being a problem - playable orcs at the limits of humanity

SOB, SOB by Kerry James Marshall

“For this too is what W. E. B. Du Bois might have us think of as the gift of black culture, the gift of blackness: the great chain of being come undone, life itself unfettered and moving in all directions, a window into the worlds that thrive at the underside of modernity." — Joshua Bennett, Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man

[brief note]  
i stealth edit posts all the time. this is a personal blog and im prone to typos + weird phrasing. god has already forgiven me for this. ive edited this post a lot tho, like much more than i normally would, and will probably keep working on it so its only fair that i make some mention of these frequent changes somewhere. ill do a second post if it gets bad enough, promise. we're all about works-in-progress here at A Most Majestic Fly Whisk!
dictated. not read. — the management

Hey y'all, hope everyone's been having a happy and restful (in that order) holiday season. My nieces just got their brains exploded by seeing their favorite Pete the Cat book adapted into an episode of the Pete the Cat television series, so mine has been p good. Played some Adventure Hour! and Microscope with the fam and we had a great time. I must admit that the content of this post is entirely unrelated to those experiences; that would be too focused and useful.

This is technically a response to a Xwitter thread, particularly the parts about "left-coded" narrative DnD and shifting concepts of fantasy race, but I'm also thinking about conversations I've had with Marcia B on her scenario Kill the Devils! and Ava Islam + John B + marsworms on Afropessimism. I have no desire to revisit the always-evil orcs/racism argumentat least not now, at the joyous end of the yearbut I do want to consider some of the reasons why the modern DND fixes for its race weirdness feel uncomfortable to me. So we're all on the same page, I'll do a little review of some ideas that influenced my own thinking on this, though it'll prob bore those of y'all who are already into Africana or Black Studies. You guys can keep a running list of people I should have mentioned and stick it in the comments.

a whirlwind tour of Black counterhumanisms

Before we go any further: I am not an Afropessimist. I feel like I have to say this more and more often irl. It could just be a product of Black Studies' general orientation these days but that can't possibly account for the smug-ass "ah, one of us" tone people seem to adopt whenever they ask you about it. Maybe I'm the problem (hehe.) In any case, Black radical criticism of humanist thought predates Afropessimism, though Afropessimists have made some helpful extensions of the idea. 

It's prob fair to say that Du Bois inaugurated Black philosophical criticism of universal humanism and the unspeakable question he uses to open The Souls of Black Folk - "How does it feel to be a problem?" -  def plays a pivotal role in subsequent work. The young Du Bois of Souls could still hope to find a place as man and brother in an America that reflected a vision of humanity when you looked at yourself through its eyes (a hope Du Bois had given up on by the end of his life) but later Francophone anticolonial intellectuals, most notably Césaire, Senghor, and Fanon, used the twin horrors of colonialism and fascism as a foundation for launching a far more comprehensive and incisive critique of 'humanism.' This critique challenged Enlightenment notions of Reason as the central feature of the human and even the existence of a unified concept of 'humanity' that transcends various individual projects. The "crisis of Man" forced people like Césaire, Senghor, and Fanon to reevaluate the assertion, familiar from the curricula they'd encountered in the colonial metropole, that apprehending the world as human beings entailed filtering its objects through the concepts and methodologies available to a 'rational subject' in the Western mould...and that reevaluation forces you to leave (or at least, like, worry about?) otherwise helpful tools for building connections that are scaffolded on Man. In other words, their critique of humanism—that it distribues 'universal rights' unequally because it's fundamentally unable to think of the colonial subject as a human, with Césaire just straight up saying (in his Discourse on Colonialism) that even the rights it affords to those who can prove their humanity are "narrow and fragmentary, incomplete and biased and, all things considered, sordidly racist"—forced them to identify a foundation for solidarity not contingent upon the species' inherent capacity for (certain privileged kinds of) reasoning or other colonial 'personhood tests.'  They really left no room for reconciliation here. All three of the writers mentioned pointed to the Enlightenment hegemony of Reason as the legitimizing discourse par excellence, one that supported an extensive history of violence (colonial or otherwise.) One of the most vicious passages in the history of anticolonial writing comes from Césaire's Discourse on the topic of Western "pseudohumanism:"

