The future…

This is a piece I wrote for my Classics class in University. It is a mild rant which is trying to find its solidity. I am only partially worried about the class actually. Selfishly I have taken it so it is gone already to me. What is important in the writing is an idea I am exploring in Critical Theory. The ideas are from Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno in their Dialectic of Enlightenment. I am concerned with the idea of thinking and what occurs when it becomes thought. This is especially so when others put forward the thoughts of others as their own thinking. Wayne Borody calls this person a Philodoxer instead of a Philosopher (The love of opinion instead as the love of wisdom). Here is the piece I wrote:

       I am disheartened that this class will not be offered again next year. The more I thought about it and possibly how it may relate to myth itself a greater theme of much interest to me. I am concerned with the correlation concerning value, commodity, and myth. I see the removal of this class from the University’s offering as being systematically linked to the use of the education system as a tool of a specific agenda. The agenda is capital. Capital has become more important that education itself. Capital is the arbiter of necessity in deciding much about the educational system. Look at Education Department at our university to see the disparity. Our educational system and culture in general selects what types of knowledge should be kept in the system. This decision is based mainly those disciplines that attract the most students, which in turn brings more money to the establishment, which fills more pockets with money overall. This skews the aims of education in its ends and means. It positions the University towards an end which bases the types of knowledge to be selected as choice which is selected as the best means towards the ends of capital. Knowledge becomes a calculation. Bear with me, how this relates to myth is coming. Calculation provides more opportunity in the work force, and therefore the opportunity of that dream life, the life of comfort. This good life, which is a myth unto itself, is a calculation in utility. This removes thinking as something which is good for its own sake for thought. Thought, which can hardly be called thinking is neatly packaged into tangible knowledge which can become commodified. It sells quite highly in the campus book store. Aside from my philosophical digression, what does this choice of knowledge/power say about thinking and myth itself? What have we done when we coerce myth from vast ideas for contemplation into a commodity, a thing, which has a defined and absolute meaning? It has been said by such thinkers as Joseph Campbell that we have much myth around us. In a way he is right, but this is not the type of myth I long for. For instance a look at Nike, Midas, Amazon, Ajaxlogos. Myth, which is of infinite interpretations, by infinite ones to interpret, remains a multifaceted thing to be experienced. The logos in the system is always second unless it is ones own. gives the images of shoes, mufflers, books, and cleaning supplies before the figures of which they are based on. The myths have likewise become coerced into a tool of capital. Myth’s today are not those story’s told wholly for the means of expression and catharsis, they are directed at the ends of capitalism. This is exactly what I see as happening at Nipissing and the educational systems abound who aim at the reduction of thinking as a tool as a means towards the ends of capital. The ones who subscribe to this belief, make choices based on this, or are apathetic about the arts and humanities are making a grave error. What is actually occurring is a homogenization of actual thinking into the replication of thinking as thinking which has been thought. You may have not even reached this point in my journal because in a sense it is really raw, it is like a wound. I only wish to describe, not proscribe. What could be the remedy for a thing which doesn’t believe its illness? This replication and consumption of thinking can hardly be accepted as one’s own thinking. Myth by definition is divided by this mind of measure, the mind of pure

If myth becomes a film, a product, a thing, it is then able to be consumed. This consumption momentarily satisfies the appetitive mind. This appetite grows hungry for more stimulation since the myth which was once aporetic is no longer infinite but is absolute. Only the consumer can change the more times they approach the myth. Eventually when the consumer does not change when apprehending the myth, the myth will become purposeless and forgotten. It has no duty. Is this the atrocity which education will commit by becoming stagnated and obsolete? If it is plausible now that the departments Philosophy, Classics, and Art could be downsized for lack of enrollment due to utility, then it is likely that they could be abolished altogether. If we reduce education to one dimensional utilitization we run the risk of being one-dimensionally utilized ourselves. We will be towards a goal which we may not want to be towards. In essence we become a tool. Myth has the ability of reeling in irrational reason masquerading as the purpose of education. Myth bleeds the light of tragedy which is often eclipsed by a system which barbarically wants to be comfortable. Do we want to become simpler? If we give up on the aporia of myth I believe we run the risk of becoming finished ourselves, the apodictic and complete. Thinking is incomplete as long as it is occurring, and is infinite because of this. Commodifying thinking as thought moulds ideas into plastic pieces of simplicity. By becoming concrete as capital, education itself is apt to become a piece an edifice which because of its lopsidedness teeters towards collapse. I hope that this is not the future of mythology and the humanities at Nipissing and abroad.

Advertisements

Oh Socratins….

caseyandsocrates-copy.jpgI told him to stop being such a jerk. I switched it with Kool-Aid, relax. He’ll shit when he finds out he’s still alive.

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 1:39 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Completed.

Stefan finished editing the Nietzsche movie. I am quite pleased with the development of it so far. I am curious of how our peers will recieve it. n514388566_383268_7273.jpgHopefully we portrayed Nietzsche and Schopenhauer in a way which people understand the type of philosophy we wished to represent. If not, I am not too concerned. I am really into the music we used for the film. The band is called PolyesterThought and has some pretty profound music which is composed to the ideas of Frederich Nietzsche. To check them out go to their myspace: http://www.myspace.com/polyesterthought or their website: http://www.polyesterthought.com  Their cd is coming out later 2008. I am waiting to hear from Stefan for whether we are going to post the movie online or not. If we do I will link it here, if not, possibly a clip will be posted.

