guardian:


There is a toxic question that surrounds abused women: “why didn’t she just leave him?”
The answer, too often, is that many women that do leave get killed.
“The thing that I did not know that was so revealing to me was that anywhere between 50% and 75% of domestic violence homicides happen at the point of separation or after [the victim] has already left [her abuser],” says Cynthia Hill, director of HBO’s Private Violence.
“When I met Kit Gruelle, she would always point out: ‘Estranged husband. Ex-husband. Ex-boyfriend. Estranged boyfriend.’ It was always that she had tried to leave. She had done exactly what we think they’re supposed to do and she dies. And her children die.”

Read more »

There often seems to be something like a dialectical fear that if we start really asking this question, “why does he abuse her?”, if we try to take the position of the abusive male to understand this “why?”, the whole identity of feminism, as negation of ‘abusive maleness’, might dissolve into nothingness. This is resisted and we see what we have in the article, a displacement of “why” with a “how,” a discussion of “the toolbox”—how the mise-en-scène of abuse operates, operated by the ‘abusive man’ upon the ‘victim of abuse’.

guardian:

There is a toxic question that surrounds abused women: “why didn’t she just leave him?”

The answer, too often, is that many women that do leave get killed.

“The thing that I did not know that was so revealing to me was that anywhere between 50% and 75% of domestic violence homicides happen at the point of separation or after [the victim] has already left [her abuser],” says Cynthia Hill, director of HBO’s Private Violence.

“When I met Kit Gruelle, she would always point out: ‘Estranged husband. Ex-husband. Ex-boyfriend. Estranged boyfriend.’ It was always that she had tried to leave. She had done exactly what we think they’re supposed to do and she dies. And her children die.”

Read more »

There often seems to be something like a dialectical fear that if we start really asking this question, “why does he abuse her?”, if we try to take the position of the abusive male to understand this “why?”, the whole identity of feminism, as negation of ‘abusive maleness’, might dissolve into nothingness. This is resisted and we see what we have in the article, a displacement of “why” with a “how,” a discussion of “the toolbox”—how the mise-en-scène of abuse operates, operated by the ‘abusive man’ upon the ‘victim of abuse’.


Yet hence arises a grave mischief. The sacredness which attaches to the act of creation—the act of thought—is transferred to the record. The poet chanting was felt to be a divine man: henceforth the chant is divine also. The writer was a just and wise spirit: henceforth it is settled the book is perfect. As love of the hero corrupts into worship of his statue, instantly the book becomes noxious: the guide is a tyrant. The sluggish and perverted mind of the multitude, slow to open to the incursions of reason, having once so opened, having once received this book, stands upon it and makes an outcry if it is disparaged. Colleges are built on it. Books are written on it by thinkers, not by man thinking; by men of talent—that is, who start wrong; who set out from accepted dogmas, not from their own sight of principles. Meek young men grow up in libraries believing it their duty to accept the views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books.
 Hence, instead of man thinking, we have the bookworm. Hence, the book-learned class who value books as such; not as related to nature and the human constitution, but as making a sort of third estate with the world and the soul. Hence, the restorers of readings—the emendators, the bibliomaniacs of all degrees.


air and light and time and space

"–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the
way
but now
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light.
for the first time in my life I’m going to have
a place and the time to
create.”

no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
or
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
welfare,
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
away,
you’re going to create blind
crippled
demented,
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.

baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses
for.

—Charles Bukowski


Of course, you know our constitution has given more attention for our farmers, therefore we couldn’t have displaced a single person from his own farm. Because, if you displace the people, the investments could not be sustained; for sustainable investment you should take care of the local people. You should take care of the local environment. You should take care of everything, the events, the cultural events in that area. This is the program of this country. This is a modern marketing system for Africa, not for Ethiopia.

Esayas Kebede, Director of Ethiopian Agricultural Investments Agency, Ministery of Agriculture

This is a modern marketing system for Africa, not for Ethiopia.