"I have talked a good deal about Hitler. Because he deserves it: he makes it possible to see things on a large scale and to grasp the fact that capitalist society, at its present stage, is incapable of establishing a concept of the rights of all men, just as it has proved incapable of establishing a system of individual ethics. Whether one likes it or not, at the end of the blind alley that is Europe, I mean the Europe of Adenauer, Schuman, Bidault, and a few others, there is Hitler. At the end of capitalism, which is eager to outlive its day, there is Hitler. At the end of formal humanism and philosophic renunciation, there is Hitler."

I think this is a pretty solid argument on its own, even from a more 'practical' reading. Given that colonial policies and discourse largely derive from racial distinctions, the colonial subject finds it harder and harder to perceive themselves independently of 'universal' humanism built around the Western Man (which forms the heart of European engagements with the category of human.) In the words of Fanon, “not only must the black man be black; he must be black in relation to the white man.” The trio's solutions to the failure of liberal humanism they grew up learning in the master's schools seem to have landed in the same ballpark: a regenerated humanism that pays attention to how and why it uses the category. Fanon famously says in Black Skin, White Masks that “[t]he black man is not. No more than the white man. Both have to move away from the inhuman voices of their respective ancestors so that a genuine communication can be born.”  His humanism is what David Macey calls a "humanism of solidarity," one that flows from a shared responsibility for atrocity and a shared duty to confront it. We should give Césaire the final word on the new humanism, as expressed in his letter of resignation from Maurice Thorez's French Communist Party: 

"Provincialism? Not at all. I am not burying myself in a narrow particularism. But neither do I want to lose myself in an emaciated universalism. There are two ways to lose oneself: walled segregation in the particular or dilution in the “universal.” My conception of the universal is that of a universal enriched by all that is particular, a universal enriched by every particular: the deepening and coexistence of all particulars."

It's worth mentioning Sylvia Wynter here as well, because her efforts to disentangle Man from the human, to open space for new 'genres' of the human category, and to (borrowing the title of a recent book by and on her) be human as praxis make her the undisputed inheritor of this Fanonian/Césairean project. I think she's something of an outlier, though, because Anglophone Black feminists generally focused on the ways that liberal humanism's attempts to """incorporate""" its victims only further entrenched/reified those same oppressions - a systematic critique of the partial inclusion of nonwhite subjects where they are never, to use Alexander Weheliye’s words in Habeas Viscus, “fully assimilated into the human qua man." Ava I think was the one who said in some convo that this really could have only come from people like Hartman and Spillers (y'know - people who aren't dudes) and she's totally right on that. Hortense Spillers' Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe is a key early intervention here, where (among other things) she says that the early characterizations of the Negro - obv a category that did not exist until the Human arrived, or grew up with the Human - took paths that diverged from existing pre/early modern conceptions of humanity into what she calls an "altered human factor." Thinking about the transfer of Africans to Europe, she argues that these not-exactly-people became physical embodiments of the alterity that the Enlightenment used to outline its broad-minded secular universalism, emptied containers for meaning. Spillers articulates this transformation here: 

"Once the 'faithless,' indiscriminate of the three stops of Portuguese skin color, are transported to Europe, they become an altered human factor...The altered human factor introduces an alterity to the European Ego, constituting an invention or 'discovery' that holds decisive implications across the entire spectrum of social ramifications, analogous in significance to the birth of a newborn." 

Long before they touch land, the Africans in the womb of the ship's hold (and the Indigenous person under treaty law, and so on) experience something like alchemical calcination, a process where previous states of being are burned away by the magic of social death into the kind of Otherness that forms the lineaments of Likeness — a modification of (but, importantly, not a total separation from) the emerging human category that underwrites the Occidental concept of self. Saidiya Hartman's Scenes of Subjection confronts the material results of this paradox directly when she considers "the metamorphosis of chattel into man and citizen" that was promised by American Reconstruction and the liberal humanist project more broadly. For Hartman, the failures of both are not just "a matter of policy or weak implementation or evidence of a flagging commitment to black rights"  (things that def do happen all the time tbc) but an inherent result of...

