juin 06, 2003
the castle is stormed; all that is sure is surrender

Well, you'll have words to say to me, I'm sure, but I assure you that I'm in total control of the situation, so keep your spinsterly & ungenerous platitudes to yourselves. (Although I don't mean that, really, because I want comments all the time.)

I went to Eunice's stupid dinner with stupid Stephen just to get her to shut up about it, and I went looking ugly in the most studied way anyone has ever looked ugly since the days when princesses smeared themselves with pitch in order to avoid an unsavory marriage. I didn't want Stephen to think I was dressing up for him. I put on a pair of capri-length stretch pants that the IR had purchased early in her pregnancy, so they pouched oddly at the stomach, and a billowy hot-pink T-shirt from some Walk For Breast Cancer, and a pair of aqua flipflops with a Coca-Cola logo on them, and I put my hair in this weird side-ponytail. So basically I just looked how I looked junior year of high school.

I showed up at Eunice's full of bitterness, rolling a metal thumbtack in my mouth and thrusting it between my teeth as I waited on her porch to be let in. Stephen was there already, drinking gin and looking rakish. "Hi," I said, and then starting talking rapidfire to Eunice and her roommates about everything I could think of, and commenting loudly on the persistently grown-up elegance of their apartment, and yet when we were sitting down to twice-baked potatoes and green beans & a roast of some kind and a wine that looked like it had been kidnapped, Stephen made disarmingly adorable comments to the whole time which could not go unanswered by chatterbox me: stupid references to dirty classical myths and hypothetical lives you could live in Atlantis and how everyone with red hair and freckles is related to the Neanderthal, and how when he was a kid he got stung by a bee and opened his mouth so wide to wail about it that three more bees flew in and stung him on his lip and the inside of his cheek and his tongue. THis had happened to my best friend when we were kids, and also when I was a kid I saw this crippled bumblebee walking around on the ground looking sick and fat and furry, and I stepped on it and a long pink tongue unfurled like a party favor from its proboscis, and also three times in my youth I stepped on bees so that the arch of my foot was erased with swelling, and now I can't go around barefoot in the grass anymore, even though I love it more than anything. And how could I not chime in with these stories, especially when they were met with such delight & interest? By dessert we were still talking about bees, only the conversation had digressed to questions about Napoleon & recounting of fables and a deconstruction of Russian fairy tales with bees in them. Eunice grinned like a madwoman, and when I noticed that I shut up and became businesslike and helped make all the coffees, adding mathematically perfect proportions of milk and sugar.

But this afternoon when Stephen called and suggested we go to the park and have fun I said yes. I was drying dishes and looking despondently at the second chapter of my erotic fiction epic, and it was a beautiful day. I gave up the leggings and put on some quilted yellow satin shorts and a white linen halter top, and I met Stephen at his house and we made calimochos or whatever they're called: coke and terrible red wine mixed together in the Coke bottle. The MB taught me how to do it, having spent a year as a Moorish spectacle in Spain. We took them to the park and swigged from the Coke bottle as we walked, under trees and through fields, on swingsets, in front of the bird sanctuary. Finally we were tired and sat facing each other against a twin pair of trees, the world golden and rippling with heat and drunkenness.

"You have a nimbus around you," Stephen said. "What can you say about a girl that means she's like the sun? Can you say anything? I mean, if I wanted to pick someone from mythology. I guess, it is the east, and Juliet is the sun, but that's stupid."

"That is stupid," I said. "Number one, it's stupid, and number two I'm not breaking from any window, I'm just sitting here, and anway it's stupid, number three."

He grinned and threw something small at me and finished what was left in the bottle. His mouth was vaguely purplish and his eyes were hazy and sweet. I thought how it was odd for him to compare me to the sun or whatever when he didn't think I was beautiful. Then I said, "Did a bee really sting you on the mouth?"

"Yeah, and in my mouth too," he said. "It fucking hurt."

"Well," I said, "Where the bee sucks, there suck I," and I leaned forward and kissed him and he kissed me and he said,

"That could have been a lot dirtier."

And I laughed and threw some small thing at him and winked.

So, who knows.

Posted by anonymousblonde at juin 06, 2003 09:12 PM

Aw, dang! There goes my chance.

Posted by: Attaboy on juin 13, 2003 12:06 PM

your chance to what?

don't worry, it don't mean nothing.

Posted by: Anonymous Blonde on juin 14, 2003 02:58 AM

Pretty sure he meant his chance to storm the castle, in response to the title of your post. Anyhow sorry if I wierded you out with my blatherings, I meant no offense to any militant anarchist lesbians who might have read it. The idea that my friend was one was the product of a quick throwing together of words because we had to come up with a feminine identity for him so he could get into prom. Well the whole scheme was actually kind of wierd so now that I think about it I imagine why you'd feel strangely about it.

