All you need is love

Love is in the air at the moment.

I attended a wedding yesterday of one of my good mates to his now wife he met while doing postgrad med in Sydney. It was a wonderful day and I was righteously drunk by the end of it. Now I am recovering, I feel a little sick, my eyes hurt and there is an odd stuttering shake to my hands as a type, but it was great!!!! It felt a little bit like a Sin-Bin on a UCFK camp at various moments during the night… found via a link on Mel Gregg’s blog is a good read. I am reading some Alain Badiou over summer partially in response to the changing fortunes of the once-was-called “Spoon’s Lyotard List” that has now become the “Discussion of J-F-Lyotard, Alain Badiou, the Event” list. There is a distinct resonance between the words on love from the blog post and Badiou’s argument-cum-polemic on Love.

Badiou is a neo-Platonicist and has written some harsh words about Deleuze. I am not convinced that his central series of concepts-arguments has any general applicability in the slightest, in fact, for cultural studies he is downright useless, but what he writes about love is still pretty cool, though.

Badiou wants to bring back ‘truth’. Generally I would say, ‘Fuck that…’ It reeks of an arrogant patriarchal view of the world to even suggest that any truth is possible at all. All we have is Guattari’s ethico-aesthetic paradigm and the labour of commitment to what is done, not to what ‘it’ is. I can understand why all the old radical socialists love Badiou, but I can not handle the becoming-majoritarian-ism of his POV and, I’m sorry, but deriving the bulk of his ontology from mathematical set theory is just freakin bizarre…

For Badiou “truths are materially produced in specific situations, and each begins from an event or discovery that eludes the prevailing logic that structures and governs those situations. … a truth comes into being through the subjects who proclaim it and, in doing so, constitute themselves as subjects in their fidelity to the event.” One of the examples he gives is “a pair of lovers’ conception of themselves as loving subjects, grounded only in a shared fidelity to the ephemeral event of their encounter.” ‘Love’ would be the state where the incoherent inconsistencies of the multiplicity of the loving subjects is worked upon through the labour of love – a fidelity to the event.

A modification to Badiouisms to make them more digestible for the less Catholic amongst us would have to eject the set theory and look at the internal consistency of truth. He talks about the coherent multiplicity (or set) becoming unity or one. What he needs to take into account the multiple dimensions of the expansion and contraction/condensation from the One to the Multiple and vice versa. There is an immanent and situationally specific violence and a dynamic non-linear temporal series associated with each movement. One example is a node in one dimension expanding into a network in another dimension and vice versa. Bruno Latour calls one such passage ‘black boxing’. My modified-car enthusiasts go the other way when ‘modifying’.

How about falling in love and then out of love? Each ‘phase space’ or becoming of love involves a specific and beautiful violence of condensation and expansion. The marriage I attended yesterday is an attempt to ‘freeze’ the inconsistent and incoherent multiplicity which the lovers’ subject positions are derived and draw their strength. Condensation becomes a contract-ion.

A fidelity to the event of love isn’t good enough for some people and it is something christian in his blog post doesn’t really discuss. I often spoke about this with a certain ex-lover/partner/girlfriend (I think we went all three of those stages, a complete relationship). She wanted jewelry – a ring or someshit – a symbol of my love. The same thing was said yesterday at the wedding. “Take this ring as a symbol of my love…” The question I would ask in reply is (hoping like hell that she might finally understand exactly what I meant, but I don’t think she ever will) – why do you need a symbol of my love when you actually have my love?

You can see the Badiouisms in the poem I wrote below in an earlier time when I was tired, exhausted, stressed, but joyously in love… and I really did believe all I needed was love.

Poem url:

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