Ktismatics

9 October 2009

Civility

Filed under: Culture, Psychology, Reflections — ktismatics @ 3:46 am

I’m finished with discussing people’s personal shortcomings on this blog. I’d sworn off it long ago but then, for what may have been good reasons or bad, I encouraged and jumped back into the return of the repressed rage. Maybe it really was a good idea at the time, served some useful function. But I’m done with that now.

I don’t deny the rage. If someone wants to talk about what an asshole someone is, or what an asshole I am for that matter, send me an email (portalic@gmail.com). I’ll be happy to listen, to gossip, to commiserate, to argue, to offer my opinion, maybe even to lend personal support for whatever that’s worth. I’ll probably even agree with you, inasmuch as these days I find myself routinely disappointed by and pissed off at practically everyone. But I’m done with the public airing of private grievances here, regardless of how justified or who started it. You say I’m standing in the way of freedom of speech, that I’m repressing the expression of the unconscious, that I’m schizzing the flows of creativity? Yes, I’m aware of that.

Disagreement, debate, argumentation? Not always my favorite sort of discussion, but it’s got a legitimate and honorable place in public discourse. And I’m still prepared to discuss publicly, and to write posts about, and to renounce, the dressing-up of private interpersonal disputes in abstract theoretical terms. But Dejan is right: there’s a lot of free-floating malevolence sluicing through the blogs. Civility might be a poor substitute for genuine love, but I prefer it to the direct or indirect public expression of genuine hatred, no matter how heartfelt.

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28 Comments »

  1. Last-minute bid for the Nobel Peace Prize?

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    Comment by Asher Kay — 9 October 2009 @ 7:46 am

  2. Equally deserving perhaps?

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    Comment by john doyle — 9 October 2009 @ 7:57 am

    • Probably more deserving, at least in the sense that you’re not presiding over a couple of wars.

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      Comment by Asher Kay — 9 October 2009 @ 10:22 am

  3. But you’ve QUIT being a goddam ******* altogether, didn’t you see that Dejan, featured prominently here, and I discovered that you have finally come out as a CLOSET MACHO! I never quite understood those LS things, I’ve elected for ‘the simple life’, as you know…and it sure is nice…it might be it’s so fucking complicated without any of the people having anything but sterile investment in each other, not much emotion. That’s probably why it ends up pissing you off, is that possible? Because you don’t know how to get into it as pure games, and I never have either, you mentioned our ages. But to me, there has to be more payoff–whether in eros or writing or friendship, like you and I have earned–than just some of this one-upping it sounds like you’re talking about. I didn’t follow these particular tales you were talking about on the previous post, so I just got the impression that it’s pretty circular in those cases. Until that circularity is broken, there’s a weirdly impotent sensation, at least that’s the impression I got from the little I read about it here. Is that at all accurate, because I’m just not high-toned enough about discourse to know how to do those Alexei, or whatever they were, things. I did notice I didn’t know how mad people were at each other at LS.

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    Comment by afrohun — 9 October 2009 @ 9:42 am

  4. Now I can return to serving teas and tisanes and madeleines to my guests. Of course we’ve come to disagreements in the past on the civility issue, afrohun, so there’s no assurance of an entirely cordial garden party.

    What IS the payoff is for this sort of straight blogging? I’ve found myself entranced by the ontological adumbrations and maneuverings, but surely there must come a time to break the circle as you say. And you’re right, LS has been a highly charged object in recent months. Dejan’s 9-part series, peurile as always, did capture some of its essence.

