Holidays seem to make me think even more than usual about time, past, and things like the many Deleuzian virtual deaths that I have incurred throughout the vulgar time I have strived to keep an actual existence. In a sense there have been many virtual entities in my life that are no longer actual, they simply exist in the virtual realm. Of course what exactly is this virtual realm? Is it simply memory, but then again what is memory, and how exactly do I articulate, or better enunciate this realm?
When I try to denote the virtual or the past I am well aware of the idea that the past no longer actually exist, but simply exist in the virtual realm, but this virtual of course in certain cases has the ability to be full of intensity. However it is here that it is glaringly obvious I am also well aware of the phantasmic nature of language, or as Giorgio Agamben writes, “In this way, the fact that a word always has more sense than it can actually denote corresponds to the theorem of the point of excess”. He goes on to explain that this is Levi-Strauss’s ”theory of the constitutive excess of the signifier over the signified (“there is always a lack of equivalence between the two, which is resolvable for a divine intellect alone, and which results in the existence of a superabundance of the signifier over the signifieds on which it rests”).
As I read this I am again reminded of something Adam Kotsko wrote over at his blog regarding the intersection of Agamben and Lacan. This is exactly where I feel the intersection resides (of course I believe it also resides in Heidegger and Hegel). Agamben’s projects in a sense are ways to show us how we reside in the Symbolic which is always attached to the Imaginary and this begins with the idea of Levi-Strauss’s. This theorem of the point of excess also brings us into the idea of Jouissance/death drive.
Of course my ideas behind this are just beginning however, Agamben’s idea of the ‘relation of exception’ results in the sovereign creating not only the exception but also creates the Symbolic structure as well. Remember the idea of this logic in Agamben is not only the creation of the exception but also the one who decides on the normal everdayness. As he writes regarding Badiou’s set theory, “One then says that a term is a member of a situation. And one says that a term is included in a situation if it is represented in the metastructure (the State)”.
Again quoting Carl Schmitt, Agamben, “there is no rule that is applicable to chaos”, because this chaos is actually included in the juridicial order. The idea behind this is again part of the signifying chain, “to refer to something, a rule must both presuppose and yet still establish a relation with what is outside relation (the non relational). This is similar to the idea of sexuation in Lacan when he states something along the lines that women have the phallus by not having it, but man can only pretend to have the phallus in order to function in society sexuated as man.
Now to finish this up, I work at a very menial job at this point in my life, which I do because it is something I need to do. However, I was struck the other day with this person’s repetition to a customer. He states consistently the same phrase over and over again. Him, “How are you?” Customer, “Fine, how are you?”. Him, “I can’t complain, because if I did, nobody is listening anyway”. This repetitive exchange is quite common for most, but not exactly with the repetition, but the other day I heard a customer state, if you want I will listen. The next few times after this he dropped the last part, because someone stated he would listen. This is a break, a moment of thought that is interupting the sympton of stating the world is cold, uncaring which of course is part of his ideological or ego ideal of being completely in control with no help from anyone else (can anyone guess his political affiliation?). From here there are only two viable options within his structure to change, and this is exactly the problem.