"...the limits of emancipation, the ambiguous legacy of universalism, the exclusions constitutive of liberalism, and the blameworthiness of the freed individual  [which] were no less decisive in producing new forms of involuntary servitude and inequality. The rights of contract and the wage failed to disestablish fundamental aspects of slavery; emancipation made the lives of the formerly enslaved more precarious: rights facilitated relations of domination, and new forms of bondage were enabled by proprietorial notions of the self. The pedagogical and legislative efforts aimed at transforming the formerly enslaved into rational, acquisitive, dutiful, and responsible individuals required coercion and the regular threat of arrest, punishment, and death."

This idea, that any inclusion within a genre of the human (Wynter's words) that literally requires a quasihuman to define itself against is self-defeating at best, runs through her book. "From this vantage point," Hartman reflects, "emancipation appears less the grand event of liberation than a point of transition between modes of servitude and racial subjection" - a vantage point that leads her "to question whether the rights of man and citizen are realizable or whether the appellation 'human' can be borne equally by all."  This is different from the existing liberal criticism of dehumanizing practices. The focus on 'dehumanization' as the core issue for Black folks (or women, or trans people) tends to obscure the hierarchies implicit in universal humanity, bc the process of universalization is one that's purchased through abjection. As she says in one of Subjection's endnotes (and highlighted in the Foreword of the revised edition, there's no way I couldve done a pull this deep on Christmas Eve...):

"Legal liberalism, as well as critical race theory, has examined issues of race, racism, and equality by focusing on the exclusion and marginalization of those subjects and bodies marked as different ...The disadvantage of this approach is that the proposed remedies and correctives to the problem-inclusion, protection, and greater access of opportunity-do not ultimately challenge the economy of racial production or its truth claims or interrogate the exclusions constitutive of the norm, but instead seek to gain equality, liberty, and redress within its confines."

And this is the contribution of the Afropessimists - walk out of the confines by allowing the human to die. If it hurts so bad, if our efforts to make universalist lie a little more true only inscribe our subjection, why are we still playing their game? "We’ve tried everything" says a palpably weary Calvin Warren in Ontological Terror, everything from "marches, to masochistic citizenship (giving our bodies to the state to brutalize in hopes of evoking sympathy and empathy from humans), to exceptional citizenship and respectability, to protest and armed conflict."  Struggling seems to tighten the noose  - either "we will continue this degrading quest for human rights and incorporation," accepting the logic that requires us or some other poor fucker in our place to be serfs in the Kingdom of Man forever or "we will take a leap of faith, as Kierkegaard might say, and reject the terms through which we organize our existence."  Warren's leap of faith is, first and foremost, a letting go: 

"By abandoning the human, human-ness, and the liberal humanism that enshrouds it, we can better understand the violent formations of antiblackness, particularly ontological terror. To abandon the human does not mean that one accepts the terms of inferiority or worthlessness. We do not have to abandon within the axiological framework of humanism; we can reject that framework as well. In other words, we have invested unbelievable value in the human — it constitutes the highest value in the world. And for this reason, we are terrified of letting go of it because we believe this value will protect us against antiblackness (it will not). As long as we continue to invest in the value structure that renders the human the highest, and most important, being within the world, we will continue to plead for recognition and acceptance. It is this terror of value, of not possessing this value, that keeps us wedded to the idea of the human and its accouterments (and I must say, constantly revisiting the human, reimagining it, expanding it, and refashioning it does nothing but keep us entangled in the circuit of misery.)"

first as tragedy...

