Posted by: Dan | August 18, 2019

On Fascism, Gender Theory, and the Vatican

  1. Introduction: Masculine Totalities

Ce qui y tombe et qui y vit c’est une sorte d’ êtres laids qui me font mal et qui viennent de je ne sais où.
~ Guillaume Apollonaire, “Dans L’Abri-Caverne.”

In the second volume of Klaus Theweleit’s Males Fantasies series—wherein he examines the devastated and devastating masculinity that came to the fore in Germany after the First World War, as Freikorps of embittered Veterans formed and roamed the Weimar Republic, while the Sturmabteilung and the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei began to take shape on the horizon—Theweleit examines the “soldier male,” who had been shattered by the betrayal that came from far behind the lines, giving birth to the loss of the war on June 28, 1919 although “the German Army was never defeated.” This male, Theweleit argues, is constantly driven to avoid the experience of fragmentation by “fusing himself into a unity” (“the troop, the Freikorps), “in which he remains on top. Only this can make him whole.” Here, a relationship of hierarchical domination is experienced, by the soldier male, as “wholeness.” The soldier male both experiences wholeness in the company of his fellows and in society divided into two parts: those above who possess power (the soldier male), and those below who are required to sacrifice (e.g., the “good woman”) or die (e.g., “the Jew”). Therefore, and this point is critical, “[t]he harmony of the whole is never harmony among its parts; it is a harmony imposed by hierarchical orderings.” Furthermore, if this (oppressive) social harmony is not maintained, if “diverse social organizations and groups split the wholeness” of the arrangement, the soldier male experiences this as a rupture within his own totality. It is existentially and very intimately unbearable.

It is hard not to think of Joseph Ratzinger, who grew up in this milieu and who joined the Hitlerjugend at the age of fourteen before briefly serving in the Luftwaffenhelfer and the German infantry, when reading this description of violent men whose fractured sense of self leads them to pursue any and all forms of violence in order to maintain an always precarious sense of wholeness, both within one’s self and within society.

Rats

Joseph Ratzinger.

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Posted by: Dan | July 30, 2019

July Reviews

Touched upon in this post: 14 Books (Phenomenology of Spirit; “Society Must be Defended”; How to Kill a City; Darkness Now Visible; Why Does He Do That?; Misogyny Re-Loaded; Feminism Seduced; Black Leopard Red Wolf; Berlin Alexanderplatz; The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust; something bright, then holes; The Latest Winter; bad animals; and Seeking Refuge): 2 Movies (The Beach Bum and Under the Silver Lake);and 2 Documentaries (If I Had Four Camels and The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl).

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Posted by: Dan | July 29, 2019

I Have Watched the Blood of a Young Black Man

I.

I have watched the blood of a young Black man fill the cracks in the sidewalk and then, viscous, not yet coagulated, overflow the curb and drain like a curtain of paint into the gutter, mixing with grit and oil and cigarette butts, down into the sewer. Later, a fire hose washed everything clean—except for the body of the young Black man which, at that time, I imagine, was lying on a tray in a fridge at the city morgue.

Later that month, a young White woman pulled up her short shorts and showed me a series of small round scars pockmarking her inner thighs. Nasty pink things, overlapping one another, too many to count all at once. She explained that her dad liked to smoke after sex. She was the ashtray. And the sex.

A few years later, I watched a client fold in on herself, a body collapsing around itself, a body no longer possessed by herself, a self no longer capable of sustaining a body, a self no longer itself, as she eventually managed to explain that she had just been raped in an alleyway one block away from where I worked. At the time that she was raped, I think I was eating potato chips in shift change and listening to a co-worker drone on and on and on and I thought maybe his drone was going to last forever. But it didn’t. Nothing does.

I don’t know how many of these stories to tell. I carry so many of them inside of me. I don’t know if I should tell any of them. Who deserves to read them? Who has the right to tell them?

A month ago, I was camping with a dear friend who was reeling from all the deaths of loved ones due to the current fentanyl-related crisis among people who use drugs (which is really a Rule of Law crisis, not a drug crisis). It seemed to me that his grief was overwhelming him, that he was barely keeping it together—and that’s when he was drunk. I’m not sure if being sober was even an option. Probably not for very long.

“You need to find a way to bury your dead,” I said to him. “You can’t carry them all around with you. Create your own rituals if the regular mourning practices don’t work for you. Find whatever works. You can’t carry them all. They’re too heavy. It’s too much. It will annihilate you.”

