On the one hand, a cisgender white American dude writing about how the world, on aggregate, is safer now than it has ever been... (admittedly, that is a 2011 reference... I'm not sure how things are stacking up these days)
On the other hand, my smarmy identity politik that attempts to "discredit" the objectivity of his work by pointing out his whiteness, his Americanness, his ... dude-ness...
The Sydney siege
Boko Haram's mass murders
ISIS/ISIL/DAESH beheadings, immolation, gay-killings
Just the pornographic virality of filmed murder...
Reflecting on how social media (i.e. FB/Twitter) and high speed internet access
contribute to my notions of "brutality"
Reading Judith Butler's "Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence"
Also, the physical separation between me and most of my family.
Tiredness, as well. Tiredness, yes, as well.
Tiredness exists in part because of ongoing expectations (however self-imposed or inflicted)
about achievement, correctness, etc.
The sense of the Internet, such as:
- Afghanistan, of the 1950s/60s
- An anthology of Radical Black (mostly African American) thought
Also, retrospectives... I read articles now from prior to The Most Recent...
It is worth revisiting old pieces, from elsewhere, from a decade or more ago
to see how far we have come, or how little has changed, or how "backward" we have gone...
Judith Butler's "Precarious Life" was written soon after the attacks by al-Qaeda on the TwinTowers of NYC on Sept 11th 2001...
And the book resonates with me still today, her insights into what ethical quandries we need to deal with, after every new beheading...
I have also recently become much more interested in reading the corpus of works by Noam Chomsky...
connecting with Anarchism, beyond the early20s-hipster-identitypolitik of the anarchist spaces I have traversed
I have also, in 2015, become more wary of identity politics in general, with a visible (online) expression of endless cycles of impotent anger, of rehashed (and perhaps rehearsed) traumas, of allergies to beauty (as if beauty were some affront to the purity of precious political outrage)
My friend Tim writes about
n. the feeling of jealousy one gets when one is born into a powerful family, ethnicity, class or social position, but one winds up with no power."
I reflect on my own class privilege, my obsession with 'justice', perhaps
a clinging onto some sense of power and privilege and access I once knew
as a Chinese ethnic majority in a Chinese-run country, even as I spoke English fluently so I was still
the elite Chinese among Chinese in a post-British colony, and
I remember now, also
I was approached at 14 years old, in my favourite shopping centre (the Heeren, which was once almost entirely devoted to the HMV music store, which has since gone bust in Singapore),
being approached by a person who told me
that I was handsome, that I could be a model, that I should be a model...
She gave me her card for a modelling agency, with some details for an orientation into the business...
I used to be so... gorgeous.
Young man, Chinese, of course, among Chinese
fair skinned, tall, I was told: I had impeccable dress sense, that
I had good skin, smooth and fair, yet also
darker than female
and that all the girls who knew me
wanted to be with me, even as
I found myself primarily wanting to
give fellatio to Caucasian tourists
who were escaping the tyranny of their own
monoracial nightmares, from their countries of origin
Singapore is so amazing, it is so. so amazing
and I am not young anymore.
The air I breathe is Australian bush air
desert air, and
a new sense of justice is possible here, necessary here
I leave behind my legacy of class privilege, my statusidentitaetsverlustneid... I must try on some other outrage
move beyond indignation or pity
meditative inquiry, let's say
I am as bewildered as I have ever been