March 13, 2010

Short excerpt from the interview to be found directly below.


Something I often notice in critical theory is how much easier it is to identify and brilliantly analyze the many problems of the world than it is to propose anything resembling solutions. Analysis of problems seem accurate and convincing (and depressing) while proposed solutions often seem so weak and ineffective in comparison. I often wonder if this is a problem with the world or actually a more schematic problem that has to do with almost mythological aspects of language. How writing something negative and apocalyptic seems so much more compelling than writing something civil or, for example, about having more community meetings. Adam Phillips writes: “the sane person sees life as a novel where the bad guys get all the best lines.”

Therefore, I don’t know if it’s actually possible to wrest any given nation state away from the corporate agenda. It seems that nation states, one by one, fall prey to right wing governments that, in the end, are little more than lapdogs for the agency of global capital. What kind of activism would be required to have different governments? And then also the problem that such a project seems notably unexciting. A lot of really hard work and the results are only civic, difficult to make such endeavours seem romantic or exciting.

[The rest of the interview can be found here.]



Jacob Zimmer said...

I've been considering, on and off, a series of performance texts called "Unused Political Speeches" - it would involve people (like you, me - others) writing political speeches they'd like to hear, that they wish a political leader would say. They would include stage directions and performance notes. They would be collected for possible use, but could only be used by a politician in full and with some kind of onerous contract around following through.

Of course this is a mostly empty gesture and could turn quite cynical, but that would be the effort of the writing - to make proposals, to have to write something you'd like to hear within that frame (a frame that is easily argued to be broken)

Because yes, I know the frame is broken - I want to work on what to do now.

Jacob Wren said...

Maybe there's a more productive word than 'unused.' I don't know, just brainstorming:

Future political speeches
Post-capitalist political speeches
Dirty but free political speeches

Or maybe something simpler, just:

Real political speeches.

And then maybe you could really try to get people to use them. Sending them out with
letters requesting their use. You never know, somebody might give it a try.