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Miamiu1027
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« on: April 29, 2012, 02:18:50 pm »
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Not for (the) Lack: Episodes in Trying
Young Tweed


“The unconscious, with its storms of impulses…”, wrote Zerzan on the subject of time.  He is opposed to time, seeing it as a civilizational construction, enslaving man in its direction of commerce and everything else.  He’s not wrong!  But he checks his watch every day nonetheless, “we can have whatever ideas we like, but we’re still a part of it…”  Such is the dead end of primitivism.

But, it’s still useful as a reference point.  Dead ends themselves are inherently useful: I oftentimes in my aimless youth smoked pot at the end of suburban streets, overlooking a sump… not to mention, people live right there.  Daily life and all of its demands needs to be adjusted to its proper volume.  Tyler Durden fought to earn his earplugs, the addict changes his chemical constitution.  I want neither of these: not the broken jaw, nor the withdrawal-pangs associated with a blank-screened cell phone.  So I, like so many fools before me, and so many to come, look for The Answer.

I’m hardly the smartest to ever to undertake the task, but not the dumbest.  And intelligence is not the crucial ingredient here… for if it were that simple, there would be no journey left, Galileo or Confucius would have spit out a few pages and it’d all be done with, or careful concealed and excluded as property.

So let me appraise you on the current object-form of my desire.
  
--

She’s 24.  She’s a college graduate.  She had blonde hair: whether by nature or by force, I cannot tell.  She is a Mets fan, left-wing, and possibly smarter than Young Tweed himself, the founder of that implacable school of revolutionary thought, Tweedism.  All of it’s quite an order: I’m attracted to quite-orders!  Here’s the inflection point.

She lives in Austin, Texas, will all but certainly never speak with me again.  She barely did to begin with, and took me to the back alley and disposed of me, proper items going in the compost, only the most objectionable filaments into the landfill.  And here is where it gets good.  She’s an avid Lacanian.  She’s been arrested at least twice.  (The succession of the mugshots is a story-within-the-story.  A first as Tragedy, then as Farce, if ever seen.  The two arrests occurred within a month of each other.  The first, for petty theft.  The mugshot shows her smiling, defiant… all that radiant energy of youth, trapped, redoubling, trapped, confined to the destructive arenas of cheap rushes, inferiority complex, self-hate, and false altruism… The second, on ‘Request to Apprehend’.  Did she not show up for her court date?  Whatever the case, the smile is gone, replaced with a grim despair… The stare that stares back from the Abyss, the realization that this avenue is one of those Tweedist dead ends, that action is not flaunting but rather quite counterposed to it… the realization that she had yet to find the answer).  And it gets better.  (Or worse, the same thing).  Solid evidence exists to suggest that she suffers from anorexia nervosa.  Quite a commentary can be built from here, to which we will return.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 02:21:38 pm by © we are all Tweedists now »Logged
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 02:45:20 pm »
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I’m drawn to her because she unites knowledge of ‘higher theory’ with an unmistakable feminine form.  I am not a feminist, but it does not take one to imagine the contradiction therein: How does one read all those books, or articles, whatever they are, only to re-construct oppressive femininity on their own faces with mascara, on their own feet with high heels, and all the rest we know so well?  And beyond all that, why be sexually attracted to men to begin with?  I am sure there are answers to these questions.  I am sure Tweedism would be thoroughly revulsive to any doctrinaire feminist: Marx overly-masculinized his mythic conception of the working class, and I bought the whole construct wholesale, proudly, along with the rest of my prejudices and predilections.

So finally, when the constant musing of the unconscious finds a powerful representation in the Real, the volley begins.  God damn!  It has been lurking within me for a long while, and “whoever is now first will always seem invincible”, but when the object-form comes close to articulating the storms of impulse as aforementioned, it radiates this energy… so I’ve been wondering where to go with it.

My first idea was it was best to take it to Freud and see what he had to say.  There are a few answers.  First, I can simply chase it, in all its purity.  This is at once the most and least imaginative option: it provides the greatest potential spread of positive-negative outcomes.  One form of chasing it would be to send this text right along to her, and attempt to revive our stillborn correspondence… This is the key idea.  For the man whose superego gets overblown is but a prisoner, and that’s been me for a while now.  Fear rejection, avoid this situation, then avoid situations which are facsimiles of the situation that I avoided yesterday… eventually we get whittled down to the opposite extreme of “chasing it”, which is, minimization of unpleasure.  This is Freud’s other answer.  But I hit a paradox when I followed that line down to its logical end: The safest place for me is undoubtedly sitting in my room, alone, infused with substances.  Numb to pain or even to any form of stimulation I wouldn’t call for myself.  Yet this bred a pain of its own, a ceaseless self-narration, inevitably turning itself into tragedy, and the self-manufacture of the pain I was so desperate to avoid.

