Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An Open Letter to Dejan.

Well, Dejan, you asked me why I liked your Blog, or rather what precisely it was that appealed to me about it, and here’s your answer. Now the first question I suppose is why I want to publicly tell you rather than just firing off an e-mail. I want to do it because I think that if you have something positive to say to someone you may as well do it out loud, because it makes me put myself on the line to some degree, it forces me to risk being wrong or ridiculous and also because it obliges me to think about your question more seriously.
So. As you know I like it because it “ cheers me up.” Because it’s funny, of course, because it runs at a pitch of what I can only describe as aggressive irreverence, which is largely the tenor of my own humour, because of its scorn, dismay, disgust and wilful overstepping of the mark. The designation of certain American actresses as different types of class-demarcated “Cunts” for example or the ongoing “ All the Daddies who ever fucked me” complete with hardcore cartoons. So it’s the mixture of the registers, the learned with the vulgar, a picture of Tito or (Marx) in conjunction with an All American Patriarch getting blown in a shower may not be subtle but it is good for a belly laugh. It may seem offensive to some, or seem embittered but I don’t regard this stuff as misanthropic. I see it as really, innocent and playful…a desire to bring out the underlying, unacknowledged grotesquery in the culture. After all we all know what’s going on in people’s heads don’t we? We all know each other's dirty secrets, the shame, the fear, the bluffing and sneaky sideways glances, we have a shared condition and acknowledging it, with wryness and humour rather than self-mortification (too much of that around for your tastes I suspect, Dejan) feels like a release, (as opposed to the trapdness of a "sophisticated" averting of the eyes.) The opposite of misanthropic, in fact, generous and genuine in its affection, hopeful.
That sense of play and it’s importance, that sense of a kind of natural wellspring of affection, creativity and action that is dammed up in the culture is there in your dislike of the Dutch and the whole Mammon-worshipping priggishness and dullness of not just the Netherlands but of all of Northern Europe and the States, and I really like the way you undercut its authority by contrasting it with other traditions in which the emotions aren’t so stifled or sublimated into the hoarding up of reserves of capital/commodities and kulture, how the rich Dutch are in many ways impoverished and one dimensional no matter how much they consume/know. As someone who has spent a reasonable amount of his time outside his own culture and with people of different nationalities I know how we Northern Europeans often appear (are) : bloodless, dull, tight-fisted, miserably self and status-conscious and your sallies against the Dutch remind me of how much we have to learn from and how much there is to appreciate in other traditions in terms of actively widening our own frames of reference (by which I don’t mean of course reading more books and buying more CDs, hoarding more information) but by understanding other ways to be and to be with each other. In this respect the Blog usually chimes in with my own experience and reinforces me in the general drift towards a more loosely knit, less status-hungry persona. In other words it reminds me that I’m not alone.

Unless, characteristically, I’m getting it all wrong of course,


Mr Impostume


swears said...

Could you post a link to this Dejan fella's blog then, please?

Unless of course I've missed it.

carl said...

it's the Kucharelparodycentre link on the sidebar, swears...(of Dissensus fame?) so you may already know it

swears said...

Yes, I am a "Dissensian" or whatever you call it...

That blog is a good find, I'm really enjoying going over the previous posts.

carl said...

you won't be even slightly surprised to discover that i "found" it by following the link on the ever-seventeen- steps-ahead-of-everyone mr K-punk's site a few months back....

Dejan said...

Now Carl,

I apologize for my late response - I did not have any access to the internet because the Calvinist provider cut me off for failing to pay the monthly rent. And be sure that the Calvinist provider will send the eviction notice on time, but when he has to reconnect you, you have to wait for WEEKS.

I do not quite know how to answer to your adulation, save for writing my own adulation of your work, but that will have to wait until I have read your stuff - already on first glance it deserves more than just a casual look.

I think the reason I want to be brutal despite risking raised eyebrows from the likes of Slavoj Zizek or whatever New Roman Empire acolyte writes about the media these days...

... is that I believe COMPLACENCY and POLITENESS prevent the possibility for any kind of a serious social transformation in the world today.

When I met k-punk through yet another electrifying mind, I mean Steven Shaviro, he was writing about complacency and depression at his own school and I immediately recognized what he was talking about.

So the idea of my anal humor is actually to wake up the masses - even if they will be awakened by a slap, an insult or a fart - instead of realizing that my anality is highly intellectual ;-)

I will write a separate post about this, however.

Thank you again for loving me hard.