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品尝我,饮啖我,痴迷我



我们翻译这篇文章的理由



注意力经济蓬勃发展的大环境下,“人设”不再只是一种虚拟个体的表现形式,更是一种满足个体渴求关注度的商品。从虚拟形象的定义出发,对人类”自我创造“史追根溯源,作者从注意力与性自我的角度切入,挖掘人类受禁锢的本质:创造自由和数字技术使人类可以超越肉体限制的今天,我们依旧无法超越人际关系的真实性。无论你是猎艳浪子,还是自诩无欲,投射在数字世界的虚拟形象终究是因渴求他人注意而扭曲的自我。本因赋予我们自由的互联网最终在其崩溃为情感达尔文主义的过程中,揭示了人类彼此依赖、累于枷锁的真相。

——佳宁


👇


品尝我,饮啖我,痴迷我


作者:Tara Isabella Burton

译者:佳宁

校对:劼怡 & 小康

策划:小钊 & 佳宁



Eat Me, Drink Me, Like Me 
品尝我,饮啖我,痴迷我
Is love in the attention economy unreal?
注意力经济时代的爱是虚幻的吗?

In February of 2017, Shane Patrick Boyle told us all a story. Shane, the affable founder of Zine Fest Houston, tweeted a link to his one hundred thirty-six followers, sharing with them a GoFundMe campaign to cover his medical costs. Shane, a Type 1 diabetic, had recently returned from Texas to Arkansas to care for his mother. In so doing, he’d given up an arrangement he’d made with a local clinic to get regular, affordable insulin. So he asked the public for money: $750, to be exact.
2017年2月,谢恩·帕特里克·博伊尔和我们分享了他的故事。和蔼可亲的谢恩是Zine Fest Houston(一个致力于推广杂志、迷你漫画及其他各类艺术形式的活动项目)的创立者,他在推特上跟136名粉丝分享了一条链接,点击会跳转到他在GoFundMe的募捐项目,以支援他的医疗费用。谢恩患有Ⅰ型糖尿病,他在德克萨斯州时曾和当地一家诊所约定,每月他可以从该诊所购得价格便宜的胰岛素。但那时候他得回到阿肯色州照顾母亲,这样一来,那个约定就不得不作废。所以他向公众筹款,准确来说是750美元。

Shane’s tweet got minimal engagement. It wasn’t enthrallingly written — just a poorly formatted link to the GoFundMe page, along with the relatively anodyne explanation: “I’m raising money for Insulin for Next Month. Click to Donate.”
谢恩的推文乏人问津。推文本身也并不吸引眼球——只有一条简略的GoFundMe链接,附带平淡无奇的寥寥数语作为筹款原委:“我正在为下个月的胰岛素筹款。点击链接即可捐款。“

When Shane died of complications from diabetes a few weeks later, the GoFundMe was fifty dollars short. Shane had rationed his insulin, his cousin said on another GoFundMe campaign to cover the funeral costs. Although the original GoFundMe page is gone, Shane’s tweet is still up. After three years, it has garnered just 53 likes.
几周后,当谢恩死于糖尿病并发症时,GoFundMe上的募捐还差50美元。谢恩的堂兄在另一个筹措丧葬费用的GoFundMe项目中说,谢恩不得不紧巴巴地用着定量的胰岛素,省下钱来办自己的葬礼。尽管GoFundMe上已经找不到谢恩的募捐界面,但他的那条筹款推特还在。三年过去了,它只累积了53个赞。

A year later, a woman from Ridge, New York named Doreen Rudolph told another story. Her daughter, Nicole, had just been bumped off of her parents’ insurance. Nicole, like Shane, was diabetic and could not afford the cost of insulin. Doreen, like Shane, turned to Twitter. She told her story in exactly 280 characters, the maximum allowed by Twitter, eliminating spaces to make room: “I just bought 2 vials of insulin for my daughter cost me $524. With a discount card. All I could buy. I left the pharmacy and sat in My car and cried. I would never tell her this. I’ll tell her I was able to get from work because she knows i don’t have $. I have love and worry 24/7.”
一年后,来自纽约州里奇市的多琳·鲁道夫女士身上却发生了另一个故事。她的女儿妮可不再被纳入父母的保险方案。妮可和谢恩一样,患有糖尿病,且无法负担胰岛素的费用。多琳也和谢恩一样,转而在推特求助。一条推文的字数上限是280个字符,她于是用了刚好280个字符来讲述自己的故事。为了腾出位置给想说的话,多琳甚至没有留空格:“我刚给女儿买了2瓶胰岛素,524美元。折扣价。我再也买不起更多。我离开药房坐在车里哭泣。但我永远不会告诉她这些。我只会告诉她,这些是我从单位拿的,因为她知道我没钱。我那么爱她,那么担心她。每时每刻。”

This tweet was retweeted, liked, and replied to tens of thousands of times. Many people offered to send money through PayPal or Venmo. Commentators dug up an old GoFundMe of Doreen’s, set up just a few months after Shane’s death, and started donating. The money topped out at nearly $9,000 before Doreen stopped accepting donations. The Rudolphs’ story was covered as a heartwarming puff piece by Yahoo News and the Washington Post. Doreen later started identifying herself online as an insulin advocate, and continues to tweet about affordable insulin access in America.
这条推特获得了上万转发、点赞和回复。许多人提出通过PayPal或Venmo向多琳汇款。而网友甚至将多琳之前在GoFundMe发起的筹款项目(发布时间距离谢恩逝世只差几个月)翻了出来,继续捐款。在多琳停止接受捐赠前,这笔钱就已达到近9000美元。鲁道夫一家的故事还登上了雅虎新闻和华盛顿邮报,被吹得感人肺腑。后来,多琳开始在网上自称平价胰岛素倡议人,并持续在推特上谈论美国平价胰岛素的普及情况。

