Public Journal:

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

Moderator: Only_Humean

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:18 pm

"Calcutta is regularly presented as Hell on Earth, the exemplary case of the decaying Third World megalopolis, full of social decay, poverty, violence and corruption, with its residents caught in terminal apathy (the facts are, of course, rather different: Calcutta is a city bursting with activity, culturally much more thriving than Bombay, with a successful local Communist government maintaining a whole network of social services). Into this picture of utter gloom, Mother Teresa brings a ray of hope to the dejected with the message that poverty is to be accepted as a way to redemption, since the poor, in enduring their sad fate with silent dignity and faith, repeat Christ's Way of the Cross... The ideological benefit of this operation is double: in so far as she suggests to the poor and terminally ill that they should seek salvation in their very suffering. Mother Teresa deters them from probing into the causes of their predicament –from politicizing their situation; at the same time, she offers the rich from the West the chance of a kind of substitute-redemption by making financial contributions to her charitable activity” –From Žižek’s Plague of Fantasies

Of course, this all gets pulled off because of how likable Mother Teresa really is. Note, for instance, the time she appeared in America and argued, against abortion (that is with a twinkle in her eye), that if a woman didn’t want their child, they could easily give them to her. I won’t even go into how unrealistic that was. The interesting thing was how Clinton, a pro-choice politician, responded: stuck in the corner of either agreeing with her or offending (of all people, MOTHER-FUCKING Teresa!!!!! (simply said something to the effect that the woman was beyond reproach: a clear act of appeasement. The problem, to me, however, is that when the woman expressed a political opinion, she threw her hat into the arena of political discourse. And there, no one is beyond reproach.

That said, the main reason I bring this quote up is that we see a similar dynamic (that which Mother Teresa served as a veil to (at work in advertisements for children’s charities. And how can we resist those big sad eyes anymore than we could Mother Teresa? The problem is that, if you think about it, you have to question the very fact that those children exist in the first place. You have to look at the parents. I mean you’re living in a shit-house shack built on top of garbage heap with barely enough food and clean water for yourself, and your response is to bring a child into it. And I know this sounds harsh. It even sounds rightwing since the right would all too enthusiastically grab onto it without (as the right is all too prone to do (pursuing the issue further.

Were they to pursue it further, they would recognize that the problem is the result of their gag rules on foreign aid that includes counseling on birth control and abortion. In other words, what we see in these ads are Christian groups asking us to give money (that is through the pressure of guilt: the big sad eyes of the children (in order to fix a problem they contributed to in a major way. They want us to fix their mistakes, to have their cake and eat it too.

Of course, in the face of those big sad eyes, we’re not allowed to politicize.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:59 pm

The interesting thing about right wingers is that they tend to throw out bullshit as if they are incapable of imagining someone actually fact checking. It even seems more absurd in the age of Google. And I’m not focusing on Trump here. That issue is being addressed on a public scale through news media. This, rather, was inspired by a recent personal/anecdotal experience. My right wing friend (as he sometimes attempts to do (threw in a little right wing jab at me: he argued that what is happening on the southern border has actually been going for some time and couldn’t see why everyone was making such a big deal about it. My response was reluctance to just accept the assertion and that I would have to look a little deeper into in. And me being me, I did. And as expected, I found out, as usual, that he was only partially right:

The truth is that separating families has always been an option on the border and sometimes actually happened, especially in cases where they decided to prosecute the parents, the main justification for taking the children away being that you clearly could not put them in jail with their parents. However, this tact was not generally taken. (And thank you PolitiFact!) Before the mess we are seeing in the south, the general procedure was to house them in family detention centers where they would be processed until they were either given asylum or deported. In other words, it was rare for children to be separated from their parents except in cases where the child did not actually belong to the adult they were with or were entering alone, the main concern being human trafficking.

But here’s the interesting thing about it: the core of mine and my rightwing friend’s relationship is our mutual intellectual curiosity. We have interesting conversations all the time while, knowing where each other stands, avoiding politics. He had to know that I was going check into it and, facts being facts, dismiss it. And this is likely why he hasn’t pushed the issue since then. And I’ve seen the same thing at the bar, the “library” I go to as part of my process. Once again, they know who I am. They see me every day at the bar with my book, notebook, and computer. Still, every once in a while, they will throw in one of those right wing jabs that they know I’m going to research.

You can’t help but see Frankfurt’s bullshit dynamic at work. They are, in a sense, a lot like actual bullshitters: they tell you stories about their selves that they have got to know no one will believe. I once had a guy describe to me an experience he had in the military: a narrative that perfectly fit Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

I mean you really have to think about the psychology behind all this in order to really understand the age of Trump.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:22 pm

Having reached the end of my second full reading of Žižek’s Plague of Fantasies (as well as countless partial stabs at it along with my ventures into Lacan), I’m starting to get a better (if yet vague (understanding of the relationship between desire, drive, castration, the symbolic order, and the phallic and the fetish: the objet petite a. If I understand it right, castration (that which ropes in drive and the desires that emerge from it (is the symbolic order’s way initiating us into its self. This, for us as individuals, creates a void that we have to fill in with phallic supplements that often take the form of fetishes built on the dynamic of the objet petit a, a process that is supplemented by fantasy.

