Tuesday, May 17, 2005

emptying the contents

It's not enough to say that one has simply nothing to say, of course; there is a duty to respond. Even if no response will be enough.

"Comes in for criticism as arrogant." Actually, the attacks on it came in for criticism as arrogant. The ease with which this word, "arrogant" is uttered in this context. Almost as if it were an habitual protective, preemptive gesture, simply waiting to be deployed. But absurd when it applies to no one so much as oneself. Poor Derrida, one senses that he spent too much time around those who were constantly out to disqualify him on a technicality. Who spent their precious energies saying, and saying at length, to avoid or ward off the duty to show. And yet Derrida, unlike some, does his homework, comes equipped with faithful yet dissenting references to philosophers whose work, or rather the tone and motivation of whose work, by and large does not interest him as much as it does she who is posing the questions, after and around whose questions he has agreed to speak.

On blogging: "I am not such a jerk in person, I swear."

"Ah, but you cannot hide behind your words. They reveal things in the end—mainly your willingness to listen to yourself rather than speak simply to have done with things."

Blogging is a medium that is growing up; its perpetual adolescence will not last. And yet it seems ideally suited for precisely such an occasion.


Tonight, when we fought. And I ruined our lovely evening. (Let's be honest, something had been brewing in the shadows, around the margins, just below the surface. Somethings for you, and some for me.) Perhaps I place too great a faith, too high a trust in our relationship. Or do I simply mean in myself? (Who would ever dare say such ominous-sounding words, "too great a faith," unless they were wishing, on some level, for it to end! I do not wish for it to end, but to deepen. I swear.)

I was being insensitive. I was resentful. I was sloppy, indulgent and impatient. (These words sound easier, too easy, when I read them again.) Still, it was wrong of me to later characterize—in this documentary dance we seem to do—my actions as cruel. I was not so much intending to hurt you, or procuring some kind of perverse enjoyment from (an anticipation of) your pain, as merely annoyed, fatigued. Weak. It is this that I regret most. The moment of not caring. But I do not think it is the same as outright rudeness or meanness. Or even not caring. Indifference, might be a (watch)word (again, thinking of Sartre, if that helps). We had been discussing pleasure and pain, Bataille and de Sade too. And when I went outside to smoke, to try to clear the air!, the nihilistic pleasure of the act, the decadent masochism, caused me to feel not so much guilty as ashamed, on more levels than is ever comfortable to admit. (Shame being by definition almost debilitatingly self-reflexive, but also impossible to avoid, and perhaps even hard to do without.) I wanted to apologize, generally, without pretending to resolve anything. An unconditional apology. Needless to say, this turned out badly, at least at first, as saying so wasn't enough. It came out as insecure mumbling, I'm afraid. As self loathing and thinly disguised excuses. You were right to call my bluff (it is not just a game, no, and yet...)

My head hurts too.

So much explaining, so much talking, to get us nowhere. Or maybe it did help, a bit. I would like very much to believe so. This is sounding a bit cute again, I apologize. I do not intend to be merely cute. That would be immature (most immature!) There is of course no logical proof of pure 'trust' or pure 'faith', but some gestures must be understood as unconditional, or rather as neither conditional nor unconditional, but necessary in their inadequacy, their provisionality. Anything promising more would be unfaithful to us (to myself in you, yourself in me).

Still I can't shake the regret (is it merely pride?) that I should have remained more faithful to my indifference, to its detachment from you, from anything having to do with you. (Who were you talking to then, you ask. Probably myself, no doubt.) This is also, before my eyes, turning into something for myself. I have no idea how it will strike you, if you read it. Most likely it will scratch me rudely tomorrow morning, and I will delete it. Making far too much of some things begins to sound like just another excuse or deferral.


Zizek is a bad influence, I think. He reproduces some of the lazy tendencies of the Anglo/analytics (yes, they are lazy, which is something other than indifference—and don't tell them about the age of the post; they will go rabid. But there are no PhD's in that thread, so I'm not going to link to it.)

Blogs are a funny thing. Often they are responding to many things at once. The casual family reader or privileged white kid googling-by is rightly miffed. You have missed the conversation (but don't worry; it never ends). (What matters more, the questioning or the answers? The gesturing or the jousting? The jesters or the questers? Go ahead, scoff yourself away. There are no arguments here; I don't have anything to say.)

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