Friday, April 22, 2005

Mais non, pas de tout

I've had a dreadful song by Huey Lewis in my head all week.

For those of you who were fans of the first posting apropos of la grande passion, this is going to come as a bit of a shock. Particularly as I've jumped 6 years. (One day I'll type up the weddding speech and the long missive that went into DIMIA).

I don't know how to start describing this. I've beeen calm, but right now, my stomach is knotting.

I should NOT have watched "Duets" twice. It was even too cheesy for Textaqueen, and she is the self proclaimed worlds first vegan cheese connosieur. Now I've beeen infected with Huey fucking Lewis.

My stomach still tightens.

Funny how the early eighties in on continual rerun. I now the world is bigger and better since twenty years ago, but pop culture is in denial.

What was that song by Kim Wilde?

"Le me be, why don't you babe,
get outta my life why don't you babe?
woo hoo hoo woohoo
"coz you don't really love me
You just keep me hangin on"

Someone has made it into a disco remake. If I hear it on a PA system I will weep.

I pretend to myself that its the one in her head. I imagine that this scene took place at Ding Dang dong - in the culmination of a magnificent tragic end to a karaoke evening infront of the same crowd that were at our wedding.

Actually the song she sang, which epitomised the day - the week, the month, the times -
was "Swing de Nul" by San Severino

"tous que je fair sont encore rate.......
swing de nul
swing de nul
tout ils sont une swing de nul
oh mellow mellow mellow mellow mellow"

This is a funky jazzy upbeat ditty that I intially thought wa about bad jazzlite

then Maybe about bad golf.

then maybe about bad golf as a metaphor for a failed existence (Everything I do fucks up).

this is closer to the point.

ah the point, that knife in the guts, If I breathe too deeply I can feel it.

Tears well in my eyes. It a friday night and I'm in the Postgraduate research centre.

Everything is beige.

there is air conditioning

this is a suitable place to announce a tragedy.

I haven't told a soul.

I don't think my mouth can actually form the words

hence huey lewis.

"If this is it
Please Let me go
If this ain't love
then can you just say so?
If this is it
I wanna know-oh woe oh
If this ain't love then
just let me go"

or words to that effect.

I could start on a verse "i've been thinking, and you've been drinking"

Magnificently roles reversed to reflect the reality of the times........

I only claim thought as a professional occupation not as a way of priveleging my own insight or intelligence.

hell no! she beats me every time on that.

what luxury! basking in a bigger brain than my own.

Deeper, sharper knowledge, stronger logic...........

this isn't a very interesting story I guess.

I'd been avoiding her all week - well, all month really.
She reckons all year.

I'd say all month.

And during morning coffee, (made from a drip filter - coz even our expresso machinge has been fucking up)

she said it.

My eyes wept.

Just sadness.

she is relieved.

I've got no anger, no energy - where the hell is my famous monstrous ego?

Guess it is wallowing on this keyboard.

Actually i've got lots of energy.

i've been hanging out all day to GO TO THE GYM

As Robert Lowell wrote " My mind's not right, I myself am hell"

and yes "my ill spririt sobs in each blood cell" While on bad memories of HSC poetry whihc is even worse than HSC top 40 music - where the hell is a choice John Donne line when I need one?

I'm sitting at Uni in the worskpace of my friend Simon.

He has an etymological dictionary.

At first I thought it was an entomologial dictionary and started reciting bits of the flea to myself in the hope of finding some incomprehensibly long and writhing latin name for an inomprehensibly long and writhing creature. I could have read the curbed tones of dlighted disgust and delighted in my own disgust and then imagined my own sorry little self as that inconceivably disgusting creature..........

Dracunculus Mediosis

now that's a toe curling favourite! It even ENTERS though the feet in stangnant swamps!

I just opened the dictionary randomly to "Heathen"
thank god for small mercies.

Oh god - this is becoming like my real diary - no manic screeds of 1,00 words an hour - but a slow random dribble of incoherent mutterings.........

this ,my friends, is the true shape of that sorry soul I have within me.
a fiercely well hidden secret of mine is that I HAVE A BEIGE SOUL.
I am very very boring

before my self hatred and self pity and general noxious wallowing takes hold - I will note two important facts.

I am in love
I am in shock

I don't have words for this situation.

She is so angry at me, so resentful of our successfully classified "interdependant" relationships that has suffocated her, that she wants out.

(needs out.
need sout
need stout
I need stout
What am I doing here?)

It's destroying our love. has destroyed desire.

she drinks and I hate her for it.
I don't need stout

and so, liberated by the blessing of Austudy - yep we finally have sufficient seperate incomes - she has called "time out".
so we can stop deluding ourselves that this is working.

what can I say?

I kind of liked the illusion
I thought love affairs were all about the illusion - that it would go forever, that we'd change ourselves and each other
that we'd solve or ignore the worlds ills.

