davidgerr: you at work us at work  cuentamecharlie ilaniqua

davidgerr:

you at work

image

us at work 

image

cuentamecharlie ilaniqua

“I sometimes worry that serious music can only be served by serious talk, or worse, that people who like serious music can only have serious reasons for doing so. The truth is that you will probably meet just as many shallow people at a National show as you will at a Miley Cyrus show, the difference being that people at the National show are more likely to think they’re important, while people at a Miley Cyrus show are more likely to think they’re having fun.”
"What is called the ‘mother’ tongue is already ‘the other’s language.’ If we are saying here that language is the native land […] it is about the step, once again, of progression, aggression, transgression, digression." (Of Hospitality, 89)
What we’ve found in “Of Hospitality” is actually a first-time experience for me in my reading life: a book which contrasts two distinct contiguous texts (Jacques Derrida’s reflections, and Anne Defourmantelle’s notes) in the same codex, with one thinker on one side, and the other on the other. It makes for an interesting challenge to follow both discussions at the same time. 
I noted that for Derrida the aporia comes, necessarily, along with hospitality.  Absolute hospitality comes with a cognitive dissonance in the sense that it’s not feasible to imagine giving up any and all attachments in benefit of the welcomed party. Derrida appears to argue that this tension (impossibility, aporia) of an absolute hospitality is crucial to the very notion of it. 

The notion of hospitality implicated master-status on the welcomer and some kind of stranger (or marginal) status on the party being welcomed. These conditions of hospitality reinforce existing structures (patriarchy, nationalism, capitalism, etc.) From the view of unconditional hospitality, there is a relinquishing which must occur.  It follows from this that unconditional hospitality, or we might say ‘impossible’ hospitality, hence involves a relinquishing of judgement and control in regard to who will receive that hospitality. 

Socrates declares himself “foreign” to the language of the courts (15), and Derrida points out that this misunderstanding between foreign visitors and native speakers  is the first act of violence against hospitality. While Socrates is pointing out his foreigner status in the Greek court, Derrida’s point applies in the contemporary setting. English, for example, has currency as an internationally-useful language. Does this mean that English speakers are more welcome overall in the world?
Derrida does not use these terms, but I would argue this question of hospitality opens up an opportunity to talk about privilege, and the geopolitics involved in place-making (i.e. establishing hospitality, native residents, visitors, strangers, undesirable visitors.) In order to establish a nice place, even a domestic residence, people have to make these decisions. What are the rules of the house? Who belongs in the home? Who is allowed to visit? When? How do we keep bugs, pests, or annoyances out of the house? 
Another question I would ask would be with regards to the Sodom and Gomorrah story. Derrida made no mention of the discourse on homosexuality that’s been traditionally attached to the story of the Sodomites. It would be interesting to think about why it was omitted. LGBTQ-friendly exegeses of these texts have acknowledged and countered traditional western European readings of the story as an ethical condemnation of homosexuality.
I find it interesting that Derrida cites Levinas as saying that “language is hospitality.” What does this ontological connection between the two words really say about the two ideas? This definitely appears to involve the aporia (space of nothingness) between referents. It is also a relationship of community and of communal acceptance of given norms. There are borders and spaces within linguistic norms, just as there would be for geopolitical norms. It is, nevertheless, a strong tie to make. 

I wonder if, in the conversation of hospitality, Derrida would count music in the same bucket as language? Music has an aspect of hospitality, as well as one of seduction and of aesthetic brilliance. In many ways the hospitable face of music is as an iteration of cultural community (rather than linguistic or geopolitical unity). 

Blog ≈ written for Dr. Samir Haddad’s Derrida seminar at Fordham, graduate department of philosophy, NYC.
davidgerr: you at work us at work  cuentamecharlie ilaniqua

davidgerr:

you at work

image

us at work 

image

cuentamecharlie ilaniqua

davidgerr: you at work us at work  cuentamecharlie ilaniqua

davidgerr:

