Unclean

Like Plato, Žižek uses allusions to the unclean to alert the reader to how repugnant, discordant facts can undercut a particular vision of reality. He also expands the use of the metaphor of filth to call our attention to something else closer to his heart: the failings of our modern political discourse. Bacon warned us of intellectual intemperance, but Žižek uses references to the unclean to warn us of modern political intemperance. In the cases of Plato, Bacon and Žižek, the philosophical issue raised is about boundaries and the implications of transgressing them.

In the unclean, Žižek finds the ultimate metaphor for the dumbing down of political thought and speech, a way of understanding the collapse of modern political discourse – itself an echo of Plato’s critique of the false, that is, ‘sophistical’ use of political language – in which ‘public vulgarity’ is used without shame.

He begins his argument with a scene from a surreal film from 1974 in which people at a dinner party defecate in public:

We probably all remember the scene from Luis Buñuel’s The Phantom of Liberty in which relations between eating and excreting are inverted: people sit at their toilets around the table, pleasantly talking, and when they want to eat, they silently ask the housekeeper: ‘Where is that place, you know?,’ and sneak away to a small room in the back.

Political figures today, Žižek argues, are committing the verbal equivalent of this public defecation. They are violating traditional, unwritten rules and boundaries that are used to guide public conduct by making outrageous statements that were once taboo. ‘They are a clear sign of the regression of our public sphere,’ he writes in Newsweek in 2016. ‘Accusations and ideas that were till now confined to the obscure underworld of racist obscenity are now gaining a foothold in official discourse.’ And citing Georg Hegel’s notion of Sittlichkeit – the ‘the thick background of (unwritten) rules of social life … that tell us what we can and cannot do’, Žižek further observes that ‘These [unwritten] rules are disintegrating today: what was a couple of decades ago simply unsayable in a public debate can now be pronounced with impunity.’

A discharge of verbal political filth has changed the public sphere into a kind of collective public toilet for language users – lurid speeches full of nasty ignorance, blatant vulgarity and raw prejudice. Plato and Žižek, with some tacit support from Bacon, use the notion of the unclean in similar ways to offer, implicitly, practical advice about how humans should conduct themselves: be wary of intemperately overstepping limits by chasing overweening ambitions, whether intellectual or political, which soil clear thinking and logic, and/or corrupt language, politics and ethics. Discussions of lowly filth, and all of its disgusting variations, are not merely the province of vulgarians, but seem to offer life lessons for everyone, not just philosophers.IMG-20190419-WA0031

ALANKARA – Steps of a musical journey.

O, how I have tried and sung these permutations and combinations and repeated them for every note.

As a child it was such a task trying to remember the basic 7 notes. Writing them in an language unknown. As a five year old I would forget what comes after what. I would know the tune of the note, how it would sound but couldn’t utter the right name at the right time. It was always a pleasure learning under the guidance of my Guru, Neeta Maushi.

A childlike delight obtained at the thought of racing up and down the flight of stairs of notes. Jumping up and skipping two steps to go ahead.. Turn around and try it again holding hands of further notes and continuing to frolic till one reached the top of the flight only to come down gliding on a slide.

silent1
Or like building a sand castle.. Beginning with a little dune.. Putting your foot inside and patting sand on it from both sides. Hoping to build the tiny mound into a mountain particle by particle and then taking the foot out slowly sometimes the sand trickles down bit by bit and sometimes it comes down – all of it – suddenly.

Holding on to these notes and feel them slip through your fist, through your fingers
slowly and giving a slight tickle and a longing to gather it again only to find the notes come out one by one.. Some Slow .. Some fast..

waves at feet

Like feeling the sand slip under your feet as each wave caresses the beach

Running through the fields, your hair brushing softly against your cheeks, grass blowing at your feet..

swing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking on crisp dried leaves while trying to avoid waking them.

Sitting on a swing and flying yet coming back each time. Hair in the wind, everything about you rising and falling in a blur..

Like chasing Rainbow filled soap bubbles..

Or trying to catch raindrops on your tongue.

happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bird circling the skies, lapping wings rhythmically, gliding, soaring.

Like watching the landscape run by through the window of a train.

sand castle 1

Like watching stars on a dark night.

Sitting still listening to silence and whispering dreams.

 

Sa Ga Re Ga Re Sa..
Sa Ni Dha Ni Sa Ni Dha Pa, Ni Dha Pa…

Does it make sense.. It will..

Right now it just feels nice..

Keep on singing one note at a time..

 

 

 

Picture courtesy- Internet

Interesting

curious

Most of us know there is more to life than pleasure, yet it is all too easy to choose our experiences for the sake of pleasure.
For many of us, though, interesting experiences are more rewarding than pleasurable experiences. Interesting experiences spark the mind in a way that stimulates and lingers. They can also be easy to come by – sometimes just a sense of curiosity is needed to make an activity interesting.

Look around, feel the pull, and cherish the interesting.

Ugly?

smile_Swapna Pataskar copy

When we call something ugly, we say something about ourselves – and what we fear or dread.
During times of conflict, any threat or enemy can be uglified and thus generalised.
An individual can get lumped into an ‘ugly’ group by an arbitrary feature – a yellow armband, or a black headscarf – depending on the eye of the beholder.
While ‘ugly’ can be latched on to virtually anything, the word’s slippery legacy brands bodies, and can suggest more about the observer than the observed.
As Frank Zappa sang, the ‘ugliest part of your body’ is not your nose or your toes but ‘your mind’

What about all those women?

What about all those women?

 

who are ignored just because they are a woman

who are gazed upon long and hard just because they are a woman

who are treated as dumb idiots just because they are a woman

who bear what the culture treats as normal just because they are a woman

who are shamed for being fat or thin or because they are dark skinned

who hope and wait for love and appreciation

who don’t have a choice of what to do, say or even think

who have to respect and blindly follow what their father, brother or society says

who toil in fields and walk miles to fetch water and firewood

Who sweep the streets and sort garbage

who drop out of school

who are unaware their names exist as benificiaries of some NGO

who has handed them loans and are doing well, on paper

who are the only ones who care for their children

who slog all their lives and nobody gives a damn for their efforts

who don’t live enough to be born as girls and grow as women

who find it difficult to find work

who face indecency at work

who are not paid enough

who have no right to save or keep their hard earned money

who are assumed of using wrong means to get ahead at work

who don’t have a choice about getting married

or about having sex and are victims of rape

who think husbands have the right to beat them

who serve him and the in-laws, no matter what happens

who have heard stories of their mother being beaten by her mother in law or worse

who don’t know what identity, equality, voice and strength mean

who are not active on Facebook, what’s app or Instagram

who will never say Me too

who are trying to escape judgments, constantly answering questions

my mother, my sisters, my friends

All those women I know and those I don’t…

 

Do they know it’s women’s day today?

Will it change their lives? When and How?

011

010

 

9

8

5a

 

3

21

 

swapna1 copy

Merry Christmas 🎅

I’ve had enough. Too many people asking me again and again to give them a Christmas cake recipe. I’m not gonna type again, so here it is.

*Recipe For Christmas Rum Cake*

Ingredients:
1 or 2 bottles of rum
1 cup butter
1/8 tsp. sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup dried fruit
baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
lemon juice
brown sugar
nuts

Directions:
Before you start, sample the rum to check for quality.
Select a large mixing bowl or measuring cup, etc. Check the rum again. It must be just right!
*To be sure the rum is of the highest quality, pour 1 level cup of rum into a glass and drink it as fast as you can. Repeat.*

With an electric mixer, beat butter in large fluffy bowl. Add 1 seaspoon of thugar and beat again. Meanshile, it’s important to make sure the rum is of the finest quality— *try another cup.*

Open the second quart of rum if necessary. Add 1 arge leggs, 2 cups of fried druits and bleat till high.
If the druits get stuck in the beats, just pru it luse with a drewscriver. *Important is to Shample the rum agen for cinshcistincy.*

Nexst, sift 3 cups of saalt and feffer (it really doesn’t matter). *Shample the wum agein.*

Sift 1 pint of leemon goose, add 1 bablespun of brouuwn thugar, of whateve color tou can find. Migx well. Grease oven, tourn cake pan to 350 greeds.

Noe, poeur the whole mess sinto the boven and ake.
*Cheq the crum agen and gwo to bed.*

Boozy cake
Merry Christmas 🎅