Thursday, April 30, 2009

“Squeeze His Balls”: An Anti-feminist Reading of ‘Daddy’

Among the chess players of highest stature who is really the evil par excellence?

If we are talking in terms of sheer destructive ability, it has to be Garry Kasparov or Robert Fischer. If we are talking in terms of creative madness, well, who will match Mikhail Tal’s sheer brilliance? If we are talking in terms of natural imagination and arrogance, it is none other than the inimitable Cuban Jose Raul Capablanca.

But I won’t say that they are not really evil. They have all killed their opponents in terrific style. Does that really make them the rightful candidate for the post of evil par excellence? I really don’t think so. They are not evil because there is something positive about their style of chess. They have all played what can be called positive chess. In that they might have destroyed their opponents. But they are angelic in their strategies as well as tactics.

But in the playing style of the Ninth World Champion, Tigran Vartanovitch Petrosian, we have what I would call the absolute evil. Why? Let me quote Wikipedia: “He was nicknamed "Iron Tigran" due to his playing style because of his almost impenetrable defence, which emphasised safety above all else….He was arguably the hardest player to beat in the history of chess.” At one time, it was thought that beating Petrosian was akin to seeing the other side of the moon, an idea that Lev Polugaevsky puts in a totally different set of words: “In those years, it was easier to win the Soviet Championship than a game against "Iron Tigran".”

What is so radically evil about a defensive player, who is really hard? I’ll explain. He was the master of prophylaxis, which Wikipedia explains in this manner: “prophylaxis," guarding or preventing beforehand) or a prophylactic move is a move that stops the opponent from taking action in a certain area for fear of some type of reprisal. Prophylactic moves are aimed at not just improving one's position, but preventing the opponent from improving his… Players who play in the prophylactic style prevent the initiation of tactical play by threatening unpleasant consequences. One of the largest advantages of this approach is that it keeps risk to a minimum while causing an overaggressive opponent to lose patience and make a mistake.”

Hence it is clearly discernable that the radical evil of Petrosian lies in his orientation of thinking. Usually, players would think about their possibilities and the possible counter strategies and tactics that the opponent may adapt to nullify one’s moves. But Petrosian would think about the other’s possibility first and then play accordingly even before the other has a sense of the chances that are in store for him. As Paul Keres remarks, "Petrosian was a player who spent more time considering his opponent’s possibilities than his own." I would maintain that there is something really sinister about a player who makes endless calculations about the other’s possibilities. The way he looked at the board…..

Petrosian does not look at the board from his side; he looks at it from the other’s side. If there ever was evil, well this is it.

Let me go back to my business, gossip. If my memory serves me right, in Yudovitch book on Kasparov (I used this book in my late teens, may be the details could go wrong), he analyzed all the five games played against each other by the greatest attacking player and the greatest defensive player in the history of chess. Kasparov was in his early twenties, in his ferocious period; Petrosian was above fifty, well past his prime, and may be unknowingly suffering from a stomach cancer that was to consume him soon. (Like Derrida, he too was deconstructed by cancer. This impeccable defender could not defend cancer!)

In all five games Kasparov played white. The first one was a draw. The second one was a Queen’s Indian defense. Petrosian played very provocatively, inviting Kasparov to go for the jugular. Kasparov did exactly what Petrosian had thought he would do. He went for an all-out attack on Petrosian’s king side which was weakened due to 12…g6. But then what Kasparov faced was the Rock of Gibraltar, an extremely tough tactical defense matching Kasparov’s ferocity. Even then, Kasparov really created a winning position. But he missed the winning continuation. If he had played, as the post-match analysis by both players shows, 35. f7 instead of the 35. Qf7+, he definitely would have won. But then from that moment onwards Kasparov was playing like a beginner. Petrosian’s patient defense made Kasparov mentally exhausted, it seems. Within a few moves, he lost the match. Their third game was the most exciting of all. This time there were even more provocations from Petrosian, after opting for the Queen’s Gambit Accepted system. To me, the most daring move was 16. 0-0-0. It takes some balls to play a move of that sort against Kasparov. No other World Champion would dare do that against him. Kasparov’s light square bishop was fianchettoed, aiming straight at c6 pawn. The c-file was half open for his rooks to operate. There were dangers of a minority attack with a2 and b2 pawns. He had enormous space on the queen side. He could mobilize all his pieces straight at Petrosian’s king. That was the moment at which Petrosian made that daring move as if he were asking Kasparov: “Boy, mobilize all your resources against my king. Go for the jugular. I will show you who I am.” Naturally, Kasparov did all he could. One would not believe the things Petrosian did because those were precisely the things in chess school we were told not to do when your king was under attack in the middle game. He pushed the pawns in front of his king! His king was literally walking on the board. He moved his king five times! And 35… Kc6, the spectacular move in that match, stole the show. One more move, and Kasparov resigned.

The first World Champion Wilhelm Steinitz stated once that king was a strong piece and that it could defend itself, an idea which is not part of the classical base of the game. Petrosian has taught us that even theories as crazy as those can be useful if you are undogmatic and have terrific tactical eyes and a sound strategic mind!