The point I'm trying to make about WotC orcs as coffeeshop owners and why it feels so incredibly hollow is probably already clear by now. I can't speak from a universal Blackness (only one conditioned by my particulars!) but even beyond conventional corporate stupidity, some of the wrongness must come from the fact that we get to see a process that is typically obscured — (not)Blackness as the troubling frontier of the Human, liberal attempts to widen the fantasy of violent acquisitive rule to certain kinds of acceptable (not)Blackness, etc — happen in front of us. It's always fucked up seeing the sausage get made. In an earlier post sparked by Zedeck Siew's GOATed thread on colonial fantasy, I called this sort of behavior "quibbling about whether orcs get to wear the pith helmet" and I stand by that, but it's more involved than that phrasing suggests. John B recently pointed out that "once [orcs are] a stand-in for Black people in white fantasies, the whole apparatus of the white imaginary about Black people is brought to bear on them" (talking about racialized-libidinal dreams of orc sex, if this helps) and it's only with this that the weirdness of the playable orc is apparent. Their humanity is tied to their ability to engage with racist adventuring fantasy, the monster-killing monster or the human-romanceable monster. Ironically, it's exactly here that Orcishness is most Black — when it reveals the limits of personhood in conventional Eurofantasy. 

a monstrous kinship

One of the tweets responding to the thread linked in the beginning suggests that the identification of Black folks with orcs represents a "more 80s punk left vs 00 YA left" shift: "'Orcs are villains so they represent fascists, who are villains' vs 'Orcs are villified so they represent the oppressed, who are villified.'" This is phrased in an annoying way and misses the legitimate history of DnD as Western fantasy (with all that entails) but I think it stumbles onto a truth; part of the identification with the orc from our side, the Black side, of the split is kinship with the abject. This is a long-running thread in diasporic Black culture, at least old enough for Joshua Bennnet's Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man to begin with Frederick Douglass, whose own Autobiography starts by noting that slaves often knew as little about their own ages as horses did. Bennett calls this a "moment of all-too-fraught proximity between the enslaved black person and the nonhuman animal— positioned here as twin captives, affixed by modernity’s long arc," a nonhumanism of solidarity that Douglass would return to again and again throughout his life:

"Douglass forges this unexpected alliance to set up a line of argument that he follows intently throughout the text, a means of getting out of animality by going through it...Douglass is aware of this unwieldy network of feelings that bind livestock and the enslaved together, and he appears to wrestle at various points with the sadness that emerges from living in such fraught proximity: the contradictions implicit in being asked to care for a creature that is, on many occasions, granted more freedom, and more room to move, than oneself. During a speech delivered in 1873 in Nashville, Tennessee, entitled 'Agriculture and Black Progress,' Douglass takes this point a bit further: 'Not only the slave, but the horse, the ox, and the mule shared the general feeling of indifference to rights naturally engendered by a state of slavery. . . . The master blamed the overseer; the overseer the slave, and the slave the horses, oxen, and mules; and violence and brutality fell upon animals as a consequence.' Douglass goes on to entreat his listeners at the time— an audience composed primarily of recently emancipated black farmers—to consider animals their co-laborers, friends, partners in the field, to resist the whims of a social order predicated on their confinement and instead embrace another, more radical form of sociality, one grounded in the desire for a world without cages or chains."

Animal studies philosophers, posthumanist CCRU goons, Bordigists updating their Web 1.0 sitesall made to look like reactionaries by the gentle radicalism of our familiar ol' Frederick Douglass, the former slave who could look at a mule and know him for a brother. "[The] overarching claims Douglass is making," Bennet writes, "can be found throughout the African American literary tradition." Which is weird from the conventional liberal humanist angle, right? Reject the animal, Negro! Assert your manhood! Against our own impulses, "what we often find instead are authors who envision the Animal as a source of unfettered possibility, or, to call on the work of John Berger, the Animal as a promise." In its own discussion of Black artistic and literary uses of monstrosity and animality — Octavia Butler and Wangechi Mutu together! — Zakiyyah Iman Jackson's Becoming Human summarizes the whole point of this endeavor:

"Is the black a human being? The answer is hegemonically yes. However, this, in actuality, may be the wrong question as an affirmative offers no assurances. A better question may be: If being recognized as human offers no reprieve from ontologizing dominance and violence, then what might we gain from the rupture of ‘the human’?"