you at work

image

us at work 

image

cuentamecharlie ilaniqua

"Que désirez-vous donner, c’est la geste qui compte."–Charles Baudilaire
In the latter half of “Counterfeit Money” Jacques Derrida offers us reflections on economics: not in the traditional sense but rather in terms of time, money, and the metaphysics of presence. While the previous half focused on the gift and the idea of generosity, the second have focuses on the measurement and the language around time and money.
Time is rigid and chronologically bound based on our conceptions of clocks. For Derrida, Drugs (hard and soft) are salvation from Time. “Wine, poetry, and virtue” are all things which can save a person from Time. The urge, I imagine, towards these things would be to escape or break out of linearity or of mechanistic existence and jump into something else, something unbounded or unauthorized or non-logical. 
One cliché tells us “90% of life is comprised of just showing up.” I find this a good articulation of precisely what Derrida argues against. First of all, the quantification of lifespan into percentage invokes a clear economy. The majority of life’s importance is being present. This is a good and beneficial sentiment when it comes to relationships, but the intent here it to look closely at it until its borders begin to shake and give way to deconstruction. “Just showing up” invokes Derrida’s critique of presence (mostly from Signature, Event, Context) since the subject position is now moderated by countless distractions. 
I found interesting Derrida’s discussion of tobacco, auto-affection, the voice of orality (107). Smoking (the tabacconist, et al) represents a deconstructive act in which the subject affirms itself with “auto-affection.” It seems that he uses the voice of orality to (in a Freudian sense) engage the idea of what has been called oral fixation. In a world inundated with letters, words, and texts, smoking is a purely oral action. 
encounter with the poor man, requires recognition (125) what becomes of “giving” when money is no longer material? credit cards (129)? the uselessness of the poor beggars (134)
Questions:
With the question of new media for payment, is Derrida saying that we’ve transitioned to “present” currencies to mere simulacra?  AKA counterfeit vs. genuine?
What role does tobacco play for Derrida. Clearly the philosopher enjoyed smoking it, but he also uses it as a springboard for several philosophical images, especially with regards to consumption, manufactured products, the erotic, deconstruction, and self-love. Can one have a smoke-free Derridean philosophy?
What is the significance of “looking for noon at 2 o’clock?” Maybe I missed it.
Where is Derrida getting the “potlatch” reference? I’m not sure how this Native American tradition plays into a (very French) discussion of Baudelaire.
Blog æ written for Dr. Samir Haddad’s Derrida seminar at Fordham, graduate department of philosophy, NYC.
"Mais celui-ci rompit brusquement ma rêverie en reprenant mes propres paroles: "Oui, vous avez raison; il n’est pas de plaisir plus doux que de surprendre un homme en lui donnant plus qu’il n’espère."–Charles Baudelaire
In this text, “Given Time: 1. Counterfeit Money,” Jacques Derrida gives us a valuable reflection, based on the above-quoted Baudelaire story, about the philosophical dimension of “gift” and what it means to give something. For Derrida, there is no possibility for giving a free gift, since it always necessitates or engages with a debt on the part of the recipient. 
The idea of gift is of central importance to the notion of presence/metaphysics/logocentrism versus Heidegger’s alethic view.
The first chapter serves as introductory material, setting the stage for subsequent sections which engage with the Baudelaire story in more detail. Derrida seems to be deeply concerned with the presence vs. non-presence of “the gift,” as well as the remembering or forgetting of said gift. 