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    Comment by john doyle — 9 October 2009 @ 10:23 am

    • No, no, you don’t need to worry about me here. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have shortened my nick here. Believe me, it’s not like I wanted to. I think we’ve both changed in a lot of ways in just over a year. Traxus used to tell you to do what you want on your own blog, but of course, you find that that’s easier said than done. what’s interesting is that your blog is light-years HOTTER (and not just because of me, since I was absent for at least a year) than it used to be. This place has started to attract people, incidentally, it’s interesting the AWP had become a major hangout too. He gets nervous sometimes, but usually knows how to be inclusive, and has enough sense of humour, so we always forgive each other after a good butch fight. There are bloggers who are much more ‘renowned’ as such, but their blogs are no fun, and k-punk refusine comments is, I think, pretty tedious. He’s getting grilled a good bit at AWP by various personages, my problem with k-punk is that i just haven’t ever found the writing that extraordinary, good yes, but I just forget to read him. I think I’ve read him maybe 8 times in several years. AWP not nearly as reputable as a blogger, or is oracle?, but has fits on the blog, then writes interesting stuff, but you DO feel you are in DIRECT communication with him. I can’t think of a blogger I’ve had more fights with, but he’s always sort of, you know, a ‘human being’. Not a legend, maybe, but then there aren’t that many of those, I get most of that traffic (lol).

      But you have to give yourself credit, don’t you, you have got a much more electric blog than in the old days, and I know you well enough to know that you’ll let the civility relax if you feel like it, you’re very moody that way, it seems.

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      Comment by afrohun — 9 October 2009 @ 12:46 pm

      • “But you have to give yourself credit, don’t you, you have got a much more electric blog than in the old days, and I know you well enough to know that you’ll let the civility relax if you feel like it, you’re very moody that way, it seems.”

        Kvond: It usually goes like this. John will go on posting thoughts of interest to him in kind of a small audience way. Usually it is just me or some other fellow commenting on the posts. The blog starts to cool down to some kind of crystal state where very little activity is happening. But then John, inspired, usually responding to a wide spread epidemic of Levi or Harman backlash, posts something meant to pour some kind of gasoline on the whole thing. The comments come rushing in, and John is kind of on the bandwagon, stirring up the hysteria. But then, being a bit of a contrarian and theraputic, he becomes diagnostic towards the comments he has willfully drawn. He starts taking the side of the “other” in some way, and starts separating himself out from the fray, wiping himself clean. Then he usually makes some kind of definitive proclamation, often with accusational overtones, drawing a hard line in the sand. The blog pumps a long for a bit, mostly from the after glow of the controversial heat he had drawn to it, until it becomes a cooling ember, and there are just a few of us again. Then it starts up all over, once more. I can’t tell you how many times it was John’s posts or comments that have alerted me to the inclement internet weather.

        I don’t mind this whole cycle, but for the usual and dramatic ethical line he seems to draw now and again, as if he were not an active participant in the whole thing.

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        Comment by kvond — 9 October 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  5. Okay gang, here’s a good case study. First, is this comment by kvond intended as a personal criticism of me? It’s not clear-cut, inasmuch as he presents his remarks in the form of a descriptive summary of my blogging praxis. The criticism seems at least implicit though, I’d say. The basic premise is that I stir up personal antagonisms in order to increase traffic on my blog. Then the specific remarks: “pour some kind of gasoline”; “stirring up the hysteria”; “wiping himself clean” “accusatory overtones.” No, I’d say that this comment does not pass the civility test: I would probably edit it severely if I could, or else delete it altogether.

    Now the next question: what does kvond hope to achieve with this comment? To point out my failings to me? Well then, I’m all ears: email the criticism to me directly, in private, and I’ll take it under consideration. I’d probably agree with some of the charges and plead not guilty to others. Perhaps the intent isn’t so much accusatory as ameliatory, alerting me to pitfalls in implementing my normative policy. By making me aware of places in the process where the incivility is liable to erupt, I can be on guard: that would be helpful. But perhaps the intent to point out my failings to the other people who visit Ktismatics. This seems more likely: Kvond refers to me in the third person, presumably responding directly to afrohun. Afrohun says I’m moody about enforcing my civility rule. Kvond is elaborating on my moodiness, or perhaps offering an alternative interpretation. Why? To help others help me, watching for indications that I’m slipping into my old bad habits so as to avoid being enablers of my gasoline-pouring addiction? It’s possible, but I deem it unlikely, inasmuch as I’m the main focus of the critique. There’s no critique of my policy of civility; rather, it’s entirely focused on my own personal violations of this policy. I conclude, then, that the comment is intended to call others’ attentions to my personal shortcomings. Delete.

