Oh, what can I say, what can I say to help you through this?
There is absolutely nothing to look forward to about today.
It is not so much being in an awful mood that is the problem, it is not knowing how to move through an awful mood that is the problem.
I’m going to start with Jan Svankmajer’s “Alice” and some hot tea. We’ll go from there.
I would like to sketch a picture of possible unity, a picture indebted to socialist and feminist principles of design. The frame for my sketch is set by the extent and importance of rearrangements in world-wide social relations tied to science and technology. I argue for a politics rooted in claims about fundamental changes in the nature of class, race, and gender in an emerging system of world order analogous in its novelty and scope to that created by industrial capitalism; we are living through a movement from an organic, industrial society to a polymorphous, information system–from all work to all play, a deadly game.
The dichotomies between mind and body, animal and human, organism and machine, public and private, nature and culture, men and women, primitive and civilized are all in question ideologically. The actual situation of women is their integration/ exploitation into a world system of production/reproduction and com-munication called the informatics of domination. The home, workplace, market, public arena, the body itself- all can be dispersed and interfaced in nearly infinite, polymorphous ways, with large consequences for women and others – consequences that themselves are very different for different people and which make potent oppositional international movements difficult to imagine and essential for survival. One important route for reconstructing socialist-feminist politics is through theory and practice addressed to the social relations of science and technology, including crucially the systems of myth and meanings structuring our imaginations. The cyborg is a kind of disassembled and reassembled, postmodern collective and personal self. This is the self feminists must code.
…there is no ‘place’ for women in these networks, only geometries of difference and contradiction crucial to women’s cyborg identities. If we learn how to read these webs of power and social life, we might learn new couplings, new coalitions. There is no way to read… from a standpoint of’idendfication’, of a unitary self. The issue is dispersion. The task is to survive in the diaspora.
Every, story that begins with original innocence and privileges the return to wholeness imagines the drama of life to be individuation, separation, the birth of the self, the tragedy of autonomy, the fall into writing, alienation; that is, war, tempered by imaginary respite in the bosom of the Other. These plots are ruled by a reproductive politics –rebirth without flaw, perfection, abstraction. In this plot women are imagined either better or worse off, but all agree they have less selflhood, weaker individuation, more fusion to the oral, to Mother, less at stake in masculine autonomy…
Donna Haraway from Cyborg Manifesto
And that’s it! The boundaries of my world have been redrawn, the landscape of my imagination is leveled and I have to begin reconstructing all of my ideas anew and in Haraway’s image. There goes Sunday!
The phantom of the man-who-would-understand,
the lost brother, the twin —
for him did we leave our mothers,
deny our sisters, over and over?
did we invent him, conjure him
over the charring log,
nights, late, in the snowbound cabin
did we dream or scry his face
in the liquid embers,
It was never the rapist:
it was the brother, lost,
the comrade/twin whose palm
would bear a lifeline like our own:
forked-lightning of insatiate desire
It was never the crude pestle, the blind
ramrod we were after:
merely a fellow-creature
with natural resources equal to our own.
I have written so many words
wanting to live inside you
to be of use to you
Now I must write for myself for this blind
woman scratching the pavement with her wand of thought
this slippered crone inching on icy streets
reaching into wire trashbaskets pulling out
what was thrown away and infinitely precious
Summer Loop, Folksongs for the Afterlife
I always want to listen to this when it starts to get cold. This song is epic Thanksgiving nights and lonely winter mornings, weak lit, house shoes and sweatshirts and snuggling with the dog and fruit-flavored black tea. This song is cooking complicated meals and drinking wine all night with friends, toasting despair. This song is overcast afternoons, the deep sucking silence after the departure of a companion, it’s windy walks in the arroyo and crushing loneliness, except it feels so much more like alone now. And that’s better. Bettersweet.
Fun photos of fun people at Beautiful Betsy’s Blog. (As you can see, I am getting fat and happy at grad school.) As for me, I have written a paper, bathed, paid my first visit to the sMall–where we camped out in BAMA FEVER, the best Team Apparel store on earth, made lemon chicken quinoa soup, read a book and managed to watch Sense and Sensibility four times today. I think it’s time to turn in.