In the attention economy, as in any economy, there are winners and there are losers. There are those who capture a sufficient market share of our time and our clicks, of our care and our compassion, of our libidos and our longings and our hearts and our funds and our free time and, perhaps above all things, our gaze. And there are those who do not, who commit, by lack of skill or lack of effort or unease with the written word or an inability to be photographed from the right angle, the capital offense of being uninteresting. To the good storytellers, to those who are capable of creating a personal brand that goes viral, who render themselves influencers, go the spoils of our collective captivation.
任何经济模式中,有赢家就会有输家,注意力经济也不例外。有些人让我们心甘情愿付出时间去点击,博得我们的关心和同情,撩拨我们的性欲和渴望;他们俘获我们的心、资金,占据我们的空闲时间,而也许最重要的,是获得了我们的关注,因此成就了他们充足的市场份额,最终成为赢家。一些人却做不到如此,他们缺乏技巧,不甚努力,对文字表达无所适从或无法从某个恰如其分的角度进行拍摄而犯下名为“无趣”的死罪。对于那些优秀的叙事者,那些能够打造出爆红个人品牌,产生显著影响力的弄潮儿,我们的集体迷恋沦为了他们的战利品。

I am not merely talking about the extreme cases — the quarter of a million people each year who attempt to pay their necessary medical bills through collective crowdfunding on GoFundMe, or new-media outlets that pay their writers only with “exposure” (as The Huffington Post did until 2018), or the professional Instagrammers whose livelihoods are directly correlated to the number of people willing to like the sponsored content they promote in the service of an aspirational mode of being. I am talking, rather, about an increasing number of Americans, particularly millennials, for whom the notion of the personal brand is not merely a creative possibility but, to a greater or lesser degree, an economic reality. For anyone who has ever been on a dating site or a business networking site like LinkedIn, or who has crowdfunded a personal or professional venture, or who has participated in the “gig economy,” or even who has had a potential employer Google her or check out her social media — for these people, our ability to self-create is, in 2020 more than ever, directly correlated with our ability to be in the world.
每年有25万人试图在GoFundMe上通过众筹募捐以支付基础医疗费用;有些新媒体甚至只用“曝光度”衡量作家的报酬(《赫芬顿邮报》直到2018年还在那么做);还有些以接广告为生的专业Instagram用户,他们以理想的生活方式为旗号推广赞助内容,而点赞数直接关系到他们的生计。除了上述极端情况,我要说的是,越来越多的美国人,特别是千禧一代,对他们来说,所谓个人品牌不仅是一种创造性的探索,而且或多或少地已经成为了一种经济现实。无论是曾经使用相亲网站或类似领英的商务社交网站,为个人或专业投资项目众筹,还是投身过“零工经济”,甚至是被潜在雇主搜索过、浏览过社交媒体账号——如今对这些人而言,打造人设的能力前所未有地直接关系到他们的生存能力。

It would be all too easy to launch a familiar jeremiad against our digital avatars — against the pressure to create inauthentic, disembodied selves, selves that in turn control elements of our “meatspace.” But to do so would make certain assumptions about the Real — that authenticity is necessarily physicalized, linked to our individual and autonomous bodies. A more interesting question is this: When disembodiment and self-creation alike are so integral to our mode of existing socially, what exactly renders either our offline selves or online selves “real” at all?
由此,虚假自我便反过来控制了我们的现实生活,并且迫于立住人设的压力,使我们很容易就去控诉自己的虚拟化身。但这样做是对“真实”的某种想当然的假设——真实性必然是实体化的,存在于独立个体和自主团体之中。更有趣的是:当“无实体”和“人设营造”成为当今社会模式不可或缺的一部分,到底是什么让我们的线下自我或线上自我变得“真实”?

Digital Personae
虚拟形象

Our curated digital bodies are an integral part of our economic reality. Even if we have a stable, “normal” job, our digital footprint — our LinkedIns, our Twitter pages, and other publicly visible digital profiles — advertise us to potential clients and employers alike. If we, as do a third of American workers, make our money in part or full from the gig economy, then those pressures are even more apparent. Both our public personae on places like Twitter and our platform-specific work personae — on websites like TaskRabbit, which allows users to select a housekeeper or handyman from a list of profiles — demand self-creation toward a specific, and not particularly well-remunerated, end.
精心策划的虚拟形象是经济现实中不可或缺的一环。即使我们有一份稳定、“正常”的工作,我们的数字足迹——领英账号、推特主页和其他公开的数字档案——都在向潜在的客户和雇主宣传自己。据统计美国有三分之一的劳动力参与了零工经济,如果所有人都效仿他们,导致部分收入甚或全部收入依赖于打零工,那种压力就会更明显。但是我们在推特等网站上的公开形象,和特定平台的工作形象,比如TaskRabbit,(一个跑腿外包网站,用户会根据网站提供的资料选择跑腿者),却都要求我们打造一个专业且不苛求高回报的人设。

