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"Postmodern" is one of those adjectives that everyone seems to have some vague sense of but that no one seems able to fully define. During the first half of this semester, we will we will follow the history of the postmodern debates, and explore how the web of ideas known as postmodernism came to be applied to everything from geography to politics to -- of course -- media. After that, we'll turn our attention to the status of the subject within the postmodern, and in particular, to the relationship between the subject and the systems of power with which s/he is constructed.
Edelman is obsessed with puns. Anyone else catch this?
"The left in this is always right from the vantage point of reason, but left in the shade by its reason is the darkness inseparable from its light." (p14)
Very entertaining, though perhaps not so necessary?
Ok, no one has ventured here yet, to my surprise, so I'll go there: What, exactly, are the real and tangible consequences of advocating for No Future?
Having felt a similar sort of response as KF mentioned in class - one of both great intrigue and at once horror at the idea of No Future - I am quite compelled by Edelman's discussion around the work of Politics against the politics of the sign, as well as the marking that occurs with queerness as resistive practice.
Edelman and our last two authors touch on death as crucial to the thinking of a new order (or, for Edelman, to the opposition to our current social order). Butler asks, "What would it mean for a subject to desire something other than its continued 'social existence'?
When Edelman writes that "the sinthome thus names the element through which we 'take on distinctive shape,' and if, like figure, it assures our access to a 'recognizable' world by allowing us, as Lacan explains, to 'choose something ... instead of nothing' ..." I thought of the phrasing in aha's post from last week, where he paraphrased Heidegger's definition of Being as the reason why there is something instead of nothing.
I'm not sure how I feel about Edelman's use of Baudrillard, especially the sentence "And all this [the human race slipping into the void] because (heterosexual) sex has "become extraneous, a useless function"" (65). First, I read Baudrillard as opposing two types of death: the death of the individual versus a second death, which is really more like deathlessness, that comes from identicality.
From Chapter 2, I want to talk about Edelman's discussion of Baudrillard. Particularly towards the end of the chapter, Edelman emphasizes Baudrillard's assumed horror towards sexuality possessing a "useless function." I am assuming because Baudrillard argues extensively over the dominant existence of simulacra in our world that something which possesses no meaning would make "Baudrillard recoil in horror before this "useless" sexuality" (64).
The main points that I got out of Chapter 1 is that the Child represents our future, but that this works against the notion of homosexuality because it goes against reproductive futurism. Therefore, the only way for homosexuality to become legitimized is with the abolishment of the Child standing as such a sacred image that is so essential to our future. I have never once before questioned the image of the Child. For as long as I remember, the child was always the icon for the future generations to come. It is with their survival and their actions that I saw to determine our future.