Derelict Space

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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.

On the Distance Between Representing and Thinking

by markdyal

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

A Song of Liberty

by ds1881

Chorus

“Let the Priests of the Raven of dawn, no longer in deadly black, with hoarse note curse the sons of joy. Nor his accepted brethren whom tyrant, he calls free, lay the bound or build the roof. Nor pale religious lechery call that virginity, that wishes but acts not! For every thing that lives is Holy.” William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

“Suck my Blood and Fuck the Truth!”

by ds1881

“Riot with whatever at your hand!” Never let an armed-to-teeth weaponry make you move! Enjoy this moment! Now! You can’t lose it! Its glory is for you! Trust your body! Your body is your life! Your body is your will! Gift it the beauty to dance to its own dreams! In its own terms! Love your body! Your warrior body! Your naked body! Get it out and let it revolt! “And then it will get you move!” That’s why we can riot! Why we can move! Why we can live! Why we can dance to our blood when it is shed… “Suck my blood and fuck that truth!” My brother told me while killed at war. “Leave me, yet live me in your next riot!” That’s how we do it! In my land. In my space. A constant RIOT.

Beirut: Most-Livable City in DS Readers Poll

by D

Reporter: Which is your favorite?

Hezbollah arms dealer: The Kalashnikov. It is the king of the streets. It was made for street fighting. It doesn’t make mistakes and ammo is cheap.

Omertà

by D

Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward.
Whoever cannot take care of themselves without that law is both.
For a wounded man shall say to his assailant,
‘If I live, I will kill you. If I die, You are forgiven.’
Such is the rule of honour. – Lamb of God

Of Raptors and Last Men

by ds1977

“There was a time – maybe with the last visit by the comet Halley – when your lamentations about the “progressive degeneration and diminution of the human to the perfect herd animal” could comfortably coincide with your continued allegiance to that very herd. “At least my instincts are free,” you said, as you carried on living with your fatherlandishness and hugging your pieces of sod. But now, as the pack of which you proclaimed yourself leader readies for the hunt, your devotion to all that we left behind renders you superfluous, and us as obscure to you as to our former bosses and border guards. Your dangerousness, it seems, was only perceptible when your contrariness and theatricality kept us from understanding just how far we could go in your absence.

But laying in ambush on the edge of an abyss has a way of clarifying just what necessitated leaving the herd behind; us in a rhododendron thicket awaiting your administration – hiding in the irony-thick air, knowing that the irony was a dessert reserved for our pleasure alone (as you’d be choking not on it but upon whatever evisceration propelled against the Earth’s gravitational pull), mindful of how much you spoke about nature but how little of it you’d actually inherited – until with your last breaths you experienced the whole of it.” Mark Dyal

One Step in the Long Road to Becoming-Docility

by ds1977

“Understanding and reason have a long history: they are instances which still make us obey when we no longer want to obey anyone. When we stop obeying God, the State, or our parents, reason appears and persuades us to continue being docile because it says to us: it is you who is giving the orders. Reason represents our slavery, and our subjection to it creates a real enslavement: I am superior because I am a rational being!” Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 92 (translation modified).

Negativity: The Power of Discontinuity From the Normalized world

by ds1844

“Under the regime of the norm, nothing is normal and everything must be normalized. What functions here is a positive paradigm of power. The norm produces all that is, insofar as the norm is itself, one says, the ens realissimum. Whatever does not belong to its mode of unveiling is not, and whatever is not cannot belong to its mode of unveiling. Under the regime of the norm, negativity is never recognized as such, but reduced to a simple default of the norm, a hole to be taken back up into the biopolitical tissue. Negativity, this power that is not supposed to exist, is quite logically abandoned to a traceless disappearance. Not without reason, since the Imaginary Party is the Outside of the world without Outside, the essential discontinuity lodged at the heart of a world rendered continuous.” Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War.