10.24.2005

if a tree falls in the forest...



I've been silent over the last few weeks. It's an existential silence, borne by major life changes and nagging doubts.

I started this blog in the hopes of having some voice -or some participation in future of our cities. The nagging doubt comes from observing that the blog community is largely incestuous. The usual suspects dishing the same bait and debate tactics. I wonder if blogging really does have any impact on society or if it is, as the Philosopher says, just "vanities of vanities."

I don't mean to disparage the people who read and comment on this blog. You've all shared wonderful ideas. I just wonder if the exchange is productive or if it is (as an old college professor liked to put it) just "intellectual masturbation."

There is also the question of analysis from a distance. I can only really comment on what I read in the online newspapers. (DIGRESSION and RANT: Businessworld online has decided to charge for access. I have nothing against that, if that is the business model they need to pursue to keep the online service going, but please: if you want to begin charging for online access, can you at least make sure you have an online payment system? Bworld wants overseas readers to actually fax them all the credit card details! If I don't do that for US based businesses, why would I do it for a long-distance fax?? Whoever is running the business end of business world online is an idiot.)

Back to my point: it is very hard to really comment on the local situation based on second hand sources. (I've been trying to get land use codes from the concerned government agencies, but all require in-person pickup.)

I haven't answered the question. So I will soldier on, perhaps retreating to the comfort that at least I can put down my thoughts in some server somewhere and my words, theoretically, could outlast my own frame.

I am also trying to lay the groundwork for a conference on metropolitan economic strategies in Manila, sometime next year. Maybe that will be a bit more satisfying.

I leave you with this essay on the perils of postmodernism:

Subcultural situationism and modernist neodeconstructive theory
Y. David Bailey
Department of Peace Studies, University of Michigan
Linda H. G. von Ludwig
Department of Literature, Stanford University


1. Spelling and Sartreist existentialism

In the works of Spelling, a predominant concept is the distinction between feminine and masculine. Thus, in Robin's Hoods, Spelling denies conceptual libertarianism; in Models, Inc., although, he deconstructs subcultural situationism.

The primary theme of Pickett's[1] essay on modernist neodeconstructive theory is the common ground between consciousness and class. Several discourses concerning Sartreist existentialism may be discovered. It could be said that Lyotard promotes the use of the dialectic paradigm of reality to analyse and attack society.

Drucker[2] holds that we have to choose between subcultural situationism and Sartreist absurdity. Thus, the main theme of the works of Gaiman is a subtextual whole.

If the material paradigm of expression holds, the works of Gaiman are modernistic. But the premise of subcultural situationism states that culture is responsible for sexism.

Debord uses the term 'Sartreist existentialism' to denote the difference between class and art. In a sense, Baudrillard's critique of modernist neodeconstructive theory holds that the media is capable of intention.

2. Subcultural situationism and postcapitalist desemanticism

In the works of Gaiman, a predominant concept is the concept of cultural sexuality. Foucault suggests the use of neomodern feminism to deconstruct hierarchy. But modernist neodeconstructive theory suggests that society has intrinsic meaning.

"Sexual identity is part of the stasis of art," says Derrida; however, according to Pickett[3] , it is not so much sexual identity that is part of the stasis of art, but rather the fatal flaw, and subsequent collapse, of sexual identity. The subject is contextualised into a postcapitalist desemanticism that includes language as a totality. It could be said that the example of subcultural situationism depicted in Gaiman's The Books of Magic is also evident in Sandman, although in a more mythopoetical sense.

If one examines modernist neodeconstructive theory, one is faced with a choice: either reject Marxist socialism or conclude that truth is used to disempower the proletariat, given that narrativity is interchangeable with sexuality. The subject is interpolated into a modernist neodeconstructive theory that includes truth as a whole. Thus, Debord's model of subcultural situationism states that class, somewhat surprisingly, has objective value.

"Sexual identity is elitist," says Lyotard; however, according to Wilson[4] , it is not so much sexual identity that is elitist, but rather the meaninglessness, and eventually the rubicon, of sexual identity. Werther[5] implies that we have to choose between structural theory and Sontagist camp. In a sense, Baudrillard uses the term 'modernist neodeconstructive theory' to denote the fatal flaw, and subsequent paradigm, of subdialectic society.

In the works of Gaiman, a predominant concept is the distinction between within and without. Postcapitalist desemanticism suggests that discourse is a product of the masses. It could be said that the subject is contextualised into a modernist neodeconstructive theory that includes language as a totality.

If postcapitalist desemanticism holds, we have to choose between constructive semanticism and precultural deconstruction. Thus, Sartre promotes the use of subcultural situationism to analyse art.

The characteristic theme of d'Erlette's[6] critique of postcapitalist desemanticism is the common ground between society and reality. It could be said that Baudrillard uses the term 'subcultural situationism' to denote the genre, and therefore the absurdity, of cultural class. Sontag suggests the use of Foucaultist power relations to challenge the status quo. Thus, Debord uses the term 'subcultural situationism' to denote a neotextual whole.

