Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Update to previous post

I can't access blogspot from work, where I am right now, so I can't leave comments or update posts. But I do have email posting set up so I can post. And I'm feeling enough of a need to say this that I'm going to do that rather than waiting to respond in comments or update the last post ("Be a sexual flâneur") this evening.
In comments (which I have reading access to through email), d. mantis said this: "Would you agree that, in a simplistic way, most of our problems stem from the fact that we couldn't give two shits about anyone other than ourselves or immediate surroundings? Would you then also agree that this post could be less geared to the individual and more to the community?"
(Normally I'd do blockquotes, but, you know, email is weird and I'm not sure it'll work right.) So: yes, I absolutely would agree. In fact, I'd put it more strongly. I think that the one root problem that is the cause of pretty much every single bad thing that people do to one another is exactly what d. states. It comes in different forms, but the root is always this lack of empathy or compassion or whatever you want to call it. Sociopathy isn't far off.
I tend to forget that a lot of the time a point that seems obvious to me in what I'm writing is only obvious because I know what I'm trying to say. What I intended, and failed, to imply in the previous post is that the psychogeographical/sexual revolution I ask for should be both individual and community oriented. In fact, I have a (completely unsupported) suspicion that one major reason that "we couldn't give two shits" about others is that our psyches and our physical environments have been so thorougly colonized by economic oppressors (who want us to be sociopaths, because it is profitable to them), and that an honest attempt to free ourselves of this colonization will change that or, as d. put it, "A 'revolution' as you state, of passion and desire could lead to a more emotional existence including greater compassion." This is exactly my point, though I failed to make it adequately.
One reason why I have the complicated subclauses and hyphens and parentheses and footnotes in everything I write is that I'm always terrified that I'm going to forget to mention something vitally important. I need to calm down, because as this and other recent events have shown (like my neglecting to even mention race in my post about media narratives of poverty), I'm always going to leave something vital out. Even reading over the flaneur post again I realize another thing I did was treat gender identity, as distinct from sexual identity, as a bit of an afterthought, which was certainly not my intent.
I'm always going to leave something out. One benefit of the small readership I've gained recently (thanks, ladypoverty!) is that now there are a few people who can point out to me when I've done this. And I'm certainly lucky to have the specific perceptive people commenting that I do.
(PS I apologize for any lapses of editing there may be in this post. Once I submit it it's unalterable until six this evening at the earliest, and as I tend to edit posts for several hours after posting them, it's a bit nervewracking for me to be doing this.)


d.mantis said...

Thanks for the cameo...But I would not sell yourself too short.

This interpretation of the community and it's relationship to the sexual/desire/compassion was my initial reading. Therefore, you were a success. I was simply hedging my bet.

The pumpkin thing...well, perhaps I have been reading too much IOZ.

Nevertheless, as a father of two girls, I could not agree more with the sentiment.

d.mantis said...

Wait...a clarification - the mention of my daughters was only to refer to the unending, deviant and sexist colonization of what it means to be a woman. I am terrified that I must somehow guide them through the maelstrom.

How is that for a subclause?

Ethan said...

Thanks for the concern, but I don't see it as selling myself short. And I certainly hope that if you feel the urge to keep reading this blog, you continue to bring up things I may have overlooked. Figuring out what one's assumptions are, and when one should change them, is a constant process, one that requires input from outside.

As for the daughters comment, I just assumed you were referring to my mention of incest. Just kidding, I knew what you meant. Although, y'know, do what you want as long as it's consentual.