Friday, July 07, 2006

OogaOogaMooga I Want… Philosophy ? Me Arse!!!

Sheeet, fellers, we gonna have some fun around here, or are we going to mope all day? You guys even know what fun is? Oh ya do? Says who? Says whooooo……oooo? ( Is that an echo? The echo of cyberspace? )

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I know that what I am doing is third rate, or even worse, and in actual fact, not even rated…. But lookie haar…. At what you’ve done…. In making for a “Gay Science,” you’ve made for a historically-unparalleled dyspeptic ulcerated dungeon of nerves; escaping from Wittgenstein’s umm, fly bottle, you’ve created an even more baffling one… this bottle that you’ve invented reminds me of that movie that I liked, “ The Cube.” You’ve addressed a problem but it wasn’t your problem and I’m not sure for our contemporaries if it is really a problem at all… if what the world could use now really is a little more humor, baby, ( Let’s hear the arguments that humor isn’t what we need… that what we need is more humorless technology, more technocratic “thinking” and “politics”, and more paving of the earth with impermeable surfaces… you must provide them, because I will not,) and you even speak as if you do acknowledge this desire, where are you going?

We had, to our great benefit and beneficence, an Enlightenment – yes, an Enlightenment – I’m not ashamed to call it that. We want that Enlightenment to reach its fulfillment as a lightening up… a “Lighten-up, dude.” I don’t understand how the Enlightenment didn’t provide us with that anyway – it isn’t Kant’s fault… I laugh at his wit, I marvel at his weight, and his beauty is dazzling… I kiss the powdered wig covering his (presumably) bald pate. I guess I read Nietzsche as the one who tried to help us to understand where that short circuit was… and I think this is where the real inquiry is for us now, the real “problem.”

It is not an easy problem. It is a frustrating. Yet, in succumbing to the spirit of frustration, we move further from solving the problem.

Hey Gilles? Can I call you Gillie-Boy? I can’t? Too bad Gillie-Boy, I’m going to call you that anyway. ..

I’m looking at you right now. You are in a beautiful, elegant, and mirrored room. That crown molding near the ceiling? There is nothing even close to that in terms of architectural realization in the entire state where I live… and this is just a crown molding in some room you happen to be standing in at some moment in time.

But you? What do you look like, Gillie-Boy? You’ve got your fedora on, you have some whiskers shadowing your face, and you wear a kind of wool trench coat which we in America have for some reason come to associate with the pervert. You look a bit like a pervert, Gillie-Boy. I don’t like to say it, but that’s the way I react to you.
You are kind of the new man, the new man of what there is of hope to me, ( which means the potentiality for change,) standing in a room built by the old men, the bourgeoisie, and I’m not sure… no, I take that back… I am sure that my allegiances and affections are with the old man.

You are not happy. You are not gay. Did you ever intend to be?

“ The BwO* is the field of immanence of desire, the plane of consistency specific to desire ( with desire defined as a process of production without reference to any exterior agency, whether it be a lack that hollows it out or a pleasure that fills it.).” - Deleuze and Guattari, “A Thousand Plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia,” page 154, translation by Brian Massumi.

That is a wonderfully concise definition of one of your most difficult conceptions, Gillie-Boy ; however, I have not yet been able to fully appreciate it. It is also one of your most important qualifications of what it is you are talking about when you speak of desire. You know, Gilles, when I first started speaking to you, it was precisely because I thought you were promising “a pleasure that fills it.”

I don’t know why I like speaking with you and working with you, dirty old man. I only know that I do. I can never and will never allege that it is because you lead me on with attractive promises. I’ll kiss your fedora. At least I won’t get a bunch of powder in my mouth when I do so.

* Body without Organs.

8 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Spinoza said...

The cover photo from Holland's book? Where he looks like Humphrey Bogart?

Nietzsche is genuinely funny, it's true, but also sharp and sometimes bitter. He doesn't have the relaxed, genial humor of Emerson or Thoreau.

Deleuze is, so far as I can tell, never funny. Even his witticisms are too earnest to provoke more than a grin.

Zizek, for all his faults as a thinker, is funny; I've not yet failed to laugh at one his ironic, dialectical reversals.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Youseedontyou said...

Yeah, but a Humphrey Bogart who is never going to land Lauren Bacall.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Youseedontyou said...

And I did mean it - Kant is genuinely funny at times, too. Which really is odd, given that he is sometimes viewed as too much the Pietist, ( though he thoroughly rejected that part of his background, this is not appreciated,) and his enlightenment is not thought to be lightened up.

This 'sapere aude' stuff that we're trying to blog up on is gay science. Kant's gay science.