Another option is libidinal displacement, taking the energy that my object of sexual desire brings to the fore, and ‘attaching’ it to something else.  That is what this writing episode is, but that energy that spawns work and creation does not lead to a dead product: the product I am creating here, will exist independent of me, speak for me in my absence, and then in true dialectical fashion begin to alter the environment I interact with.  We can hope upon hope that this interaction will lead to more favorable circumstances, and since it is my narration this hope is not without merit.

This discovery leads to its own host of questions.  If we displace the libido by narrating it onto the page, the hope is tied to its eventual satisfaction.  Thus we must not only narrate, but also plot: constantly form and direct the energy through the lens which tells us from prior experience what is best to do, historically, quite a burden.  The concern here is that the whole process will be compared to the ideal: in this situation, it is quite clearly reducible to the extraction of sexual satisfaction, however fleeting, from the object-form, the young anorexic Lacanian convict woman from Austin.  The problem is that this is exceedingly unlikely, from every calculation, and thus the goals of the libidinal displacement must be, as best they can, directed towards another, or at least a more broad, set of goals or definition of success.  This is the project of the hour.
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 03:21:22 pm »
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tl/dr
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 04:15:51 pm »
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I also didn't read, but scanned very rapidly.  Who the heck is 'Tyler Durden'? And did you get some 'inappropriate' in an alley?
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 09:36:53 pm »
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I also didn't read, but scanned very rapidly.  Who the heck is 'Tyler Durden'? And did you get some 'inappropriate' in an alley?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_Club




the alley was metaphorical.
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2012, 09:37:52 pm »
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Not for (the) Lack: Episode II in Trying.  
Young Tweed


There are two problems from the preceding text to which I would like to now return.  The first is as regards the very act of displacement: operating under the assumption of the possibility of, to one degree or another, a conscious displacement of the libidinal energy into activities ostensibly unconcerned with sex, how do we facilitate this process of displacement?  And, following from that, to which activities should this libidinal energy be ‘attached’, and for what purpose(s)?

As regarding the First.  I fully admit that I am ascribing to work a certain quality which I cannot prove, but which is elemental to the truth of my own experience.  The space of which I am speaking is likely the ‘flow’ of Csikszentmihalyi, whom I shall quote:

being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost [Emphasis mine]

So this idea is not new, nor is it mine.  However my identification of it as libidinal energy may be new; of course I, again, narrate from my own experience.  It is when I imagine, perhaps quite falsely, that my creation is moving towards the realization of the objet petit a, that I am most successful.  Allow me to take the example of the present.  I have delusions of future grandeur: that one day, people from all corners of (Western) civilization will understand the depth of my brilliance, read my texts, listen to my spoken words, view my image and be attracted to it: the men wishing they were me (and believing that in associating with me, they could become more like me, and thus…), and the women seeking to possess me sexually.  But the lessons contained herein would not be abridged: I would spontaneously create this libidinal energy, through my texts of past and my explication, content ever being renewed in the concrete forms that face me, and the aforementioned lessons herein would allow us to now consciously convert this energy into the form of higher theory, discussion of ideas, and so forth.  And the endgame of all of that being, once we think for just one more moment, come to one more realization, we will have the answer… but even that will “fall away”, in the synchronization of the cause-effect universal now to now, as one energy-space would breed another.

From here I would like to make a few comments on the emerging dystopia of the West, and perhaps, if we are lucky, we can take the lessons of libidinal flow and apply the admittedly nascent framework to a situation that those of all persuasions would agree to be inideal.