It kinda worked for me

But then i've had more relatinships, have less sexual curiosity (been there done that), have less sexual desire, and we're here on my country, in my language, in the suburb where I've lived for 15 years.

This was another very safe part of my fairly safe life.

But what's worng with safety?
I don't even have a family to speak of

(now just stop, I can't sob in public and imagine if my Mum read this? she'd blame herself even more and for all the wrong things too........)

I wish I had a spicey story of a crazy histrionic tantrum.
Like the time I howled all night and bit the person who I dropped
Or the time that ........ oh yeah ... I am the one being dropped. the dropee

And lesbians are weird. the last girlfriend who dropped me - changed her mind after a couple of days.

then I could scream and rage
then I had a bigger ego and hadn't done primal scream therapy.

If anna changed her mind I'd be happy.
as happy as I am if she touches or holds or hugs me
whihc she still does

Textbook stuff says "no! set a limit!, assert your own position as a seperate person who has their own needs and boundaries"

but I have no boundaries, no position to defend

except "I'm here, please have me"

Not even a shred of anger!
She hasn't had sex with the neighbours, my mother, the cat or any of my best friends. (she IS my best friend)
Hasn't stolen any of my ideas or posessions
hasn't really fucked with my mind (maybe that is what is coming)
she hasn't yet proved herself to be a moron.

Overall I've had nearly seven wonderful years.
she has changed my life for the better.
I'd always take her back
I wish this wasn't happening

there is nothing i can do

(except go to the gym and lose 15 kilos and become one of those sleek muscely dykes that any girl would go crazy for)

and start hanging out at the Sly fox on wednesdays

Oh fuck, why?

I don't want anyone else

Strangely enough my desire to eat an entire packet of tim tams has completely vanished

I am in shock obviously

this is the start of a slow sad process, that is hard and awful for everyone I guess. and everyone around us.

thank god I am at uni and feel like less of a dork for writing Deleuzian Becomings

Deleuze describes the ontology of being as a state, not of being, fixed, definable, traceable, but of being on a trajectory.

I almost certainly sound like a pompous wanker for citing philosophy in such a glib manner, but I realy think that this is the best analogy for my experience of lesbianism that I can imagine.

I *did not* wake up one day and come out of a closet.

Lesbianism for me has been having the luck to be on a certain trajectory which has been the unfolding of a libidinous and euphoric awareness of myself and other women.

Next to this, men don't even touch the sides.

I have so slowly developed an awareness of my social self as homosexual. to be a woman in public who attracts and attracts other women...... and it has come through daily intimate life with another woman. My lover.

the trajectory of love is towards this constant reformation of ourselves and the other. A complicity of our mutual capacity to form and be formed by the other.

What we are heading towards now is an acknowledgement that this has reached its limit.

And slowly, agonisingly so, we back away, untie and move gingerly apart in to the cold waters of our own isolation.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Queer pedagogy

YEsterday i went to my postgrad research seminar andsaw 3 queeruptors - yay!!!!

The reason why i mention this is that I'm curiousabout the whole Queeruption reading group thing. Some of us do queer theory for a living (i kid u not - and i'llattach a rates sheet if anyone wants!) Basically I'm interested (iun the most foucauldian manner possible) in interrogating WHO wants a reading group and WHY. And why the big white dudes (again)?

One of the most curious things i found in studentpolitics oooh 10 err or more years ago - was the astonishing discovery that all these cool radical theoreists on the left actually were regurgitating thefunky stuff they were being told in lectures! (nerdalert!) ie their theories actually had been aid for by hecs! I immediately thought this was suss. I still think itis suss. I really believe that those wonderful freefloating members of the activist socially mobile(could be up or down) fraternity do have fuck little articulation of OUR socieoeconomic allegiances when itcomes to theory. I really DO think that a fledgling academic or a bored ex uni student missing the halcyon days of gender studies tutes do have quite distinct and separate interests in what we want to do with theory than some dumpster diving kid whose been kicked out of home for being queer.

I also believe (old marxists that i am) that radical theory, when used and discussed WELL can be a tool of enlightenment and engagement for all of us. the other thing is an aspect of queeruption thatREALLY shat me off and still shits me off. I reallyhate big meetings, because to me they look like a big theatrical forum for poeple to expound their verbal prowess. The majority of poeple are silent and guess what? as gender bending as i wanna be - most of the voices are confined to the tesosterone fueled variety....... "the man" ain't dead yet!What's happening when people are playing "the man",the erudite hero and the revolutionary?what types of power structures are being reinforced?who's keeping quiet and are they really in rapture orjust bored and pissed off?