Two defeats. Kasparov had a psychological block in Petrosian. He sought the advice of Boris Spassky, the 10th World champion, who snatched the title from Petrosian in 1969. It is said that Spassky gave him an abstract advice: “Squeeze his balls.” I don’t know what Kasparov learned from Spassky’s advice. I choose to understand it in this way: “There is no point in going for an all-out attack with all the arsenals against Petrosian. He will impeccably defend and frustrate you. Instead, take hold of the most vulnerable spot and consistently apply pressure there till he succumbs.” In other words, the half-Jewish Kasparov got an inverted Catholic lesson from Spassky, an inverted Golden Rule: Do unto Petrosian as Petrosian would do to others.”

The fourth game was an opening debacle for Petrosian. Was it another attempt at provocation that he did not make timely effort to develop his queenside pieces? He opened, it seems to me, the centre too early, without necessary preparation—very unPetrosianesque! Yudovitch, in the same book, has written something of this sort: “Never in his long term as a Grand Master was Petrosian defeated in such a crushing style!” The fifth game was a nice one: Kasparov, playing in true Petrosian style, reached the middle game with a slight advantage. Like Petrosian, he worked on this advantage or, in Spassky’s langauge, “squeezed his balls” till Petrosian decided to give up the struggle after a lengthy battle.

Kasparov’s famous book is titled Life Imitates Chess. I have not got a copy of the book. But I have heard that in that book he has written that he has adopted to Petrosian’s style against Petrosian after the first two defeats. We have to imitate something from that.

There is a book by Tigress Luv titled Women Really Do Love Bastards. I have not read the book. I do not know what the author means by the term ‘bastard’ and ‘love’. If the word ‘bastard’ is used to denote ‘hyper aggressive, violent, abusing men with a proclivity toward radical evil, then I will say that her choice of word is disgusting. Those people who are born outside of patriarchal family and Victorian morality are historically known as bastards. The prize the mother and the bastard have to pay for that radical politics is terrible. Isn’t it self-defeating when hard-wired feminists, who fight family norms and morality, cling to bastard as an abusive term? The ready-made equation of bastards with radical evil or vice versa is highly objectionable. One must respect bastards.

(From Edgar in King Lear to Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights to the real Jean Genet, historical bastards have a field day in western literature. Their charm lies precisely in the rootlessness of bourgeoisie modernity. But in Malayalam films and novels, it is all about asserting the parenthood of the bastard, which is the prestigious issue. In Empty Vasudevan Nair’s boring novel, situated in the transformative period of Nair community’s transformation from matrilineal to patrilineal system, or, from sexual freedom and liberty of ‘Sambandham’ to modern bourgeoisie nuclear family and Victorian morality, Appunni’s main concern is to affirm the fact that he is the son of Kontunni Nair, a concern which was not part of Sambandham tradition and which is very much part of the modern bourgeoisie patriarchal family system. In a film titled Ente Sooryaputhriykku, we have a filmic representation of the affirmation of parentage. But in the case of Dalit women of Malayalam cinema, it is the other way round. In both Jalolsavam and Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu, the Dalit parentage of both heroines is a matter of trauma in the private sphere (as loss), not something to be affirmed in the public domain. In contrast to Kalabhavan Mani in Karumadikkuttan, where we have the question of troubled parentage of a Dalit man, it is only in Dalit woman that we find the charm of the rootlessness of bourgeoisie modernity!)

Whatever may be the case, I think that the book is a popular explication of the point found in the poem of one of the most gifted artists of the twentieth century, Sylvia Plath, namely, “Every woman adores a fascist.” Normally English teachers of Kerala, irrespective of their moral rectitude—I mean even the arch-conservative, who abound in Kerala academy—teach Daddy as poem in which figures the key Freudian theme of the ‘Electra Complex,’ a theme which, his writings make one suspicious, he was not even sure of. The reason for our conservative teachers becoming radicals in the course of teaching one poem is that that is the only interpretation that is handed down to them. My effort here is to point out the existence of another interpretation, which could help them continue with their conservative existence. They no longer have to be afraid of that disgusting thought of a daughter desiring the father and his annihilation, etc.

If you ask me if I believe in the story I produce without any material basis, well I must say I believe in it. Here I am a militant follower of early Christianity, of Saint Paul’s thesis of ‘justification by faith alone’. I believe in it not because it is true. It is true because I believe in it.

Like the ‘Electra Complex’ thesis, this is also old-fashioned, biographical criticism, I warn you. The school of silent minority, as I call them and in which I figure, believes that this poem has nothing to do with ‘Electra Complex’. Here daddy is not her biological daddy but a social daddy, whom Plath adored. Our thesis is that Plath had a girlish crush on that arrogant and brutal Nazi military leader and politician Hermann Wilhelm Goring, who was known as the ‘big daddy’ in the military circle for his ruthlessness. Once we pervert our vision in this way, every thing becomes crystal clear. The concluding line about the daddy’s death before the victim gets time to avenge becomes more forceful: Goring too did not allow his victims to take revenge upon him! After the Nuremberg trials, he was sentenced to death by hanging. But on the night before he was to be hanged, he committed suicide by gulping a potassium cyanide capsule.

