Friday, June 13, 2008

Adam R. Mills: Genius

Adam Mills is a genius.

The title of today’s entry brings forward a sentiment I never thought I would have and a belief that ought to compromise any sense of cosmology I may have ever possessed. Adam is a nice guy, a hard worker, fun to hang around, good friend, but unabashed genius? The fact that this idea is actually being reported, archived and available to the public and thereby public scrutiny is testament to my own zealous dogmatism, and despite the visceral urge to qualify the statement, it is a sentence that I unreservedly stand behind. The questions that now must be emerging on any reader’s mind is why? Why make such bold statement; why refuse to qualify it; why open oneself to the potential of unfathomable criticism; why, exactly, is Adam Mills a genius?

The answers to such queries, and the reason why Adam has earned himself a permanent spot on my couch, spare bedroom or any other domicile facilities (provide matches are available) comes from two verb clauses he deployed in recent blog listings (see ‘Mills’ to the right): ‘Priceline’ and ‘man-up.’

Priceline: and why Adam is a genius for it.

Despite modernist reckoning that achievement is only notable if it is quantified in material terms—in this case Adam’s brief mention of saved my girlfriend and I £200 a night on an underfunded business trip to Copenhagen—is the context which Adam uses Priceline: Ghetto Bike Racing. Having gone on record previously by stating that the chief difference in my life between Ghetto Bike Racing and my post-Ghetto turn is pork, mainly bacon and pork-chops, but occasionally shins or pork belly, it is time to reemphasize the importance of the Ghetto way of life and its relation to On the surface, symbolizes a refusal to pay retail—why buy something at full price when it can be had for less; more broadly Priceline subverts an entire mainstream world view by reinforcing the principles of a dedicated subculture. I could pay the rack rate for a bed surrounded by four walls and a roof, next to a bunch of other like material arrangements, but why when I can get the same thing for less if I deploy privileged knowledg? The value of the hotel room, therefore is not fixed. Philosophically this makes no sense—the notion that two identical objects have different values is intrinsically a paradox unless value is determined by negociants (email me if you want a fully fleshed out explanation). mediates the subversion of the status quo implicated in perpetuating the paradox, unless of course, it reveals the true value of a given commodity, while Adam mediates the relations between Priceline and the wider (post)Ghetto community. In my case the Copenhagen Hotel room must actually cost only £67 instead of £267 per night. The genius is in the broad strokes; Priceline undermines traditional notions of value by transmuting it to select social groups—as a surrogate to reality. Adam, in the context of, is not only a genius for saving me a fuck-ton of money in an overvalued commodity market by helping reveal to me the true value of a commodity, rather, Adam is a genius for reinvigorating a culture/sub-culture wide set of debates about entitlement and the true meaning(s) of value while simultaneously reinforcing the same sets of principles he manages to subvert in the first place by becoming a conduit to the very reality that is typically obscured (that Steve Tilford is the person who uses regularly in what Adam describes as ‘a mission lately to get the best hotel possible for the least amount of money’ is irrelevant because Adam as mediator brings these knowledges into practice through a referential system of semiotics a la De Sausseur)


Reinforcing Adam’s genius is that he simultaneously deploys a complex set of relational mediators and facilitators, manifest in the concepts behind Priceline while also utilizing the term ‘man up’ (though he graciously offers credit for the term to someone called Matt Ankney—again, see my note above about referential semiotics). As a term, it shouldn’t need unpacking, but in today’s world of shifting meaning and transitory knowledge systems, I feel that a bit of discussion is warranted, if for no other reason than to challenge an otherwise passive set of practices that render discussion closed without debate—back door fascism.
Man up itself is an exceptionally complex term that on one hand could be easily dismissed as phalocentric and chauvinistic with a feminist reading, (re)appropriated by both post-feminists and critical linguists or completely re-deployed by what could be read as a latent homoerotic tendency (for instance, I would hate to learn what would happen if I were to ‘man-up’ in a Kings Cross leather bar or a Vauxhaul S&M club). The brilliance behind Adam’s usage of the term transcends these definitions and contextual/decontextual readings by configuring it as part of the lexicon of the Enlightenment—however problematic revisionist historians may try to portray it. In other words Mill’s kicks it old school, by suggesting that the intended meaning of ‘man-up’ is to supersede one’s own ability by striving for something grander in the face of almost assured destruction. If that is not a sentiment that embodies the same idealism that conquered Everest, the Moon, the Russians, the flat Earth, built the pyramids, and a nearly endless list of human achievement from time immemorial, then I don’t know what does, and frankly don’t want to live in a world where human-achievement is so easily disregarded. Imagine what would have happened if Kennedy did not man up to Khrushchev in ’62? Dunno about anyone else, but I for one hate fucking borscht.

It is easy, perhaps too easy to draw unfounded conclusions at this stage, but between Priceling it and manning up, Mill’s keeps it real, yet in a more subtle way, Adam ravels the complete complexities of modernity into what appear at the onset to be simplest, somewhat binary distinctions but with a deeper reading provide insight into the very fabric of reality itself. I whole heartedly invite the owners of any dissenting opinions to man up and be counted.


Post a Comment

<< Home