Bumpkins13's blog

christmas with Edelman

Edelman did an interesting critique of some very prominent films, but the critique of Scrooge and A Christmas Carol takes the cake for me. I don't know if Dickens was attempting to say anything that Edelman reads into, except for the idea that children are the key to the future. Honestly, I don't know enough about Dickens to know if he was attempting to depict salvation of the death drive through A Christmas Carol, but the setting does not seem right and it looks like by adding his critique unto it Edelman attempts to blur the line between "reality" and reality.

postmodern museum?


I don't quite know what the "New Museum" is, but it makes a reference to rhizomes on the front page, so I figured it most be postmodern. Its a new building in New York and I was just wondering if anyone else had heard anything about it.

jouissance and death

Jouissance, as Edelman explains, is a movement beyond pleasure and pain, "a voyage beyond identity, meaning, and law." (25) This got me to thinking that what exactly lays beyond "identity, meaning, and law?" I came to the same answer Edelman did one paragraph later, which is the obvious theme of at least the first chapter, death.

"Political Theology"

I didn't quite understand how a "masterpiece" could be written on "Political Theology" until I re-read "Political Theology" a couple of times and realized "Political Theology" is not political theory. (See how I repeated political theology a bunch there so you could see the difference ;) )(I feel like thats a very postmodern joke the, "See what I did there" when its obvious what you just did. Its a very self referential type joke, a joke that knows its a joke and is therefore funny.

The Constitution as Sovereign

The sovereign is an idea that really hasn't been covered up to this point in our adventure through postmodernism; the original source of power, I feel, has been neglected for the end product of that power, namely structures and institutions within society that have come to manipulate it for their own ends and purposes. These institutions and structures I speak of are things such as the media, MNCs, and political institutions, yet none of these things are sovereign in and of themselves; they all derive their power from something else whether it be money or some idea of power.

Ambivalence & Melancholy

I have always been kind of skeptical of psychoanalysis in general and Freudian analysis specifically, but a couple of statements seemed to ring true to me in the reading.

The Unholy Triad

The unholy triad of the subject's existence, according to Butler: the relation of the law to one's conscience to one's guilt. The subject, or the individual, is placed within society with these three forces acting upon his/her every move. "Social existence, existence as subject, can be purchased only through guilty embrace of the law, where guilt guarantees the intervention of the law and, hence, the continuation of the subject's existence." (112) We rely on the power of the law to solidify our existence within society.

butler: desire, subject, and motivation

The first section of the reading, which for my purposes will be the intro through chapter 2, deals extensively with the Subject and his relation to the social and to his subjection. The idea of a person as subject connotes a very negative meaning which springs from the definition of subjection that was laid out at the beginning of the intro. Combined with the ideas of bondage, being a subject awakens thoughts of slavery, servitude, and meaninglessness. However, the subject, especially in the context of The Psychic Life, has a much higher status, and if not status at least role.

more thoughts on zizek

The last third of Zizek's exercise in thought is full of examples and jokes. These little anecdotes explain his thoughts will and are followed by a close analysis that illuminates their deeper meaning. However, we don't have a basis for the analysis as we did not read Lacan, who I take to be some sort of psychoanalyst in the vein of Freud. The anecdotes, therefore, seem to be touching upon something profound, but I only understood the surface value of these lessons. I actually enjoyed reading the anecdotes as they were a happy reprieve from the Lacan vector field/graph creation of Zizek.

thoughts from part 2

Thinking about my last post, I realized how ridiculous a laugh track is. Zizek glosses over it with that quote I provided last time; the laugh track basically serves as way for us to realize something is funny and react to it without actually having to react. That is the ridiculous part; the ridiculous part of the laugh track is how far out of touch from reality it is. TV shows are there to mimic reality to the point where we can identify with the characters to the point where we escape reality for 22 minutes. However, there is no laugh track in reality.

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