“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” With these words, American essayist and naturalist Henry David Thoreau spoke to our understanding of perception. It’s commonly understood that our eyes can deceive us, but less universally accepted is the way that two people can look at the exact same thing, and see two completely different scenes. Not only context, but history, emotion, and bias shape our view of reality in ways that can sometimes be completely antithetical to the perspective of others. Which is why it’s now important to note that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is, to these eyes, trying desperately to communicate his inner emptiness to the world at large, through coded images that he hopes will convey precisely this philosophical conceit.
America’s unofficial poet laureate politician and police sketch artist rendering of “unidentified white male, 50s” has again taken to his Instagram, which just yesterday we learned was a breeding ground for Walker’s muse, namely, the false patina of contemporary capitalist life in the United States. Thanks to Wired editor Ashley Feinberg, we assayed the numerous pictures from his social media account that paint a picture of the numbing, narcotizing effect of slowly being hemmed in by the everyday grotesqueries of existence—mostly through endless shots of interchangeable brown paper bags, containing his ongoing mechanistic consumption of plain ham and cheese sandwiches. It seems someone from his team alerted the governor to the fact that the godless liberal media had uncovered his ongoing art project, because he quickly crafted a response overtly meant to deliver a resounding “zing!” on that lamestream media, one his handlers doubtless checked and signed off on prior to hitting “publish”:
“Hoisted by their own petards!” his yes-men undoubtedly thought, rubbing their hands gleefully as they pictured the denizens of the internet seeing this photo and caption, and quickly rueing the day they ever sought to make sport of the Badger State’s surely-beloved-by-someone governor. But while Governor Walker was far cannier than they even knew (more on that shortly), these staffers soon found they had misjudged those following Walker’s feed, as the internet, strangely, did not simply acquiesce in the face of an out-of-touch gentleman’s attempt at humor. Nay, contrary to the expected response of quiescence and humble apologies as per usual with random strangers online, those with their own social media accounts had the temerity to scorn this effort.
But all these people have Walker wrong. While the overt message here was one of standard-issue politics as usual—a.k.a. the soul-deadening process of further antagonism-cum-capitulation to the established order of ennui—the covert message was far more ambitious. Walker is crying for help, trying to furtively expose the hollowness at the core of his message and party, and asking for someone, anyone, to liberate him from his self-imposed iron cage of humdrum sadness. While most of us simply studied his art, nodding sagely to ourselves in appreciation of the man’s greatness, one bold purveyor of samizdat literature bravely called attention to the man’s brilliant and subtle reveal of the faulty power structure animating the right’s entire ideology.
Scott…I have bad news pic.twitter.com/kJMUKGJU0n
— Lib Crusher (@lib_crusher) July 6, 2017
Lives of quiet desperation, indeed—but only until good men and women say, “No more.” Scott Walker, you are an inspiration to revolutionary working class people everywhere. Keep fighting the good fight against plutocrats and the rich from within the belly of the beast. (Though perhaps don’t do quite so good a job of pretending when drafting those bills in the future.)