Saturday, May 24, 2014

Thank You for Your Service!

Mortifying Love

Between man and woman there is no instinctual rapport because sexuality is marked by the signifier. Thus an Other sits between them. And there is no reciprocity because the Other - the symbolic order - is asymmetric: there is no signifier for the woman...only one signifier, the phallus, rules over the rapport of the sexes. "The sexual rapport cannot be written."

For Lacan "The most naked rivalry between men and woman is eternal." Love then is the illusion for the absence of harmonic rapport between the sexes. Man does not enjoy the body of the woman, only the body part - sexual drives go solely towards the partial object. With Jacques-Alain Miller, "body parts can certainly be represented, beside with other natural elements, yet they account for signifiers. They are imaginary signifiers whose matter is taken from the image. When we say 'the living body,' we leave aside both the symbolized body and the body image. The body affected by jouissance is neither imaginary nor symbolic, but a living one." Life is a condition of jouissance. "Life overflows the body. What obliges you to attest there isn't jouissance unless life appears under the form of a living body."

There is therefore no sexual rapport between two subjects, but only between two subjects and an object - a partial object. From the side of the man the objet a is in place of the missing partner, and this brings up the matheme of the fantasme (S <> a); in other words woman does not exist, for the man, as a real subject; she only exists as an object in the fantasme - the cause of his desire. "Woman serves a function in the sexual rapport only qua mother." Richard Klein discusses gender, "The fundamental trauma is no longer castration which the phallus includes. Traumatic is the sexual non-rapport in that the sexual relation is a hole in the real. It is troumatique. Nothing like a hole to indicate that something that does not exist can still operate."
J.A.

Self Mortification

Here, where the sea shimmers
And the wind gusts strongly
On an old terrace
In front of the Gulf of Sorrento

A man embraces a girl
After she had cried
Then clears his throat (lit: whitens his voice)
And begins the song again

Chorus:
I love you very much
So much, so much, you know
It is a bond from now on
That frees the blood inside the veins, you know

He saw the lights in the middle of the sea
He thought of the nights there in America
But they were only the fishermen's lamps
And the white wake from a propeller

He felt the pain in the music
He rose from the piano
But when he saw the moon emerging from a cloud
Even death seemed sweeter to him

He looked the girl in the eyes
Those eyes, green like the sea
Then suddenly a tear fell
And he believed he was drowning

{Chorus}

The power of opera
Where every drama is a hoax
With a little make-up and with mimicry
You are able to become another

But two eyes that look at you
So close and real
Make you forget the words
Confuse your thoughts

Thus everything becomes small
Even the nights there in America
You turn and see your life
Like the wake from a propeller

But it is life itself that ends
But he did not think about it much then
On the contrary, he was already feeling happy
And began his song again

{Chorus} x 2
Lucio Dalla, "Caruso" (1986)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Avaritia huius saeculi

Aedibus his valvae geminae, quarum altera cultas
Immittit partes, donaque portat hero.
Altera sed vacuos ad sedem ducit inanem,
Clauditur illa inopi, muneribusque patet.
Has procerum clausas Musis nunc repperis aedes,
Et sensus Domini porta bivalva gerit.
Desine mirari, cur saecula nostra poëtas
Tam raros habeant, nil dat avara manus.
Si Maecenates fuerint, Flacci, atque Marones
Existent, grandi bella tubaque canent.[2]
Exulat ingratum carmen, facundia passim
Temnitur, & cultis artibus aula caret.
Potores bibuli nunc prima sedilia, honores,
Et cyathos gnari vertere, cuncta tenent.
There is a double door to this house, one of which grants entry to cultured groups, bringing presents for the master. The other, however, leads the empty-handed to a bare seat. The former is closed to the poor man and open to presents. This is the house of the leading men, which presently you will find to be closed for the muses, and the disposition of the lord has a double door. Do not be surprised that there are so few poets in this time, the greedy hand does not give anything. If there were Maecenases, new Vergils and Horaces would stand up and with loud trumpet sing of the wars. Poetry lives in exile, unappreciated, eloquence is snubbed everywhere and the fine arts are lacking at the court. Currently, eager drinkers sit in the front row, experienced in turning wine-ladles and privileges, ruling everything.
- Joannes Sambucus, "Emblemata" (1564)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Can You Hear it?

And of all nonsensical things,
I keep thinking about the horse...

not the boy, the horse,
and what he might be trying to do.

I keep seeing the huge head,
kissing him with its chained mouth...

nudging through the metal,
some desire absolutely irrelevant...

to filling its belly
or propagating its own kind.

What desire could this be?
- Peter Shaffer, "Equus"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Imperfectly Chasing Eternity

Call it a good marriage -
For no one ever questioned
Her warmth, his masculinity,
Their interlocking views;
Except one stray graphologist
Who frowned in speculation
At her h's and her s's,
His p's and w's.

Though few would still subscribe
To the monogamic axiom
That strife below the hip-bones
Need not estrange the heart,
Call it a good marriage:
More drew those two together,
Despite a lack of children,
Than pulled them apart.

Call it a good marriage:
They never fought in public,
They acted circumspectly
And faced the world with pride;
Thus the hazards of their love-bed
Were none of our damned business -
Till as jurymen we sat on
Two deaths by suicide.
- Robert Graves

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Struggle is Eternal

Many complain that the words of the wise are always merely parables and of no use in daily life, which is the only life we have. When the sage says: “Go over,” he does not mean that we should cross over to some actual place, which we could do anyhow if the labor were worth it; he means some fabulous yonder, something unknown to us, something too that he cannot designate more precisely, and therefore cannot help us here in the very least. All these parables really set out to say merely that the incomprehensible is incomprehensible, and we know that already. But the cares we have to struggle with every day: that is a different matter.