Another important choice for the subject in the process of subjectivization involves the dilemma between le pere ou pire—the father or worse. Here too, in the end, we have no choice. To refuse the father in an attempt to maintain a relation with the maternal Thing means a loss of enjoyment, insofar as immersion in that impossible relation can only mean the annihilation of the subject. This is a choice between the law of the Father, castration, and the unlimited, menacing jouissance of the mother — psychosis.

Renata Salecl, Choice and the Ultimate Incurable (via sinthematica)

And here we have the domination of compulsion and doubt such as we meet with in the mental life of obsessional neurotics. The doubt corresponds to the patient’s internal perception of his own indecision, which, in consequence of the inhibition of his love by his hatred, takes possession of him in the face of every intended action. The doubt is in reality a doubt of his own love—which ought to be the most certain thing in his whole mind; and it becomes diffused over everything else, and is especially apt to become displaced on to what is most insignificant and trivial. A man who doubts his own love may, or rather must, doubt every lesser thing.

Sigmund Freud, Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis (aka. “The Rat Man”)

Instead of engaging differences, the liberal arrangement produces dominance in the name of neutrality. Under such conditions, any move towards actual neutrality will feel fundamentally unfair to those whose positions of cultural privilege and dominance have never been marked as such. That is, certain social attributes and identity markers—such as maleness, heterosexuality, whiteness, or Christianness—are so taken for granted and naturalized in the United States that they function as the very measure of the human. In practice, this means that the special treatment and extraordinary access to power enjoyed by some citizens are not seen as exceptions to fair play, but as fairness itself. Thus, constant conflict is maintained, rather than ended, by a system that officially values neutrality but actually enforces hierarchy.

Love the Sin:  Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance by Janet Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini (via socio-logic)

The other conflict, that between love and hatred, strikes us more strangely. We know that incipient love is often perceived as hatred, and that love, if it is denied satisfaction, may easily be partly converted into hatred, and poets tell us that in the more tempestuous stages of love the two opposed feelings may subsist side by side for a while as though in rivalry with each other. But the chronic co-existence of love and hatred, both directed towards the same person and both of the highest degree of intensity, cannot fail to astonish us. We should have expected that the passionate love would long ago have conquered the hatred or been devoured by it. And in fact such a protracted survival of two opposites is only possible under quite peculiar psychological conditions and with the co-operation of the state of affairs in the unconscious. The love has not succeeded in extinguishing the hatred but only in driving it down into the unconscious; and in the unconscious the hatred, safe from the danger of being destroyed by the operations of consciousness, is able to persist and even to grow. In such circumstances the conscious love attains as a rule, by way of reaction, an especially high degree of intensity, so as to be strong enough for the perpetual task of keeping its opponent under repression. The necessary condition for the occurrence of such a strange state of affairs in a person’s erotic life appears to be that at a very early age, somewhere in the prehistoric period of his infancy, the two opposites should have been split apart and one of them, usually the hatred, have been repressed.

Sigmund Freud, Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis (aka. “The Rat Man”)

The first of these two conflicts corresponds to the normal vacillation between male and female which characterizes every one’s choice of a love-object. It is first brought to the child’s notice by the time-honoured question: ‘Which do you love most, Daddy or Mummy?’ and it accompanies him through his whole life, whatever may be the relative intensity of his feelings to the two sexes or whatever may be the sexual aim upon which he finally becomes fixed. But normally this opposition soon loses the character of a hard- and-fast contradiction, of an inexorable ‘either-or’. Room is found for satisfying the unequal demands of both sides, although even in a normal person the higher estimation of one sex is always thrown into relief by a depreciation of the other.

Sigmund Freud, Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis (aka. “The Rat Man”)

The gaze sees itself, the gaze surprises me; reduces me to shame.
This..gaze is not a seen gaze but a gaze imagined by me in the field of the Other. The presence of others as such reduces [one to a mere] voyeur.

