It is sweeter to wander with the wretched and outcasts than to sit crowned with roses at the banquets of the rich
Elisee Reclus

Monday, December 04, 2006

Something, Nothing, Love

This evening, I am tired of the self that writes this...But happily so. So here it was...

King Muctus seemed to be the leader of the crazy troop of fucked-up clowns, fools, acting-outs and misfits. It seemed like some Utopian dreamworld turned theme-park with neither compromise winning out for either of the sides - freedom reigning insane nor paid-in wackyness and facepaints covering real solidified identities. I couldn't work it out anyway but I was just there by the side of the pool in my normal clothes, feeling fine, if a bit worried about what might happen to me...

I watched a clown in rags, kinda punk style get-up, piss about on a high ramp on a bicycle. He twiddled himself and cycle machine precariously as we waited for him to plunge on his face right down into the blue water of the swimming pool below...

It all had that feeling of freeing yourself, letting your edges blur or at least letting your edges all hang out on show...

Muctus came up to me and said something, then something else. I was digging it like yeah we gotta let go and here was Lettting Go Camp itself. My inherent suspicion of wacky types, painted clowns etc was only on a low back burner as I watched more of the antics...one guy was running around with a big pot of blue paint and, of course, I was like, NO NO, don't let him paint me...Muctus was chattering on, trying to fill me in on myself and my impulses..

...at some point he surveyed the scene like it was his empire and said 'we get a lot of team leaders and managers coming through here. it really does them a lot of good'...i was stunned on this point, something had been broken apart then, but I was soon distracted...

Muctus knew I didn't want to be clowned all over in blue goo...but then, the guy saw me, I flinched and squirmed trying to be invisible...but the klown was right there, fast and primed, and he painted my entire face blue with his funny brush and that was that..



...Yeah that was the real point...trying a freedom on for size, yeah? My face was blue, i could not now just be me..

...then i had in my hand, i had a blue power drill and was revving it up in the air, letting go....brrmmm brrm brrrmmm...noisy and crazy, feeling the edge, being impulsive....like a toy or a power tool for letting go..i waved it aloft and squeezed on the trigger to make it drlll the air all around...being me, being me...ha ha ha ha...

...some guy leaned over and said that the drill belonging to such and such and i should be careful as i shouldn't fuck it up...it kinda brought everything into some kind of normality again..i lost focus on the continuing antics all around and was stunned....silenced...i made a dash for it and ending up inside, running quite manically round a series of rooms like workshops, backstage? behind the scenes..i was sure that this was where the clowns all lived or seemed to work on their acts..but was that what it was?...there were partitions, then rooms full of the chaos of any workshop, dressing up rooms, d.i.y crazy scenes..i was being chased by some of the 'performers' and i was running for my life really....running away from what had happened, or what had been punctured...i felt quite mad but in that i felt quite real..then i was screaming, screaming, screaming..and they caught up with me and wrestled me to the ground...i was still a mass of energy trying to arc itself locally, so i was writhing and guttural, sobbing, being..they said 'hey, cool it man'..and 'shut up' and tryed to get me to stop but i just wanted to keep screaming...why were they telling me to stop when before they wanted to show me how to be mad and wacky and to not give a shit..now they were giving my shit away, cursing me as if i was some kind of nuisance...i kept on hollering..then, then, then...

You know what comes next...


Something is closer to Nothing

It made me realise later that some kind of Venn diagram could be useful if the extremes were mapped as NORMALITY + ABNORMALITY, CONFORMITY + NON-CONFORMITY. Within this graphic matrix of all possible reals and all possible roles, we might be able to map the flux and flow of our identities at any one time. This seemed to be a rational but thoughtful way to make sense of the terror of the above described situation. To plot the feelings of vertigo brought from the suspense and adrenal heights of constantly shifting selves, lies and all.



But this would be a 'terror without fear'. Or rather accepting terror without the need to flee from it.

The well deserved HomeLessHome favourite 'Thoughts Without A Thinker' by Mark Epstein contains an excellent chapter on this notion. In the realm of seeing through the authorial 'performance' of identity in its authoritative mode - where we literally become the authority on our self - we may end up in one of two states of being: delighted or terrified.

The delight would range from the raising of the hairs on our arms to the complete pervading of our body 'like a rock cavern filled by an huge inundation'. In this moment we are happy to feel the momentary breaking through of our fantasy self. A moment of rapture, of full-fill-ment. We do not long for what has now passed. Or try to recreate it a second time. It has passed but remains...

