THE FUCK LYCRA CONUNDRUM


The Fuck Lycra Conundrum labels the tension between conscious consumption, and ‘real’ political action. The impulse to not purchase or wear clothes containing Lycra is based on the fact that the company is owned by Koch industries, whose owners actively sponsor climate change denial.1 The conundrum lies in the question of whether broader political goals are deflated through mere consumption activism, and ‘Folk politics.’2 The Fuck Lycra Conundrum plays a role in the perceived hypocrisy of much climate activism, a criticism perhaps most famously discussed in the number of air miles Al Gore accrued whilst promoting his film An Inconvenient Truth. SEE ALSO: Post-Truth Climate Politics.

Image: AGPTL:S, 2014-2016. Video still. Steve Kado

1. Clare O’Connor, ‘New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers, Monsanto and More by Scanning Your Shopping Cart’, Forbes www.forbes. com, 14 May, 2013.

2. “At its heart, folk politics is the guiding intuition that immediacy is always better and often more authentic, with the corollary being a deep suspicion of abstraction and meditation. In terms of temporal immediacy, contemporary folk politics typically remains reactive (re- sponding to actions initiated by corporations and governments, rather than initiating actions); ignores long-term strategic goals in favour of tactics (mobilising around single-issues politics or emphasizing pro- cess); prefers practices that are often inherently fleeting (such as oc- cupations and temporary autonomous zones); chooses the familiarity of the past over the unknown of the future (for instance, the repeated dreams of a return to ‘good’ Keynesian capitalism); and expresses itself as a predilection for the voluntarist and spontaneous over the institutional (as in the romanticisation of rioting and insurrection.” Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (London: Verso, 2015), 10.

Mark