Category: Ramblings

Mom’s Basement and MAFWUCKERS.net

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To follow up what I just posted about Free Radical Radio, I have been working on some new projects since moving back to Tempe. I will be elaborating on them more later, but for now I’ll give the following work-safe description(s). The main project is called Mom’s Basement (or, MAFW Mom’s Basement) and it is:

An offshoot of the broader network of locals participating in Maple-Ash-Farmer-Wilson. It’s emphasis is on computer science, gaming, comic books, role-playing, and digital culture. So far, it’s primary projects include the hosting and maintenance of a cloud-based server (virtual machine), used specifically for education and electronic services for the neighborhood: websites, chat, wiki, blogs, multi-player games, media streaming, and more.

As can be gathered from above, this is tied into the overall MAFW efforts that I have been writing and speaking about for the past few years. A lot of the development has been behind-the-scenes and on-the-ground …but, there is a couple of websites that are mostly just placeholders right now: http://mafwuckers.net/momsbasement.html and http://mafwuckers.net/blogs/momsbasement

If you’re familiar with my perspective on things, this is in every way an effort to put into practice the analyses of contemporary anarchism, neighborhood organizing, and cyberspace that have been at the fore of my thinking. It’s not specifically an anarchist project, but it also isn’t not an anarchist project.

Look forward to updates!

– squee

Free Radical Radio

FRR85-Cover

I didn’t realize I had been building up some anticipation about my participation in Free Radical Radio; so, I won’t continue to. I am no longer working on the project because I moved back to Tempe, AZ. The story isn’t very interesting: I shattered my heel bone in September of ’15, lost my ability to pay bills, and have been recovering since then on all levels …it’s May of 2016 and I still can’t walk. I thought I may be able to score a job for the first couple of months that I was in AZ and remain a resident of the East Bay, but that didn’t pan out. I also thought I may still wind up participating in FRR remotely, but that also hasn’t panned either; at least, it hasn’t yet. Overall, I enjoyed working on the project a lot. I wish that I could still be doin’ it.

Green Anarchism: a Self-Interview

landfill_beale_joravsky_magnumQ: Are you a Green Anarchist?
A: The short answer is, “I don’t know.” I have more questions than I have answers about this. Like most things, it depends how the term is defined.

Q: Well let’s start with definition, then. How do you understand the term?
A: There has to be some sort of pre-requisites to make the term meaningful at all. The operative word is “Green”, which would mean that a green anarchism would be concerned with the Earth in some way. That satisfies some things, but not enough. A green anarchism would be a form of concern with environmental issues that is particularly anarchist. So something about the manner in which someone cares about the environment would lead to some kind of anarchism being meaningful. I don’t want to say that it would conclude that anarchism is a solution to environmental problems, nor that anarchism would logically include concerns about the environment. Just that anarchism would be one of the main features of the theory.

Q: If you are being this vague already at the point of definition, you either don’t know what you’re talking about at all or you are hesitating to make sense of the complexities involved. Which is it?
A: It’s almost both. I’m not very well versed in green anarchist literature. However, I have explored some of the philosophical problems with environmentalism in the context of phenomenology and in some more-or-less formal group settings. So I’m familiar with the complexities, but I’m hesitant to make any solid statements about the way that anarchists have dealt with them. I could provide some superficial overviews of something like… anarcho-primitivism or green syndicalism, but on a deeper level I haven’t familiarized myself with any literature that addresses the questions I have coming out of my own way of turning the environment into a problem.

Q: Ok. What are these environment problems? Clearly there are ugly things happening around us, particularly related to organic life on the planet. Even more-so tied in with the technological systems that human beings have developed over the course of civilization’s existence. Especially those of the 20th and 21st Centuries. You certainly recognize that there are some problems here, correct?
A: Well yeah of course I do …it’s all very depressing. But even in your brief summary of the situation, I become hung-up on the details: civilization, technology, the relationship between me, the context I live in, humans generally, and organic life on the planet. What makes this even more difficult for me is the anarchism part of these considerations. Where is the connection between my depression about this and my anarchism? Is there anything fundamental about these concerns to my particularly anarchist thoughts?

Q: You seem to be leading with that question. Why don’t you just continue and I’ll interrupt when I have something to work with.
A: Alright. So my anarchism develops out of an existentialist outlook on life and the concerns that come with living in this world as I interpret it. At bottom I fundamentally understand my own life to be meaningless, to be a situation that I’m constantly trying to make sense of without any interpretations being acceptably concrete. The desires that come from existing as an embodied consciousness – concerns that come from a body that wants to live – an interpretation of those desires isn’t even given concretely. They can be a compass, but those desires are suggestions, more-or-less. I can interpret them as obstacles to some other project, I can comprehend my own urges to eat, sleep, and shelter myself as some kind of weakness that must be overcome to …I don’t know, die for the Cause …or some other nonsense. This problem of interpretation sits like an anchor upon a bed of meaningless stuff, which is attached to this ship that I call, “anarchism”.

To summarize the logic: when you begin to think about life from this position, you don’t have any easy methods for evaluating your decisions. You can kill yourself or you can continue living without any reason at all, without any rationale… but the moment that you want a rationale, you need to sort through some very basic problems. Should I live, or shouldn’t I? Why should I keep doing these things that I need to do so that I can survive? Those problems. Well it turns out that when you obsessively attempt to answer these questions, there isn’t a very good rationale for killing yourself or allowing yourself to die. It turns out that when you create a rationale for suicide, you admit that you have already decided that all sorts of stuff is meaningful to you. Somehow the act of killing yourself is the best conclusion you can come to about all of this meaningful stuff. But that’s paradoxical: you’re basically responsible for deciding that all of that stuff is meaningful to begin with, so how do you take the meaning of it all seriously enough to kill yourself? The consequence of killing yourself is that you annihilate the agent that came up with these meanings, so killing yourself amounts to the same consequences as just simply changing what you think is meaningful in the first place.

There’s a lot of follow-up questions and answers about this, but to stay on topic, I’m just going to say that there isn’t a good way to answer those follow-up questions, either. Suicide is out of the question. So, I’m stuck with a life of irrational non-decisions, and the necessity of deciding what is meaningful about my own existence when I want to act rationally. This leads to some of the more interesting questions that eventually lead to my anarchism. An easy way to put it is that if I need to be the source of my life’s meaning, that meaning doesn’t and can’t come from authority, or an appeal to popularity, or a religious system. Those are all irrational, passive methods of establishing meaning. If I’m the source of what I find meaningful in life, that says something about the nature of my agency and my relationship to other human beings. It says something about my participation in creating myself. It also denies other human beings their rationale to dominate me, to force their meaning upon me …meanings that are ultimately based on the choices they made from their own experience. Not to mention the systems human beings come up with to support such a rationale. As if formalizing the problem of meaning has somehow changed the situation. Well none of it is acceptable. I don’t think there is any acceptable form of someone dominating me.

This doesn’t actually make me an anarchist yet. There’s still an opportunity for me to be comfortable with others being dominated, or even dominating others myself. Long story short, I also do not find any of that to be acceptable …at least insofar as the domination of others is contingent upon a system existing that subjugates me at the same time as it subjugates others. I could give less than half-a-fuck if two people on an island play power games. However, when power is formalized into systems of domination that I am also subject to, it becomes my problem. This is when I become an anarchist. I develop a self-interest in annihilating those systems, simply for my own liberation.

There is more to this though and it relates directly to the nature of power games. I don’t accept an interpretation of life that considers all relationships to be relationships of dominance and submission, master and slave. Whether those roles are crystallized into a formal structure or they’re in a fluid exchange with each other, I reject this comprehension of life because of its limits. Power dynamics may be common, but they’re not absolute in any sense. There is a boundary to these roles (or, positions) of power that is defined by relationships among equals. I’ll use an abstraction to help elaborate on this limit. Let’s say that there are two things in space …waffles. These two waffles aren’t simply floating about as if there aren’t any other forces at play to influence their trajectory. These waffles are acted upon by gravity, wind, whatever. They are put on a path by external forces… and only external forces …after-all they’re waffles. A power dynamic would come out of these two waffles having interfering trajectories, but they can also have parallel trajectories. There is nothing about the waffle nature that determines them to come into a dynamic of exchanging force with one another. If the waffles are on a parallel trajectory, then although they are separate units, they’re heading in the same direction in the same way. Without any need to depend upon a notion of intentionality, the waffles have become complimentary parts of a larger system.

People are a bit more complicated, but the analogy holds. The problem with people is that we’re intentional creatures, we choose meanings, we act upon those choices, we have a role in determining our own trajectories. However, like the waffles, we can project ourselves in directions away from each other, in parallel with each other, and towards each other. It is only when we project ourselves towards each other that we determine ourselves to exchange force: power dynamics. Well that’s not my ideal mode of relationship. My project is to maximize my own force by acting in concert with others, preferably because we’re in parallel trajectory.

There’s a range of power games that I think are acceptable, but as an anarchist I want to annihilate systems that dominate me. Despite Machiavellian techniques for doing this, I don’t recognize much benefit to existing in perpetual conflict with others. If not for any other reason than my own laziness, I prefer the company of others on the same trajectory. My preference is, at the very least, to not waste energy sorting out conflicts where there needn’t be conflicts. There’s also an interpretation of human psychology that studies what is called “flow”. This notion of “flow” is very important to me and my sense of satisfaction. You could also think about it with dancing as a model, or by reference to some forms of martial art. The interplay of force doesn’t come in a dichotomous pair of motion, there’s always a third variable of parallelism.  There’s a form of power that comes out of increasing the quantity of particles traveling in the same direction. That’s just basic. It’s not even taking something like emergence into consideration.

