Non-conventional ways of knowing:
with an historically imputed subjectivity,
Non-conventional ways of knowing:
with an historically imputed subjectivity,
Anti-Oedipus = a necessary prerequisite for a certain type of insight. Gnosticism
I was a way from training for a month, and it felt like a lifetime. What waS going on within the gym? And was it anything to which I still could relate?
I’m much less into the mode of taking it seriously now, just as I am much less into the mode of taking my studies seriously. I now know that neither strong training no strong intellectual discipline will redeem me in decisive ways.
What matters is the ability to use both intellectual and physical attributes to PLAY.
I’m pushing for is a different understanding of strength and weakness: the point at which we are happy to disappear into the herd by proclaiming the ubiquitousness of a certain characteristic as “human nature”. Well that is the real meaning of ‘man is something to be overcome’. Human nature is not so much a term delineating a concrete phenomenon, as it is a justification for that which we do not wish to change.
Thus my father: “Yes, of course I am abusive — but isn’t everybody..??”
and my father’s unwitting cheerleader: “Yes, human nature is thus, that people do not think for themselves. Your father doesn’t think for himself, but this is such an entirely normal and such a ubiquitous feature of human nature that the extremity of this particular example is not worth commenting on again, except to acknowledge the very generalistic quality of this phenomenon.”
And so on.
Everybody disappearing back into the herd at their point of comfort.
The sad reality is that some people never learn to think at the level of concrete reality. Nothing they think has any relation to concrete reality whatsoever. So if something goes wrong in that sphere — the sphere of reality — these people don’t know what to do except to make their resolve firmer, in order to somehow bring it into line with what they think the deities require. By pleasing their deity, they hope to change their fortunes, making reality change from bad to good. But as for concrete reality? They have no way of dealing with it, itself. Hence they only ever make it worse when they try to fix it.
Interesting how our experiences shape us. I had the experience wherein my accommodation of femininity was damaging me to the extreme. I actually became quite sick from all the anger and aggression I was holding inside, and then it got to the point where I was continually being challenged to submit even more, sacrifice even more — I rebelled.
Since that night of saying no, my life has been on a different course. I do find it hard to relate to relationships which are conducted through the medium of femininity. I’ve tried jobs (such as school teaching) which demand stereotypical gender roles and I cannot do the femininity that is required of me. Trying to do so is the equivalent of walking around 60 hours a week in the shoes featured here.
I believe I’ve always been constitutionally unfemininine, although I did fall into a relatively feminine social role in my early twenties. I believe that even during this time my underlying sense of vigour, playfulness and naturalness showed through. This is what caused the patriarchy and its female adherents to attack me. My response to these attacks was to relinquish not the part of me they were attacking me for, but the feminine part which was preventing me from fighting back effectively.
“Thousands of male cubic meters have so far benefitted from my excellent advice!”
“Dialogue” with my father who drops in, impromptu:
[after a very long interaction with Mike about sports..}
"So, Jen, what are you up to these days? Did you ever get going with that course you were going to do?"
Me: Yes. I've made a lot of progress with it, actually.
"Oh. The last time I heard you were waiting for something to start."
Me: Yes, it's like that in academia. Always waiting for something...
"I know all about that! My work blah blah blah blah blah."
Me: gets up and walks off to the kitchen. Looks for something to eat. Comes back, at a leisurely pace and sits down again after 5 minutes.
"So, what was the course you were doing anyway?"
Me: Have a guess!
"It was, er...Masters or something wasn't it?"
Me: No. Try again.
Me: You get two more guesses. If you fail both, you're out!"
Mike: I'll give you a clue: It's a doctorate.
"Oh, a doctorate! What is it in?"
Me: English and communication studies.
"Ah I see."
Me: Yes, I didn't expect you to already have this information, due to my small female brain!"
"[softening tone as if to acknowledge the implicit truth of a self-deprecating statement]… Yes, well. [As if to imply, "but what can anybody really do?"] So!….. MIKE…..!.”
I’m utterly exhausted. I don’t know why. I am strongly likely to believe that it has to do with a two week period of time, quite recently, when I had to work whilst I was quite sick. Then there was the sense of panic that I’d lost the threads of my thesis proposal, with the consequent harried rush to pick up those threads in as short a time as I could. The concerted drive produce work was my master for very long hours over two days.
Also, the (other) work I do finishes late, sometimes. At times, I finish up at midnight. (This is not to imply that I work long hours in that particular job — although it might be true that I work very hard and consistently in general.)
And, well, I’ve been trying to build up my fitness again, after about two weeks of sedentary living. The result is that first thing in the morning I often experience the shocking reaction of stiff legs.
And really, and really, nervous energy sucks. That’s all folks!
