Filed under: brave new world | Tags: daughters, fathers, sex, Slavoj Zizek, the falsity of permissivity
I had such a father too:
“My psychoanalytical friends are always telling me that we once needed classical therapy to free us from internalised repression so we could do it. But today you feel guilty if you do not have wide-ranging sexual desire and experience. Once enjoyment becomes permitted it slides imperceptibly toward the obligatory. You have to do it and you have to enjoy it. Think about extremely hedonistic gay communities in America: life there is totally regimented. They eat the same food, take vitamins, watch the same films. We live in a permissive society but the price we pay is that there never was so much anxiety, depression, impotence and frigidity.”
“the falsity of permissivity: … Say you are a little girl and I am a totalitarian father. It is Saturday afternoon. I say, ‘I don’t care what you want to do, you have to visit your grandmother.’ You go but you secretly hate me and try to revolt and that is OK. That is good. But the monstrous permissive father will say: ‘You know how much your grandmother loves you, but visit her only if you really want to.’ Beneath the appearance of a choice is a much more severe order. Not only must you visit grandma but you must want to and like it. I had such a father, which is why I hate him.”
Slavoj Zizek: The World’s Hippest Philosopher, The Telegraph
Filed under: the sweet life, unseen world | Tags: A.S.J.Tessimond, friendship, love, Not Love Perhaps, poem
Not Love Perhaps
This is not Love perhaps – Love that lays down
Its life, that many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown –
But something written in lighter ink, said in a lower tone:
Something perhaps especially our own:
A need at times to be together and talk –
And then the finding we can walk
More firmly through dark narrow places
And meet more easily nightmare faces:
A need to reach out sometimes hand to hand –
And then find Earth less like an alien land:
A need for alliance to defeat
The whisperers at the corner of the street:
A need for inns on roads, islands in seas, halts for discoveries to be shared,
Maps checked and notes compared:
A need at times of each for each
Direct as the need of throat and tongue for speech.
Amour Sans Tomber, Sara Aanwyl
The poet is someone who feasts at the same table as other people. But at a certain point he feels a lack. He is provoked by a perception of absence within what others regard as a full and satisfactory present.
Filed under: brave new world, departure lounge, the sweet life | Tags: death, materialism, religion, simon critchley, The Book of Dead Philosophers
Material life or … spirituality or … death in your mouth.
Simon Critchley describes how materialism and spirituality are the diametric options for living that we tend to follow en masse in this life, and how they enslave us. Both are escapist strategies: materialism is the handmaid of forgetfulness; spirituality of assurance of endless life.
But to learn to know death realigns our lives to our own mortality and frees us.
There are two very aggressive contentions in this idea: that to ‘know’ death will have a freeing effect; and that to deny death is hate yourself. Does it follow that to be materialist or spiritual, are forms of self hatred?
Here is Critchley’s description from the introduction to The Book of Dead Philosophers:
We are led on the one hand, to deny the fact of death and to run headlong into the watery pleasures of forgetfulness, intoxication and the mindless accumulation of money and possessions. On the other hand, the terror of annihilation leads us blindly into a belief in the magical forms of salvation and promises of immortality offered by certain varieties of traditional religion and many New Age (and some rather older age) sophistries. What we seem to seek is either the transitory consolation of momentary oblivion or miraculous redemption in the afterlife.
It is in stark contrast to our drunken desire for evasion and escape that the ideal of the philosophical death has such sobering power.
To philosophize, then, is to learn to have death in your mouth, in the words you speak, the food you eat and the drink that you imbibe. It is in this way that we might begin to confront the terror of annihilation, for it is, finally, the fear of death that enslaves us and leads us towards either temporary oblivion or the longing for immortality. As Montaigne writes, “He who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” This is an astonishing conclusion: the premeditation of death is nothing less than the forethinking of freedom. Seeking to escape death, then, is to remain unfree and run away from ourselves. The denial of death is self-hatred. …
The Book of Dead Philosophers, Simon Critchley