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General Board / BUFFERS
« on: April 08, 2012, 05:47:21 PM »

I researched a bit where does all this TMT thing comes from - it looks like from existential philosophers like Sartre, Camus and the like. Now, I have not read Sartre/Camus - I simply came upon a piece quoted by one of your fellow posters on this board. Take a look at it and draw your own judgment, as to whether such a piece deserves being printed (in book form) or not - maybe it's just me, but I find it very odd to read about a guy who "feels his mouth full of his tongue" - I am sure he's missing something - and truth-be-told, in the "hood" where I live, he'd get that right advice off-prompt, if yanno what I mean!


Existence is undoubtedly problematic and disturbing. In one weekend strip, in Sartre's "Peanuts," Schulz succinctly describes the horror of discovering one's own existence in the world:

Linus: I'm aware of my tongue ... It's an awful feeling! Every now and then I become aware that I have a tongue inside my mouth, and then it starts to feel lumped up ... I can't help it ... I can't put it out of my mind ... I keep thinking about where my tongue would be if I weren't thinking about it, and then I can feel it sort of pressing against my teeth ...

Sartre devoted an entire book to this experience his 1938 novel "Nausea" in which his character Roquentin is alarmed to discover his own actuality. But Linus sums the point up very well in a few frames.

malachovsky, I understand your approach and sense of practicality you're bringing here - but if you stay alone and do not socialize with other people - as it is the case with lonely people like philosophers - it's not surprising that similar thoughts will come to your mind.

Now, it's never occurred to me, but I am sure it has to other people - Sartre, being on the record, on this kind of thing.


Flatbush - you've got to be kidding me!

Lefka, I've heard about this kind of thing, the Buffers, the buffer against the death anxiety we deal with on a daily basis.

I'm kinda baffled by your double-post, les protagonistes, about the Buffers, what exactly did ya mean - never heard about such a @ # ! * i n g thing!!!

General Board / Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
« on: April 08, 2012, 05:34:15 PM »

Those who authentically commit themselves to the people must re-examine themselves constantly. This conversion is so radical as not to allow of ambiguous behavior. To affirm this commitment but to consider oneself the proprietor of revolutionary wisdom -- which must then be given to (or imposed on) the people -- is to retain the old ways. The man or woman who proclaims devotion to the cause of liberation yet is unable to enter into communion with the people, whom he or she continues to regard as totally ignorant, is grievously self-deceived. The convert who approaches the people but feels alarm at each step they take, each doubt they express, and each suggestion they offer, and attempts to impose his "status," remains nostalgic towards his origins.

Only through comradeship with the oppressed can the converts understand their characteristic ways of living and behaving, which in diverse moments reflect the structure of domination. One of these characteristics is the above-mentioned existential duality of the oppressed, who are at the same time themselves and the oppressor whose image they have internalized. Accordingly, until they concretely "discover" their oppressor and in turn their own consciousness, they nearly always express fatalistic attitudes towards their situation. Fatalism is the guise of docility is the fruit of an historical and sociological situation, not an essential characteristic of a people's behavior. It almost always is related to the power of destiny or fate or fortune -- inevitable forces -- or to a distorted view of God. Under the sway of magic and myth, the oppressed see their suffering, the fruit of exploitation, as the will of God -- as if God were the creator of this "organized disorder."

Submerged in reality, the oppressed cannot perceive clearly the "order" which serves the interests of the oppressors whose image they have internalized. Chaffing under the restrictions of this order, they often manifest a type of horizontal violence, striking out at their own comrades for the pettiest reasons. This is the period when the niggers beat each other up. It is possible that in this behavior they are once more manifesting their duality. Because the oppressor exists within their oppressed comrades, when they attack those comrades they are indirectly attacking the oppressor as well.

On the other hand, at a certain point in their existential experience the oppressed feel an irresistible attraction towards the oppressors and their way of life. Sharing this way of life becomes an overpowering aspiration. In their alienation, the oppressed want at any cost to resemble the oppressors, to imitate them, to follow them. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in the middle-class oppressed, who yearn to be equal to the "eminent" men and women of the upper class.

Self-depreciation is another characteristic of the oppressed, which derives from their internalization of the opinion the oppressors hold of them. So often do they hear that they are good for nothing, know nothing and are incapable of learning anything -- that they are sick, lazy, and unproductive -- that in the end they become convinced of their own unfitness. They call themselves ignorant and say the "professor" is the one who has knowledge and to whom they should listen. The criteria of knowledge imposed upon them are the conventional ones. As long as the oppressed' ambiguity persists, the oppressed are reluctant to resist, and totally lack confidence in themselves. They have a diffuse, magical belief in the invulnerability and power of the oppressor. Not rarely the act of oppossing the boss provokes guilt feelings. The boss, in truth, is still "inside" you. The oppressed must see examples of the vulnerability of the oppressor so that a contrary conviction can begin to grow within them. Until this occurs, they will continue disheartened, fearful, and beaten. As long as the oppressed remain unaware of the causes of their condition, they fatalistically "accept" their exploitation.

Could you expand a bit on the "horizontal violence" kind of thing?

General Board / Re: law school relationships/love?
« on: April 08, 2012, 04:33:32 PM »


I'm sure you're thinking to yourself - what kind of @ # ! * i n g whore is this guy?! Just like people reacted to the NJ governor McGreevey's case - they said back then when McGreevey resigned - we would understand why a blue-collar guy would go for truckers, but someone like McGreevey?! Why wouldn't he rely on those loose social networks of white-collar gay guys who hook up at private homes and parties, who never ask their co-workers about their boyfriend when they run into a gay one during the day?! Meeting other guys at private homes, you know, where you accidentally meet your boss's boss/close co-worker who you did not even know he's gay?!


[...] I reiterate one more time that I am not surprised as to why a gay guy would want to "go for truckers," or want to @ # ! * JUST A GUY'S d i c k! I mean, think about it ;)

bhut_jolokia, as you even say, many white-collar guys (and gals like yourself)  would show up in places where you'd not expect a lot of other white-collar people to be - however, I wanted to make an observation, which I think, is critical and unique to gay men specifically:

One would have to keep in mind that many gay men go to places where they hope they would never run into another (gay) co-worker simply for the reason that they are "in the closet." Now, do not misunderstand me, I'm not trying to say that all gay men are close-minded and that they would not dignify with their physicality blue-collar guys.

What I am saying is, that in the case of the politicians that you have quoted, the former NJ Governor, McGreevey, and ex-Senator Larry Craig, it is more likely that they would consider the kind of sex they're having to be - to use now a politically-incorrect word - "below their level." (Think about what kind of conservative values they tend to hold, and how they look down on poor people, just because they're rich). They engage in sex in the manner they do simply because they are in the closet and do not want other people to know of their sexual orientation. Because of shame.

mauchly, I can give you little credit, here! Do you think McGreevey's only sexual partners were these "truckers," as you call them, that he was finding in those rest stops?!

Gay men like him have literally hundreds of partners, good and bad-looking, upper, middle, lower class, gay, bisexual, and straight - as he himself say in his book, when you engage in some kind of activity socially frowned upon, the more you try to restrict yourself from doing it, the more you do it!

Think also about the fact that he was such a powerful man, probably thinking he would be able to do a h e l l of a lot more than the simple guy down the road!

Maybe you guys think out there, that there are few others like him, who do pretty much the same thing, having had married at least a couple of times to keep the public opinion's voices a bit lower?! Then, you've got to be kidding me!

Point is, McGreevey left not because he's gay - some kind of 'extreme' gay case, by any means - but for reasons others than sexual!

