Power of the narrative: distributing the sensible

Call it the hidden hand.When the narrative breaks down the ability to pull classic trump hands from the pile.  This means of depicting the other as something suspicious; like turning over a rock with a stick and seeing what living low level organisms are clinging to its wet side.It often involves the demonization and dehumanization of groups, which further justifies attempts to civilize and exploit these”inferior” others. Whether its applied gender or politics, the objectification of the “gaze” is indeed hardball politics.


Katharine Wolfe: What does politics have to do with aesthetics? Surely, both politics and aesthetics are concerned with imagining, envisioning, and even creating, yet aren’t the kinds of things these fields of inquiry imagine, envision and create greatly disparate? Jacques Rancière argues that what is at stake in politics, just as it is in aesthetics, is the distribution of the sensible, and that politics happens not only through the disruption of a certain aesthetic organization of sense experience but through the eruption of a distinct aesthetics. ( Read More: http://www.contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=382

What we have now is a lack of a compelling narrative that permits a synthesis of several cultures under one nation state in America. What is possible is only a separate but equal; a form of willing segregation among mutually exclusive positions that are not able to reconcile themselves on fundamental differences without a cultural suicide and sacrifice on one side.  But no one side can deliver the killer blow; it is sparring and parrying like Matisse and Picasso without a clear victor. The issue will then be divvying up the goodies so that each can evolve according to their principles.  Both sides are guilty of spreading bad blood, though the Democrats, despite all the lip service to inclusiveness appear to engage in it much more, and couches it in the worst ideologies of white western liberalism.


Ultimately,  but the GOP, Tea Party, and Democrats   are not inherently evil.Its a question of  vision, of ideal, of what they desire their country to be like; and these views are mutually exclusive, and in their present rudimentary form likely equally unworkable. The escalating rhetoric is the result of an incoherent narrative. This agonizing frustration is actually deep-rooted; one wonders if America is the stage of an ancient drama carried forth from Babylon or beyond that has never been resolved. That is,  are today’s issues that beg questions  not rather re-enactments and re-phrasings of old questions on human essence and origin, such as: where do we come from? What if we realize that we have always been creatures, errant souls without context, lacking  reference? And if so, what is subsequently the meaning of a form of life that refers to a form of hegemony and a clear context? What are the choices? Why do we affirm identity yet flee to new ones?  What is the significance of a life without signification? What is the politics of something that we are not able to grasp or understand, the politics of a life that is related to different contexts rather then being caught by one singular context? That is the present fallacy and source of frustration: defining the singular context.

This process demonstrates the power of narrative in politics. Narrative puts flesh on the bones of argument.The mutual accusations of  hidden and secret agendas is a negative opinion and a presumption of a tragic ending, but it’s also an implied story,distilled down to basic abhorrance. The Democrats are nevertheless more adept at negative sloganeering and story-telling. The Republicans would like to evolve an equally catchy and hip emotional narrative covering Obama and Co. but seem to awkwardly misfire; and as such have to recycle the old ideas.

Michelle Malkin: ...pays tribute to some of the conservative women on the campaign trail who have not only weathered the nastiest ad hominem attacks, but who have risen above them with amazing grace. Is it any wonder that women are abandoning the Democrat Party? Readers of this blog have known that women played a critical role in the Tea Party movement from day one. Now, the “fire in the heartland,” as Citizens United calls it, has liberal elites like Katie Couric wringing their hands over “unwashed” moms, grandmoms, and young women in revolt. read more: http://michellemalkin.com/2010/10/29/standing-tall-the-rise-resilience-of-conservative-women/

Poll question: Who Is A More Disgusting Human Being: Dick Cheney Or Gene Simmons?

…”I just watched Gene Simmons on the Henry Rollins Show. Is there anyone more obnoxious and hateful than Gene Simmons? Simmons’ interview on “Fresh Air” a few years ago proved that he was a disgusting slimeball, but my contempt for the SOB grows every time I see or hear him. Granted, Simmons isn’t as powerful as Cheney, nor as powerful as Simmons thinks that he is. But when you get right down to it, is Cheney really any more disgusting as a human being than Gene Simmons?…” Read More: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=105×6642819

“The notion of the nation state is intransigently embedded in the contemporary psyche. It stands in the way of many people imagining the coming ‘divorce’ and the ensuing global, intertwined cultures. It is a good example of why the future is so rarely predicted correctly.The future violates the current world view and, consequently, even if it is accurately presented, the vast majority of people will simply reject it…. Michael Ferguson.

more: http://thefuture101.blogspot.com/

Michelle Malkin: When “comedian” and “The View” co-host Joy Behar lambasted GOP Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle this week as a “bitch” who would be “going to hell” for using images of illegal alien gang members in a campaign ad, Angle responded by sending a lovely bouquet of flowers and a good-humored note: “Joy, Raised $150,000 online yesterday. Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Sharron Angle.” Outgunned in the comedy department, Behar sputtered nonsensically and with bitter, clingy vulgarity: “I would like to point out that those flowers were picked by illegal immigrants and they’re not voting for you, bitch.” Illegal aliens are not supposed to vote at all, Miss B. But why let such pesky details get in the way of a foul-mouthed daytime TV diatribe? Just a week earlier, Behar delivered a hysterical rant against GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, accusing the mother of five and foster mother of 23 of being “against children” for opposing the expansion of federal health care entitlements for middle-class families ... read more: http://michellemalkin.com/2010/10/29/standing-tall-the-rise-resilience-of-conservative-women/

