Monday, January 24, 2005

There are other words ...

What are we saying when we say something?
What's the meaning of the words?
Well, the words are the meaning and the meaning is the use we put them to.
It just so happens that someone else is always able to put them to a different use.
And there are always other ways of expressing things and therefore other meanings because the use will change a little according to the various impressions different words set off.
Derrida thought therefore that there is more power in the written word.
Why?
Because it is precisely ambiguity that allows for meaning, use and creativity into any and all expression!
And ambiguity is more likey to occur in a decontextualised (textual) locus than in face-to-face dialogue.
Thus, for the post-structuralist movement, ambiguity is at the heart of all human experience and expression.
We might then do well to live ambiguously - to fuck with the variables in surprising ways - if we take post-structuralism at its word.
Sounds a little schizopherenic, doesn't it?
If change becomes the highest value (or perhaps the only ontologically REAL 'value' [whatever that means...]) then it makes sense to perpetuate and live with the ambiguity that change entails.
It's hard to take such a stance seriously, perhaps this is why po-st's have such a developed -and odd- sense of humour.
So what can I do to live ambiguously?
A start might be to live according to process rather than for specific events and things: ie. how do I approach any and every event that I experience? What's my attitude to life?
But more, it might require a certain lack of clarity and a willing to accept that we are never right about anything (as if there were a state known as rightness) but that for the same reason we are never wrong either.
This I find quite liberating and also potentially dangerous.
I think politics is stale. It needs something new to shake it up.
Deleuze thinks it is the task of the 'left wing' ('left' and 'right' were still valid notions in his time - he died in 1995) to energise politics and create change by creating new ideas that the 'right' cannot ignore. It seems as if the right has taken this charge seriously and the left entirely ignored it.
And of course, to change politics is to change everything.
Let's get out there and incite change by how we live and lets change culture.
The greatest change involves changing how and what you think and therefore relate to anything and everything.
It's all up for grabs and other vacant platitudes.

3 Comments:

At 12:45 pm, Blogger The Andrew said...

But wait, what good is a change in poltics when we live in a harshly instated heirarchy constituted merely of one's monetary means and a simple lack of respect undeniably present in all humans? Until we can break the constraints of this sociological classification system, no matter of change will truly alter our living experience. The freedom to make choices without the undue moral, religious, and sociological inhibitions placed upon us has never been present in our lives, nor do I see it coming in the near future. Ambiguity be damned; I want an abolishment of church and a reconfiguration of thought.

 
At 3:58 pm, Blogger Dave Pullen said...

I'm not sure how to institute you ideas in my life. How do i incite change by how i live? How do I change something that is always changing through the interaction of everyone within it. Arent I inciting change by existing? You said, "But more, it might require a certain lack of clarity and a willing to accept that we are never right about anything (as if there were a state known as rightness) but that for the same reason we are never wrong either." But doesnt actively engaging in the idea to change things presuppose that you believe certain things to be wrong? Are you really say that everyone is neither right or wrong except me, i'm actually right?
Or was your text too ambiguous for me to take correctly and thus everything i said was only valid for me, thus making you still right......fuck, you win either way. Doh!

 
At 1:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are we saying when we say something?

Saying something is always a leap of faith. (See John Durham Peters' Speaking into Air.)

That is, saying something to anyone (except yourself).

Which is why talking to yourself can at times be so comforting to people who have more often than not, been met with more disbelief than belief from those around them.

This comment presumes (cf. above) that you can understand.

kh

 

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