But self-creation is also necessary for the accumulation of other kinds of capital: social, say, or purely sexual. The digital avatars we create on Tinder (are we hot enough to swipe right on?), OKCupid (are we hot and interesting enough for someone to send us a message, or to have our messages reciprocated?), or Raya (are we hot and interesting and prestigiously educated and Instagram-famous enough to be allowed on the exclusive app in the first place?) — these are funhouse mirrors of our “real” selves. They are at once parallel, digital bodies and increasingly the default social conduits to our most intimate physicality. Around forty percent of new couples in 2017 met online, according to one recent study.
但是,人设打造对于其他类型的资本积累也是必要的:比如社会资本和纯粹的性资本。我们在各类交友约会网站上创造的数字自我,诸如Tinder(我们是否性感到足以让人秒赞?),OKCupid(我们是否足够性感与有趣,能够收到私信或得到回复?),或是Raya(我们是不是足够性感风趣,上过名校,而且在Instagram上小有名气,从而第一时间成为这个精英专属约会软件的会员?)上的形象——都是我们“现实”自我的夸张写照。而这些一度并行于各大网站的数字化身,逐渐成为连接我们的现实自我的默认社交渠道。最近的一项研究显示,2017年约有40%的新人相识于互联网。

Socially and professionally, we create ourselves online. Just as the way we dress our bodies, position our gestures, or cultivate a class-specific accent allows us to occupy not just physical but social space, so too does our creation of a social media personality allow us to project our social selves into the dizzying realms of the disembodied. And the reach of these disembodied spaces — our ability to share content not just with a few “in real life” acquaintances but to the whole expanse of our followers — makes these digital-social selves brutally efficient, a way of projecting ourselves into the gaze of everybody we know, all at once.
无论是社交还是工作,我们都在网上打造着自己。就像优雅的衣着品位、仪态和流利的上流口音会使我们在现实和社交上占据优势,我们在社交媒体上创造的自我也会将社会自我投射到虚拟花花世界。而这些虚拟空间的范围不再受限于 “现实生活中”的几个熟人,而是辐射到整个粉丝群体。即时化的数字时代,让虚拟形象瞬间出现在所有人的视线当中,我们的社交自我以一种简单粗暴的方式变得迅速而高效。

We cannot dissociate either our economic lives or our social selves from the creeping need for a personal brand. Digital self-creation as a form not just of expanded agency, but of attention-seeking, has become a requirement. We create ourselves not just as works of art, but as objects of commerce. Our digital selves, like our bodies, are vulnerable.
我们不能将我们的经济生活或社会自我与对个人品牌日益增长的需求分离开来。网络人设作为一种扩大自我代理和获得关注的形式,已经成为一种需求。自我形象不仅是艺术品,更是商品。而我们的虚拟自我,和我们的身体一样,脆弱又易碎。

“Miniature Gods”
“上帝的缩影”

The irony is that self-creation was traditionally seen as evidence not of man’s desperation, but his dignity. In Renaissance philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s “Oration on the Dignity of Man” (1486), shortly after creating the universe God tells Adam that creativity, and self-creativity in particular, is integral to what it means to exist in the image of God:
具有讽刺意味的是,一直以来,自我创造反映的是人的自尊,而非绝望之举。在乔瓦尼·皮科·德拉·米兰多拉的(文艺复兴时期哲学家、人文主义者)《论人的尊严》中,上帝在创造宇宙后便告诉亚当,创造,尤其是自我创造,象征着以上帝形象自鉴的存在:

Thou, constrained by no limits, in accordance with thine own free will, in whose hand We have placed thee, shalt ordain for thyself the limits of thy nature…. We have made thee neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal, so that with freedom of choice and with honor, as though the maker and molder of thyself, thou mayest fashion thyself in whatever shape thou shalt prefer.
你不受任何限制的约束,可以按照你的自由抉择决定你的自然,我们已把你交给你的自由选择……你既不属天也不属地;既非可朽亦非不朽;这样一来,你就是自己尊贵而自由的形塑者,可以把自己塑造成任何你偏爱的形式。(译文选自北京大学出版社《论人的尊严》,译者: 顾超一 / 樊虹谷)

To self-create is a form of self-divinization. Nineteenth-century dandy culture, for example, was said by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly, one of its chroniclers, to be for “miniature Gods.” The dandy, aloof and nonchalant, is never subject to the affection of others, or to the contingency that comes with being loved. He does not love, for he is emotionally invulnerable. Both d’Aurevilly and his fellow dandy Charles Baudelaire believed dandyism to be about the disconnect between the power to affect others and the power to be (at least seemingly) unaffected. In one telling anecdote, Baudelaire compares the dandy to the myth of the Spartan schoolboy concealing a stolen fox from his tutor by hiding it under the boy’s tunic. The boy maintains a courageous air of impassivity with his tutor until the fox claws out his innards and kills him. “A dandy may be blasé,” Baudelaire assures us, “he may even suffer; but in this case, he will smile like the Spartan boy under the fox’s tooth.”
自我创造是将自我神圣化的一种形式。以19世纪的丹迪文化为例,作家朱尔斯·巴尔贝·多尔维利曾在他的一部作品中写道,其目的在于成为“上帝的缩影”。冷漠疏离的花花公子,永远不会为情所困,为爱所累,在人世间行走而无懈可击。多尔维利和丹迪同好查尔斯·波德莱尔认为,丹迪主义旨在影响他人的同时,能维持无动于衷的自我。在一则轶闻中,波德莱尔还曾以一则斯巴达男孩神话与花花公子作比:男孩从导师那偷来一只狐狸藏在长袍之下,却在导师面前始终保持着一种近乎悲壮的平静,直到狐狸的利爪挖出了他的内脏,置他于死地。波德莱尔深信:“花花公子也许很冷漠,他甚至可能很痛苦;但即使如此,他还是会保持微笑,和狐狸獠牙下的斯巴达男孩一样。”