Q: Ok, so that’s interesting, and waffles. How does this relate to green anarchism?
A: That’s exactly the problem. Where can an interest in non-human, organic life come from with this sort of approach? It’s difficult enough to define “organic,” “life,” and “environment” in an especially green-friendly way, but to then recognize my own role in defining these things and interpreting their meaning… Something very easy to do is accept an egoistic rationale for the way that I interact with the organic systems that I am tangled up with. That doesn’t really mean a lot compared to some of the more traditional approaches to environmentalism, though. It says less about a particularly anarchist environmentalism, a green anarchism. Do I think that anarchism will fix the problems that are tied up with the way humans, technology, social systems, and the rest of organic life all relate to each other? Where does my anarchism become tied up in these concerns?

Q: Well you said that you’re against domination, or that you find it unacceptable. What about the domination of nature, of animals, of technology?
A: So that’s the catch, but only in some ways. It wouldn’t be inappropriate for me to elaborate the details of how the State and its capitalist economics depends on technology and ideological notions about so-called nature to perpetuate itself as a force of domination over my life and others. There’s some excellent thought that comes out of analyzing these things. The issue for me with this is that it’s very difficult to take the specific problem my own agency existing in conflict with systems of domination, and then expanding that problem beyond myself or beyond other human beings. I don’t want to settle for a mere transference of the relationships I’m familiar with as a human being, to my comprehension of non-human existence. What exactly justifies such a transfer of meaning? That’s one problem, then betting on anarchism is another one.

Let’s unpack this a bit. To begin with, I don’t specifically seek to protect all organic life. There are many organisms that are in my best interest to annihilate completely, like disease-causing organisms. There are other organisms that I’m ignorant of, apathetic towards, or benefit from consuming …even on the strictest vegan diet. So there’s no answers that come out of defining my interests in relation to “all organic life”. I’m specifically concerned with the way that I relate to particular organisms and how systems that I am part of relate to particular organisms. In some ways, the particulars set me against those systems from an interest in perpetuating the health of organisms I depend on. In some other ways, I must admit that these very same systems align with my interests on the point of annihilating disease-causing organisms. There happens to be many more reasons for me to destroy those systems, but even without them I wouldn’t suddenly seek to perpetuate the existence of all organic life. At face value I’m just not interested in “all organic life”, but at a very deep level my own existence competes with the existence of other organisms.

It doesn’t follow from this competition that I must dominate these particular organisms. It requires some sophisticated techniques to actually dominate and control organisms in an agricultural sense. I don’t need to participate in agriculture. I could even extend this argument to an anarchism that refuses to dominate the organisms a human being finds themselves in competition with. What I doubt is that even with such an extension, that this anarchism would be fundamentally “green”. It is still fundamentally existentialist. With or without “green” considerations, it still exists as anarchism. I would need to prove that this anarchism would fall apart if my concerns for non-human organisms didn’t play a role in it. I don’t think that I can argue that it would. It’s an anarchism that is consequently concerned with “green” issues, not an anarchism that extends from a central concern with “green” issues. Also as I was saying, I’m not confident that the anarchist societies would solve such issues. I’ll admit they’d likely be an improvement for strictly economic reasons, but I don’t think that the relationships between human beings and other organisms is specifically beneficial to other organisms. I think that these relationships are particular and that they are partially contingent upon the way other organisms become meaningful to particular human beings.

Q: If you’re going to admit that it is in your interest to fight technological civilization, then why would it matter if your anarchism is “fundamentally” green?
A: It matters because my anarchism can’t be understood if I call it “green” or suggest that it ought to be comprehended through a green lense. The consequences of my anarchism are a sort of do-it-yourself ethics that actively combat the State, capitalism, and other forms of my own subjugation and domination. This means that there is a lot of potential for combating systems that dominate non-human forms of organic life, but that potential is tied up with the specific choices I make when it comes to the meaning of an organism …or the choices that those I am in affinity with make about this. Too much of it depends on my active participation in these decisions after-the-fact to blame the anarchist conclusions of my philosophy. While I don’t think that my personal concern about organic life is less important than my anarchism, the two concerns come from distinct sets of questions and answers. I could care about other organisms without the anarchism just as much as I could care about anarchism without thinking of other organisms. So I am an environmentalist and I am also an anarchist. My concerns about the conditions of the Earth and organisms that depend upon those conditions are very strong. They just aren’t the result of my conclusions about domination. They’re the result of my conclusions about how I want to live when I am not dominated, when I am intentionally relating to other organisms. I guess what I can say is that my existentialist trunk branches off into these two directions of concern. I think that these concerns parallel each other in fascinating ways, but I recognize that they are cleaved from each other at their base.

Q: If these two things are distinct for you, then what about looking at the path that your environmentalism takes. Doesn’t it also become an anarchism on its own?
A: It’s possible. I could say what that would look like, but I’m not sure that I’m there. It would look like a basic conclusion that my relationships with other organisms forms the basis for a rebellion against domination. I would have to somehow bridge this gap between the way that I conceptualize the meaning of my own life and the same sort of no-turning-back conflict with the State/etc. There’s a lot of obstacles to this kind of conclusion. For the most part, my life has been and it continues to be a series of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and social choices. My relationship with other organisms is mostly limited to consumer choices. The relationships are mediated by the systems that result in what I go shopping for. There’s my relationships with pets, with antibiotics, and with whatever other organisms are in my immediate environment. That’s a far distance from the sort of relationships that I imagine an especially meaningful green anarchism coming from.

The way I think about this now is that I depend on thought experiments to make environmental decisions. I think about relationships of production and consumption, about commodities, about macro-level impacts of agricultural production, and other such things that I minimally participate in. These considerations would be more immediate if I were to produce my own food and medicine, for instance. Right now they’re not immediate. In a somewhat hypocritical way, I could recognize that if I were to produce my own food and medicine, I wouldn’t do it by setting up these insane systems of industrial agriculture and pharmaceutical production. I could consider this “Good Enough”. What I think is difficult is ditching the sense that I’m merely pretending at an anarchism rooted in these concerns.

Q: Why does it matter if you’re making a choice based on a hypothetical situation?
A: How about I return that question with another question, “How meaningful would my hypothetical conclusions be?” I can say anything I want about what “I may do if” given this or that situation. The fact of my life is that I am not producing my own food, medicine, clothes, etc. I’m consuming things. I can stop consuming things based on how they’re produced, but that isn’t an anarchist action …it’s a consumer choice. It is a solution that fits into a consumer politic. It is a consideration after-the-fact of having already accepted my own participation in this system of capitalism. And if I were to to annihilate the separation between my activity as a producer and my activity as a consumer, I don’t know if I could sincerely suggest that I have annihilated that separation because of my concern for other forms of organic life. At least, not unless I were to first come up with that rationale. Currently, any environmental actions I take that would be anarchistic would be the consequence of how my anarchism shapes the environmental decisions I’m willing to make. I’d be lying to you if I said that my environmentalism has lead me to conclude with a strictly anarchist approach.

Q: How does this effect your perspective on existing green anarchisms then?
A: I recognize that they’re foreign to me, I guess. I would need to learn more about them first.

Q: It seems like your main issue is with your situation. At the level of the type of situation you want to be in, isn’t it an anarchist situation that “flows” with nature?
A: That’s an interesting perspective… Yes, the situation I want for myself isn’t this mediated existence where my decisions about other organisms are the result of subordinating myself to this shitty social order. At that level, yes I have a green anarchist opinion where the two blend together nicely. Although, that only means that I’ve replaced all of the reasons that go into these desires with a comparison of “situations”. That isn’t the sort of thinking that I come to anarchism from. I also don’t mind if others do come from that sort of thinking. I suppose that conclusively, I just have more to think about.

Q: I’d suggest that you consider it this way: your ability to survive currently depends upon these systems of mediation and domination that you detest. Therefor, it is in your own interest, in relationship to non-human organisms, to be able to be self-sufficient. That very self-sufficiency depends upon the annihilation of the division between your consumption of food and medicine from the way that it is produced. It depends upon forming an immediate relationship to the production of your own sustenance. This would be a green anarchism.
A: Well, thank you. I’ll consider that!

Ludwig Binswanger Blurb

Tomorrow I’ll be conducting the final installment of a 4-part workshop series on Existentialism. The text I will be using is, Foucault and Binswanger: Beyond the Dream. There are a few motivations for using this text that I want to write about before giving the presentation. These include: post-structuralism’s relationship to existentialism, the usefulness of existential psychoanalysis, and the overall significance of these two schools of philosophy for anarchist theory.

It has been noted (and specifically, by Aragorn!) that influences on anarchist theory can be demarcated by the May, 1968 insurrection in  Paris, France. Situationist and Post-Structuralist theory, related to that event, is very interesting. What I want to focus on is the time-period leading up to it. One such school of thought that had an enormous influence in the late-19th and early 20th Century is existentialism. Not only Nietzsche and Stirner, but also Camus, Sartre, Heidegger, Kafka, and Kierkegaard.

Alongside the development of this existentialist point-of-view, another school of thought rose to popularity: psychoanalysis. One of the most direct blends of existentialism and psychoanalysis comes out of Ludwig Binswanger’s Daseinsanalyse …a mix of Heidegger’s ontological writings and Freud’s psychological writings. Next to Jung and Lacan, Binswanger’s criticisms and alterations of Freudian psychoanalysis gained its own following (mostly outside of the United States) and Binswanger remained one of Freud’s best and only friendly correspondents.

