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October 18, 2012

Dear Diary,

Uncle Jim and Aunt Tina arrive today from the grand circus tour they were hosting across the states. They had been touring with the Ringling Brothers and decided to stop for a visit; joy. As always talking to them is so frustrating they never see my point of view. They just want me to join the circus and be a lion tamer. Maybe when I was five year old I would’ve thought; gee that sounds like a dream come true! But, not anymore, I want to be an intellectual! Mom spoke to Uncle Jim last week and told him I finally decided what I wanted to do with my life and that I would tell him my answer when they stopped by.

Everyone was sitting in the living room and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give the family my answer. My palms were sweaty and I didn’t know how to start so I simply chimed into their conversation with an “Uncle Jim and Aunt Tina I am going to be an intellectual.” They just stared at me and all I heard was silence in the room. Then, like a bomb explosion there was laughter everywhere. The audacity to laugh in my face! My aunt is a clown and my uncle a ringmaster and they are laughing at me??? OH the irony in that! I’m sure they don’t even know who the great masters like Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari are. Out of frustration I shouted “Uncle Jim do you even know what an intellectual is?” With his know it all attitude he responded, “of course I do, an intellectual is someone who spoke the truth for those that couldn’t.” When I heard my Uncle’s definition I knew I was about to give a discourse and of course had to counter his definition. My Uncle’s definition might have been correct in the time of the Command or after 1940 like Foucault had said. But the intellectual was persecuted and rejected when what he/she was saying became undeniable. Therefore I had to explain what the intellectual was now so I said, “on the contrary Uncle Jim, the intellectual now knows that the masses hold more knowledge than the intellectual himself and they can speak out for themselves. Therefore the role of the intellectual now is to fight and struggle the power that delegates him the role as the one that gives “knowledge”, “truth” and “discourse” as Foucault has said. I looked at my Uncle and noticed something was starting to click in his head.

I thought it was essential to mention that theory and practice is a form of struggle against and for power as Foucault has mentioned. Deleuze believes that theories should be used and if they are not then new ones should be created not reformed. Pointing fingers and speaking out is a start in the reversal of power and an initiation in addressing other struggles. Sadly power cannot be possessed but it is often held by certain people. “I want to struggle against the power hahahhaha” I shouted. At this point my Aunt and Uncle just stared at me but with eyes of happiness. My aunt and uncle hugged me and apologized for laughing in my face. My uncle said he saw that I was dedicated about being an intellectual and even asked me to possibly explain a concept that an intellectual produces. My mind instantly went to the “Body without Organs” that I had recently learned about in my sociology class.

I began explaining this new concept and said that the body of organs is the pre-individual. To clarify my statement I said that as an individual one has attributes, characteristics, etc. But the pre-individual has none of this. The body without organs (BWO) is what remains when you take away the “phantasy, subjectificiation and significances” as a whole. The BWO is a concept created in opposition of the organism and the specific functionality of the organs. Deleuze and Guattari claim that BWO is a set of practices and they advocate the careful dismantling of the organism. They also believe that BWO is a desire we are forever trying to reach, but it is a limit. The BWO are removed from all attributed, all attributes which is a pool of intensities or flows. The BWO acts as an abstract machine which differentiated the “substance” (as Spinoza puts it) because of the desire which is measured through the plane of consistency. I just kept rambling on, but didn’t care because my I wanted my uncle and aunt to know how knowledgeable I was about the subject. So I continued by saying that the totality of all BWO’s can be obtained in the plane of consistency by means of the abstract machine. In the field of immanence or “substance” things gets determined by desires which then are the plane of consistency. My Uncle shouted “I think it’s time to stop, we can’t have you giving away all you know just yet Kim.” I smiled and knew he was accepting of my chosen career.

Before I knew it my Uncle and I were online researching about many different theorists and he actually seemed interested. For once in my life I felt that bond I had never felt with my Uncle. Who would have thought that the body without organs would bring us so close together? So I guess Diary that after all my ringmaster Uncle and my clown Aunt are not so frustrating after all. I can finally scream out with confidence, “I am going to be an intellectual!!!!” Anyways, time to go sleep with a smile on my face. I’ll write tomorrow, it was such an amazing day!