The created self of humanist thought, the dandy of nineteenth-century Paris and London: they are selves whose creation is a form of power, not only over themselves, but over their audience, la foule. The term literally means “the crowd,” but often with the connotation of a slow-moving mass denied any particularity on the part of any of its members. Dandyism is about producing an effect on the masses.
19世纪巴黎和伦敦的花花公子是人文主义思潮下的自我创造:这种自我创造是权力的一种形式,不仅凌驾于他们自己,而且凌驾于他们的观众(la foule)之上。这个词在字面上表示“人群”,但通常意指一个保守且否认个体独特性的群体。丹迪主义就是要对芸芸大众产生影响。

“The most general characteristic of Dandyism,” d’Aurevilly writes, “is always to produce the unexpected, that which could not logically be anticipated by those accustomed to the yoke of rules.” Dandies make others totally subject to their will. Theirs is the creation of a narcissistic world through the influence upon an audience.
“丹迪主义最普遍的特征,”多尔维利写道,“在于它总是出人意料,使得那些习惯于规则枷锁的人无法在逻辑上预判。”花花公子们让他人完全服从于他们自己的意志——通过影响观者来创造一个自恋的世界。

To be a self-creator is, by definition, to stand outside and against the crowd, to transcend humanity to become a kind of mage. As a lesser-known dandy chronicler, the novelist and occultist Joséphin Péladan, put it in his 1892 book How to Become a Mage, “You must create your own magic: not as an expression of vanity, but as you would create an original work of art.”
做一个自我创造者,顾名思义,就是站出来,对抗大流,超越普罗,施展魅力,成为近乎魔法的存在。作为一个鲜为人知的丹迪编年史作家,小说家兼神秘学家约瑟芬·佩拉当曾在他1892年出版的《如何成为法师》一书中写道:“你必须创造你自己的魔法:不是虚荣心作祟,而是原创的艺术。”

Tinder Dandies
猎艳浪子

The question “How do we make ourselves?” is inseparable from the question “How do we make things that are like us but also not like us?” In dandyism, as in today’s digital panopticon, self-creation is inextricably linked with a profound ambiguity about the power and promise of technology, and the ways in which we might become not merely self-fashioning subjects but objects — easily, uncannily, reproducible.
“我们如何创造自我”与“我们如何创造出似是而非的自我”两者密不可分。正如今天的虚拟全景,技术力量和前景的深刻歧义以及我们在自我塑造时既是主体又是客体的方式,都与自我创造有着千丝万缕的联系,体现了丹迪主义简单而惊人的可复制性。

Dandyism arose in the milieu of nineteenth-century, industrial Paris, when the city had been newly transformed into a stage by a number of innovations — today we might call them disruptions. There was the gas lamp: As part of his renovations of the city, Baron Haussmann had twenty thousand installed starting in 1853. The lamps rendered the dangerous and labyrinthine streets of the city visible for the first time at night — and thus open for the ubiquity of the new boulevard. Along with the boulevard came its symbiotic twin, the café terrace, with its chairs facing outward onto the street, inviting the flâneur, or people-watcher. There was also the rise of the department store as a bourgeois phenomenon, recounted in Émile Zola’s 1883 novel Au Bonheur des Dames. With the department store came the shop windows, the mannequins, and the dazzling panoply of visible and accessible mass-produced goods — which in turn made the original, the homespun, and the bespoke into rare objects of novelistic fetishization.
丹迪主义兴起于19世纪工业革命背景下的巴黎,当时创新发明大量涌现,带动了城市的大变样——不过今天我们可能将其视作“粗暴的破坏”。作为巴黎改造计划的一部分,自1853年起,豪斯曼男爵安装了两万盏煤气灯。在灯光的映照下,这座城市变得清晰可见。随后林荫大道开始了普遍建设,而它的双生姐妹——露天咖啡座也应运而生。那些椅子面向街道,吸引着浪荡子,或者说所谓的人类观察家就坐。同时,代表小资产阶级的百货公司也多了起来,爱弥尔·左拉在1883年的长篇小说《妇女乐园》中也描述了这一现象;随后又出现了商店橱窗、人体模型和琳琅满目的、大量生产的有形商品——这反过来又使原创款、手工制品和定制品成为小说作品中趋之若鹜的珍品。