And, me? I’m pretty good at burying my dead. I’ve learned how to let my dead be dead. I just struggle with letting my raped be raped, my tortured be tortured, my abandoned be abandoned.

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Not every Christian is a conservative
Not every Muslim is a terrorist
Not every Wiccan is an idiot
Not every Buddhist is a pacifist
Not every Academic is a genius
Not every Atheist is a materialist
Not every Yogi is enlightened
Not every Pagan is a fascist
Not every Visionary is a schizophrenic
Not every Cop is a rapist
Not every Paranoid is wrong
Not every Introvert is your personal therapist
Not every Social Worker is fucking useless
But every C. N. Graham I’ve ever known is (fucking useless)

Posted by: Dan | July 18, 2019

June Reviews

Discussed in this post: 12 Books (Anxiety; Male Fantasies [2 Vols.]; Insurgent Supremacists; Discourse on Colonialism; The Femicide Machine; She Has Her Mother’s Laugh; I Contain Multitudes; Evolution and the Levels of Selection; A Mind Spread Out on the Ground; The Ministry of Utmost Happiness; and Grimorium Verum); 2 Movies (Together; and The Guilty); and 3 Documentaries (The Creeping Garden; Starless Dreams; and The Pass System).

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Posted by: Dan | July 17, 2019

Fourth Meditation on Love

My lovers have always taken from me
And I have always wanted to be taken from
Take from me

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Posted by: Dan | July 15, 2019

I Went Up to the Woods

I went up to the woods, or what’s left of them—little more than a copse of trees—and I brought a magnifying lens with me. A Bausch and Lomb fifteen times magnification. I looked at the mosquitos that dined on my left forearm while I sat under a tree that still remembers what life was like before colonization. There were two different species of mosquito. One with a furry round brown thorax. One with a black abdomen with silver stripes. The antennae that appeared to sprout from their ears were fractaled like TV antennae from the 1950s. Some sunk their proboscis so deep into my skin that their ommatidia were nearly touching me. Others supped with one back lag thrust up into the air, like a dog at a fire hydrant. I guessed that this leg served as an early warning system pertaining to any threats in the environment. But I don’t know. One expelled a few drops of water from its abdomen while it drank. Tiny silver balls, so small that they clung to individual hairs on my arm. Another appeared to have trouble getting what it wanted. It moved its proboscis in and out of me. In and out, in and out, now deep, now shallow, now at a slightly different angle. This tiny wound did not swell up any faster or larger or itchier than any of the others, although I thought it might. My people have been doing such a good job of indiscriminately killing everything since we came to these lands that I figured the least I can do is permit the mosquitos to suck my blood unhindered.

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Posted by: Dan | July 12, 2019

Hey Mama

Hey mama,

I looked back through the pictures I still have from when we all lived together and it’s hard to miss that you’re almost never smiling.

And, hey mama, I read a book about the ways in which angry and controlling men abuse their partners and manipulate everyone around them and I got real sad thinking about you and me and him and all of us.

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Jacques Lacan famously asserted that “to love is to give what one hasn’t got.” When I first encountered this line, I associated it with the Lacanian notion of desire and how it is related to the eternally elusive object and the ways in which we project desire onto others (even though our own subjectivity has been constituted by the desire of the Other [i.e., L’Autre, A], which is why “desire is always desire of the Other [A]” and why the Subject [S] is constantly barred by the signifier  imposed by A, leading it to be recorded as S). We attempt to objectify others–to seek a within them–but we are forever frustrated in this effort. Thus, when the subject is objectified by A, S responds lovingly to A by seeking to fulfill A’s desire, but S does not know what A actually, really, truly desires, nor is S capable of adequately being a, and so S attempts (but fails) to give A what S does not have to give. But this is not what Lacan actually asserts. I read his statement in the following way: “to love is to [attempt (but fail) to] give what one hasn’t got” but what if this is not the case? What if love actually succeeds in giving what one hasn’t got?

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Posted by: Dan | July 4, 2019

Lament #17,484

My son fell asleep hugging the doggie and, before I went to bed, I saw pictures of Brown boys in cages and one of a Brown father who drowned with his Brown child in a brown river by a brown land and, while I looked at those pictures, I read about Men In Blue who rejoiced when they saw the same things.

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