General Board / It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times
« on: April 08, 2012, 04:03:17 PM »

niki, Freudian theories do not necessarily rule out a free, non-repressive society. Freud's speculation that civilization is originally based on a necessary sexual repression recognized for its merits, it has been suggested that:

(1) only a part of this has come from the conditions of scarcity which obliged humans to work, with another part coming from living in class-divided societies where ruling classes impose an extra repression over and above that arising from natural scarcity,

(2) with the coming of automation and the like, scarcity has now been conquered. This being so, sexual repression - that imposed by natural conditions as well as that imposed by class-divided society - is no longer necessary. Civilization need no longer be based on sexual repression. A free, non-repressive society is possible.

Herbert Marcuse has in fact explained why people accept capitalism -- they have been psychologically manipulated into wanting it. In other words, their basic "instincts" have been remoulded so as to fit in with capitalist society. The issue now is how will such people come to want to get rid of capitalism.


I would like to comment on the above part of copain's post -

Marcuse basically says that, 'surplus repression' designates sexual repression beyond that's necessary for the civilization; being the result of social domination in an economically and politically authoritarian society. Capitalism, as a system dependent on extracting surplus labor from workers, so that the latter will produce more value for less cost, must pull from somewhere the extra physical energy necessary for this exploitation. That "somewhere" turns out to be the most marginal aspects of our sexuality, specifically non-genital and "perverse" sexuality, or those kinds of sexual activity that are designated as taboo by the patriarchal, monogamous family structure because they are unnecessary for the biological reproduction - the form of sexuality considered "necessary" by the capitalism.

It appears, at least according to H. Marcuse, that the repression of sexual energy not necessary for monogamous, heterosexual family life, is diverted into labor; simultaneously people's erotic lives are shaped to conform to the demands of a hierarchically organized, patriarchal society. As a result, "perversions" such as homosexuality are, for Marcuse, at least potentially encouraging signs of rebellion against repression, rather than symptoms of excessive repression. He says that the perverts express rebellion against the subjugation of sexuality under the order of procreation, and against the institutions that guarantee this order.

So, while some sexual repression is necessary for the building of civilization, capitalism requires an extra degree of surplus repression in order to extract a greater amount of labor from people and to blunt their capacity for pleasure, since an understanding of pleasure can fuel one's desire for liberation. Sexual deviants, including homosexuals, are thus part of a vanguard rejecting the surplus sexual repression of capitalism.

It stands, thus, to reason, that the non-productive act of anal sex and the unrestrained promiscuity of "cruising," stand as examples of the boundlessness of human desire and possibility for bodily fulfillment. This unregulated pleasure, he argues, is too disruptive and too undisciplined to be conducive to authoritarian society or capitalist production. Gay men, through guiltless cruising and hook-ups, exemplify a free sexuality that's incompatible with capitalism and that is more natural and freer than mono heterosexuality.

qmo - interesting points -

1. You mention the monogamous patriarchal family - nowadays, we are all aware that 50% of marriages end up in divorce, so it's safe to say that the traditional patriarchal family is in decline.

2. You also point to procreation and biological reproduction, happening as the result of the "normal" heterosexual relationship between a man and a woman, one that's promoted by the society (for that very reason) - well, these days there's widespread dissemination of birth control (condoms/female condoms, IVRs) - meaning, for instance, that the couple can choose exactly how many children wants to have, planning beforehand how to raise them, thus allowing the woman to go to work just like her husband, and become economically self-sufficient.

Not to mention these days' liberation of sexuality from necessary association with reproduction (IVF) - I bet you can just imagine how women too "cruise" nowadays - for all kinds of things, you know, the tallest guy, the most well-endowed one, the smartest one, or just-the-average-one, when it comes to making babies, since you do not know how the genes will mix up - or do ya?! ;)

I would say today's norm is anonymous sex with multiple partners, having, as we are, as much quick sex (unfortunately without the necessary accompanying affection), pretty much anywhere we can. It's about time that that "purposeful subversion of moral order" will show itself for what it really is.

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