I was reading an article the other day on a situation developing in Minnesota.  Debt collectors have embedded themselves in the hospitals, harassing (on occasion, a reality can only be properly described in the language of pathology)  “clients”  for the money they owe, on occasion threatening the morbidly ill with a discontinuation of treatment should the arrears persist.  I do not need to elaborate on how this is “wrong”: it offends many people, not the least of which the structures responsible for the oversight of such activity, the Attorney General of Minnesota, who is taking action.  The company, I will add, is publicly traded.  The perversity of two cultures, as they interlock, is visible here: the first the debt culture, astonishing in size, increasingly dishonest in its symbolic form; and the second the investment culture, through which people attach, oftentimes quite innocently, their well-being to enterprises which are of either dubious or simply no moral value: the investment takes the form of a hands off, subject-does-not-want-to-know, and facilitates the dystopian horrors as aforementioned (and, undoubtedly, even worse.  I am tempted here to cite an anecdote: a wealthy, quite forward-thinking family friend was speaking with my mother on the topic of investing, a topic of which he is quite qualified to speak.  And, he recommended Altria, the Artist formerly known as Philip Morris, to my flagrantly anti-tobacco mother as a solid investment.  I should note-within-the-note that my mother was so horrified when she learned of my cigarette smoking habit in 2009 that she, very literally, cried, and then progressed, once her thought interacted with the situation, to reproach me in the terms of political economy: “how could you, my anti-capitalist son, give your dollars to the evilest of evil capitalists?”  It is further my position that the tobacco manufacturers are no worse than the other capitalists, only are in that dangerous exaggerated form which, like Madoff and private prisons, serve to obscure the inner pathologies of the system at large… But we should hasten to get back to the original topics, of dystopia and prior to that, libidinal energy, and exploring the potentiality of an interrelation, so suffice it to say that I no longer smoke cigarettes, my mother never invested in Altria [nor Coca-Cola, as was a comprise solution: profiting off of obesity?  Repugnant!]… hasten we will, but these reflections will be of value later, so keep them in mind.)
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2012, 10:11:51 pm »
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Dystopia is a space in which everything is not only upside-down, but worse yet, arranged in such a way that lends to the belief that someone must have had explicitly nefarious intentions when drawing all of this up.  The two classic dystopian works,*  Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984, both are so kind as to, at different points, place a human face upon the processes, revealing the consciousness behind the execution of all the efficient brutality.  Here at least we can understand why it is being done: a hole in placed in the veil of the formerly impenetrable Other.  But here, in the late capitalist dystopia of crushing debt and debt collectors in doctor’s coats, is anyone narrating?  Is anyone drawing this up?  Must we simply lean, without recourse, on the tried-and-true Marxian notion of ceaseless accumulation, knowing nothing else and stopping at nothing, chewing everything up and spitting out an anticulture?  Perhaps, but so long as this persists and so long as there are thinking men, there will be opposition: and there will be libidinal value in that opposition.  For radicalism, and I openly posit myself as a radical, is very much a thing of those-in-the-know: we skate along in this desert of endless anomie, confronted with the postmodern temporary-contract of vulnerable, short-skirted femininity, and a few of us can’t do it, and many skate into neurosis.  But others keep at it, find their sustaining content in the very horror that is the dystopia: when Marx noted that capitalism would, by its nature, produce its own “gravedigger”, the capitalist, he was before Freud.  Now we have more tools.  Now we can note, capitalism will exert its pressure to ceaselessly accumulate, to dis-embed, to create the anticulture, the vacuum, whatever signifier you like, but!  Not only will it produces the contradictions and tensions, there will be a life-world wholly within that created tension.  Here’s where I want to live!


Here is the place where it is Provident to explicitly return back to our initial goal, which I shall quote: “operating under the assumption of the possibility of, to one degree or another, a conscious displacement of the libidinal energy into activities ostensibly unconcerned with sex, how do we facilitate this process of displacement?” I come back to this here-now because I have found, in my own way, a kernel of the answer to this question.  It is perhaps nothing new: perhaps nothing is ever new, the idea goes.  My theory is that the libidinal energy can be most easily displaced when the different aspects of the constitution of the man can unite, much like a Popular Front, towards an immediate goal.  So, for instance, I intellectually believe that a socialist revolution, broadly defined would be a ‘good’ (or even necessary) thing for humanity, in the here and now.  I can put this intellectual faculty to work, if I can believe that my activity in-the-present is a step closer to the goal than it is away from it.  Fine.  This I would all largely identify as super-ego.  There are two more steps, that unfold as follow.  I believe that it is ‘cool’ that I believe in the socialist revolution, and have for a long time.  At first it came in the form of wearing Vladimir Lenin t-shirts to high school at age sixteen; it has, thankfully, progressed to defending Lenin in discussions.  Or simply making comments along these lines in the presence of other people, in line with the general current of my socio-political belief system, which I identify as socialist-revolutionary, even if they don’t, but like it even better when they do identify it as socialist-revolutionary, gives me an ‘ego-hit’ (synonymous with ego-boost; I prefer the former term because it conveys the imagery of the use of a drug, largely an instrument used to boost the ego-image of the user, or at least make it go away).  So here we have two parts (the two easy parts): I do, on a dispassionate (insofar as dispassion is possible) level, believe in the socialist revolution; and I believe that it is ‘cool’ that I believe in it on an intellectual level, and receive an ego-benefit from expounding on my view in front of others).  As I said, these are the two easy parts.  The third part: how do I get the Id, my libido, my seeking of sexual objects to possess and interact with, how do I get all of this socialist nonsense to have a dialog with that black totalitarian realm of the unconscious?  And how do I get that dialog to lead to the ‘Popular Front’, something productive, something that moves towards the sexual object but also the socialist revolution?

