Posts Tagged ‘allen ginsberg’

Screaming Monsters and Sordid Gays: Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

map-europe-3-18-44-e

I was really looking forward to reading Ian Bogost’s philosophy book, Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing. Two girls who I absolutely admire — one who writes criticism about Thoreau, one who writes plays about Louis Braille — placed praise upon the book, and I was prepared to do similarly.

Ian’s book is bound to object-oriented ontology, a philosophy that posits that “nothing has special status, but that everything exists equally — plumbers, cotton, bonobos, DVDs.” For Ian, the world is composed of units, where “something is always something else.” Humans, the stars of so many philosophies, can neither be separated nor elevated above other things because those things are a part of them and they are a part of those things. While Kant (a bland German boy), Heidegger (a curious Nazi boy), and others put people on a peerless pedestal, Ian puts them in messy dot where millions of encounters occur at once. As Ian explains:

On August 10, 1973, at a boathouse in Southwest Houston, the shovel of a police forensics investigator struck the femur of one of the seventeen corpses excavated that week, victims of serial killer Dean Corll.

The boathouse, the shovel, the police boy, the serial killer — each is a unit, and each unit leads to other units. The serial killer boy probably possessed a mommy and daddy, and his mommy and daddy are units who are entwined with more units. Object-oriented ontology suggests the unceasing character of the Nazis, who were invariably inserting themselves into more land, lives, and histories. Units are all over, and, during World War Two, so were the Nazis.

But not all of object-oriented ontology can be compared to screaming monsters who slaughtered six million you-know-whos and five million ummms. Some of Ian’s philosophy aligns with utterly unpleasant people, like Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg. Each of these canonized homosexuals has a penchant for lists. Whitman enumerates his electrified body parts while Ginsberg tells of the objects that have transfixed his tushy. For Ian, “Lists remind us that no matter how fluidly a system may operate, its members nevertheless remain utterly isolated, mutual aliens.” Whitman-Ginsberg types show this shared separateness in a most sordid way. Queer theorist Tim Dean details how homosexuals disclose the inevitable objectification of s-e-x. Disputing Andrea Dworkin’s belief that porn “dehumanizes those whom it fetishizes,” Dean says that all s-e-x, not just the porn kind, “fragments and particularizes.” Such fragmentation is disgustingly displayed in the gay community, whose members, according to Dean, BJ boys through holes in the wall, then spit the c-u-m into a container, which is then funneled into other boys’ tushies.

(more…)

HOW TO TRANSFORM MILK INTO MILK

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

This photo was taken on my 16th birfday.

Le Scrap

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

I’m feeling scrapbook-y this fine Sunday morning.

1. Insanity 101:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW3Roqmfr94&feature=related

2. There’s a new issue of SpringGun out that includes an e-book and digital writing. I think this is one of the better new online lit mags.

(more…)

Fuck You

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

glow interview with Ed Sanders over at Poetry Daily. If you have seen it, Fuck You. If not, Fuck You.

It’s pretty good to write here, because people leave us alone.

Excerpt from “Footnote to Howl” by Allen Ginsberg

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

The frequent commenter and all around nice man Ryan W. Bradley once told me that his mother gave him Howl to read when he was ten. This made me go buy Howl from the great City Light Books. James Blake will play Andy Murray in the final of Queens, the lead up event to Wimbledon. I just finished reading an old One Story story ( I subscribed at one time, I no longer do, but those little stories are scattered around my house) called “Selling the Apartment” by Danit Brown.┬áIt was written in the second person. Wells Tower wrote in the second person once and I liked that story, but it was really short. (more…)