Insinuation as Intensity

intensityThis post contained an draft version of a dissertation section. A more recent version is now available on the works page.

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12 thoughts on “Insinuation as Intensity

  1. Aside from your abstractions, reification & postmodern jargon.. the answer to your question is: nothing. Do you run out of option only to find that “the only winning move is not to play.” ? Would you undermine the metropolis or plan your escape? would you refer to from Politics to Life or to some morbid juxtaposition?

    1. Sorry to hear about the heat wave. We just thawed out here in the Midwest- finally shedding the snow and rain to see the flowers in full bloom. If only I could bottle it up and send I your way! (Though I bet you’d find 70F a little chilly)

      And interesting occurrence: on days like this- the first nice day in a while- my neighborhood comes alive. Yet when the sun sets it becomes more menacing; sounds of gun shots comes through my window and the police helicopter begins its rounds. I haven’t heard any of this yet his year – I guess my neighborhoods finally gentrified.

      When I lived in California, it only rained maybe 5 times. Every day was a good day for planning actions, as the weather never deterred participation. In the Midwest, though, rain and blizzards have often ruined events. Air conditioning is so common, though, even heat waves don’t seem to ruin us. Yet folks who live cheaply, like me, often try to suffer through the heat. Days stretch out and become a lot more delirious. Showers and swimmings holes suddenly become appealing, and there is a lot more drinking. Yet none of it stops life from being feverish, much like those scenes in orientalist novels where characters are stricken w malaria. I love the part in Celine’s ‘journey’ where B is carried off by the African “savages.”

    1. The whole “insinuation” thing must sound opaque, I should add more examples. What prompted it, actually, was the rise of blogs (microblogging in particular). On tumblr, for instance, there are whole networks of people who do nothing but circulate riot and protest images. The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that most people probably experience media that way – they see something that provokes them (more often in the gut of heart than brain), and then they either forget about or pass it on. From that, I wonder if it formed a more general mode of communication that could be appropriated for real life political purposes.

      1. “Yet Empire’s circulation depends on the Spectacle creating subjects that are transparent conductors of information, on whom it depends on for positivities to use in biopolitical management.”

        Is there a problem with insinuation overload, comprised of both the positive and the negative that intertwine to make up Empire’s consistency? Are there too many provocations to choose from?

      2. i wholly agree. i think the “overload” question is going to figure prominently in my next section. probably THE defining form of content in the metropolis is density/saturation – this is why marketing is so obsessed with “cutting through the clutter.” i’m trying to imagine what form of communication would be best to either short-circuit, avoid, or cut through clutter itself — insinuation/provocation may be one, but can you think of anything else?

        obviously “speaking truth” doesn’t work, nor does “carving out territory/staking a position” (which are ‘rationality’ & ‘persuasion,’ as i’ve outlined). … but then what does?

  2. no, i get it. i do. & i do not find it distasteful at all. in fact its quite challenging. sorry, the quote “the only winning move is not to play.” came from the film Wargames (if im not mistaken) i was talking about the context of gaming. As for the rest, its highly probable it resides on a context of its own.

    1. oh, ok! sorry for misinterpreting things.

      yes – i think that as long as there’s “the game of politics,” we have to find ways not to play. this makes me think i need to create a better distinction between empire’s politics-as-management and whatever we want to call the struggle to subvert it.

  3. I find that with declining voter turnouts, many social democrats these days are in favour of mandatory voting, presumably because they’d be more inclined toward the left-center than the right.

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