Friday, April 29, 2005
To think or intrude on the infinite…the outside…is seen by Kant as the perpetual seductive madness of reason that must be resisted by any means necessary. For Kant of the first critique, reason is an island,] but it is always tempted by its own imagination to go beyond the shores of possible experience, the tempestuous sea of the outside - the sirens of infinity and time.
The only thing we can think or experience is our human all too human finite limits. To think beyond the categoricals that Kant so laboriously expounded is not only incoherent,, but sheer madness - the stuff of poets, junkies and DMT psychonauts…not sane philosophers…
Of course to posit a limit is immediately to invite transgression…the speculative madness of German idealism is the product of such attempted transgression. The irony being, that father Kant generated a brat pack of unruly children whose only oedipal cry was: “fuck off… I’ll show you the thing-in-itself”. Fiche, Schelling and Hegel are the speculative “madnesses” that Kant sought to avoid, Leibniz seems critical in comparison….But of course, they were far too bourgeois, far to “pipe and slippers” academics to risk real movement, real transgression, they wanted the power not the danger, they were fakers of the absolute, mere mimics of the infinite…Kant could rest in peace after all.
We had to wait for Nietzsche’s hammer to dynamite the whole finite Kantian edifice to bits, at last the sea opened up, through the experience of the “eternal-return”. But is Nietzsche’s “eternal-return” really the ultimate? Is it the infinite and time of thought and experience? Or is it another ploy for substituting infinity for finitude, time for eternity? being for becoming? While time may be infinite matter/space is finite, hence the recurrence of all possible life combinations again and again….
What if a midnight demon told you that all that you have ever lived and experienced will never recur, never ever again, neither in form or content…never again, ever again, will there be a sun, an earth to revolve around…what would you do then?
Sunday, April 24, 2005
All of which // reminds me of Georges Bataille….
Georges Bataille’ whole thought-sensibility is Catholic, in form and content: marriage, church, sin, guilt and “god” are all there, mirrored in negative form. Bataille’s very meaning of eroticism is Catholic - the essence of eroticism is transgression - echoing Kierkegaard’s aesthetic reflections in “either/or” that it was Christianity that brought Eros into the world, not the pagans of antiquity.
More aptly put, eroticism is a verb not a substantive - it is what “happens” to a homogeneity or body. It is transgression not in the dialectical sense, but in the irreversible form of something that “happens” and disrupts, but never appears as such.
Eroticism is “opposed” to sex or pornography and the so called sexual revolution: the order of the “restrictive economy”, repressing eroticism’s “general economy” within.
For Bataille religion, marriage, taboos etc (homogenous orders) are immanently necessary; they give values to an otherwise neutral universe. And likewise, the transgression of those particular values “founds” the values of those values...When a “woman” succumbs to eroticism, it is marriage or personal/social integrity (the fear of loss of control, degradation, “good/bad girl”, etc…) that is the ”foundation” that “founds” the subsequent sacred excitement of eroticism.
Bataille’s eroticism is always feminine in attitude, feminine “access” for the male: as Levinas’ Eros/femininity, it is a moment of otherness/alterity in the masculine/ego economy of the same. Bataille is well aware of the Feminists of the future, and posits Femininity (as Levinas does) in terms of gender, hence applicable in principle (but not in present actuality) to both man and woman – which may have the paradoxical effect of destroying eroticism for both man and woman, if it is economized into “equitable equality”…
Eroticism’ sacred vertigo is due to a double-bind situation: the “im/possibility” of succumbing to the animal within and yet not quite being human either - an angst suspended state of grace between two impossible polarities - this is definitely not California’ symmetric porn… or the asymmetric Gonzo Gymnastics of Porn Machine “Rocco Siffredi”.
The aporia is, that while porn is “exciting”, it is not: it is a boring void in the midst of physiological excitement, because it lacks the transgressive quality that only eroticism can bring (although it cannot help b../t to feed on it) which is neither visible nor genital.
Of course, pornography is the ultimate in visibility and genital hyperbole. Porn is the suppression by any means necessary of eroticism’ in/visible “general economy”….and sometimes like all “restrictive economies” of matter, it fails to completely repress the spirit within, erotic moments in porn movies sometimes happen… one inadvertent vulnerability gushes forth amongst the grinding physics…
The irony being that it is porn and sex that represses eroticism (and love?) not the other way around.
In our age of the hedonistic imperative it is sentimentality and love that are shocking and obscene…as Roland Barthes’ “A Lover's Discourse” " puts it: “a touch of sentimentality," would be "the ultimate transgression . . . the transgression of transgression itself . . . the return of love in another place”
Georges Bataille where he alive today, would no doubt be on the censor boards (and would make a good marriage counsellor) whilst writing such classics as:
“The Sacrifice of the Gibbon”
“In order to renew this tender pact between belly and nature, a rotting forest offers its deceptive latrines, swarming with animals, colored or venomous insects, worms, and little birds. Solar light decomposes in the high branches. An Englishwoman, transfigured by a halo of blond hair, abandons her splendid body to the lubricity and the imagination (driven to the point of ecstasy by the stunning odor of decay) of a number of nude men.
