Monday, March 7, 2011

Sobering Up Part IV

I'm working on the outline for Part IV. This whole time it has been sitting at the bottom of the page, looking all hyperbolic and silly, looking like it needs serious revising. But I didn't know what to do with it. It was full of silly militaristic metaphors that I had grown tired of.

I was tossing around terms like insurrection and battle like they really meant something. But the truth is they didn't mean a whole lot. They wanted to mean something, they wanted to signify struggle, but they just fall flat.

I don't know if you have ever taken a look at my Society's Implicit War essays (produced between July and August 2010), but I went off hard with militaristic metaphors. I was using those words left and right, analyzing this, analyzing that, going off. But that is no longer satisfying me. It is frustrating me. The SIW essays were based on Foucault's Discipline & Punish. I took his key terms as a given and decided to draw out their implications. Foucault endorses a very broad definition of power and politics, to the point that society itself becomes a war of sorts, and that our minds themselves become a battleground. This is what I was exploring in those essays. Where does peace end and war begin? What constitutes a political action? What would it mean to wage an insurrection of knowledge against the institutions? These are Foucault's ideas, his language.

But I've grown tired of it. I don't think it adequately captures the reality of what politics is, of what war and insurrection is.

So what I'm trying to do with Part IV is to avoid the use of militaristic metaphors that I had initially planned. Instead, I'm trying to turn it into a more sober inquiry into the relationship between politics, violence, war, culture, and art. I think there are serious questions to be asked about all of those things.

But the analysis cannot hinge on the notion of cultural or intellectual 'insurrection'. The idea is now falling flat in my mind, not making the cut.

So that is where I'm at in the project right now. It has been a while since I've written any of it, mainly because I've just been staring at the outline wondering what to do with it. It is coming together slowly.

I also know that I haven't been blogging much in general. But thats okay. Finishing Part III was a big deal that shook up my understanding of where I was at in my reading and writing. So I'm not committed to any large piece of reading right now, and I'm waiting on writing. Waiting is a fine thing to do. Over and out.

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