Plath, the self-professed Jewish victim, was left with no one to take revenge upon. She had to create an image of the aggressor to avenge (Look at their photographs, both Goring and Hughes have some resemblance and are extremely handsome in true fascistic way). That is why she fell for a poet who was a champion of authoritarian politics and natural order in his poems. Those, who celebrate ‘earth and soil’ and ‘natural community’ as a means of liberation from capitalist tyranny, must remember that that precisely was the ideology of Nazism. This idea is maintained subtly by some of the great minds of the twentieth century, who were the unconscious supporters of fascism, from the Norwegian novelist Knut Hamsun to the admirable German philosopher, Martin Heidegger. Every nature lover is a potential Nazi.

But Plath did not realize that poetry and life were two unlike. Her tragedy, our logical position forces us to conjecture, was that in life Ted Hughes was not a violent ‘hawk,’ innocent and natural, and an adorable fascist brute, who could subdue her violence forcefully, which was at times terribly hysterical, and thus give meaning to her existence. He was even more inhuman than a fascist. He was just indifferent to her violence. He even took away from her the right to be dangerous. That made her even more violent and furious. Her violence towards him was reciprocated by indifference and a celebration of life, which was denied to Plath, a married woman with kids to look after. Finally, her violence turned inwards. The rest is history.

Hegel’s famous definition of copulation is that copulation is the “desire to see oneself in the other”. In that sense Plath’s was pure copulation. By adoring a fascist, she was trying to find in him a violence and passion that would match her violence and passion. She was looking for that in the other. That is exactly what she wanted to exorcise from her. She could not kill the other outside, so the only logical alternative was to kill the other inside. She did it most tragically.

Kasparov learned his lesson long after she had been history. Otherwise, he could have given her his lesson about squeezing the ball. Kasparov did not try to do what Plath had done, namely, trying to find in the other one’s own self. He did its exact opposite. He tried to find in his own self the other! The moment he became Petrosian and started playing like him, Petrosian’s super solid defense lost its charm and efficacy. So Plath’s correct response to Hughes’ violence would have been not the violent and hysterical outbursts (a life’s imitation of Kasparov’s all-out attacking style) but an indifference and inhumanness that could outdo Ted Hughes’. Rather than the occasional outbursts, if she had taken hold of his vulnerable spot and consistently applied pressure there, history would have been different. But then Kasparov was a bit late in human history for Plath to learn that lesson. She should have squeezed his balls.

We must practice the art of putting our money where our mouth is not. In other words, we must arrogantly stop that feminist bashing of Ted Hughes as ‘the talented killer.’ Both of his wives committed suicide in the same manner, suicide in the oven with the only difference that Assia took the life off her daughter as well. Let us concede the feminist point that he was instrumental in their death. But what if we can also assume that he was a ‘talented sufferer’? We have no privileged access to truth. We know only the popular stories. Why not entertain the other possibility as well?

So let us come to our principle point. We call an action ethical only when it stems from true indifference, when we do things not to satisfy our ego, overtly or covertly, but when we do things without conscious of the fact we do it. It is neither charity nor sacrifice. It is something we do not know because we are not conscious of it but only the other knows. That is precisely Lacan’s true formula of love: the other finds in me something that I myself do not find in me. That is why we often wonder “I don’t know why you love me.” That is why I consider pious and humble people, who do many things to satisfy God, arrogant. They do things as if they knew why God loves them and wants from them. In their superior knowledge, in their privileged access to God’s mind, they have become God-like. Only an outwardly arrogant atheist has the humility to say that I do not know why God loves me if at all God loves me because I have no privileged access to God’s mind. I cannot name it. Only God can name it.

And the moment you try to look at you, at your ethical act, from the other’s perspective, from God’s perspective, you have become Petrosian. You have become radical evil. That is why Lucifer is radical evil. He tried to picture himself in the position of God and see things from God’s perspective.

Before dismissing my thesis as a cheap lesson coming from a Hegelian-Lacanian Marxism, you must take extreme care to remember that the great conservative T. S. Eliot has also preached radical indifference in his ‘Murder in the cathedral’ as the principle moment of the ethical act. As Hegel has taught us: radical conservative and radical revolutionary have something in common. The tragedy is that in India we neither have a radical believer nor a radical revolutionary. We have only liberal left and right. And they are the same lot. Like a bourgeoisie broker in the stock market, both Prakash Karat and Mar Andrews Thazhath engage in profitable calculations in the globalized market!
Let Goebbels and Goring come and defend my thesis, I am pulling out!

Monday, April 27, 2009

തടാകത്തിൽ തെളിഞ്ഞത്‌

തളർന്ന ഷെഫാലി പുഷ്പങ്ങൾ
ഉറങ്ങിയിരിക്കുന്നു
എന്നിട്ടുമെന്തേ എനിക്കു മാത്രം
ഉറക്കം വരുന്നീലാ?

അകലെ, വളരെ ദൂരത്തിൽ
ഒരു ഷിയൂലി പുഷ്പം

ഒറ്റയ്ക്ക്‌

ആർക്കും വിട്ടു നൽകാത്ത
മൂടിപൊതിഞ്ഞ മുകിലുകളെ
എനിക്കു വിട്ടു തരൂ
ഞാനൊന്നുറങ്ങട്ടേ!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

ഓരോ യാമങ്ങളിലും

വാൾട്ടർ ബെന്യാമിനെ ഓർക്കുന്നുവോ....

