“It is remarkable that, little as men are able to exist in isolation, they should nevertheless feel as a heavy burden the sacrifices which civilization expects of them in order to make communal life possible. Thus civilization has to be defended against the individual, and its regulations, institutions and commands are directed to that task. They aim not only at effecting a certain distribution of wealth but at maintaining that distribution.” —Sigmund Freud, “The Future of an Illusion”
“The prejudice that thought is independent of reality is itself shaped by social reality.” —
Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right
“We have left land and taken to our ship! We have burned our bridges - more, we have burned our land behind us! Now, little ship, take care! The ocean lies all around you; true, it is not always roaring, and sometimes it lies there as if it were silken and golden, and a gentle favorable dream. But there will be times when you will know that it is infinite and that there is nothing more terrible than infinity….” —Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Gay Science” (via watercolournights)
“To use language well, says the voice of literacy, cherish its classic form. Do not choose the offbeat at the cost of clarity. Obscurity is an imposition on the reader. True, but beware when you cross railroad tracks for one train may hide another train. Clarity is a means of subjection, a quality both of official, taught language and of correct writing, two old mates of power: together they flow, together they flower, vertically, to impose an order. Let us not forget that writers who advocate the instrumentality of language are often those who cannot or choose not to see the suchness of things—a language as language—and therefore, continue to preach conformity to the norms of well-behaved writing: principles of composition, style, genre, correction, and improvement. To write ‘clearly,’ one must incessantly prune, eliminate, forbid, purge, purify; in other words, practice what may be called an ‘ablution of language.’” —Trinh T. Minh-Ha (via seasonsonearth)
“Multitude, solitude: identical terms, and interchangeable by the active and fertile poet. The man who is unable to people his solitude is equally unable to be alone in a bustling crowd.” —Charles Baudelaire, from “Crowds” in Paris Spleen, trans. Louise Varese (via proustitute)
Conversations with My Boss
- Him: I'm on the bus, can you look something up for me?
- Me: Can't. I'm in the bathtub.
- Him: ...
- Me: I'm wearing a bathing suit.
- Him: Why are you wearing a bathing suit in the bathtub?
- Me: I'm not really, I just don't want you to think I'm naked.
- Him: I see.
- Me: It's wool and it does down to my knees. I'm also wearing a headscarf.
- Him: ...
- Me: I don't think this is working.
“If we were to respond to injury by claiming we had a “right” not to be so treated, we would be treating the other’s love as an entitlement rather than a gift. Being a gift, it carries the insuperable quality of gratuitousness.” —Judith Butler, Giving An Account of Oneself, p. 102. (via movementsandmoments)
“Every habit makes our hand more witty and our wit less handy.” —Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book Three, Aphorism 247
“It may be that friendship is nourished on observation and conversation, but love is born from and nourished on silent interpretation. The beloved appears as a sign, a ‘soul’; the beloved expresses a possible world unknown to us, implying, enveloping, imprisoning a world that must be deciphered, that is, interpreted. What is involved, here, is a plurality of worlds; the pluralism of love does not concern only the multiplicity of loved beings, but the multiplicity of souls or worlds in each of them. To love is to try to explicate, to develop these unknown worlds that remain enveloped within the beloved.” —Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (via proustitute)
“It is not an exaggeration to say that being a teenager in late capitalist Britain is now close to being reclassified as a sickness. This pathologization already forecloses any possibility of politicization. By privatizing these problems—treating them as if they were caused only be chemical imbalances in the individual’s neurology and/or by their family background—any question of social systemic causation is ruled out….Ask students to read for more than a couple of sentences and many—and these are A-level students mind you—will protest that they *can’t do it*. The most frequent complaint teachers hear is that *it’s boring*. It is not so much the content of the written material that is at issue here; it is the act of reading itself that is deemed to be ‘boring’. What we are facing here is not just time-honored teenage torpor, but the mismatch between a post-literate ‘New Flesh’ that is ‘too wired to concentrate’ and the confining, concentrational logics of decaying disciplinary systems. To be bored simply means to be removed from the communicative sensation-stimulus matrix of texting, YouTube and fast food; to be denied, for a moment, the constant flow of sugary gratification on demand. Some students want Nietzsche in the same way that they want a hamburger; they fail to grasp—and the logic of the consumer system encourages this misapprehension—that the indigestibility, the difficulty *is* Nietzsche….If, then, something like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a pathology, it is a pathology of late capitalism—a consequence of being wired into the entertainment-control circuits of hypermediated consumer culture. Similarly, what is called dyslexia may in many cases amount to a *post-lexia*….Teachers are now put under intolerable pressure to mediate between the post-literate subjectivity of the late capitalist consumer and the demands of the disciplinary regime (to pass examinations, etc). This is one way in which education, far from being in some ivory tower safely inured from the ‘real world’, is the engine room of the reproduction of social reality, directly confronting the inconsistencies of the capitalist social field.” —Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (2009)