I can say with total seriousness that I never thought anything would come of it. I was just in the pub with some mates from the office one Friday, I guess it was a little before that by-election, so it must have been July. Look, I mean, that whole election: the guy stands down because he was fiddling expenses, then the replacement candidate they get has to drop out for fiddling his business expenses, then the Conservative they put up against him is fiddling expenses in six different countries and the Lib Dem drops out midway through because the woman he turns out to be having an affair with works for the accounting firm used by the MP who had to resign in the first place. All I’m saying is, we’re not the ones who made a joke out of it.
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IN his 2012 book Alien Phenomenology, Ian Bogost attempts to comprehend the inner lives of things – an attempt gamely undertaken despite his recognition of its futility. Throughout this contribution to object-oriented ontology, Bogost studies what he variously refers to as objects, stuff, things, and units, asking questions such as “Does the engine have a moral imperative to explode distilled hydrocarbons? Does it do violence on them? Does it instead express ardor, the loving heat of friendship or passion?” (Bogost 2012, 75). In his opinion, “such questions must be asked quite separately from any ethical inquiry into the processes of sourcing and extracting crude oil to produce fuels and other products,” because such inquiries are mired in primarily human concerns. For Bogost, nothing is to be prioritised above anything else, for “any one being exists no less than any other” (Bogost 2012, 21). It is therefore imperative that (in keeping with the tenets of OOO) we retain a critical attentiveness to that which is of little direct concern to us. As he puts it, “The philosophical subject must cease to be limited to humans and things that influence humans. Instead it must become everything, full stop” (Bogost 2012, 10).
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