Berlin, 2009

Berlin, 2009
We want more voices, thoughts and languages!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Work in progress, intro. part 1

"How must democracy be undemocratic?"
In the best of the possible worlds, there was once upon a time: a democracy. It literally means: government of the people, i.e. people govern. Although none is directly people, many can be one of them. The word to designate that entity which is named “people” in English has got equivalents in other languages: il popolo, le peuple, das Volk, die Leute, el pueblo, Народ… The question about who can be one of the people is not tautological, since there are and have always been exceptions. It is not enough to be one in order to be one of the people, rather there are many criteria of selection, so for example, just to mention those likely to be most relevant: one must belong to one or at most two peoples in order to be one of the people. It goes with it that then there are beings, who do not respect this exclusiveness of belonging, that do not belong to any people. To belong to more than two peoples means not to belong to any of them. So the first demand people require is respect for a principle of exclusiveness. I will not concentrate on the case of double citizenship, the phenomenon which justifies the belonging to two different peoples, and which involves special agreements between nations yet, rather here I will focus only on the one-people-belonging, i.e. people-belonging.
There are adjectives strong enough to become firstly nouns. So for example, there are people who are tall. There are people who are fat. Yet this does not make of them principally “the talls” or “the fats.” But there are people that are gay. There are people who are criminal. There are people who are mad. And this is often enough to make of them “gays,” “criminals” and “madmen.” As there are people who are black, and that makes “blacks” of them. Then there are people who are disabled, and they are “the disabled.” There are blonde [women], and there are “blondes”, and then “brunettes.” The line between a word being mainly an adjective or mainly a noun is weak. But certainly there is a time for every society in which some adjectives become strongly nouns and they stop designating the plurality of the individual in order to determine him or her as one of a people. Nationality determinations belong to such second way of designation. If in many languages the use of capital letters marks a difference, like for example the Italian “francese” and “Francese” (“he is francese” and “he is a Francese”), the English capitalization of the adjective makes it clear that the adjective works as strongly as a noun: “he is French.” Often the adjective has got a noun variant, like “Jewish” and “Jew.” In different historical times and in different places, people decide who, inside themselves, are not belonging to them as people, since these people belong also to another sort of people: for example “the gays,” “the criminals,” “the madmen.” Other nouns to define people are the ones relative to gender, age, skin color and health conditions. Some have already been mentioned. So we have got men and women, a young guy is a youth, for old age instead there is only “elderly people” in English, but we have got “sick” that can easily become: “a patient.” Being drug-addicted, one becomes immediately a drug-addict. Examples are endless.
The difference between meeting a gay and a tall person in the street is the same which lies between determining one as such (as a gay) and qualifying and pluralizing one (as someone that is tall); it is the same difference between chaining someone as one of a people (the gay population: the population of gays), and pluralizing the spectrum of variants one can represent: being tall and short, skinny and beautiful, and beautifully fat. There is a time in which the oscillation between being gay and being a gay is so heavily pounding on the side of the noun that a gay can even be considered belonging to another people (the gays), so not respecting the first criteria for “being one of the people” that is “being one of only one people,” fidelity to the people, and therefore be excluded from people.
There is a time in which the oscillation between being gay and being a gay is so heavily pounding on the side of the noun that a person can be considered to belong to the gays, at the exclusion of being one of the people. So not respecting the first criteria for “being one of the people” that is “being one of only one people,” fidelity to the people, can mean an expulsion from humanity in the sense of intelligibility and human rights.