Ok. So alongside Psychoanalysis and Existentialism, there was also structuralism: Marx, early anthropologists like Levi-Strausse and Marcel Mauss, and lingustic thinking such-as Saussure’s. Of the three of these broad categories of theory (Psychoanalysis, Existentialism, and Structuralism), Foucault and other notable post-Structuralists focused the most on psychoanalytic theory and structuralism. This has made contemporary critiques of existentialism difficult to come by, since contemporary theory is still quite often responding to post-Structuralism.

Oddly enough, Foucault’s earliest writings were both influenced by, and an evaluation of, Ludwig Binswanger’s Daseinsanalyse. In the piece that I selected, a connection is drawn between this early writing of Foucault’s and his later writing. What came in the middle – what Foucault is most famous for – is the development of theoretical methods that analyze the development of power-dynamics throughout time-and-space …methods in contradistinction to the structuralist methods Foucault critiqued. While these contributions of Foucault’s are amazing, towards the end of his life he began to come back to questions of the Self: self-care, an aesthetics of self, etc. In sum, after an elaborate analysis of the many ways which power shapes the construction of self and influences our choices… Foucault returns to the existentialist questions he departed from earlier in life.

Why?

Because at the end of the day, Foucault’s critique of existentialism is valid, but for as much as the limits of existentialism mark Foucault’s departure …they also mark the limits of his post-structuralist analysis. After rigorous considerations of social institutions, sexuality, identity, history, epistemology more broadly, Foucault returns to the practical considerations of our existence in a world where meaning has been constructed by power. Concluding as an existentialist would, that an techniques of self is a path to liberation, Foucault returns from his journey with an exceptional analysis of power that no prior existentialist could refer to for how to do this aesthetics of self.

Just as important as it is that Foucault comes back to questions of individual existence, it is important that Foucault looked to Binswanger (not Freud, not Heidegger, not Sartre, not Camus). It is with Ludwig Binswanger that existentialism produced a practice capable of dealing with other individuals in a serious way. In a world as described by Foucault (and other post-structuralists), the important task isn’t a mere egoist self-creation …but an egoist self-creation that is informed by methods of analyzing power and logical operations that can aid in the process of relating to other people contrary to the relationships created by power.

It is at that point (methods of analyzing power and logical operations aiding the process of relating to other people) that the value of this exploration of existentialism AND post-structuralism appears for anarchist theory …and praxis. Since it is beyond the limits of even a 4-part workshop on the topic, my goal has been to inspire others to learn from these philosophers. To apply existentialism to the projects of self-creation and building interpersonal relationships in revolt against powers long-known to anarchists and more recently focused on with the influence of post-structuralism.

The Rebel by Albert Camus reviewed by Squee

The Rebel by Albert Camus
reviewed by Squee


In 1951, Albert Camus had already dealt thoroughly with the questions of nihilism, rebellion, revolutionary politics, and anarchism. It may surprise many anarchists that this existentialist philosopher (mostly known for his novel The Stranger) was quite familiar with anarchism and was himself a frequent supporter of anarchists. As such, he fits the fellow traveler category and, with his book The Rebel, continues to be a relevant challenge to anarchists today. More context as to the nature of Camus’ relationship with his anarchist contemporaries can be found here:
http://libcom.org/library/albert-camus-anarchists.

To summarize, Camus is someone who not only openly supported anarchist-syndicalist organizing, but was excommunicated by the existentialists for criticizing their Marxist tendencies. He provided material and ideological aid to anarchists and received their support in return. When Franco had sentenced anarchists to death in Spain, Camus organized a speech, covertly inviting Andre Breton by networking with anarchist-syndicalist and prisoner support organizers. When a French anarchist was brought up on charges of subversion for producing an anti-militarist poster in 1954, Camus spoke at the trail as a character witness. He consistently published his writing in anarchist papers and shamelessly discusses anarchism in his more public works.

The content of The Rebel primarily focuses on the individual’s struggle to find meaning in a world that becomes inherently meaningless without a God, which he refers to as the Absurd. He performs his analysis using examples of individuals and groups who were coming to grips with the metaphysical, historical, and aesthetic situations resulting from nihilism. He leads each inquiry into the matter by asking if it is possible for the individual to rebel without rationally attempting to justify murder and other so-called crimes, by which he means harming others.

What Camus is further asking with this question is whether or not it is possible to move coherently from the rebellion of a subordinate to a social-political ethics without betraying what he identifies as the principle and initial choices involved with rebellion: the affirmation of human dignity despite death as a potential consequence. Reasoning that this makes the value of human dignity a value which transcends the individual — since they are willing to die in order to affirm it — rebellion for Camus has a universal quality that ought to lead to solidarity with others in revolt. From there, what he wants to demonstrate is that rational attempts to justify murder or crime (or to justify the irrationality of one’s desires) can only contradict these initial principles, since it would violate that universal and transcendent value of human dignity.

The text is divided into five main subsections: the Rebel, Metaphysical Rebellion, Historical Rebellion, Rebellion and Art, and Thoughts at the Meridian. The first defines what exactly Camus means by rebellion. The second deals with those whose rebellion is limited to the imagination (or, metaphysics): poets, philosophers, and others who are rebellious in thought more than in action. The third expands the points made in the previous subsection, but demonstrates how these can be made in the context of (mostly revolutionary) politics. The fourth section carries this into the world of aesthetics. Thoughts at the Meridian, though short, is where Camus outlines the moral limits to rebellion that he finds acceptable, using syndicalist trade-union organizing as a primary example of coherent rebellion. A wide range of figures are scrutinized, both real and mythological: Prometheus, Cain, De Sade, Baudelaire, Stirner, Nietzsche, Marx, Bakunin, and many others.

Murder and crime are still highly debated topics among anarchists; sometimes in the controversies around tactics and violence, sometimes in outlining a coherent moral opposition to the State and its supporters. Many of the arguments still seen today are embodied in Camus’ exemplary characters and situations: summarized, analyzed, and judged inadequate. The questions of nihilism, which for some have become major questions in their theoretical approach to anarchism, are subject to a more thorough inspection than in any other anarchist text I have read.

For fans of Max Stirner and Egoism generally, The Rebel offers a perspective that is somewhat unheard of. Camus argues that with Stirner “Individualism reaches a climax;” and, that along with all the nihilist rebels, it ultimately leads to a kind of collective suicide. This is not argued on the basis of orderlessness, it is argued on the basis of Stirner’s own vision for the Unique. Camus quotes Stirner, “You [the German nation] will be struck down. Soon your sister nations will follow you; when all of them have gone your way, humanity will be buried, and on its tomb I, sole master of myself at last, I, heir to all the human race, will shout with laughter.” Camus wants to surpass this vision of individual triumph, he wants to learn how to live in the desert which is created after subjecting the world to an Egoist critique.

To investigate the potentials for living in such a situation, Nietzsche and the Surrealists are used to conclude the book’s section, Metaphysical Rebellion. Camus refers to the rebellious path taken by Stirner and Nietzsche as “Absolute Affirmation.” If Stirner affirms only the Unique, Nietzsche goes further and constructs a philosophy based on affirming everything. While it is unclear if Camus considers this an improvement upon Stirner’s thinking, he credits Nietzsche with accurately diagnosing the illnesses of modernity as nihilism. Regardless, Camus concludes that Nietzsche’s Will-to-Power still leads to the same wall of collective suicide as Stirner’s Unique.

The section Metaphysical Rebellion ends in transition from the thinkers who acted less to the thinkers who acted more: the Surrealists provide the vehicle for this transition and offer a space for Camus to present his concluding arguments in their metaphysical form before demonstrating them in their historical form. It is here that Camus’ fear can be felt as he discusses Surrealist affirmation of the irrational murders and suicides its members authored. What he wants to show is that when the most Egoist conclusions are acted upon, they found actions that are worthy of as much condemnation as those that are rebelled against. While Camus will later demonstrate this causal chain at the collective level with Nazism and Marxism, it is clear what he is searching for when he is contemplating this at the Individual level: a principle of moderation.

Moderation is discussed in the final sections of The Rebel to clarify its place in Camus’ philosophy. In analyzing the nature of the rebellious act, Camus concludes that moderation is already present in restricting the rebel from themselves becoming another ruler. It is found in the realms of metaphysical, historical, and aesthetic rebellion when the initial value of human dignity that transcends the individual is adhered to. More interesting for us, moderation is the connection that ties Camus to the anarchists. What Camus reveres in the anarchist is the simultaneous embrace of individualism and the moderation inherent in the praxis of trade-unionism (and presumably more broadly in prefigurative politics). His philosophy is anti-Revolutionary and pro-Insurrectionary; it is anti-Collectivist and pro-Individualist. Camus is an accomplice in revolt against the Western tradition. This is the result of his refusal to negate the conditions which found and moderate rebellion, the Absurd condition that we each face individually, but together.

Overall, reading through this work has value even beyond Camus’ arguments. It is a comprehensive history of modern rebellion, a framework for considering a range of contemporary questions, a reference book for other interesting authors, and an excellent demonstration of clear and rigorous writing.

The Future and Rebellion

question-mark-clock-2127118The themes of time, context, and rebellion have run through a variety of anarchist events that I have attended lately. This has taken the form of discussions about lifestylism (with crimethinc often cited), leftist ideals of the Revolution, the notion of prefiguration, and ideologies. The conversations usually go something like this:

– Leftist revolutionary movements construct the image of an ideal, future society; one without capitalism, class, the State, and various systemic prejudices. Some of the developments which come out of this sort of revolutionary ideal are: organizing in a manner that takes a form similar to that of organizations in the future society (prefiguration), developing strategies for taking over the means of production (syndicalism), trying to inspire the correct subjects to insurrection (general strikes, occupations, riots), and generally orientating towards the future as a time of salvation, liberation, and peace.

