Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Summer Tanager And Foucault

Beginning to think that Socrates and the Summer Tanager have much in common, but at least it was decent of Plato not to force stuff down our throats, which puts a whole new perspective on that story about Plato which suggested he was actually much more challenging in person. In person, I'd suggest, he had Summer Tanager qualities. For any who may have forgotten a Summer Tanager is a post structuralist, he just rambles on endlessly, pausing occasionally to grab a bight of something like a Bee. There was a lot of fuss around 2016 about how the world had ended because people had just given up on structure. May own response, if I remember, was to leap to the defense of post structuralism. And every time I heard critical attitudes toward the post structuralist thinkers, I realized that the critics had no idea what they were talking about, instead they were yearning for a form that didn't make them feel fundamentally uncomfortable. In another way they had their cake and wanted to keep it and they reckoned ignorance was their answer.

My argument was that structure is all very well and fine, but structure was static to the extent it could ever by be usefully analyzed. And to place all your bets on structure, especially with us people, was an error in our constantly changing environment, we are more like chaff than we are like stones. Normal, to my way of thinking at least, doesn't exist, and if you're worried about this, think of a Family, and ask yourself "what is a normal family." Rather, what we as people are looking for is somewhere to go, it's a path through the forest, and it's scary. Then when structure or normal becomes something like a wall blocking our way, effectively what happens with us people is that many of us rather lose interest in questions like, "where are we going, why are we going there," and as a result for many of us normal becomes a real pain. So much easier if the slope in our existence actually had a structural answer instead of being an often horrible adventure. So when you hear the Summer Tanager remember the warnings of Foucault, "Justice must always question itself, just as society can exist only by means of the work it does on itself and on its institutions." "It" of course is us.

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