White Power Milk: Art, Or Real, Or Advertising?
The internet is full of suckers. It’s also full of liars. The suckers beget the liars. It’s only natural; if you’re the type of metropolitan know-it-all who spent their teens worrying noisily about the small percentage of Americans with passports, or chuckling as people on TV failed to point out Middle Eastern countries on a map, then the internet has delivered a new world of suckers for you to lol at.
These days, everyone can be a satirist. You may not have written the article about the Abortionplex, but you linked to it on Reddit, and enjoyed your reflected wit and superiority over the bunker-dwelling trogs, who’re too busy hoarding guns and disbelieving birth certificates to understand a pertinent lie when they read it.
The internet is a spiraling satire race, with each user desperate to expose every other user as a gullible n00b happily swallowing media tripe and sleepwalking into complicity with the New World Order.
Sadly for 4chan and all the other nodes trying to emancipate themselves from mental slavery, one of the groups who first realised the power of enormous lying – predictably – were marketing people. Another group were irritating artists, schooled on graffiti’s prankster rhetoric.
This has added to the online minefield of unreality, meaning that for every false alien invasion promoting 'consciousness through cruelty', or whatever it is 4chan stand for, there’s an African doctor selling illegal organs to promote a film, and some contemporary art collective with a point to make about big business.
Anyway, what got me thinking about this was this week's meme: White Power Milk. It's the website that everyone’s been linking to which seems to sell milk, as gargled (or "purified") by hot, rich Caucasian women.
This, obviously, can't be real. It can't be real for a few reasons; but mostly because it's called "White Power Milk" and it's a company where "rich, beautiful, white girls" gargle your fucking milk before spitting it out and sending it to you for cash.
The other reason is the girls themselves. These women are so clearly part of a Brooklyn art collective, I'm amazed Vice haven't written about them before. They're basically Telepathe.
Also, one of the girls claims to be from the family who own Conde Nast – owners of Vogue and other purveyors of the white glamour media myth – which, whether true or not, is exactly the kind of dimwit irony that appeals to artists.
Google the name of the guy who runs it, and it all becomes clear. Nate Hill is an artist (an artist with the URL natehillisnuts.com - what a funster, wonder if he can do this?). Clearly Nate Hill is making some kind of exhaustively subversive statement about all sorts of resonant topics; but he's also eating his big artistic cake, as it appears he is actually selling the 'milk' (it's not milk). Making money from this enterprise, in Nate's mind, must only add power to his digital diatribe on, amongst other things, Race! Femininity! Capitalism! Autonomy! The transformation of purity into sexuality... yadda yadda... phallocentric fantasy... blah blah... Nestlé... power of a warped media... etc etc... ARTY ARTY ART ART!!!
Disappointingly, there is also a disclaimer on the website stating: Buyer understands that a portion of the information on this website has been fictionalized. Which, for an artist, must be a bit like writing, "This is not God himself, merely a deferential representation" in the margins of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Anyway, we're talking about it now. Nate Hill's basically succeeded in pulling this off; both tricking the internet and not tricking the internet while tricking people like me into writing about him, to prove he's not a n00b.
The modern artist, like wacky Nate Hill, is a troll, not a n00b.
Of course, if White Power Milk is revealed to be a viral campaign for Yakult, I'll be handing in my internet pass and doffing my cap to Nate.