– However, anarchists don’t necessarily have a blueprint or an ideal, future society. Anarchists who have focused on the present moment and sought to immediately deal with the ways that they are limited and smothered by the social structures governing them appear throughout modern history. This sometimes leads to drop-out cultures, the creation of self-sustaining communes, illegal methods of sustaining themselves, attack as an expression of personal and practical desires, as well as dietary, racial, sexual, and gender-oriented considerations.

– Leftist revolutionary ideals are an absurd waste of time in the 21st Century and they put one on well bloodied path of monotheistic idealism, ideology, and politics. The problem then becomes the global scope of the systems that subjugate us and how granular their focus becomes when they attack. Even when ignoring or opposing a leftist, revolutionary orientation, attempting to fight one’s way out of the mess of their individual life makes one an enemy of these systems. There is no clear strategy for winning at the individual or collective level.

– When dropping out, illegal subsistence, collective living, free love, and attacking from the shadows isn’t enough to gain autonomy or requires more than a reasonable amount of risk, it becomes clear that not only are the Left’s myths absurd, but imagining a future that is not bleak (or one even worth living in) is difficult. This provides further motivation to focus on the present, immediate alleviation of one’s suffering; but, in doing so it traps rebellion between conformity (total failure) and activities that have little to no impact on the order of things …even if they are the least compromising of methods available for survival. Without any future orientation whatsoever, rebellion is limited to dodging blows without effectively striking back. So, to carry out a rebellion that grows and accumulates power instead of one that consistently crumbles back into the ruins from which it emerged, some sort of future-orientation becomes necessary …if only to respond with consideration to the patience of our enemies.

To start answering the questions above, let’s start by remember that even if we are not all dispossessed and recently proletarianized, we are at least not in possession of any means to sustain or own lives, nor methods for using acquired means that would create a foundation upon which sustained attacks against our enemies can become more effective. At this point, even as a superficially self-sustaining intentional community, we would not have the means to preventing shit like the pollution of atmosphere we depend on (or global warming), surveillance/infiltration/attacks from the State, energy resources we’d need (hence, the market), etc. Even if we somehow did manage to carve out a more permanent autonomous zone, chances are that it would not sustain generationally: even with the best forms of indoctrination (which would require the sort of ideology we’re rejecting here) kids will want into the grandeur of the metropolis… whether for sex, for fun, or because it does a better job of creating cheap, entertaining shit. So to the extent that lacking space, means, and autonomy could be alleviated, that lack already puts us a long way from having places for ourselves that are not a compromise with our enemies.

For anarchists, whose rebellion has broadened to all that which may subjugate them, there are far fewer packages to buy and issues to think of as singularly important than there are for those rebels who oppose one form of domination, but not all. Anarchist rebellion is so broad that it takes as its enemy almost the entirety of established institutional society. This means that beyond the lack of possession discussed above, for an anarchist to survive there is additional and inevitable compromise with one’s enemies. This compromise can range for a variety of jobs, to the desperations of poverty, to the risks of being caught carrying out illegal actions to simply live another day, to giving up a rebellion against all forms of domination. Anarchist rebellion begins and often ekes out an existence in the terrifying, lonely corner of near-complete rejection of and enmity for the world. This means that even for an anarchist to simply survive as an anarchist, they are already in a perpetual state of rebellion.

Survival and compromise, which can never be satisfying, creates an individual interest in …making shit better. To do this without entirely losing whatever it was that one thought was worth fighting the whole entire social order for, it becomes desirable and maybe necessary to meet other rebels. Meeting others and even devising some methods to alleviate each other of some pains which rebellion brings can also and often does become insulating: a life in a sometimes less painful bubble midst a society one was already alienated from. Here enters the lovely world of group dynamics, with its problems of group-think, status jockeying, power plays, personality clashes, and in-group mentality. This can happen in a collective living situation, a cooperative businesses, a syndicalist union, a social clique, a street gang, an gaggle of squatters, whatever …it happens with groups generally. Out of individual and collective interest in surviving with as little compromise as possible, anarchists come together to try and figure it out and yet still, only more problems!

On top of those group dynamic problems, the particular attitudes and values of anarchists can compound the isolation, hopelessness, and angst many anarchists experience. Anarchists groups can often be a downright miserable series of relationships that may seem like they were created from a false premise, even if they weren’t. More to the point, such a context itself can hallow out the future of anything desirable. Any belief in eventual individual satisfaction, fulfillment, joy and/or collective well being, sustainability, care and god forbid a successful attack or autonomous space. The misery of living with miserable people can completely rip the future as a creative, imaginal space from the psyche and throw it into oblivion with the rest of this damned world. But ought we to oppose an orientation towards the future? I do not think so.

Futures aren’t solely a realm specific to ideologues and theologians. The persistence of subjectivity through time and in orientation towards a future existence is the framework for rebellion. Rebellious activity already assumes that there is something worth protecting and preserving, something that is worth defending in its existence against whatever forces attempt to oppress, dominate, subjugate, or exterminate it. Without that something, it’s not rebellion. Some anarchists are more egoistic and their rebellion takes the form of first being an attempt at realizing an immediate desire. But at the moment when the realization is opposed by force, it again puts action in the realm of rebellion. Even for the orientation of maximizing one’s potential to realize their desires generally, there is already within the relationship between the subject and its context an orientation towards a future. There is a future for the something: the uniqueness of the individual, the skills or space to act upon immediate desires, or the qualities of one’s identity which can not be changed and are nevertheless condemned in the social order.

To first emphasize what is disgusting about ideology with a special consideration to Leftist revolutionary thinking; these forms of thought insert poison into the imaginal spaces of our futures. They don’t themselves invent the entire framework for future; the phenomenological scaffolding which is substantiated with goals, dreams, visions, and aspirations. Furthermore, what ideological garbage does is replace that something which one is protecting and preserving in the rebellious act with an Other: State, Soul, Man, Singularity, Reason, Rights. The reason for the act is controlled by ideology for these Others. Ideology additionally benefits from disguising these Others as something objective …something with more reality, weight, and value than individual subjects and their finite, mortal, and muddled existences. These Others that are supposedly more important and more valuable than the individual agent have futures that will persist, that will be worthy of a rebel’s anguished existence, that will be the Future of all futures …says the ideologue.

That said, there is still a future orientation presumed in the act of rebellion and this includes the anarchists’ rebellions …even after rejecting the Left. The difference is that this future orientation would depend upon the individuals involved as the something protected and preserved and would aim at what anarchists already aim at in their togetherness, even if feebly: places to live, play, and plot that require as little compromise as possible with the existing order. Methods of surviving and attacking that attempt to expand the space and means by which to further survive and attack. A better squat, maybe next week. A new arrangement for free food. A more accurate understanding of how to eliminate that which subjugates us to it. Whatever that future orientation is, in whatever distance… it is there. To not focus on it, to confuse it with ideology, or to attempt to cut oneself off from a future orientation entirely conflicts with one of the fundamental properties of rebellion itself.

There’s additional reasons why attempting to cut oneself off from a future orientation is a bad idea which are tied into the ontological question, the ways in which time plays into subjectivity, and other shit beyond the scope of this piece. As a teaser, one of those reasons is because it forces you into a past orientation, which is what a present-tense context is constructed from: past traumas, conditions, meanings, relationships, habits, diseases, financial situations, legal statuses, etc. There are practices related to the present-tense that are meditative and attempt to break with the past, but those are difficult and impractical mental states to maintain …even if valuable from time to time. Anyway, it’s what I have mentioned above that ties into resolving issues of time and context in anarchist theory. A future orientation itself doesn’t provided any particular practices worth promoting to improve everyday life and our individual life stories, but it keeps the door open for practices that require more long term thinking and it maintains coherence with rebellious activity in general.

The Idealist-Criminal/Duped-Activist Trope

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Lately I’ve been watching the Blacklist on Netflix. One of its episodes shares a theme that I have a hard time thinking of a show I’ve watched the past couple of years that doesn’t. Those shows are somewhere in the genre-pool of mystery, detective, and sci-fi; and, there’s a lot of them. At least one episode in each show tells the story of a criminal mastermind intent on destroying “the system” leading some sort of group that resembles an Animal Liberation, Earth Liberation, Occupy!, or Anarchist organization …BUT (dun-dun-duuuunnn), the mastermind has ulterior motives. I can remember episodes like this going back to the days of the X-Files…

This sort of episode tends to fall into a type of dilemma that is more general: the hero(s) don’t know if protecting law-and-order is the right thing to be doing; but, they eventually justify their actions by discovering something the episode’s character is doing that is ‘unquestionably’ wrong. Examples of this would be the criminal searching for a cure to their child’s illness, the revenge murderer that kills domestic abusers (or …the entire basis for Dexter), or the character in duress that has trouble choosing between prison and the revenge of the criminals that are using them. Any one of these tropes becomes a commentary on the justifications for strict adherence to the law …and depending on the show, it can go in a variety of directions.

The specific narrative that includes the activists and riots is a bit more interesting. With the idealist criminal and their activist following, you introduce political, economic, environmental, and other contemporary concerns about the organization of social life into the dilemma. In the context of these shows, the audience has already formed bonds with the main characters and their struggles. At the same time, the audience can usually identify with the struggles of the activists. The other dilemmas mentioned above do not offer such a broad range of applicability to the everyday moral questions the audience encounters concerning the organization of their own lives. The dilemma is also more complicated. It not only asks the audience to consider the extent to which they are willing to act for this or that social cause; but also, to consider in an Alex Jonesian way …who they are /really/ working for if they take to direct action.