Kinmaking with other-than-humans can be found in many other places ofc: in Yukaghir hunting sorcery, in writing on the monstrous feminine, in Derrida's address to the 1997 Cerisy Conference, in living Navajo mythology, in Donna Haraway's on kinmaking with other-than-humans. There are real depths here, ones that the hobby can and should draw upon, but there's only a handful of examples that come to mind atm. There's Marcia's Kill the Devils! (which we already talked about) and Zedeck Siew's ATTI (which you already know about.) There's Wendi Yu's glorious Here! There! Be Monsters! - a game that revels in its rejection of Man's Kingdom and asks players to slaughter its guardians. There's the centering of alterity in Sofinho's Pariah and posthuman-animist reflections on human categories in Max Cantor's work. Prob more that I'm forgetting or haven't come across yet, but not even close to enough. And I get it. It's painful work and we want reconciliation and comfort. There's little comfort in this. It's not healing. But, as Fred Moten reminds us in Black and Blur, in many of Afrodiasporic art's greatest moments "[t]here’s no remembering, no healing. There is, rather, a perpetual cutting, a constancy of expansive and enfolding rupture and wound, a rewind that tends to exhaust the metaphysics upon which the idea of redress is grounded.” This cutting, he says, does not preclude a kind of razor-edged joy. I think there's some room for that in our elfgames. Emily Allen's Wounded Daughter class is exactly this vibe and I still think about how hard it goes years later. Kind of an insane message for Christmas Eve, but it's hopeful in its own way!The gift of black culture, the gift of blackness: the great chain of being come undone.


  1. Great post as always, and glad to have something to read on Christmas :).

    I don't know how much this connects, apologies if it veers too far off course. I've been reading Freud's Essays on Parapsychology. In The Uncanny, he makes an argument at one point about the "narcissism" of Animism, which I found kind of funny, I did not exactly agree with it to say the least, but I did find it interesting.

    I actually don't think it's totally unreasonable to say, there is an inherent narcissism to the animist/panpsychist idea of humans thinking that their consciousness is somehow fundamental to the universe; that there is a life in all things and they are connected to this consciousness. If you heard a tech bro say it you'd laugh, right?

    In a hypothetical world where the hegemony was more so Animist or Panpsychist, I imagine it is this kind of narcissistic imposition we would be facing, as opposed to that of tech bros.

    As you know, despite my limited knowledge due to limited availability, I'm very interested in Samkange and Mbiti, and the idea of Hunhuism/Ubuntuism/African Humanism, whereas this post and your recommendation of the African Novel of Ideas I see a through-line in some of your thoughts as being more in a kind of non-Western Individualism. (I'm going to be honest the rest of this comment doesn't totally connect to that last point about my probably incorrect assumption about your perspective, but I feel like there's something there...)

    I've always connected Humanism, at least the metaphysics of it, with those aforementioned ideas around Animism and Panpsychism (and Panentheism), of a "Humanness" that holds functional or systemic significance.

    I guess in that sense, the Puritanical and/or Capitalist thought pollution intrinsic to Western Humanism/Liberalism is a reflection of that aforementioned narcissism; The Human from this framing is intrinsically White.

    I tend to reject the anti-Rationalist stuff (although I'm more of an Empiricist anyway *har har*), for kind of the same reason. I understand this argument that "Rationalism" as propagated by largely White Men is just another shibboleth for the sake of self-serving deHumanization of the Other. But even so, just as there can be a non-narcissistic Animism or Humanism or Liberalism, it would be foolish, lossy, and self-defeating to reject all of the non-White scientific and "Rationalist" "Progress" that has been made (and in many cases lost/destroyed by White Men who don't want history to remember that non-White "Rationalism" was ever a thing).

