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The Totality Is Incomplete: Collected Essays of Alex Gorrion PDF

328 Pages·2018·3.53 MB·English
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The Totality is Incomplete Collected Essays of Alex Corrion The Totality is Incomplete collected works of Alex Corrion ArdenPtr ess POBox3920 BerkelCeAy 9 4703 firsptr int2i0n1g8 licenusnedde crr eatciovmem ons @(!)@ morei nformatiaotan r dentpress.org byw ayo fi ntroduction Introduction 1 lovneo telso:w asn dh ighs Saying Goodbye 5 We Want to be Great Like Our Crime 11 texts Has the Insurrection Come Yet? 22 Networks, Colonization, and the Construction of Knowledge 58 ajourneyl Kafka Reloaded 68 You Don't Really Care for Music, Do Ya? 93 Robots of Repression 115 cultugroee pso p! Robin Hood: The Grandmaster ofThieves 128 How This is Going to Begin 135 Jewel's PerfectTeeth 146 A Predictable Journey 155 One Hand Clapping for Kanye West 165 ajourneyll Golem in the Catacombs 174 For the Love of God 185 Science 200 farewell Of Superhumans and Cyborgs 237 appendix: becauwseel ikleo ng-winsdteedr,di elbea tes Science Revisited 252 Something Like an Introduction ... Introductions to books are usually written last, once all the other material is complete. This seems to me a bit of a cheap trick, to say where you're go­ ing once you've already gotten there. There's no wager, no risk, no daring projection. A good writer who doesn't arrive at the destination they've set out for themselves can then make in the conclusion an inspection of their failure, embracing imperfection. Conclusions as they stand are just boring rehashes of content, a reiteration that serves no purpose but to bookend the equally phlegmatic introduction. I cannot break with this tradition presently, be­ cause when I first began writing a run of articles for The Anvil Review in 2010, I didn't know it would end up as an entire book. I was simply responding to a plain directive, "write reviews," and that's how it started. I was also aware that the Review intend­ ed to focus on anarchist dissections of pop culture, a focus I didn't necessarily achieve, but it helps to remember that these were years in which the line between Agamben and Lady Gaga was increasingly blurry. Some of my first articles were mere reviews of books and films that were coming out within or very close to anarchist circles. But quickly, the writing obligation I had con­ tracted became, if not a writing project, then certain­ ly a journey: to treat any expression of our culture, from a baby stroller to a new movie, as a textual artifact and the potential opener to a conversation. introduction 1 What does a highway say about God, what is the political program of a desert nomad, but what does Joss Whedon tell us about revolution, and what is Jewel up to nowadays? These are some of the ab­ surd questions I have used to converse with an in­ creasingly absurd world. The title, "The Totality is Incomplete," is a phrase I used in my 2010 review of the film, The Chi­ cago Conspiracy, which didn't make the cut for this book. The idea behind it is that even totalizing sys­ tems of power fail to absorb certain spaces, which remain not pristine but undominated, and that these are important places of imagination and resistance; additionally that all theories attempting to describe the totality are constantly breaking down, but in fact this decay, this erosion, is fertile material, and to place our roots in the rotting edifice, to hasten its collapse, is also a sign of love. In the end, I'll admit, I arrive nowhere, or I in­ creasingly discover that the world is being erased beneath my very feet, that everyone around me is being turned into a cyborg, and that perhaps I died a very long time ago in the Paris catacombs. This book, then, is nothing but a desperate flight, a non­ digital refuge that might escape the attention of our robot overlords, a final sanctuary in which I can bury myself before disappearing forever from this non-world, in the hope that you, reader, will carry me somewhere safe where I can rot and molder un­ til a time when living beings again inhabit this earth. Take me, dear reader, like I were the seed of the last trufula tree, take me and run, and find somewhere to hide yourself as well. The future is merciless, and 2 there's no place for us there. Fall 2018 Alex Gorrion introduction 3 SayinGgo odbye I. What could be more timeless than saying goodbye? And what could be more proper to the present configuration of capitalism than the search for things timeless? Notions of love, family, gender, progress, and humanity are constantly presenting themselves as natural in the marketplace of ideas. Renegade intellectuals, dialecticians or postmodern­ ists, make a game out of taking the eternal out of the timeless, such that everything is new. Who knows what saying goodbye was like in the early days of capitalism, and earlier. What is cer­ tain now is that the very term "goodbye" conveys a sentimental finality that contradicts the lack of any finality in the physical movements built into the ap­ paratuses of today. The most common migrations of the past were those of primitive accumulation, modernization, and urbanization-the breaking up of communities, the massive reconfiguration mediated on the human scale with a great many goodbyes. It was a migra­ tion that necessitated permanence and prohibited the likelihood of reunion precisely because the place being left behind, the rural community, was ceasing to be, and if any individuals should cross paths again, in the city, in the New World, it was within a matrix of entirely changed social relationships. This culture of departure inherited earlier no­ tions of solitude that would fast become obsolete. The term of parting that is now so synonymous with saying good bye 5

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