The spectacle [Re] thought

Yes, we are a society of spectacles; we need something extraordinarily sensational to feel alive. Normal, routines don’t do. Rape somewhere in outskirt of capitals, in some obscure place: obscure in imagination, is not worth responding. A rape in a moving bus and then serious injury and trauma; its narrative brings more sensationalism than anything prior that has happened. The sensation thus is chased by lenses and produced by electrified screen perpetually, with brief interruptions of ‘fair and lovely’ and ‘tips for softer skin’ thus adding to the sense of apathy which we are experiencing.

The spectacle is then democratized: an imperfect democratization of the spectacle, as the perfect is yet to be seen. The spectacle extends bringing more varieties of obscurity and insanity into the Center stage. While we all are shouting from our vantage point: as woman, as men, as ignorant, as intellectual, as Facebook celebrity, as political pimp, as non political chimp: the rape continues – in day, in night, in cities, in villages, of rich, of poor, of casteist, of casteless, of women, of society.

The rape is an experience not of body but of everything in the body – the mind, the spirit, the psyche. One who is never raped or has no possibility of being raped is external to the experience and then the experience-less exteriorization is the spectacle where rape – more than ugly must flash like the sensation so that the spectacle is more alive.

Tragedy consequently is the most potential object of spectacle – the eclectic one. While the name, the identity of the victim is unknown; what shall carry on the drama of life? When the object is only identified by the operation/oppression done on the body, what is the sole identity of the body beyond body? A rape victim – an identity enough to co relate, perhaps!

The state in no state of statelessness is more than eager to bring more laws than the protestors: laws you demand and laws you don’t demand. How the question of ‘social’ will be resolved by ‘political’ or there is no question of ‘political’ which can resolve the ‘social’. Our deepest desire and most seductive temptation to clean the ‘external’ remains our greatest delusion.

@ Musab Iqbal


3 comments on “The spectacle [Re] thought

  1. Gerald Ens says:

    “Our deepest desire and most seductive temptation to clean the ‘external’ remains our greatest delusion.” Is this because we (wrongly) believe we will find truth in externals if only we can make them clean? Or because we have given up on truth, believing instead that the only truth there can be is found in superficial semblances and therefore try to make these semblances as easy and superficial as possible? Or perhaps I completely missed what’s going on here and you’re pointing at something else entirely?

    In any case, I think that the much more dangerous temptation is to be caught up in the search for a pure inner truth. Think of all the self-help pop-psychology out there, and the mantra of our age: “be who you are,” which means that first you must “know who you are.” The problem with this is not self-examination per se, but the assumption that self-examination should take place in isolation from the world, as if inside and outside were clearly demarcated – though perhaps this is what you meant to do with your scare quotes. Certainly I think this is related to desiring “clean” externals, but to say that our greatest temptation is to explicitly strive after a superficial existence seems to me to be wanting quite a bit. Perhaps that’s not what you are saying, though.

    • Gerald Ens says:

      Kampen had a good post along these lines around a year ago. Only then the argument was that we infuse the superficial things that captivate us with an artificial meaning in order to cover up for our own superficiality. She might have said something like “our deepest desire and most seductive temptation to deepen the ‘clean’ remains our greatest delusion.”

  2. Lisa Obirek says:

    What is the spectacle that has come of a woman who was gang raped on a moving bus in Delhi on December 16, 2012? International media attention and marches for gender equality by, mostly, middle-class Indian woman and students.

    These marches, garnering international attention, have been growing in size and diversifying in their participants. Yesterday (January 2, 2013), Delhi chief minister, Sheila Dikshit, initiated a march for gender equality; accompanied by fellow cabinet ministers, they marched together, shouting, crying and reading a multitude of hopes: we pray 2013 to be safe for women, don’t tell me how to dress tell them not to rape, we want real democracy, save woman & save India , stop the terror of rape…

    These protests are a form of communion, oh what a spectacle indeed. So long as conversational spaces are cultivated, these particular spectacles are, and will continue to question, among other things, cultural norms which sustain and empower misogyny.

    A cynic may see these marches as nothing more than a spectacle that work as a momentary heart-trigger, moving participants and observers out of their ‘apathy;’ a cynic may see these marches as nothing more than the spectacle of a woman whose only name, to many, is ‘rape victim.’ Such cultured despair fails to acknowledge that these particular spectacles did not begin and end with the woman who was gang-raped on December 16, 2012.

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