Saturday, October 02, 2004

What makes today's k-punk so different, so unique?

A few bloggers have pointed out that k-punk is in particularly fine form at the moment. Sure, there's been no easy agreement in response to recent posts on courtly love, sexualists, but there is without doubt a productive friction and tension, a challenge (from mark k-p in particular) that is more pronounced here than in the majority of sites in the blogosphere. And I believe that there is one particular characteristic that allows such a resilience of position. In a word, it is polemic.

k-punk has a position, and it is a polemical one. It is not description, it is argumentation. It has a foothold on a few writers who have been established as rocks - Spinoza, for example. It's invigorating, isn't it? In one regard, it's almost irrelevant as to whether or not mark k-p exhibits a 'correct' interpretation/application of the Ethics, as he is attempting to 'use' Spinoza as a tool - in a very literal sense, it seems - Spinoza becomes a toolkit for machines.

To read as description, or to read as polemic - that, it seems to me, is the question to ask when approaching cultural/theoretical texts. Did you know that Adorno enjoyed a good session of Hollywood gossip with his friend Fritz Lang? You'd never know it from all the dialectical shouting in "The Culture Industry..." but there it is: Adorno's casting fun as complicitous with authoritarianism is a position, a caricature, a necessary blindness taken on for the sake of action.

Which leads me to a question that I have been pondering on, of late - is action required for a text to become truly/successfully polemical? Or is this notion of 'action' an artificial one, given that 'thoughts/ideas are acts'...? (i.e. if we adopt this definition, how is the polemical text to be understood? As a more self-consciously and purposefully eliptical textual intervention? As blindness for a cause?)

I think, in any case, that it is time to look towards adopting a position.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Catherine --- I really appreciate it --- argument versus representation --- yeh!!! btw, while I take yr point about Spinoza, I think the stunning thing about his machine is that you don't need to do any distortions or reductions etc to make it k+ : it already is....
mark k-punk

3:48 am  

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