different one.

12. That nobody is innocent implies something terrible: nobody is fully guilty, there is no plotted evil.

14. On Sayyid Nasrallah’s reasonable defense of having the voice of the accused during a trial: otherwise there would be no trial. But a trial must be performed by a power beyond the spheres of the alleged crime or punishment, not some innocent power, not some pure or better power, just a complete foreign power. That is the State apparatus in front of an accused subject. But in the very issues Assange and Nasrallah discuss—what to do with the Israel-Palestine conflict, who gets to decide what a terrorist is—any fabrication of such foreign power to judge the disputes will lack real authority. To my understanding, this is the most important value in The World Tomorrow’s attempt to approach Sayyid Nasrallah—who shows himself just as another politician pouring poor rhetoric and unnerving banality: it does not serve the purpose of a foreign news network, nor favors a controversial man, but shows the West from the West that we have less authority than we pretend—which is just a consequence of the betrayal against the very discipline, order and morality to which ourselves supposedly have committed.

15. The world tomorrow will require the kind of viewers that have understood automatic siding blocks thinking. That viewer won’t come from a TV show, but all TV shows pull the audience somewhere. Assange’s seems to do it in the right direction.