Thursday, March 17, 2011

Delete Me, I'm so Ugly | New text on Madness & Despair

Forty years ago, the Socialist Patients Collective, embarked on a project to turn illness into a weapon. To hold on to the fear and paranoia that dresses our despair in its most vibrant colors; to claim that experience as valid, and as the very condition on which modern capitalism reduces sense, claim bodies as its subjects, and functions to generalize alienation. The gun followed shortly.

Three stories separated by almost a century links the terror of woman. In Daldry's The Hours, Mrs. Dalloway lives and continues to reveal the tragedy of our world. There is nothing comforting that calls on the bodies marked dysfunctional to restrict their desire toward death. The body wants to fall, to submerge, to cough, to inhale the dark liquid and dissolve.

The house wife goes on strike, alone, acting as does the marginal factory or service worker. Stealing no longer keeps despair at bay; cheating can't bring back the years of doomed performances ahead. The future is always bleak. Addiction, a slow death. She drowns her children, she murders herself. She interrupts, in the most grotesque and elementary form, reproduction, and she assaults the meaning of this world. Minus one.

Madness, addiction, dysfunctional positionalities. I am terrified by the pen mark of the doctor, and of the indifference afforded to me by the consciously depressed. I want to make sense of it, but I can't. My texts, my speech, constantly acquiesce to the demand for rational discourse, molds into another author-function—disciplining her, and making room for me, and repeating the operation that gives encouragement to others who want to play with power. My experience drifting through twelve step programs will always remind me of a sense that there are those who want to hurt us, and then repair us. Who want to manage our despair, and reproduce the addicted-rock-bottom-body, the broken-mad-body, as a petri dish on which to make a different functional subject. While it's important not to equate madness with addiction, the scandal of these dysfunctional subjects is nevertheless similar. The sadness provoked by the realization that these experiences find analogous homes in what could be called an emotional commons requires unblinking eyes, and, in the days we can get out of bed, collective self-organization of care. Should it surprise anyone that this “care” has come and will come again in the form of “force?” We chose to publish Delete Me, I'm so Ugly in order to contribute to a reading of our times through the lens of despair, to hone in on the intelligence of madness, and to continue to ask “Of what does our congregation consist?”

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Imposed for Print PDF