Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"I'm Fine, Thanks"

Are you?

I am. But I might not be.

I'm still wrapped up in the issue of symbolic order and the way it effects my relationships. I want to talk to people. Yet I find that I can only speak to people in certain situations.

I can't speak to people at bus stops. That is an uncomfortable symbolic space for all of us, one that doesn't support conversation.

But at my jobs, in an economic symbolic space, it is very easy to make small talk, to have fun banter. There is a definite symbolic space that supports small talk. But only until that definite symbolic space has been achieved can we engage in these supposedly superfluous interactions.

Ohhhh. I'm too tired to write about this right now.

But there are a few things I'd like to return to.

One is the issue of 'regard'. How we implicitly give someone a degree of humanity through our interactions. We can treat a cashier as a mere cashier, or we can recognize them as a real ass person who is merely working in an attempt to sustain the rest of their life.

The other is the issue of gender in symbolic space. Because if I'm at a bus stop and I talk to a girl I feel like she will immediately be worried about whether I'm hitting on her or not. So, because the symbolic order of the bus stop is so uncertain, we immediately defer to another symbolic order, that of gender and sexuality.

I won't change the title of this post.

When I first began this post I had all kinds of ideas about people who come in to my stores. I say hey how are you. They say "I'm fine, thanks." I want them to say more. I want them to ask me how I am. Because I might break the script. I might tell them I'm great or terrible or confused or the worst or the best or beautiful or furious. I might just break the fucking script.

But the answer "I'm fine, thanks" caps off the script. There is no going further, they might as well say. This is it. We have engaged in our economically defined script. This is it, though.

Symbolic order, mindfulness, conversation, expression, spontaneity. Buzz words? Maybe.

Shit I'm serious about? Definitely.

Is there a metaphor beyond explosiveness? One appropriate for this moment?

Probably not.

My emotions are volatile. And I'm excited to be interrogating my relationship to symbolic orders.

And interestingly, unfortunately, I keep returning to economic symbolic order.

Work structures my life.


  1. Hello Patersons above me, just stopping by to say I really dig this blog post.