Obama, according to the rhetoric of the Right, is a flighty, cosmopolitan intellectual, untrustworthy and lacks red-blooded patriotism. In turn, Obama plays his own race card with flawless aplomb. Neitherleft or right has been able to construct a positive narrative. …..”Andrew Beckwith I do not view Cheney as a human being, Deborah” Michael Ferguson: A while back I said, “”Once again, I have had demonstrated to me that the most vulgar, hateful and condescending participants in a political dialogue will identify themselves as Liberal. This has nothing to do with whom I agree. I mostly agree with neither. But such vitriol is just not in order. The divorce is imminent.” I just don’t see the equivalent to this statement coming out of conservatives. He isn’t human? So, one step farther and it’s alright to kill him. I just don’t get it. Read More: http://thefuture101.blogspot.com/

A good narrative can be the key to political success but it does have its flaws. In our era, the great exemplar is Barack Obama, who wrote  his own story, the “everyman can be president/ Horatio Alger with  a rather tired and mediocre tale of a  mixed-race boy from a broken marriage who succeeds through brains and character. That,and the electricity of his live performances, a master of rhetoric,  carried him to a destiny that was almost inevitable.However,  after the dust settled, and the lobbyists resumed their trade and it was business as usual;  people began noticing that the narrative was losing its grip.

Tyler Bass: While the the American public at large varies in its level of outrage over U.S. government spending levels, over the past week, the physical appearance of Tea Party protesters served as a point of fixation for commenters describing their points of view from every part of the ideological spectrum. The overarching thesis of every paid mainstream commenter, in rough paraphrase, has been “I am not a racist; the people who disagree with me are racists. This validates my conclusions about the level and direction of federal government spending.” These types of conflicting arguments float around either (1) pointing our the aesthetic homogeneity of the Tea Party protesters or (2) referencing the presence of ethnic minority participation in Tea Party protests in order to expose the previous dynamic as spurious or, daresay, racist unto itself. This common practice by detracting and promoting onlookers is deeply ironic, because, for the most part, virtually all of them claim to espouse a society that is colorblind. Moreover, semantic disconnections complicate this entire discussion: Some view “racism” and “prejudice” as separate,... read more: http://www.disinfo.com/2010/04/political-publicists-manipulate-consumers-with-anthro-aesthetic-narrative/ image: http://www.cslacker.com/images/funny/meme/demotivational/america2/

Although pundits in the liberal press were expressing dismay how Obama was shedding supporters, they really did not catch the dynamics about a president losing control of his own narrative; he can’t really take back a story that was not his to begin with, or one which political reality disrupted his fragile aesthetic. There is an imperceptible space between authenticity and rhetorical pose that seems indefinable for both parties. A willing delimitation of sense experience within which something must be perceived that cannot be perceived…..the narrative surrounding a politics of the sensible is not compelling.

David Brooks: “In short, the evidence before us suggests that Loughner was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it. Yet the early coverage and commentary of the Tucson massacre suppressed this evidence. The coverage and commentary shifted to an entirely different explanation: Loughner unleashed his rampage because he was incited by the violent rhetoric of the Tea Party, the anti-immigrant movement and Sarah Palin….

Yobie Benjamin: I can't make this up. This is over-the-top. If you ever wondered what the vast right wing conspiracy is about, look no further than the agenda of the values voter conference. Talk about pushing the envelope over the cliff - Anti-woman, anti-choice, anti-immigration, anti-gay marriage, anti-climate change, anti-healthcare, anti-labor, anti-anything that makes sense. I will not lump the values voter agenda with the Republican party or conservative agenda but if you look at the elected officials who pandered to this collection of intolerance, it's a virtual who's who of the presidential wannabes and party zealots. Since when did Tim Pawlenty become a ultra right winger? Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/ybenjamin/detail?entry_id=47968#ixzz1BpNVDYcs

…Mainstream news organizations linked the attack to an offensive target map issued by Sarah Palin’s political action committee. The Huffington Post erupted, with former Senator Gary Hart flatly stating that the killings were the result of angry political rhetoric…. These accusations — that political actors contributed to the murder of 6 people, including a 9-year-old girl — are extremely grave. They were made despite the fact that there was, and is, no evidence that Loughner was part of these movements or a consumer of their literature. They were made despite the fact that the link between political rhetoric and actual violence is extremely murky. They were vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness. Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/opinion/11brooks.html a

