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Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

(Obviously) Not a Mom I’d Like To Fuck

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From Postcards from yo Mamma, a blog that shows off examples of “a sort of essential mom-ness that wasn’t just idiosyncratic to our own mothers—we had inadvertently stumbled on something that was universal.” That is to say, funny and otherwise interesting stuff that people’s mothers have communicated to them through internet-text.

Mom: Your dad and I were watching the SNL thing and were confused, what is a MILF?
Me: Seriously? You don’t know?
Mom: No. We were so confused at that part.
Me: It means Mother I’d Like To “F”
Mom: Gross. What?! Who would do that to a mother?!
Me: I don’t know, obviously you aren’t a MILF.
Mom: Obviously. I’m just a MILM. A Mother I’d Like to have as a Mother.

I post this wondering why there is such a dead-zone in the psychoanalytic literature when it comes to the internet and (instant) text-messaging specifically. For a discipline so obsessed with speech, language and writing , who offer so many analytic tools beyond the clinical setting in the everyday world of language and symbol, how does the instant-message pass beneath the radar?

Written by Joe

May 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm

The Form of this Formlessness Itself

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In a comment to “The Monstrosity of Christ,” Nathan brings up religion’s therapeutic value, which reminds me of a point Zizek makes in the Introduction to The Puppet and the Dwarf (available HERE) about religion being therapeutic or critical.

One possible definition of modernity is:the social order in which religion is no longer fully integrated into and identified with a particular cultural life-form,but acquires autonomy,so that it can survive as the same religion in different cultures.This extraction enables religion to globalize itself (there are Christians, Muslims,and Buddhists everywhere today);on the other hand,the price to be paid is that religion is reduced to a secondary epiphenomenon with regard to the secular functioning of the social totality. In this new global order, religion has two possible roles: therapeutic or critical. It either helps individuals to function better in the existing order,or it tries to assert itself as a critical agency articulating what is wrong with this order as such,a space for the voices of discontent—in this second case, religion as suchtends toward assuming the role of a heresy.

Zizek focuses a main part of his book of arguing against Buddhism as the therapeutic religion par excellence and for Christianity as the critical one. However, this discussion of the Eagleton’s book reminds me that the therapeutic and critical distinction is internal to a given universal religion (too). Eagleton swoons over critical Christianity, but overlooks its (paradoxically destructive [i.e. nihilistic) therapeutic dimension, especially as dominant in the United States. Zizek has a similar blind-spot in the P&D, where he gives little attention to therapeutic Christianity OR critical Buddhism.

I think the future of a Lacanian critique of therapeutic Christianity resides in some alliance with these critical Buddhist elements, which means working through Zizek’s analysis, his focus on critical Christianity and therapeutic Buddhism, and instead invert the whole thing. In this sense, Zizek’s analysis is still stuck in the Imaginary and the relation narcissism and aggressivity, between ideal-ego (formless Buddhism) and ego-ideal (form of this formlessness itself Christianity). We might say Eagleton’s analysis is in a similar position, but apropos the relationship between critical Christianity and therapeutic Atheism.

Take Zizek’s comments on the new Star Wars movie in In These Times:

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace gave us a crucial hint as to where to orient ourselves in this melee, specifically, the ‘Christological’ features of the young Anakin (his immaculate conception, his victorious ‘pod-car’ race, with its echoes of the famous chariot race in Ben-Hur, this ‘tale of Christ’). Since Star Wars’ ideological framework is the New Age pagan universe, it is quite appropriate that its central figure of Evil should echo Christ.”

I’m not actually opposed to this reading, but it’s easy to also look at Vader, especially coming from “an overwhelming desire to intervene, to do Good, to go to the end for those he loves ” to “seeing Evil everywhere and fighting it,” and see the quasi-paranoia of therapeutic Christianity. Makes me wonder what how a bodhisattva would appear in the world of therapeutic Christianity.

Written by Joe

May 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Enter Stage Left

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After a good five or so months of not writing, having finally secured a job and (so it seems) a place to stay, I am gearing up for my return. A significant influence in this return was the encouraging blogging of Graham Harman on how networking increases the flow of opportunities, ideas and forces that produce writing. Levi Bryant’s blog has kept stirring the pot for me too, especially his points about overcoming the identitarian conception of difference.

Lastly, I had a close encounter of the dharma-kind. The other moon-less night, while riding the spacious streets of nodding Portland, coming down Knott street I realized that something’s missing. I glimpsed for an instant folly’s exit and wisdom’s return.

Written by Joe

February 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Blogging

Foucault is Dead… is dead

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Went to check it out yesterday, and I get this page that says Foucault is Dead has been deleted. Does anyone know what is going on here?


I read over at Leftist Looney Lunch that Foucault is Dead went out with an Irigaraian bang at Thinking Girl. I spent part of last night and part of this morning reading the comments at the Thinking Girl piece (written, actually, by a guest-writer). I’m not very satisfied with how Foucault is Dead, in a last-minute turn of apparent disgust, up and left the blog and the blog-o-sphere. Equally, I am sad that it all happened at all, but am interested in sifting through the wreckage of that conversation for some gems.

In particular, I want to return sometime in the next few days to the kind of revolution that Foucault is Dead was invoking. I’m talking about revolution broadly conceived. As the issue became stated more clearly– the impracticality of Foucault is Dead’s advice is first-rate evidence of why it should not be heeded– the logic used to condemn him became more circular– as if to circle an object-cause of desire, never straying too close nor too far. To this end, I think that FiD was on to something when he said towards the end of his exchange:

Is it, perhaps, that my emphasis on individual action and responsibility frightens you a little, because it may mean giving-up participation in a patriarchal family or relationship situation of your own?

By this, I take FiD to be taking up, in this feminist context, the issue of impossibility I brought up before at Rough Theory and before in my own post on Repeating Lenin. The issue is whether the apparent impracticality of revolutionary action should be taken more seriously than the aims of that action itself. I have to admit, I was very sympathetic to FiD in the comments, though particularly when he took to task to point out where real (revolutionary) action is to be fouhnd and where its ideological, fantasmatic inhibitors are to be avoided.

Written by Joe

July 23, 2007 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Blogging