From: Kenneth Van Oost (email@example.com)
Date: Thu 26 May 2005 - 19:36:35 GMT
----- Original Message -----
From Scott Chase,
< But for memetics the things that I' ve read in various
studies would bring the focus on means of transmitting
boby image ideals and ways of changing body appearance
into play. How important are parents, friends, schoolmates,
and media in the cultural equation ? And how can changes
in the ideals over tile for society and for individuals be
quantified ? In a sense this takes us away from the linguistic
bias this list has suffered. How can we steer away from words
and towrds images as a way of looking at cultural change ?
Measuring the shifting proportions of GI Joe over the decades?>
<< We are already two miles further down the road Scott !!
According to D.J. Smail that is !
( 1984 Illusion and Reality, the meaning of anxiety)
Smail argues, and I agree, that we' re all objects, that we lost our
so precious subjectivity. How we move, how we position ourselves
into this world IS how others see us_ we can only react instead of
making decisions on our own; we consume but we no longer able to
create; we follow without ever taking any initiative; we confirm and
thus we can 't push anything thru'.
Words and thus for a great deal our linguistic system objectifies and
the danger exists that we loose out within our social intercourses the
sense of reality:- what can be spoken of; what is pronounced; of what
is talked about becomes simply part of the accepted truth and thus it
isn 't necessary to judge or to critize anything as long somebody
with authority or with a more convincing ' image' talks about those
Evaluation and judging are subjective elements and belong to what
somebody really is, he/ she reacts as an individual. In our times of
objectivity, the content isn 't important, the ' credibility ' of whom
brings the message IS !!
The growing objectiviness of our society on the one hand takes us
away from our linguistic bias, but on the other hand the overvalue
of the WORD keeps a hold onto the same objectivity_ it confirms it,
it ratifies how our society is constructed.
Society/ culture is in itself a collective term, it holds within common
stories about history/ identity/ ideology/ justice and morality. This
system is fixed to protect us within its laws, but at the same time
against the hazzards and risks of our inner need to be a subject.
In the case of we wanting to steer away from words and towards
images as a way of looking at cultural change, I 'm afraid as long
everybody don 't recognizes the fact that we all are individuals,
Nietzsches übermensch ( more human) approach is characteristic,
we ain 't gonna get very far.
But the striking part is that our culture is in fact one of images; of
objects who only can exist within and by of what others see and
think and make of us. The one who claims that he isn 't interested
in what the others say and think about him and who thinks that the
save heaven of his own values and norms are enough to go round,
misleads oneself_ as long you claim that you are or want to be
' something / somebody ' you need the confirmation of others, they have to acknowledge the fact that you exist. ( I ain 't that keen on that myself, but anyway...)
Who you are can only be SAID in terms of how you can sustain the
comparisation with others ( what common is agreed upon). There is
no or very little room for the subjectivity of oneself, although it does
its part behind the scenes.
And in a society where you count more as an object before anything
else, the attention/ the attraction to/ for the body is very high.
Eventually, all will / can be measured as being part of physical dimen-
sions. And to hurt people or to please them all you need is to confront
them with the abnormalities and looks of their body.
And words can say so much more....
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