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the story of the mirror neurons, pt. 1

Positivity, affirmation: they are related but not the same. To confront one with the other is not to vanquish it; they take different objects and produce different subjects. Positivity and negativity: you can affirm either; you can affirm both. You can affirm in positivity the need for negativity. Positivity is the condition of affirming only one. One side, one polarity, one out of the pair is affirmed and one is left out in affirming positivity; and in affirming negativity, equally, one side, one polarity, one out of the pair is affirmed, one left out. But when you affirm both what happens is still not an inclusion: the affirmation of both positivity and negativity can go to a higher form of positivity; but it cannot go to a higher form of negativity. It cannot go to a higher form of negativity unless you have or invoke a higher power of negation; or unless you have or invoke in negation a higher power. To have there be in negation a higher power, or to have negation be a higher power, is to make of that power your affirmation, to affirm it to be or to affirm in it that power. The condition for negativity to go to a higher form in the affirmation of a power in negation higher than the form of positivity that is unequally reposed in it where you affirm both positivity and negativity is that of its being, being in the world, and in the world acting. The condition of the existence of negativity in its higher power of negation may be called existential. Positivity would annul this existential condition of negativity, this form of being and this power of acting in the world, in its negation: it is not. Affirmation differs from positivity in reposing in negativity an existential condition that is its own and belongs to it; positivity deposes in negativity an existential condition of which it is dispossessed. According to positivity not only should negativity not be, should it not be in the world, and not only should negation not act in the world, and, according to positivity, where its moral injunction takes full effect, not only should negativity not find a higher power in negation, but negativity can not: it cannot be, it cannot be so and cannot be that negation so act. Affirmation differs from positivity neither insofar as it relates positivity exclusively to negativity, nor insofar as it includes equally both negativity and positivity, but insofar as it aligns itself with the existential condition of both and either positivity and negativity. The distinction is not lost; the difference you see and describe that is and acts in the world itself takes the higher power in the relation, the nondialectical relation, of the positive and the negative—a positive, a negative.

Affirmation vanquishes the dialectic in a differential relation of a positive and a negative. But the problem remains that to confront positivity with negativity is not to vanquish it. Negativity inverts positivity; and positivity obverts negativity. It may be the case that the project of positivity parallels the inject of negativity. If this is so, and the difference is upheld, the subject of negation is induced in a movement that is reflexive and intensive; the subject of position is produced in a movement that is object-directed and extensive. This reflexivity that is subjective in negativity, in positivity takes its object to be itself: that is whereas negativity subjects, induces or forms a subject reflexively, positivity objects and the subject is taken up to be the project of a performance. The position of the performing subject, of positivity’s performative project, is facing you, the position of an appeal, from, as it were, a dark and reflexive negativity; it is an appeal against an immutable background darkness that is everywhere around it.

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I think this will be the last one of this series, it is #31

XXXI.

getoveryourself or you should know when to stop are not the same pieces of advice

but you are not listening to me you are looking at the image of an idiot on the screen

an idiot boy Bolaño says—right in my ear—the image of an idiot boy—and i am overcome by a feeling of wonder at how great it would be it is to be a female art

a female artist a woman first, second—they are not the same pieces of advice—you could—one justifies another—produce the most overtly sexual and sexualised imagery

you would not be guilty of sexuality—and I am fore-betrayed by knowledge, memory, belief one does not justify another duplicitous amongst the victims blending in, before a page of prose looking for even yet the flight of a bird & birdsong, time blurred like the wingbeat of a sacred kingfisher [writes Adam Roberts] and

 

my stomach drops

into shallow pans

tripe-white

of my open hands (even yet Fergus Barrowman, replied, some of the lines are simply bad)

facing a page of prose: sometimes life is shit: one justifies another and I accuse the extinguished theatre I mean professor removed from positon by concerted and personal vendetta—what one feels now the other will. INTIMIDATION seemed right closest to our theme but you should know when to stop

the recoil is lost it is political and so it is born: and once it was a child and knew getoveryourself for not having to be a female artist, of a woman first second—at the same—the integrity of the personal gesture of sexuality now the integrity of the gesture was lost

it would not be reproduced, it would not pay to reproduce and once it was a child, and at the same time it is the memory of things, not as they were, thought to be heading in a certain direction, ends unknown, all of a sudden going in a wholly unexpected direction the integrity of the gesture was lost, and the reduction to ends and desires the image of that idiot boy on a screen I see my memory at two removes extinguished theatre I mean professor and yours but you are not looking

and in no wise would it be true to say these two manners of appearing followed one upon the other but that in somewise I know not were they concurrent also Adam in The Thing Itself the thing itself might as well figure thought in the image of the hypocrite not the idiot

we are so many people in the manner of a lost world given the word or gesture of the appearance of victims and I amongst gathered together who don’t who can’t and who cannot recognise a crime who gather together in their want and in their lack of recognition and who do not ask who answers for it, for once it was a child and knew, but that in the want and lack of their recognition its answer goes unquestioned its question goes unasked

which is their question and i amongst and it is like the memory of smoke in a dream that on waking is the image of a face in sand that on looking you look does not ask anymore

