Dear Diary Moments:

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d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 8/14/2020:

Today I felt kind of burnt out (one of those Sartrean “Today: nothing: existed” kind of days (and couldn’t seem to rev up my edge. So all I have to offer is an amusing anecdote. I was at the “library” drinking my usual Rumple and Jager on ice and mini of Busch Lite (Oh my God!!!!! [in high pitched Jim Gaffigan voice because I love to laugh…..

(And isn’t Gaffigan kind of profound in doing so? It’s as if he recognizes that solipicistic relationship between a performer and his audience. Not only is there the ontological aspect of all actors involved being objects occupying each other’s space, but the phenomenal aspect as well of everyone being these perceiving things trapped in their own bodies with no way of getting out their own skin and into that of the other. Therefore, it requires a leap of faith for either side of the equation to assume the other has a perceiving thing just like their selves. This is why some audience members will throw things onto the stage of a performer. It’s because if the performer actually responds to what is thrown on the stage, it makes it a little more likely the performer is more than an object occupying their space. What Gaffigan is doing by breaking into that voice is making the leap of faith required for him to think of his audience members as more than objects occupying his space. Anyway:

“Oh my God!!!!! Is he using a bar as a library? Doesn’t that violate some kind of code?”

I had just finished my study point in my hard copy of the Anti-Oedipus (and was getting ready to move to the next phase (when I found myself swiping left of the page as if it was a Kindle or something.

“Oh no!!!!!! Is he mixing philosophy and alcohol? Is that even safe?”

And I don’t how many times I’ve done this. I’ve found myself standing in front of doors waiting for them to open by virtue of my mere approach as well as conventional sinks that I’ve held my hands under and waited for water.

I mean you really have to question what modern technology is conditioning us for.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 8/17/2020:

As I broach 200th page of the Anti-Oedipus, I have to make an admission: the book is completely impenetrable to me and will remain so to my deathbed. And anything I have said about it so far is basically me just scratching at the surface and turning it to my own uses. I have come to accept that there is no way I will come to understand it to the extent that a Buchanan or Holland does. This is because I simply don’t have the time to collect the resources they have, to have actually studied the many rhizomes (the many books and works and thinkers (connected, or rather tied into the Anti-Oedipus matrix.

Still, pursuing it gives me things I can use. And given the input/output process I have committed to, what I can use is all that matters. And by that criterion, I tend to find that the secondary text that surrounds Deleuze (w/ & w/out Guattari (the most useful: Buchanan, Holland, Joe Hughes, James Williams, and especially Claire Colebrook. (I need to get back to Colebrook.) At the same time, there does seem to be something useful in just letting the original text flow through you and just seeing what happens.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 8/20/2020:

“The fact that there is massive social repression that has enormous effect on desiring-production in no way vitiates our principle: desire produces reality, or stated another way, is one and the same thing as social production. It is not possible to attribute a special form of existence to desire, a mental or psychic reality that is presumably different from the material reality of social production.” –from D & G’s Anti-Oedipus

First of all, I apologize for repeating myself. I’m sure I covered a lot of this before. But this particular study point was particularly profound in not only that I found myself reading the original text as if it were a Steven King novel, but in the realization that once you understand this simple point, you have found an entry point to the rest of the book. This can be seen in the point they follow with: that fantasy is not some kind of direct expression of desiring production just because it happens to be psychic or mental. It is, rather, an expression of social production. And this can be seen in the attraction of porn which plays on fantasy in a very socially productive way, that is in terms of the Real.

But more importantly, it shows how and why people seem to seek their own oppression: desiring production leaks into the world, transforms into social production (it must to be of any use in the physical world: its new regime), and turns against any further intrusions from desiring production (anti-production (that might threaten the new regime.

(And we should note how D & G uses a hyphen with “desiring-production” as compared to “social production. It’s a postmodern technique of communication suggesting that while desire and production is one and the same thing, there is a separation that occurs with social production. In this lies the distinction between desire and interest.)