[On becoming in a sense a voyeur every time one sees the other as a surface covering a mystery. Even when the other is indifferent towards me, it becomes the Other, simply by being a presence into which I imagine the gaze, that is not to say that the other is gazing in the sense of looking at me, but that its looking at me creates the presence of the gaze. - Andre Vantino] - Jacques Lacan (via alterities)

The concept of the disimagination machine signals a new and powerful moment in how authority depoliticizes, privatizes and infantilizes Americans. It narrows the expanding circle of moral conscience, undercuts the radical imagination and imposes on society the regressive morality of neoliberalism. The machinery of disimagination does not constitute a new form of social control that relies on colonizing subjectivity through the use of education in various sites to shape the identities, desires, values, modes of identification and subjectivities of Americans in the interest of social control as much as it suggests more intensive and reconfigured attempts, aided by the new digital technologies, to generate a culture of mass forgetfulness, obedience and conformity.

Henry Giroux, The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine (via culturite)

The meaning of this inconsistent and vacillating behavior can be most easily grasped if it is regarded in the light of a hypothesis which I shall now proceed to mention. I did not hesitate to assume that the truth was not that the patient still had an open mind upon this subject, but that he had two separate and contradictory convictions upon it. His oscillation between these two views quite obviously depended upon his momentary attitude towards his obsessional disorder. As soon as he had got the better of one of these obsessions, he used to smile in a superior way at his own credulity, and no events occurred that were calculated to shake his firmness; but the moment he came under the sway of another obsession which had not been cleared up—or, what amounts to the same thing, of a resistance—the strangest coincidences would happen to support him in his credulous belief.
[…]
There can be no doubt that the patient felt a need for finding experiences of this kind to act as props for his superstition, and that it was for that reason that he occupied himself so much with the inexplicable coincidences of everyday life with which we are all familiar, and helped out their shortcomings with unconscious activity of his own. I have come across similar need in many other obsessional patients and have suspected its presence in many more besides. It seems to me easily explicable in view of the psychological characteristics of the obsessional neurosis. In this disorder,.., repression is effected not by means of amnesia but by severance of causal connections brought about by withdrawal of affect. These repressed connections appear to persist in some kind of shadowy form (which I have elsewhere compared to an entoptic perception), and they are thus transferred, by a process of projection, into the external world, where they bear witness to what has been effaced from consciousness.

Sigmund Freud, Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis (aka. “The Rat Man”)

Another mental need, which is also shared by obsessional neurotics .. is the need for uncertainty in their life, or for doubt. An inquiry into this characteristic leads deep into the investigation of instinct. The creation of uncertainty is one of the methods employed by the neurosis for drawing the patient away from reality and isolating him from the world—which is among the objects of every psychoneurotic disorder. Again, it is only too obvious what efforts are made by patients themselves in order to be able to avoid certainty and remain in doubt. Some of them, indeed, give a vivid expression to this tendency in a dislike of—clock and watches (for they at least make the time of day certain), and in the unconscious artifices which they employ in order to render these doubt-removing instruments innocuous. Our present patient had developed a peculiar talent for avoiding a knowledge of any facts which would have helped him in deciding his conflict. […]
 The predilection felt by obsessional neurotics for uncertainty and doubt leads them to turn their thoughts by preference to thsoe subjects upon which all mankind are uncertain and upon which our knowledge and judgements must necessarily remain open to doubt. The chief subjects of this kind are paternity, length of life, life after death, and memory—in the last of which we are all in the habit of believing, without having the slightest guarantee of its trustworthiness.

Sigmund Freud, Notes Upon a Case of Obsessional Neurosis (aka. “The Rat Man”)

For Deleuze and Guattari the “minor” and “becoming-minority” does not refer to minority groups as described in ordinary language. Minority groups are defined by identities and are thus molar configurations belonging to the majoritarian State Machine. Deleuze and Guattari’s central example here is Kafka. Kafka finds himself at home among neither the Prague Jews nor the dominant German and Austria-Hungarian power structure. For him a “people is missing” and his literature sets out to summon that people. Nonetheless, there is a connection between what are ordinarily referred to as “minorities” and Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of the minor and becoming-minor. If becoming-minor often occurs in the context of what are ordinarily called minority groups, then this is because, Deleuze and Guattari argue, becoming-minor is catalyzed by existence in cramped social spaces. The key point not to be missed is that becoming-minor is not related to molar identities, nor is it a politics that seeks representation or recognition of such identities (though Deleuze and Guattari stress that these are worthwhile political ambitions).