Sunday, 12 October 2014

Back at Harry...

Hi Harry,
Nietzsche funnies no 3 

I feel kinda bad, because I have split your reply into two parts: I am trying to get a million posts on my blog, and there was plenty in the first half for me to consider... but I get the feeling that our conversations, at first, will high-light many of our shared positions. I love the word 'suspicious,' since I generally feel it whenever anyone with any power tells me something is for my own good. I am trying to pull this back into a healthy scepticism rather than a sulky teenager shouting at his dad.

I think we agree, in theory - the next bit of your reply was more practical - that Human Rights sound like a good set of ideas, but their use needs to be carefully considered. I always feel at this point the need to point out that I am not rejecting Human Rights as a Good Thing. I'm not The Daily Mail

There is always some big organisation suggesting that they know what is best: I think it's an ironic possibility that the same distrust of authority that I have has driven some people to vote for UKIP. I'm pretty desperate to find some good in that party's appearance and popularity, and I'll go with this... the protest vote is a healthy vote, and UKIP are in the process of turning themselves into a hilarious parody of a right wing party. I don't think it will be too long before their supporters realise that they share more with The Green Party, and stop finding the sight of that Edinburgh MEP shouting about gravy trains hilarious.

I am also with you on the matter of universals: although that is one place where my critical thoughts have a political application. A few years ago, I ran a magazine that was all about the dance, and the phrase 'dance is a universal language' turned up a few times. I was actually seeing enough dance to realise that the grammar of, say, Jack Webb's choreography, was not the same as Dance Ihayami's Indian tradition. I wrote a big article claiming that universals were bullshit. I might have been in my post-modernist phase then.

But, like you say, the universal denies the particular. We might get onto my dislike for 'issue theatre' (that might be more a taste thing than anything else), but I don't like the kind of criticism that claims that a particular text expresses a permanent value. If there are universals - and Plato turns out not to be joking about the World of Forms - I reckon they'll be so obvious (no murder et c) that I really don't need a play to remind me about them. 

But when I start shouting 'no meta-narratives in the post-modern age' like I did in that Religious Education class I was teaching. I'm not just attempting to be a hipster. I think that the post-modern suspicion is based on how many times those meta-narratives have been used to justify authoritarian antics.

Umm, so yes. I agree with you, only I never caught up with Deep Space 9.

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