    That is maybe, more broadly, a concern I have sometimes with this line of thinking. Yes we should reject White Humanism, and I sort of feel like that's what we're saying, but is it? I like the idea of rejecting Anthropocentrism and Anglocentrism, of seeing animals as something like peers. I love Ezra Klein's phrasing "People should believe more strongly in personal responsibility on the individual level, and believe it less strongly on the societal level"; or in other words, I am aspirationally anti-Individualist but I see the value in that kind of thinking as well.

    In a lot of Leftist, Radical Social Anarchist, or other counterculture / "Outsider" intellectual circles, I constantly see calls for rejection of things, but rarely a coherent sense of what to replace it with, or how to systematically go about the whole process.

    What does it mean to reject White Humanism? What is that philosophy? How do we get there? I'm not asking these things confrontationally but collaboratively; those questions imo are so much more interesting, and also so much more important, and far less realized.

    Otherwise, we're just going to end up with like fucking Anima Bros some day.

    1. Thank you, always happy to be of service. Guess Christmas is a posting day for Jews and Muslims both lmao. And don't worry, I was eagerly anticipating your comments in particular bc I thought you might have a helpful perspective as someone between camps(?)

      I certainly think this is a way of approaching animism that exists, perhaps most prominently in New Agey circles, but ofc imagining a human mind under the world or in the animal is hardly what most animisms are about (if anything, they tend to 'provincialize' human concepts of mind, making it one way of thinking about thinking among many.) There's animisms and animisms - it's what we deserve for using catchall terms. I guess I'd laugh if a tech bro said something like that, but I suspect that I'd be more curious than anything.

      [Ubuntuism and labels]
      Not totally related but it has been so genuinely beautiful to see your relationship with Ubuntuism/Hunhuism evolve, both through conversations and stuff in your work. It's a powerful (neo)Humanism, old roots and new shoots, and it has much to offer on questions of personhood in particular. When I was younger, I read or heard (would have to dig it up) Lewis Gordon describe himself as a "heterodox Afro-Marxist" and that's the terminology I've used ever since but I do think the "heterodox" bit has been doing more and more work the more I've read and grown.

      I think the Césaire-Fanon-Senghor troika would broadly agree with you: their war was with Reason, not reason, if that makes sense. I think their issues can be very roughly reduced to this: the central place afforded to a particular version of the human rational faculty in the Enlightenment metaphysics we've inherited - what one SEP article (pleb moment) calls the "pretensions of human reason within" the worldview, not "reason’s success in establishing its claims" - is not only wrong but a key pillar supporting and exonerating modern regimes of subjection. None of them were opposed to the use of Western philosophical methods (which requires attuning yourself to their logics first) at all, let alone like…empiricism. They were also, I think, still fiercely committed to the idea of a universal humanity. There's the Fanon stuff in the post (the passage about anti-Semitism and feeling wounds together in BS,WM is core) and Senghor literally called Negritude "a humanism of the twentieth century" later in his life. Ofc figuring out what we should take with us and what to move on from is hard; my favorite example is Chakrabarty's Provincializing Europe, which is often considered this radical firebrand book that produces new decolonial system for doing history but one of its claims is that the practice of the historical profession (with its emphasis on universalizing and historicizing) requires the use of Enlightenment universals to function…and this is good! I mean, he wants us to consider subaltern countercurrents and interruptions that resist reduction to universals (the History 2 to the Enlightenment-descended History 1) but the ultimate point is that the intellectual tools of the master are simultaneously indispensable and inadequate. I think about the ending of Provincializing Europe all the time:

      "As I hope is obvious from what has been said, provincializing Europe cannot ever be a project of shunning European thought. For at the end of European imperialism, European thought is a gift to us all. We can talk of provincializing it only in an anticolonial spirit of gratitude."

      An anti-colonial spirit of gratitude!!

