Derelict Space

Silence is Only Violence if Put to Good Use

by markdyal

Yesterday’s school consisted of Titus and I reading and discussing the killing of Hector. The scene has really cool interactions between Athena and Apollo, the two most antagonistic deities in the Homeric world, as they each seek to confuse, and make vulnerable, the other’s hero. The most striking thing I noticed, though, is how their actions served to animate a system of values.

We see Agenor, a basically-anonymous Trojan who takes it upon himself to man the gates, allowing the retreating soldiers to enter the city. But the responsibility puts him at risk of being killed by Achilles. He ponders his options, until Apollo gives him courage to stand firm, and to disdain a “coward’s death.” We see Achilles tricked and mocked by Apollo, and then bolstered by Athena, and a similar situation befall Hector, as Athena tricks him into revealing himself, sealing both his and the Trojans’ fate, and Apollo giving him the resolve to face his death heroically.

Athena and Apollo both provide various forms of strength, courage, tenacity, defiance, and affirmation: the very instinctual and behavioral properties of the hero.

Nowhere in the scene, nor in Homer in general, are the gods the purveyors of truth, justice, life, or fate.

Instead they are the founts of the heroic traits, in effect they embody these traits (anthropomorphically) and dole a breath of themselves into the heroes they most admire. All the traits and behaviors coalesce in glory – and this is what the gods give.

But the bigger point is how this relates to the mortals who created these gods. Imagine valuing courage and strength, and rage and love, and tenacity and defiance so much that you gave them a divine source; and not only that but added them up to equal glory, and then made glory the highest possible human attainment.

It’s no coincidence that the progressive de-godding of our species (poly-mono-a) coincides with a de-heroing as well. From values such as strength, courage, tenacity, defiance, and affirmation we are now given meekness, fear, cunning, submission, and negation. Where once we had mystery we have truth. Where once we had active revenge we now have abstract justice. Where once we had chaos and pleasure we now have the plan of an all-knowing god. Where once we could die heroically now all death is to be feared (pride goeth …). Where once we could only act godlike (by in fact acting heroically human) we now get the gift of eternity (by acting slavishly human). Where once we were the glorious now all the glory goes to god.

It’s not that our modern lives are empty – far from it – but that they are lived in abject poverty. Our potentials are now expressed in an anti-heroic environment that serves the instincts and needs of the low and base. The distance between the hero and the slave is the same as the distance between the noble and base. We are not empty but full of ignoble values. Our highest ideals were once the lowliest. Beauty was once for the few, now it is only beautiful if available for all, as cheaply as possible.

I’m used to having to beat this point to death, but you fine initiates have already seen the distance between values and how they animate forms of life. You have seen what heroism and glory mean to a warrior versus what they mean to a slave.

Merry Christmas 2018

by markdyal

“An organism is nothing if not the solution to a problem …”  – Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, pg. 211.

Uniting the Left and the Right

by markdyal

“When you feel yourselves aroused at your best by your wonderful ideal, do you not instinctively dream of holding a gun in your hands? Doesn’t any one of you feel himself to be a soldier in a battle that is approaching? Can you really be sure that your offspring will not one day condemn you for having raised them by ignoring, by scorning, the greatest of all aesthetics, that of frenzied battalions armed to the teeth? I am telling you that war, any war at all, is made with guns, and that our enemies are at the gates, that every kind of zeal is needed, that all forms of heroism compel us in these hours of immense psychological upheaval, in our desperate wait for war. We are all unsettled and maybe even fearful cowards. We have to convert the great hatred we have accrued into a great love, into great heroism. If rivers of blood run healthily through this dumbfounded, anemic world, we shall be the first Archangels of Health.” F.T. Marinetti, “Our Common Enemies”

This Man Uses Ammo Boxes as Bookends

by markdyal

A Life Beyond the Pale

Higher-Ed Jobs Classified Ad

by markdyal

Expert on domestic terrorism seeks a milieu – an Event! – that would lead to the possibility of being employed as such.

National Liberation

by markdyal

“Make up your minds, it’s one or the other.” CrimethInc. Contradictionary

On the Distance Between Representing and Thinking

by markdyal

“A little bit of order goes a long way.” – Gilles Deleuze

On the Distance Between Dogs and Wolves

by markdyal

“A dash of civility goes a long way.” — Max

Nothing Lasts Forever

by markdyal

“In March 1789 a subject of Louis XVI would have been highly skeptical if someone had spoken to him of revolution, assuming that he even understood what was at issue. He would have agreed that the situation was worrying, the the State coffers were empty, that debt interest was smoking up half of the money coming in, that 2 percent of the population owned the vast majority of the wealth, and that those privileged ones paid virtually nothing in taxes. He would have sighed at such inequality and oppression. But the throne – once sat upon by Clovis, Saint Louis, Henry IV, and Louis XIV – probably seemed to him more everlasting than the market economy does to people today.” Eric Hazan, First Measures of the Coming Insurrection, pg. 28

The Confusion of Rearing and Taming, Part Two

by markdyal

Rearing, as I understand it, is a means of husbanding the enormous powers of humanity in such a way that whole generations may build upon the foundations laid by their progenitors – not only outwardly but inwardly, organically, developing from the already existing stem to grow stronger

But there is an exceptional danger in believing that mankind as a whole is developing and growing stronger if individuals are seen to grow more feeble and more equally mediocre. Humanity – mankind – is an abstract thing … — The Will to Power, Book II, A Criticism of Morality, 398.