Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. Blog, Internet resources, online reading groups, articles and interviews, Illuminatus! info.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Saturday links

The Golden Horde in concert. Creative Commons photo, source. 

Illuminatus! quote from Jesse Walker on X/Twitter. 

"Crazy to think that murdering someone would get you charged with murder."

From my other blog: Movie planned about avant garde Russian composer Alexander Mosolov. 

Interview with Des O'Byrne of the Irish punk band, The Golden Horde, who RAW recorded with. Recommended on X by RAW biographer Prop Anon.  The Wikipedia article explains the band's RAW connection. 

Freddie DeBoer, suggesting that everyone treat trans people with kindness. Part One. And then he did a follow up piece. 

New Bryan Caplan book on being a non-conformist.  My blog collection of Caplan advice is still up.


Doctor Richard Waterloo said...

I read the two pieces by Freddie DeBoer, and there's a lot I could say. But I guess I'll make my approach from an identifying and meta-political angle.

It seems to me that the personal and consensus narratives we keep within our heads allow for certain possibilities, possible emergent futures. And within these stories, identities of bodies (along with things) are available for attachment.

"I identify as _____." Whatever fills in that blank guides the limits of what is available. If one identifies as Christian, then they are limited to the beliefs of a Christian. If one identifies as male, then there are constrictions within that identification within the belief system (attached within and to their consensus narrative).

The identity that breaks through these seemingly fixed identities is that of "trans". It is something "outside" the patriarchal structure which codes the world, and from its codings, creates the metanarrative. From whatever metanarrative situates the present, futures emerge. If trans people can exist, then other combinations of things can exist.

So, it is from this perspective that I see the trans "ideology" as something that goes beyond the Imperial identification system of consensus reality. If a woman can have penis, if a man can have breasts, if a non-binary person can experiment with genders, if new genders can be created, then we have more possibilities in the world available. Excluding people that resist the codification of the world (otherizing them) does not serve the benefit of humans and our relationship with the world (to include the Earth), it serves the current system of representation which keeps us fixed within (what I think is) a 20th century mindset.

Here are two anecdotes from a personal perspective that may add some context. (I've been reading and toying with the idea of "trans" from a pretty darn het-male body and mind.)

In Matt Walsh's "What is a Woman" movie, he asks a gender studies professor, "How do I know that I'm not a woman?" And her response was enlightening (to me). "That's a good question. Maybe you should explore that." BOOM! My mind raced: Where are the limits to "man" and "woman"? Where do these definitions come from? Who benefits from binary limitations? How can one find something outside them? The questions continued through the film and still do.

Then, one day at a consignment shop, I looked over at the women's clothing section and noticed they had more colors and patterns that I wanted to wear. I found a pair of teal blue dress slacks that would look great for a costume I was working on. Feeling very odd about this, I hesitated about the purchase. Then, in the spirit of radical defiance, I decided to purchase the pants. Women's section? Men's Section? It had dawned on me: These are all just clothes! I can mix and match, sew, deconstruct, reconstruct, and experiment with any type of clothing I find fun.

Hopefully, with that spirit of curious experimentation, those who find themselves outside the Blue/Red or Woke/Conservative dialectics can begin to disidentify and explore beyond what their identities and narratives have prefigured. If we stay within these 20th century prefigurations, then we'll be sure to get the future most predictable and, frankly, least interesting available.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Your moment of discovery in the consignment shop reminds me of a conversation I had with another reporter, many years ago, at my old newspaper in Oklahoma. The reporter, who was kind of conservative, complained that the music artist Prince seemed to be blurring the lines between masculine and feminine, and I blurted out that was something I liked about Prince. It just seemed another reason that Prince was interesting. This was well before gender fluidity became a mainstream concern.

I suppose you could always have said the pants were for a girlfriend. My first wife told me about how her friend's husband had bought her a dress, because he wanted to see her in it. This was apparently meant to inspire me to do the same thing, although I'm afraid I do not have enough confidence in my fashion sense to buy clothes for women.