There is also another aspect to the trope in question that ties into the format of these shows and the world which its characters exist in. All of these shows present a world that is too complicated for the layman to comprehend. Maybe it’s aliens, or a vast network of secret organizations, or technologies traded on black markets that could destroy everything. Whatever the case may be, a world such as this is the precondition for the main characters to exist as such: the keepers of society’s secrets who are protecting society against enemies that also know these secrets. In other words …shit is more fucked up than the audience can even imagine and the story-teller is going to reveal that world episode-by-episode through characters that are out there to heroically protect them. Protection in the case of this trope includes and is even sometimes substantially protection from the morons that think they understand the world enough to take direct action: the activist/anarchist/etc.

The moral of the story is always that while in the mediocre world of civilian life these issues seem important enough to act outside legal constraints for, it turns out that the actual dynamics of society are so far beyond civilian comprehension that there is a deeper purpose law-and-order is serving. Sometimes that purpose is usurped by some arch nemesis that seems to be behind all sorts of catastrophe. Sometimes that purpose is strictly the Jonesian /everyone is working for someone/ or /all direct action must be a false flag operation/ type of scenario. While that’s the overt message, the more subtle message of the activist episodes is really …these people are delusional fucking idiots that are only going to hurt people or at best, annoy the public to function as decoy for others who will hurt people.

For how long these particular episodes have been around, they only seem like they’re becoming more standard. I have trouble estimating the extent to which this trope alone serves to reinforce the suspicion of various activists, revolutionaries, or whathaveyou; but, I feel my own responses to these episodes and their psychodrama …and, I know that if people participating in direct action were an Other for me it would be easy for me to write off the entire lot of them as absolutely fucking bonkers.

What all of this allows me to contemplate is my own context; but, not from the angle this trope suggests. I contemplate how affected the individuals are by this trope whom people my context and what it would mean to consider that affectedness in my own struggles and adventures. For instance, I’m not convinced that journalists are painting anarchists in a similar light from their own moral convictions. I also contemplate the extent to which some communiques seem so out-of-touch to me, given the terrain of the public’s imagination when influenced by this and similar tropes. There’s lots of things …to consider.

Anyhow – I’ll be putting this in the “rambles” section of the Eternal Wretch when I can. Maybe I’ll resurrect Indigestion… Who knows! Maybe I’m working for General Ludd.

Charting A Path Towards Vegetarianism

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This is going to be an entirely different essay than the one which was originally posted here. I don’t care to explain why.

Intro

There are numerous approaches in deciding how to relate to other animal species. Some of which I find more problematic than others. Since I am secular, I will not be addressing any of those approaches that come out of the world’s religions. What I will be addressing are issues which arise with moral considerations, humanism, attempts to get beyond the anthropocentric, and discourse derived from concepts of rights. I will also be touching on the tone and attitude which some animal liberation and animal rights activists take with their propaganda, its impact on me, and the potential for alternative approaches. I will begin with a summary of my personal relationships with other animal species.

Other Animal Species

I grew up in a suburban area, a few miles away from the farms. It was common that my peers would live with farm animals, the air often smelled like manure, and it was strange if you didn’t go hunting with your father and his friends, kids killed cats as pests. However, I only sometimes visited the farms and I didn’t kill any cats. My relationship with animals was that if it wasn’t in a grocery store or a pet store, it was probably something to be avoided. I was familiar with Kosher diet and it didn’t make any sense to me. I was raised to believe that veil was wrong, but that’s about it. The ins-and-outs of industrial meat production were outside of my awareness.

Some time in jr. high school, I became vegetarian. It wasn’t because I had seen PETA pamphlets, although I had seen them. It was because I really hated human beings, categorically. I didn’t think there was any good reason why any human being ought to presume that they are important enough to kill another animal, let alone eat it. But beneath that, it really just disgusted me to imagine. Hunting and industrial slaughter seemed like something which required a kind of mechanical, disconnected attitude towards the the planet and its inhabitants. I still think this.

My relationship to other animal species is mechanical and disconnected. Aside from pets and pests, I relate indirectly to livestock through mediation of an enormous industry which uses techniques I barely understand and which I am shielded from by my life in a city. Unlike with pets, I can only relate to livestock categorically. I can form no bonds with particular cows, chickens, pigs, and fish. I can only consider them all generally, as the multiplied reiteration of livestock I have met and the treatment I am aware that they receive. What I am actually presented with in my everyday life are various cuts of raw meat, products which may or may not be based on animal substances, menus with pictures of prepared dishes, items that were tested first on other animal species, and propaganda put out by corporations and/or activist groups.

Livestock and lab animals are represented to me, but they aren’t actually a part of my experience. This is true for everything I eat, wear, medicinally treat myself with, and use. The world that I live in is a giant, illustrious production that has been designed by human beings, for human beings …to shelter each of the individuals who can afford it, away from the wilderness, from agriculture, from mass-production, from landfills, and from slums. Commodities magically come into and disappear from this place, regulated by the alphabet soup of bureaucratic institutions for health, safety, transparency in consumer choice, and such. When I’m in the grocery store, the presentation of products equates them to each other as items for sale, marketing differentiates them from each other based on packaging and labelling, their composition is presented as lists of scientific terminology in small paragraph form (for food, at least), and they are all just as easy to acquire if I can afford them.

Although there are some cracks through which unwanted elements seep through and into my everyday life: pollution lowers the air quality, global warming fucks with the weather, a disease will gain entry through products, the tap water tastes terrible, animals being transported can sometimes be seen on the roads, a forest fire will make the headlines, etc. Regardless, the way in which consumption takes place – although changing – doesn’t speak to the origins of the materials very loudly. Before the problem of what to consume is the problem of how to go about consuming. Perhaps even the question of how to go about producing! What would most effectively change my relationship to other animal species is those more basic questions which would dramatically alter the way I confront that which I consume. Without those changes, all of my consumption choice is derived from abstract considerations, from the world of representation.

Defining Life and Interests

As far as I know (and I have looked into this plenty), there really isn’t any single definition of life which can smoothly separate the inanimate, mineral world from the animate, cellular world of plants and other animals and further, from the animate, digital world which continues to produce more complicated artificial intelligences. Drawing lines is a matter of convenience and not a matter of exactness. It would seem fundamental to be able to work from an exact definition of life in order to decide what to consume, but it isn’t. It doesn’t really matter if something is living.

The value of an entity isn’t restricted to an examination of an entity in isolation. Evaluation depends upon the way in which a particular entity or category of entities relates to others, especially in relationship to human beings generally and the individual specifically. It is my individual existence and how I am effected by something which gives me cause to evaluate it. Otherwise, what I am examining is a mere curiosity. It is my health, liberty, conscience, and tastes by which I measure the value of a this or that ecological system and its parts, this or that species and how to relate to it, each individual I come into contact with in my everyday life. My solidarities are not rooted in altruism. Life as a quality in itself is irrelevant to me. I do not aim to defend all manifestations of life, some of which I aim to annihilate.

The Earth’s interests are beyond me in perception and in my power. I can not take an ecocentric position on the value of other species because I can not sort through the ambiguity of defining the importance of an ecosystem without including my relationship to it. There are ecologies which are difficult to imagine having much of a relationship to me at all: subterranian species, deep ocean species, volcanic microorganisms, possibly existent extraterrestrial life. For as global and interconnected as the functioning of many ecosystems may be, it is not the fact that it is an ecosystem which interests me.

The interests of other animal species are as well beyond my capacity to distinguish. I can not answer for any particular cow whether it is more important to them for their species to be more numerous in the fettered conditions of factory farming, or be less restricted to graze whatever they could find outside of civilization (if there is even an outside anymore). I can make the assumption that pain, suffering, and fetters are undesirable but I would be making a decision according to how the consequences will effect me much more than how they will effect another animal species. How much will my life change?

I am not even necessarily inclined to consider the interests of my own species in general, as if such interests were the same generally, for every individual…

Humanism

There are only so many universal human interests. Every human being needs a planet that can support their existence and to meet various survival needs. After that, most things are up in the air: lifestyle, life span, life quality, aesthetic considerations, social structure, associations between other humans, relationships with flora and fauna, spiritual practices, etc. Human beings tend to have some universal behaviors, which could extend to similar interests …but those behavior tendencies aren’t an absolute determination. The more similar something is to another human being, the more an individual will identify with it. But the extent and limits of that identification can vary drastically, and that is to say nothing about whether something will be considered a threat, a benefactor, competition, or whatever. Often enough it is what is most similar to an individual which is the greatest of antagonisms: criminals, political enemies, siblings, neighbors, coworkers, lovers.

For as much as an individual needs nutrition to survive, they may still hunger strike. No matter the extent to which survival is an imperative, suicides happen. For as valuable as the whole of life on Middle Earth may be, pollution is crippling it. The human species does not need to eat meat, yet most of it does. Animal testing can be avoided, but it isn’t. Other human beings may be even more of an obstacle to pursuing my interests than they are a basis for those interests. Their positions, laws, lifestyles, and the rest aren’t any more or less human and I am not any more or less humanitarian depending on how I choose to live. Yet I refuse to reason as a humanist. I am utterly alone and without the comfort of coherent categories in these decisions.

Representation and Consent

I started writing about this recently because I was frustrated by the argument that since non-human animals do not consent to how they are treated, it is wrong to presume a right to their bodies. There are two major problems with this line of thinking: it is based on flimsy distinctions in representation and consent is almost irrelevant. Above I articulated some of the problems with representation, but they extend further. Not only is defining life and assessing the interests of other animal species impossible for me, it is difficult to even distinguish between animal and non-animal. Fortunately the menu really isn’t that extensive and I am not really deciding to broadly consider all non-human animals and all non-animal species. There are only so many species I would consider eating to begin with, animal or not. Unfortunately, I still can only assume what the interests of individual members of a given species may be, based on collectively representing their conditions and considering my own relationship to them.

