Friday, April 23, 2010

Fish Catching the Angler

1. Where everything is bad, it must be worse to know the worst.

2. Terribly, in genuflection, the disassembled organs get merged, evoking a sense of unity between the thing and the eye. The merging superimposes an alien vision on the body.

3. Where vision is a programmatic myth in the phylogenetic axis, the silence over naming the substance is hopelessly gloomy, this is not that, this is not that, ad infinitum, or better still, this is not that till one goes back to the safety of the mother’s womb.

4. Did I say ‘the safety of the mother’s womb’? That’s a bad formulation. The fetus is bare life and womb is politics encapsulated in miniature space.

5. Did the victims move beyond the walls of the gas chambers when they were poisoned?

6. Are the gas chambers real or figments? Either you are in the gas chamber or you are not. Both prove the same thing: gas chambers never existed.

7. If you are lost in a forest, avoid the sound of the river for the river in the forest will invariably take you to civilization. Get perished in the divine violence.

8. “Being speaks Greek”, says Martin Heidegger. Yes, but what was the cost? Was the poet able to pay in flesh with his suicide? Did language tear him apart? Or did he tear language apart?

9. In Buddha and His Dhamma, Ambedkar, in a language that is most elegant and poetic, escapes into philosophical cul-de-sac. Arguably the greatest twentieth century Indian philosopher, he recognized the symptom that Marx was but, paradoxically, the pragmatic political theorist made the Buddha a symptom that he himself fought in Marx.

10. Long before he was made the most celebrated and handsome icon of the protesting youth all over the world, and just before he was tragically killed in the Andean foothills of Bolivia, Che Guevara said: “I would rather be an illiterate Indio than a North American billionaire.” Certainly a North American billionaire he was not, but is he not in the elegant pages of The Motor Cycle Diaries a North American cowboy on motor back, leaving his beloved to Otero Silva’s poem? How else should one read this breathtaking passage of the revolutionary comrade? “The first commandment for every good explorer is: An expedition has two points, the point of departure and the point of arrival. If your intention is to make the second theoretical point coincide with the actual point of arrival, don’t think about the means – because the journey is a virtual space that finishes when it finishes, and there are as many means as there are different ways of “finishing.” That is to say, the means are endless.”

11. Three axes: Ken Kessey, the wonderful novelist, Milos Forman, the film maker who split styles into Czech and American, Jack Nicholson, the actor par excellence. And there is subtle silence and discrepancy, a no point. Years later, in his congratulatory message to Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez reminded that Bolivians had to wait 500 years until they were finally able to have an Aymara Indian as President. One could not even decide which is the most violent of all gestures.

12. In marriage, both man and woman make love to the same thing: man’s image of man. In prostitution, both man and woman make love to the same thing: man’s image of woman. That is why in marital sex man is duty-bound and in sexwork woman is duty-bound.

13. A sex worker has an essential advantage over the husband: she knows better than the s(i/e)x pack that pleasure in a fully reified world is a personal matter, not a community affair. That is why only a sex worker could chew betel leaf and enjoy the taste of it completely forgetting the client’s synchronized struggle between her thighs.

14. In liberal democracies, one is only responsible for one’s own pleasure. One can never have a claim on other’s pleasure. There other’s pleasure is other’s responsibility.

15. Knowledge happens where ‘I’ happens not to be.

16. When your sister cuts you off in desperation at the sterility of masculine theory, it shows that knowledge has gone wireless.

17. “Why only widow stories in Malayalam? Why no widower stories?” An activist feminist asks. One must dissect the question patiently and ruthlessly and, at the risk of being named a senseless misogynist, answer: history has always been written by the triumphant camp!

18. Widow stories, contrary to folk wisdom, are not tear-jerkers but subtle psychological thrillers, where revenge is enacted on the dead hubby’s ego (the impotency of which the wife concealed from him throughout his life) by the benevolent and subtle wife, who has the last laugh at the expense of other living husbands.