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nearly 30 and over half a year later now #29

XXIX.

bloodspots on the strawberry hem

laughter in the trees

like with like again

I am surrounded in my disbelief

 

by wonderful and inexplicable reasons

a needle is suspended in the air

threads the sky its origins

the fictions of a scientific feeling

 

other than that

the world parts its lips

through the water

trail your fingertips

 

David the sky today

deep azure

and I can find only

my own

original mind

 

Leonora Fini’s voyageurs one sitting one lying in rest leg bent en repos I misread as voyeurs resting or put to rest the painter covers their eyes with a folded cloth they are expressionless androgynous are they at least one is not entitled to say but that the cloths over each are their eyes shut one is not entitled to say lave the brows of each rest

you have earned it voyeurs because you have not come far you have in fact not come from any origin except a certain style, a certain foldedness—as much as the folds bear a kind of sightless witness to in the cloths covering the brow of each voyageur

traveller

blindfolded to vision because not sleeping either sleepless and not entitled to dream what work they have then done the seated one behind the one lying one leg bent behind the other and what might possibly arouse them from well-earned repose to return to it to the fabrication the fictitious fabric sussurating gown of a mistress or a master did I mention their youth medieval or preraphaelite attire at whose behest they what laboured voyaged viewed or gazed on who leaves them who replaces her gown and he his robe, whispering softly through barely parted lips it sweeps the floor behind, in the hallways, in the archways, aisle and cloister, leaving them sanctified by what they have seen, what work it was

now rest

to look what is inexplicable and wonderful to have traversed all feeling, to have found there all good reason and to have there been granted your repose …

 

by what right

state the question

tonight alas the tongue of truth alights upon no tooth”

to have it extracted by a screwdriver

blood spotting the mask and lips

 

by what right spit it out

the paper besmirched and soiled

the bill

 

by what right to say

or cross it out

 

by what in this climate

in this socio-economic says Bolaño

better to live

undercover

poet

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contd. (you can always catch up by going to a kind of record at the top of the lefthand margin) number twenty-eight of the series

XVIII.

it is ultimately sensuous

your scarf

my beard

pornography

 

to be human

faces the challenge

of

my poetry

 

and what it means

your laughter is

I behind I

deeply

 

is how you mean

how you mean

to proceed

originally

 

weave the future

and a future in recoil

a kind of record

of sexuality

 

from here the

horizon begins the

looping of a spine

kind of human calligraphy

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watch a kind of record every week by clicking on this name in lefthand margin or watch this week’s episode No. 26 below continuing

XVI.

Two of these things I cannot live without

live without anticipation

live without the expected or the unexpected

live without a long time left

live without love

live without my heart is broken

live without my home

live without lost time

live without the wit of the old queers

live without wine or Russian vodka

live without affordable tobacco

live without health

live without answer

and without echo

 

I left the streets I walked in the light of emotional lamplight I burrowed into the city it was Christchurch built on alluvial planes riddled with aquifers one day to erupt hiccup flat by bodies in a terrible clarity long coats all the contours pushed into a tiny spectrum corners in the smallest circuit so you turn how can you not know where you are by the river by the square by the curve of air by the mist and smoke in your mouth by the hunger and the thirst

 

I don’t know your name

are you next

can you live without your

insides

 

her red hair freckles long black coat pockets safety-pinned a fingerless glove she reached me out of her heart a long splinter of glass ice her lucid eyes handed me it saying you’ll be wanting this this bottle of gin you are a miracle

 

are you living here now

Sydney is it

every one with a view

of the ocean

 

speaking from notes

without saying a word

are you next reader

without

 

knowing how she could know all dimensions anticipations collapsed hiccup flat a door miracle flung open ahead it was Sydney and the dress rehearsal had gone long into the night I carried my daughter trains buses stopped for the night hills of the city curved in the fired air she slept home a far line distant in the hills along the curved night in the fired air a white door I didn’t know it was a taxi until her I poked my head in in my arms and he said where have you been

 

I’ve been waiting for you

live without reason

in your finitude

you’re here now

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ZAD — zone à défendre

“All the things you dream of: do them now, while your enemies are reeling, trying to figure out their next angle of attack. There won’t ever be less repression, less police and private security, less drones and dogs. I personally regret not pushing harder before our possibilities shifted, not taking things to the fullest expression they could have reached. I hope you won’t have these same regrets.”

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a kind of record is twenty-one

XXI.

nothing white flower in autumn half a year amounts to nothing

nothing bursts half a year on the cactus flower what are these nothing

nothing good riddance that cactus why do you ask nothing

nothing if you ask me what are these dreams amount to nothing

nothing good riddance white flower in autumn half of a year split

nothing year nothing half half nothing

 

amounts that dream dreams an amount

amount of water of blue nothing inverted imagine can you

a mountain inverted an amount dreams a mountain is dreaming

ferries on Lake Baikal dreams of capture of caught and trapped

blue nothing

 

a Chinese tree in watered ink white flower a dry river wells of violence

a shadow is it but clean on horizon cut by one hair brush a single filament

of disaster of violence accepted

horizon above below horizon is the page fluid all its ends and sides cannot

prevent and stop ink from running off is page all of time

autumn

 

nothing

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#19 for a kind of record (to read in series)

XIX.

