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Showing posts from October 28, 2012

sympathy for Marcel's Pa

Sympathy for Marcel’s father We know the story, which is the story of why the story always shatters, never self-organizes, never closes on itself, never is the story. Marcel, an anxious child, can only truly calm his pacing heart and asthmatic and insomniac spasms by being kissed by Mama before bedtime. Of course, the real milk and honey would be Mama spending the whole night on a cot besides him as he sleeps. But the fly in the milk and honey is Papa, who operates as a ‘suppressor’, or so the Scientologists say (knowledge I have garnered from the tres disappointing sketch of Tom Cruise in last month’s Vanity Fair), and frowns at the codlings. Last night, advocating for the wee little pea to remain on his little foam wee little pea ship, instead of being borne by A. as we watched the first episode of Homeland that we had just downloaded, I had a flash of sympathy for Marcel’s pa. Surely he was thinking that Marcel would be much better off if he didn’t get milk and honey every t

King Test

When I was in elementary school, I liked tests. There I was, a little ace, with my little Guiness Book of Records, my Funk n Wagnels Encyclopedia, the entertaining smart boy on the street. In High School, I stopped liking tests – partly cause I no longer aced them. In fact, I sank to the norm or below. And perhaps because I was no longer so good at them, I took a more level view of them. The longer I looked, the more it seemed to me that tests had to be on their way out in the age of nuclear power and space flight. They were so primitive. They were as bad an instrument for measuring learning as a spoon is for eating spaghetti. What you learned, what you know, is imbricated with what others know –it is social to the very core. And yet, the test was individuated and individuating from the get go. The only people who really understood this fact about learning, it seemed to me, were the cheaters – who, at least, exchanged answers with each other. But of course cheating is ultimately pa

two childrearing books

As every alert parent knows, there are two essential child rearing books – Doctor Spock, in the most revised edition, and Gilles Deleuze’s Logique du Sens. Jonie Mitchell’s lines come to mind: “papa gave me the sugar/ momma showed me the deeper meaning.” Such is the case here. We use Spock to gain ersatz certainty in response to various problems that pop up in the schedule of duties (eat sleep poop radiate an adorable aura that touches every heavenly orb) that have been impose on baby – and we use Deleuze to understand why, after a lifetime of ironies and distancing techniques, we find ourselves spontaneously cooing chou chou and petit lapin to our bundle of joy. It is a world of diminutives, a real microverse, and we are just realizing the extent of our contract with Wonderland – which is where the L.d.S comes in to describe its extent and limits.The Logique was presided over by the spirit of Lewis Carroll, while Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus is governed by the harsher spiri