[-empyre-] Sustenazo - Part II

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Thu Oct 4 03:10:06 EST 2012

I think torture has always been with us; there are signs dating well back 
into prehistory, and there have been books written, for example, about the 
Assyrian murals and what they depict. The Central American ball-games 
weren't innocent either of course. I think it was Lorenz who postulated 
that humans have gone awry with the development of tools that allow 
killing at a distance, in spite of deflection behavior, but torture is 
otherwise than this; it is intimate; the other's body is not only in 
reach, but is _reached._ I think all of this is tangled with our primate 
behaviour as ravaging generalists who began with limited food supplies and 
over-the-top group solidarity, but I really don't know; I do think there 
are far too many who take pleasure in torturing.

I do want to add there is other pain and suffering to consider - I'm 
thinking of cancer, of the abandonment of the elderly, even of the wildly 
different accounting for tragedy between, say, the eternal technophilic 
optimism of Wired, and the constant reminders of world-wide extinctions, 
local warfares, etc. etc. For me the accompanying images, sound-bites, and 
videos of slaughter are intolerable, inconceivable; Azure filters them for 
me, because they reduce me to catatonia. The suffering of the world is 
overwhelming, in spite of the promise of a bright and glorious future, 
etc. I don't know how to accommodate all of this, how to think of it or 
through it. My work deals with the unthinkingness or abandonment of the 
world, in other words - and it's something Sandy and I considered in the 
pain text (which we'll send out in a day or so - would rather the 
discussion continue online for now without more reading from us!).

Thanks, Alan

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