Posted by: Political boy on juin 17, 2003 12:25 AM

Don't worry, PB, no one's offended. I was more offended by your unconventional spelling than I was by your fake-lesbian prom date.

Posted by: the anonymous blonde on juin 17, 2003 10:42 AM

I'm pretty sure that's what I meant.
and if you mean that your encounter did'nt mean anything, I would have to disagree.

Posted by: Attaboy on juin 17, 2003 04:52 PM

Yeah, my spelling can be pretty bad sometimes, especially late in the morning or early in the afternoon when I wake up. By the way, you're an author right, how long does it usually take an agent to read your manuscript ?

Posted by: Political Boy on juin 29, 2003 08:42 PM

I'm actually not an author per se; where did you get that idea? Oh, from the erotic fiction. No, that's sort of a fluke. You see, I used to write kind of a racy advice column for a weekly paper & gained enough of a cult following that this erotic-science-fiction publishing house asked me to write a little novella, kind of as a novelty. So no agents were involved, just my editor at the paper (when I was at the paper) and my editors at the publishers. And of course I publish scholarly articles in various journals describing my anthropological findings, but that doesn't involve an agent, either.

So I'm afraid I can't help you. How long has your agent had your manuscript?

Posted by: the Anonymous Blonde on juillet 1, 2003 10:48 AM

Oh, well that's cool too. I'm sure you're having fun with it. Let's see here it's been over a month now but I got something from him so it's ok now. So, anthropological findings eh? Well just make sure to close your eyes when the nazis open the arc.

Posted by: Political boy on juillet 4, 2003 01:35 AM

Wasn't he an archaeologist?

Posted by: the Anonymous Blonde on juillet 4, 2003 12:22 PM

I don't think so, he was more of a pirate now that I think of it.

Posted by: Polticial Boy on juillet 5, 2003 12:50 AM

Yes, he was an archaeologist. There is nothing anthropological about physically searching for the Ark, nor piratical for that matter. Then again, all three are aspects of the Ideological State Apparatuses, and thus one and the same. And I won't stand for any of this Pirates-aren't-part-of-the-Ideological-State-Apparatuses-because-they-fight-against-the-interests-of-the-ruling-class balderdash that I know is coming next. The all-consuming nature of capitalism, when combined with our always-already subjection to ideology, makes opposition be absorbed by the system, just as the land reformer is inherently part of the dominant economic mode. Therefore, his occupation is irrelevant.

Posted by: Louis Althusser on juillet 8, 2003 04:17 PM

Now just a moment here are we talking about pirates or Privateers? They are two very different entities. Now firstly Indiana jones did a lot of pirating, I refer to a picture of Harrison Ford holding a cutlass with a parrot on his shoulder and an eyepatch across his face that is too valuable for me to scan and therefore you should just assume I have it. My word should simply be taken at it's value since I recently got that article about the Iloo on LnE, sorry had to gloat. Back to the argument though. Now, a pirate may become a factor in the system but he can never be part of the system while he is still a pirate, if one rebels against the system then they are leavign the system. How can you otherwise explain Fidel Castro overthrowing Battista's system and creating one of his own. A land reformer is part of the system because he negotiates with that system and recognizes it therefore helping to prop it up but those who refuse to negotiate are disavowing the system and thus distancing themselves from it.. I like pie hehe.

Posted by: Political Boy on juillet 8, 2003 11:04 PM

I find this political discussion to be fascinating and encourage everyone to continue. However, I must point out that I absolutely prohibit the use of the word "hehe" anywhere in my journal. Unless you mean for it to be pronounced in some rough, germanic way, like "haighe" or something.

Posted by: the Anonymous Blonde on juillet 9, 2003 10:25 AM

Now we need not stoop so low as to suggest that I, the father of the Structuralist movement (and, not inconsequentially, essentially the father of post-Structuralism for having alienated my former student Michel Foucault by siding with the PCF in '53 when it condemned homosexuality as a bourgeois vice), would not understand the fine but vitally important distinction between pirating and privateering. That said, we will move on to more important things.

Your shrewdly executed bit of verbal legerdemain leaves me unphased. What you have deliberately concealed from the probing eyes of the Anonymous Blonde's fans and well-wishers is that your photograph of Harrison Ford bedecked in piratical regalia is in fact from a deleted scene in which Dr. Jones attended a fancy dress ball at Marcus' museum. Thus, your photograph proves nothing of the nature of Dr. Jones' employ. With your attempts at diversion thus neutralized, we can proceed to the heart of your thesis.

