Monday, August 21, 2006

The Geology of Repression, Part VI

Maggot: “It might be of interest to anyone trying to understand my train of thought in these Unenlightenment Underground raves and rants to know that Dr. Spinoza invited me to collaborate with him on this blog in order to ‘play together with ideas.’ I had never posed as a heavy thinker or learned scholar of the history of philosophy, or anything of the sort, and was a bit wary at this invitation from Dr. Spinoza, and told him so. I proposed to let Dr. Spinoza write the posts and let me interact by carrying on a conversation about them in the comments feature of the blog. Dr. Spinoza assured me he wanted and would accept more equal participation from me. I did, no matter my acknowledged deficiencies, believe in good faith that I could ‘play with ideas,’ and so I accepted Dr. Spinoza’s offer to me. ”

Maggot: (continuing): “But all of that is neither here nor there. Now I am really very interested in pursuing, in my own crass and uninformed and silly way this question which Dr. Spinoza later put down, about the desiring of one’s own repression. I want to take that question and I want to apply to the answering of it these very immediate and direct experiences of being hampered even in the exercise of ‘playing together with ideas’ as an example of desiring our own repression… Why would we be unable to ‘play together with ideas’ in any satisfactory way if not for some sort of repression acting within ourselves and upon ourselves?”

Maggot: (continuing again, he’s long-winded today, he’s not letting anyone else speak, it is as if he is at a podium or a pulpit ): “ Play isn’t violent or destructive…. Even though the play of boys or animals or maybe even girls, ( I’m not sure ), looks violent and destructive, mimics the violent and the destructive, it isn’t… it is rejuvenative, it is restorative, it is affectionate, it is creative… I draw closer to you, and you to me, when we punch each other playfully on the arm. I even say this… if I cannot punch you playfully on the arm, and you to me also punch, then we do not stand in the relationship of pals, or friends, no matter how many smiles or pats we may give each other.”

Maggot: (once again): “What seems entirely to the point, however, is that we flatter ourselves to believe that we even can play, that we even can have friendships. Our politics and our social life is not a politics of play or friendship… on any level whatsoever. A politician can’t tell a good joke anymore. Gore, Kerry, Bush… we at most can laugh at them, but not with them… ( sorry, a little ranting creeps into Maggot’s rave, hopefully it is to the point.) Can Gore, Kerry, Bush or any of the others have a friendship? I doubt it.”

Father Gilliam: “Yes, it is with this angle of examination and perspective that we can see what kind and to what degree we are hideously oppressed, repressed, and how that operates simultaneously on the psychic and social levels.”

Maggot: (to conclude ): “ We’d be encouraged to play and to give exercise to our desires only to discover we can’t play, and our desires, given exercise and leash, lead to our further misery. The point isn’t to determine who is to blame, who the oppressors are, but to find out where the desiring machines became mangled. I don’t think we can find out where the desiring machines became mangled with other desiring machines ( which are all we have to work with,) which are also already mangled, but I do not see this mass mangling of machines as the end of history, or even particularly unfortunate. It is of paramount importance that Dr. Spinoza and I discover why it is that we cannot ‘play with ideas together.’”

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