The object of our "reading" (as if it was either an 'object' or that there could be a singular reading extracted from 'our' dissective re(de)construction of this 'text', if it can be "called" (either restrictively or otherwise...) a 'text' in all "seriousness"...) is a certain 'thing' called "John Locke" which was/is/will be "written" (with all the political, ethical and discursive problematics that come with the 'act' of writing...) by an internet meme/person/signifier/identity entitled (appelated) "Craze" (it has been dated, by whom and for what purpose we are uncertain (in both the Cartesian and the pragmatic sense of that terminological nightmare entitled 'uncertainty'...)) as having occured in some sense (indeterminately) on Tuesday, December 18, 2001.
What follows (in the italicized typeface) is the 'object' of our enquiry in its "entirety" (see editorial note #1 for our editorial concerns regarding the term 'entirety' and its relation to this 'writeup'):
(person) by CrAzE (2 d) (print) ? Tue Dec 18 2001 at 04:50:50
John Locke's wrote about how the basis of governemt is to help the people of a governemt live their life as God intended. Going from this point he continues to say that any government whose purpose is not to serve its constituents should be taken into the hands of the people by any means.
Big whoop right? I mean how does this help me in any way? Well aside from helping to lay the foundation of many governments and altering the views of man twards his political system, his ideas work well on any essay for government classes. Including how Locke would have viewed aspects of certain questions can act as a perfect way to show you have extended your reading past the book and also applied a deeper hought to the essay's prompt.
Possible Points of Interest
- "John Locke's wrote about..."
- "governemt" (first occurence)
- "...the basis of governemt is to help the people of a governemt..."
- "governemt" (second occurence)
- "Big whoop right?"
- "his ideas work well on any essay for government classes"
- "...applied a deeper hought to the essay's prompt."
Notes for discussion: Is he, perhaps, merely playing within the discursive structure of "individual without a clue" to make a larger point about the academic 'necessity' to read closely and carefully? Is this, perhaps, a tirade against the tyranny of the careful, considered, thought-outnesses of modern (as well as classical and ancient) discourses? Perhaps, also, it is a subtle, even ironic, commentary on the very imposition (by both Western 'academia' and lay-persons alike...) of a narrative which involves "well" constructed sentences and "proper" spelling. In addition to such a commentary, it may, perhaps, be a deconstruction of the terms which it (mis)spells. What can its (mis)placement, or rearrangement, of "ment" in the term "government" mean? Is it perhaps a commentary upon the meaninglessness of governance? ... as if 'to govern' was to embrace the absence of meaning (or the absence of 'ment'='meant' to be replaced with 'mnet' , either M. Net (as in Monsiour Nettoyer, Mr. Clean: a commentary on corporations, corporatism, and late capitalism)... or perhaps m-net, master net, the search for an all encompassing narrative, one that allows no escape: similar to an Orwellian vision of a panoptic future, in which there is no 'escape' (or, at the very least, the term 'escape' loses all "mean"ing...)). ...
But here we impose the ruling narrative of text-presence upon ourselves in our analysis. What we miss are the silences and the richness (richesse) captured within those not-quite-there traces of ((?)). We turn the attention of you, the gentle reader (who for us is nothing more than a human shaped empty space; for, after all, we write for the those-not-there or those-who-will-be-there-but-not-yet), to what is missing, namely:
We see here the word "government" missing one of its "n"s incumbent, and the word "towards" missing the letter "o". "N", "o". Let us reflect (and this is certainly not to impose subject-centered dogma upon the reader) upon this. Are these missing letters secretly the author's rejection of his/her own stance, or perhaps of the grammatical aberrations therein? At the brink of linguistic liberation, has the author reeled back into the phonetic regime of the West? "No"? Not emphatically, but as an afterthought/innerthought/underthought/unthought, a streak of negation which shoots through the work. A failsafe, if one will, against the author's own stylistic and intellectual rebellion?
The author downplays Locke's work, and in doing so, minimizes the importance of his own examination. We are faced with negation at every twist and turn. But can something be achieved here, since, as Hegel says, dialectic is an activity of negativity? Will this work turn out to be worthwhile because of its very worthlessness as implied by the author?
Precisely what is the 'nature' of this apostrophic S? Is it perhaps a comment upon the ownership of the signifier? Perhaps, divorced from meaning (as the possible negation of "ment"="meant"="meaning"="signified" de/re/unconstructed above allows us to hypothesize...) the signifier can be, restrictively, owned. Though we may not be able to claim 'ownership' of the transcendental Signified (signified through a "Locke'S" rather than a "Locke's") we can, in fact, grasp and retain and claim for ourselve the rather more earthly 'signified'...
Indeed, beyond the notion of ownership and significatory praxis... perhaps the use of the more 'worldly' "s" (in lieu of the divine, spiritual "S" (which brings to mind Signified, Subject, Socrates and a hoSt of others...)) is an implicit rejection of religiosity, the divine, all things other-worldy. Rather than asSociating Locke's work with Heaven and God, as the writeup in question attempts to do on the surface ("...live their life as God intended") this simplistic reading is indeed subverted by the lower case s... the worldy, temporal, radically historicized s... Locke's works are entirely of this world, their transcendent qualities merely an illusion upheld for the uninitiated....
