Monday, April 10, 2017

Engendered Power Relations

Here I am, back again to a topic and approach which can only turn me into someone repulsive. Can't help it. Feminism should be about power, and not about gender-role assignments. Women lately have learned to deploy their power by physical attractiveness, which does, I still believe, grant most of the power back to the men who admire the female form. Women in positions of power in the world now constituted are playing men's roles and that's the end of it.

We will never get beyond racist sexist society unless and until we have some form of democracy which is not premised on winners and losers. As far as I can tell, that's bedrock. Winners have power, money, beauty, talent or any combination of those if they are deployed for power. Fate has better uses.

I learned two important new things today; that freedom fighters among the Kurds in Syria follow a man called Öcalan who followed a man called Murray Bookchin who lived in the woods of Vermont back in the day. I also learned that there is a famous twentieth century artist named Eric Gill who engaged in incest both with his sister and with his own daughters. Oh my the things that these Internets might bring one's way. I also learned about this thing called bangbus, pornography with amateurs picked up on the road, or that's the meme anyhow. All this by a quick troll across the morning news feeds.

I can't be disgusted by incest if I'm not also disgusted by sex with women had basically because they're hot. I know it's a sport now, and fully sanctioned and written about and that women empower themselves by being open about it, I'm just saying that I'm disgusted by it in pretty much the same way that I'm disgusted by incest, child porn, power sex and all the rest. Naturally, that makes me disgusted with myself much of the time, but there you go!

So, what to do about it, huh? For one thing, I seem to be headed toward a future which isn't being visualized anywhere that I can find. I think I have a partner in Ursula LeGuin, maybe, or Margaret Attwood, but my future is not the dark kind.

Just now the very word future, as it always has, invokes a clichéd and utterly normalized extrapolation of our present. Gadgets cooler, rocketing to Mars, self-driving cars. The lack of imagination is staggering. The only alternative we can imagine is utter meltdown, bloviated against by the likes of Al Gore and Hillary Clinton in whom we should and perhaps even must trust.

I know these truths to be self-evident: That there has never been a conflict resolution technique so fine as the scientific method. The trouble is that we mistake that method as a way toward Truth with a capital T. There is so much that the scientific method leaves out. Emotion for a start, which is at the root of most conflict. Anything that can't be measured.

Conveniently left out from our discussions about the scientific method are examinations of its starting point; that there is order to the cosmos and that it is and has been the same at every point in time and space.

Behind such an assumption is the dogma of natural law, opposite to the kind we might impose as humans. Natural law is discoverable structure which, once delineated, can only be controverted by the uncovering of a still deeper structure.

Collectively, we hardly ever consider our minuscule understanding against the vastness of the cosmos, which we hold vaguely in our collective minds to be as featureless as an endless lifeless desert and somehow more rich and more complicated than the biosphere we frantically destroy in our collective rage against the fates.

We fret the outcome of the so-called anthropocene, where man has become the most notable feature of Earth's environment, and all else will evolve to suit us or disappear.

Or more likely humankind will disappear and the Earth will start up all over again, across millions of years of toxic redress against our now imagined futures.

It is true that I am mildly buoyed to know that however minuscule my own understanding, in the cosmic scheme of things it is not smaller than that of those we now adore, admire, grant power to. Given the global political inversion, mine also has become a common posture. The question is only what to do about it. We are so clever, those of us educated but out of power.

Perhaps we should start with the easy stuff, the what not to do. First might be not to fuck around just because it's momentarily gratifying to do so. Stop eating meat. Celebrate diversity, especially the kind that's against the natural law. Except that the easy stuff is really the hardest just simply because it can pause the panic. Kick the opioids and welcome the pain, kind of thing. It's no mistake that Matrix chose a pill.

Our senses demand our indulgences, the physically real at rage against our better angels. I hope for another science fiction flik as transformative as The Matrix. I hear that nowadays those who claim to have chomped the Red Pill are all apologists for status quo. Harsh reality, so claim your steak and enjoy it while you can. The irony in that posture screams too loudly for me to bother to rehearse it.

It is, of course, troglodyte and anti-intellectual to just believe and trust in God. And well it should be, since God is right up there with natural law as only a presumption about what is eternally real. We make God in our image in pretty much the same way that we make our futures. And we hand both of these mostly over to men, who seem to need the earthly power.

A feminist future than might transcend both God and natural law to encourage a kind of spiritual presence in the cosmos which is the opposite of the one imposed by Mama Grizzly. Not save your own against the world of others, but radical empathy deployed by our deeper minds which are the parts not replicable by machine.

These are the connected parts, the harmonics with the deep structure of the cosmos in ways that shrug off the insights of quantum physics still seeking for that substrate of mysterious parts within the brain.

This is not my body that I inhabit, this is I and while my brain recedes my body will persist a short while longer and I would dispose that entirety of me in a way to give comfort while I am still able. First, of course and naturally, to those most close to me which are my daughters. They too will grow out of their natural beauty. I would comfort them in any way that I can.

So, I'm setting off in discourse with humanity, that's all. I don't write so good, but that might be for the same reason that I am no longer competent at work. I have no faith in the system, and one must have at least that if one is to be competent. I suppose I have that much in common with Steve Bannon. He is competent in a different world. It's just that his is mean and small and lonely. I don't have the means to live at such remove from reality.

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