--ENDNOTE
 
I do think it notable that the two mass-marketed, officially-ideological dystopian works come out of our ‘Father’, Great Britain.  By this I note that both the Huxley and the Orwell work are taught with routine in public high schools all across America… though, at least in the case of Orwell, we are never told that he fought in a Trotskyist militia in the Spanish Civil War, that while perhaps an anti-Communist he was NOT an anti-communist… perhaps the teaching of the ‘castrated’ form of Orwell, deprived of its sustaining life-blood of ideational content through those mystical and sublime ideological channels of filtration and repression, is dystopian of itself?
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President John Hay
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2012, 10:20:25 pm »
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You're in college- right? What are you studying?
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2012, 10:36:53 pm »
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You're in college- right? What are you studying?

Industrial and Labor Relations

When I go to Columbia, shall I learn to write like this? Or is this just a Cornell thing?

And you thought I was overanalyzing. This is both profound and frustratingly off-topic, and I shall formulate a more thorough reply later.

not entirely sure what the implication(s) is/are here, but this was not an academic paper submitted for grade, nor was it in response to any concrete prompt.
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2012, 10:51:33 pm »
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lol mets
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2012, 11:04:10 pm »
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Man it's a shame that there aren't really LiveJournal communities dedicated to this type of writing that are active anymore. Tweed would be so awesome on them.
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2012, 11:25:25 pm »
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You're trying just a tad too hard there.
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 11:59:29 pm »
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Tweed's postings are some of the best written stuff ever posted on the forum not posted by opebo, Simfan's are making me think nothing but tl;dr. There is an art to that writing style and few can pull it off. Tweed is one of the few brilliant minds who can.
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2012, 12:01:48 am »
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lol "James DeWitt Yancey"

You're definitely trying too hard son.
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2012, 12:14:28 am »
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Quote
how do I get all of this socialist nonsense to have a dialog with that black totalitarian realm of the unconscious?  And how do I get that dialog to lead to the ‘Popular Front’, something productive, something that moves towards the sexual object but also the socialist revolution?

The answer is obvious: find a socialist girl. That's the first thing I would have done had I been a sexual like you. If you're still in college it's easier, if you're not I would advise moving to New York City. How old are you now, anyway?
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2012, 12:15:43 am »
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lol "James DeWitt Yancey"

You're definitely trying too hard son.

But indeed that is part of the idea. I am attempting to detach myself from this by using his full name, which indeed sounds rather WASP-ish. J Dilla sounds as if I am embracing it. His full name sticks out to more, honestly, in the way it wholly clashed with his persona. "James DeWitt Yancey" sounds like someone who would have been the 37th Governor of Connecticut, not a hip hop producer.

It is frightening though; I'm not entirely sure whether I'm no longer serious or not. Certainly above the caricature I believe there is an element of truth to every thing I am saying.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxyWQKjeYLg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlRz_4-Ymdo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCmbHWgkXek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qC7axSYzLWo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i3_VuRyGEg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-qGpEY6I4k

As long as you're beginning to realize that there is artistic merit in hip-hop, it doesn't matter. I can't relate to any cultural items that have come out of the chicano community and have basically attempted to destroy that small part of my identity so I understand your sentiments.
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2012, 01:00:15 am »
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It's too bad Tweed isn't a Christian, because he could write some f**king awesome sermons. We need someone with an emo preaching style. Maybe I should write an emo rant with my buddy's interpretation of John 20:15-17.
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2012, 01:06:56 am »
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It's too bad Tweed isn't a Christian, because he could write some f**king awesome sermons. We need someone with an emo preaching style. Maybe I should write an emo rant with my buddy's interpretation of John 20:15-17.

