Bumpkins13's blog

thoughts from part 1

Well, Zizek has managed to fry my brain in ways that only G&D, and possibly Huyssen, have fried it. I like to think of myself as the everyman, capable of understand pretty much everything that is thrown my way. However, I feel lost, dazed, and confused by these past couple of readings. The lack of a coherent point or flow has driven me mad. One page will talk about capitalism, then skip to phalluses and anal, and then decide to jump to anti-Semitism and ideologies.

rhizomes and such

Deleuze and Guattari seem to have this nasty habit of introducing words they create or place new meaning on, but do not ever explain, or explain after the fact. He introduces assemblage, machines, and body without organs in the first five pages. I had to stop reading, read the anti-Oedipus, and then come back to have an idea of what machines and a body without organs are. Its impossible to comprehend their writing without know the meaning of these terms, yet they never adequately explain them.

fun with Oedipus

The definition of a machine has changed, or at least been altered, by D&G by the end of the anti-oedipus. "A machine may be defined as a system of interruptions or breaks". (36) The machine becomes slightly more clarified through this description; it is no longer "everything" but something. It reverts back to the idea of production and through production the creation of something that will again produce, hence a flow which can be interrupted. I still don't see this explaining anything about the world as we know it, but at least they clarified their own creation.

machines, production, and schizos o my

Well that was a very interesting last hour and 1/2. I think I experienced everything there ever is to experience in a reading for an upper level college course. In Capitalism and Schizophrenia, I got my fair of shits and fucks. An explanation of machines ("Everything is a machine")(2) and a little more than I ever wanted to know about a certain judge...

Sex: A power play?


The majority of the second half of the History of Sexuality, when not discussing sexuality and alliance, deals with the relationship between power and sex. While I think the two can be mutually exclusive - you can have sex without a struggle and you can have power without sex - Foucault seems to intertwine them to the point where there is relatively no difference. By the end of his introduction to sex, power=sex. "Sex is without any norm or intrinsic rule...

hidden in plain sight

Foucault raises the interesting paradox that faces our society: sex as something that is secret and taboo, yet discussed everywhere with everyone. We are a "prude" people that talk about sex in order to make it more prude. Society has managed to "hide sex in plain sight" -see where I got my title from :) .

The all powerful medium: TV

Nothing of any of this in the "TV" image, which suggests nothing, which mesmerizes, which itself is nothing but a screen, not even that: a miniaturized terminal that, in fact, is immediately located in your head -- you are the screen, and the TV watches you -- it transistorizes all the neurons and passes through like a magnetic tape -- a tape, not an image. (51)

Baudrillard: Balance and Neutrality

In "The Orbital and the Nuclear", Baudrillard introduces the concept of balance and neutralization. However, "balance and neutrality" are not balanced and neutral; they seem to be more of a conscious effort to negate the eminent threat of something more. In the context of the atomic bombs potential threat as a deterrent to its use, Baudrillard claims "deterrence itself is the neutral, implosive violence of metastable systems or systems in involution." (32) Neutrality masks the inherent instability of wielding an unbelievable amount of physical power.

the feminist identity

There were two points that struck me kinda hard, both on page 159 of the Haraway reading:

1. Feminism practice is the construction of this form of consciousness; that is, the self-knowledge of a self-who-is-not.

2a. To be constituted by another's desire is not the same thing as to be alienated in the violent separation of the labourer from his product.

2b. ... Feminists' consciousness of the non-existence of women, except as products of men's desires.

Critiques, Emancipation, and the postmodern

Let me start of by saying that the name Benhabib is by the far the most fun last name to say in your head. Now on to more relevant endeavors.

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