Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Analysis, or Description?

I know it may sound odd, for me, but I think I'm almost at the end of my defense of 'art': of my defense of the practice rather than the analysis of communication. I'm so sick of purblind idiots who think they say what they mean, who take it or granted that their arguments represent their politics more than their language and actions. I'm sick of liberals who cannot understand the impulse to go against one's own self interest. They ask: "what's the matter with Kansas?" when what's the matter is that "Kansas" knows that "liberals" want to have their cake and eat it too, to have a sense of freedom and moral responsibility. And Kansas is right. Do you think there's no contradiction between John Kerry's politics and his life!? Do you think he's self-aware enough even to lie about it? Bush is such a good liar he believes his own lies, but you know his father doesn't.

Intellectual liberalism want to argue that everyone is responsible and fully aware of the implications of their actions. To admit otherwise would be cynical. But politics is a cynical business. Clinton was a Democrat and a cynic, that's why he won, twice. Why the pretense that it was ever otherwise? Why the pretense that life is simple? An interviewer asked Sean Penn if he was bothered when people called him a limousine liberal.
"I am a limousine liberal."
Kerry would have won by a landslide if he'd had the guts to say that.

I've spent five days a week for the past three months sucking dust in a million dollar renovation on the upper west side. Al Franken lives in the building. I'm working with one man who's killed more than once and another, now devoutly Catholic, who used to make extra cash fighting in illegal 'ultimate' fighting competitions. He demonstrated his training technique last week by punching a concrete wall 4 or 5 times with a force that would send me half way across a room. He's going to church tonight because yesterday for the second time, and after a warning, some idiot tried to show off in a Tae Kwan Do class and went for his knee. Ricky's been banned from class for two weeks, but the idiot will never fuck with him again. Ever.

The clients are idiots. The architect's plans give overdetermined design a bad name; his assistants suck the cum out of his ass. The contractor will try to get away with anything he can, and no one gives a shit about the people who do the work. The Jamaican ex cop is "taking a hard life easy."

Yesterday as I was walking up the block towards my apartment I heard a voice behind me: "where the hell have you been!" I turned around and saw a 12 year old boy with sandy blond hair - for a moment now looking a bit sheepish- and turned back to see 5 other kids of various skin tones walking towards us, the tallest moving awkwardly on roller blades. She was wearing skin tight blue pants and a turtleneck, and a black scarf that trailed behind her like a small cape. It was wrapped tightly around her head and covered everything but her face. " The boy again:
"Where the heck have you been!"

The problem for philosophers is that descriptive as opposed to analytical language places the speaker explicitly within the action, and the goal of philosophy is to be outside of experience looking in. The fact that this removal is impossible beyond the limited sphere of the analysis of chemical and mechanical processes is deemed besides the point. [Derrida was a failed novelist] And of course I'm only admitting my partiality to the philosphical viewpoint by yelling at people for continuing to believe in what is so obviously false.

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