We Really Need to See Less of Each Other

This is … horrible! It has to be one of the most toxic ads I’ve ever seen. The original Magritte painting is, of course, a tragic one – the stifling effect of inescapable isolation as a force within you even as you strive to overcome it. I remember it well and there always seemed an emotional depth hiding within his cool and rather stark images. Yet there’s no way I can believe there’s any irony in its usage here – it’s not a statement on the tragedy of lockdown, which doubles down on those feelings so intensely. They’ve inverted it completely – the tragedy is good, moral and by implication, positive. It’s a classic Orwellian inversion, and I try not to compare things to him lightly. This is as an entire population buckling and breaking under the horrorshow that is our wrecked lives and the eternal and eternally confusing micromanagement from the powers that be – while being told stuff like this, which for some people will leave long-lasting scars. I am emphatically not ok through all this – is anybody? I doubt it. And this farcical poster feels a very strong reason why – the feeling of being played, both self and society. Me being coaxed to feel guilty about being lonely, whether I do anything about it or not. And society divided and turning on each other, stoked to judgementalism through moral manipulation that drastically lacks nuance. (Remember the days when people would get into screaming froths over exercisers merely sitting on a bench for a few minutes?) Seeing this for the first time felt as though someone had stuck a metaphorical knife into me – it was a tear-jerking moment, and a real blast of rage against a society that can’t handle the situation without the fingers that are this image digging into our brains and twisting.

Published in: on January 5, 2021 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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