There are times of alliances, in which prejudices are confined and do not mouth into the most ferocious denial of rights: as it is the case today in many parts of the world, where, to remain with our example: gays cannot get married but at least are not burned with fennel to make the smell of flesh more bearable. These might be considered inter-people alliances (like it is the case with different nations sometimes) between people and the population of gays; they find some sort of arrangement.
The making of nouns came parallel with the making of Americans, and the Christians, and so on. Religious designations are other examples of the strength with which an adjective meant to pluralize ends up determining someone as such. Also children do not vote, and here age comes into play to determine what we see when we look at someone, because there is a big difference between seeing a youth and a young person, between seeing a gay and someone who is gay, there is that above mentioned difference: the same which makes it sound weird “seeing a tall” but common “seeing a gay”.
Then there are mothers, and brothers, players, engineers, prostitutes, husbands, readers. Social relations and jobs, activities and entertainments are other areas for other examples of nouns which determine someone as such. “Driver,” “audience.” Different historical times and different places not only create new words but also determine when an adjective becomes mainly a noun: so one can suppose that “doorkeeper” had not had any meaning before the action of opening the door became routinised in the figure of the one who repetitively does that gesture. The description of an action becomes instituted in the noun which determines the one who acts. A dustman is someone who dusts, and yet there have always been people who dusted. At one point the action of dusting becomes determining in the subject who acts. This might happen because of the specialization of work, or for many thousands of other reasons. In any case an incidence of factors come together to determine whom we see when we see someone. So for example, the way we see a gay in the street, we might also see a dustman. Before there were peasants, now pickers. The one who picked fruit (and “picking” was a pluralizing description of a person’s activity) becomes a fruit-picker. Consequently one might understand that at any moment fruit-pickers and dustmen might be considered belonging to some other sort of people, like workers or the population of the exploited and have not any right to vote any longer. So it might have been the case when there were dukes, barons and peasants.
Then we have mentioned mothers and brothers, we might add children, then we have the swear words like “idiot,” “dickhead,” “bastard,” “coward” and so on. One who is idiotic easily becomes an idiot. As far as familiar or social relations are concerned there are endless numbers of words: “friend,” “neighbor,” “acquaintance”… Following our exampliologic (this word must be used) procedure, we might consider for example the weight of the noun “mother,” which describes the status of someone who had previously already been determined as “a woman,” on the person who is so designated or potentially so designated. Feminist critiques pointed out that “mothers” are people as well, and if they have never been excluded from voting because of their being mothers as such, nonetheless their belonging to the people of the mothers precluded them from social participation. If we consider the noun “child” we immediately realize how intimately it determines the person it designates, so that for example we cannot imagine to substitute it with any other expression, unless we use some redundant formulation like “a really young person.” Children also do not vote. As we meet a gay in the street, in the same way we meet a child.
I did not pretend having written more than a random list of examples; I tried to archive them as best I could, just for the pleasure of reading in them some sort of order, but it does not want to have any pseudo scientific basis: it just aimed to a narrative outline. However, as we read and rethought the obliqueness, prevalence and significance of the multiplicity hidden behind the name of democracy worldwide, we decided to join in expanding the discussion disarticulating “democracy” in all its names, all of them given to what was originally supposed to be democratic with practico-theoretical considerations.


Monday, January 19, 2009

A reminder that....Yes We Can!

Today, of course, is the day we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. I think each of us is actively promoting and striving for civil rights in our own manner. Let's remember that nothing is impossible, all is created equally....and that we should love.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.   -1st Corinthians 13:4-7


Video courtesy of

Excerpt 2

"A queer perspective replies to the question "what is common?" with an answer that appears accidental, extraneous, unessential at first sight: "that they liked one another." Yet the right of expression must be safeguarded much more as the "right to be listened to" than as the "right to talk." If a positive mythical Right can determine the latter, the safekeeping of the former falls into the task of the Human Rights. Therefore their task is essentially revolutionary. Therefore the imprescriptible right to be listened to implies reawakening the historical indexes in language. Therefore what is common is neither here nor there but in the queer liking-likeness which can abruptly emerge. "

(From: Review of The Construction of Queer Culture in India...)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pretty Little Things

Lending a little color to the eyes. I'm lovin the video blogs! Ha ha especially Oli tryin to make it onto that surf board. Classic. I only have pics of Maya n Twon like this but if anyone else wants a suped up version of themselves all technicolor, it's real easy for me to do on my camera. Email me a pic! Enjoy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009




back back back from miami i am full in love. in love with the ocean and perhaps even the sand. yet the lifestyle seems a bit slowed, dulled even something i think maybe maladaptive for me. a hindrance that would start at annoyance and when time passed an ache would manifest. and no victoria not one of my psychosomatic ails you constantly accuse of being 'plagued all day' (you remind me of myself as

ignatius in confederacy of the dunces

(im really into the fictitious right now (and plays also)). but back to this ache it would inhibit my natural erratic fastness that may remain still at times, at times. But an absolute stillness that is imposed is a lifestyle norm. reading

streetcar named desire (plays are fabulous one day reads)

on the beach, with my brother staring outward next to me, the repetition of sounds that no longer had autonomy, the monotony of the beach culture and this simple rhythm and awful awful repetition of barbie as beauty and ken for that matter, eerily enough there was something synonymous with blanche and i together there. that ache. not just in being but rather in the wanting of out.

