I’d like to give thanks to feminism.
That comes after i, grudgingly, reluctantly, finally came to accept that i am not, and should not be, a feminist. For most of my life i, a man, had been more of a riot grrrrl than mos of my girlfriends. I’d been enraged again and again for what i saw as submissive attitudes of them, even ones that could equally well be read as submission to me. In more than one way, i wanted the role of the girl: I wanted to be approached instead of to approach, i wanted to be seduced instead of seducing, i wanted to accommodate to their lives instead of providing a grand narrative for them to accommodate to. I actually felt that the two people in a relationship should do a bit of each, and it pissed me to no end that no woman at all accepted to. Lazy, prideless girls, i thought. But i came to realize it does not make any sense for them to do any of that, and it came together with me realizing feminism is not an answer to anything.
But feminism has been useful to me, in very personal ways, and i want to give thanks.
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Derrida writes presence with a capital P.
He traces the use of this word from the Middle-Ages concept of the Presence of God, a central theme for a world where the Catholic institution was the main keeper of intellectuality and thinking. But far from being just dogma, this idea was a hairy problem, because the world was effectively made by God, and thus every single thing should be embedded in this Presence, but still, some experiences were felt as fuller of God than others. And even if there were some hermit mystics said to experience God in solitude, the archetypal experience of God was the Mass, a ritual the priests must have been painfully aware could be conducted with pure routine. It is a technique, but how could a technique lift someone from the banality of the world into the presence of God?
How can you reach for what is unreachable in essence? Read More »
Trapped by their fears, Realists retreat screaming whenever faced with a Relativist idea. Simply can’t swallow it. And they retreat into exactly the same lack of intellectual discipline they accuse litcrit of. Conditioned by our cruel education system, that treats children as cattle, they refrain from any philosophy not geared towards providing “correct answers to the test”. To win the argument, then, you should proceed not with sound argumentation — that would only lead them into rationalization — but instead with masking relativism’s sour taste of personal responsibility. Read More »
In more than one Brazilian tribe of Indians — and I am guessing that very similar patterns can be found in other cultures throughout the world — the Pajé begins his life as the strange one, the person that does not fit, the outcast within his tribe. He then goes out in a spiritual journey through the world, during which he doesn’t belong anywhere, he is completely lost and ultimately alone. In the end, he returns and can, finally, take his position as the tribe’s priest, magician and healer, second in authority only to the Cacique. Maybe Pajé can be accurately translated as shaman.
Now many — but I am really talking a big bunk of people here — many of my friends went to live abroad. And talking to then, i always get that feeling — if they don’t tell me outright — that they did so because they really couldn’t feel to belong here, in Brazil, with their family and friends — and they didn’t feel like playing the roles expected of them.
Now it all feels a bit naïve to me, that most of them will come back and become not only a part of everything that they didn’t believe in, but an important part, an honoured part.
I think living abroad is the contemporary form of the Pajé’s Journey. Read More »