[I]n a genre where the minimum entry level is Poundland nihilism and angry sloganeering, few come close to Rob Wright’s ability to illuminate subjects such as body horror, existential crisis, antinatalism, the equal failures of religion, democracy and liberal humanism, the oppressiveness of machismo and the absence of free will with such lucidity and breathtaking poetry. It’s more usual to see this kind of subject matter being discussed in the writing of John Gray, Michel Houellebecq and Eugene Thacker than in punk lyrics; and Wright’s tactic of using “lowbrow”, pop-cultural references to illuminate profound philosophical concepts is reminiscent of the writing of Kurt Vonnegut. (1995’s The Worldhood of the World may not be the only punk album that’s directly inspired by the writing of Martin Heidegger but it’s the only one I can think of off the top of my head.)
Where the ancient Greeks enjoyed a holistic and organic relationship with Being—which for Heidegger is close to, but not quite identical with, what earlier Romantic thinkers meant by Nature—modern philosophy and technology set the individual at odds with Being. Instead of the miraculous background of human existence, Being is reduced to a series of objects that can be mathematically calculated and industrially exploited.
These themes dominate Heidegger’s later thought, where he condemns the way of thinking he calls “enframing” (Gestell) and calls humanity to its true role as the “shepherd of Being.”
And who is responsible for this modern curse? In his published work, Heidegger traces it all the way back to Plato and Aristotle, suggesting that it was the fate of Western civilization to turn against itself in this way. But in the “Black Notebooks,” he finds a much simpler and more familiar scapegoat
Kneebone worries about the loss of skills in his profession, he sees the brilliant advancement of technology but believes manual dexterity, a feeling for the materials, how human tissue behaves and how it reacts, needs to be preserved. The German philosopher Martin Heidegger calls profound sensitivity to materials “relatedness”. It’s knowing how hard you can pull and how hard you can’t, which things can separate from other things and which things can’t, where you can use sharp scissors and where you can’t.