Anyway, that said, as I reach the end of this immersion in the Anti-Oedipus, I can’t help but think of the refrain Danny Glover repeated throughout the Lethal Weapon franchise:

“I’m too old for this shit!!!!!!”
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 8/21/2020:

I’ve been listening to audio book for David Harvey’s A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism. And Harvey brought up, yet again, something I’ve thought for some time now, have had it confirmed by numerous other established thinkers, and that I have brought up multiple times on theses boards: that Neo-Liberalism, by its inherent nature, must be adverse (hostile even (to democratic forms of government. As Harvey points out: it exists purely to implement a return of control to the powerful , the elite, something they feel has been stolen from them by Keynesian economics . And I apologize for the redundancy; but this is important to understand for two reasons.

I bring it up on my political boards because it explains a lot about what is going on. And Democrats really need to understand this if they are to do what must be done: render the Republicans (w/ their embrace of Neo-Liberalism (all but obsolete in the hope that they’ll regroup and rethink their embrace of nut-jobs (think: XAnon (and corporate sponsored right-wing think tanks and pull back to the middle. The Democrats need to recognize and vocalize and explain that the stink of Neo-Liberalism is all over the mess we are in, especially the authoritarian nature of what Trump and the Republicans are engaging in now. We can only hope the Social Democrats among us (Bernie, A.O.C. (bring the term “Neo-Liberalism” into our discourse and establish the true worth of the Democratic Party in its opposition to it.

Secondly, I bring this up on my Deleuze and general philosophy boards because the point presents a problem for Deleuze and Guattari’s model in the Anti-Oedipus as concerns how desiring production blossoms into the world, morphs into social production, then turns on itself. Given that D&G are presenting a materialist psychiatry that describes a process that lacks an active subject (and given how compelling their model is for how it happens), you have to ask how it is that some flights of desiring production escape that fate. You have to ask why it is that Neo-Liberalism must be adverse to democracy given that, by the model of desiring production, people (or rather nodes in a system (will draw naturally to their own oppression, even vote for it.

The problem I’m looking at is that the model treats it as if it lies in the mechanics of human existence. But if it laid in the mechanics of it, it seems to me that it would just repeat itself –that is unless it had a breakdown. Or maybe I’m just having an issue with D&G’s use of the term “machine”.

And I bring this up, fellow Deleuzians, not as a dismissal, but a challenge.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 8/23/2020:

I have come to appreciate the import of Deleuze and Guattari’s materialism in the Anti-Oedipus in terms of its Marxist lean against Capitalism. It is, of course, rooted in French tradition via the haunting presence of Bergson. But that does not undermine the revolutionary nature of D&G’s recognition that our salvation in the face of Capitalism’s power lies in recognizing ourselves as nodes in a system of exchange –with each other through social production, the world, and the earth from which it sprang.

The brilliance of it lies in recognizing that this is where the Capitalists, FreeMarketFundamentalists, and Neo-Liberals/Neo-Conservatives go wrong (think republicans here): their failure to recognize their selves as nodes in a system. They, in their arrogance and the solipsism they share w/ humanity in general (due to our ontological status as objects occupying each other’s space), tend to see the system as something that exists purely for their benefit. This is why they tend towards seeing Capitalism as some kind of natural force in our lives: the very notion that their paid for right-wing tanks spin into the memes that tends to disseminate (via FOX News among others (throughout their ready and willing disciples. As a progressive in Nebraska, I hear it all the time: like some grating and nerve splitting refrain.

But once again, I have to imagine any possible apocalyptic scenario possible – that is apocalypse being rooted in a word that meant disclosure. And whether it’s a zombie apocalypse, as in The Walking Dead, or an environmental one such as portrayed in the movie The Road (that withering landscape), either way, what one can’t help but notice (that is if their looking (is the extent which the breakdown of social and political systems renders all arguments for FreeMarketFundamentalism moot.

And most telling here is the possibility of an environmental apocalyptic scenario (in a nod to the import of the Anti-Oedipus as concerns environmental issues). As catastrophic as that would be, I can’t help but relish the poetic justice of the Capitalist class (and their neo-liberal sycophants), in their failure to recognize their place within our shared system (their subject/object illusion/delusion addressed by many continental thinkers including D&G), to see everything they live by go down with that system and render all their natural force arguments for Capitalism the complete nonsense they are now.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 8/27/2020:

As painful as it has been (mainly due to how low it has gone on –that is when I have other things to do), I feel like this is particular immersion in the Anti-Oedipus has been particularly productive. I feel like I've been making breakthroughs. At the same time, I feel like I’m just scratching the surface.