?: or am I getting it wrong….

But assuming I am getting it somewhat right, it seems to me that this could as effectively be described as society not so much suppressing our desires as channeling them to the interests of the powers that be. Now, of course, anyone more familiar with the continental approach might protest that I am over-simplifying what the writer(s) was saying. And I will give them that. Still, I have to question the practicality of taking all these oblique and poetic back roads in order to represent the subtleties they are trying to get across when they could just as easily start with what is immediately accessible and work their way from there.

And the only answer I see to my interrogation is that the continentals are more interested in being interesting writers than they are purveyor’s of truths. It’s a little like what Umberto Eco pointed out in an interview:

The difference between the analytic and continental approach is that the analytic approach attempts to build off of previous discoveries much as science does while the continental approach attempts to say the same old things in such novel ways that they seem to be saying something totally original.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:19 pm

"Lately I've been running by day, drinking by night, as though first to build a man and then destroy him....." -from 'Words' by Philip Levine

The story of my life……
*
In praise of Phillip Levine:
*
http://www.ibiblio.org/ipa/poems/levine ... y_lion.php
-From ‘They Feed They Lion’ by Philip Levine

?: does this poem have the same feel as The Smith’s How Soon is Now (https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/sear ... ion=click( to anyone else……

I would also note what I call “the apocalyptic style” in it, that similar to Ginsberg’s Howl: that which runs through a series of images that feel loosely connected. And we can easily feel the influence of Yeat’s ‘The Second Coming’.

That said, the above poem pretty much typifies the reason I have come to love Levine’s poetry and why I have (after many years (returned to his selected poems: that kind of grimy, oil stained feel of someone negotiating an industrialized and unjust environment through a kind of reverence via struggle.
*
“My brother comes home from work
and climbs the stairs to our room.
I can hear the bed groan and his shoes drop
one by one. You can have it, he says”
-from Levine’s poem ‘You Can Have It’

It’s been interesting returning to Levine in the age of Trump in that you recognize Trump’s potential followers (those negotiating an industrialized and unjust system (in it. And let’s be clear: this is not to assume that Levine would be some kind of Trump mouthpiece. In fact, I would argue that Levine’s interests were a little more Marxist in nature while also seeing the futility of resistance (see ‘Not This Pig’ and ‘Baby Villon’).

And, of course, the scariest thing about it is that Trump seems to want to return us to that grimy, oil-stained environment that Levine was dealing with. And if Trump succeeds we can only hope to approach it with the same spiritual fallback that Levine describes.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:23 pm

“Classical demonism illustrates the absolutist perspective of deviance by dividing the world into good and evil. To follow the universal set of rules on which a society is based is “good;” to disrupt the plan is “evil” and an affront to God and society. This dualistic perspective, which is often characterized by a supernatural element, suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with those who do not adhere to the social order. Classical demonism has reemerged as an explanation for deviance in modern society, often being used as a convenient way to explain and categorize bad behavior. Modern demonism, while more secular than the classical form, continues to divide the world into opposing forces—those who know what is right and those who do not.” –from Paul Root Wolpe’s outline for his Great Courses lecture: Explaining Social Deviance

And I would offer a form of demonism that Wolpe did not actually go into in his lecture: the tyranny of the functional under producer/consumer Capitalism. The main point I would ask you to focus on in the above is:

“This dualistic perspective, which is often characterized by a supernatural element, suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with those who do not adhere to the social order.”

The point Wolpe went on to make is that when we talk about the supernatural, it must, by definition, be about what seems to be beyond the natural. He uses it in a more general sense than gods and ghosts. Therefore, when we are talking about “evil”, we are talking about something that cannot be empirically defined. One could almost think of it as metaphysical in a sense. For instance, we can talk about an act as being “bad” in that it will have a certain negative effect; but when it comes to evil, all we know is that it FEELS evil.

He also pointed out that norms (and deviances from them (are basically social constructs. Therefore, deviance (in many circles), is defined by that which breaks or threatens the commonly accepted sense of what the social order is. And the way they prop this up is by acting as if the generally sense of social order is rooted in nature itself –that is as compared to a human construct- a natural force if you will.

And nothing could make this more clear to us than the way we (via media (normalize previously deviant behaviors. Take the sitcom Will and Grace. In it, we come to accept Will, the homosexual, through his portrayal as a perfectly valid producer/consumer. We do as much in TV ads that do not present minorities as their selves as much as yuppies with darker skin. Even when African Americans are presented as rappers, they’re presented as the brothers and sisters that made it as is made clear through all the bling.

Producer/consumer Capitalism is a human construct: an agreement among the participants. In that sense it is a religion (note the god-like invisible hand (a demonization that defines as deviant that which fails to act in the proper role of a producer/consumer. All you have to do is watch any episode of COPS and you will see what I mean. It’s basically a whipping post for non-producer/consumers: white trash and minorities –what is "evil" in the eyes of producer/consumer Capitalism- or that which fails to placate to the tyranny of the functional.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5457
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Previous

Return to The Sandbox



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron