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Thursday 29 September 2016

Quotes worth saving (17): George Yancy

[This is a section from an interview with the philosopher George Yancy, from the excellent that is edited by Clifford Sosis]

How do you see the future of philosophy?
It will have an abysmal future unless it becomes far more relevant to actual human suffering, pain, rage, death and dying, and oppression.       
Disconcerting trends?
Of course, while I don’t see this as a trend, I would say that one disconcerting reality is the failure of us, male philosophers, to confront our sexism in and outside of the profession. Guys, stop the bullshit. Another disconcerting aspect would be the pathetic ego-driven, “god-like” pretensions of so many philosophers. Come on, you ain’t all that. None of us are. Man, the arrogance is appalling. By the way, that shit isn’t exclusive to white folk. Black philosophers and philosophers of color are also guilty of this. Lastly, disconcerting is the continued lack of a robust interdisciplinary ethos within philosophy.           
There are more multiple voices within the field, though still too few; and there are differently embodied folk and thereby different epistemic and value-laden horizons that challenge various oppressive practices and assumptions.    
What do you make of the black lives matter movement?
Powerful. And politically necessary. Yet, profoundly disconcerting that in 21st century North America Black people find it necessary to make the declaration that their lives matter. You know, it is actually within that declaration, contrary to those who don’t understand it, that all lives matter. In other words, Black Lives Matter is a universal that is inclusive of all lives mattering. I think that this implied universality is linked to being treated as the damned of the earth, the lowest of human refuse. By the way, it does not follow (and has not historically followed) that White Lives Matter is inclusive of all lives mattering. Historically, and in our contemporary moment, white lives continue to have a certain ontological premium attached to them. In fact, the logic of whiteness is both viciously binary and dehumanizing in its exclusionary structure.  Black Lives Matter is a movement that Black people have shaped since our coming to this country in chains. It’s not new, but more of the necessary same.       
Man, you don’t stop. Simply put. He is a conduit through which white America expresses its most vile desire for white purity. An apocalyptically dangerous white man who sees himself as the center of the world. That kind of hubris bespeaks realities of genocide. 

Monday 26 September 2016

Library Tales: Dedications VII

I've decided to included the book title and author after each dedication now (although I've already lost the first one) as it's almost always the first thing anyone asks about the dedication...

- - -

To the Gang
Bear, Bunny, Cow, Bear 2, Polar Bear, the Baby Bears, polar Bear Gone to Paris, Malinda, Elise, and all of the others (including Valerie and Christine, of course)

To Elaine
who has put up with my being digital for exactly 11111 years
[Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte]

To two individuals who have provided
comfort and solace in difficult times
and added to our pleasure in the good times -
Jim Beam and Johnnie Walker
[Epidemiology by David L. Streiner and Geoffrey R. Norman]

- - -

A small break, a change in location, institutions, job title and pay grade (fortunately for the better)
And now, the dedications continue...

- - -

The Laughing Buddha
Beside the pond in our garden is a statuette of a laughing Buddha. He stands with arm stretched upwards in joyous celebration. Except one arm is broken, the missing piece resting on the ground next to his feet. When the accident happened, I asked my husband to stick the piece back on. Noticing that the repair went undone for some considerable period of time, I enquired as to whether there was a problem. 'I quite  like it like that', was the response. Over time I have come to agree with him. The wounded laughing Buddha speaks of joy reaching through pain, of severed connections nevertheless sustained. It has more to say than the perfect model.
[Negotiating death in contemporary health and social care by Margaret Holloway]

For Deneige (at 30) and Andrew
and Jeremy (at 28) and Alison.
May you continue to retain your illusion of control.
[Anxiety and its disorders by David H. Barlow]

To the wonderful old times, and to an exciting future.
[Contemporary Intellectual Property]

For our families (undefined).

'Look,' Aileen said. 'Forget Prozac. Forget Freud's abandonment of the seduction theory. Forget Jeffrey Masson - or is it Jackie Mason? The only thing that is going to revolutionize this profession is Bidding the Job.'
'I specialise in Christmas,' said the psychotherapist, a man named Sydney Poe, who wore an argyle sweater vest, shiny black oxfords, and no socks. 'Christmas specials. You feel better by Christmas or your last sessions free.'
'I like the sound of that,' said Aileen. It was already December the first. 'I like the sound of that a lot.'
(Lorrie Moore, 'Birds of America')
[Short-Term Psychotherapy by Alex Coren]