Mark Karlin: As President Obama has taken flight on an official ten-day visit to India and Asia, the right wing has once again ramped up its rumor mill - and let false charges aimed at tarnishing the president's image fly around the media and the Internet. In this particular case, the message point for the Republican character-assassination machine was that the foreign policy trip to areas of great economic growth and potential markets for the US would cost taxpayers $200 million a day. Not only that, the attack on Obama as being a lavish spender of taxpayer money included the ludicrous claim that 34 US Navy warships would be protecting the president off the coast of Mumbai. Chipping away at a Democratic president or presidential candidate through negative, false, personal attacks has been a hallmark strategy of the Republican Party and media since the Nixon era. The tactic accelerated under Clinton and was used against Al Gore ("he lies and exaggerates") and John Kerry (who was relentlessly "Swiftboated")....read more: http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/11902

David Brooks: …Yet such is the state of things. We have a news media that is psychologically ill informed but politically inflamed, so it naturally leans toward political explanations. We have a news media with a strong distaste for Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, and this seemed like a golden opportunity to tarnish them. We have a segmented news media, so there is nobody in most newsrooms to stand apart from the prevailing assumptions. We have a news media market in which the rewards go to anybody who can stroke the audience’s pleasure buttons. I have no love for Sarah Palin, and I like to think I’m committed to civil discourse. But the political opportunism occasioned by this tragedy has ranged from the completely irrelevant to the shamelessly irresponsible. Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/opinion/11brooks.html

Michael Ferguson: The grounds for divorce will be, obviously, irreconcilable differences. If you just listen to the public discourse in a detached sort of way, the similarities to a marriage immediately prior to its complete disintegration are unmistakable. That final stage, which sadly too many of us know, is the demonizing of the other party….Politics is the art of compromise. It is wrong to compromise one’s principles. America no longer shares a common body of principles. I am not saying that one is good and the other bad. The combatants hurl sufficient invective without contributions from me. I am saying that these differing principles inform the sides to mutually exclusive visions of a proper future….

"Hey babes, wanna join Georgie and I in Paraguay? We picked up a real nice spread. I found this story interesting. From all accounts though, it seems he bought the land for its gas reserves, but one wonders? He even uses U.S. Marines to protect his investments. Nice. Maybe I can get the SD National Guard to come over and mow my lawn this summer? Makes you wonder how long Mr. Shrub will be living in Dallas, TX? At least the Nazi’s aren’t involved this time, hopefully." read more:http://www.southdacola.com/blog/category/cheney/page/2/

…Further, principles inform us as to what constitutes a just body of laws. If the principles meaningfully differ, the apprehension of the justness of society differ. That is where they are. They undeniably have irreconcilable differences. Perhaps some feel that an accommodation can be forged out of the discord. Warring spouses sometimes think so, too. However, they are almost always, in the end, wrong.

Rather, with time, the adversaries will come to realize that either they split or the nation will devolve into a tyranny of the majority. As they march inexorably toward that realization the tone of the conversation will change. You’ve likely seen this in mortally wounded marriages. Without contrition, they stop fighting. They begin discussing practicalities. When I find evidence, I will let you know. Read More: http://thefuture101.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&updated-max=2011-02-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=14


Michael Ferguson:One group of Americans believe that the source of all ethical and moral principle are either expressed or derived from the Bible. Because of this ab…ortion and gay marriage, as two examples are fundamentally wrong. Yet one is legal and the other soon, it appears, will be. Another group of people are informed on matters of ethics and morals by the Humanist traditions, Kant’s Categorical Imperative and the extreme egalitarianism of Modern Social Liberalism. They consider the abridgment of access to abortion or gay marriage as a fundamental lack of parities of rights….


…There is no compromise. Compromise would be wrong. Since one’s sense of morality informs one as to the justness of laws, policies and programs, one side or the other must, in some ways, feel that they are living in an unjust society. Not in practice, but in principle.

The more you look into this the less sanguine one can be about eventual reconciliation. The technologies of the Internet, especially as they begin to be the portal to news, commentary and culture laden entertainment, will allow people to wrap themselves in a Cultural Coccoon creating an acceleration of cultural divergence. Read More: http://thefuture101.blogspot.com/

Read More: http://www.conservatismtoday.com/my_weblog/2009/06/sarah-palin-a-fear-worse-than-words.html

Katharine Wolfe:Yet the moment politics becomes possible is distinct from the moment politics erupts — politics is a much rarer thing than common sense or the institution of a community. For Rancière, politics is that rare event that occurs when the confluence between sanctioned dispositions to partake of the shared world and positions within the partition of the sensible is ruptured. Politics not only interrupts common sense but also erupts into the shared sensible world.

As the title suggests, The Politics of Aesthetics argues that the distribution of the sensible is an aesthetic enterprise, and what is at stake in any politics is aesthetics. Drawing this correlation between aesthetics and the distribution of the sensible and, ultimately, between aesthetics and politics requires a precise understanding of the term. Aesthetics is not any set of artistic practices nor is it the general theory that concerns these practices. Indeed, aesthetics for Rancière is not even a theory of sense experience at large. Rather, if the correlation between politics and aesthetics is to be exposed, Rancière insists aesthetics must be understood in the terms of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Read More: http://www.contempaesthetics.org/newvolume/pages/article.php?articleID=382

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