On the other side of midnight, the terror 'reveals just how precarious our sense of self actually is'. Physically, this is what I would call 'the shakes'. Or the point before screaming.

Traditionally described as the territory of demons, wolves, fierce bulls, savages, venomous serpents and so on, it seems okay to to call these beasts confusion, aching, unknowing or, more likely, knowing. To name these claws as rippers apart of your careful self-construction. To watch that which we know to be built on dodgy ground be demolished.

None of this is particularly easy going on the body as anyone who has faced the terror with intense and dread filled fear of the self disintegrated beyond repair. There may not be any ego-less/ego-full rapture. Just the pure ghostly disconnected whole facing something entirely fucking blank and beyond. The known corporeal us, that which can be felt, the blood, the skin, goes and we move into what can only be described as existing without existence.

This is the breaking point at which we label the beyond as 'madness' but we know it cannot be so for everything else in this moment is mad and not ourself. But, there is still nowhere else to go. Physically there is no other body possible. Ouch!

The terror and fear is a moment of loneliness - The revolutionary without love is stuck in the same limbo, abyss, terrified, paralysed, searching but not finding...

(But everything is loaded here...words, intentions, spells for the future, metaphorical tinkerings and hysteria..a sense of panic - The Ruinist expects to be seen through especially when what we mean by love is up for grabs, when what has come to be thought and felt about as love is retarded..a useless love).

---

It's nice to bring back love into the revolutionary terrain. Almost tangentally but not quite, I would say that these are two experiences of what love is...terror and delight...love being an instinctual praxis of 'anything's possible' (like revolutionary ideas and / or moments)..that is both frightening and delerious in its intensity.

Does (revolutionary) desire lead to love or does (revolutionary) love lead to desire? I don't think it is either way round, for it must be an assemblage of these poles. But interesting scary feelings and notions arise when we(must?) eventually close the separation between love and sex.

But Sex leads to Love? Love > Sex? Manifest in the orgy of revolution, there would be no sentry 'duty' at the barricades, but time spent in defending the gains with moments spent fucking / loving simultaneously...like in Genoa 2001 where we spent moments swimming naked in the sea to taunt the riot cops both in front of us in boats and behind us on the beach. A helicopter dropped tear gas grenades close by to stop us...stop everyone from acting together. We grabbed what we could in the heat of the battle...this moment, this pleasure and defiance...

This paragraph leads forward to sex as we have not known it yet...bodyless, endless...loving.


Old Hat

On the streets where I live,what we have begun to call 'neo-liberal behaviour' stalks the playing grounds...a pathological individualism, the establishment of (self-) borders, jumpy uptightness and acting as if under surveillance...shock and awe in response to being touched, gently moved in the hubbub, looked at, spoken too...

I have been thinking without conclusion about whether the self may in part be something sucessfully commodified by capital. That the self is also just one other object. But I'm still watching this one...There are versions of ourself that are more likely to be objectfied than other versions. Versions such as the neo-liberal one described above. Body-image / image-body? I am no thing...?

'We have, like many, experienced the fact that affects blocked in an 'interiority' turn out badly: they can even turn into symptoms. The rigidities we observe in ourselves come from the dividing walls that everyone felt obliged to build, in order to mark the limits of themselves and to contain what must not overflow...'
from the anonymous text 'Call', France 2005

But in moments we can grasp that some-thing is really the same as no-thing and we laugh together (again). We laugh with and at each other. Qualitively this beats the quantitive of politics (as we know it) by outwitting it. Outflanking the notion of identified subject, locked down thing-body, we are free to play revolution at the highest stakes. As risk, as communion, all in the face of fear, for capitalism is terrorism. Or in the face of death, for capitalism kills.

It may be that this would seem to be a perfect revolutionary self, harmonious and maybe accidental, out there, facing the terror without fear.

Or a revolutionary body more like? A mass of selves, of bodies,...of bodies that we individually sucessfully inhabit.


...and if you made it this far then at least you are not dead...

2 comments:

RUINIST said...

for a perfect description of our newly defined 'neo-liberal behaviour...see the chapter of Frantz Fanon's The Wretched Of The Earth called 'On Violence', the bit where he details the pathology of the colonised's violence to those on the same side of the shit pile, acts of brutality that ape the masters treatment of themselves

neng-nobody-alina said...

bear hands/ no/ with a ring/ use to