All this came even as the idea of the “mechanical woman” — the apotheosis of reproducibility — became a common literary and sexual trope. It’s telling that, according to an 1858 entry in the diaries of the Goncourt brothers, rumors went around Parisian brothels that prostitutes were being replaced with identical robots. The flip side of the freedom to self-create was the self’s unmooring from what we might call actuality: from biological impulse, from rootedness, from the vulnerability that comes from being a human being among human beings in an actual, already-created, world.
而当时,作为可复制性的巅峰,“机械女性”的概念甚至成了文学领域里和性意味上的普遍比喻。根据1858年龚古尔兄弟日记中的一段记载,巴黎的妓院间流传着妓女全被换成了同型号机器人的谣言。自由创造自我的反面是自我与所谓的真实的脱节:避开生物的本能冲动,脱离根性,逃避身处既定世界和人群之中、作为个体的脆弱。

To be creatively free was to be caught between the Scylla and the Charybdis of modernity. Create oneself too little, and become one of the faceless mass that aimlessly wandered the boulevards of Paris. Create oneself too much and lose sight of one’s humanity. The aesthete who loved the artificial too much might well end up like the aesthete in Joris-Karl Huysmans’s 1884 novel Against Nature, who isolated himself from the rest of Paris in a hermetically sealed but beautifully decorated estate, before losing his sanity.
想要实现创造自由就会陷入现代性的两难。过于单薄的自我,淹没在了巴黎林荫大道上漫无目的游荡的人群之中;用力过猛的自我,则失去了人性。对于过度迷恋人工产物的唯美主义者而言,他们的结局也许能在若利斯-卡尔·于斯曼创作的小说《逆天》(1884)中找到答案——在失去神志前,将自己隔绝在装潢精美的庄园里,远离巴黎的俗世尘嚣。

译注:Dandyism 丹迪主义,又译为浪荡作风,丹第主义,丹蒂主义或纨绔主义,可追溯到18世纪后期的英国。Dandyism来自dandy,dandy的词源据考证是来自北美独立战争时期英国人嘲笑美国士兵的一首歌”Yankee Doodle Dandy”。到19世纪初,dandyism开始指那些优雅时髦的浪子的趣味、作风、理念、格调等,该时期最著名的是乔治·布鲁梅尔,他风雅的生活风格是一种生活时尚和生存风格出现的纨绔主义。文中提到的Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly对纨绔主义的发展举足轻重,他认为纨绔主义是一套完整的生活理论,产生于个体在衰颓社会和整齐划一的挣扎和厌恶,只有标新立异、制造意外,游手好闲,才是优雅的。随后波德莱尔推崇使自然得到美化的人为技巧,进一步提出生活与艺术不可分离的理念 ,并强调了浪子在精神层面的高傲气质和对抗姿态。19世纪90年代是纨绔主义的巅峰。纨绔主义的兴起与第二次工业革命息息相关,资本主义的发展重新定义着社会各阶级的地位和意义,人们愈发倾向以内在价值即精神的优越(包括语言、教养、举止、仪表、房间陈设等等,一切与个人有关的事物)来彼此区分,以高雅趣味证明自身的优越,最终诉诸审美判断。(引自陈瑞红《纨绔主义与审美现代性》)

A Rebours,英语译名 Against Nature,中文版分别译为《逆天》和《逆流》,作者是法国作家若利斯-卡尔·于斯曼。这本书被称为“颓废主义的圣经”(颓废主义和唯美主义、纨绔主义密不可分)。主角德塞森特是巴黎贵族,患有神经官能症,在厌倦巴黎的生活之后搬到郊区隐居,这本书就是讲他的隐居生活。但是小说本身没有什么情节,主要是德塞森特在房子装饰、文学、艺术、宗教等方面的个人见解和个人生活的回忆,品位高雅,见解独到,有兴趣可以看一下。

So too the age of Tinder. As the digital landscape has replaced the Parisian boulevard as the site of performance, the power balance of self-creation has shifted. There are no longer a few dandy princelings or Renaissance philosophers, self-fashioning themselves against the masses. Instead, as more and more of us have access to the tools of self-creation, we all struggle in the most brutal and Darwinian sense to establish our selfhood in the digital sphere. We struggle to be not simply disembodied but autonomous, free of contingency. Yet our selfhood, our individuality, our sexuality, our livelihoods — all these are not actually self-chosen but rather bestowed upon us by the attention of others.
互联网社交极为发达的今天也是如此。随着虚拟景观取代巴黎城的大道成为全新的表演舞台,自我创造时的力量平衡也发生了变化。现在不再有丹迪新贵或文艺复兴时期的哲学家,通过自我塑造来对抗大流。相反,随着越来越多的人有机会运用自我创造的能力,我们在适者才能生存的纲领下,彼此残酷厮杀,挣扎着试图在虚拟领域建立一个不具实体却拥有自主意识、面对万物应变自如的自我。然而,我们的自我、个性、性欲和生计——所有这些实际上并不是自主选择的结果,而是他人的关注赋予我们的。

The complete disembodiment of digital self-creation, in cutting us off from our physical and dependent selves, at once gives us total freedom, and — far more than on the rarefied boulevards of Paris’s 8th Arrondissement — enslaves us in an economy in which we must compete with one another for the attention that renders our financial and social lives alike possible. We are all dandies and crowd alike.
通过切断我们与肉体和依赖自我的联系,虚拟自我创造实现了完全无形化,给了我们完全的自由,不再止步于巴黎第八区精致的林荫大道——同时也以新经济形式将我们奴役,我们必须相互竞争以获得关注,才有可能得到收入,享受社交生活。我们都是花花公子,却又在人群中彼此相似。