തീ കൊളുത്തപ്പെട്ട
നമ്മുടെ വികാരങ്ങൾ
ഒരു പറവക്കൂട്ടത്തെപ്പോലെ
സ്ത്രീയുടെ പ്രകാശവലയത്തിൽ
ചിറകടിക്കുന്നു

ഓരോ യാമങ്ങളിലും
അരക്ഷിതമായ വികാരങ്ങൾ
ഇടതു വിരൽതുംബിലെ
അദ്രുശ്യമായ കറുപ്പിലേക്കു
സുരക്ഷ തേടുന്നു

ഉറങ്ങുന്ന സുന്ദരി
നിന്റെ നിശബ്ദ്ത
നീ ഉറങ്ങുന്ന
മുൾചെടികളിൽ
തറച്ചു നിൽക്കുന്നു

Friday, April 24, 2009

Asymmetry of Inaction

These scientists, they are driving me round the bend. The whole of mathematics, the moon, is broached by the sun, emcee of the ceremonies unfolded, the orotund tones of reality, if it carries any meaning, comes from elsewhere, the impresario walks away watched by nobody, like Hitchcock and His Cock in the movies. Consider Zeno. Not the Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism and a known homosexual, but the Zeno of Elea, the inventor of dialectical reasoning. He poses difficulties, agrees the history of two thousand and five hundred years of mathematics. Wherein lies the difficulty? One never reaches the destination, says Zeno. It’s a philosophical statement that has been dealt a thousand times by a thousand philosophers from a thousand ancient cities. Zeno differs from the others, the least dependable symbols of mathematics. Milla snatches the ball from the magical realist, Higwitta, and darts towards the Colombian goal post, the crowd, watching the amphitheatre and its gladiators, splits into two in its expression, a kind of unreality, a bewildered look, clashes with the blackened cheers, the only spectator, in the multitudinous crowd in toga, is Zeno, a stoic look. Zeno is no illusion in the crowd, the crowd is its own illusion and Milla is a running illusion.

When The Hindu announced the death of Paul Erdos, I the newspaperist and obiturist well thought of writing a poem in memory of him. The intention was there, really, but my memory failed me. The more I thought of him the more I remembered of me. This trouble could only be resolved by acknowledging my own difference from him: ‘I ain’t Paul Erdos’. Well, nobody said it before. Once I thought of myself as Gauss. My Gauss period ended with my realization that I was not Gauss and that fundamentally there was something wrong in mathematics. In my Gauss period I was addicted with finding solutions to certain mathematical riddles of high importance. I spent many nights trying to find the equation of prime numbers. My intuitive grasping of this problem centred on 2. Perhaps this was the intuitive logic: a prime number is already always flanked on either side by numbers that are divisible by 2; and hence the equation must have something to do with 2. I thought more about 2 than anything in the world. I dreamed and dreamed about 2. In fact, I fell badly in love with 2. And I fell madly in love with 22. In 22 2 is repeated 2 times. Everything that is 22 gives me intense orgasm, even Catch-22. From 22 I got much erection, but no equation. Luckily for me, my philosophical system by then had developed into such dimension and sophistication that I could do away with the luxury of mathematics altogether. Here, in this heavenly divorce lies the genius of mine, my favourite dream work.

Once as a school child he wondered at the childishness of the measuring scale. The first grand lesson of mathematics he was taught was that if n is a number in the number series then n+1 is also a number in the same sequence, which is the mathematical way of putting the idea that there is no end limit for the number series. When he studied the measuring scale carefully for the first time, he was taken aback by the falsity of the universe, milky way, solar system, earth, asia, india, kerala, thirssur, chavakkad, valappad, kazhimbrom, school and teacher; all of them were plain fuckers. In a measuring scale 10 shitless millimetres would make a centimetre and this happens in a finite distance. The trouble started when he started applying the first grand lesson of mathematics to the measuring scale. He had no problem in agreeing to the logic of the scale that 2cm is longer than 1cm. But he reasoned that there is an infinite space between 1 and 2 which cannot be spatialized on to any measuring rod. If 1.1cm is a spot on the scale it means that 1.11 is also there somewhere nearby. If 1.11 is there there is no point in denying the existence of 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.15….unto infinity, like amma’s body on the beautiful frenzy day. How could he spatialize amma onto this tiny space on earth? She was infinity, the only truth of mathematics. He was crazy like crazy and crazy than crazy. So he had no idea that his thought had profound implications. He could not come into terms with the irrationality that he found with the number system packed on the scale and the perfection of measurements carried out by the very same scale. He initially thought that there was something wrong with his reasoning. A tiny error somewhere. Where was that? Was he perfect? Or was the measurement perfect?

Poornamada; poornamida
Poornad poornamudhachyate
Poornasya Poornamadaya
Poornamevavashishyate

I asked my chromosome donor about the latent meaning of the santi mantra of isovasyopanishat. It was the evening of one fine December day of 1990. One candle was ready, capturing the infinity in its flickering flame. He took an unlit candle. He pointed to the first one and said ‘That’s perfect’. Then he lit the second candle using the flame of the first one and said ‘This is perfect’. Holding the second one he told ‘perfect has been taken from perfect’. Then came the question ‘what remains then?’ which he answered by pointing to the first one ‘perfect’. It was just plain beautiful, the demonstration, but hardly capable of convincing the intellectual curiosity of the thirteen year old, failed mathematician. I construed correctly that the demonstration was more directed at a philosophical justification of his newly found fascination for Hindu ritualism, than a rational explanation of the poem. This is typical behaviour of Indian atheist in their dying days. I thought of countering him by arguing that if that had been perfect we could have saved the monies spending on candles. That would be too heavy for him.

