Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Being-With Party and Other Scenes of the English Province

The Being-With Party

The Being-With party hung out on the brown strip two doors down. This proves that ekstasis need not move very far – or that what seems to be outside self is merely a regrouping of it.  The immediate neighbors one door down posed for a long while in middle field.  The curly blond occiput of the doctor’s wife was visible in conversation with a florid white haired white bearded man in a straw hat (an important retired albino) – his head was big and clunky, the way dwarfs’ heads tend to appear  – intermittently she let her conversation flow towards the neighbors one door down.  I watched them through a ‘hit man’’ wide slit in the blind, afraid they might notice.
Somehow I was magnetically attracted to this demonstration of suburban group power.  Flesh was present and accounted for its own accounting.  The party mise en scène was very sparsely decorated.  Besides the green marquee, the party flag – that was where the food and drink were quartered – too few chairs.  The solid talk in the hot shadeless July sun from 1 to 8 approximately – gave off a constant roar.  Where the bras (D plus cup) and panties (size 18 at least) of the hostess usually flutter from their laundry ‘spider’ in full view – this is where the party made its stand.  You could feel how parties in the English province give rise to Parties. 

The categorical imperative is also a Being-With, the presence of the collective other inside, especially as a punisher.  In that sense Socrates was his own executioner.  Seneca is another example.  Nietzsche’s word from Selbst-Henker.  All relations of fealty:  Until the ‘emancipation’ via Capital, relations of fealty were the norm.  Was that the same sort of Being-With as when those relations became sublimated in the commodity form?  Every relation within Capital is one of radical separation – separating the worker-consumer from the means of production; the relations (of no relation) between humans in the community are regulated by/through the universal equivalent – money.  Like money they are equally fungible – quantifiable.  The spectacle says Debord is the unified appearance of this separation.  Yet relations of fealty persist, survive in the spectacle of power alias ‘the state’.  One owes the state an allegiance, occasionally expressed in the swearing of oaths, which is not just translatable in monetary equivalents.  Treason is also a crime of or against fealty. The justice system enforces fealty – non-contractual relations.  For instance when you refuse to serve in the military, pay your taxes or fulfil your custodial obligations towards a dependent.  Or the legally binding marital vows in front of a magistrate – “I solemnly declare etc, etc.” 
The state perpetuates itself as the spectacle of a world exceeding or removed from the universal equivalent – in that way it presents itself always as a receptacle/an archive for the archaic (pageantry and ostentation), an endearing ‘throwback’ to all more ‘pure’ forms of obligation existing before and ‘outside’ of epochal capitalism.   


Village Scenes – and Inmates

One of those couples came down from the hills.  I was standing in front of the bananas in the village supermarket, trying to find a few ripe ones.  From the side, in my blind angle, an old fart started handling the bananas himself.  All I saw was his withered liver spotted claw shifting the packages.  Then he spoke to me in a loud inquisitorial voice, full of the petulance of old queers – “Are you sorting the bananas?”, a question which made no sense except as an insult or a comment on my touching – for his taste – too many of the bananas.  I should have said something offensive, but I wasn’t quick enough – rather startled to hear any sounds coming from that obscure direction.  (Creeping up from behind with a verbal cudgel is a typical British manoeuvre.)  When I turned around I saw the frightened face of his companion, his greasy pomaded hair, a round crude rutted face of an ex-convict or one who has to play the role for a senescent employer. After the bananas, it was the turn of the oranges.  The old man pawed them aimlessly, pointing certain ones out to his companion.  Had he thought I was a stocker in mufti?  Or in his long life had he always found the world just waiting to be of service?
A woman in a black dress with a wide red belt around her narrow waist stepped out of a car in front of the old people’s flats.  Soon there were more black suited people hurrying towards the entrance.  Their clothes looked fresh out of the mothballs, typical for a village funeral.  Most were smiling, a fat woman looked like she was eagerly awaiting a good tea.

A hot June afternoon is a good occasion for a personality or a wife swap – as when I looked outside and saw what could only be the neighbour lady’s doppelgänger lying in her commodious lawn chair.  But any impersonator of someone has him/herself to disappear completely.  The impersonator is the superfluous identity, acquiring the identity of someone else who disappears in the bodily sense, but persists in the guise of the invaded host. 

Twyford on the London-Oxford line is very sexological.  A big poster on the train platform asked and answered the faux survey question: “Why do so many women fake orgasms – because so many men fake foreplay.”  The poster showed a woman with a face like Emmanuelle photographed from above, her head on an ethereal pillow.  The only people on the benches waiting for the train were women, young women.  In that moment I saw them all faking orgasms. 


The State Visit

Where I saw only the procession of the irresistible adorable red Chinese Emperor on his state visit to his British dominion – his subjects and their grandees panting for his emperor’s touch and trillions of yuan, the Queen perhaps wetly fantasizing about how it would feel to be ‘empress of China’ – Stewart Lee, writing in the Guardian, had an outbreak of Tourette’s syndrome in the form of dead empire rage.  Perhaps the state visit of Xi Jinping brought back bad memories of how the British had to cough up Hong Kong – much to their displeasure - and even worse panic fears that it soon might be the time of London.

Instead of this aimable homme du monde très poli, ruler of the world hegemon, he pretended to see only a giant red ass – volcanically spouting and spewing farts and excrements over Westminster, Buckingham Palace and the English pub.  At the state banquet all the greats of this land – headed by the Queen – lined up to either kiss or lick this ass. (As one knows psychoanalytically speaking money/gold and faeces are one.)  Only the ‘first born’ (meaning Charles) was for some reason absent from this divertissement after the fashion of the “Divine Marquis”.  I did wonder why all the blood royals except for the Queen were somewhere hidden from view.  Only the Duchess of Cambridge was seated quite alone next to the Emperor.  Had they offered her - in her blood red gown and tiara – as a serviette for the Emperor’s bodily waste?  She looked a little like a cooked goose herself.     

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