Maybe he could start a Nihilist church that would uhhh.... Yeah.
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2012, 07:26:43 am »
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how do I get all of this socialist nonsense to have a dialog with that black totalitarian realm of the unconscious?  And how do I get that dialog to lead to the ‘Popular Front’, something productive, something that moves towards the sexual object but also the socialist revolution?

The answer is obvious: find a socialist girl. That's the first thing I would have done had I been a sexual like you. If you're still in college it's easier, if you're not I would advise moving to New York City. How old are you now, anyway?

that was largely going to be the conclusion of the next part of the discussion, that the potency of the sexual object-form is enhanced by alignment with the other two identified forms of character composition.  I am 21.
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2012, 10:27:01 am »
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how do I get all of this socialist nonsense to have a dialog with that black totalitarian realm of the unconscious?  And how do I get that dialog to lead to the ‘Popular Front’, something productive, something that moves towards the sexual object but also the socialist revolution?

The answer is obvious: find a socialist girl. That's the first thing I would have done had I been a sexual like you. If you're still in college it's easier, if you're not I would advise moving to New York City. How old are you now, anyway?

wait a moment - am I to read this as, Beet was a socialist when he entered college?
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2012, 11:30:20 am »
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Am I supposed to like Fight Club?  Because I didn't.
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« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2012, 12:00:48 pm »
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When I entered college I was a DLC Dem at best; I remember caucusing with the College Republicans at some point during my first semester. But what I meant was, would have found a girl with compatible political views and interests. I would imagine the interests part is important; it wouldn't be good enough to be simpatico in views, we would also have to have the same tastes in conversation.  (Alas, such is rare for me, even on a platonic friendship level).
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« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2012, 12:38:48 pm »
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One point I shall touch on here will return to the opening sentence of this work: the relation of time to the unconscious.  Zerzan’s comment comes in the context of exploring Dreams for potential “liberatory clues”… allow me to quote in full the relevant part:

When we dream the sense of time is virtually nonexistent, replaced by a sensation of presentness. It should come as no surprise that dreams, which ignore the rules of time, would attract the notice of those searching for liberatory clues, or that the unconscious, with its ``storms of impulse'' (Stern 1977), frightens those with a stake in the neurosis we call civilization.

I would also like to ‘set the table’ with a short comment taken from linguist Daniel Everett’s study of the the Piraha, an indigenous hunter-gatherer tribe in the Amazon:

Finally one Pirahã asked me one day, well, what color is Jesus?  How tall is he?  When did he tell you these things?  And I said, well, you know, I've never seen him, I don't know what color he was, I don't know how tall he was. Well, if you have never seen him, why are you telling us this?  

And now, the line immediately succeeding the above quote from Zerzan:

Norman O. Brown (1959) saw the sense of time or history as a function of repression; if repression were abolished, he reasoned, we would be released from time. Similarly, Coleridge (1801) recognized in the man of ``methodical industry'' the origin and creator of time.

Above we have a) dreams as a window into the timeless state of the unconscious; b) an un-historic primitive society unconcerned with that which cannot be directly sensed (the Piraha lost all interest in Christ once they learned Everett had not directly witnessed Him); and c) the tie of the sense of time to the repression of desire, and further, to domestication.  

To restate the problem currently facing us, it is, how do we ‘displace’ or sublimate the id-desire, using its force to achieve goals congruent with the world-view of the other aspects of character?  As Zerzan notes, the unconscious has no sense of time.  Dreams are timeless: events happen in succession, with the perception of a chain of cause-and-effect, but rarely if ever does the protagonist reflect “Wow, I have been here a long time” or anything of the sort.  On the contrary, the unconscious known to us in dreams seeks to achieve its objet petit a through a ruthless engagement with the present.

But our goals explicitly ask the id to defer.  I argued above that I am most successful when I have the feeling that through my re-direction of libidinal desire, I am only delaying gratification, rather than ceding it, with the illusion that through non-sexual work I am coming closer to the possession of my desired sexual object-form.  And, currently, it persists: I have thoroughly convinced myself that through my clumsy invocation of Lacanian terms, and my multifaceted exploration of various problems of the now, I will impress in some way or another the 24 year old young woman in Austin, and she will submit to me the use of her sexual faculty in a distant and consensual present.