Sex in the Attention Economy
注意力经济中的性

It is impossible, of course, to dissociate the demand for attention from sex, or at least eroticism. The creation of the self as an object, for attention and consumption, is also the creation of the self as an object of desire. We contort ourselves for the gaze of others, our total freedom channeled into titillating iterations of other people’s fantasies. We perform our chosen identities in order to fit into the slots in other people’s hearts.
当然,想要将对注意力的需求从性,或至少从色情上分离出来是不可能的。为了被注意、被消费,把自己打造为一件“物品”,这种自我创造其实也是出于欲望。我们为了博取眼球而扭曲自己,我们全部的自由则一次次跌入他人幻想的温柔乡之中。我们在选定的身份下搔首弄姿,只为了填补他人内心的狭缝。

On the Internet, the saying goes, nobody knows you’re a dog. Online disembodiment lends itself to a very particular kind of eroticism. It is not, say, the brutally atavistic vision of sex one finds celebrated by Jordan Peterson and the rest of the reactionary right: fetishizations of blood, of flesh, of a gender binary encoded in the structure of the universe. Rather, it’s an eroticism characterized not by actuality but possibility. Everything is possible, and permissible — and you can think of it, and fantasize about it, and titillate yourself with the idea that you just might do it, all without leaving your computer chair. It’s the eroticism of Rule 34, the Internet’s most famous maxim: If you can think of it, there is pornography of it online.
正如那句耳熟能详的话,“在互联网上,没人知道你是一条狗。”(这句话的作者是彼得·施泰纳,出自《纽约客》上面的一幅漫画,主要表达早期互联网其实和“人”并没有什么太大的关系。)无实体的网络空间赋予了色情以一种极为特殊的形式。它并非是如乔丹·彼得森和其他极右翼所鼓吹的野蛮、原始的性欲:那种对血与肉,以及万物普适的性别二元论的迷恋。相反,这种色情的特征并非是现实性,而是可能性。万物皆有,百无禁忌——你可以仅仅面对着电脑,借助各类念头和幻想,通过想象撩拨自己。这就是互联网上最著名的网络箴言,“34法则”所阐释的情欲:任何你能想象到的东西,在互联网上都能跟色情扯上关系,没有例外。

Online, we self-create not to seduce, as the dandies of the nineteenth century did, imposing our will on the crowd, but rather to entice: to lure, and ultimately to beg, the crowd to come to us. We need the love, the attention, the clicks of others.
在互联网上,我们创造自我并非为了像19世纪的花花公子那样唆使他人、将个人意志强加于大众,而是为了诱惑人们:引诱他们,甚至最终乞求他们留在我们身边。我们需要他人的爱、关注和点击。

It’s tempting to see our attention economy as purely dystopian. It is nightmarish, after all, to compete with one another via avatars for work, for sex, for companionship, for cash to pay our medical bills. But the rise of the attention economy also reveals a truth that the dandies of the café terrace did not realize: of course our selfhood is defined by the attention, and with it the love, of others. Even in the disembodied terrain of the Internet, we are utterly contingent creatures: not just self-makers or, God forbid, influencers, but beings dependent on the attention of others, an attention that, at its core, is not so unlike love. (As Simone Weil famously put it: “Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love.”)
我们很容易会把注意力经济视作纯粹的反乌托邦现象。毕竟,以虚拟化身彼此竞争,为了工作机会、性的权利、陪伴以及医药费……这简直是一场噩梦。但是注意力经济的兴起也揭示了那些流连于露天咖啡座的花花公子都没能意识到的事实:我们独立的自我显然是由他人的关注和爱来定义的。即使身处互联网的无形领域之中,我们的存在也充斥着偶然性:我们不仅是自我创造者或影响者(但愿不是),还是依赖于他人关注的生物,而这种关注本质上与爱也没有什么不同。(正如西蒙娜·韦伊的那句名言:“给予最高程度的关注已然与祈祷相当。它同样以信仰和爱为前提。”)

But seduction and enticement may ultimately be two sides of the same coin. To demand attention, to influence, in both the d’Aurevillean and Kardashian senses, is at once to exercise power and, whether we realize it or not, to realize our own vulnerability. We are social creatures, whether in our physical bodies or our digital ones; we hunger for and need and fashion ourselves not as self-enclosed selves but as characters in need of spectators. Even in the “freest” of spaces, unmoored from our bodies and from other traditional markers of human contingency, we are not autonomous selves. The Internet that was supposed to liberate us all from accidents of time and place and birth has ultimately, in its collapse into emotional Darwinism, revealed the truth about human dependency, which is less about our bodies or our blood than that we are all responsible to one another for everything. Being disembodied has made us no less human.
但是唆使和诱惑归根结底是一体两面。无论我们意识到与否,要求关注、施加影响(多尔维利和卡戴珊在这点上有着异曲同工之处),既是在行使权力,同时也是对自身脆弱性的掩饰。无论是在肉身还是在虚拟身份中,我们都是社会性动物;我们渴望、需要和塑造自我,不是为了自我封闭,而是要获得观众的注目。即使是在“最自由”的空间里,不受肉身和其他现实偶然性的限制,我们也无法自主。本应将我们从时间、地点和出生的偶然中解放出来的互联网,最终在其崩溃为情感达尔文主义的过程中,揭示了人类彼此依赖的真相;这与其说是与我们的血肉之躯有关,不如说是源于我们彼此有责、共同承担。脱离肉体的我们同样具有人性。