    One other possibility comes to mind: the whole comment is a sort of good-natured poke in the ribs. Sure, he’s got this altruistic policy, but the poor lug just can’t seem to help himself, bless him. Mmmmaybe. I recently missed one of kvond’s jokes the other day; maybe this is another one. I’ll go read it again…. Well, it’s possible to detect a bemused attitude I suppose. Maybe if I knew kvond better I’d feel better about it.

    Anyhow, I’ll bear these remarks in mind, taking care not to slip into these traps as I move forward. I think I made it clear in the post, though, that I would continue to write posts critiquing theoretical rationales for bashing individuals. For example, I would still write the posts about trolls and grey vampires and such, which I regarded as worthy of critique and exposure. My focus on those posts was not about the hypocrisy or bad faith of individuals promulgating such crap theories, but about the crappiness of the theories themselves. We eventually got into the personal attacks, which is what I’d curtail in the future.

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    Comment by john doyle — 9 October 2009 @ 6:58 pm

    • as if he were not an active participant in the whole thing.

      I don’t know whether or not that’s ‘not good-natured’, it’s just the only part that I can’t read as such. You’re accused of one of the ultimate sins, aloofness, akin to superiority and snobbery, I’ve gotten it a million times–it’s definitely worse than murder and even computer hacking.

      because this: ‘but for the usual and dramatic ethical line he seems to draw now and again,’

      maybe you do that, but I don’t see why it’s because you were ‘not a participant’. This ‘usual and dramatic ethical line’ and the ‘moodiness’ I mentioned are, if accurate, just part of who you are. If somebody doesn’t like it, you can utter ad hominems (lol), I just don’t know how we avoid them completely. On the ballet board, we discussed the Nobel Peace Prize and naturally I got infuriated at one who said we needn’t worry about the terrorists, but I said ‘civil’, except for ending the sentence with ‘eh?’ I wanted to use ‘eh, old boy?’ like my friend, but knew I’d have hard enough time getting even that much across.

      But that place is an interesting exercise, with unbelievably strict rules, and there can be little discussion of politics, there was some, however, in this one. It’s both an advantage and a disadvantage. It’s meant enough to me to abide by the rules at least minimally, and I’ve lasted 3 years(I know that’s incredible, since not one cuss word is allowed, you will be thrown out immediately). Of course, to a great degree there is no freedom of speech, or it’s tightly controlled, so big freewheeling things like I’ve obviously pursued would never be possible in open discussion, but we do a LOT of pm’s there. It just occurs to me that emails never seem quite as much a part of the blog that they seem easy, at least in many cases, whereas pm’s seem very much like what’s on the public board, but just more intense and sometimes intimate (a ballerina checked me out for dating once, she found me lacking in the correct orientation and disappeared within a day after looking at a few of these blogs, and making a catty remark to me about them.

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      Comment by afrohun — 9 October 2009 @ 7:44 pm

    • Purpose aside, I think what’s wrong with Kvond’s comments is the mind-reading — the attribution of things like superiority or expectations. I don’t see anything wrong with examining motivations or asking about motivations. I do see something wrong with stating them as if they were facts.

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      Comment by Asher Kay — 9 October 2009 @ 8:10 pm

    • I’m not completely consistent. Even imposing rules on oneself provokes the desire to break the rule, I suppose Lacan would say. But I can’t deny that I find it fun to jab at someone, so there’s a kind of glee in lapsing into that sort of release. I often find myself laughing at “the big moment” in dramatic movies where people start yelling at each other.