How am I going about this, asking the id to defer?  For if the unconscious has no sense of time, which Zerzan rather conclusively argues, how can it really understand the idea of delaying gratification?  The easy answer is that it can’t, that ‘Flow’ is but an adaptive trick, that there is the illusion that possession of the objet petit a is but a keystroke away, and if I just keep at it, keep at it, ad infinitum…   ‘Adaptive knowledge’ is conditioned and can at times elude elucidation.  But I am tempted to go a bit further, to pursue the translation of my “storms of impulse” (as should be possible if the Lacanian ‘unconscious as knowledge’ holds), and achieve that Popular Front of unity with the other elements of my constitution through this continued bargaining.

In the meantime I feel it opportune, in remaining on the topic of “delayed gratification”, to turn back to the topic of the debt culture.  For what is debt if not the concrete socio-economic form of delaying gratification?  I take out this student loan, hand over this part of myself to the already-enriched Other (who must, as a result of his prior success in accumulation, know something), and thereby place my own hopes of accumulating wealth onto a distant and indistinct future.  There are obvious parallels to our current situation of my seeking the attainment of my desired sexual object.  In a world without much intellect nor restrictive socio-superegotistical mores, it would be far more advantageous to simply relocate my physical body to Austin, attempt to find this woman, and take her by force.  Notwithstanding the fear of reprisal on the part of society (or whatever more literally Paternal force currently protects her), there is a part of me that is thoroughly convinced that the path of writing this text is simply the better way to go; much as our student, instead of heading into arrears, could at the outset accumulating commodities in the present.  But he is convinced that the deferral of this goal is, again, the better way to go; this will be our departure point into the analysis of the libidinal energies inherent in the debt-dystopia.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 12:40:31 pm by © Tweed supposed to know »Logged
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2012, 01:06:44 pm »
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The concept of debt is everywhere; economy cannot persist without it.  It makes me eternally disappointed that we never got the benefit of Marx’s full body of Capital, instead only the ‘torso’  of his larger planned work.  One of the volumes would have been about credit and credit markets.  Nevertheless there is plenty we can learn on our own: as Lenin once said in a very different context “On this, Marx and Engels wrote nothing…”  Occasionally even the most devoted subject has to go it alone.

And besides, we are not really on our own.  Great work in the blossoming of the debt ‘crisis’ has been done by Wolfgang Streeck.  His main thesis is that this simply represents a stage in the evolution of post-War capitalism.  First, we had the inflationary problems of the 1970s.  Wages for the heavily unionized workforce had yearly increased baked-in, and workers achieved a relatively static proportion of the benefits associated with gains in productivity (as opposed to the situation in the neoliberal era, as productivity has soared while wages stagnate).  Then, after the Volckerist shock and induced recession, and the concurrent union-busting, we had the emergence of the debt culture.  First this was largely sovereign debt, as borrowing ballooned under Reagan.  But increasingly this has been augmented with the rise of towers of public debt: mortgage debt, credit card debt, student debt… it is everywhere.

From this we can deduce a few crucial points.  First, we can apply the framework of fetishization, particularly in its explicitly sexual form (although I will argue elsewhere that the ‘gap’ [or ‘lack’, if you prefer] between the sexual fetish and the fetishism of Marxist lore is not nearly as large as presumed… to this we shall return).  For simplicity’s sake, allow us to take the recurring theme of my muse from Austin.  Allow us to suppose that I fetishize her feet: they are objects of my sexual desire, seemingly distinct from my greater objet a desire to possess her sexually.  The problem is not only that this desire can never be satisfied, no matter how many hours I would prove able to interact with her feet in largely any context I would so desire, but rather, that her feet would never really be themselves .   I could look at them, touch them, whatever, daily for a year, but there would remain this intraversable and irreducible gap between the concept so-embedded and what they actually are… I could stare, but again, as with the concept of ‘Flow’, we would have this mental-libidinal trick: if I just stare one more moment, achieve this one more form of sensory stimulation, I will have achieved possession.  Of course, that day never comes.  (I cannot help but here mention how striking is the similarity between this account of sexual fetishism and Marx’s account of commodity fetishism, although I’ve already mentioned it.  It’s all the same.)

Hence, private debt (which we shall take first, before sovereign debt), redoubles the commodity fetish.  For not only is the chair of Marxian dogma never going to be simply a bunch of wood, nails, and whatever else, if I have borrowed to purchase the chair to begin with, I do not even own the right to never be able to own the chair.  As with sexuality, the young woman’s feet are never a bunch of tendons, ligaments, and so on, the totality is something far more and it eludes symbolic description.  Here will be our starting point for moving towards a more libidinal analysis of debt.
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« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2012, 01:14:25 pm »
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I realized I just made a crucial error above.  I will revise when I get back to work ca 330pm.
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