Lyotard's model of the dialectic paradigm of consensus holds that truth may be used to reinforce sexism. In a sense, Brophy[7] states that we have to choose between subcultural situationism and conceptual narrative.

Postcapitalist desemanticism implies that sexual identity has intrinsic meaning, given that the premise of the postcapitalist paradigm of expression is invalid. But if modernist neodeconstructive theory holds, the works of Gaiman are an example of mythopoetical nihilism.

The subject is interpolated into a subcultural situationism that includes culture as a totality. It could be said that Sartre uses the term 'textual substructuralist theory' to denote the role of the writer as poet.

The main theme of the works of Gaiman is not conceptualism, as Lacan would have it, but postconceptualism. Thus, Scuglia[8] states that we have to choose between modernist neodeconstructive theory and subcultural patriarchialist theory.

3. Gaiman and postcapitalist desemanticism

"Society is intrinsically unattainable," says Debord; however, according to Werther[9] , it is not so much society that is intrinsically unattainable, but rather the rubicon, and subsequent failure, of society. Marx's analysis of subcultural situationism implies that narrativity serves to oppress the Other. Therefore, the primary theme of von Junz's[10] model of postconstructive desituationism is a textual reality.

"Class is part of the meaninglessness of truth," says Derrida. Lacan uses the term 'postcapitalist desemanticism' to denote the role of the artist as poet. It could be said that if the subcapitalist paradigm of discourse holds, we have to choose between modernist neodeconstructive theory and cultural objectivism.

Debord uses the term 'subcultural situationism' to denote the defining characteristic, and eventually the meaninglessness, of posttextual sexual identity. However, the premise of cultural subpatriarchialist theory states that class, paradoxically, has objective value.

The subject is contextualised into a postcapitalist desemanticism that includes culture as a paradox. It could be said that the creation/destruction distinction which is a central theme of Gaiman's Death: The Time of Your Life emerges again in Stardust. The subject is interpolated into a modernist neodeconstructive theory that includes narrativity as a reality. In a sense, in Neverwhere, Gaiman affirms postcapitalist desemanticism; in Stardust he analyses cultural nationalism.

Parry[11] implies that we have to choose between modernist neodeconstructive theory and predialectic narrative. Thus, many deappropriations concerning the difference between sexual identity and society exist.

4. Subcultural situationism and Sontagist camp

The characteristic theme of the works of Gaiman is the role of the observer as artist. Modernist neodeconstructive theory suggests that consciousness is impossible. However, if Sontagist camp holds, we have to choose between semantic rationalism and Marxist capitalism.

"Sexual identity is fundamentally used in the service of the status quo," says Derrida; however, according to Brophy[12] , it is not so much sexual identity that is fundamentally used in the service of the status quo, but rather the rubicon, and hence the meaninglessness, of sexual identity. Cameron[13] holds that the works of Tarantino are empowering. In a sense, Debord uses the term 'Sontagist camp' to denote the bridge between culture and sexual identity.

In the works of Tarantino, a predominant concept is the concept of capitalist language. Lacan's essay on modernist neodeconstructive theory states that the law is capable of significance, but only if art is equal to reality; if that is not the case, Marx's model of subcultural materialism is one of "the textual paradigm of consensus", and thus elitist. Therefore, Foucault promotes the use of subcultural situationism to deconstruct and analyse consciousness.

In Four Rooms, Tarantino reiterates Lacanist obscurity; in Pulp Fiction, although, he denies subcultural situationism. Thus, if precultural semiotic theory holds, we have to choose between subcultural situationism and Derridaist reading.

The subject is contextualised into a Sontagist camp that includes art as a whole. However, postconceptualist narrative implies that narrativity is used to entrench hierarchy.

Marx suggests the use of Sontagist camp to challenge capitalism. Thus, the subject is interpolated into a subcultural situationism that includes culture as a reality.

Several deappropriations concerning Sontagist camp may be revealed. It could be said that Geoffrey[14] states that the works of Tarantino are postmodern.

1. Pickett, S. A. S. ed. (1975) Postcapitalist Narratives: Subcultural situationism in the works of Smith. Oxford University Press
2. Drucker, Y. (1990) Modernist neodeconstructive theory in the works of Gaiman. University of California Press
3. Pickett, L. A. ed. (1986) The Dialectic of Sexuality: Modernist neodeconstructive theory and subcultural situationism. University of North Carolina Press
4. Wilson, Y. (1977) Subcultural situationism in the works of Glass. Schlangekraft
5. Werther, T. O. ed. (1991) Reading Sartre: Subcultural situationism and modernist neodeconstructive theory. Harvard University Press
6. d'Erlette, U. H. A. (1977) Modernist neodeconstructive theory and subcultural situationism. O'Reilly & Associates
7. Brophy, K. Z. ed. (1981) The Vermillion Fruit: Subcultural situationism and modernist neodeconstructive theory. University of Georgia Press
8. Scuglia, B. U. M. (1996) Marxism, textual theory and subcultural situationism. Cambridge University Press
9. Werther, G. M. ed. (1983) Deconstructing Sartre: Subcultural situationism in the works of Joyce. Schlangekraft
10. von Junz, S. (1994) Modernist neodeconstructive theory in the works of Gaiman. University of Illinois Press
11. Parry, N. L. ed. (1981) Deconstructing Realism: Modernist neodeconstructive theory and subcultural situationism. Yale University Press
12. Brophy, U. D. Q. (1973) Modernist neodeconstructive theory in the works of Tarantino. Panic Button Books
13. Cameron, D. ed. (1984) Narratives of Economy: Subcultural situationism and modernist neodeconstructive theory. University of Georgia Press
14. Geoffrey, S. L. Q. (1976) Subcultural situationism in the works of McLaren. Schlangekraft


See what I mean?
Read original context of essay here.
Find more essays like this here.

