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?