Is this apostrophic "s" perhaps then a questioning of the very distinction between S/s? Is it perhaps a temporalization of the Signified? A fluxuationality persists in the ownership qua questionable distinction between Signifed/signifier... How are we to reconcile the irreconciliable? It is always-already beyond our grasp whether or not the Lockean distinction between "ownership" (qua property) and "authorship" (qua signifier/Signified) can be verifiably upheld...
The Is/"hought" distinction
What are we to 'make' of this abrasive "hought" here? What can be said? Better yet, what can be tHought? The questions pile up, don't they?
- Contention #1: Homonymic: "hought" can be, contentiously, read as a homonym for "hot" or (even) "haught", and, on the very extremity of good-taste and bad-readings, it can be seen as an Anglo-American mispronunciation of the French "haut".
- 1. a) "hot"="hought": The heat of thought, brings to 'mind' the electro-magnetic activity of the brain itself, thus situating all thought in the mind-body connection, perhaps even eradicating the Cartesian distinction between "mind" (as a thinking substance) and "body" (a bawdy substance, to say the least...). Indeed, perhaps setting up a dichotomic relation between John Locke ("hought=hot" as a vital, life-affirming philosophical figure) and Rene Descartes ("hot=uncertain" as a llife-denying, contemplative aerie seeking philosophical figure). For what 'purpose'? Perhaps it is apurposal, anti-teleological, an opposition for opposition's sake..? Perhaps.
- 1. b) "haught"="hought": This reading involves a deeper cosmopolitanism. A deeper, Baudelairean dandyism, a newfound respect, a renewed understanding, of what it means to be, above all, decadent. To wit: "a perfect way to show you have extended your reading past the book and also applied a deeper hought to the essay's prompt." Does Locke's work itself show a deeper understanding of the haughty? Of the disdainful attitude so characteristic of both the French and the British intelligentsia (or, in the case of the British, the aristocracy as well...)? Perhaps. Or, is it not equally (or at least as 'possible' if we wish to discuss questions of likelihood...) as likely that this 'haught' refers, indeed to the arrogance that arises from the 'well-read' individual? Is it not perhaps a snide commentary on the tyranny of erudition? By reading Locke, are you not both reacting against current intellectual fads (either towards deconstruction on the Continent, or towards Davidsonian linguistic concerns, in the Anglo-American corner) and also participating in the haughtiness towards the 'unwashed' masses (and also participating in ideological class stratification...) by dismissing those who lack a deeper understanding? (That Locke's work provides...)
- 1. c) "haut"="hought"
- Contention #2: Eradicatory: "hought" read as the substraction of the 't' of "thought". Readings of the T are, like the Holy Trinity (the subject of one of the readings itself!), threefold:
- 2. a)"t"=the cross: The cross as a figuration of John Locke's own mortality, but, possibly through his thought (the cross, the crucifixion, the redemptory 'death of man as god'...) he shall be immortalized, trascendentalized, redeemed... That is to say: perhaps the Lockean corpus (body/works) may itself/themselves perish, through the transcendental nature of 'thought' itself, Locke (whether the figure "Locke" or John Locke "himself" is unclear...) will 'live' on, or at least, in some way, overcome this mortal, temporal existence. This is in stark contrast (or is it?) to the possible reading given of the apostrophic s above: perhaps taken together, the apostrophic "s" as anti-metaphysical endorsement of the historical and the eradicatory crucifictory "t" of "hought" as an endorsement of the divine give us an oscillatory distinction blurring problematic; is there not (possibly) an in between of earth/heaven, humanity/God, transcendent/immanent...? Perhaps these bifurcations are untenable...
- 2. b)"t"= The Holy Trinity: Triadic, transcendent. Ecstasis: The missing t represents a negative relation to "hought" insofar as neither has unified meaning without the other - save for signifying the negative space created by one's separation from the other. Of course, the popular conception of dialectic form is here (Triadic - thesis/synthesis/antithesis); however, Hegel never postulated the dialectic as being of this nature, so is this perhaps a hidden message? Is the author using error to signify the greater error - which in turn leads us to truth, which justifies and heals the wounds of falsehood? Is this error overcome and unified by the original truth and correctness? This unification-through-error would seem to lead us back to the Christian Trinity itself: a seemingly separate element of the trinity (Jesus Christ) manages to bring about both redemption (through error: He redeems man after the fall) and unity (as a separate, yet necessary, element of the Trinity, He allows the unity of God through separation, unity through distance...) Are we not saved from error, within this text, by its own error? OUR own error? Perhaps and perhaps not.
- 2. c)"t"= telos: Thought as instrumental reason; directed towards goals (teloi). The rejection of thought-thinking-thought, the worldly nature of thought, thought-toward-the-other... Continuing the thread of situatedness begun with the apostrophic s of "Locke's" above...
Suggested further reading:
- John Locke, Two Treatises of Civil Government (London(?), first published 1690).
- John Locke, On Politics, Religion, and Education (New York, Collier Books, 1965).
- Eugene H. Ehrlich, Basic Grammar for Writing (New York, McGraw-Hill, 1967).
- Andrew Woodfield, Teleology (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1976).
- Robert Charles Birney, Fear of Failure
(New York, Van Nostrand-Reinhold Co, 1969).