S E A R C H ( wut r u lookng fr)

Friday, July 24, 2020

Libmat / Ratpack Gossip 2: Judgment Day - Terminator vs. Robocop vs. Jesus Christ

"Land was our Nietzsche...with....a writing style that updates nineteenth century aphorisms into...'text at sample velocity.' Speed— in the abstract and the chemical sense...[his] withering assaults on the academic left - academic Marxism – remain trenchant..."
- Mark Fisher, Terminator vs. Avatar 
On the aphorism

Two aphorisms from Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil
"Objections, non-sequiturs, cheerful distrust, joyous mockery - all are signs of health. Everything absolute belongs in the realm of pathology" (Aph. 154 on pg. 86). 
"When the mind is made up, the ear is deaf to even the est arguments. This is the sign of a strong character. In other words, an occasional will to stupidity" (Aph. 107 on pg. 79).
Aphorisms are often best left as is, especially Nietzsche's.
They are already the distilled product of a much lengthier - in Nietzsche's case madder - line of thought, and their very strength lies in the fact that they do not over-elaborate what they intend to communicate.

In these ways they avoid language games and rhetorical pitfalls and thus maintain their power as a chaotic, diagrammatic creative force akin to a high blood-alcohol level mixed with a black magic blood ritual.

In fact, the aphorism is precisely that which draws the blood; it is an Occam's Razor that short-circuits formal argument, turning them into bloody back alley knife fights. It cuts up - or vivisects as Nietzsche is so fond of saying throughout his work - the cultural landscape and recombines it into something else, not unlike the Burroughsian découpé that Deleuze and Guattari decouple from its dadaist lineage in order to mutate it into assemblage theory.

As Nietzsche put it, an aphorism is a way to 'write in one's own blood.'

In other words, the aphorism is already the simplest linguistic form of capturing instinct, impulse, desire, etc. If the aphorism were a communication from the analysand laying atop the analyst's couch to the analyst in their chair, the naive psychoanalyst would foolishly feel compelled to have the patient expand,  associate, 'say more,' while the 'good' analyst - the analyst who has read Nietzsche and those select psychoanalysts who followed Nietzsche closer than Freud such as Jung, Adler, Rank, Reich, Guattari, (even Lacan who does not seem to like Nietzsche), etc., - the good analyst cleverly remains silent as they know their patient has reached the point they 'ought' to; they know that the entire purpose of the 'analysis' part of psychoanalysis is to break down (the very definition of 'analysis') bigger, complex, reified notions (language that is used to obscure one's desire, defend against one's instinct, hide one's feelings, etc.) into smaller, more concise, precise, meaningful (closer to 'the real') bits of communication.

This is all to say Nietzsche psychoanalyzed himself through the accelerationist 'method' - if we can say such a thing - of dispensing with the dead weight of language in order to 'pick up speed,' as D and G would put it, resulting in the the aphorism, the closest communication to the real there can be (i.e., schizoanalysis).

Despite all this, it is still helpful to talk about an aphorism, not in a way that attempts to analyze it, but in a way that attempts to add to it, or write alongside it, so here is what is significant about these two aphorisms distilled into one notion:
the power of playful, stupid, passionate dancing thought that both avoids and combats the dialectical argumentative rhetorical style.
Or what Deleuze and Guattari would refer to as 'nomadic' thought.

On being a dangerous idiot (T100, Robocop, and Jesus Christ)

Rather than shallowly refer to other thinkers, or belabor the point in my own words anymore than I already have, let's turn back to Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil:
"Let us be unphilosophical" (20)
"Moral indignation...is the unmistakable sign in a philosopher that his philosophic sense of humor has left him" (30) 
"Never avoid your tests...never remain tied up with a father land...never remain tied up with compassion...nor with a science..." (47) 
"A species of philosopher is coming up over the horizon...(they wish to remain riddles)...these philosophers of the future have a right (perhaps a wrong!) to be called: Experimenters." (47-48).  
"Investigate to the point of cruelty...the human psyche and its limits...time to grow a little cold" (pg. 51-55) 
"Critics...are from being philosophers themselves...Real philosophers are legislators...[who] grope with creative hands towards the future...necessarily a man of tomorrow...who rarely feel like lovers of wisdom, more like disagreeable fools and dangerous question mark" (134-135) 
"Dialectical rigor...thinking seems to them something slow and hesitant, almost a labor...never something light, divine, something closely related to the dance and to playful high spirits. 'Thinking' and 'taking something seriously,' 'taking it gravely,' are to them the same thing." (138)
Unphilosophical, fast, dangerous, humorous, foolish, cheerful, reality-tested, experimenters of the future, not slow, dialectical, safe, serious, morose, reality-resistant, animals trapped in the dogma of the present.  In other words, be "a schizophrenic HIV+ transsexual chinese-latino stim-addicted LA hooker with implanted mirrorshades and a bad attitude blitzed on a polydrug mix of k-nova, synthetic serotonin, and female orgasm analogs who has just iced three Turing cops with a highly cinematic 9mm automatic," not a Turing cop; a libidinally charged anti-heroe on drugs rather than a rationally grounded superman cop; The 'good' Terminator vs. Robocop (it is difficult to not notice the humor and absurdity apparent in the one liners and over the top action hero gestures of the 'good' T1000 as opposed to the neurotic stare of the liquid metal guy terminator in T2: Judgment Day who can transform into any shape and, by no coincident, decides to take the form of a regular beat cop, and the the cop from Robo cop who is completely miserable...).

