A Darker Figure #68: "Nothingness carries being in its heart"
Welcome to A Darker Figure Newsletter #68!
Some quick business up front:
- This Saturday! I will be doing a Sky Symbol Rituals set in Portland at The Lovecraft Bar as part of the always amazing Volt Divers night. I am either second from the start or second from the last, I can never tell with these events.
- This Sunday! I will be at the Lovecraft hosting some really great bands: Technophobia, Pleasure Curses, and Neybuu with live video work by Cari Gummer. It is going to be super fun and I am looking forward to it. If you are in Portland it is $5 and will be over by 1030... so... you should definitely come out.
- We will be having two The Blood of Others "open practices" at The Lovecraft Bar on Monday 6/19 and Monday 6/26 from 8ish to 10ish. We will be running through the new 40 minute set with Sophie on bass keys! It is free, and open like normal, we'll just be going through the songs a few times. So come out and enjoy!
- Mr. Kitty and The Rain Within are coming on the same night as Adult. and Sextile... I am not sure which one I will make it to (probably the Adult. show only because I saw both Mr. Kitty and The Rain Within fairly recently, and will be seeing them again at Terminus in July.) Both shows have had some great feedback from the internet so far, so you should try to make it out!
I am trudging my way through Being and Nothingness. It is a very complicated book that I am pretty invested in because a lot of it has to do with the philosophy that I tend to agree with the most. Here are some thoughts from page 1-56:
(Talking about destruction and existence:)
"In the absence of this witness, there is being before as after the storm - that is all. If a cyclone can bring about the death of certain living beings, this death will be destruction only if it is experienced as such." (p. 38)
It is equally important and difficult for me to remember that just because you don't perceive something as being a destruction - like the palm oil industry, which is pretty quietly destroying a shit ton of the environment and enslaving people, but still ends up in a lot of commercial vegan products that are sold on the premise (at least to me) that this is the least-shitty version of this chocolate bar that will also taste like you remember it tasting and not like barkdust (here is a good one with no palm oil) - and just because you don't know what destruction looks like because it is hidden on the outskirts of all the terrible things that effect a certain kind of politics - i.e. it is hard to keep track of all of the otherworldly agonies that are occurring in places like Syria when something like The Comey Testimony is Grade A drama television in real life and will directly (or almost directly) impact the country that I live in. It is hard to keep track. I talked the other week about how our neighborhood was on lockdown because someone had a gun and was waving it around, which was literally close to home, and about how I had to quickly unfollow the Portland Police Twitter account because it was a scary, scary reminder of how often things go wrong all around you and how easy it is to just stay inside and watch Netflix.
I have remind myself, too, that listening is the best form of learning and that it is important to listen/read a lot of different perspectives on an issue. And that destruction at a distance exists before and after it occurs, but not while it is occurring because I am not there to witness it with my own inputs (emotional, physical, psychological, etc.)
Sartre, in the next section, goes on to lay out Heidegger's understand of reality which is fairly complicated but basically ends with "humans create being and reality." We collectively create reality. We each have our own realities that are consistently overlapping in an outward spiral to create an understanding of the greater "world." It is people that create law, and government, and conflict, and weapons, and racial tension, and sexual discrimination, and wages, and living, etc, etc, forever. So when someone posits, usually innocently, that something is just the way it is or that boys will be boys or that that is just how men talk in the locker room to each other they are knowingly (but maybe not consciously) excusing themselves from the responsibility of personal action and reality.
Just be cool to each other and know that everything you do and say is not only directly your responsibility, but also may be a destruction to someone else - no matter your intention.
I also started reading Art Sex Music by Cosey Fanni Tutti this week during some long days at work and it is just as delightfully written as you would expect. She had a weird life and is pretty straightforward about it in this book. I am still on early childhood-teen-post school times, but you already get the feeling that thing are going to get pretty nuts for her, in a good way (and sometimes a bad way.) I definitely suggest picking it up if you are into Throbbing Gristle, or performance art in general.
That is all! Have a good weekend. Read more. :)