Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Signifiers Have No Value for Us Anymore

How abnormal is it that I have a sufficiently well-developed personal symbolic system that when I am at a concert and some random dude in a Halloween skeleton costume comes out before the lead singer to ask, "What kind of moth do you want to be?  The kind of moth who beats itself to death against the wall of the lantern, delusionally imagining it to be the moon?  Or the kind of moth who manages to sneak onto a space rocket and flies to THE!  ACTUAL!  MOON!, I don't even have to think before mentally responding, "I want to be the kind of moth who helps to create the moon on Earth with my own hands!"?

I think the problem with the symbolism here is that, as far as I know, most scientists think that the moon that we already have was in fact created on Earth?  On the other hand, I guess it was not created on Earth by the hands of moths, so maybe that's still okay?  Well, okay, the other problem with the symbolism is that moths don't have hands.  But the moon was also not created on Earth by the. . . legs of moths?  Antennae of moths?  Something?

Sunday, March 18, 2018


But when I search for you, you flee,
Elusive, intangible, an idea, a ghost.
I want to press my lips to yours,
Breathe in your scent,
Embrace you and be embraced,
But the room is full only of shadows
And harsh electronic lights.
I try to trap you in sounds, whirring, Meaningless, but your whisper escapes me.
I shut my eyes against the light
Illuminating corners empty of you,
Trying to envision you,
Seductive, welcoming.
Your absence beats like a presence.
My heart and lungs expand and contract
To some failed parody of your rhythm.
All I want is you, and you are not here,
But when I run from you, you hang on,
The feel of your body heavy atop mine.
Your breath brushes my forehead,
Your heady fragrance pervades the room,
Your arms around me, mine around you.
Then your fingers press down my eyelids,
A cool touch summoning the dark.
Your arms wrap around my ears,
Muffling, dimming the world.
When I open my eyes against you,
You are everything in my vision,
Any glimpse of light hopeless,
Futile, unimaginable.
Your heartbeat and mine are the same,
One pulse, one heart, one self,
Nothing between you and me
Permitting any form of release,
Sorry for the tiny font size - the lines need to fit the given space.

I don't even understand how little water imagery there is in this poem.

How obvious is it what the subject matter is?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Guilt of the Oppressed

I thought this post of Richard Seymour's was interesting for the less-stressed point he makes about the broader idea of the guilt of the oppressed, which he highlights as important not merely in patriarchal structures but also in capitalist ones.  I'm not sure I fully grasped his psychoanalytic analysis of guilt, but to the extent that I did it seems he may be talking about the ways in which our attempts to move on from the ways that we are oppressed and abused, to put on hold or forget our desire to get revenge for or cope meaningfully with or fully address our pain and suffering, actually lead us to feel guilty, not so much because of what we did, but because of what we can never do in the world as it is.  This is interesting because I have never been abused, but I did have this painful work experience in our capitalist economy last year.  And it is genuinely hard to grapple with questions of whether I was to blame for the ways it went wrong or whether the workplace was, even as obviously the ultimate answer has to be both.  Logically, there are lots of good reasons to assign greater culpability to the workplace, but it is certainly true that in our capitalist economy that doesn't really matter very much, and I had to move on.  Although thankfully now it is less powerful than it is used to be, it's certainly true that a lot of what I was experiencing for the past year was guilt, a very strong guilt that had a major effect on how I lived my life.  I find Richard Seymour's perspective on this, then, to be personally interesting - to provide a new way of looking at my experiences for the past year and to consider the role of capitalism in constructing my guilt.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

_The Good Place_

I have never seen an episode of The Good Place.  But it does turn up almost everywhere - on Crooked Timber, on coffeeandink, in the comedic quotations my best friend sends me on Google Hangouts. . . so everybody except (probably) my family is watching it.  So I have definitely vaguely wanted to watch it, since so many people with interesting tastes are watching it.  But today I discovered Mindy St. Claire.  Coffeeandink randomly mentioned her on her blog, I decided to just look up who the character was, and I read the Wiki entry.  I read the "History" section there and was like, huh, that sounds strangely like Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Then I took another look at the character's name and was like, wait a second.  Then I cracked up.

I cannot believe that someone other than me found the whole Augustine St. Clare thing so amusing that they actually made a joke about it in their television show - and, I mean, not just a brief joke, but an entire character who is a joke about the Augustine St. Clare thing.  That's amazing.  I now much less vaguely want to watch the show.

Oh - after a brief check on Google, I'm not sure that anyone else on the Internet has mentioned this?  I mean, come on, surely someone who actually watches the show at least remembers Uncle Tom's Cabin?