One question, I wonder if we can elucidate more Derrida’s assertion of economic reason as “a gift without present?” It is clear that he is acknowledging the presence of gift in terms of simulacra (that part of what we take to be solid about the gift is in fact a simulation). This could easily apply to economics inasmuch as realities don’t conform to the economic theory, or to how the claimed systematicity of economics discourse is called into question.
Another question, I wonder what Derrida’s thoughts on gift would mean for social media followers? On various networks (facebook, twitter, instagram,etc.) one gives a user the gift of following. However this is transitory, can be changed at any moment, and in fact comes with reciprocal relationships between follower and followee. 
A third question: Chapter 2 lays out a framework for talking about madness. Would Derrida say that the production of music itself (to the extent that it is listened-to by a commercial audience) is inherently ambivalent and built on a logocentric framework? I wonder how Derrida would fit music-making into gift-giving. 
Blog ¥, written for Dr. Samir Haddad’s Derrida seminar at Fordham, graduate department of philosophy, NYC.
"The task of a critique of violence can be summarized as that of expounding its relation to law and justice[…] For if violence is a means, a criterion for criticizing it might seem immediately available. It imposes itself in the question whether violence, in a given case, is a means to a just or an unjust end. A critique of it would then be implied in a system of just ends[…]The question would remain open whether violence, as a principle […] a more exact criterion is needed, which would discriminate within the sphere of means themselves, without regard for the ends they serve." (Benjamin, 276) 
This week’s reading juxtapose Jacques Derrida and Walter Benjamin, two poststructuralist thinkers, on the issue of violence, religion, and the state. From Foucault we know that systems of discipline (state biopower, regulatory regimes) operate by means of reproductions of the discourses of power and of reproduction of the panopticon in which citizens must “govern themselves accordingly.”
One question which occurred to me during the readings was one of organized labor. Baudrillard in his “Critique of Violence,” recognizes class struggle of an iteration of violence, however these protests are recognized by the state as a right. A protest is not seen positively (as violence) but rather negatively (an effort to escape the inflicting of violence or unjust working conditions). I wonder, then, if organized protest is truly violent if it is permitted/condoned by the central power-structure of the state? For example, when I was demonstrating in #OccupyWallSt in 2012, the NYPD were very clear that while sidewalks were fair game for the 1st Amendment, any blocking of commerce (asphalt streets) would result in immediate arrest. Out of fear of the plastic wire handcuffs, most of us stayed on the sidewalk, despite the National Lawyers’ Guild phone number scrawled on our wrists in Sharpie. 
Another question, how is it that God is pure violence itself for Derrida (in “Acts of Religion”)? We have arrived at an understanding of violence basically as force that overrides a person’s will, and oftentimes their rights to be left unperturbed. How is it that God is implicated in the economy of violence, given philosophy’s extensive reflection on free will and the problem of evil? 
"But who signs? It is God, the Wholly Other, as always. Divine violence will always have preceded but will also have given all the first names. God is the name of this pure violence-and just in essence: there is no other, there is none prior to it and before that it has to justify itself. Authority, justice, power, and violence all are one in him.(293)"
This is an incredibly rich quote, because it tackles (a) the signatory presence of God, which is in fact “in absentia” (b) the admission of God as 100% other (c) the compilation of authority, justice, power, and violence.
While less clear for Benjamin, Derrida moves the signified of ‘violence’ from the category of a negative into an ambivalent space. Violence is the power of force. The application of this force, for D, is undivorcible from the regulation and dissemination of theogogical discourse. More importantly, the #just application of power is dependent upon our moral qualifications on the concept of what #just is, and what moral precepts it’s bound to.
Derrida and Benjamin both point out that application is marked as metonymous with God. Just as monarchs at one time ruled with “divine right,” the rule of law implies a faith-based relationship with a sacred text– the codes of the law.
Blog ∆, written for Dr. Samir Haddad’s Derrida seminar at Fordham University, graduate department of Philosophy. NYC. 
composersdoingnormalshit: Igor Stravinsky TICKLING A KOALA BEAR. 

composersdoingnormalshit:

Stravinsky tickling a koala. Sydney 1961

Igor Stravinsky TICKLING A KOALA BEAR. 

"Title, chapter, chapter heading, heading, capital, capital letter: questions of title will always be questions of authority, of reserve and right, of rights reserved, of hierarchy or hegemony.” (Right to Philosophy 1, trans Jan Plug.)
Today we are having a discussion of the role of higher education, philosophy, truth, and rights. In “Mochlos” he is delivering a talk about the university system at the moment (1980). 
For Kant, there is a conception of the medieval university in which theology, law, and medicine are higher faculties whereas philosophy is a lower faculty. 

I had some questions which came up during the reading process:
I wonder what Derrida might say about MOOCs? Massive Open Online Courses are currently gaining enormous traction. Many prestigious universities (Curtis Institute of Music, Harvard, et al) as well as non-traditional institutions (Kahn Academy, Full Sail University) are utilizing the internet as means for dissemination of educational knowledge.
The MOOC is a very distinct kind of online learning, apart from online education, in which courses are offered freely an openly. This is a highly unique vehicle for learning because it uses the internet to enable a highly transparent academic experience. Part of what has transhistorically made education valuable is the fact that it is difficult to access. The MOOC both deconstructs and reimagines academic communities. 
Click here for a useful infographic.
Post #§ for Sam Haddad’s Derrida seminar at Fordham University, New York City.