<= 2001.11.22

2001.11.24 =>

knifin' around

Had a sudden flash of insight about Approaching Zero as I was falling asleep; I think I have figured out a way to cut its length by half, which means it's about a quarter of the size I was envisioning this summer, which is finally close to a decent length for a novel. An expansive vision will kill you. And last night at Vu's we saw an A&E Biography special on the Lost Generation which a) made our lives seem boring, and b) made our writing seem pedestrian—we're still at the mimesis stage, merely imitating authors we like. I know, you'd think that by now we would have outgrown comparisons between ourselves and the modernists, but A&E has this trick of imparting dignity to everything it touches.

Ah yes, the Space Ghost episode with Thom Yorke and Bjork.

I have never before heard of Slavoj Zizek, Slovenian philosopher, but see what he says.

When I say we live in a post-political world, I refer to a wrong ideological impression. We don't really live in such a world, but the existing universe presents itself as post-political in the sense that there is some kind of a basic social pact that elementary social decisions are no longer discussed as political decisions. They are turned into simple decisions of gesture and of administration. And the remaining conflicts are mostly conflicts about different cultures. We have the present form of global capitalism plus some kind of tolerant democracy as the ultimate form of that idea. And, paradoxically, only very few are ready to question this world.

There is nothing to be said against tolerance. But when you buy this multiculturalist tolerance, you buy many other things with it. Isn't it symptomatic that multiculturalism exploded at the very historic moment when the last traces of working-class politics disappeared from political space? For many former leftists, this multiculturalism is a kind of ersatz working-class politics. We don't even know whether the working class still exists, so let's talk about exploitation of others.

Another thing that bothers me about this multiculturalism is when people ask me: 'How can you be sure that you are not a racist?' My answer is that there is only one way. If I can exchange insults, brutal jokes, dirty jokes, with a member of a different race and we both know it's not meant in a racist way. If, on the other hand, we play this politically correct game—'Oh, I respect you, how interesting your customs are'—this is inverted racism, and it is disgusting.

 

<= 2001.11.22

2001.11.24 =>

up (2001.11)

The Warm South
The Roof Rat Review