Friday, February 20, 2004

exile and a pseudo-event.

Downstairs, a room full of UW debate-folk are cutting cards in preparation for districts. There's a lot of random talk about arguments ("Here's what Lyotard's saying..." "The Homo Sacer exist in the space between the two deaths..." "TNWs lead to catastrophic space militarization..."), little in-jokes (some of which I get, some of which I don't), and spurts of high-pitched, speed-reading.

In this environment, I feel kind of like an exile. I'm torn between an interest in what they're talking about, as well as a quiet sense of jealousy at the kind of excitement that only NDT debate has ever inspired in me, and the animosity I continue to feel towards the activity and the memories of everything I hate about debate.

It's weird, because I kind of fit in here (I know a few things about some of the arguments), but I kind of don't (I haven't debated the topic, I can't read like a debater anymore). I'm connected just enough to realize how outside of their world I am.

Maybe, in a banal sense, I'm in a kind of death drive. I've officially and unofficially renounced my ties to the debate community, yet I refuse to maintain my death in that world. Debate eternally returns, in new manifestations, every day. Despite the fact that I don't have to do a single debate related thing, it's a presence that hovers over me... offering the promise of a world that seems good in retrospect, but was never really that great while I had it.

Then, in the midst of all of this selfish introspection, Mr. Falwell comes on TV. GLBT rights are all over the airwaves this week, so Lynchberg's authority on the "sanctity of marriage" has to make the rounds, denouncing the "perversity" of homosexuality. Nevermind the fact that churches still have the choice of who to marry. Nevermind marriage's heightened secular status that has zero bearing on reproduction. Nevermind the fact that Protestantism doesn't even consider marriage to be a sacrament. He's gotta come on TV and sound the alarm.

Falwell raises some very conflicting feelings in me. He makes all of my debate exile shit seem really petty and irrelevent. He makes me want to do something to make a statement about people. He also makes me feel hopeless.... How do you answer someone who says things like this? Habermas be damned, I don't think people hold racist, sexist, heterosexist, etc. opinions for rational reasons that can be dissuaded through logical debate. I'm not sure what good it does to debate Falwell on TV when his position has no bearing on any of the actual warrants for why he opposes gay marriage.

So what... the fuck... am I supposed to do about this?

Become a nihilistic cynic? Interrogate his desire? What the hell would that even do?

Yeah, so this whole thing's useless. I just don't know today.

A really bizarre Link:

S.F. Mayor Defiant, Marries Gay Couples

This link has a little tidbit of the utter absurdity of the anti-GLBT "movement." This quote is just surreal: "About 25 anti-gay protesters later blocked the door of the county clerk's office, lying down in front of the line and singing religious songs. Gays and lesbians responded by belting out ``The Star-Spangled Banner'' until sheriff's deputies escorted the protesters out. No arrests were made."

They laid down in front of the door to block people they don't even know from doing something that doesn't even affect them. This reminds me of Badiou's argument that the real Event has been replaced by the pseudo-event. Social Conservatives who have grown up feeling the need to be persecuted due to the direction of their religion following the Black Plague are trying to find something meaningful to fill the gap that is the utter (near) absence of oppression of Christians in the United States. So... they create a mock event... laying down in front of doors as if they're civil rights or anti-apartheid protesters, creating the resemblance of an actual political cause that means something.

I wonder what they were singing... "We Shall Overcome?" This makes me kind of queasy.


So tomorrow I'm picking up a friend at the airport. Well, not just a friend, but an ex-girlfriend. She genuinely seems to want to see me and I care about her, but I'm at a deadlock about what to do about it. I just have this slowly growing empty feeling inside. The only things I feel passionate about are the words of dry theory... steril figures printed in books and scribbled on the back pages of my school notes.

I don't know how to express to anyone how I'm feeling right now. It's like there's a static-filled screen between my ears and a vat of hydrochloric acid slowly dissolving a dead bird in my stomach.

No comments: