Monday, August 25, 2014

princess mike, pt. I

It was the harvest season, and the butterflies were coming. They appeared twice every year; once at the planting, once at the harvest. It started off always as a white girding like coils of sun-dried snowflake on the undersides of rafters, roof-beams, moist fuzzy puffballs growing to fill the curved space beneath the mossy tiles with a glistening web, as if some delinquent baker had spent an anonymous night squirting blooms of silvery icing into those damp crevices. Day by day the whiteness, at first limpid as cotton candy, slowly multiplied, compelled by an internal force, like a mold growing everywhere on high all at once. There were the songs that said, "swollen lattice for the lettuce / break the drabness come and get us!" If you asked, the villagers would deny knowing what, exactly, it meant, or where it had come from, or why they were so fond of chanting at cobwebs. But of course, there is a reason behind every emergent phenomenon, and even as the fresh spring light glittered, or the summer light from carafe of sky poured, and the hands-joined circles whirled and the invisible caterpillars were gradually spun beneath the blankets of their furred cocoons into something more proper to the time of year, the fields waited expectantly, draped in pungent silence.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

the downtrodden are trodden down

"The primary excusatory function of ideology... is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe." Havel, The Power of the Powerless

"What Empire demands is not that each conforms to a common law, but that each conforms to its own particular identity. Imperial power depends on the adherence of bodies to their supposed qualities or predicates in order to leverage control over them." Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

luxury and lechery have an ongoing discursive and historical relationship. they are moons orbiting morality, which may (or may not) exist, which in its oldest sense is an appeal to a higher authority, a transcendent authority, which could be a god or a community, a sense of customs, a certain manner. Moralis engages rhythmicity, i.e. it shapes patterns at certain intensities and frequencies over time in governance of the actions of human beings by whom it is raised as an influence. in another time it may have been the light which guides, but for who? a privileged elite, economically empowered to have the possibilities of decision-making, to exalt the idea of what it is to decide - muddling around in the micro-potentials of fate, stepping on the faces of those do not have such luxury. a luxury which comes at the expense of the needs of the neediest, whose diverse needs are relevant to the specific material conditions in which they find themselves (their node or coordinate in the flow of capital).

capital moves. it flows from one node to another, through a vast array of machines, literally at the speed of light. human beings are also nodes. anywhere money pauses is a node. a node is the abstraction of the concrete bundles of history and possibility that humans move around in the form of money. money is pure exchange value. money is the symbol of abstract mediation of human relationships. by this i mean relationships in general; a relationship of family or tribe, work or custom. a relationship in which there exists socialized (cultural) structures of expectations - a moralis. we, as oppressed human agents, are constituted by a combination of coercion and our own consent. this is a dialectical relationship likened to the shaping of a growing tree through intensities of localized pressure. we grow, it directs, we resolve to keep growing because that is what beings do.

Monday, August 11, 2014

discursive creativity

To speak a word is an act which mediates and prescribes meaning. A word, when uttered, exists in a liminal space of time (that is, concretely). Simultaneously, a word exists insofar as it is sensible (that is, able to be sensed, to be perceived). To sense a word is to take the word and also to be taken by the word, to make a step or movement onto a path which we choose to follow and by which we are led. A word is an abstract object from which illumination is shed in many possible directions at once, a prism through which understanding might move and move us - to where, depends upon the angle at which we stand, the perspective from which we find and then define it. The word's possibilities depend upon the boundaries we draw around it. It is circumscribed only with as much specificity and intransigence as we bring to bear on it, the openings by which we grant it access to our experience and imagination. It is limited to the degree to which we fear misunderstanding and creative discourse.

The mind is used to memory and movement, from birth it begins the first timid steps of the dance, for mind is constituted of energy and change. The fear of this dance of abstraction is socially inculcated for political reasons. We are taught to accept the terms of what exists as what should exist. An apprehension of traversing allegedly fixed boundaries of the socially acceptable is reinforced by acts and images of violence which we perpetrate on ourselves and others. We are the authorities of our own imprisonment. We police ourselves to ensure the lines are always redrawn. Though the geometries may shift, the lines remain. The lines we locate everywhere; they signify order. Lines in the grocery store, assembly lines, property lines, lineage and narratives of development, architecture and urban planning, the bottom line. Lines do not have to be straight. They are insidious because they are taken for granted. A line is a path, a movement to and from. A line is a real-life application of an ideology of control. Lines are the methodology of simplification and fixation. They are what makes the world coherent. Coherence is a preliminary to reification, commodification, and control. This is the application of capitalism in action, the system whose mechanisms are calibrated to produce exchange value. An accumulation of lines and numbers, to which we alone assign meaning. We are the subjects behind this, but only if we begin to understand ourselves as such.

A word is a point on a line, if that's all you're willing to let it be.