19. It is a pity of the contemporary Indian politics that both the Prime Minister and Home Minister understand only one language: the neo-classical orthodoxy of economism sprinkled at times with Keynesian homosexual discharge. Hence we are forced to remind them in the language that they understand: “Their anti-Maoist rhetoric has gone off the gold standard!”

20. It is not that marriage is an institution through which man reproduces human existence. On the contrary, man is an institution through which marriage reproduces its own existence.

21. In both his remarkable novels, The Reader and Homecoming, the German writer Bernhard Schlink seems to forget himself in childhood journeys. The tram in the former novel and the train in the latter do the same thing: they evoke in the child’s mind a sense of independence and at the same time keep away from the child a more powerful vision, namely, both the tram and the train run on pre-meditated rails.

22. The admirably beautiful work of the Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman, The Conscience of a Liberal, is not conscious of the larger world. Like a true American, he thinks that the world is composed of three immutable stuffs: the US, FDR and the New Deal.

23. I have found some similarity between the life of Paul Morphy and Fermat! They were lawyers!

24. One finds it impossible to prove that one is one. This is how we would love to tackle Bertrand Russell’s arrogance.

25. When the prophet Hosea learned that his wife, Gomer, was whoring after other men, he did not abandon her as per the custom. Instead, he made Yahweh a jilted husband!

26. One of the most powerful parts of The Koran reads:
He is Allah alone!
Allah the Eternal
He begets not and is not begotten!
Nor is there like unto Him anyone!

Now let me quote Hegel: “In Mohammedanism the limited principle of the Jews is expanded into universality and thereby overcome. Here, God is no longer, as with the Asiatics, contemplated as existent in immediately sensuous mode but is apprehended as the one infinite sublime Power beyond all the multiplicity of the world. Mohammedanism is, therefore, in the strictest sense of the world, the religion of sublimity.”

I am more Hegelian than Hegel himself. Like Nietzsche, I cry in wilderness: “Menschliches, Allzumenschliches.”

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Thousand Plateaus of Delueze

The tree is filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the verb “to be,” but the fabric of rhizome is the conjunction “and…and…and” This conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb “to be.” Where are you going? Where are you coming from? What are you heading for? These are totally useless questions.
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari,
A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

Gilles Deleuze, arguably the most evasive of the twentieth century European philosophers, has nonetheless enormous impact upon a variety of discourses which, from a conservative paradigm, are not the happy hunting ground of philosophy. His works, in their efforts to break loose from the prison house of conventional thinking, foray into mind-boggling turfs of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, biochemistry, cinema, psychoanalysis and literature. He is one of the few philosophers in the world who could, within the space of a book, easily move through the insights of as diverse figures as Henry Bergson, Jacques Monod, Gilbert Simondon, Ilya Prigogine, Ludwig Boltzman, Franz Kafka and Sigmund Freud. The intensity of his thought was such that it provoked a fellow Parisian, Michel Foucault, an intellectual who in his own right overturned our ways of seeing, to make an astonishing speculation that at a later stage in technological human history twentieth century might be known as Deluezian. It was Delueze who, more than anybody else in twentieth century philosophy, enacted a downright libidinal revolution in the tiny space of philosophy and freed it from its illusory anchorage in the metaphysics of truth. In his earlier works, under the ruse of engaging the works of his holy trinity, Spinoza, Bergson and Nietzsche, he had already made a nomadic movement diametrically different and away from the classical philosophy’s esoteric and baffling leap into the transcendent world of God, Man, Truth, Presence, etc. And his later day collaboration with the revolutionary activist, Felix Guattari, inflated his allergy to the pristine world of presence to the entire texture of social reality itself. Now there was this ‘thought’ about the virtual worlds of machines, rhizomes, assemblages, transversal connections, kisses devoid of Hegelian desire, lines of flight, molecular revolutions, hand floating over the flat of a stomach without an ‘I’ and ‘you’ to mediate between them, and…and…and.