Just who is
A Raffish Dandy?
A Yacht-deck Socialist?
14:45 AEST (GMT+10), Saturday the 9th of October 2011
Well, yes. Probably all of the above, but I also cook rather well, am frequently accused of being a snappy dresser and, am also a bit of a bloody Hero. Some people call me an Angel. Not many, mind you– but when they do it makes everything else worthwhile.
This place, my log, is where you come to know my more intimate thoughts. The truth of me, as much as I have been able to unravel it, and the things that I care about enough to write about at any length, or intensity.
That said, as much as I love to write and – like many a young man – have always cherished a deep desire to be a “writer” … writing is not my métier.
I enjoy spoken language more than anything in the world. A dear friend Houston Ash once wrote a personal reference for me for a fantastic court appearance I had in 2009. ‘Ben has a passion for conversation’ he wrote, and before he did I honestly had no idea that this was the driving force behind my … my … me.
I live for conversation, for conflict, for drama, for good honest fights–for that rare feeling of nowness, that rarefied connection to the present, that different attitude to the lived moment that can only be reflected, expanded and expressed in live mediums like radio, (maybe twitter?, maybe facebook status? …) but can only be felt in combat, sex or (and here is my absolute preference) that old old dying art of conversation.
Philosophically, I’m somewhere between Liberal Humanism and Utilitarianism. I Heart the Hume, Love the Locke, Boned up for Bentham. Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a personal Hero of mine, and I wish I were Descartes. I’ve read the cannon, perhaps a little impressionistically, but regardless locate myself thusly with a manly vigour:–
I’m an Englishman in my soul, not a continental, and I find the Post-modern Continentals (Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, to a much lesser extent Žižek) quite hard to even understand, let alone relate to, let alone agree with in an honest way. But, having said that, lately I’ve become more sympathetic to these wily intellects, and have enjoyed their conversational or verbal works, where they are more comprehensible in particular I loved Foucault on On the Culture of the Self. I loved Baudrillard’s Seduction… Buuuuut, I just don’t think I’ll ever give up on positivism or universal truth enough to leave the fold of the Enlightenment prophets. Or reason. (Which they do with a casual certainty that unnerves me.)
I don’t harbour deep suspicions of all continental philosophy. Far from it. I <3 the Frankfurt School for instance, and one Walter Benjamin in particular. All those natty belligerent post-Marxists that wont let the old ghost die. Are they ‘philosophers’ though? or are they just a species of Political Scientist? Should there be a difference? They haven’t given up on the notion of class, and that’s what I like. about. them.
Politically, I identify as an Anarchist-Marxist, and definitely not a Libertarian. To the more politically naive, I just say I’m a Communist. This claim is made not entirely without sincerity. I do it as much for family historical reasons as much as shock value. At the very least it opens the door to play devil’s advocate to the lazier attitudes and intellectual habits that plague the modern west– Most favourite antagonists: Hipster ‘Logic’, Bogan fascism, garden variety Homophobia and Chauvinism. Bullying bullies is my play-time.
My paternal grandfather, whose name I bear in the middle of mine, was a founding member of the Australian Communist Party in Newcastle, my home town, during The Great Depression id est back when being a Stalinist was still a progressive position to take, and before the truth of his purges was revealed. Apparently it was a great blow to him in his later years to discover this after spending a lifetime fighting for ideals that were so horribly betrayed.
On the other side my maternal great grandfather was a National Party politician, “C.J” Thomas. This was back at a time when the party still had Agrarian Socialist roots, a community focus, and no pollsters– and had little in common with the neo-conservative primitivism that the Australian National Party finds itself grasping for in its death throes today…
But where does that leave me? I’m not a communist, I’m not a rural landholder, I’m not working class, rural or urban. I’m definitely not middle class. I’m not alot of things. But what am I? Guess.
My interest and activity is concerned with the political possibilities opened up by the new things. New Media, new mediums (tablets & mobile in particular) and the new urban landscapes and social forms that grow in this brave new post-industrial world— the new forms created by The City. The connected concrete jungle whose revolutionary possibilities don’t begin and end at the London Riots, but breathe through the Arab Spring, and whispers at every keypress click on a childs cheap phone under a school-desk.
The New World is yet to come, but it’s not far away. I guess I’m doing my bit to try and get us there faster.
Benjamin G. Griffin
last updated суббота 21 мар. 2015
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Benjamin George Griffin, GAVANSKAYA UL. D.36 / K.19, Vasilievsky Ostrov, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation 199406
Бенджамин Джордж Гриффин, Гаванская Ул. д.36 / к.19, Василевский Остров, Санкт-Петербург, Российская Федерацая 199406
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