From Chapter 2, I want to talk about Edelman's discussion of Baudrillard. Particularly towards the end of the chapter, Edelman emphasizes Baudrillard's assumed horror towards sexuality possessing a "useless function." I am assuming because Baudrillard argues extensively over the dominant existence of simulacra in our world that something which possesses no meaning would make "Baudrillard recoil in horror before this "useless" sexuality" (64).
The main points that I got out of Chapter 1 is that the Child represents our future, but that this works against the notion of homosexuality because it goes against reproductive futurism. Therefore, the only way for homosexuality to become legitimized is with the abolishment of the Child standing as such a sacred image that is so essential to our future. I have never once before questioned the image of the Child. For as long as I remember, the child was always the icon for the future generations to come. It is with their survival and their actions that I saw to determine our future.
So, from what I understand, the homer sacer is the individual who lives in this paradoxical state being one who is exiled yet tied/identified as a person due to the law. Interestingly, it is this individual who lives in the same kind of paradoxical state as that of the sovereign who Agamben describes is simultaneously outside and within the laws of society. Or in other words, the sovereign excludes himself above the law since he has the power to suspend the law and create exceptions, yet is intrinsically tied to the law because he is also subjected to the same laws.
I just wanted to point out the analogy in the beginning that I found particularly helpful in getting my head around what Agamben is talking about. This is the analogy that he gabe about the phone and logos, or in English, the voice and the language. He provides this analogy to parallel the relationship between the bare life and the political life.
It is interesting how the prerequisite to the political life is the bare life yet this bare life is what is technically being excluded from the political life. This delicate balance is what Agamben constitutes as a relationship between the bare life and the political life. It is another example of the common postmodern trend to be as complex as possible and exist in a state that sounds contradictory.
I thought the discussion of Freud's prohibition of desire is very similar, if not identical, to the argumentative structure of Foucault's discussion of sexuality. Butler states how the prohibition of desire "does not seek to obliterate prohibited desire; on the contrary, prohibition seeks to reproduce prohibited desire and becomes intensified through the renunciations it effects" (56).
The discussion of "negative narcissism" is another one of the several examples Butler provides that possesses a very contradictory nature. Negative narcissism deals with the counteractive effect of "regarding oneself as excrement." It is this negative experience that creates a disparity from actually identifying with the excrement. Therefore, a mediator, like a priest, is needed where "everything that the abject consciousness offers, that is, all of its externalizations, including desire, work, and excrement, are to be construed as offerings, as paying penance" (51).
I thought the discussion about desire and will was very interesting. Nietzsche's sentiment of people desiring to will nothing than not will at all is used to show how "in both cases, the desire to desire is a willingness to desire precisely that which would foreclose desire, if only for the possibility of continuing to desire" (61). My question is, what is the purpose of this continuity of desire? If there is nothing we desire, why do we still want to desire? What does this interpretation say about us?
Zizek talks about symbolic authority which is another essential characteristic that we have been discussing as part of the postmodern. In other discussions, we have talked about Baudrillard's simulacra, which parallels to Zizek.
Zizek provides an example of the coin and how this coin "is always sustained by the guarantee of some symbolic authority." He then presents a following quote that seems to be saying that its physical property is only good for providing the "mere carrier of its social function" (19).
Zizek wants to largely emphasize the significance of the form rather than the hidden meaning behind things. He talks about this within the topic of commodity and dreams.
This is an interesting manuever since minds like Freud have previously focused on hidden meanings rather than the purpose of the form that these meanings are presented. It makes me take a step back and see my environment in a more structured, set-up way which translates to the overall picture of how reality is manipulated and portrayed in a certain form.