The inability to respect the psychological boundaries of others is endemic in our sadomasochistic society. There is the tendency to be bombastic, to be blind, and to push one’s way forward. The ability to see, to understand, to negotiate or to come to terms have been largely discarded in Western culture, where the irrationality of market forces dominate. Therefore, critical thinking, too, goes by the wayside, and we celebrate its demise with so-called “reality television shows where social Darwinist lessons are taught.
Therefore, the pathological narcissist and his solipsism do not seem out-of-place with the spirit of the times. He can sufficiently camouflage herself, by virtue of his not unusual narcissism.
Reading Anne McClintock on Lacan, it appears to me that Lacan de-erotices gender relations by placing them within a context of absolute difference which is very reminiscent of Achille Mbembe’s description of the conceptual differentiation between the coloniser and those who are colonised.
[references Heidegger]: “To command an animal (the slave or the colonised) was to play a game of attempting to get him/her out of the encirclement [presumably, as a being existent only within the sphere of objects] while being aware that the circle was never thereby reduced, since grooming and domestication occured almost always in the animal’s own distinctive drives. In other words, it was to play this game while conscious that, although the animal (the colonised) could belong to the conscious world, have needs (hunger, thirst, copulation) , it could never truly accede to the sphere of human possibility. [On the postcolony, p 28].
Such objectification by Lacan seems to be the product of either deep disappointment or gayness, in my view.
Now, if the colonised is freed (but of course this involves a mental adjustment), in the realm of human possibility – and this is not Lacan
I’m still reading books calls Postcolonial books. They give me some insights, here and there. Part of this involves cultural laundering. So much of the past was oppressive for those who were colonised. Yet, if what Fanon describes as psychological violence is closely examined in its abstract sense, then I have been a victim of often relentless psychological violence. I’m not supposed to be identifiable thus as a racial victim, since my skin is light. Still, so many of my encounters have involved attempts to violently re-educate me. For what? When I was in Zimbabwe, I was pretty much attuned to a very non-affluent lifestyle. I had friends who were black and white. I had not yet encountered the exaggerated form of racism which was later attributed to me, I suppose, because of where I was from. Systematic racism I knew nothing about from personal experience. My school age friends did not express such attitudes in terms of categorising others. It was my western experience, much later, which educated me about that, by attributing nefarious motives to me, making me feel awkward and self-conscious. But as I said, in my prior, very casual state of mind, I used to mix freely with whomever I wanted to. Western re-education — and that alone — has made me cautious.
I consumed a postcolonial book recently. It was about the British, and yeah, it was about India, and it said some stuff, some stuff about colonial culture. All of which got me thinking. What rang so true — and I didn’t expect it to — was this particular idea : In western thinking, to refer to power is “to be aggressive”.
Can you think of the problems this presents for a rational mediation of any social or political problem? If a complainant so much as THINKS that an injustice has occurred, then they are cast as an aggressor. There is no way to solve the problem for example by weeding out the injustice of a certain type of behaviour, to ensure it doesn’t happen again. There is little chance of a talking solution under this paradigm, either. Actually the value of the intellect — which is our instrument for understanding — is undermined. One has no choice but to hit out at the aggressor, possibly risking killing him –a more severe penalty on all than would have been required by the use of alternative methods of resolution.
Supposing somebody’s hand comes toward me, uninvited? I would neatly grap hold of the fingers of said hand, giving a twist, whilst keeping elbows close to me. Once the fellow was writhing on the ground, myself looking down at him, I would have used the altenate hand to reach in to where the ring was dropped, take it out, and throw it as far from myself as possible, as if it were a roach. Then I would let go of the guy’shand, looking at him with indifference. Then I would have walked away.
Isn’t it wonderful when one’s enemies fight each other? Mister Mufti is completely correct in so far as pointing out that there are a lot of racial bigots in Australia. One doesn’t have to be a different colour from them to invite imposition by their finely tuned mechanisms of bigotry, either!
On the other hand Mister Mufti himself is no superior slab of meat. Would not any well behaved dog certainly turn up its nose at him?
Remember how it used to be in the good old days, when things were..uh, simpler, and uh..more straightforward?
I remember how we used to sit in front of our black and white television set in Rhodesia, watching whatever had to be on at the time, when suddenly the picture would begin rolling.
Zip, zip, zip, the picture would emerge from the bottom of the screen, only to disappear –shnip -from the top of the screen, and again, and again, until you found yourself exceedingly exasperated as a viewer. You went up and you gave the machine a hearty -slap!- on the ceiling, and then —kadabbarrrrh!– the picture would return to normal again!
Thus was the substance of common sense in the past – and as we all know, simple solutions are the most reckonable. Tap, tap, tap on the head. And let us invade another middle eastern country while we’re at it.
As I said on another site, it is most unfortunate that the “common sense” of the Wingnuts is usually a reversion to a psychological metaphor derived from Newton’s mechanics. In other words, their thought processes are very 18th century in their orientation. (Also, one could argue, misappropriating a scientific ideology to the realm of the human and social, even in earlier historical terms.)