This is how I understood him. There is an ultimate reality, which can only be conceptualized as something that cannot be conceptualized, that is, infinity. Here the definition of infinity has an exact correspondence in the desire of Parisian intellectuals’ schizophrenic drama. Yet I am not ready to suggest that both are of the same nature, because in the scheme and design of the former atheist this infinity has a will of its own whose primary motive is its own self preservation, presentation, and reproduction, which the reproduced stuff lacks. In other words, the will cannot be reproduced, the will to power—that is, the will to preservation, presentation and reproduction. The will is the supreme possessor of the will, whereas what is reproduced is a form without any content. This is how Indian atheists, at the end of the day, when they come back to our good old friend ‘patriarchal Brahminism’ and its cunt teasing ideology, justify their former life in the fast lane.

From his scheme and design I found a way out, an altogether different possibility, a labyrinthine world. Take the will from his ugly scheme, and what we get is a model which simply preserves itself; presents itself and reproduces itself. It has no will at all. It simply is, that is, you cannot say ‘thou art that’ in the way subdued atheists say, but in the sense that ‘that is that’, that is, that is simply a that. Again, you have to make some more adjustments to penetrate farther into the depths of my system, which on that wintry night was abandoned as a crazy thought. If you take infinity from infinity infinity will remain. This can be done an infinite time. This is not an anti-Platonic battle, nor the postmodern repetition without an original copy; and repetition unto infinity. In my system too I had to tackle this problem of the original copy. But I did not do that in the way adopted by the cryptic Parisian gladiators. I have always thought that originality has nothing to do with originality than time. The flux that we associate with time derives from its incessant flow towards future. We believe that if everything is destroyed time will still continue without any stop. It has no telos to achieve. This is scientifically untrue. Yes, time has a Hegelian mission to achieve, which is its own self-destruction. Time’s ultimate aim is its own murder. Time is the ultimate suicider.

I think this is not true.

I don’t believe in the existence of time in the ordinary sense of the term, nor do I believe in the time of the relativity. Science is a distorted thing. That’s why we hear a lot of quarrels these days which go by the name of academic discussions. J. Richard Gott says, with the help of his cosmic strings of infinite length travelling past one another, one can return to the home even before one starts. The central feature of these strings is the time-space distortion that they produce due to their heavy mass which ultimately enables one to travel faster than light. And here I do agree with Stephen Hawking who challenges the idea by stating that the very act of looping around the strings would cause an energy build up, which makes it impossible for the traveller to break the shackles of time. I stand for your time for the time being to systematically shatter your myths of time. The trouble with western science is that it still cannot accept that it has nothing to do with science as science is understood. It is just a myth found in an industrial society. Some myths are much more effective than others. In a post industrial society the myth that goes by the name science is most effective. But don’t try to be clever, imaging it to be the antipode of myth.

Science differs from myth in that it has the courage to say that universe does really exist for man. A slight shift in perception will help even the most positivists of all scientists to be poets.

Poets, there is a life after death, after the sublime slaughter in the desert.

Universe really does exist, if science proves if there was/is any universe, for the dead, because it is only with death that one understands the true, if again science proves if one understood/understands, dimension of time of the universe, and I can understand the true nature of science since I am, by definition, one who shares a platform with the dead, the whole mystery of death is packed in time, time is death, death is time, a hyper logic, a metastases, a malignant tumour is really all time.

Let’s start from the beginning.

XXX lies on his back, facing the malar of the sun. XXX sends a gobble of spit straight to the sun at time -1. It goes in the direction of the sun for a minute. Time 0. It stops; the vigour of earth’s pull is so much to resist. It returns, straight down. It splashes across XXX-face. A fine symbol is made at time +1. We have made the film. Now we can run it backwards. The fragmented spittle recoups into a gob. The ball move upwards at time +1; the sun is the goal. But the same dilemma at time 0. Newton created this trouble. It travels fast; it goes into the spread lips at time -1. It disappears in the cavity. Everything is fine.

Suppose time has a beginning, and indeed it has. If indeed it has is our basic premise then it is that it must be at time 0. Where does that spit come from in our film’s motions, forward as well as backward? There are two negatives and two positives. How? It must be admitted in the beginning that the time existed before time came into existence is a negative time. Or rather anti-time. And the time that runs backwards is also a negative creature. Then we have the time that runs forward with a positive being. We have the spittle at time +1. It comes from the space between the sky and the mouth. We see it from time 0 only. We do not know what happened before time 0 precisely because it is the domain of god. Before time originated there was simply anti-time where god liked to tread. Now let me modify my earlier proposition. Anti-time is no negative time. The model I presented a little while ago is a misleading one. Since the spittle does not come from the atmosphere. What is more important, the entire operation can only take place after the inception of time. So we have just a negative, the time that runs backwards. People cannot imagine beyond a point in commonsense. So we can stick on to the model without changing the nature of our initial proposition. So the point is -1 is in anti-time or beyond time or whatever you like. 0 is the beginning. +1 is a moment after its inception. Now by the classical simplistic mechanical world of Newton says that every moment can chart its history and future. Of course, it was Newton’s discredit that he introduced the concept of linear time. Absolute one. Our World is not Newton World. There is consensus. No one cares about what happens in the anti-time. Suppose it happened in the same way I presented. Is it the perfect example of history repeating itself? First as farce and then as tragedy. They say that it is not their concern. The rest is their concern. That is not my concern. Let me focus here. What if it happened in the way I deliberated? And suppose there was a negative time in the anti-time. I mean the time of shrinkage.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ineluctable Modality of the Visible*

