Saturday, April 19, 2014

Crossing Boundaries? Or Walling Up the "Limbic" Crack/Stain that Represents the "Gaze" of "the Other"

Who Sets the Boundaries Within Which You Live Your Life?
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."
- Robert Frost, "Mending Wall"

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Z-z-z-z... *startle*

Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.
Isaiah, 62:4

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Anybody Got a Cigarette?

Absolute Dasein!

There is nothing outside the "meaningful" world of symbolism. For the most "truthful" thing one can say today is, "les non dupes errent!"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What's the Diff?

For Deleuze, philosophy has been complicit with a wider cultural tendency to promote identity and sameness and a neglect towards novelty and difference. Even the very notion of difference has characteristically been defined ‘negatively, as the not-sameness of two or more entities’ whether those things are understood to differ in terms of ontologicalstatus - like the live performance and its document - or in terms of position, or genre. In each case, it is the entities or ‘things’ that are understood to come first, and the difference that is understood to derive from them. In contrast, as Todd May explains, ‘What Deleuze wants is not a derivative difference, but difference in itself, a difference that he believes is the source not only of the derivative difference but of the sameness on the basis of which derivative difference is derived’ (May 2003: 144) In other words, Deleuze is, perhaps first and foremost, a process philosopher for whom relations of force have ontological primacy with respect to the ‘things’ – that is, objects or subjects – they constitute. In this sense, we could say that Deleuze, like Heidegger and Derrida, wants to break with the privileging of being-as-presence. “Being”, for Deleuze, is not about fixed identities but about an unstable flux that is understood to found those identities. In Nietzsche and Philosophy, for example, Deleuze sides with Heraclitus rather than Parmenides in insisting that ‘there is no being beyond becoming’ (1983: 23) or, in other words, that ‘becoming is the final reality’ (May2003: 143). Presence is becoming, then, for Deleuze.
- Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca, "Deleuze & differential presence in performance"

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Perceived Value in Overidentification

The 'Big Other' might share some of his 'personal" jouissance with you...
Another way to define the trap into which cynicism gets caught is via the difference between the public Law and its obscene underside, the unwritten superego rules: cynicism mocks the public Law from the position of its obscene underside which, consequently, it leaves intact. A personal experience revealed to me this inherent obscenity of Power in a most distastefully-enjoyable way. In the 70s, I did my (obligatory) army service in the old Yugoslav People's Army, in small barracks with no proper medical facilities. In a room which also served as sleeping quarters for a private trained as a medical assistant, once a week a doctor from the nearby military hospital held his consulting hours. On the frame of the large mirror above the wash-basin in this room, the soldier had stuck a couple of postcards of half-naked girls - a standard resource for masturbation in those pre- pornography times, to be sure. When the doctor was paying us his weekly visit, all of us who had reported for medical examination were seated on a long bench alongside the wall opposite the wash-basin and were then examined in turn. So, one day while I was also waiting to be examined, it was the turn of a young, half-illiterate soldier who complained of pains in his penis (which, of course, was in itself sufficient to trigger obscene giggles from all of us, the doctor included): the skin on its head was too tight, so he was unable to draw it back normally. The doctor ordered him to pull down his trousers and demonstrate his trouble; the soldier did so and the skin slid down the head smoothly, though the soldier was quick to add that his trouble occurred only during erection. The doctor then said: "OK, then masturbate, get an erection, so that we can check it!" Deeply embarrassed and red in the face, the soldier began to masturbate in front of all of us but, of course, failed to produce an erection; the doctor then took one of the postcards of half-naked girls from the mirror, held it close to the soldier's head and started to shout at him: "Look! What breasts, what a cunt! Masturbate! How is it that you don't get the erection? What kind of a man are you! Go on, masturbate!" All of us in the room, including the doctor himself, accompanied the spectacle with obscene laughter; the unfortunate soldier himself soon joined us with an embarrassed giggle, exchanging looks of solidarity with us while continuing to masturbate... This scene brought about in me an experience of quasi-epiphany: in nuce, there was everything in it, the entire dispositive of Power - the uncanny mixture of imposed enjoyment and humiliating exercise of Power, the agency of Power which shouts severe orders, but simultaneously shares with us, his subordinates, obscene laughter bearing witness to a deep solidarity...

One could also say that this scene renders the symptom of Power: the grotesque excess by means of which, in a unique short-circuit, attitudes which are officially opposed and mutually exclusive reveal their uncanny complicity, where the solemn agent of Power suddenly starts to wink at us across the table in a gesture of obscene solidarity, letting us know that the thing (i.e. his orders) is not to be taken too seriously and thereby consolidating his power. The aim of the "critique of ideology", of the analysis of an ideological edifice, is to extract this symptomal kernel which the official, public ideological text simultaneously disavows and needs for its undisturbed functioning.
- Slavoj Zizek, "From Joyce-the-symptom to the Symptom of Power"