Edelmen writes that "queerness can never define an identity; it can only disturb one" (17). In our culture, queerness does not warrant the same amount of respect as heterosexuality. Gay sex is not procreation so it can only crudely be referred to as "fucking." Queerness defies the heteronormativity that is supposed to define our future. The homosexual has strayed somewhere along the road to normalization. With all of the the associations to the death drive, I started thinking about whether the homosexual could be understood as a homo sacer.
My experience in reading "Homo Sacer" was, to put it mildly, a frustrating one. Nevertheless, I pushed through, and for the most part, I ultimately understood most of concepts. He certainly has a knack for repeating his arguments. I can say with great confidence that the homo sacer may be killed but not sacrificed. However, I am still confused by the "Being vs. being." The capital letters always throw me off and this is no exception. On page 59, he writes, "That Being abandons the being means: Being dissimulates itself in the being-manifest of the being.
Throughout "Homo Sacer," Agamben makes several references to Foucault's "History of Sexuality." I just finished reading Foucualt's "Madness and Civilization" as well as "Discipline and Punish" for my final paper and their themes are equally resonant in Agamben's arguments. The continuous link between law and violence is an underlying force in both of Foucault's works. In order to implement a society defined by morals and organization, violence must be used on citizens. Anyone who strays from societal "norms" must be punished and in many instances, this entails banning.
Did anyone else get really annoyed by Agamben's constant use of parenthesis? I found them incredibly distracting and usually pointless.
In reference to Hegel's story of the bondman and lord, Butler writes "If the object defines him, reflects back what he is, is the signatory text by which he acquires a sense of who he is, and if those objects are relentlessly sacrificed, the he is a relentlessly self-sacrificing being" (40). Someone like the bondsdsman will only recognize his identity if he also acknowledges the bleakness of his life. His ownership of anything is a fleeting one. Nothing tangible can ever define him because he ultimately has no control over the object.
I just want to express that I really enjoyed Zizek's writing style. It was comprehensible and accessible to the everyday person. One does not have to be an "intellectual" to understand the points he makes. In today's world so many people rely on art and film to get a grasp on theory. I know I do. Before this class, my understanding of postmodernism was greatly based on my viewings of postmodern films. Film can visually articulate complex theories.
The story of the Titanic has never really intrigued me but I loved Zizeck's reading of it. Firstly, I had no knowledge of the overwhelming parallels between Morgan Robertson's story and the real event of the Titanic's crash. The fact that both ships were labeled "unsinkable" and then both sunk after hitting icebergs is eerily fascinating. The same description could be used for peoples' obsession with the underwater photos of the wreckage. People find jouissance in looking at images of the aftermath of a tragedy.
Hopefully someone can explain this passage for me:
"China is the weed in the human cabbage patch... The weed is the Nemesis of human endeavor..... Eventually the weed gets the upper hand. Everything falls back into a state of China." (pg 18)
My question is - what is a state of China? And why is China the weed?
To go along with my previous blog about power as a simulacrum, I want to delve deeper into Foucault's claim that sex is nothing more than an imagined construct. Sex is simply a term used to discuss the discourses on sexuality. Centuries ago, sexual intercourse was nothing more than an activity done in everyday life. There was nothing that needed to be assessed or fixed. Now, sex is an act that requires its own knowledge.
While trying to get a grasp on Foucault's position on power, I was very intrigued by his negation of the "juridico-discursive" model of power. This maintains that there is always a negative relationship between sex and power where power's ultimate objective is to suppress sex. Of course, Foucault adamently contradicts this belief throughout the book as he claims that power works to bring sex into discourse. Rather than supressing sex, power wishes to approach it in a more controlled manner.