As my fellow Deleuzians have likely noticed (as they seem to be at a point where they’re applying it to more topical matters), I tend to repeat the same things in different ways. I apologize for it. But that is just me trying articulate what is coming at me at a more visceral level. My hope is to come up with a more blue-collarized stepping stone (perhaps even vulgarized as compared to a Buchanan or Holland (for the magazine I’ve been hanging w/ for some time now: Philosophy Now.
*
As I get it, desiring production is the means by which everything moves: becomes social production. Desiring machines are the means by which they do so, whether they’re mouths, lips, fingers, fantasies, dreams, words, etc, etc., etc……. … .. .
*
And can’t we see a kind of overlap here with Lacan’s mirror phase? Given Deleuze and Guatarri’s use of babies as argument for their model of the relationship between the unruly unconscious and the social, it seems to me that the moment the baby first looks into the mirror and begins to see itself as a coherent whole (that is as compared to the chaotic flux it actually is in terms of its desiring production), moves through the 3 syntheses, it begins to form its BwO.
*
What I’m reminded of, as concerns the BwO, is a dialectic offered in Arthur Lupia’s Uninformed: Why People Know So Little About Politics and What We Can Do About It. It starts w/ information, moves on to a body of knowledge that we all have, and lands in competence.

What that all implies is unimportant for my purposes here. What I’m mainly interested in is the body of knowledge as it seems like a useful analogy (if not outright candidate (for the Body without Organs. The thing to put in mind here is that the body of knowledge does not just consist of scientific and factual information; it consists of emotional information as well. It’s like this flux of knowledge hanging in the background from which we extract what we know, think, or even feel about the world at any given time.
*
At a social level, the most important thing to understand is that we all live in a spectrum between paranoia and schizophrenia.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 8/29/2020:

Two things that have come together in this particular immersion in the Anti-Oedipus:

For one, for the last 20+ years I’ve been doing a lot of writing (30+ if you count poetry). And along the way, I have managed to develop a kind of sensitivity to writing styles. For instance, I can confidently say that much of the writing in say The New Yorker has a major advantage in that it tends towards a concrete narrative style as compared to more philosophical texts which tends to be expositional in style. This has to do (among other things (with what is considered a major compositional foul: overuse of “be” verbs: is, are, etc.. Compare, for instance:

“He was running down the street.”

to:

“He ran down the street.”

Now compare this to the more abstract expositional style of philosophy:

“A is B; B is C; therefore, C is A.”

Or:

“The infinite is that which the finite can never fully grasp.”


Secondly, what was really helpful here was having read Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus Papers before moving on to the original text. If you read it, you tend to find him feeling like a poetic style that tends to repeat itself to a point that was almost irritating in the way it always ended with a kind of enjambment: a partial sentence:

“I went out today. Everything was there: Eyes, lips, tongues, bodies, anuses waiting for shit, everything. Didn’t make sense.”

Then:

“When I thought about it, my desiring production came to the surface. I realized why it was important. Then I got it.”

I am, of course, doing parody here. But this is how it felt: repeatedly. But when you read the original text, it has a whole different feel. The composition is all over the place with compound sentences that present a lot of interpretive challenges. It reads more like Deleuze’s compositional style in earlier books than Guattari’s in the Anti-Oedipus Papers. (Perhaps I should read Chaosophy.) At the same time, it maintains the very stream of consciousness style I saw at work in Guattari’s work.

We should also note here how the book often breaks into the indirect discourse associated with Deleuze’s earlier book Difference and Repetition: that which suddenly breaks from a third person perspective into an omniscient third (almost first (person one:

“All who enter here shall worship at the altar of Oedipus. Put away your desiring production and tape recorders, your numen.”
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 9/10/2020:

Reading Philosophy Now’s recent tribute to Iris Murdoch, I am reminded that I eventually need to break from my holy triad of Deleuze, Rorty, and Žižek and read some of the more modern stuff. Granted, Murdoch died in 1999 –before Rorty I believe. But still, I do need to explore some of the more modern thinkers embraced by PN, people like Martha Nussbaum or Galen Strawson or many of the others covered in the magazine.