Poet and self-described sex worker Rachel Rabbit White — among the most #2020 voices of 2020 — has written and spoken extensively on her vision of sexuality as an extension of the culture of Internet capitalism. In a recent interview with The Cut, White treats eroticism as part of the transactional nature of online culture, in which we are all, in the bedroom as at our computer screens, performing identities in exchange for pleasure. “Sex can be a vehicle for self-expression,” she adds, “and it can be a theater; sex doesn’t have to be serious, and sex can be anything.”
自称为性工作者的诗人蕾切尔·“兔子”·怀特入选了今年评选的2020位“2020年度人物之声”。她就自己对性的看法进行了大量的写作和演讲。她认为性是互联网资本主义文化的延伸。怀特在最近接受《The Cut》采访时表示,色情具有线上文化的交易性质,而在这种文化中,我们所有人都可以在卧室里,透过计算机屏幕,通过表演自我来换取快感。她另外补充说:“性可以成为自我表达的载体,就像一座剧院;性不必是很严肃的话题,它可以是任何东西。”

And yet, she cautions, “pleasure is not everything,” and “our sexuality and sexiness is not all that there is.” At first reading, this appears to be a relatively conservative position: that there is, and indeed should be, plenty of life outside the boundaries of erotic desire. But for White, sexual pleasure — which is, for her, all but synonymous with sex — is not everything precisely because it is easily divorced from the rest of life.
不过她也提醒说,“愉悦不是生活的全部”,“我们的性欲和性感也不是”。初读时,这似乎是一个相对保守的态度:认为在色欲之外,确实应当有着更丰富的生活。但是对于怀特来说,性快感(对她而言这几乎就是性的代名词)确实不是生活的一切,因为它很容易从生活的其余部分中剥离。

White assumes that our sexual selves and our transactional selves are necessarily one and the same. “Plenty of women do the work of sex work without trading sex for money or capital,” White says. “The work of sexual entertaining, as well as the many emotional labors of sex work. Every woman is expected or pressured in heterosexuality to do the labor that sex workers do, but not every woman is a sex worker.” Autonomous, self-aware individuals can either be on the clock or off, but sex, even pleasurable sex, is always sex work.
怀特认为,我们的性自我和交易性自我本质上是一体的。“很多妇女从事性工作,却没有以之交换金钱或资产,”她说,“她们从事性娱乐工作,还有其他许多有关性的情感工作。好比在异性恋的性关系当中,人们期望甚至强迫女性像性工作者那样,但显然不能说每个女人都是性工作者。”自主且具有自我意识的个体既能随时上岗或停工;但是从性的角度来看,即便是愉快的性,也都属于性工作。

White is reducing our sexual selves — which is to say, our most social selves, the selves that exist to produce more selves, to relate to one another and to promulgate the species — to a persona we can put on or take off. Sex, and the vulnerability and dependency and bodily messiness that come with it, the life implicit within it, is reduced to something we merely perform, we merely do, an accidental rather than an essential predicate of our being.
怀特正在简化我们的性自我,使它成为一个可以随时穿脱的外壳,一个可以选择扮演的角色。然而性自我恰恰是我们最社会化的自我,它让我们能够分化更多其他自我,从而彼此联系并繁衍长存。性,伴随着脆弱、依赖和身体混乱,以及其中隐含的生活方式,被简化为某件我们在表演和进行的事情,仅此而已;性不再是我们赖以存在的必需品,而是偶发事件。

White’s conception of sex is strikingly similar to the dandies’ conception of performance. Both rest on the same fundamental idea that we are autonomous, powerful beings whose relationship with other, implicitly less powerful, beings we can control through the addition and removal of the qualities we choose. We can clock in and clock out of our social personae, contort our biological realities into what our wills would fashion. The way we interact with one another is indelibly wedded to our choices.
怀特的性观念与花花公子的表演观念极为相似。两者都基于同种基本理念,即我们是自主的、充满力量的生物,通过改变所选角色的特性,我们可以控制自己与那些相对力量较弱的存在的关系。我们可以随意进入和脱离自己的社交角色,将我们生物意义上的实体按个体意志扭曲成设想中的样子。我们彼此互动的方式与我们的选择息息相关。