Hegel is often accused of being the inimitable culprit who has brought into philosophy a non-existing universe of the subject and object, of domination and submission. The difficulty that we find in Hegel is not exactly a problem of philosophy as it is practiced. It is a problem of thought, human thought precisely. And the true formula to end the problems that thought generates is to end thought itself. Hegel himself, if we finished Hegel’s sexual identity for ever, makes a move in philosophy, with an arrow directed at the pure surface. But then Hegel, when it is a question of non-identical tropes and pure difference, as in Gilles Delueze, has always been perceived as a tyrant who actively ruled over his pariahs. Well, why do we need a Hegel to answer the questions that are not his? This question must be addressed in its pure urgency: Hegel cannot actively fight his contemporary enemies because he has become a pure being.

Hegel in three pure beings, precisely.

One, death of Hegel. Even God had to die. So, in Hegel, the tragedy that God faces is that God must know in advance that God will die. Hegel’s point is brilliant: after God’s death, world may happen or may not, that’s the problem of the world, not God’s. So death as the full-unfolding, or the Absolute, or Hegel the pure being, the reason behind his death. Two, Hegel, as pure Being, in the hands of his contemporary acolytes. That Hegel is not so is an excuse, not philosophy. When Hegel becomes a software, he must be formulated in hypertext language which could be copied from one brain to the other. Three, the pure being that Hegel made by his philosophical enemies of all persuasions. They too have the same trouble that the card-carrying Hegelians face, but their fate is that of a mad virus, brilliantly coded, that is created to kill the Hegel software. Hegel is mad enough to evoke the idea that madness is a brilliantly coded rational system.

We should, then, learn something from the scientist Konrad Lorenz. In his beautiful book “King Solomon’s Ring” in a beautiful chapter entitled “Laughing at Animals” he candidly admits: “It is seldom that I laugh at animals, and when I do, I usually find out afterwards that it was at myself, at the human being whom the animal has portrayed in a more or less pitiless caricature, that I have laughed.” People familiar with Hegel would notice that Hegel has made a similar kind of statement: “True evil lies not in the object perceived as evil but in the innocent eyes that perceive evil all around”. But a few lines later Lorenz poses a startling question, which could be thought in a different way: “Can you imagine what it is like when a fish, a real and unmistakable vertebrate fish, first of all sits on a perch, like a canary, then turns its head towards you like a higher terrestrial animal, like anything but a fish, and then, to crown all, fixes you with a binocular stare?” This is real kickass comedy. But Lorenz is sharp enough to point out that it is the observer who plays the comical part in such an imaginary situation.
Now, Jacques Lacan read his Lorenz well. Like Lorenz he knows very well that things were looking at him. And like in Lorenz in Lacan too the ‘binocular stare’ has to be interpreted. It is a question of interpretation, not a correct interpretation but just an interpretation. But Lacan complicates things too far. The difficulty that Lacan brings in is that for Lacan the binocular stare of the fish behaving like a higher terrestrial animal is not imaginary. It is real. The point is emphatically hammered home by Lacan, when, after quoting the Gospel, Lacan says that people have eyes that they do not see that things are looking at them. Therein lies Lacan’s fundamental difference from Lorenz’s. For Lorenz, every funny gesture that animals produce is funny because it is our funny gesture. But for Lacan, we are not even aware that things are looking at us, leave alone the question of it being comical or serious. Then who else does know that things are looking at us? Not the participant. But the participant observer. The difference is clear if we go through that chapter of “Anti-Oedipus”, where Deleuze and Guttauri abundantly laugh at Freud, Lacan and other participant-observers. Lacan’s answer to such laughter would have been: “Okay, you have saved Wolfman from us. But he is still trapped in yet another hermeneutics. And that’s what my whole point is. You cannot save Wolfman from hermeneutics even if you leave him in forest.”

The scopic field that Lacan has in mind has two components: the look and gaze. When I look at an object, the object, without my knowledge, gazes at me. At a personal level, Lacan experienced it. While on a fishing expedition as a medical student with his friends, who were illiterate fishermen, Lacan was told by one of them that the bottle of sardine that was then floating in the sea did not see him. All of them laughed. But Lacan did not find that joke so amusing. It was rather insulting. In fact, most of the underdogs and marginalized of the society, on a day-to-day basis, have to undergo such humiliating experience. In this case, one could console, there was a tinge of admiration for the extremely learned intruder. It was his superior learning that made him different and hence invisible in the eyes of the bottle.

The difficult question: how did the fisherman know that the bottle of sardine did not see Lacan?