But I mainly bring this up as an invitation to chuckle at some self deprecating humor. The funny thing about my tendency (hypocritical even (is that I tend to thumb down my nose at my old 70’s friends for doing the same thing with music that I’m doing with philosophy. For them, it’s like music stopped being produced after John Bonham died and Led Zeppelin broke up. And how different is that from how stuck I seem to be on my holy triad?
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Sculptor
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

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d63 wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:02 pm Dear Diary Moment 9/10/2020:

Reading Philosophy Now’s recent tribute to Iris Murdoch, I am reminded that I eventually need to break from my holy triad of Deleuze, Rorty, and Žižek and read some of the more modern stuff. Granted, Murdoch died in 1999 –before Rorty I believe. But still, I do need to explore some of the more modern thinkers embraced by PN, people like Martha Nussbaum or Galen Strawson or many of the others covered in the magazine.

But I mainly bring this up as an invitation to chuckle at some self deprecating humor. The funny thing about my tendency (hypocritical even (is that I tend to thumb down my nose at my old 70’s friends for doing the same thing with music that I’m doing with philosophy. For them, it’s like music stopped being produced after John Bonham died and Led Zeppelin broke up. And how different is that from how stuck I seem to be on my holy triad?
Bonzos death was hard to take, and no one was able to fill his boots.

if you are looking for an alternative, have you tried Guattarri? (kidding).
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 9/27/2020:

In my present immersion in Rorty’s Truth and Progress (my walk about and experiment), I came across something that is rare in a my philosophical process: an article in which I was mostly familiar with the deferred matrixes of meaning involving the work of other thinkers –something essential to understand the philosophical text you are reading. In this case, it was Dennett’s Consciousness Explained. And maybe my peers can help me out with this.

And what it brought to my attention was a conflict (or maybe even oversight (in Dennett’s” multiple drafts” theory of consciousness and his dismissal of a “Cartesian Theater”. His multiple drafts theory involves the mind passing data around to various units of the brain until a unified image of the external experience is achieved. And in this, he sees the emergence of consciousness.

(And I would note here the similarity of Dennett’s model to Deleuze and Guattari’s 3 syntheses of the unconscious: the connective, the disjunctive (to a lesser degree), and the conjunctive in which consciousness is formed.)

And I actually find Dennett’s model useful. The problem for me starts with his “Cartesian Theater”. If I understand the history of philosophy right, the main departure that Husserl and phenomenology engaged in with Descartes was the “thinking substance” that, if you think about it, seems very similar to Dennett’s multiple drafts theory. It’s like the subject and object are so intimately intertwined, there is no distinguishing between the two. So I have to question the whole notion of the Cartesian Theater –or rather Dennett’s use of it.

Furthermore, I would note that what Husserl and phenomenology (via intentionality: the recognition that consciousness is always consciousness of something (took from their criticism of Descartes’ thinking substance was the recognition that underneath all that thinking there had to be something bearing witness to it: a perceiving thing or “ultimate ego” as Husserl referred to it. And it seems to me that Dennett’s multiple drafts model would be equally vulnerable to that criticism and thereby render his concept of the Cartesian Theater invalid. Or maybe it’s just that Dennett attributed something to Descartes that wasn’t actually there.

Or am I just as confused as I must seem here?
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Sculptor wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:29 pm
d63 wrote: Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:02 pm Dear Diary Moment 9/10/2020:

Reading Philosophy Now’s recent tribute to Iris Murdoch, I am reminded that I eventually need to break from my holy triad of Deleuze, Rorty, and Žižek and read some of the more modern stuff. Granted, Murdoch died in 1999 –before Rorty I believe. But still, I do need to explore some of the more modern thinkers embraced by PN, people like Martha Nussbaum or Galen Strawson or many of the others covered in the magazine.