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      Comment by john doyle — 9 October 2009 @ 8:56 pm

      • Yeah, but isn’t that what I was seeing? the way you wrote this is the way you are sometimes, but it’s not easy to put your finger on how it operates until you’re just around it awhile, and don’t hold it against somebody if they get pissed off or decide to be perverse for no apparent reason. No big deal a perception really, just getting used to letting little things go, giving people a little space. I think that kvond and smoe fo the LS ‘debaters’, or whatever the term is, are all tight together, so all of you are in a slightly claustrophobic situation, this is different from the way I talk to my blog friends, only an exchange of two a day, and with Boyfriend we don’t usually wtite at the same time and never answer each other with any hope for normal scheduling, literalness etc., we write literature and poetry to each other, and the Lewd Sorceress sometimes does too. I think what I see in many of the heavy philosophical arguments is a real intensity of blogging interaction that I never do. I hadn’t thought of that. I used to associate it more with the Valve, have lost all contact with that. Anthony Smith, for example, is in a lot of these things. Most people seem to take it very seriously. Maybe what kvond meant is that you decide to quit taking it seriously because it may not BE all that seriuos. just guessing. My experience is that you want things to make some sort of sense in other than purely ironic expression at least some of the time. I don’t endless irony and sophistry. This does not become a Legend most, and I do mean me this time, isn’ t’it?

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        Comment by afrohun — 9 October 2009 @ 11:50 pm

      • Well I believe that kvond and I understand each other on the matter at hand, and have responded accordingly. So that’s a good thing.

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        Comment by john doyle — 10 October 2009 @ 5:35 am

  6. Sadly, those the censor are those who lose a mirror.

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    Comment by kvond — 9 October 2009 @ 8:13 pm

    • So send me an email, kvond.

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      Comment by john doyle — 9 October 2009 @ 8:17 pm

      • No worries, you are already off the blogroll.

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        Comment by kvond — 9 October 2009 @ 8:18 pm

  7. I agree, Asher. I’m prepared to look at my motivations mostly if I believe the pointer-outer has my best interests in mind. I’d hope to have the same reaction if the subject of these examinations had been someone other than myself.

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    Comment by john doyle — 9 October 2009 @ 8:16 pm

  8. Well I believe that kvond and I understand each other on the matter at hand, and have responded accordingly. So that’s a good thing.

    Glad to hear it, not that I have any idea what you’re talking about. I’m not familiar with kvond, except I checked to see if she took you off the blawgroll, and it took forever to highlight that black place, I don’t know why people use that black that you have to highlight. And she did take you off, but I’m glad y’all are gettin’ along. But you were ‘in a mood’ yesterday, weren’t you? (okay if you want to do some pissy superciliousness at me, I like things like that, or you can be a real BITCH if you want to lol)

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    Comment by afrohun — 10 October 2009 @ 8:26 am

    • Yes, well, we all have our bitchy interludes. Let’s just say that kvond and I have reached an Ideological Impasse regarding freedom of expression vis-a-vis civility. I gave my daughter a brief description of the issues, and she said we sound like a bunch of teenaged girls. Good thing she didn’t write that in a comment, or I’d have had to DELETE. But then again she is a teenaged girl, so maybe it was a compliment? See, this is why we need Talmudists: when it comes to laying down the law, the devil is in the details. Maybe I should institute Civility Court as a recurring feature of Ktismatics. People can present their cases, call witnesses, and so on. And of course I get to be the Judge.

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      Comment by john doyle — 10 October 2009 @ 9:00 am

  9. ‘she said we sound like a bunch of teenaged girls.’

    ‘Maybe I should institute Civility Court as a recurring feature of Ktismatics. People can present their cases, call witnesses, and so on. And of course I get to be the Judge.’

    Well, you do this, I believe, already. As Nawrth would say, that’s why we love you. Your blawg is good because it’s very varied and not too narrowed to those stinging debates, even if they happen sometimes.

