[-empyre-] discussion on track again

Murat Nemet-Nejat muratnn at gmail.com
Thu Nov 27 05:51:38 EST 2014

Ana, maybe it is because sexual images are easier to censure. The
authorities create a code, as in the movies. Though they may occur as
often, if not more, one should not forget *scenes* of violence are not
shown in the United States, such as executions that occur every day by
means of *forbidden to be named* drugs. Though everybody else saw it, we in
the United States were not shown images of people jumping off the Twin
Towers on September 11. As a revolutionary medium (either for the good,
freedom, or the bad, control) the internet crosses national lines and
weakens the enforcement of those codes. The "powerless" may actively search
those sights, access to information. Is that not a way of gain power
through powerlessness?

What I am struggling with is the ambiguous nature of the concept of
violence. It can be physical or social (beheadings, tortures,
enslavements), mostly what we are discussing here. But violence can be on
the level of ideas, something that does damage to our prejudices, jams our
natural flow of thought (that is partly what Artaud, Bataille are referring
to, a symbolic violence).

Ana, to me the most intriguing part of your post is Voltaire being places
in the cubicle of hell after two hundred and fifty years in a country
where, I assume, one can find Sade's writings in public book stalls. What
is that virulent, violent idea by Voltaire that has lot lost its potency
after so many years, at least in one country that still believes in the
power of ideas. That discovery would be the elixir of of benevolent
violence (a contra-violence), power thtough powerlessness that we are
looking for. Ciao.

On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 10:02 AM, Ana Valdés <agora158 at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> I was trying to find a red line in our discussion, reading what others
> wrote, Aneta, Monika, Murat, Alan, Johannes, Christina, Aristita,
> Andreas, Simon, Rustom, Alicia, Leandro, others...
> I go always back to Modernity. Yesterday we discussed with Alicia
> about Bataille and all the French writers and painters using erotic as
> a kind of rebellion against the power, again the etablished norms. In
> the French National Library there is a place called "Enfer" (Hell)
> where erotic texts written by Voltaire, Diderot and many other are
> hidden from public view. They can only be consulted and peroused by
> researchers with several degrees of clearing.
> Why are these texts so revulsive today? In a society where pornography
> is an industry with millions of people employed these texts are still
> so revulsive and must be kept secret.
> The same with the paintings. Gustave Courbet "L'Origine du Monde",
> showing the vulva of a woman, was censored by Facebook several times
> only a few years ago.
> Bear with me, I am trying to find paralleles here between beheadings
> and naked women. The beheadings are shown in You Tube and can be seen
> by anyone with a screen nearby, the real erotic seems more powerful
> and more dissident and must be kept from the public.
> Isis marriages with small girls and the selling of women as slaves are
> for me more horrific than the beheadings.
> Ana
> --
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