Dependent, not Free
依赖,而不是自由

But the attention economy in its current, seemingly dystopian form presents us with another, drastically different, vision of the human condition. In revealing our lack of control over own identities, our dependence on others as fundamentally social creatures, the online attention economy challenges us to accept relationality as an even more fundamental part of who we are than are our own physical bodies. We are dependent on others even behind a keyboard. When we relate to one another, whether in corporeal sex or through a screen darkly, we are forced to contend with a givenness of the human condition — a givenness that does not refer purely to our physical makeup, nor to our gender, nor to our racial or ethnic or economic background, nor to any other atavistic vision of the self, but rather to our need for other people. That our current digital economy is an attention economy is telling not simply because “likes” now mean clicks, but because what we traffic in, as social creatures, is fundamentally that which attention is at its core: We traffic in love. We cannot, as the dandies or White would have it, willingly choose, commodify, and compartmentalize our relation to one another.
然而,披着反乌托邦外壳的注意力经济似乎向我们展示了另一幅截然不同的人类境况的图景。互联网时代的注意力经济揭示了我们难以自控自己的身份,以及我们作为社会性动物对他人的依赖。它迫使我们承认,比起实体化的身体,人与人的联系在定义“我们是谁”这一本质问题上更为重要。即使在键盘背后,我们依旧相互依存。当我们彼此建立联系,无论是通过性爱接触,还是透过漆黑的屏幕,我们都在与既定的人性相斗争——它不单单是指我们的形体、性别、种族、民族、经济状况或其他任何有关“自我”的保守观点,而是我们对他人的需要。之所以说今天的数字经济属于注意力经济,不仅因为现在的“喜欢”意味着动动手指点赞,还因为我们作为社交动物,即使处在这种经济模式下,所交易的核心本质上看依旧是注意力,也就是爱。我们做不到花花公子们或者怀特那样,随心选择我们彼此之间的关系,也不能将其商品化甚或相互割裂。

In Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market,” sexuality, commerce, and destruction are inextricably linked to one another. A young woman goes to a fair, consumes forbidden fruits, and in turn, in her possessed perversion, becomes something to be consumed. “Eat me,” she demands of her devastated sister, “drink me, love me.”
在克里斯蒂娜·罗塞蒂的诗歌《小妖精集市》中,性、交易和毁灭互相交织。诗中年轻的女孩丽西去到集市,任凭妖精们将禁果的汁液肆意留在她的身上,然后在迷乱中跑回家,要求她那不得禁果而陷入绝境的姐姐罗拉饮啖她;此时满是果汁的她变成了令人魂牵梦绕的禁果——“吃我,喝我,爱我吧。”

The frenetic eat me, drink me, like me of online economics is in fact the truest revelation of our authentic selves — as beings who need other beings, even when we can eat powdered Soylent instead of food and upload our consciousness to the Cloud. Sex, performance, and all other forms of willed relationship: these are not actions we can perform, but elements of our being, all downstream from our need for love.
互联网经济中狂热的“吃我,喝我,爱我”模式实际上最为真实地反映了我们真正的自我——即使今天我们可以用代餐替代传统食物,还可以将思想上传到云端,我们仍然依赖同类而生存。性欲、表现,以及任何其他形式的自愿关系,并非出自我们刻意表演,而是我们赖以存在的根本,因为我们需要爱。

Seen in this way, today’s online attention economy is not evil, as such, but merely tragic, a reflection of the inevitable reality that in all our lives we are dependent on others, and of our hubristic inability to acknowledge this in a more salutary way. Creative freedom and digital technology alike may allow us to transcend our physical bodies, but they do not allow us to transcend the truer actuality of human relations. We can create ourselves, but we cannot create ourselves independently of our hunger for love.
从这个角度看,今天的互联网注意力经济并不是道德败坏,而是一场纯粹的悲剧;因为它既反映了一个无法回避的事实,我们一生都要依赖他人,也表明,人类太过自矜,即使作茧自缚,也不愿承认我们需要他人。创造自由和数字技术让我们能够超越身体的限制,但无法让我们超脱人类关系的真实存在。我们可以打造自己,但这一切都无法脱离对爱的渴望。

Our bodies, it turns out, are red herrings. We may yet become robots. But we will never be free.
如此看来,我们的血肉之躯不过是障眼法——也许在未来,人的躯干将变成无情的机器,但即使到那个时候,累于爱的我们也永远不会真正自由。


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拓展:

如果说游戏是一种身临其境的模拟,我们的人生何尝不是一种模仿。

NOWNESS,公众号:NOWNESS现在人人都在说“做自己”,为什么我们反而找不到自己了?
《被“金句化”的诗歌:网络时代的胸针与耳坠?》跳岛FM
碎片化时代,我们的注意力也被急剧切割。金句化的诗歌也许正是回应了这个快速浏览的时代:情感博主们从诗歌中截取甚至改写的几个片段,依靠看似优美或智慧的三两句子,便吸引了网友的目光,跳脱原诗的语境,进行个人化的解读。但这种诗歌快餐也未尝不可:“金句可以激发人们一瞬间的感受”,也许诗歌的使命也达到了。而金句的流转是人们在现实的疲惫之外还试图捕捉着什么。

《在寂静如语的梦里》克里斯蒂娜·罗塞蒂   陆风 译
她出身文艺世家,母亲笃信宗教,童年生活幸福,15岁之后却饱受被病痛折磨,几段爱情也无疾而终。这些都影响了她的写作。看她的诗,你时而被她的幻想和童真打动,时而为她的哀婉而难过,她时常谈论死亡“泥土一定残酷地压在她眼上,白晰的眼睑曾经保护她的眼;蠕虫爬满了她的嘴,那红润甜蜜;肮脏的蠕虫在她优雅的头下面。”,又非常渴望爱情“温馨的床铺满鲜花,我睡在上面;我的灵魂,被爱占据,徘徊不前”。即使是困在病痛中的少女在喃喃自语,她真挚的文字和情感也足以超脱肉身,传递出美丽的愁思和对爱的渴求,就像她在《小妖精集市》里借罗拉之口说出来的“吃我,喝我,爱上我”。


  • 本文原载于 The New Atlantis

  • 原文链接:https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/eat-me-drink-me-like-me



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