    Love me, love my tautologies!

    ‘the devil is in the details.’

    Well…in any case, you get MORE devil when you get the details…

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    Comment by afrohun — 10 October 2009 @ 9:46 am

  10. Thanks afrohun. I looked in at Ads today: I guess the Militant Dyspepsia movement seems to be stirring things up. I read Dominic’s book online quite some time ago: for the most part it’s academic and aesthetic, political only secondarily and as an illustration of the broader idea of cold-worldness. To be sure, Dominic coins the terms “militant dysphoria” and “political unpleasure” in the book. But there’s no call to action, no sense of dysphoria being the basis of a movement. To the contrary: “the book accordingly considers some fictions of adolescent and post-adolescent revolt, arguing that such revolt has a counterfactual component, embodying an intransigent will that the world be other than it is.” Politicizing the idea must have been a move of the publishers to juice it up for the rollout, or probably to find a common thread linking the speakers. Or maybe Dominic provides a theoretical context for the activists to elaborate on. I don’t know, and I haven’t read the supporting materials.

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    Comment by john doyle — 10 October 2009 @ 1:30 pm

    • Oh lordy, it sure sounds like it needed something, BUT…you know, when you want unpleasure combined with dysphoria, and fail to ignite political action, why should there be any disappointment when the result it TOTAL IMPOTENCE? Surely that was the point, and your search for what the publishers might have ‘tried to juice’ or D’s ‘maybe theoretical context’ may well be a search for something that can only be deemed a soft-off enhancer. Quite unlike my devil partner, who always makes sure of procuring clear and keen, not to mention constant access. Lord, to think people literally live and die without throwing out the guilt and deciding to live. I think Dejan is better at making heads and/or tails out of these down freaks. Ads himself does have at least minor talent, nothing that glittering, one supposes, but is too burdened down and is much more of an extrovert than he seems to think. He freaked out at ‘deserted carpark’ refusal of getting titillated by ‘bad things’ and then thinking you could then somehow ‘direct the enjoyment’ (politically and ‘socialistically’ I guess, it’s always that lol), which meant ‘redirect’, surely, but the whole point of the ‘wicked enjoyment’ was to be able to NOT redirect without paying the consequences. Ads had a big fit about this, but he’s got personality, just a little too scared right now to really get it sharpened and focussed.

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      Comment by afrohun — 10 October 2009 @ 3:39 pm

      • ‘I don’t know, and I haven’t read the supporting materials.’

        I mean, don’t kill yaself over it, it’s not your responsibility to make Dominic or his publishers do their jobs. Hilarious that it all comes down to this, these gloomy meetings (they really ought to be in dead of winter to do justice to the title, with old auditorium smells in them, and the usual British failed heating systems) to decide how making yourself miserable will help the world even if you don’t at least do as much as leninino, who does show up at marches (or used to, I haven’t read her for a year.) I don’t know whether the long and slow and distinctly unrocky launchoff has been quite sizable enough, as it were, to have gone over like a lead balloon. Oh lord, that was not very civil, but there’s lots of rendezvousing and docking by these London socialists. Don’t you think sometimes that’s more important to them than the work itself? I mean, they are ALWAYS in this attitude of apologizing for their work if it wasn’t ‘ideologically correct’, and even Nina G. will push this. Poor Ads would be able to go on and write something if he would realize he doesn’t need the guilt complex he’s got anymore than I do. Because, as I’ve mentioned, once in a while, he will forget, and write a really good paragraph. His TANTRUMS are really good, though. Likable boy, no matter what.