*Joyce, James."Ulysses." Delhi: Jainco Publishers. p. 37.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Book of Job

Seven days like a pariah
Most untouchable from death even
Full of boils and a lost piece of pottery

Like a lizard, the surface was all he got
A refusal to be the object of trade
Between God and Satan

The religion of huckstering went awry
Neither a Sabbath Jew nor an everyday Jew
Neither a criminal nor a sacrificial animal

Like a lizard he stuck to the surface
Even God a passive shadow of the atheist
God confessed his own non-existence

Only in hatred!
Yes in hatred only one can prove to the other
The depth of one’s love!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nostalgia for the Void

In the mazed chaos
We lost our way

The here and now
Was too heavy
With its trenches
Cages, grills
Walls, paths
And above all
With innocence

But you were a dream
Of ferocious intensity
Amid boring reality

Pure
Like a dew drop
On mountain-top

In Defense of Atheism: A Hegelian Reminder

In his “Brothers Karamazov”, Dostoevsky, the only truly gifted Human Lucifer after the Angel Lucifer, wrote in an anti-Satanic tone, which calls into question his relentless skeptic mind: “IF GOD DOESN’T EXIST, THEN EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED.” That is, if there is no prohibition (thou shall not do that) or there is no fear of god, everything is permissible.

One must excuse Dostoevsky for his disgusting insight. He wrote at the height of the imperial arrogance of the old European nationalisms. The godless European modernity, in the robe of nationalism, was spreading all over the world. In this confused state of the chaotic spread of nihilism, he is perfectly justified in defending the Eastern Christianity (or the spiritual) from the Judaic Christianity of the west (the material) by evoking the figure of the god.

The moral: One should not fuck one’s neighbor’s wife, because god will punish you.

Years later, Lacan, the only truly gifted Machine Lucifer after the Human Lucifer and Angel Lucifer, added a negative to the second part of the formulation of Dostoevsky: “IF GOD DOESN’T EXIST, THEN NOTHING IS PERMITTED.” That is, if there is no prohibition, nothing is enjoyable.

One must adore Lacan for his disgusting insight. He wrote after the end of two horrific wars, and many concentration camps, and at the height of cold war of the two Orwellian 1984 systems. In these perfectly administered societies of the liberal west and the communist Russia, the only pleasure one hopes to have is from violations of the established codes.

The moral: If you want pleasure from fucking, one should fuck one’s neighbor’s husband, because fucking one’s husband is not pleasure but a duty administered by the society.

Years later, I, the Non-Existent Lucifer after the Machine Lucifer, the Human Lucifer and the Angel Lucifer, is adding a negative to the first part of the formulation of Dostoevsky: “IF GOD EXIST, THEN EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED.” That is, if there is prohibition, everything is possible.

One must dump me for my disgusting insight. I am writing at the height of the evil dance of the most tyrannical of all systems known as liberal democracy and the equally evil dances of various god-fearing religious fanatics from Hindu, Islamic, Judaic, Christian and Buddhist camps. People are ready to kill, loot, and rape other people because they do it for a sacred cause, in defense of their supreme God.

The moral: Believe in the supremacy of your god and fuck brutally your neighbor’s wife in the name of the very same god, god will reward you.

This is where atheism, long after Shelley, plays a significant role. Atheists have no sacred cause, because they have no god. Hence they cannot kill, loot or rape other people in the name of a sacred cause. And if they do these things, they have to take responsibility for their action. They cannot hide under the cover-up of a sacred cause. So atheists are really a miserable lot. If you have observed world politics, you will see that in the contemporary era, the only people in the world who search for peaceful solutions to world dilemmas are the atheists. The god-fearing Hindus want to bomb Pakistan. The god-fearing Jews want to bomb Palestine. The god-fearing WASPs want to bomb the rest of America. The god-fearing Arabs want to bomb Israel and the west.

ALL OF THEM TOGETHRE WANT TO BOMB THE ATHEISTS.

My point is not that the atrocities are committed by people who are committed believers, but these atrocities are committed and justified in the name of god, religion and nation.

So the question remains: how can we turn committed believers into atheists so that no one is left in the world to defend atrocities in the name of god, religion and nation?

Deleuze’s greatest philosophical insight consists in the fact that it was he who first recognized that there are not only good and bad answers but PROBLEMS themselves are good and bad. Those who are familiar with Kant’s notion of ‘the antinomies of pure reason’ will understand that there is no point in asking the question “Does God exist?” and trying to prove to the believer that God doesn’t exist. That is a question that cannot be comprehended within the realm of reason, says Kant. So, Delueze would say, that when it is a question of questioning belief “Does God exist?” is a bad question.

The good question to confront believers’ belief is: “Why do you really need a god?” “To defend your acts of atrocities to others in God’s name?” “Or to get good grades in school?” etc. Now the believer will be forced to confess his or egoistic investment in belief. Doubt will soon dwell in their mind. They are already half-atheists.