Concerning this a man once said: Why such reluctance? If you only followed the parables you yourselves would become parables and with that rid yourself of all your daily cares.

Another said: I bet that is also a parable.

The first said: You have won.

The second said: But unfortunately only in parable.

The first said: No, in reality: in parable you have lost.
- Franz Kafka, "Parables and Paradoxes"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

...and the Search Continues...

True north is etched in our heart
Where our moral compass has a place to start

Love is just a slice of pie
Compassion is more than meets the eye

True north can be a Picasso or a Van Gogh
Select our brushes with a passion only we know

Emotions are earmarked by our outer face
So look inside ourselves to fill that empty space

Magnetic north is off by a few degrees
As cupids aim brings us to our knees

Reason is a map we use to go forth
In finding our own true north

Be it a wild and turbulent flow
It’s a direction we all want to go
- Alfred Ramos

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Beware

My Facebook Account May have been compromised, along with this identity. Please do not respond to anyone pretending to be me, asking if you want to see embarrassing photos of yourself and asking you follow a link and then "log in" to your Facebook (or other) account. I think that THAT is how they get your info.

Antonio Negri

...against the Division of Labour? ...or Against the Subsequent Unfairness of the Distribution of Surplus Values

No Country for Old Men

O thou newcomer who seek’st Rome in Rome
And find’st in Rome no thing thou canst call Roman;
Arches worn old and palaces made common
Rome’s name alone within these walls keeps home.

Behold how pride and ruin can befall
One who hath set the whole world ’neath her laws,
All-conquering, now conquered, because
She is Time’s prey, and Time conquereth all.

Rome that art Rome’s one sole last monument,
Rome that alone hast conquered Rome the town,
Tiber alone, transient and seaward bent,

Remains of Rome. O world, thou unconstant mime!
That which stands firm in thee Time batters down,
And that which fleeteth doth outrun swift Time.
- Ezra Pound

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Needlework

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread--
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the "Song of the Shirt."

"Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
And work - work - work,
Till the stars shine through the roof!
It's Oh! to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk,
Where woman has never a soul to save,
If this is Christian work!

"Work - work - work
Till the brain begins to swim;
Work - work - work
Till the eyes are heavy and dim!
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Till over the buttons I fall asleep,
And sew them on in a dream!

"Oh, Men, with Sisters dear!
Oh, Men, with Mothers and Wives!
It is not linen you're wearing out,
But human creatures' lives!
Stitch - stitch - stitch,
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
Sewing at once with a double thread,
A Shroud as well as a Shirt.

But why do I talk of Death?
That Phantom of grisly bone,
I hardly fear its terrible shape,
It seems so like my own -
It seems so like my own,
Because of the fasts I keep;
Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!

"Work - work - work!
My Labour never flags;
And what are its wages? A bed of straw,
A crust of bread - and rags.
That shatter'd roof - and this naked floor -
A table - a broken chair -
And a wall so blank, my shadow I thank
For sometimes falling there!

"Work - work - work!
From weary chime to chime,
Work - work - work!
As prisoners work for crime!
Band, and gusset, and seam,
Seam, and gusset, and band,
Till the heart is sick, and the brain benumb'd,
As well as the weary hand.

"Work - work - work,
In the dull December light,
And work - work - work,
When the weather is warm and bright -
While underneath the eaves
The brooding swallows cling
As if to show me their sunny backs
And twit me with the spring.

Oh! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet -
With the sky above my head,
And the grass beneath my feet
For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!

Oh! but for one short hour!
A respite however brief!
No blessed leisure for Love or Hope,
But only time for Grief!
A little weeping would ease my heart,
But in their briny bed
My tears must stop, for every drop
Hinders needle and thread!"

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread -
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch, -
Would that its tone could reach the Rich! -
She sang this "Song of the Shirt!"
-Thomas Hood

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The "Maddening" Road to Redemption

It's the same old game, Survival.
The great mass play a waiting game.
Embalmed, crippled, dying in fear of pain, all
sense of freedom gone.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Kwanio che Keeteru!

'When superstition dark and hauty plan
Fettered the genius and debased the man,
Each trifling legend was as truth received;
The priest invented, and the crowd believed;
Nations adored the whim in stone or paint,
And gloried in the fabricated saint.
Some holy guardian, hence, each nation claims—
Gay France her Dennis, and grave Spain her James,
Britons at once two mighty saints obey—
Andrew and George maintain united sway,
O'er humbler lands the same odd whim prevails;
Ireland her Patrick, boasts her David, Wales.
We Pennsylvanians, these old tales reject,
And our own saint think proper to erect—
Immortal Tammany of Indian Race,
Great in the fields, and foremost in the chase,
No puny saint was he, with fasting pale,
He climbed the mountains, and swept the vale;
Rushed through the torrent with unequaled might;—
Your ancient saints would tremble at the sight—
Caught the swift boar, and swifter deer with ease,
And worked a thousand miracles like these.
To public views, he added private ends,
And loved his country most, and next his friends.
With courage long he strove to ward the blow,
(Courage we all respect, e'en in a foe)—
And when each effort he in vain had tried,
Kindled the flame in which he bravely died!
To Tammany let the full horn go round;
His fame let every honest tongue resound;
With him let every generous patriot vie
To live in freedom, or with honor die!
Nor shall I think my labor too severe,
Since ye, wise sachems, kindly deign to hear.'
To your Health!