Thursday, September 13, 2007
ritual in the dark
My landlord was a large genial man with a neatly shaved head. He wore a surprised expression as if surprised having ate Tweetie. His collection of pornographic supplements from the tabloid press* was second to none; they took the place of encyclopaedias in his lounge; or, one could suppose, from a previous period of the development of the middle class: holiday brochures. This lounge had a stilted sort of perfection like the "installations" in the Littlewoods cataloge. And maybe this exaggerated a sense of provisionality that followed from its function as something like a concierge's office. You were reminded of that programme where Paris Hilton pretends to be an air hostess.
My landlord liked to imagine this pornography wasn't merely staged, apparently ex nihilo but in some way documented another social world, and simply recorded living friezes of taut flesh.
Supposing commercialised sex now stands in for something like a Deleuzian line of escape, I mean ideologically not really -
- because all this is reproduced through the commodity system the detritus of former ideological regimes isn't erased -
- it stands in for this as drug abuse did, as petty crime did, as working class life did.
Pornography is probably another version of pastoral, as Michaux' books used to be (however involuntarily). If the metaphysics of pornography are, as Baudrillard said, what's interesting about it, this is because they are peculiar to this era, and can be understood as such.
[*the Sport for instance offers a quite eclectic apprenticeship not limited to sex lines, videos, rubber, dildos, spanish fly, inflatable men and women, articles for use per rectum; and contact details for depressed prison wives, perhaps, or those of truckers, or other men.]