Create (active nihilism), don't critique (passive nihilism) - or critique in a way that creates (philosophize with a hammer!).

On being a boring 'smart' person

If the rationalist is not the one doling out the science of the time - the master of all snakeoil salesman, the philosopher king issuing the mandates - he is a slave pulled this and way that by whatever the new science of the times says. He is at the whim of the argument, and whatever argument is most convincing dictates his thought and behavior. How sickly this is.

For example, I know highly neurotic, relatively prominent Ivy League professor - who I have talked about here - who teaches research methods at my small time psychoanalytic institute. He has been known to say, unironically, and without a glimmer of self-awareness:
"When the scientific research said red wine and red meat was good for you, I drank red wine. When the research said it was bad for you, I stopped. It takes a long time for research to find the truth. Sometimes what we think is true today will not be tomorrow. This is why we need good research, so that a society and its members can know what to do, how to act."
For this poor man, the locus of control - the will to power - is not found within himself, his body, his instincts, passions, etc., but solely on an ever shifting dialect of 'good and evil' handed down to him from on high, somewhere beyond his understanding - the secular god of positivist science. That is, when the will to power of some billion dollar thought institute says 'jump' he says 'how high?'

To go 'beyond' good and evil, as Nietzsche shows us, is to trust the instincts, impulses, and passions, not be torn this and that way by the argument of others. To go 'beyond' is to be Dionysian, less-conscious, intoxicated; to drink the wine and eat the meat and not care.

As I have shown recently, consuming food that's 'bad' for you and intoxicating substances have no 'argument' other than the very lack of argument, which is that they are enjoyable despite their harms, and as I have shown not so recently, this is the kind of desire that Nick Land - following Nietzsche of course - understands and correctly extracts from Deleuze and Guattari, who themselves followed Nietzsche.

Nomadic desire.

As Fisher says himself (quoting Lyotard's 'evil book' Libidinal Economy), in the earlier quoted Terminator vs. Avatar
"one can enjoy swallowing the shit of capital, its materials, its metal bars, it polystyrene, its books, its sausage pates...and because of saying this, which is also what happens in the desires of those who work with their hands, arses and heads, ah, you become a leader of men...: 'ah, but that's alienation, it isn't pretty, hang on, we'll save you from it, we will work to liberate you from this wicked affection for servitude, we will give you dignity.' And in this way you situate yourselves on...the moralistic side where you desire that our capitalized desires be totally ignored...you have to tell yourselves: 'how they must suffer to endure that!' And of course we suffer, we the capitalized, but this does not mean that we do not enjoy, nor that what you think you can offer us as a remedy...does not disgust us even more. We abhor therapeutics...we prefer to burst under the quantitative excesses that you judge most stupid. And don't wait for our spontaneity to rise up in revolt either." 
Why would anyone choose to not eat the fast food capitalism serves up? Or choose water when one could choose wine? Even Christians understood this to the extent that they made wine into holy blood so they could have a 'good' but passionate (of the Christ) impulse-based reason to enjoy alcohol!

Again, let us return to Beyond Good and Evil to end
"We are better prepared than any time has ever been for the Great Carnival, the most spirited Mardi-Gras laughter, the most reckless fun, for the transcendental summit of the utmost idiocy, for a truly Aristophanean mockery of the universe...Perhaps we can be parodists of world history...If nothing else living today has a future  - perhaps it bill be our laughter has one" (147).
Nothing too serious escapes from the near future.