One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
- The Snow Man, Wallace Stevens
I’m so tired of hearing that this is a causal necessity. It’s not. It’s so much bigger than that.
And I’m afraid that the people I love will keep dying on the streets of Europe because of racism, misogyny, trans-, femme- and homo-phobia. Black cats have nine lives but they’re spent so fast and it gives me cramps and chest pains.
The other week, I went to an author talk with Svetlana Cârstean, Felicia Mulinari and Athena Farrokhzad. I had to go after an hour and when I came back they talked about narratives and mothers and subjectifications and racializations and treasons and psycho-analysis and the impossibility of freedom. I kind of missed the whole context and I had so many questions they didn’t have the time to answer.
I believe Athena’s a Marxist and that our views at some points diverge, even though there definitely are more of reference. Anyway, she talked about the myth of the autonomous subject and it made me laugh since I’ve been thinking so much about it.
I know a few autonomous anarchist folk who’s fled the city because of all the fucking shit that’s going on in capitalist civilizations, and I completely understand the need for a space to breathe. The thing is, they’re all socially, culturally and economically benefited, and an evasion must be seen as an act of privilege. Still, I wonder how much air there possibly could be to breathe when your roots are spread in the soil of the system.
What kind of resistance is possible in the face of given power then? It goes back to my current obsession with Foucault. “Where there is power, there is resistance, and yet, or rather consequently, this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power.”
Power and resistance are internally related terms, which means that resistance never is exerted from outside, but within. However, there are always multiple forms of power, heading in every direction and coming down to our ways of thinking, acting and feeling, as they are inscribed and remained within power networks. Thus, we’re also offered multiple ways of resistance.
Power is creative and not just repressive, because it produces knowledge. There is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time power relations. As Žižek says: there is no big Other that benefits from power. Who’s the enemy then? For Foucault, it’s a system without an author. There’s no constitutive subject behind the development. What we can do is questioning everything we’ve ever learned, and thus, we have to re-access the epistemic table.
I ultimately believe that history is there to give a sense of fullness, direction and meaning, but instead gives disruption. (And I ultimately believe that it’s from a point of privilege I can accept such a view; I’m white like snow and I’ve never been historically haunted.)
All histories are written within the context of a systematic language; an episteme or an archive. It means you can’t get out of your discursive constraints but it also means that it’s a question of memory and forgetting. In the formation or deformation of a cultural memory, the mosaic of differently situated perspectives is deeply scattered in the epistemic negotiations about what to preserve and what to throw, what to have and what to kill. And it’s not like the picture was once harmonious, because it’s always already full of conflicts.
Some bodies of experience and memory are forgotten, erased or remained hidden in the frame-works that become hegemonic after the negotiations. The subjugated voices are disregarded at the epistemic table, and so is its possibilities for resistance. Thus, what we need is the conter-memories presented by those who doesn’t fit into the offered historical narratives. It’s about listening, listening, listening.
If the human subject is indeed a product of power, resistance to power is only possible through awareness and recognition of this power. Resistance, rather than being antithetically apart, is integral to power per se. It’s not a nihilistic point of view, it just means that we have to continue every daily revolution no matter its range. Now we happen to live in a society which is not constructed for human life. We’re eaten in order to survive and we eat ourselves and we eat others. And it’s like Baudrillard’s black hole all over. The real deal is not to find a way out but a way to cope with it. That would be to burst the whole system of thought and that’s why I’m gonna shut up and read nothing but poetry today.
Edit: I forgot I’m a girl and defined by my sexuality. I guess that makes me historically haunted.
Two completely unlikely things happened to me today.
I stood on the top step of a two meters high ladder painting a roof. I dropped the brush and the ladder fell. I think I was considering dying but I jumped down, landed on my feet and caught the ladder before it hit the floor. Afterward, I had to chain smoke for half an hour.
Then a dude tried to rob me on an open street, during daytime. And so I said to life: what the fuck. And life replied by laughing me in the face. And so I said to the dude: what the fuck. And he said: money, phone. And I said: I don’t have any money and my phone wouldn’t be worth a buck even if it functioned correctly. And then he walked away.
Now I’m immortal like Catwoman.