Words I expect many people (including me) find difficult to digest and take at face value. Not because these people aren’t the first two, or don’t strive for the last, but..well why actually? Maybe because they’re considered naive. Maybe because people suspect some double agenda. Maybe because of a post post post-something-or-other belief that it is not possible to be sincere, enthusiastic? Maybe because people think sincerity and enthusiasm must necessarily exclude irony?
In any case, they are my three new poetic pillars. No, just kidding. But I do find it sad that there is so much ressentiment, envy, anger, and so on, saturating comment boxes everywhere. What point is there in writing poetry, or obtuse theory about how the world could be a better place, if you’re going to be a belligerent, coarse, rude, *sshole in your interaction with real-life people?
Case in point: Graham Harman started a new blog (which, oh, he appears to have just deleted?) a few months ago, posting at ridiculous, super-human frequency, and bringing new impetus and energy to the realm of continental philosophy, speculative realism blog people. His language is clear. His tone is noticeably open, candid, sincere, enthusiastic. He makes an effort to help aspiring academicians with advice posts on how to write, how to deal with academia etc.
However, (besides stimulating new discussion among his internet-wandering peers) a second reaction to his style and sudden blogging presence was one that at first surprised me – but shouldn’t have because that’s just the way things are (is that realistic or cynical?) – is that he started receiving mails and comments from flamers calling him hypocritical, pretentious, pathetic, high-falluting, etc.
I like what Graham Harman says about still being gullibly surprised at things that happen every day. Just because you have read a lot of books and written a lot of books (not that I have) and know more about so and so someone or something than anyone else (or than anyone else cares to) is no reason to stop looking around, showing interest, enjoying the immensity of any (from practical consideration insignificant) moment.
There is a way to be subversive without being mean. And how very adult it is to be serious and only rational, reserved, dismissive. New walls are constantly being put up, in thought, in speech, outside in the real world. As Brian Massumi concludes his book on Deleuze/Guattari (which I’m citing here not so much for its direct pertinence, but because I remember finding it moving):
We must embrace our collectivity…We are in this together, and the only way out is together, into a supermolecularity where no quasicause can follow: a collective ethics beyond good and evil. But most of all, beyond greed.
The equilibrium of the physical environment must be reestablished, so that cultures may go on living and learn to live more intensely, at a state far from equilibrium. Depletion must end, that we may devote ourselves to our true destiny: dissipation.
If this sounds vague, it is. It is one body’s desire for a future it cannot envision, for the very good reason that in that future there would be no place for it – having finally become what it cannot be.