Ruptured Rhapsody

A different kind of "blog," consisting of selections from my scribblings over many years. The date of each post is the date I originally wrote that piece. So, the top post is usually not the latest post, because I continually add writings from different years to the blog. If you have visited here before, you are likely to find new posts anywhere on the page. I'll continue to add "new" posts as my time allows.

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Location: Toronto, Canada

3 August 1993

[This was on the occasion of a dispute between June Callwood and a group of immigrant women]  Justice is a feeling.  June Callwood’s idea of feelings is a Western one.  Her opponents don’t say “You are an oppressor if you don’t agree with us.”  They say “You are an oppressor if you refuse to understand our point of view,” that is, “if you refuse to admit that your categories are not the only possible ones.”  Problems are not centered around poverty and so on.  They are centered around hierarchical structure and dichotomous thinking.  Logic is fine as long as it is not used to perpetuate and justify oppression.  The struggle against repression in all its forms as primary.  Her opponents are not “post- modernists.” By classifying them as such, she only proves her own ethnocentrism.  These are Western categories.  Postmodernists are a group of highly-privileged, mainly European, intellectuals, who can afford to debase logic.  The oppressed can’t.

2 August 1993

On the subway I saw someone reading a letter in a foreign language.  It reminded me of what it used to be like to read a letter from home (the reader’s seriousness was especially striking and nostalgic).  With a letter in front of me and in my hands, the lost world used to be present – actually there in tangible form.  But gradually the letter became a piece of a world far away and lost.  The letter taunted me.  It said it came from there, but that I couldn’t go there.  Eventually, it became a dead object that meant nothing at all.

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