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Atlantean Wavelengths: A Review
We. Are. SO. BACK!
It’s always the good people that launch art out in the public without telling anymore.
No advertisements. No publicity. No bullshit.
And when I saw this beautiful cover for a new book of poetry by Brandan Adamson, I knew I was returning to that golden age of pre-Trump internet where everybody was making art against the state. Things felt free and meaningful again. I was back to my first experience picking up Brandon Adamson.
We are SO BACK.
And I honestly mean that in a way where good art shall always prevail over the ocean of distractions.
Hell, is this even about politics?
I'm not even so sure Donald Trump will win in 2024. But all I know is that we are becoming nostalgic about an internet subculture that was widely anti-liberal and innovative. Today, all of that is gone in favor of Chinese TikToks and "YouTube Shorts" for 30-year-old millennials.
Brandon Adamson goes back to basics with Atlantean Wavelengths. It's a brand new slim volume of poetry, devoid of any political dissidents, or a touch of "my collective is better than yours!"
In an age where nobody has real friends (and the irony of calling reality "irl"), we have turned ourselves into Englishmen who write digital letters to one another as we slowly die in isolation, somewhere in middle America. We live in the middle of the dead malls and shopping centers that have no purpose anymore. Someone else has to find the beauty in that eclectic mess. We might say we know Adamson personally, but really, we don't. I remember that crazy Russian kid from Florida, Michael Anissimov, who now calls himself a "white nationalist" for irony points, and yet finds Adamson an "OG" in dissident politics.
But really can we say that? Rather, Anissimov has fallen from grace and is currently wasting his life away in Florida. The story behind Anissimov is a sad one, and I assume he went insane somewhere in 2018.
However, I have seen all the crazies myself. In 2008, I was an active YTMND user. There was a time when internet "memes" were called "fads," and this data relied solely on a picture, a .wav file, and text. Bygone is that era, and as technology rapidly accelerates, and now all of us our film directors. It's like Greg Egan's novel, An Unusual Angle, on how we are all film directors, and film movies in our heads, but can never take it out of our bodies.
I wouldn't call Adamson a political person. He did have a stint with "Alt-Left.com," and this was before anything by Vaush, NonCompete, Thought Slime, or any label of "Alt-Left." I remember being into Adamson's Alt-Left term and spraying graffiti about it in downtown Philadelphia. Some of those DemSoc and Antifa kids would be in puzzlement.
"Isn't that some kind of racist thing with the word ‘alt’ in it?"
Different times meant different people. This was 2018, after all.
It's hard to imagine the branding of "white nationalism" relies on the fringe cult William Luther Pierce had in the late 90s to early 2000s. That in and of itself feels all too Gen-X-boomer. All of those guys probably have a Facebook and post old Polaroid pictures with their old selfies and Pierce.
But how did all of this go from, well, say, from Neo-Nazi punk to white nationalism, to Whitehouse power electronics, to Neo-folk, to Jim Goad punk zines, to Partridge Family Temple collage art, to 711 & John Updike Nationalism, and back to "alt lit" Dennis Cooper worship?
As if any of this is not about politics.
I don't like the word "gatekeeper," but there is a level of it practiced among the veterans and brand defenders. I'm not the guy that's going to point out who and what Adamson should associate with. I’m not a libertarian, I don’t believe in the “non-aggressive pact,” and certainly wouldn’t call myself a liberal.
I remember 2016 being into Chris Korda's Church of Euthanasia and found it shocking, and in personal email correspondence with Korda, he wrote only good about the work of Jim Goad. Even further, I met up with Lydia Lunch at my graduate school, and hearing the same thing from her in person was a surprise to me as well. As if Jim Goad made it as a "writer" and no one could say anything wrong that he writes for Counter-Currents, a gay white nationalist publication. Doug Stanhope, Jack Donovan, Chuck Palahniuk, Margret Cho, Lydia Lunch, Jim Knipfel, the list of Gen-Xers go on. I guess liberals find him empowering.
Then you have Chip Smith of Nine-Banded Books talking with Greg Johnson of Counter-Currents, and him, in return, to publish the works of Peter Sotos, who also in return, is making waves on Philip Best (of Whitehouse fame) publishing house, Amphetamine Sulphate. Again, how is any of this NOT related to each other? I thought that was the whole point of Rhizome theory, or what Mark Lombardi was trying to present through his art.
In 2018, I was attacked by Jim Goad because I wrote in Luke Ford's chat that "he flips the fuck out" when addressed with anything. It proves my point when he did the same to me. However, it's okay when power electronic kids and Frank Hassle fans do it, but not cool if I do it.
Subculture is the heart of this circular pettiness. Travis LeBlanc went out of his way to write mean and slanderous shit about The Weekly Sweat, simply because that crew was ahead of what was happening in the political sphere of the far-right. It’s not about sincerity. It’s about who is in, and who is the ugly kid.
Right now, where it stands, any interest in far-right esoterica and anti-liberalism has come back to this kind of "alt-lit," or "I like transgressive shit" position, and the meaning of "saving the white race" is about scaring normies than actually going out, starting a family, and buying a house in Easton, Pennsylvania for $200k.
Perhaps none of these fools engage with Marxism. So why bother? Shit, I'm trying to shake off a mentally ill stalker who has an obsession with me and is nothing but another Million Dollar Extreme, Michael DeForge-loving liberal who plays victim because he calls himself "autistic." Yet we still have the normie Sargon of Akkads, The “save college” Academic Agents, snarky Computing Forever “told you so” idiots, Reactionary retards who make three hours videos about why they don’t like Rick & Morty, and John B. Morgan “oh, but that wasn’t the REAL right” drug-addicted hipster fools into Neo-folk.
However, none of these problems exist in the pages of Atlantean Wavelengths. The poetry book must be at least 4,000 words long (ringing in about 30-ish pages too). Adamson is a jester of aesthetics. He demands you read on your terms, and concocts nostalgia in your head, of a lost Ellsworth Kelly painting that you could potentially visit on a Hawaiian vacation, something like out of a James Turrell exhibition. Adamson wants you to think about a single word, and meditate on its ideology and place in your imagination. Atlantean Wavelengths was meant to be read in a single session, at a special movie showing of said fictional film. It thinks about the design of everyday things, and when the prose is printed upon the wall, (and without understanding a word of English), we are at ease from anxiety, and we return to play.
I don't know why I have to interpret here and explain to you, dear reader, why internet politics has anything to do with this. I could pretend none of this exists, and I just so happened to find this book in a San Francisco thrift shop on Divisadero Street. Sure, that could happen. Still, many arrogant assholes play the capitalist game and pretend their enemies don't exist, while they find another teenage victim to exploit. Trust me, I've seen it all. I worked for a broken white-collar job in Manhattan. Adamson is free from all that. Jim Goad can call out his enemies and feel great about it. Why can't I? I know brave people like Richard Houck can do it and shoot without apology. (Houck started 711 nationalism. He knows all about it. I know nothing.)
Maybe Brandon Adamson is a father to us all. He could care less about all the drama and in-fighting that goes on. I could explain my version of "Fast Food Fascism." But why bother if Shawn Partridge is the final judge? Adamson could care less. He doesn't care about all the other bullshit going on. It’s about a personal vision and showing others that light.
I find Atlantean Wavelengths inspiring and articulate. Minimal, with a clear vision of an actual 1950s Gene Deitch-esque reality. A quick prose meant to be performed rather than to ponder. Words flow like typing pitch data into Fast Tracker 2.
I don't want to think for you. Pick up your copy of Atlantean Wavelengths today.