Her humid lips open to kisses like a sweet swamp, like a noiseless flowing river, and her eyes, drowned in pleasure, are as immensely lost as her mouth. Above the entwined human beasts who embrace and handle her, she raises her marvelous head, so heavy with dazzlement, and her eyes open on a scene of madness.
Near a round pit, freshly dug in the midst of exuberant vegetation, a giant female gibbon struggles with three men, who tie her with long cords: her face is even more stupid than it is ignoble, and she lets out unbelievable screams of fear, screams answered by the various cries of small monkeys in the high branches. Once she is trussed up like a chicken-with her legs folded back against her body-the three men tie her upside down to a stake planted in the middle of the pit. Attached in this way, her bestially howling mouth swallows dirt while, on the other end, her huge screaming pink anal protrusion stares at the sky like a flower (the end of the stake runs between her belly and her bound paws): only the part whose obscenity stupefies emerges above the top level of the pit.
Once these preparations are finished, all the men and women present (there are, in fact, several other women, no less taken with debauchery) surround the pit: at this moment they are all equally nude, all equally deranged by the avidity of pleasure (exhausted by voluptuousness), breathless, at wits' end . . .
They are all armed with shovels, except the Englishwoman: the earth destined to fill the pit is spread evenly around it. The ignoble gibbon, in an ignoble posture, continues her terrifying howl, but, on a signal from the Englishwoman, everyone busies himself shoveling dirt into the pit, and then quickly stamps it down: thus, in the blink of an eye, the horrible beast is buried alive.
A relative silence settles: all the stupefied glances are fixed on the filthy, beautifully blood-colored solar prominence, sticking out of the earth and ridiculously shuddering with convulsions of agony. Then the Englishwoman with her charming rear end stretches her long nude body on the filled pit: the mucous-flesh of this bald false skull, a little soiled with shit at the radiate flower of its summit, is even more upsetting to see when touched by pretty white fingers. All those around hold back their cries and wipe their sweat; teeth bite lips; a light foam even flows from overly troubled mouths: contracted by strangulation, and even by death, the beautiful boil of red flesh is set ablaze with stinking brown flames....................................
Like a storm that erupts and, after several minutes of intolerable delay, ravishes in semidarkness an entire countryside with insane cataracts of water and blasts of thunder, in the same disturbed and profoundly overwhelming way (albeit with signs infinitely more difficult to perceive), existence itself shudders and attains a level where there is nothing more than a hallucinatory void, an odor of death that sticks in the throat.
In reality, when this puerile little vomiting took place, it was not on a mere carcass that the mouth of the Englishwoman crushed her most burning, her sweetest kisses, but on the nauseating JESUVE: the bizarre noise of kisses, prolonged on flesh, clattered across the disgusting noise of entrails. But these unheard-of circumstances had set off orgasms, each more suffocating and spasmodic than its predecessor, in the circle of unfortunate observers; all throats were strangled by raucous cries, by impossible sighs, and, from all sides, eyes humid with the brilliant tears of vertigo”.
Well done George…
Saturday, April 23, 2005
The pope is dead (although God beat him to it) and the churches are still what Nietzsche called: the empty tombs of god. A strange post-modern irony is going on here. How come millions deeescended on Rome young and old, when every Sunday the local churches are half empty, populated by the ugly and the grey?
How come young people from around the world are praising a pope which would condemn their very being and acts (sexual or otherwise)? What’s going on if anything?
It reminds me of Zizek’s analysis of ideology (what no doubt has become in the post-modern age an ironic vertigo, ideology as irony) everybody knows the reality, they have seen through the opium veils of false consciousness yet they still do it; a case of “forgive them for they know what they are doing”.
Or is it a case of Baudrillard’s post-ideological, post-Debord seduction of signs in the simulacrum which has no other aim than to expend itself in the ecstasy of communication…Fatal STRATEGIES INDEED… the sheer seductive joy of participating in material ecstasy, without depth or intention - pure matter without spirit….all is surface and it definitely glitters, Jesus is a superstar…
Or could it be, dare I say, “ontologically genuine” - spirit gashing forth without exchange?
Saturday, April 02, 2005
I always have a problem of where to insert the comma (Flaubert spent whole days putting the in or out of just one comma) so sometimes I prefer points…dots…. Just like in life one never knows where to put the pausing spaces and suspensions that are so necessary to keep the flow of life flowing...