I am really amazed and somwhat peturbed by the enormous variety of theoretical and political interests amongst our merry band of deviants. (anna,my jaw is on the floor - can you please explain? - andi mean that in an open way - i don't see the point of me lecturing you -i am honestly really intrigued byyour views). the other thing is that I am interested in pedagogy and alternative forms of learning and teaching. I knowthat some of the non theory types, the non verbal quiet queeruptors are too! (Vale Leeila!). I am interested in ways of exploring ideas that are embodied and rich, and probably risky and fluffy. CRworkshops anyone?I also - find the idea of reading foucault or dear jurgen in public - ahhh frightening! their theories are bloody tricky and slippery and IF I GULP ANDSTAMMER - THEN WHO THE HELL ELSE WOULD BE SCARED OREXCLUDED BY THEM????

Having done another bloody rant, I'll lay my cards onthe table.I am a fledgeling academic in gender/queer studies. Iam also a pretty damn good teacher (from reports). Ienjoy teaching things like drawing that are manuallybased and fun and I love fluffy CR workshops.The ideas that I bring to Queeruption are temptered bya relationships with academia. I easily laspse intopracitsing my own oratory/writing style (witness thisposting) and I do and will get paid for repeatng muchof the same stuff I'd say in a queerution setting n anacademic one. this is problematic but beats the fuckout of washing dishes.

For me, being queer has been myticket out of the working class, and my use of theoryis extremely tempered by my own aspirationalinterests.On the other hand, I have lots of books, access to photocopying, journal articles and other such stuff. Ican compile reading lists, find accessible stuff anddo a mean powerpoint presentation.I have alsways been suspicious of academia, and am nowincreasingly anxious about the demise of education.

Ibeleive it is imortant to create spaces for people tohave ocnversaiotns and to read intelligentyl andcritically.I have also seen how certain people derive benefitfrom the types of activist based volunteer run forumsthat I have sweated blood over - and bascially lots ofthem are earning more cash than I am.However, if people want the services of someone whocan explore queer theory WELL, in away that is notelitist, then my services are at your beck and call.Just don't confuse it with the revolution. At that I'mpretty bloody hopeless.(but trying none the less)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Don't Mention the War

I guess this is a rambling response to some of the confusions arising ni camparisons between the concentration camps in Australia and those in Nazi germany. The German Nazi camps were designed specifically to kill and dispose of the largest numberof people possible in the shortest amount of time. forthis reason they are more accuratley compared with aclosely planned version of Cambodias killing fields,Yugoslavia in the 1990's, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda or what happened in Indonesia in 1963. However, as I wrote on my blog, there IS a usefulpoint of comparison with the NAZi's and for more thansheer hysterical opportunism.I'd say that what is happening now IS terrifinglyclose to what I have read about Germany in the 1930's,before Hitler became Chancellor. Bascially the initialarrests and deprotations led to a situation ofdictatorship, which was something much more liikeArgentina in the 1970's. With absolute power,uncontested, the Nazi's were able to devote the entireresources of a nation to committing the unthinkable ina monstrously organised fashion.It was the absolute power of the NAZI's in the 1940'sthat enabled the concentration camps to becomegenocidal machines, whereas before, like they weremore like instruments of state sponsored terorrism,designed to isolate, terorrise people into a state ofpassivity and acceptance of discatorship.The concentraion camps that we do have in australiaand I can't think of a beter word for them, are verysimilar to the concentration camps that existed inEastern Europe and the russian gulags.What they do is firstly perpetuate a deliberate policyof social exclusion. this has an easy follow on effect(as those of us who went to Baxter saw) onto othermarginalised populations like Aboriginies and evenactivists.I don't believe that most germans were either silent,submissive or supportive of the NAZI exterminationcamps. I believe that most of them were terrified.Most of those initially incarcerated in theconcentration camps were Activists, communists andquyeers. The camps actually killed more non gewishgermans than jews, and this is little mentioned.What happens when a dictatorship takes control is thatEVERYONE you know who isn't a boring arsed silentpassive fuck, suddenly vanishes. Can you imagine whatthat does to people? also history does get written bythe winners anyway - most of the german NAZIresistance was underground.What I think is happening now is that Democracy isbeng contested, and the terrain on which ordniarypeople can fuck, scream, play or protest creatively isbeing challenged by the fascist forces of bush & co.the only ethical resonse to this contestation is toactively take our place in asserting and protectingthe democratic rights we do have.This response of asserting and protecting our ownrights (to be queer) MUST also extend to defending therights of others and being really damn clear about thefact that society consists of different people withdiffernet intersts actively defending each othersrights to exist.the refugee camps, mandatory detentions, increasedpolice harrassment of koories, raids on activistshomes are a QUEER issue. Not because all or any ofthese people are queer or even un homophobic. but onceany section of poeple are excluded from society, thensociety itself ceases to exist - and then you getdictatorship.Its hard to imagine a single state ideology havingabsolute power over poeple now in an affluent society like Australia. after all, Capitalism is actually FUN.But the scary minds of bush and co aren't somehtingI'm about to put much faith in. If we let howard havehis way, we could end up not only bored out of our minds but maybe even dead!Anyway on that note, I'll end my rant.