( If I didn't make it clear enough in the previous note above, it is the picture on Holland's book. )

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Yusef,

Of course, we should lighten up. And Gillie-boy is Enlightenment UP, but he is also the gentle empathetic listener (read Derrida's moving tribute to Deleuze on his death "Now I Shall Wander Alone") and his memory of Deleuze's warm kindness when Derrida was up for his exam.

And to Dr. Spinoza when he writes, "Nietzsche is genuinely funny, it's true, but also sharp and sometimes bitter. He doesn't have the relaxed, genial humor of Emerson or Thoreau.

When Nietzsche writes that he should be read like a COW, meaning that his aphorisms should be chewed like cud, he is not only funny, but also self-critical. What more do we ask?

Personally, I enjoy Nietzsche most in his invectives, for instance about Germans and their stomachs being filled with lousy beer and rotten meat.

Of course Gillie-boy is posing in the picture (by the way, thanks for that, we NEED pictures!), but I'm pretty sure he is only partially posing in his writings. And yet. He is certainly often (too much) self-conscious about his own eloquence.

But Yusef: You have tried philosophy as comical exclamation points in your latest posts. The question is: How can we respond to THAT? Appreciation of your wit. Admiration for your iconoclasms. That's all right - and well deserved. But is it REALLY giving us fresh ideas or (do I really dare say the word?) new CONCEPTS.

Enlightenment should never be underground. It is only relevant when it is UP FRONT.

But thanks again for inspiration. And for the French, - even if they don't deserve to win The World Cup.

Orla Schantz

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

We've had the movement to make of philosophy a gay science stealthily revised into something sad; Wittgenstein's ( imo)liberatory comments about the fly bottle turned into a new species for entrapment...

I want to find the concepts which will allow me to refuse these transformations of what was meant to be joy and beauty and liberation; along with that, I want to forge the concepts which will help me to resist the oedipal approach to Deleuze and Guattari which is underway.

I feel at times as if there's been a new D-G axiom created ( axiom in D-G's sense of the word, and I think you know that's not good,)and it is under the auspices of that axiom that D-G will be studied, coopted, and coordinated. It worries me.

I am very fond of Deleuze and Guattari - but I feel that I honor them best if I deterritorialize them - deterritorialize them absolutely. I'm not doing that yet, but I am trying.

I am also a long way from even beginning to create concepts; you indulge me with any attention you give to these puerile outpourings.

Please respond however you would like. If that ends up being something quite strange, I will be receptive. See, I'll just incorporate whatever it is and try to see where it takes me (us.)

Thank you

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Yusef,

Thanks for your response.

You write, I feel at times as if there's been a new D-G axiom created ( axiom in D-G's sense of the word, and I think you know that's not good,)and it is under the auspices of that axiom that D-G will be studied, coopted, and coordinated. It worries me.

I am very fond of Deleuze and Guattari - but I feel that I honor them best if I deterritorialize them - deterritorialize them absolutely. I'm not doing that yet, but I am trying.


You're right. It worries me too that D&G are being coopted by theoretical lightweights in architecture, business management, artsy projects, movie buffs, etc.

But you are doing them justice by your attempts at deterritorializing them. That's their own game.

I guess I'm not ready for that yet. I still have too much fun territorializing the 700 pages of A Thousand Plateaus

Thanks again for your brave efforts. I'm right (no, make that "far") behind you.

Orla Schantz

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

Orla,

I think I am detecting a tension in your thinking which is in my own thinking as well.

You know that philosophy can never be some sort of "anything goes" mishmash of self-indulgence and still be philosophy; that if it becomes mere iconoclasm or a "trying-to-be-funny" that this isn't the gay science we are trying to create.

... But you also know that the dry bandying about of "ideas"- idea understood as unembodied and unchanging form - things which do not confront chaos - which have no moisture of vitality - isn't philosophy either.

I wish with all my heart to honor these reservations - this tension - I think it is on this line of tension we will have a line of flight....

I took it very seriously when you said you were having a difficulty responding to what I've written... a gay science, I think would be more successful in inviting responses.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Yusef,

I guess you could call it a tension, but then it would be of the uplifting sort, as you also define it: I think it is on this line of tension we will have a line of flight.... Yes, precisely - while singing with joy.

Nietzsche from "The Gay Science", section 327:

Taking Things Seriously.

The intellect is with most people an awkward, obscure and creaking machine, which is difficult to set in motion: they call it "taking a thing seriously" when they work with this machine and want to think well - oh, how burdensome must good thinking be to them! That delightful animal, man, seems to lose his good humor whenever he thinks well; he becomes "serious"! And "where there is laughing and gaiety, thinking cannot be worth anything:"- so speaks the prejudice of this serious animal against all "Joyful Wisdom." - Well, then! Let us show that it is prejudice!


All the best,

Orla

6:26 AM  

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