We often associate the extra sensory with the denial of senses: acid, or the modern “safe” version of sensory deprivation — the float tank. We wrap ourselves back into our minds to study the process of mental synesthesia, but in the end, we often come out with nothing but the idea of what it might feel like to be a hot dog. Then we end up with the understanding of meta-text, the brain referencing its own experiences, altering its own subjectivity. We begin to realize how entranced the signals of our nostalgia were with late capitalism. Video games, daytime television, commercials — all there to package our own experiences back to us so that we might purchase them, under the guise that we were making our own decisions.
So, when you realize that your memories were bought and sold to you, what better reaction is there than to steal them back by texturizing them, slowing them down by 800%, altering their meanings, redefining or reassigning their contexts, androgynizing their sex, or reaffirming their attachment to our senses?
“I don’t trust anybody’s nostalgia but my own. Nostalgia is the product of dissatisfaction and rage. It’s a settling of grievances between the present and the past.”
A common enigma and criticism of meta-commentary is the often derided image of the snake eating its own tail, that the culture at hand is so wrapped up in itself that there seems no escape, that its self-awareness will lead to its undoing. This, for all intents and purposes, is a cliché: what was once our economy of dealing with the language of meta-text is now our misunderstanding. A better view would be seeing the snake as tasting its own tail: understanding by way of a sense itself. Much like Narcissus seeing himself at the edge of the water2, one must taste themselves, destroy their being in the process, and perform the metamorphosis into the eternal symbolic. Reanalyzing this image, I believe this notion is better at explaining the achievement of the hyper-meta, an act that is now seeing its continuing presence in the capitalist world (Doritos and Oreos).