Tuesday, November 18, 2003

“Don’t freak out, now.” It’s a terrifying moment after the OS starts up and I wait motionless and for the mother board to finish her processes. I still have the resolution to move the mouse so as to cause the pointer to mark the white square with the green “R” at the top right corner of the screen, but the enforced period of impassivity inflicts an increasing sense of doubt. My mind starts wandering, thinking of the Spider game, and, as a result of it, the man dressed in a Spider Man costume in London, fighting for his rights to custody over his daughter, which, again, causes me to think of Robert Bly and the Howl of the Wild. Bly had this idea that Men needed to Get Out More. “If we’d only get out more,” he reasoned, “we would become milder characters, more gentle in our manners and cetera.” So what he did, like, you know, what he’d do, kind of, was to take a bunch of guys into the forest, you know, like, kind of, and Howl. This procedure was undertaken in order to bring the Male Id in junction with the Male Ego, hence manufacturing a kind of sutured response in the subject, abnegating the effect of the Mirror Stage and the Symbolic Order, as it were.

(All these observations must be meticulously noted in the Journal, so that future biographers won’t miss (out on) all the clever theoretical observations I was actually undertaking while playing, say, Civilization or Age of Emires. The latter of which being, of course, a Microsoft game. Let it also be said now and henceforth that I am, also and as a matter of fact, aware that one shouldn’t start a paragraph with a parenthetical remark, I mean, that’s just not on. But let US stick to the moot point, which are that Bill Gates, while being a nasty sort of guy, being up to all sorts of wickedness, I am sure, is not the cause of his blame. Or to blame for his cause, for that matter. Mr Bill, as we call him here in the Colonies, should not be killed (terrible movie, by the way, not even boring, fell asleep after an hour, good sleep though, wish he’d turn down the volume a bit on Vol II, but -- maybe he won’t --), but seen as what he is -- a lackey in a white shirt. He’s got his little Mansion on the Hill, now, with all kinds of nice gadgets running around greeting him, “Hi, Bill,” when he gets home at night, usually late, ‘cause he’s got to work Long Hours at the Office, sincerly, and these robots are perfect replicas of the dolls in Ridley Scott’s house. (Note to Big Other: Please make a Cultured Reference note.)

All articulation is directed to a future self, the self of the Other, a becoming self, never there in-it(’s)-self. (Derrida scholars, et so on.)

But, yeah, I was talking about Mr Bill. A moot sort of wickedness. Thing is that he’s extremely successful at what he claims to be doing, he would be considered the cream of the puff to the dudes in his kind of social field. (Bourdieu-scholars, take note.) He’s the cherry on the icing, the cream of the doughnut, the paste of the cut of the [relatively new, at least in it’s ideological formation] managerial class. The logic of accumulation goes: I want more money. Simple, really. Thing is that it’s exponential (yes, Paul Stone, you can calculate it’s “growth”), and, hence, and because of it, if the capitalist want 10 Norwegian Kroner return on his “loan” today, you can be sure he’ll demand 100 Kroner tomorrow, and you’d better deliver, or he’ll bump you down to the previous level. (Very few participants stay on ‘till the end in this game, as you may appreciate.) Here is the major difference between a neo-liberal logic of The Economy and the socialists ditto [and it is to be noted that neo-liberal economic ideology has now become part of the (neo-)conservative stock, and, hence, and because of it, a conservative virtue, and, because of it, indicating both the need to rearticulate the ideological juncture of this kind of logic, it’s ideological home, so to speak, and to reassess the strategies outlined in the work of Pierre Bourdieu, founded, as it is, on the linkage of stragegies of the “neo-liberal” at his moment (downsizing, privatisation, globalisation, etc.), which are now associated with conservative political movements]:

* We are eating a cake, but each of us wants more to eat every day (in an exponential fashion). This is not a problem, dude, because the cake keeps growing, courtesy of our magical system, called (fan fare) Capitalism (in it’s neo-liberal/conservative ideological articulation).

* Or: We are sharing a cake in such a way that a few (and they are decreasing in numbers) get to eat more and more of the cake (in an exponential manner) and, even if it was the case that the cake is growing, the growth of their increasing demands are outstripping any possible growth of the cake, and, as a consequence, the vast majority of eaters have to eat LESS every day. If, however, the majority of cake eaters would realize their common situation, they would grab their forks in a stabbing motion (and, yes, that is a brutal metaphor -- there is another version, the one I tend to favour, in which the greedy cake monsters -- they’re kind of like Mr Kreosot of Monty Python fame -- take up arms to force the majority of cake eaters to eat less, and the majority must take up arms to DEFEND their selves (hence the prevalence of the term Defence force as signifying the armed wing of the state, as if it was never used against state’s OWN POPULATION)).

Structuralist Marxists would say that the state under capitalism serves as the armed wing of the Kreosots of thishere world. It is myths (in it’s collective form also referred to as Ideology, dominantly in the singular) that masks this Reality. If people (the vast majority of increasingly starving cake eaters) would only see past the veil, turn their faces from the back wall of their cave and turn to See The Light, they would be transposed from the realm of the fake to the realm of the real, the realm of darkness to the realm of light. It is, however, and according to Zizek, not that easy.

It is, actually, impossible to imagine a state in which reality could ever be unmediated. [Anarchists would say that that is because we need to Abolish State.] Because, if notions like Meaning and Reality are to have any Social Implications, they must by constructed as matters of iterativity. If I want Meaning to signify ‘Terrorists are really Wicked People’, I may do so, and it may be meaningful to me in a system(at)ic manner, but not if my systems are screwed up, see what I mean. Meaning can’t mean whatever I want it to mean, if I want it to mean anything to anyone but me. But that doesn’t mean that the word meaning can’t have more than one meaning. So, hence and in other words, it is not possible to imagine a social meaning without some sort of structure, or mediation, or iterativity.

* Iterativity implies structure.

But, says the post-structuralists, the fact that there must be structure for us to communicate, doesn’t mean that it can only be One Structure, now, does it? I could coomunicate with Tom at this moment, but not with Dick and Tracy, and with, say, Dick at the next moment, but not with Tom nor Tracy, so as to imply that there could be different ways of communicating with Tim, Dick and Tracy (or Jerry, or whatever). But oh, squeek the structuralists with their grumpy old-men’s voices, “but at the Deep Level, young man, and this is something you will realize when you Grow Up (and See the Light etc.), all structures are really One, the One Deep Structure. And if you try to take that Faith away from us, vee veel Cut Off Your Chonson.” Anyway, this is still an ongoing debate in Certain Circles.

Which is a long way of saying that “You don’t have to be deep to be structured.”