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        Comment by afrohun — 10 October 2009 @ 3:47 pm

      • Afrohun, you do write an entertaining gossip column. What would be distinctly uncivil would be to seculate that the publishers’ PR people sexed up D’s book with left radicality as a promotional campaign directed at the house’s targeted young-Marxist market niche. I’m guessing that Dominic’s friends are just trying to get him out of his chronic funk. We’ve seen on his blog that Dominic is only sporadically political. Maybe the gang has decided to stop waiting for him to pep up, opting instead for a negate-the-negation tactic = militant dysphoria. I don’t know about you, but I’ve rarely found that dysphoria generates much energy for pursuing militancy, which always feels like such a futile and draining endeavor even when one is in thrall to the most optimistically angry mood.

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        Comment by john doyle — 10 October 2009 @ 6:42 pm

  11. Hello John,

    Me as the Cowardly Lion: Lemme at ’em! Lemme at ’em!

    Your daughter is right.

    “Your blawg is good because it’s very varied and not too narrowed to those stinging debates.”

    Afrohun is right too.

    I haven’t followed all this mularkey. It sounds like fun. At one time, maybe. The Alexei/Tuffini enigma sounded amusing at least

    It’s very difficult not to make an argument ad hominem because we stand by them. To punch holes in a theory is to cut the ego, even the body, especially if one loves the theory. I don’t think we’ll ever quite rise above it. And we shouldn’t.

    But I also think civility is important. To strip it all away everywhere does not lay bare the grubby facts, the stripping can also produce them. Freedom of speech entails at least the opportunity to be heard, and with that must come civility, no? Plus, I don’t want to genuinely love everyone. Very messy, ugh!

    It’s your blog. You can cut whenever you want, Mr DeMille.

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    Comment by NB — 10 October 2009 @ 2:15 pm

  12. “To punch holes in a theory is to cut the ego, even the body, especially if one loves the theory. I don’t think we’ll ever quite rise above it. And we shouldn’t.”

    This is the futility of the civility gesture, NB (good to hear from you, as always). Which cuts closer to the bone: you’re a deceiver/a bully/a pussy/a hypocrite/a troll/etc., or your ideas are lame? For that reason I don’t even much care for the ridiculing of ideas. Of course the ones who really seem to demand ridicule or other aggressive counter-attack are the ultra-cocky characters, which again confounds personality with theory.

    “Plus, I don’t want to genuinely love everyone.”

    I like the idea better of saying we hate each other than unilaterally declaring the hate-object a troll or whatever. Surely somebody loves even the biggest flaming asshole. Well, maybe not…

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    Comment by john doyle — 10 October 2009 @ 6:06 pm

    • Surely somebody loves even the biggest flaming asshole.

      Oh yes, sometimes they’re the best, although they thought their ‘flaming asshole-ism’ was for a higher purpose. In fact, it WAS higher, but it also called attention not to their asshole-ism, but rather their asshole, and this was NEW, and not merely metaphoric. But, of course, this is only the most gifted sort of ‘troll’ or whatever of those words. Maybe you’d say the exception proves the rule, I’m not sure I’ve ever bought that saying. You see, the same sashole also wants ‘civility’, according to what mood he’s in (not you i’m talking about, just said that because of ‘moodiness’ discussion), and this doesn’t make sense most of the time: In other words, the same person will want to do the ‘uncivil’ things for awhile, then want to get civil again. Happened to me tonight, decided I wasn’t being quite civil enough, although mainly I’m just louche; however, I come in for the ‘ridiculs as ultra-cocky character’ sometimes because such loucheness I can’t always remember is perceived by others as ‘sociopathic’. My policy has always been to try to be as non-violent physically possible first, but then, in getting used to the internet, it then seems ‘not so bad’ to be ‘horrible’ sometimes. And it isn’t as bad as the physical ‘cutting’, which I’ll use since that seems to have captivated the too of you. Although it’s not admirable. Then, after that, it’s even possible I should have worried about being so ‘non-violent physically’, which then expressed itself in louche words and acts. i don’t care what anybody thinks about this until I myself think I’ve gone too far. Actually, I don’t think I’m going too far these days, and not even just here. I don’t know about ‘cutting the ego and cutting the body’, that seems temporary, but then I usually don’t get as involved in these cerebral things as the rest of you. If anything, I’m constantly being encouraged to do just exactly what I’m doing, and then I can tell by various signs, signals, that maybe I’m overindulging. Not that most wouldn’t think I’m doing that anyway, but that’s there problem, I’m a risk-taker and achieve things. I don’t care if it pisses people off in little ways, if I achieve my goal. How else achieve anything substantial?