But I mainly bring this up as an invitation to chuckle at some self deprecating humor. The funny thing about my tendency (hypocritical even (is that I tend to thumb down my nose at my old 70’s friends for doing the same thing with music that I’m doing with philosophy. For them, it’s like music stopped being produced after John Bonham died and Led Zeppelin broke up. And how different is that from how stuck I seem to be on my holy triad?
Bonzos death was hard to take, and no one was able to fill his boots.

if you are looking for an alternative, have you tried Guattarri? (kidding).
Yeah: we thought music would end with Led Zeppelin.

And I did turn to Deleuze and Guatarri to replace that experience.

Not just that, but the psychedelics we had access to as well.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

Post by d63 »

Dear Diary Moment 10/18/2020:

Having just finished my graphic guide, Introduction to Thatcherism, I was struck by how intimately and parallel Britain’s history has been linked to America’s since the 80’s. It’s almost like we were separated at birth. As I read it (the history involved w/ Thatcher), I couldn’t help but see the similarities with what we went through with Reagan. Most notable here is their common root in Friedman and Hayek’s Neo-Liberalism. And for both the result was pretty much the same: an increase in the wealth gap and decrease in the quality of life for the poor.

And that was by design, even if the advocates of Neo-Liberalism won’t admit to it. It was noted in the book that Thatcher was considered a bit authoritarian and autocratic. As was said of her: she never met an institution she wouldn’t hit with her handbag. (Think Trump here.) And institutions are what look out for the interests of everyday people. But what was oddly missing in the book (a point that would go toward this particular description of her (was the fact that she sheltered Pinochet when other countries were seeking to indict him for crimes against humanity –and for good reason. And this would seem to be a departure between her and Reagan. But I would argue otherwise. Reagan might be the equivalent of the Republican’s Kennedy, and he might have done things with a smile and a sense of humor, but he was as attached to the inherent fascism of Neo-Liberalism as Thatcher was. He too embraced the tyranny of the functional that saw non-producers as undesirables that deserved to wallow in poverty and misery, even die due to lack of access to healthcare.

But the most interesting parallel was what followed their demise and followed from their legacy: changes in the opposing parties. It was noted that Tony Blair was the Labor party’s compromise with Thatcherism. Now: note his “special relationship” with Clinton who was the Democrat’s compromise with Reaganism. (Think NAFTA here.) Now look at the parallels between Trump and Boris Johnson.

The point is that I don’t think we can talk about either legacy without the other. It has to be, rather, the Reagan/Thatcher (or Thatcher/Reagan if you will (legacy. Once again: separated at birth.
d63
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Re: Dear Diary Moments:

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Dear Diary Moment 10/23/2020:

“At first reading, the concept of animal consciousness appears built into the Darwinian ‘struggle for survival’. This phrase seems to imply the presence of a person, a struggling self that really cares about whether or not it survives.” -Brewer, Stephen. The Origins of Self. Kindle Edition.

Back in the 90’s when I was a little less mature (they were the early 90’s), I found myself in what I can only call a chemically inspired conversation about whether a gnat or an ant can have a sense of self. My good friends (who were also chemically inspired (argued, to put it simply:

No!!!!!

I (being me: argued the diametrical opposite. Of course, the whole discourse being chemically inspired, it never got that heated or in depth for that matter. My argument, in that spirit, was primarily instinctive and even visceral. It wasn’t until later upon more sober reflection that I actually started to articulate it. I realized that the problem lie in the instinct for survival. It seemed to me that if a gnat or an ant were as mechanistic as my friends suggested , that instinct would only kick in if I were to directly stick a pin into them. But that is not the case. They rather tend to anticipate threats to their survival. And it just seems to me that you have to have some real sense of self (of what you are trying to protect (in order to respond to such an indirect threat.

And at no time is this more obvious than when encountering that Beelzebub Fly: that lone fly that decides to invade your private space and antagonize you relentlessly. I mean you have to ask how it manages to evade every clapping of your hands together. And think about it:

In order to finally be rid of it, you literally have to out-think it. You have to utilize the technology of holding your hands apart just above where it lands, cocked and ready to slap together when it attempts to take off.


Think about it.
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