Saturday, January 29, 2011

Language, Feline & Human


A failure to elicit the response it wants is never taken by a cat as a failure to communicate on the part of the cat. There can be no cause for doubt here, as--unlike humans--a cat always knows precisely what it desires. The failure to understand flows from the human's own state of perpetual anxious ambivalence, overvaluing human intelligence on the one hand, and under-appreciating the exquisitely developed powers of communication of the cat on the other.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Three Part Review of The Speculative Turn

The essays in Speculative Turn offer an antidote to the subversion of serious discourse on the major issues of our time, making a bold case for the relevance of critical philosophy for politics, class, the media, science. Joshua Mostofa's three part review from the magazine, Overland, is itself an important contribution, highlighting major features of what is becoming a new, and newly invigorated branch of philosophy. Read the review, then download the PDF of Speculative Turn--it's free! 

Return of the Real, part One: Enlightened False Consciousness"

Part Two: Keeping em Honest

Part Three: The Speculative Turn



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Poetry and the Occult: Powers, Natural not Super

Burning witches in Ghana
This is why poets, who sometimes have a kind of aesthetized take on the occult and indigenous religion, should think hard about what this means--it's one thing to evoke this stuff in poems, and another to objectivize it. It's not the borders of reality we want to blur, but our own 'civilized' verbal and ideological displacements--our own equivalents of belief in sorcery, witchcraft and juju.

Because we obscure and subvert reality with our intellectual constructs doesn't mean there IS no reality, or that what passes for reality is only our projection or manufacture. Because we cannot ever grasp the Whole of any truth, doesn't mean we should give up our quest for what is true in its particular manifestations.

I carry Spirit Stick as witness that THINGS have powers, and always more powers than are manifest at any particular time & place--or of the ways we use them (a theme in almost every poem I write) --but they are not 'supernatural' powers... they are of nature, revealing aspects of nature. People ask questions about Spirit Stick--that's one of its powers, one that leads to conversations I would never have had without it. Much of our energy in our relation to things, is invested in stifling and limiting these natural powers--closing them off, containing them, imprisoning them in the uses we impose on them. Every THING is more than its uses, more than its name--the BEING of any THING cannot be OWNED.



Monday, January 3, 2011