    2. [rejections and replacements]
      “I am aspirationally anti-Individualist” - solid quote. I empathize with the desire to want something to fill voids, already a problematic impulse for the Wildersons of the world! That being said, I think spending time with rejection or removal is worthwhile: it’s probably a good idea to know the shape of the problem + what to jettison. Part of the argument for rejecting the Human is that a lot of wheel-spinning could’ve been avoided by a more careful consideration of subjection’s roots. Beyond that, there def *are* folks who have done really valuable and promising constructive work on this question: Sylvia Wynter and Donna Haraway (lots of interesting mirrors and parallels there) come to mind.

      Is it bad that I'm excited by the idea of Animabros? As always, thx for the thoughtful comment - hope you enjoy the day!

    3. Will respond to this more fully later, but thanks for the great responses :).

      My "Termina" post for the Animism setting was largely meant to reflect this train of thought. "The Sleepers" (Terminists) are to "The Dreamers" (Animists) what tech bros are to genuinely thoughtful scientists, technologists and futurists; people who actually want to better the world, or just want to understand the material world, or leverage our understanding of the material world as an interface to fractally understanding the infinite uncanny within and beyond.

  2. Ironically, it is the Christmas story that resolves many of these tensions for me. The inhuman, both the spiritual and the animal all meet together with the dehumanized and the outsider to gather around one astonishing point in time where all messy animality, heartbreaking human-ness, and transcendent divine glory meet in praise of the one who binds it all together in Himself. The human has a special place not as above all creation but as unique participants in the continuity of all existence: uniquely able to bridge the gap between above and below and to both exist in the world and care for it as God does. It is not Reason then that binds us all together but rather than we are all recipients of a prescious gift

    1. There’s power here - it’s worth remembering that Douglass (a great champion of Christ the Liberator against the slavers' Christ) used the language of Christianity in many of his attempts to think with and through animality. The Sufi tradition of radical capital-L Love has done a lot for me, even if I don't think it can tackle this w/o help. Anyways, merry Christmas! Thank you for the comment + I hope you enjoy the day.

  3. This is an incredibly thought provoking piece. I don't have much in the way of commentary - I'm not familiar enough with the authors you reference (though now I have a reason to get familiar with them). Honestly, I just want to thank you for putting this down and sharing it.

    1. Thank *you* for reading it, fam, and happy new year!

  4. Thanks for the contribution. For me, who is just reading into the background mentioned, the theory is more important than the game's relevance. But the most important thing is that I discovered your blog at all. I'll be there from now on. All the best!

    1. Thanks for reading and the kind words! I'm actually not sure where I'd start if I was encountering all this for the first time...probably Hartman, but I might go with Lose Your Mother instead of Scenes of Subjection as an introduction? In any case, I'd love to hear what you think about these books once you start looking through them, either here or through the blogmail (enziramire at gmail / i typically use this to mail book pdfs) or ideally in a new blogpost! Thanks again and a belated happy new years!

    2. I cannot reach you via your email address and my messages are returned as undeliverable. Would you like to send me a quick “Hello”?
      aaronboehler [at] gmx [dot] de

    3. I actually got your email, so I'm not sure why it would say that. Just replied to it and everything seems to be normal now...bizarre but if it works, it works.

  5. "Provincialism? Not at all. I am not burying myself in a narrow particularism. But neither do I want to lose myself in an emaciated universalism. There are two ways to lose oneself: walled segregation in the particular or dilution in the “universal.” My conception of the universal is that of a universal enriched by all that is particular, a universal enriched by every particular: the deepening and coexistence of all particulars."

    Very Blakean, very multipolarity.

    Think that as the rules-based international order continues to trip over its own dick and productive mutual industrial development rises over predatory resource & financial extraction this hegemonic humanism will lose its teeth, nations and peoples will increasingly be able to define for themselves their humanity, and blast the ships of those who would try to deny them that (dialectical movement of western universalism to One Piece).


      Haraway wants us to become interspecies chimeras; doesn't One Piece have fish people and that reindeer guy? Gotta read One Piece,,,for theory purposes.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Empty Africa - PF2E's The Mwangi Expanse and the strange career of Black Atlanticism

An Arrow for the General: Confronting D&D-as-Western in the Kalahari