Now, there are pure believers who will submit to the God for the sake of submission and not for any egoistic concerns. But they are not different from atheists. Are not atheists precisely those people who submit to a non-god for the sake of submission, without any egoistic concerns?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Human Guinea Pig

Age 37
She was in good health
Height 12000
Cabin pressurized like the camp
Minutes 4
Sweat and shaken head
Minutes 5
Cramps unlike menstrual cramps
Minutes 6-10
Accelerated breathing and loss of consciousness
Minutes 10-30
Three breaths a minute

And then……….
It stopped.
Skin cyanotic
Foam around lips

The night had the tenderness to remain still.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Destiny of a Joke

There are situations when the only truly “practical” thing to do is to resist the temptation to engage immediately and to “wait and see” by means of a patient, critical analysis. Engagement seems to exert its pressure on us from all directions. In a well-known passage from his “Existentialism and Humanism”, Sartre deployed the dilemma of a young man in Franz in 1942, torn between the duty to help his lone, ill mother and the duty to enter the Resistance and fight the Germans; Sartre’s point is, of course, that there is no a priori answer to this dilemma. The young man needs to make a decision grounded only in his own abyssal freedom and assume full responsibility for it. An obscene third way out of the dilemma would have been to advise the young man to tell his mother that he will join the Resistance, and to tell his Resistance friends that he will take care of his mother, while, in reality, withdrawing to a secluded place and studying...

There is more than cheap cynicism in this advice. It brings into mind a well-known Soviet joke about Lenin. Under socialism, Lenin’s advice to young people, his answer to what they should do, was “Learn, learn, and learn.” This was evoked at all times and displayed on all school walls. The joke goes: Marx, Engels, and Lenin are asked whether they would prefer to have a wife or mistress. As expected, Marx, rather conservative in private matters, answers, “A Wife!” while Engels, more of a bon vivant, opts for a mistress. To everyone’s surprise, Lenin says, “I’d like to have both.” Why? Is there a hidden stripe of decadent jouisseur behind this austere revolutionary image? No- he explains: “So that I can tell my wife that I am going to my mistress, and my mistress that I have to be with my wife…” “And then, what do you do?” “I go to a solitary place to learn, learn, and learn!”

Is this not exactly what Lenin did after the catastrophe of 1914? He withdrew to a lonely place in Switzerland, where he “learned, learned, and learned,” reading Hegel’s logic. And this is what we should do today when we find ourselves bombarded with mediatic images of violence. We need to “learn, learn, and learn” what causes this violence.
(Zizek, Slavoj. “Violence: Six Sideways Reflections”. New York: Picador, 2008. p 7-8)

Tamar: Two Stories With a Single Name

In the beginning….(1)
It was pre-filmic reality
Onan, the patriarch of coitus interrupts,
Made a brilliant pop-shot
The semen was all over the place
Except in her pussy
Her womb cried like rain
A prostitute was born
Judah, unlike his son, did not waste his seed:
Right into her pussy
And she, too, made history

Years later….(2)
Tamar’s brother wanted her body
That was a small step by Amnon
But a leap for the history of rape
‘Arise, be gone’, he said while panting
For now his hatred exceeded his love
With ashes on her head
She cried and cried
Till the other brother consoled her
He settled the score
And the rest is history

1. (Genesis 38)
2. (2 Samuel 13)

റുബായി

"ഞാൻ മുട്ടു കുത്താൻ വന്നപ്പോൽ നീ വാതിൽ അടച്ചു കളഞ്ഞു."

എന്നിലുള്ള വൈരുധ്യങ്ങൾ, സംഘർഷങ്ങൾ, സ്കിറ്റ്സോഫ്രേനിക്‌ തീവ്രതകൾ, ബ്രൗണിയൻ ചലനങ്ങൾ, ഇവയെല്ലാം തന്നെയാണു ഞാൻ നിന്നിലും കാണുന്നതു. നീ അതൊന്നും അറിയുന്നില്ല എന്നു മാത്രം. നിന്നെ വേറെ ഒരാളായി കാണുന്നതിന്റെ വിഡ്ഢിത്തം നിനക്കും ഈ ലോകത്തിനും എന്റെ നിശബദതയ്ക്കു വെളിപെടുത്തി കൊടുക്കുവാൻ കഴിയുന്നില്ലല്ലോ!

നിന്റെ നഗ്നത നിന്നെ പൊതിയുകയാണു
ഒരു വാളിന്റെ മൂർച്ചയിൽ
പൊടിയുന്ന രക്തം
എനിക്കു വേണ്ടതു നിന്റെ മൃദു മസ്രുണതയല്ല
ആഴത്തില്ലുള്ള എന്തോ ഒന്ന്
സ്പന്ദിക്കുന്ന ഒരു ശബ്ദം
ഒരു പശ്ചാതല വികിരണം
ഒരിക്കലും നിലക്കാത്തത്‌
എതു നദിയും തലോടുവാൻ വെംബുന്ന
മാർബിൾ മുലകൾ ലേഖനം ചെയ്യുകയെന്നാൽ
സുതാര്യതയെ അതാര്യമാക്കുകയാണു
ഉള്ളിലേക്കു നോക്കുന്ന നിന്റെ കണ്ണുകൾക്കു
അന്ധത ബാധിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു
എന്റെ കണ്ണുകളെപോലെ
എനിക്കറിയണം നിന്നെ
ഒരു വാളായി!




"ഏകാന്തത ദുഷ്കരമായിരുന്നു."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Absent Color

Death is the moment of siesta
When the eve drops climb up the sierra.
I need your kisses badly.
I still love the things that once were gold:
The flowers, colorful and odorous,
Lonely walk in the misty field,
The sun between the two peaks,
The milky moon.

I still write poetry
And nothing happens; customary glance.
Where is that leonine poise?
In the repository we read countless names
Unknown by our childish knowledge.
The photograph was not there,
Nor the piercing cries.

Either faces and no face
Or faces without names.