sidenote: finally a newly added member of this blog, some gmail issues. seriously! hihihihi all. not to you vic i live with you. but everyone else that i dont see as frequently. also i havent really read the posts so ill get on that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas Tree Burning at Schwarzerkanal Jan. 15th!

wood/ queerbeograd / christmastree burning> > donnerstag 8.1.09> we make wood from 10h - 15/16h tomorrow> would be great if people have time to join> > wir machen morgen von 10h - 15h/16h holz> wär toll, wenn welche zeit haben zu helfen> > > donnerstag/thursday 15.1.09 18h wagenplatz schwarzer kanal> > Christmas Tree Burning Party. Wir wissen, ihr wartet schon das ganze Jahr drauf: jetzt ist es wieder so weit. Keine Müdigkeit vortäuschen, Tannenbäume sammeln und zum Christmastree burning mitbringen. Auf euch wartet: Karaoke im beheizten Wagen, hot alc und non alcohol drinks, Party. Soli for antiracist. > 18h vokü/ food> 19h talk with activists from queer belgrad collective / Gespräch mit Aktivist_innen vom Queer Belgrad Kollektiv

Monday, January 12, 2009

Translation and the hope of language

Benjamin suggests in 1917 with On the Program of the Coming Philosophy that language should replace the Kantian forms of a priori intuition. He also establishes the conditions for a reworking of the concept of time, which the concepts of tempo (of reading and script) and of hope replace, while the transcendental becomes historical. Literally tempo and hope are considered as indexes for the representation of the dialectical image; tempo and hope, that are detached and independent from the realm of possibility (be it transcendental or deconstructionist). The temporal exit from/by the -pressure [ex-pression] of the image consists of historical hope, that is never hope of possibilities, rather on this point of view hopeless. Hope is the tempo of reading and script that is also the tempo of the dialectical image. This paper/presentation aims at the experience of the terrain of hope, that’s the core which cherishes an affirmative and positive treatment of education, traditions, culture in general and that hinders a tradition that is a catastrophe. Since this terrain does not lie in language in general, rather only in language as long as language is in translation, then for the sake of its experience some considerations will be made upon the happy and lucky position between Paris, Hauptstadt des XIX Jahrhunderts / Paris, capitale du XIXe siècle and the English (Paris - Capital of the 19th Century; Paris -1968; 1978; Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century -1999) and Russian (Париж - столица XIX века -1990; Париж, столица девятнадцатого столетия -1996) translations.
(Submitted for the Benjamin conference in Berlin in the fall of 2009)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Today is my birthday. I am the quintessential 33. I thought of that sentence before pondering the definition of the word “quintessential.

representing the perfect example of a class or quality
Of the nature of a quintessence (in all senses)
adj. Having the nature of the most typical instance; pure and concentrated in nature....

I’m not sure if this applies, but I’ve been hearing whispers of a woman’s full expression coming to fruition around this age in particular....hence my interpretation of my inadvertent use of the word “quintessential” applying to becoming the perfect example of a class......of a woman. (Insert lame cliche) only time will tell.

Furthermore, I’m not sure if this theory relates to physical (sex) or psychological and emotional. In any event, I’m not having any sex (not by my choice OF COURSE) right now and my emotions and psychological well being is less than stellar right now, not to say I accept that as a permanent position......I gather I’m in between actualizing my potential and being stuck in the structured life I’ve been living for the last ten years. From the moment I was born (I believe there were some concerns or complications though I should really ask my mother about that), I have literally conquered feats I was told I could not conquer. While I continue to accomplish small things here and there, the bigger desires are scary and less accomplished. Love, passionate career, travel the world. I decided to treat myself to a book today. And I left Borders (sorry had to be done today.) in hand with “Tales of a Female Nomad”. If I don’t leave and take my trek across the globe (or Asia and South America to be specific) sometime within the next two years, I give all of you full permission to kick my ass, call my boss and tell him I quit for me, deplete my bank account and buy me a one way ticket to the destination of your choice and force me onto an airplane and say ciao.