I don’t have the luxury of knowing whether this cow or that pig wants to die, would have rather not been bread into its circumstances, etc. What I know is the general tendency of non-human animals to resist captivity, torture, slaughter, neglect, and other such horrors. I can assume that at the very least, most if not all animals subject to factory farms and experimentations are not enjoying it. On my end, I know that it is unnecessary for me to consume the products produced from these circumstances. It is difficult to say whether or not free-range, cruelty free, hunted, or whatever other form of acquiring meat is more in the interests of other animal species, but given the options it isn’t difficult to say what side I’d rather err on. It is in my interests to have the option of making a personal decision in relation to an individual entity. A situation where I can figure out if it makes sense to me for this individual entity to satisfy some desire of mine through its death, or if I’d rather not stomach doing such a thing.

What doesn’t ever enter the picture is consent. While consent can be implied by the resistance of an animal to its killer, it can not truly be granted or denied. In what fantasy does any species of anything anymore have the option of its fate being determined by consent? Animals of all sorts do not and can not consent to the impact civilization has had on them, whether it keeps the animals alive or kills them. Animal rescue doesn’t derive its justifications from consent any more than animal slaughter does. Civilization touches everything without consent, from the fossil fuel reserves in the ground to the highest reaches of bird flight …to my domestication and to yours. The entire content of what is being thrown into question has been imposed, by force, through power human beings have developed and authority which has been legitimized in a variety of ways …divine or secularly rationalized.

On the other hand, there is what I do and do not consent to which I have complete access to knowing. I get to decide the extent to which I consent to civilization and its particular conditions, practices, and considerations. I get to decide whether or not the flavor of meat is more important to me than the life of those creatures which I vote to end with my purchases. I can get behind a gun and consent to the shots I fire into an elk or some other wild mammal. There are times when I may feel like I have been tricked and if I had known better, would not consent to the consumption of one product or another. But the fact of the matter is that where consent is concerned, it is my own consent which is to be questioned and not that of the entities which I am making decisions for one way or another …whose life quality and quantity is calibrated by the mechanisms of markets and conditions produced by human civilization.

No Contract, No Deal, No Peace

Non-human animal consent is indeterminate, but what is entirely impossible is any sort of contract between human and animal species. No matter the extent to which I leave other animals alone or the society of human beings I live with decide to leave other animals alone, it is a completely one-sided decision. I am not afforded the powers of communing with the general essence or spirit of a species that negotiate on behalf of its kind and stick to an agreement. I don’t need to know if a species is likely to be antagonistic towards me or not to know that every interaction with another creature will depend on the situation at hand …not contract or any sort of established way of relating.

For many species, I can occupy the position of predator as much as the position of prey. For even more species I can be a threat worth eliminating in one way or another. The wilderness is not a safe space. I don’t need to worry so much about this in my everyday life since I live in the fortress of a college town. If I’m going to play this game of considering things in the abstract though, it is worth noting these things. If I were to be so arrogant as to consider any decision I come to as a favor to another species, I would still have to admit that to it is reasonable to assume that I won’t be done any favors by that species in return. There can be exceptions. Interspecies bonds happen on a daily basis with pets and in some exceptional cases with wildlife. But again, that is on the interpersonal level. It is not something which can be achieved through relationships mediated by civilization’s devices.

Rights and Liberations

To end the portion of this where I am considering arguments I don’t really agree with, I make a distinction between arguments for animal rights and arguments for animal liberation. The discourse of rights is something that I already stay away from when it comes to humans and I don’t plan to make any special case for another species. Rights are something I am told that I have, something codified into law. They are something outside of me that are supposedly protected by the State. They explain what I would be correct in doing, what I should not be prevented from doing, what I can expect protection of as a citizen or the subject of a civilization. The struggle to establish rights for non-human animals is a struggle for political reforms, just the same as other struggles to change the established principals applied to other subjects. This can be thought of as a possible direction for animal liberation struggles, but it doesn’t equate to animal liberation.

Animal liberation is more in line with my thinking. It isn’t necessary to talk about anything another species experiences subjectively to talk about the completely observable phenomenon of bodies being liberated from restrictive environments and fates. Whether they’re liberated to do is another question. But it isn’t difficult to find entirely personal, individual reasons for wanting to abolish factory farming and institutions and institutional practices that are offensive. It requires neither the consent of another species, nor the consent of another human being to attack the infrastructure of the meat industry (among others). It might even require a lack of such consents.

While I don’t consider myself an animal liberationist, I don’t have any desire to get in the way. That is where I’m at for now on the issue.

Positive/Negative

Sometimes simple conclusions wind up working out quite well. I am much more comfortable working from the basis of my own tastes and desired consequences than I am with trying to sort through the mess of complicated social systems, ideologies, and considerations beyond those of my everyday life. Weighting the pros and cons of one consumer choice against another can be entirely sufficient for coming to a conclusion about how to relate to non-human animal products. There’s a few major areas to consider: health, economy, taste, and personal effort.

I am not going to pretend that I’m even close to being an expert on nutrition, or that I’m even a very healthy person otherwise. What I do know is that my stomach no longer takes very well to meat and my body complains if I eat it. Something I can say is that as a general project of trying to maintain a healthier diet, it is much easier for me to do so when I take meat out of the equation. Not because I think meat is necessarily unhealthy, but because I’ll wind up not eating a lot of stuff that is healthy if I rely on old, lazy habits of eating mostly from cans and fast food places. I’m also a big fan of leftovers and well… animal products aren’t really the best left overs for avoiding some physical nastiness.

Economy has a whole series of considerations wrapped up in it that I don’t feel like articulating right now, but I sure as fuck don’t want to work with, on, or even really around animals. Taste and personal effort is a little bit more where my thoughts conclude. I don’t like eating meat enough to buy it and fuck around trying to prepare it. I’m too broke to eat out almost ever, so when someone else takes me out or on the rare occasion that I treat myself, I don’t feel much inclination towards ordering a meaty meal. Basically when I weight the pros and cons of consuming animal products, I don’t find many pros. I’m sure I overlook a lot of ingredients and I know that I have no clue what stuff has been tested on animals, but I’ll be touching on some of that in the next section.

One thing that I want to bring up here is that animal products are the default for me and a hell of a lot of other people. This ties into the reason why some animal rights activists and their propaganda frustrates me. Really, why I started writing about this to begin with. It just comes off as so pretentious and ineffectual to me when activists begin making these moralistic analogies between what happens to animals in the meat industry and how people relate to each other in their everyday life. Using notions of consent to bridge the gap there. I won’t reduce that to name-calling, but y’know …is it getting the results you want?

I can understand being passionate about something and I can even understand emotional appeals, but if the goal isn’t to take a piss on someone and instead, it is to figure out where they’re at and work with them towards a shared goal …that shit makes no sense to me. There’s also nothing wrong with pissing people off, if that is what someone is trying to do (which it doesn’t seem to when I see this happening). But as one example, why start calling comrades murderers or sexual abusers because a meeting is happening at a place which serves meat? Especially when you’re not going to follow it up with offering alternative spots or preventing the meeting from happening. Shit like that is just an invitation to make equally stretched out analogies which conflict with those ones, to be written off, or to just be mocked.

DIY

In the beginning of this essay, I hinted at the broader question of how to go about relating to anything one consumes. This is where everything falls into place for me and becomes concrete. I don’t necessarily like more work, but I also don’t trust corporations to handle my food or the quality of other products. For reasons even beyond this, a Do-It-Yourself ethic is what I like to peer out at the world through. There’s some good critiques of DIY culture which would make this essay longer than I want it to be, but to take for granted the reasons why DIY shit is in my interests, they are the grounds upon which I conceptually build towards my dietary choices.

The closer I become to producing my own stuff, the further I travel from consuming animal products. Some of this is aesthetic: I think that dealing with animals is gross. Aside from that though, in light of self-reliance and participating with others to produce things we’ll enjoy, the default of consuming animal products flips to a default of not consuming animal products. The pros become much more important, as reasons to use an animal product for one project or another: food or otherwise. I can’t think of many situations where anything but price would make me say, “oh hell yeah, if we just throw some fleshy bits in there this would be great!” There’s some situations, but not many.

Taking this approach also emphasizes what sort of choices I’m really more inclined to make about production and consumption. In the environment of a grocery store, everything becomes a bit vague. In the environments where I am designing something (a meal or something else), I get to sort through all of this in a very personal way. I can’t so much translate these personal preferences for I want to consume into what I think someone else should do. That also doesn’t mean that I must refrain from critiquing the choices others make. The logic just requires me to keep it in the realm of my own choices and how others choices effect me, rather than attempting to find something higher, more moral, more elevated and universal, and more absolute that would make my decisions inherently better. I also get to decide whether or not I like someone for whatever reasons and even though these wouldn’t be those reasons, they’re an option.

If you haven’t ever read other things I’ve written, this is basically the approach I take to a lot of issues. I like to come at things from my readily available experiences every day and if it builds towards something more abstract and profound I let it; but, that happens much less often than I am satisfied with keeping things close to home. Sometimes I am considering something that involves such complicated interconnections that higher levels of abstraction become useful (and this is one of those things) …but if I can make a sufficient case for my choices without taking things into otherworlds, I’m likely not going to bother articulating the complexities.

ok – ttfn

Extra-Terrestrials Choose Hollywood’s Sexiest Geeks to Lead Humanity in the War Against the Machines

jonny_lee_miller_angelina_jolie_hackers_1995

Are you a Sexy Super-Geek? We need you to lead the Resistance!

