Hot/Not according to Natasha Stagg

Horseshoe theory is only out because it’s dated — are we all really just points on a matrix?

Natasha Stagg emerged with her debut ‘Surveys’, possibly the first novel about an influencer, in 2016. She’s an alt-lit indie darling and culture critic whose work has been featured in Spike Art, Artforum and Playboy Magazine. Published multiple times by Chris Kraus and, until recently, Sylvère Lotringer’s Semiotext(e), Natasha’s third book arrives this year. Here she shares some ins and outs and hots and nots and tells us why the horseshoe theory says nothing, really.

1. Humility1. Horseshoe theory 
2. Tepache2. Kombucha
3. Love songs3. Op eds
4. Rockabilly4. Y2K
5. Cynar Negroni5. Last Word

Horseshoe theory is only out because it’s dated — are we all really just points on a matrix? Yes and no. It’s funny that on the limited, double-headed political spectrum we’ve established, everything can’t fall neatly on one side or the other, and that in fact, many things, like an obsession with eating farm-raised and wild-caught food, would very much describe each of the extreme ends. Is it that funny, though? Get off my lawn becomes save the planet becomes let’s go to Mars.

A popular meme form is to show how two apparently different-minded groups are the same—how really, we’re not so unalike (hoping to capture the attention of both groups, getting double the traction, perhaps). We are somehow, despite our very different priorities, at the same movie on its opening night, etc. But it is important to recognize how many of these priorities have nothing to do with each other, other than their individual adoptions by political agendas. Condensing expansive, misshapen concepts like religious freedoms, genetic testing, healthcare, and sexual and gender identity into points on either side of the right-left see-saw was what made it so ill-fitting a place to situate ourselves, causing the whole structure to bow in the middle. 

And to clarify, when I say humility, I do not mean the apology, which, I don’t have to tell you, has lost all meaning. I’m thinking of a humble state, as in knowing that we don’t even know what we don’t know. There are no experts on newly invented technologies, no intergalactic explorers from Earth, no long-term effects of brand-new medications, right? What I mean is keeping in mind that we can predict, but we can’t be sure about much. Also, there is such a thing as overexposure, and a way to avoid that is by staying humble. This is not a moral judgment, but I see the trend of being a big deal waning (it will flare up again later, I’m sure). All of the very famous people regret it now. They want us to leave them alone and buy their boring little lifestyle brands instead.