“For a while, there was a period where, when people heard someone address me as doctor, people would turn and say, ‘Oh, you’re a doctor?’ And I’d find I had to correct them: no, I’m not that kind of doctor — I don’t save lives, I ruin them.”—Professor Ricardo Ortiz
“The perverse leather bottom, unrecognized as such by the students, is instead mistaken for another historically salient figure of perversion, the Muslim other of Orientalist fame. This other is of course perversely sexualized as well: the Pakistani is recognized through, not against, his sexual excesses, as well as through Mr. Slave’s feminized gender positioning as the recipient of a spanking, and later, of being anally penetrated by a gerbil.”—
Jasbir Puar, Terrorist Assemblages
Fringe benefit of grad school: getting to read biopolitical, queer theory critiques of the Lemmiwinks episode of South Park.
“What is realized in my history is neither the past definite as what was, since it is no more, nor even the perfect as what has been in what I am, but the future anterior as what I will have been, given what I am in the process of becoming.”—
“Between a children’s progress from a heavenly world to a world that is a likeness of heaven and then to a world which is delivered and upheld by a dream of heaven, there is only the world.”—Fanny Howe, Radical Love
“Wandering between two worlds, one dead,
The other powerless to be born,
With nowhere yet to rest my head,
Like these, on earth I wait forlorn.”—Matthew Arnold, from “Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse”
“The future, as Annie’s hymn to the hope of ‘Tomorrow’ understands, is ‘always/ A day/ Away.’ Like the lovers on Keats’s Grecian urn, forever ‘near the goal’ of a union they’ll never in fact achieve, we’re held in thrall by a future continually deferred by time itself, constrained to pursue the dream of a day when today and tomorrow are one. That future is nothing but kid stuff, reborn each day to screen out the grave that gapes from within the lifeless letter, luring us into, and ensnaring us in, reality’s gossamer web.”—Lee Edelman, No Future
“An act itself is a repetition, a sedimentation, and congealment of the past which is precisely foreclosed in its act-like status. In this sense an ‘act’ is always a provisional failure of memory… the repetition of what cannot be recollected, of the irrecoverable, and is thus the haunting spectre of the subject’s deconstruction.”—
Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter
I think this is another one of those “I’m not sleeping tonight” moments.
The second [Factory Floor - Two Different Ways] is the shadow of the soundscape, the nightfall in the new world. Put this one on in the car at night, blast the shit out of it, and feel for eight minutes what it’s like to act the orgasm to the passionate coitus of an arpeggio and a cowbell.
Sorry I couldn’t get an MP3 of the Factory Floor song. But, if you click the link and go to its Soundcloud, copy the url once you’re there. Then go to offliberty.com, paste the url, and it’ll make an MP3 for you. Enjoy.
During the break in the middle of my class on Marx, someone left gift certificates on the table for us. When I left the room to go on break, I left a room wrapping up a heated discussion on the fetish of the commodity; when I returned, I found a room in bustling thrill at the prospect of saving 40% at the GAP this weekend.
M. Degas Teaches Art And Science At Durfee Intermediate School
He made a line on the blackboard, one bold stroke from right to left diagonally downward and stood back to ask, looking as always at no one in particular, “What have I done?” From the back of the room Freddie shouted, “You’ve broken a piece of chalk.” M. Degas did not smile. "What have I done?" he repeated. The most intellectual students looked down to study their desks except for Gertrude Bimmler, who raised her hand before she spoke. “M. Degas, you have created the hypotenuse of an isosceles triangle.” Degas mused. Everyone knew that Gertrude could not be incorrect. “It is possible,” Louis Warshowsky added precisely, "that you have begun to represent the roof of a barn.” I remember that it was exactly twenty minutes past eleven, and I thought at worst this would go on another forty minutes. It was early April, the snow had all but melted on the playgrounds, the elms and maples bordering the cracked walks shivered in the new winds, and I believed that before I knew it I’d be swaggering to the candy store for a Milky Way. M. Degas pursed his lips, and the room stilled until the long hand of the clock moved to twenty one as though in complicity with Gertrude, who added confidently, “You’ve begun to separate the dark from the dark.” I looked back for help, but now the trees bucked and quaked, and I knew this could go on forever.
When Sarah found the hammers, she wasn’t sure quite what to do with them. They’d been left secreted in a pile behind the water heater in the basement, spawned by some disregard both neat and negligent. There must have been dozens of them – too many, at least, for her to care to count -– but skeined together so not a single hammer was untouched by another. The pile reached high, there, on that first day when she knelt before them, reached almost to the level of her eyes. The lower layers were soaked in a slough of rust that climbed upward from the bottom, thinning with every inch it climbed, until those hammers at the top of the pile looked almost new, gleaming only flecked by freckles of burnt brown. Not so for those on the bottom: for those it was too late -– they had been consumed. She understood at once they’d been assembled here for the very purpose, the hammers lined and left, placed in a pile and set aflame in a glacial evaporation. She’d found herself witness, here, to an oxidized holocaust.
She looked away. That first day, of course, she failed – as so many fail at first, she assured herself, in the face of unspeakable tragedy. She choked back the vomit and stared to the side, only conscious that a few of the unlucky ones toward the top, feeling the fire at their feet, might still be aware of her – this onlooker, newly complicit, in their pain. She must be strong for them, she knew. She would come back. She left and went upstairs.