Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Fiction of the Oppressed

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Over at Mr Wang's eminently interesting blog (commentarysingapore.blogspot.com) is his latest entry on a Singapore poet, Cyril. Among the comments is one that struck me, why are gays over-represented in the Arts and creative scene in Singapore and in general.

The answer can be found in the works of Walter Benjamin. A thinker among many other professions, Benjamin is perhaps most recognized for his highly quotable Theses on the Philosophy of History. In this seminal work, which has tortured many critical theorists, Benjamin touches on the tradition of the oppressed. It is the vanquished of History who are most sensitive to the monads of possibility : the possibility of breaking out of History's inexorable march of progress. The oppressed senses the opportunity, to brush History against the grain and break a path out of the continuum.

Gays in Singapore and around the world exist in conditions of varying constraints. In Singapore, especially, the constraint is instrumentalised at State level and conditioned at Society level. In its actualization, the sovereign power (nomos empsuchon) has banished gays from society. Exiled. Because gays exist outside the juridico-legal framework. Illegalized.

The paradoxical situation? By this relationship of the ban, or the act of banishment, the gay/banished remains in relation with the Sovereign. Inside and outside simultaneously. Other marginalised groups in the world exist in such paradoxical relationships : the pre-war Jews, the Kurds, the Lepers, the Untouchables, the Other.

When a banished exists outside the System, outside the System that produces the Facts, establishes the Truth and defines the Law, he/she exists as a Fiction, desubjectified. Fiction is your only defining Self. You produce the ficciones to make sense of your condition. Not only gays but all the Other who have been exiled/banished. Sometimes, and sometimes only, one banished, achieves a ficcione powerful enough to shred the Defined System of Facts and establish a new Time. Martin Luther, Toussaint L'oventure, Gandhi, Martin Luther King.

The pen is mightier indeed. It is mightier not for conveying truth but for tearing truth to pieces.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day : "It is not a circumstantial liberty conceded to us that we wish, but the unequivocal adoption of the principle that no man, whether he be born red, black or white, can become the property of his fellowmen." -- Toussaint L'oventure to Napoleon Bonarparte in the Haiti Revolution


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You my friend do not belong to Singapore!! Way out-of-da-system analysis.


12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds somewhat like a compliment, Derek, whether it is meant as a compliment or not.


1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't you see Derek? He's on his way to the league of legendary figures...

3:15 AM  
Anonymous alvin said...

i'm sure you have good points to make, but your points are often lost in the rather convulated style of prose you have chosen.

your blog; your choice. just my 2 cents - the pen is only mighty when it is able to move, rather than alienate, the masses into action.


2:31 AM  

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