Karen says Old History Now

I only care about the present well three things

at this time

in this light

we can say

in Deleuze on Foucault places things in reverse order

friends do

we can say one can say it is said at this time to say on

the limit

of the sayable

 

and in light of saying this in this light

I make a little poison to put in

friends do

this chalice

not enough to kill to pass from my lips

to yours I slip a little in

now a sip

 

these things through being said to say

to say this now

to see this now

to feel the poison take effect

take hold I make a problem

three parts

I practice

a charm

 

hidden in a fold of skin

hidden

between your lips

 

a secret passed from one to another

the other’s small touch of madness

I am forced to write in secret

 

Caetano said today Caetano said

the most transgressive

you can do

is play quietly

 

force public recoil

in private

in private recoil

from public sanction

 

I dreamt you’re a cunning man was repeated thrice

you’re a cunning man

you’re a cunning man

you’re a cunning man

if you know so much

and bit off his lips

 

why do you love me so

am I

not difficult to love

 

the turn the rest move away they turn

to their backs I yell

I feel the poison take effect

difficult to listen

love

a very rich speculation

friends

to whom I can say

this is the time

and these are the stakes of the time

 

take this cup away

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Puerto Rico’s Sol or Puertopia (if it didn’t translate as eternal boy): a new society founded by believers in virtual currency

proposed site for crypto-utopian city-within-a-city:

and:

Read “Making a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico” by Nellie Bowles 2/2/2018

 

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neoliberalism = monism. liberalism = dualism.

…doing a keyword search for ‘neoliberal’ books, I am once more struck by the repetition of the two primary angles of approach to the neoliberal episteme. The first claims to have Foucault as inspiration, particularly in light of his genealogical work from the 1970s–so long ago, but not long either. It analyzes neoliberalism as thought collective (Mirowski & co.) or goes from symptoms to diagnosis; but both serve to critique from the angle of abjection: there is no affirmation but counter-affirmation. The work done does not get as far as affirmation. It finds sufficient a Nietzschean critique–genealogy–that identifies the enemy, analyzes its strategies, its behaviours, its break-out moments. But neither does it destroy, nor, from the ensuing destruction, does it create something new. The second angle of approach sets out forthrightly to serve resistance to neoliberalism, to give it weapons. Once again, that a putative we, we of the left, need to combat neoliberalism, must struggle and seek to overcome it, is taken for granted. The object of affirmative action is effective reaction. And so I ask myself what is the motor, can we get at the generative condition, engage the creative moment of neoliberalism, rather than go from abjection and reaction?

Foucault I think does this. He is objective, not normative or prescriptive. But in being so, he can also be seen as not taking sides, at least, as not taking the right left side. His analysis of power without a concept of power (see here) produces and does not simply reproduce or react, is productive inasmuch as power, like desire for Deleuze and Guattari, connects–or like the media, for McCluhan, in which we swim, invisible to us as water to fish. Foucault, I think, affirms power in this new modality, of its proliferation, its generative and creative capability, one without capacity, one purely expressive–or, more properly, virtual. Foucault does not repeat or repudiate a power that is connective, participatory and performative. He attends to a networked power, the powers of networked subjects, of which the network is greater than any one, the power one to the nth power, assembly or multitude, or, naturally, society–and because greater than any one, without subject, without concept.

I would hazard that the generative condition for neoliberalism is already given in liberalism to be the free will. Except that of the two forms, of the two epistemic arrangements, liberalism articulates a dualism, while neoliberalism articulates a monism centring on the market. The dualism articulated in liberalism owes its existence to the coexistence in it of freedom of the will with the equality and reciprocity of those who will, whose will will be free.

There is a religious conviction behind this formulation. Siedentop makes it his theme in Inventing the Individual (2017), where he calls neoliberalism a liberal heresy. This conviction entails the creation of a private sphere, not the household, or family or marketable lifestyle, but the conscience, the moral status of the individual. The monism of neoliberalism does away with the individual as a separate sphere, a sphere separate to society in even its moral claims and tenets, usages and principles. The individual becomes, as Foucault shows, a node in the network, or a communicating vector of sociability: the garrulous performance of everyday corpocratic existence.

What is suggested is not simply to see Foucault as the first theorist of the neoliberal struggle, because he is so both for and against, but a return to an individualism individuating society, standing against every enforced morality as contradiction in terms. Individual conscience is flattened through its universal appropriation to economic freedom–is not thereby made religious because the free practice of religion is itself moralised away. This explains what Siedentop refers to happening in Europe as a ‘civil war’, since the religious antecedence of a moral intuition both of the individual’s freedom as well as of the reciprocity, free association and equality of individuals, is disavowed.

 

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