Published in: on March 30, 2008 at 1:33 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Thinking about Vatsyayana’s Kama Sutra…

Vatsyayana’s conception of sex is one of an act which is an end unto itself. The use of sex is that it isn’t used for the efforts of any end but only an act which is to be enjoyed. It is multi-representational as well. In the documentary heterosexuality is assumed, being a prerequisite of simple procreation. In the Kama Sutra sex can be vast, with many people, varying sexes, and other aporetic consequences. Vatsyayana puts forward not simply an idea of sex, but an understanding of pleasure through the commonly assumed sexual organs, but not limited to. It seems that the Occident cultures position these pleasures as sexual in an effort to finalize an end for the pleasure, not keeping the idea of pleasure as a sustaining effort on its own. The Western mind seeks to aim pleasure as an indirect result of a function and in effect deprecates it so it can become commodified and calculated.

Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 12:04 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Just finished filming…

A friend of mine approached me about filming a movie for our final essay topic in a Philosophy class I have. What began as a casual film about Schopenhauer and Nietzsche having a conversation over their philosophies ended up as quite an epic plot. The film is in editing right now. When finished I will post it. Here is a still of myself as Nietzsche (superimposed at Sils Maria).

Casey Sutherland as Frederich Nietzsche.
Published in: on March 25, 2008 at 12:57 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Focusing on the master of puppets.

I began reading The Republic by Plato again recently. If this staple of the philosopher’s diet seems foreign to you, allow me to cleanse your palette. The Republic puts forward the idea of the perfect city state which is often called ‘Plato’s Utopia’. The city is ruled by the Philosopher Kings and is concerned with each citizen having a specific and unchanging role. Ironically the structures which Plato views as perfection are anything but. As I began reading Book VII of the Republic in I was reminded of the commonly referred to allegory called “The Cave.”

To read this allegory click here: http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world_civ_reader/world_civ_reader_1/plato.html

Now if you looked at this link and decided “I don’t need to read this thing.” then you will not reap the benefit of the interesting notion I am about to reveal.

platos-cave.jpg

The message is quite profound in the cave. The lust for transcendence, liberation for the sake of truth, and the barbarism incurred when trying to enlighten others. I on the other hand began thinking of something else. We focus on the character who escapes the cave and explores truth, and maybe even try to understand the others chained to the wall. But we are forgetting other misunderstood characters. The men who are the puppeteers. If I had to choose a role in the cave my last choice would be the puppeteer. The bonded cave dwellers have been there from childhood, so likewise we should imagine that there have been shadow representations since this time. Let us imagine that the cave dwellers are, at minimum, twenty years old. That would mean the puppeteers have been creating images this entire time. Since the puppeteers are just a “part of the necessary machinary,” says Paul Shorey of my Loeb translation, the puppeteers would not use their own body as reflection but most likely different puppets.

If you have children, or have the mind of a child, you have seen a puppet show. Have you ever put on a puppet show? It is incredibly difficult. Imagine stand up comedy of the improv variety, only with spectators that will actually heckle you, cry if they don’t like what you are doing, and there is no hope of saving it all with an inappropriate joke….Don’t even try. Now the cave dwellers would not have been able to avail to the puppeteers for they knew not of their existence or that they were even watching a puppet show. The dwellers believed the images on the wall to be all that existed in their sensorial experience. But can you even imagine what it must have been like to day in and day out provide artistic stimulation for an audience that does nothing but consume your art without even viewing it as art. The audience does not give you applause or scorn, only silence. That is also what the puppeteer must give. His tool is the puppet, not his person.

It is redundant to question the practicality of a bunch of men in a cave with the scenario Plato describes in The Republic or even view it remotely as literal. In the view of Plato’s puppeteers a different scenario of truth emerges. Let us apply it to the Hollywood blockbuster film. You watch a movie and think it is the biggest piece of drivel you have ever encountered. As judge and jury of your social circle you condemn the mention of this film’s name. Sure, some movies really are terrible, but have you ever considered that a person may have invested a significant amount of time, money, and effort just to entertain you, the passive consumer who is not necessarily writing a film for the filmmaker you just smited? Probably not, I am just as guilty, cynically so. What about when the movie provokes your life to change, if it gives you profound meaning, or even gives you a new perspective. You tell all of your friends, recite lines from the movie, and maybe, just maybe lead you to read the novel the movie was based on. Did you write anything of your own, or do anything intellectually productive because of the film, probably not.

Now this is a total generalization, I realize this, but I want to understand Plato’s puppeteer in the same light that we view our common contributors to personal entertainment. What responsibilities do we have as certain cave dwellers to not only liberate the other cave dwellers but to likewise become the puppeteer of our own representations.  If we repetitively condemn or exalt the puppet shows that we experience we, in essence, are no wiser than the chained cave dwellers looked down upon in the allegory. As Frederich Nietzsche explained in Zarathustra, “One repays a teacher badly if one only remains a pupil.” It is time that one actualizes the puppeteer and borrows that role for a time. It is in understanding the depth of expression and commitment of an artist that give the capacity to appreciate art at all. And to think, Plato kicked the poets out of his Republic.

In Media Res

I am starting to start to think about thinking about what I want to write while I write this post. Patience while I collect myself.

Published in: on March 14, 2008 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment