S M O K I N G

Favourite Smoking Venue

  • Clubs and Concerts

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Pubs and Hotels

    Votes: 4 50.0%
  • Restaurants

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Workplace/Classroom

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Modes of Public/Private Transport

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Home

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • In Secret - Hard Drugs More 'Sociable'

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8

gek-opel

entered apprentice
Gek

I don't think there's anything wrong with desire - I believe we have natural desires that become perverted. We have a sense of lack because we are out of touch with ourselves. I think smoking often results from this by the way, as do a lot of things.

I also don't think that everything is contingent - that's part of the capitalist/democratic fundamentalist belief that there is no other way.
Everything is absolutely contingent! We need to move on from the human all together!

Um, yes, I would agree however that Consumer-capital (obviously) takes metabolic desire and transfers it into a system of ever expanding horizons of desire and identity... (because of the consumerist double-bind: Everyone must be an individual, a self-manufactured art-work, and yet the only method by which this individuation can occur is by an identical process of image-construction through consumption...)
 
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noel emits

a wonderful wooden reason
Because the system you are espousing (complete with filmic references) is explicity within the homo-fascist aesthetic. It rests upon a (deceptively seductive) naive assumption that we can return to some pre-lapsarian natural state of bodily/mental purity.
Equally underlying this is a belief (faith) that there is no underlying natural order to things.
 

noel emits

a wonderful wooden reason
Everything is absolutely contingent! We need to move on from the human all together!
That's a faith. I'd say we do need to move on from fixed concepts of the human definitely. But maybe because we cannot be in touch with reality if we are stuck on our ideas about it.
 

Gavin

booty bass intellectual
There's a difference between feeling better and "health." Abstractions like increased risk of cancer have nothing to do with improving mind and body and everything to do with prolonging life for the sake of it.

Also incredibly relevant in the smoking debate is its supposed effects on others -- it's like the plague, people actually shun you if you smoke.

If those in power wanted us to be healthier why don't they take measures besides punishing the populace? Against corporations for instance. Ban antibacterial soap, toxic insecticides, pollution, pharmaceutical voodoo, war? Why individuate and expel from the social order?
 

zhao

there are no accidents
Because the system you are espousing (complete with filmic references) is explicity within the homo-fascist aesthetic. It rests upon a (deceptively seductive) naive assumption that we can return to some pre-lapsarian natural state of bodily/mental purity.
haha! no assume. i & i KNOW. and FEEL. no fear vampires. the truth speaks within me and babylon WILL fall!

:D :D :D
 

noel emits

a wonderful wooden reason
I think there's something implicit in Gek's position here about there being no ground to being that is not contingent on some plane of imaginary forms. Am I right?

Ok, even if that's so we cannot have a good idea of how to work with it unless we are first clearer in ourselves about what is not good and healthy in us. Otherwise we are just working for viral forms. You need to get well otherwise your concepts and desires will end up twisted. It's a matter of degree though - nobody is perfect. Hardly anyone is even close.
 

Gavin

booty bass intellectual
Who's to say? By my reckoning it precedes human constructions no?
But how are we to interpret the natural without language, and therefore without constructions? This is Judith Butler's point when she rejects the truism "Sex is biological, gender is cultural": both are cultural -- sex does not exist without the word.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
I think there's something implicit in Gek's position here about there being no ground to being that is not contingent on some plane of imaginary forms. Am I right?

Ok, even if that's so we cannot have a good idea of how to work with it unless we are first clearer in ourselves about what is not good and healthy in us. Otherwise we are just working for viral forms.
I'm working from

(1)Meillassoux's principle of absolute contingency/theory of hyper-chaos: The only thing which is necessary is absolute contingency... (but this can wait for the Collapse discussion thread perhaps)...

(2) Some kind of bullshit vitalism/trans-generic anti-scientific memetics I'm still figuring out. But in essence the we the us the I is nonsensical... there are viral entities all the way down in every direction, competitive self-maximising flows in different ontological registers, teeming not just across humanity as habitat but consitituting the biological ground and everything else too.. or something like that! "Reality" as total war.

But to return to the point in hand...?
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
But how are we to interpret the natural without language, and therefore without constructions? This is Judith Butler's point when she rejects the truism "Sex is biological, gender is cultural": both are cultural -- sex does not exist without the word.
Or as my mum puts it: Sex is always already gendered...?
 

zhao

there are no accidents
i think people like Gek who do not believe in "natural" or "natural-er" states maybe need to travel a bit, get out of the city and go to some other places, other countries, where the grip of capitalism is not so tight. where people's minds, their desires and how they live their lives are not as controlled by the media.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
i think people like Gek who do not believe in "natural" or "natural-er" states maybe need to travel a bit, get out of the city and go to some other places, other countries, where the grip of capitalism is not so tight. where people's minds, their desires and how they live their lives are not as controlled by the media.
There is no way out! Or certainly, not like that... For us at least... we will only perceive it as a product, as a "holiday" as a "drug"... Is there really any "outside" left? Surely not for much longer...
 

Gavin

booty bass intellectual
Actually I am hesitant to go as far as Butler; I do tend to think that one universal for people is the body, though obviously bodies are used as a site of differentiation. Terry Eagleton has some interesting things to say about this in After Theory I think, relating a recognition of the body to class struggle -- it's a context of resistance that reaches across "identities."
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
True enough but is being "situated" inside an organic body really a revolutionary grounding point? Does it not create (at least) as many problems in that arena as it solves? It is towards the body that a great deal of the "identity" differentiating products are aimed is it not? Or at least towards the discomfort of being manifested inside a body...?
 

Gavin

booty bass intellectual
True enough but is being "situated" inside an organic body really a revolutionary grounding point? Does it not create (at least) as many problems in that arena as it solves?
Well, I believe Eagleton's point (and like most of his stuff, it's coming from a fallen-Catholic-turned-Marxist perspective) was the body alerts us to suffering in a way that everyone can relate to -- it's a "context of struggle" and thus a neat solution to the identity politics cul-de-sac where every tiny group is just out for their own benefits. Also it combats the refusal of death so common in consumer capitalism, the willingness to accept the body as also accepting ones own mortality, removed from the abstract world of consumerist "perfection." I am still apprehensive about this position for obvious reasons, but I haven't been able to get it out of my head since I read it. I am always looking for where liberal ID politics goes wrong and effective ways to combat it, as it's quite a pernicious regime in academia. Really I wanted to throw it out there to see what others on this thread thought.
 

Gavin

booty bass intellectual
Also Eagleton is more sympathetic to old-school socialism than I am; he sees it as the only way to prevent capitalist-driven apocalypse. Not sure how he sees revolution though; I always got the impression it was democratic for him, not Leninist (not very realistic obviously).
 
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