Once again, capitalism needs MORE GEEKS …and as always, Hollywood is here to build the prototype. There is a history to this trend. The movie Hackers came out in 1995, shortly before venture capitalists started frothing at the mouth causing the Dot-com bubble to grow. A decade earlier, and the nerd/geek archetype was whipped out in Revenge of the Nerds with the boom of the computer industry. Now with the controversial crises in qualified geeks (the STEM crisis), there has been no short supply of sexy scientists and hackers, adorable IT professionals, and hero worship of computer industry giants like Steve Jobs. The world is filling up with Brogrammers and fetishized female gamers.

But the economy really doesn’t matter to the powers that be. What is really happening which requires such a daring attempt to make geeky so sexy?

skynet-britanico\tHE MAChIneS R WINniNG!/

Just when you thought that organic trends, paleo diets, and the health food craze meant middle-class Americans wanted to get back to mother nature, here we are now in a world of Geek Heroes vs. Geek Villains, and the distinctions between the two aren’t very clear. Whose side are you on, Bill Gates or Jeremy Hammond? Are you an on the right wing or the left wing of intellectual property law? Certainly, you’ve heard of BitCoin! What do you mean you don’t have a smart phone?

Survival books aren’t about nature at all anymore. Now, they include a primer on cyber-spying, counter-insurgency, whistle-blowing, and 10 chapters on how to potentially protect yourself from the NSA (or the neighborhood peeping cyber-Tom). With the developments in brain-to-brain technology, google glasses, creating and deleting organic memories, and an endless list of sci-fi wet dreams come true, it’s hard to deny that ‘human’ is a useful distinction (not compared with other animals, but compared with machines). I’m not so far in the camp of tech paranoids that this is causing me nightmares or anything, just enough to admit that yes… the machines are winning.

Or are they?

Mars-Attacks-mars-attacks-30461370-300-364

Take me to your leader!

The real news, folks, is that the aliens are using Hollywood to find the best leaders to save humanity from the inevitable machine take-over. Or are the machines really alien technology that are being promoted by extra terrestrials through the sexy Nerd/Geeks, as evidenced by ancient alien technology and the difficulty in imagining that this modern tech is a human invention? Maybe it’s two or more species of extra-terrestrials with different plans based on different galactic interests in the future of Earth and the human species? MAYBE THE EARTH IS AN ALIEN THAT WANTS THE MAChINES TO WIN BECAUSE HuMANS HAVE PROVEN TO BE NONREDEEMABLE FAILURES!

DOOM!

DOOM!!!!!

!!!!!DOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!

 

…Fuck it. Let’s just get going on this Mars thing and let Earth problems take a piss.

Moral Fatigue

**This was supposed to come out on an episode of Inconsiderate (audio) so it is written to be heard, not so much read**

Thanatos, the death urge. This is the morbid, subconscious fear of non-death which psychoanalysts
attribute many of our fantasies to. Culture is filled with variations of this fear: purgatory, the nowhere of the Twilight Zone or Lost, vampires, zombies, curses of eternal life. We are haunted by the non-entities from the nowhere places of non-death. And in order to ward them off, we have invented numerous devices. We’ve
reinforced coffins or have installed alarm systems should the dead rise. We’ve conducted regular ceremonies
to appease our dead relatives. We have even come to deify those who have come back from the underworld not
only unscathed, but triumphantly. And then there’s psychics, dream analysits, shamans, and priests …our
privileged soothsayers.

What is it that they want us to remember throughout the day? To be Good! So that the other world lets us
sleep. In Thus Spake Zarathustra, Nietzsche mocks moralists for their preoccupation with sleeping well and
the rituals they prescribe towards that end. And for as vague as Zarathustra can be, he’s not the only one that
has made the connections between morality, stress, internal dialogue, and sleep. Plenty of people have taken
dreams – and especially nightmares – quite seriously. Even our lauded psychiatrists recognize a symptom of
disease in restlessness and terrifying fantasies.

It’s one thing to expect from mystics and idealists that they would give dreaming such lofty ontological
significance. Anything ephemeral is going to be important in a system of thought where material reality is
driven by these spiritual forces. But even the scientist of adjustment and common good will hold your dreams
against you from a sort of corrupted ethics. From the knowledge that the anxieties which keep us awake at
night often relate to social norms we’ve internalized or figures of authority we’re coerced to obey, their
solution is often also a call to conformity. Morality …everywhere.

For them, anything is better than atheism …the moralist doesn’t want “anarchy”! If someone is missing
their Stirnerian spooks, both the office of religion and the office of health will see to it that some spook finds them again. Studies find that religion can help with all sorts of psychological disorder …it may even be the only hope for the dreaded psychopath. The message is simple: the damn crazies need some sort of authority and if it can’t be internalized as a god or a super-ego, it must be applied externally with institutional force. Someone’s gotta get their sleep…

The funny thing about all of this is that these problems are what sleep deals with to begin with. There are two dream states: REM and nREM. The most contemporary studies of what our brains are using these states for show that one state deals with solving practical problems (such as learning a new skill) while the other state deals with solving emotional problems (such as how to resolve anxiety and stress related to a relative or lover). Living up to moral principals may deal with conflicts which emerge from having already adopted those principals, but it doesn’t deal with the problem of having those moral principals in the first place. People like simple and effective rules to live by and that is fine, but there’s a lot to be said for solving problems in this world instead of creating new problems in an other world to solve. I would rather have a difficult time sleeping because I’m trying to figure out how to make my life better in this society than have a difficult time sleeping because I’m trying to figure out how to make my afterlife better in a society of phantoms. Even worse, sleep well because I’m faithful and gullible enough to believe that I have already ensured a wonderful afterlife for myself.

I’m sure that there is plenty of money to be made peddling pseudoscientific narcotics, obsessive spiritual mantras, and entertaining stage performances where I would read the cold corpse of your mama …but, sleep is for the dead.

Resistance to Coolness

[audio:http://inconsiderateaudio.anarchyplanet.org/inconsiderate/Inconsiderate2.mp3]

^Listen – http://inconsiderateaudio.anarchyplanet.org/

What does it mean to live in a world where you feel like you are driven to fucking pay someone to listen to your emotional shit and help you try and figure stuff out?

What does it mean to feel powerless against forces in your social life which consistently offer the basic message that your “baggage” is practically insufferable so the most considerate thing to do is keep your mouth shut?

What does it mean to be in conflict about the desire to respect other people’s decisions and the sentiments of outrage felt towards the way in which deep desires for acceptance, affection, and sympathy are suppressed in favor of “cool”?

 

Emo as a rebellious strand of hardcore which recognized the failures of Cool became a fucking pop-culture caricature similar to the history of Goth… but Cool had been around much longer. While the picture above may be misleading, I will quote from wikipedia (because I can):

The sum and substance of cool is a self-conscious aplomb in overall behavior, which entails a set of specific behavioral characteristics that is firmly anchored in symbology, a set of discernible bodily movementsposturesfacial expressions andvoice modulations that are acquired and take on strategic social value within the peer context.[3]

Cool was once an attitude fostered by rebels and underdogs, such as slaves, prisoners, bikers and political dissidents, etc., for whom open rebellion invited punishment, so it hid defiance behind a wall of ironic detachment, distancing itself from the source of authority rather than directly confronting it.[4]” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cool_(aesthetic)

In that quote is already enough to see how Cool is a method of flight as well as recuperation. A discipline for the Yuppy, Punk, Gangster, Anarchist, and Socialite alike. If it were only that, it would already be worth resisting. Yet here we are dancing with this rigid corpse! Tipping our hats to such a powerful force of psychological suppression!

Coolness might as well be a replacement term for Foucault’s docile bodies. It is at its best to eliminate all temptations to feel strong emotion and at its worst and most cowardly, to freeze the somatic expression of emotion: to posture statuesque. In opposition to so-called spazz , geek, dork, or in more contemporary terms anything too emo, Cool inserts into our shared social existence its shards of separation and self-absorbency. It interrupts the movement of emotive circulation, it atomizes and fuels displaced outbursts of destruction, and when it finally melts down into a cathartic experience the bonds which catharsis can produce quickly snap as the charade continues on. This is not the attitude of someone with a deep well of fulfillment (who would readily embrace the opportunity to spill over their joy into the lives of others). It’s the attitude of the individual trying to pretend like they’re not shivering in their boots.

Sure, it isn’t all of us… the Hippy wanted peace and love. They may have got the love right, but I definitely prefer the fiery rage.

Well, for those that resist Cool, I’ll offer something toasty….

If you’re not Cool, then maybe you’re fucking Hot!

;P

Interview about Cross-Dressing

meh

So I guess the community college paper is doing some article about cross-dressing and interviewing people who they think may have some insight into it? The interviewer is Mimi Wang. Anyway – it’s been a while, enjoy!

1. Why do you crossdress?

I have practical reasons and theoretical ones…

Practically, I crossdress because I have never thought that my physical features were well suited by what is often characterized as masculine fashion (in this country, for my class background, in this period of history). Crossdressing is less important to me than general aesthetic taste. I wouldn’t look bad in a well-tailored suit with a male actor’s manner of applying make-up: that’s just dandy to me. But, when I’m shopping at a thrift store I’m lucky if I can find clothing in the “men’s” section that fit or are at all appealing to my tastes. So the variety of style and the fit-to-form aspects of the “women’s” section draw me towards clothing designed for females. With the addition of make-up for both artistic expression and shock value, I’m crossdressing by most people’s standards. In my head, I’m just approaching attire from an aesthetic perspective instead of a utilitarian one or one that conforms to mainstream gender norms.