      Curious in that AWP thing, one brought up something about ‘being Napoleon for a day’, and AWP’s resistance to the ‘deserted carpark’ thing on Ballard. This is still all because of not being able to ‘go all the way’ with any part of what you think you want, so that there’s this torpor and sense of inertia, they’re not really moving. Most don’t want to move that radically or dramatically though. YOu just get used to the critique, that’s all.

      But ‘not genuinely wanting to love everyone’ is fine, probably doesn’t mean much except in context of all these Socialist discussions. I mean, since nobody does love everyone, interest that the idea that one is supposed to does come up. Because that is underneath things, whether religious, social, political, philosophical.

      Ridiculing people and ideas, though, does have to be done. I don’t see how it’s realistic to pretend that you just maybe want to emphasize NOT doing it some of the time, that maybe there’s been enough, things have gotten too caustic. Maybe one has to ‘want to be benevolent’ for periods of time, but doesn’t want to call it ‘doing it for periods of time’. Because everybody always gets back to one form of extreme critique. Things don’t last, and the ‘pleasant things’ stop being pleasant and start being boring, unless they are always being directed to some goal that you are 100% convinced of in its validity. i think this is harder as a collective, and cannot really do it as such, but other bright people do think that’s the better way, and not just socialists, so they must see the individual efforts and labours as subsumed, and I see the collective efforts as subsumed, because I haven’t gotten many things done that way, except in these collaborations on books. Otherwise, with one or two other people, sure, you not only have to coooperate and compromise, you even want to. I didn’t understand that until recently, but then I’ve always been, as they say, ‘a splendid child’, as Liz Taylor was once described as being. Of course, I know that this is not a sympathetic persona much of the time, but I’m the one who has to live with all of it, so I usually decide what’s mine is important, even if I’m wrong (and that doesn’t mean that I therefore think I’m right, but just that I can’t really work with anything but my own wrongness.

      As for Dominic’s book, I don’t necessarily think it’s bad, just something I don’t know how to use, nor want to find out any more about it. God knows the feeling’s mutual. Tbings like that.

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      Comment by afrohun — 10 October 2009 @ 7:02 pm

      • John, thanks–replying here because that column ran out. I was writing when you responded about Dominic. maybe they are trying to ‘pep him up’, I wish they could, he’s a nice and talented young man. I don’t read his blog regularly enough to know that much about his ‘funk’.

        I’ve rarely found that dysphoria generates much energy for pursuing militancy, which always feels like such a futile and draining endeavor even when one is in thrall to the most optimistically angry mood.

        That’s excellent, and since I rarely get to much real political activism (well, never, I guess, horrible I know), but yes, the great revolutionaries, whether or not they’re the ones we love, are very energetic and full of libido, it’s just expressed differently by each libido. I guess I would just act that I don’t see what ‘dysphoria’ really IS except a lack of energy, and what use is that? Things get ‘hurt’ and ‘cut’, just as NB said, you just try to minimize some of the most extreme versions. But this is probably the most important thing regarding any of the talk about Dominic’s thinking I’ve seen. I should have thought to think that much of the ‘Dworkinism’ in the sex-unpleasure talk and the (I think) absurdity of talking about this ‘rape or women’, when fucking is simply not rape. They’re different. But the idea caught hold with people somehow, I really don’t know how. Even Arpege had NO truck with it.

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        Comment by afrohun — 10 October 2009 @ 7:09 pm


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