You have asked how a pirate can be part of the system, and I shall endeavor to explain. Let's start by discussing the praxes of pirates. Pirates waylay merchant vessels and occasionally come ashore to cavort, to maraud, and/or to plunder. They have an internally contained society upon their ship(s), and they take comfort in their perceived extra-societal existence. Now, what do pirates not do? Pirates do not, in general, establish colonies. Rarely do they participate in politics. And they even less frequently depose sovereigns. They generally don't even overturn money changing tables in the Temple. The picture of piratical occupation that emerges is one of contented, small-scale rejection of dominant ideology. The equation is not nearly as simple, though. What effects do pirates have on the State Apparatus and the Ideological State Apparatuses? Merchant Marines arm themselves more comprehensively. Merchants establish a system of trets to allow flexible goods pricing to account for potential damage or loss in transport. Stories are published by the culture industry which romanticize the free life of the pirate while simultaneously instilling fear of pirates in the hearts of the citizenry. The potential dangers of piracy are placed in contrast to the security that the state provides. In their appropriation by dominant culture, pirates become nothing more than one of the dangers of the world, serving no further purpose than making the State, which is nothing but the tool of the dominant class, seem more appealing and safer. Besides, most pirates were merely disaffected nobility, seeking riches to fund a more comfortable life upon retirement. Though the acquisition of those riches was outside the dominant ideology the justification for their accumulation is terribly consistent with that same dominant ideology. Pirates delude themselves into thinking they're outside the system. The difference between pirates and Castro is that Castro understood the nature of State Power, allied himself with certain individuals and groups who already were in possession of quantities of it, and immediately reformed the Ideological State Apparatuses upon his acquisition of the State Apparatus. Thus, Castro recreated the State for his own purposes. Pirates hold no such desire.

For further proof, one need merely gambol over to the website of Boise State University and consult the complete libretto of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta, The Pirates of Penzance. Examining the finale of Act II, we find that the Pirate King's loveable gallimaufry has been cornered by the Police and the Major General. Charged yield in Queen Victoria's name, the Pirate King reveals in a recitative, captured sumptuously by Kevin Kline in the 1980's film version, that they yield with humbled mien, because, with all their faults, they love their queen. Ruth proceeds to reveal that they are all noblemen who have gone wrong. The tension-filled exchange culminates in the Major General indicating that
"No Englishman unmoved that statement hears,
Because, with all our faults, we love our House of Peers.
I pray you, pardon me, ex-Pirate King!
Peers will be peers, and youth will have its fling.
Resume your ranks and legislative duties,
And take my daughters, all of whom are beauties."

Here, Gilbert and Sullivan have transcended the limitations of their medium to reveal the greater truth of the ideological bond extant between pirates and the ruling class. Not only are these men ideologically within the system, but they are worthy of receiving beautiful maidens.

I, too, like pie. haighe

Posted by: Louis Althusser on juillet 9, 2003 02:45 PM

I'm with Louis. The dominant system has reduced us all to nothing more than one-dimensional men, pirates and all.

Posted by: Herbert Marcuse on juillet 9, 2003 05:58 PM

But those priates, in having loyalty to the queen, became privateers, you cant very well rebel against laws when you swear allegiance to a royal. Now I won't be cheep and bring up the question of the communist pirates whom I sailed the six seas with (the seventh has such horrible traffic we bypassed it) because that would just be guaranteeing my victory and I like to be fair. Mr. Ford clearly chose that costume out of subconsious guilt that he was feelign for promoting piracy to a generation of impressionable youth. Now I can present even more evidence. Remember that little red line that followed the plane while that music played? Dooh dooh dooh doo dooh dooh dooh dooh dooh dooh dooh dooh da da da da daaa da da daaa da da daaa da da da da da dum! Well anyhow that is the same red line and the same map that appears often in pirate movies!

With that done I move on to the next phase of the argument. Your idea that we are assimilated into the system no matter what is not only untrue but it's depressing. Sure, we can't help but have a part in the system but we that dosn't make us a part of it. You appear to be modelling the system as a greater sort of a biome, with each person filling a niche and thus adding to the ecosystem. However as humans in society we can decide our own niche or decide to make a new one, no animal in nature can do so. An ant eater can not and will never choose to cease living off of ants and live off of gold stolen from ships. As humans we have a choice, obey or defy. Those who choose to defy, though the system may react to them, are not a part of that system. That we have a choice makes the non choosing ant eater's situation different from ours and therefore no model similiar to it can be applied. Now yes ant eaters have been known to lead full lives as exterminators and even low level clergy but this is the exception, not the rule and I believe very strongly that government experiments had a part in these ant eater preachers.

For my final piece of evidence I refer to Monty Python and the Holy Grail! I don't believe you have any surprise witnesses who are more credible than the Pythons. In this scene the Knights of Ni
are accosted by King Arthur who, after a lengthy talk about shrubberies says.
"Dear knights of Ni, It!"
To which they reply
"Argh, don't say that word!"
To which the king did retort
"Why shouldn't I, if you are against me then you are not part of the system and therefore are not subject to any of it's protections against the uttering of the ungodlyword, IT!"
And yea, the Knights of Ni spoke back to him with much horror and pain.
And the Os did continue unabated for longer than I care to hold down said key.

Posted by: on juillet 17, 2003 02:17 AM
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