Theoretically, I totally reject contemporary notions of masculine and feminine. The ways in which gendered ideas about attire have developed are completely incoherent to me. To begin with, there is more than just two biological sexes and there isn’t a lack of cultures which have recognized this as a significant aspect of social roles, religious iconography, and attire. There are also dramatic inconsistencies when it comes to the ways in which different classes conceptualize masculinity and femininity in the West. The aristocratic concept of the masculine which was contrasted from the proletarian concept of the masculine is one example; powder, wigs, blush, extravagant outfits, more organic motions vs. overalls, jeans, various shirts (especially t-shirts), short hair, facial hair, lack of grace in motion [edit: or whatever was typical of proletarian men at the time – there’s more contemporary examples of this]. I think there’s a lot of evidence for ‘style’ in this sense being used for political purposes. This is all alongside the history of Patriarchy as well.

The contemporary differences between masculine and feminine are becoming less distinct even if there is still gender binaries dictating attire. A lot of this is also political: feminism, changing symbols of class status, changes in the manufacture of clothing, a general shift towards machismo, the hypersexualization of consumer culture. Then there’s the shifts in what is represented in the media as ideal male and female bodies; again, an organization of the masculine and feminine which moves more towards ideal representation being of physical and sexual power …with the ideal female appearing more like concepts of masculinity rooted in brute strength and the ideal male compensating the move by even more-so appearing brutish. [edit: There’s also back-lash and a lot of other stuff going on, but I wasn’t really trying to provide a total account here]

So what does it even mean to crossdress when there is so much inconsistency in the underlying concepts of gender to begin with?

2. What got you interested in crossdressing and when did you start? How have others reacted to your crossdressing?

I’ve always crossdressed. My parents ran a glamor photography studio and playing dress-up wasn’t discouraged. My sister was very intrigued with crossdressing so she had no problem encouraging me to play with clothing that would be considered feminine. What got me interested in crossdressing (or, more conscious of it) was probably the androgyny-in-denial of punk fashion [edit: sometimes in denial] and the open challenging of the gender binary by industrial and goth cultures. The reactions of my parents have been mixed but it’s really concerned them most when they consider how I’ve been treated in public or in the privacy of someone else’s homes or institutions. I’ve been in numerous street fights, fired from jobs, had the typical arrangement of drive-by insults (vocal and physical), have been banned from people’s homes, parents of lovers have often gone to great lengths to create situations for their children which put them in a struggle between winning their parent’s approval and maintaining a relationship with me. On the other hand, I’ve also been tokenized, seen as a novelty, met a lot of great people who genuinely respect my choices, admired by old counter-cultural types, and offered many creative opportunities.

3. Have you ever faced judgment or criticism for what you do? Do you have a specific experience that you would like to share?

I don’t know if I’ve faced more judgment or criticism than someone who doesn’t crossdress, in a sense. If the crossdresser is the symbol for what should not be done I just fit into a different role in the way identity is reinforced based on gender. When males [edit: and females] who don’t crossdress also don’t meet the gender performance expectations of their peers, they’re judged and criticized too. It’s the same basic social force… I just become the overt example of what is always covertly present in social life. I can definitely say I have been punished more for crossdressing than I would have been if I didn’t. As for specific experiences, I don’t want to repeat myself so I’ll just refer back to what I ended the last question’s response with.

4. Personally, why do you think that some people have a problem with crossdressing?

Sexuality. Most people I’ve talked to about it don’t care at all if crossdressing is on a stage and it is clear that the signifiers are potentially misleading. The problem almost always seems to be when someone imagines that they might wind up embarrassing themselves through sexual advances or have a generally heterosexist prejudice regardless of attire.

5. Women are typically free to wear what they want and men’s clothing are seen as being more unisex than women’s clothing (women have pantsuits, boyfriend jeans, etc). What are your views on the double standards of crossdressing?

Some of the double-standards probably have a much simpler explanation when it comes to the way females wear clothing designed for males. One of those – to be very blunt – is breasts. The most feminine outfits which are often reserved for females are specifically signifying their sexuality or conforming to traditional (rather than contemporary) femininity. Some of it is based on one of the leading ideal female bodies: thinness. So those two things already address the top half of an outfit (discounting head-wear): baby doll shirts, blouses, corset, tight jackets, spaghetti straps, etc. As for the bottom half …dresses and skirts, there’s still some background in sexuality. A long dress or skirt is conservative or traditional and the shorter they get the more the outfit is meant to lead the eye towards the sexual regions. Well, that just puts us back to a critique of Patriarchy: the female as passive sex object and the male as sexual aggressor. I’ve heard this admitted plenty of times from people who have problems with crossdressing, though in disguised terms. Saying things like, “why would he dress like that if he doesn’t want to be treated like a bitch?” or whatever sexist shit people come up with.

I mean, the point of the contemporary masculine dress code is to appear “alpha” and sometimes, to avoid any suggestion that you’re drawing attention to your features so you can attribute your sexual conquests to some interpersonal strategy …that you’re so “good with women” that it doesn’t matter how gross you look. I think that it’s less a double-standard and just more of the same old rugged individualist man objectifying women no matter what they wear.

 

[Responding to my answers, I was asked if I cross-dress on a daily basis. My answer was that I did for a number of years but for the past couple I haven’t. I didn’t really give much insight into why; but it’s because I threw out a lot of the clothing I liked when I downsized to travel, I haven’t found much when I’ve had money for clothing, I’ve been feeling pretty lazy and blocked when it comes to what I wear, and me and my hair haven’t been getting along. Not sure how much it matters how I’ve generally looked as of late since I don’t really feel like I’m violating some deep principal about presentation or anything. *shrugs*]

Here is the published article

Murder: A Guided Meditation (for inconsiderate audio)

http://inconsiderateaudio.anarchyplanet.org/2012/04/10/inconsiderate-episode-one/

Begins @ 28:40

This is a guided meditation to purify the root chakra

Close your eyes and get comfortable, it doesn’t matter how you’re sitting

We will begin shortly…

Notice your breath

The waves of universal energy flowing in through your nose

And out through your mouth

Feel the energy moving through you

Nurturing your whole body

Every muscle …every organ …every cell

You are a child of the cosmos
Let your legs relax

Your stomach and back

Your shoulders and arms

Your neck

And all of the tiney muscles in your face…
Take a few moments to just be

 

Begin to focus your divine attention on your paraneum

Imagine a white, pulsating orb of light growing in, around, and through your taint

Let it do the work of God, cleansing out all of the negative energy

Let it just fade away on its own and know that you are being watched over

By something much greater than yourself

 

We’re going to find a place now where you can experience your new self

Your higher self…

 

Let yourself be taken by this greater force into a small room

The air is still, television light flickering

Notice the person sitting next to you

Feel your empathic connection with them

They’re here to help you

Feel the layers of their being

The strong, mechanical motions of their body

The projection of their loving spirit

The stream of thoughts flowing through their consciousness…

They are talking to you

Words which seem to speak from the body

Shut off from the spirit and the consciousness

And you can’t understand what these words are

The words mean nothing to you
You can’t hear them, but they feel stupid

 

Notice your hands

They’re anxiously cradling a knife

It’s a knife you know …that feels like an old friend

And you’re staring at the idiot next to you, blathering

 

Take a moment to remember that you’re safe

The only things in the world are you
The room and the objects in it

This person next to you
And the admixture of dark and light energy

Tingling your senses

 

Now notice the layers of your being

As they begin to disappear

No more thinking

No outward cast of emotion filling the aether
Just your body… it’s itches, urges to move, vital kinetic power

And your eyes harden on the sight of the person next to you

 

Without thought

As they stare forward still talking to no one

Watch your hand gently slide the knife into the supple flesh of their neck

Feel the warm blood cooling as it washes over them

and feel their thoughts begin to swirl down and disappear

Into the excruciating pain of their spirit

While their ridiculess gestures and shrieks fill the room
Watch as the slowly die

And feel how step by step they stop existing as a person

Eventually, blending in with the other objects in the room

Cold, wet, ghastly – but just another object in the room

And notice now how alone you feel
As your throughts return to you

As you remember that you’ve been watched this entire time

 

All of the shame, guilt, discomfort, and dread you’ve ever know

It is now that it begins to spill into your awareness

Partially aware of your terrible deeds

But even more aware of your own mortality

Acutely aware of your extrordinary confusion…

You don’t know what to do now, with this thing

Should you clean it?

Should you hide it?

Do you know who it was that has been watching?

What will now happen to you?

 

Now take a few moments to be in this place

Afraid, useless, vulnerable

And when you are ready to come back

Let yourself be slowly carried away from the scene

Back into the room that you have been in this whole time

Back into your body

Your shallow, superficial thoughts

And your desires for mystical experiences

 

Take a minute to let your breathing slow down again

And then open your eyes to your mundane life
Keeping with you the empty sensation between your genetals and your asshole

Link Rattle

Links to some of the things I’ve been reading lately:

Proprioception – Continuing my research into phenomenology (sort of an ongoing thing for me)

The Alexander Technique – This has come up a number of times as something that could be beneficial for some pain shit I deal with but is more interesting to me in relation to the above.

Ecopsychology and Ecophenomenology – Not really new to me but I tend to use wikipedia as a sort of launch-pad to sprout out from when investigating something… for instance:

Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis – So maybe I’m a bit obsessed?

But just one more: Six Claims about Embodied Cognition

There’s plenty of other stuff, these are just things I had bookmarked to eventually write something on these topics – as if I have the patience or sort of academic fortitude to put together the type of essay I would like to! lol

LouiseBrooks theme byThemocracy