Ok enough with all the sappy theoretical esoterical blutherings coming from my brain this morning. Chicago is snowy, more snow on the way. Antwon and I were delighted to see this blog and I’m even MORE delighted that MAYA figured it out. In fact MAYA, you’ve added more things to this blog than I have on my own blog. I have yet to sit down and figure out how to add video, pictures, put links down the side. GOOD FUCKING ROCKSTAR *i-don’t-know-how-to-use-the-internet* job Belvina! :) (I’m allowed to curse on here right? ha ha)

I’ll leave you with something......funny? informative? I don’t know what to call it..........but on Facebook there are advertisements down the side of every page. This was one of them today:

Talk live to a Muslim, get free Quran, discuss Islam, ask questions or invite a Muslim speaker. Call 800-662-ISLAM.

p.s. The pic is from New Years Eve! I'm going to have a field day taking pictures and posting them on here for you. Don't worry, I'll just include links so as not to bombard. Hey, does anyone know how you can shorten a post so it's only like four sentences of the intro and then a link at the end something to the effect of "click here for more" ????

Ah, loved faces in Boystown!

Halloween 09 in Chic.

Indovina Chi?

Monday, January 5, 2009


i thought of you both and imagined reading these pages aloud to you. from the latest chapter in a book of cognitive dissonance and blood-brain barriers. (The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell).
"I suppose events are simply a sort of annotation of our feelings - the one might be deduced from the other. Time carries us (boldly imagining that we are discrete egos modeling our own personal futures) - time carries us forward by the momentum of those feelings inside us which we ourselves are least conscious." (192)
"The cicadas are throbbing in the great planes, and the summer Mediterranean lies before me in all its magnetic blueness. Somewhere out there, beyond the mauve throbbing line of the horizon lies Africa, lies Alexandria, maintaining its tenuous grasp on one's affections through memories which are already refunding them-selves slowly into forgetfulness; memory of friends, of incidents long past. The slow unreality of time begins to grip them, blurring the outlines - so that sometimes I wonder whether these pages record the actions of real human beings; or whether this is not simply the story of a few inanimate objects which precipitated drama around them - i mean a black patch, a watch-key and a couple of dispossessed wedding-rings...
Soon it will be evening and the clear night sky will be dusted thickly with summer stars. I shall be here, as always, smoking by the water. I have decided to leave Clea's last letter unanswered. I no longer wish to coerce anyone, to make promises, to think of life in terms of compacts, resolutions, covenants. It will be up to Clea to interpret my silences according to her own needs and desires, to come to me if she has need or not, as the case may be. Does not everything depend on our interpretation of the silence around us?" (194-195)

January 5 Happy Monday!

sun salutate in the morning stretching to coax out the lazy bed-wallowing yellow beast. Here, there is snow too! And right now we live by the canals, where the water is running on ice and we skate on our shoes near the swans and the birds holding hands so's to fall together...if falling happens.
Busily looking for apartments and jobs, studying German with sprinkles of russian and italian. Asja, 2.5 years old, Livorno, Italy, calls to talk often, so while German seems a priority, Italian is also ringing.....
Well, we shall make a signs for all the objects in German, Italian, Russian and French. Will they mix-up-the letters and the sounds or help re-member the complementarity and insufficiency of a language alone?
We we we...but just me here, in this nice room we are going to have to leave soon, which is a bit scary, but so may be jumping over an ocean, and who's counting?
Everyone here is very nice so far. Last night Tina made a big dinner with pesto her mother made (though not by hand with mortar? like Oli) and it was yummmmy! Ebba lives in the back and her lover Kristen stays often. I don't know Ebba almost at all. She's young (20's) and from Sweden (which I always confuse with Switzerland, stupid donkey me). Stefania and Nicoletta live in the next room. Stefania sings and cooks simultaneously, or sows (sp?) on stage. Nicoletta is a cook. They are lovely together. I see them jumping and hugging on New Year's Eve on the street. They made an instructional video of how to cook risotto above. Tina just came back from her sister's wedding in Italy and showed us the video of Italian line dancing! We are considering learning...
Dante is a big 11 year old black whoof whoof who is also a guest this week and I'm not too afraid. Whoohoo! Sorry for the rambles. More structure coming soon? Emailing you now for your thoughts and anythings. Misses and huggggggs.