10 comments:

Chad said...

Personally, I think the effort that you and everyone else puts in blogging our thoughts, ideas, and feelings have profound effects in wholly unexpected directions. Yes, I do think there's a lot of value in it. That begs the question, though: is the value that we get out of it commensurate to the effort we put into blogging?

My answer: yes. We just haven't fully understood the value that blogging brings. Much like the pioneer journalists had no idea just how important newspapers (and eventually, the media industry) would become. Is it vanity to think that blogging would follow the same path? I don't think so.

Hang in there Benjie. :) And yes, the person in charge of BW online is indeed an idiot.

Urbano dela Cruz said...

thanks for the encouragement LOTM.

let's hope for unintended consequences.

(meanwhile, enjoy your roadtrip and stay safe.)

TatangREtong said...

Sometimes you have to be like an artist and die before getting the recognition. Sometimes, you have to die and not see the effects that you sowed ten or fifteen years ago.

Anonymous said...

Can perfectly understand if personal blessings and life changing events take you from blogging =) but I think since you are given much, much is expected of you.

Your insights refresh and illuminate.

I find that what you do isn't poking from a distance but gently nudging and carrying thoughts where thoughts should be carried -- and people back home are too numbed to respond.

It is people who are outside who can
supply blood intravenously.

Once or twice in a week won't hurt, come on.

Besides, you'll be up a lot in the evenings. Your little pen and paper can be dotted with bullet points and since you're 350 work per minute type of guy, sharing streams of fresh thoughts won't be so bad.

I have never met your parents or grandparents but wouldn't you think if they were in your shoes and had your perview of the world, they'd also like to write and share so that others may benefit.

Think E. Aguilar Cruz Francophile writing about Rizal and his companions. If they didn't "blog", we wouldn't know that Rizal was an adobo eating, penny-pinching, champagne-drinking smart-ass.

Except now, I think another hundred years hence at least you can say "I told you so Mr. de la Cruz".

It's a compelling contribution.

Skunkeye said...

Ay, we still have to meet for coffee here in DC!
Your entry was rather cryptic and can be read several ways but I do know that your site is a tremendous resource and a boon towards responsible urban planning in the Philippines. You ae a huge asset to your country and that is significant.
Anyways, give me a holla by email or phone and we can meet up - I'm still in town (unfortunately).
blogging is a bit whack, no?

Metrogadfly said...

I have been trying to find my blogging voice for over a year and my artist voice for fifty years. That is all we can do. Sometimes it is a drag. It is what it is.

Sidney said...

Urban planning is an important topic and as such I think it is worth blogging about it.

Your tiny voice is probably lost in the huge urban chaos of Manila but you never know if it will not inspire other people to carry on your dreams for a more human city!

And at least you can't reproach yourself that you didn't warned and told us.

I think everybody can, in his own little ways, improve the environment we all live in.

Keep fighting. Even if you feel like Sisyphus.

Urbano dela Cruz said...

Thanks for the encouraging words, everyone.

Tatang Retong,

It's not recognition (at least consciously) that I think is missing - as it is effect (or the potential to effect). Often it feels like an echo chamber.

Anonymous,

I think the experience has helped me clarify the contribution i want to make -and in the direction I want to take the blog in.

Sydney,

I owe you coffee! give me a couple more weeks of sleepless nights (when my first born's schedule "normalizes" -if there is such a thing) and let's meet for sunday morning coffee at Kramer's before we hit the Farmer's market.

Metrogadfly,

"to blog,or not to blog...that is the question" -? or "to expect an effect or not to expect... is that the consequence?"

Sydney,

I think tiny voice vs. megacity frames the question aptly. It's a matter of directing the voice -see my next post.

again, thanks everyone -for bothering to visit this pothole in the I. superhighway.

Sidney said...

WOW ! Congrats Urbano ! So you are a proud father now ! I guess you are now in the stage of learning how to change your baby's diapers, give the milk bottle in the middle of the night and try to woo him back into sleep!
You are heading for some fun and exciting times! Fatherhood is probably the best thing that can happen.

Maybe this will inspire you to start another blog about fatherhood full of practical advices on how you should plan your days with a cute baby! :-)

And yes, a cup of coffee at Kramer's sounds good!

Urbano dela Cruz said...

Sydney,

thanks! i'd hand out cigars but I'm for "a smoke free DC"

i'll pass on a second blog. One is hard enough. Plus, I'm so new to this game, I won't have much "advice" to give.

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