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click opera
February 2010
Sun, Feb. 7th, 2010 12:44 pm
What's not to self-love?


Sun, Feb. 7th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)

Yes, but I'm very suspicious of the idea of disembodied, disinterested knowledge. This is an arts / sciences divide, CP Snow's "two cultures". You can see the rift in this entry, where I berate psychologists for their criticisms of narcissists, and imply that this is a form of narcissism in itself (love me for my disinteredness, baby!). That's an arts type looking at a science type and seeing his own motivations concealed beneath a carapace of "objectivity".

The kind of blogging I do has to be based in personal obsession, in spats and rivalry, in a kind of light, oblique but perpetual autobiography. There has to be a subject for all this data to make any sort of situated sense, and that subject has to be seen to have a body, clothes, a way to wear those clothes, and so on. As soon as I get tugged out of that embodied, situated world I get bored and anxious and mistrustful. I want to know always who's speaking, how old they are, what culture they were raised in, what their vested interests are, and so on. I do think pictures supply some of this background. I find the rational-enlightened taboo on pictures as curious as the religious-superstitious one it replaces but never quite displaces.

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Feb. 7th, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)

Very interesting microcosm of the syndrome I'm describing: the status of Anons on this blog. For me, the Anon is suspicious because I can't see what s/he looks like or what life his/her comment is rooted in. For the Anons (or some of them), I'm the suspicious one, because my comments are far too obviously rooted in an ego, a persona. The Anon's habitual mode of attack is therefore ad hominem, but since it comes from -- apparently -- no-one it could also be described as ab nemo.

ReplyThread Parent

Sun, Feb. 7th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)

On the other hand, you must like the contributions the Anons make on your blog, because you allow them to post and more often than not respond as well. In fact, I'd say that although the Anons supply most of the ad hominem invective, they also supply most of the interesting argument and intellectual grappling with your ideas. I suspect your problem with the Anons, in so far as you have one, is less that you can't situate them, and more that as a narcissist, you simply can't imagine why anyone would want to post something anonymously, for God's sake!

ReplyThread Parent
Sun, Feb. 7th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)

Ha ha, yes, what's wrong with them?

ReplyThread Parent

Sun, Feb. 7th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)

The anons contribute most of the interesting material essentially because who in fuck wants to be on livejournal? Not even Momus anymore.

ReplyThread Parent
animals rule, timothy conquered, f.y.mf'ing p.s.
Mon, Feb. 8th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)

I wonder if this is a generational thing. I notice it more in baby boomers (and you would be a tail-end boomer or elder Gen Xer in my mind) who are involved in arts and culture (profs, artists, media personalities) than in my generation (somewhere between X and Y). They seem more concerned with being able to "characterize" the reader, the listener, the audience member. They get annoyed if you don't give them enough of yourself to work with. When I was younger, I used to appreciate and embrace this "character-driven" approach to interpersonal relations. Over time, I lost faith in its value and power. I think what disappointed me was the feeling that "character" is not enough, that I had to offer more utilitarian or tailored value to people, sometimes to the point of total self-effacement. So for some time I've been torn, stuck in between. The inverted narcissist, perhaps. I am on the verge of deciding that I can't keep going that way, and need to just accept that I possess a certain amount of self-involvement, instead of trying to become a different, less self-interested person that I would consider "better" than me.

Your narcissism, such as it is, is the basis of your power to support yourself financially. You never traded self-involvement for being just a skill set for hire. You could probably have continued in music as a producer or engineer or instrumentalist, or made a living doing less personality-driven journalism. In fact, I might even have preferred that Momus to the one who traded one platform/forum (records) for another (blogging, conceptual art). But so be it. You have a lot to be proud of and pleased with, having been rather true to yourself right up to the present moment.

ReplyThread Parent

Mon, Feb. 8th, 2010 12:19 am (UTC)

part of the new left is seeing people as just that, instead of labels. (this is also a post-identity politics sentiment, as well, not surprisingly.)

ReplyThread Parent

Mon, Feb. 8th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)

funny, you're always railing against identity politics, but can't seem to get past it and see people as simply human -- well, digihuman, at least.

ReplyThread Parent