The idea that more force will be the answer to any social problem, this is very badly thought through. As I say, it merely SEEMS like common sense to the wingnuts, because it is an older way of thinking than more lately discovered social and scientific perspectives. Yet, it’s not a hard-assed common-sensical approach to adopt a metaphor of greater force against a weaker force as the solution to solving your problems. The human realm is not the realm of blind, mechanical matter. The use of greater force produces greater rage, greater despair, a greater spirit of revenge. These are intrinsically human responses to the use of coercive force. They always have been.
Obviously, everything that ever happens in the world can be explained in terms of biological imperatives. Everything. But such an interpretation removes humans from a seat of attempted mastery over the individual and collective destinies, and throws them helter-skelter into the chaos of a Hobbesian world, where the imperative is now only “to get more of what I want and stuff myself full of it”. As philosopher Thomas Hobbes said, the state of nature doe humans produces a life which is nasty, brutish and short. Similarly, if we are all to defer to the sense of our biological imperatives as the sole guide for our behaviour, we WILL collectively produce a society where life for each person is nasty, brutish and short. In other words, the sole goal we have seen fit to embrace — that of our sexuality and reproductive capacities — will return to haunt us, causing us humans to wallow in the sort of misery that even a dog or a cat would not be capable of imposing upon their collective species. Even dogs or cats love to play — in a sense love freedom which is not subordinated to an overarching principle of biological imperative.
By embracing what they assume to be a “state of Nature,” humans will have effectively brought themselves down to a state of being lower than that of dogs and cats. Their lives will be hugely stressful and unpleasant, and in many ways much worse than the average monkey floating beneath the jungle canopies. (For monkeys, too, do not have the intellect to determine that life should be about ‘only one thing’ — so even wild monkeys are still relatively more free than humans who bind themselves to this one fundamental principle.)
To make my position clear: I do perceive a decline of western society to be very much entailed by a general embrace of a ‘return to Nature’. Even if humans could know what “Nature’ really is, in order to ‘return’ to it, their goal to take themselves and others in this direction vulgarises them.
Yesterday I did read various articles and extracts on and by Doris Lessing, yesterday.
I’d be interested to read more of the word of Ms Lessing. She does seem a little strident at times, but her analyses of social interactions may prove to be quite insightful. I’m also amazed at the apparent similarities between Virginia Woolf and Lessing. They both wanted to change society along more female-friendly lines.[editorial note: I'm not sure what what insight led me to write this].
Suffice it to say that there are moments of insight in Lessing, but I’m not sure how politically contrived or psychologically likely — which is to say, how true to typical human developmental processes — they are. It is more than interesting that the social objectification of the young female, which she points to here:
resonates with my own observations concerning myself here: am I a chair?
The cold dies down, clarity returns and so does my abiding boredom with this town. But yaay! for the disappearing of my cold, the state of impermanent soggy head and other gagging and gasping matters.
My insights these days hurts my brain, and what astonishes me most is the continual lack of insight expressed by those around me. I put it down to personality differences. One has to develop a certain sense of Systems Logic to understand what I understand, see what I see. Without sociology, the rivers of blood run cold.
It’s not just the seeing, though, but the allowing oneself to see, permitting oneself to feel in fact what one does feel, which enliven the data of life, which is otherwise superficially anecdata. Which is to say, both logic and emotion matter. Not one OR the other, but the two together, clasping hands.
I refer, of course, to the dear soul who has now sent me at least 30 blog comments, all of which I have to delete, most of them unread.
When I was a child, I had the most glorious keeshond bitch. She was “mine” just as the other dog we had — a mix of bulldog and labrador — was my younger brother’s. I don’t, for the moment, remember what animal, if any, was said to be owned by my sister or, indeed, the even younger brother. I suspect my sister’s pet might have been a cat we had. I can’t quite bring myself to conclude that her’s was a chicken.
In any case, this dog had a certain fearless charm — in actual fact, a peculiar drive to chase motorbikes whenever she would see one. I remember in one particular instance — (we used to take the dogs for walks unleashed) — when an extremely noisy motorbike suddenly appeared about 50 metres away from where we were walking. We were up towards the top of the road on which I lived. The motorbike had appeared suddenly at the bottom of the road.
Pasha — for that was her name — took off, rapidly, hindquarters propelling her fowards after the elusive prize. The motorbike was travelling at quite a speed, but excitement drove her forwards to pursue it, so that she was soon snapping at the wheels, continuously, as the bike continued to speed away from where I stood; my point of vantage. The sight was awesome to see. Having chased the driver one hundred or so metres down the road, she would then withdraw from the chase, and joyously return to me, as if a job had been well done.
I considered this eccentric behaviour of hers very endearing as well as being demonstrative of her passionate spirit.