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Queer Suicide Bomber Alternative

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Sup, so recently I've seen a lot of teams throw around Puar's "Be the Queer Suicide Terrorist before the law" alternative without a sufficient enough explanation as to what that entails to, or what that means in the context of debate, the affirmative, and the ballot. At this point, I don't know if I have a clear understanding myself after hearing several sloppy iterations of the alternative.

 

I was hoping someone on here could really explain and break down the thesis of the alternative - no fancy theoretical crap pls, just get straight to the point.

 

Thanks ahead of time.

 

Here's the generic tagline plus the card most people read, thought it might be helpful for those of you that like to read through the text :

 

We propose being as the queer suicide terrorist before the law –an explosion of self-sacrifice with a bomb, in favor of unsettling the violent definitions of subjectivity. We are machinic organisms, metal and environment together in a messy fusion. Where does life begin and end? This question is only answerable from a position of reason and power that we want to blow up. Puar 07. Jasbir Puar, professor of women’s and gender studies at Rutgers University, Duke University Press: Durham, NC and London, UK, pg. 216

The fact that we approach suicide bombing with such trepidation, in contrast to how we approach the violence of colonial domination, indicates the symbolic violence that shapes our understanding of what constitutes ethically and politically illegitimate violence.- Ghassan Hage, "'Comes a Time We Are All Enthusiasm'" Ghassan Hage wonders "why it is that suicide bombing cannot be talked about without being condemned first," noting that without an unequivocal condemnation, one is a "morally suspicious person" because "only un- qualified condemnation will do." He asserts. "There is a clear political risk in trying to explain suicide bombings."33 With such risks in mind, my desire here is to momentarily suspend this dilemma by combining an analysis of these representational stakes with a reading of the forces of affect, of the body, of matter. In pondering the modalities of this kind of terrorist, one notes a pastiche of oddities: a body machined together through metal and flesh, an assemblage of the organic and the inorganic; a death not of the Self nor of the Other, but both simultaneously, and, perhaps more accurately, a death scene that obliterates the Hegelian self/other dialectic altogether. Self-annihilation is the ultimate form of resistance, and ironically, it acts as self-preservation, the preservation of symbolic self enabled through the "highest cultural capital" of martyrdom, a giving of life to the future of political struggles-not at all a sign of "disinterest in living a meaningful life." As Hage notes, in this limited but nonetheless trenchant economy of meaning, suicide bombers are "a sign of life" emanating from the violent conditions of life's impossibility, the "impossibility of making a life. "" This body forces a reconciliation of opposites through their inevitable collapse- a perverse habitation of contradiction. Achille Mbembe's and brilliant meditation on necropolitics notes that the historical basis of sovereignty that is reliant upon a notion of (western) political rationality begs for a more accurate framing: that of life and death, the subjugation of life to the power of death. Mbembe attends not only to the representational but also to the informational productivity of the (Palestinian) suicide bomber. Pointing to the becomings of a suicide bomber, a corporeal experiential of "ballistics," he asks, "What place is given to life, death, and the human body (especially the wounded or slain body)?" Assemblage here points to the inability to clearly delineate a temporal, spatial, energetic, or molecular distinction between a discrete biological body and technology; the entities, particles, and elements come together, flow, break apart, interface, skim off each other, are never stable, but are defined through their continual interface, not as objects meeting but as multiplicities emerging from interactions. The dynamite strapped onto the body of a suicide bomber is not merely an appendage or prosthetic; the intimacy of weapon with body reorients the assumed spatial integrity (coherence and concreteness) and individuality of the body that is the mandate of intersectional identities: instead we have the body-weapon. The ontology of the body renders it a newly becoming body: The candidate for martyrdom transforms his or her body into a mask that hides the soon-to-be-detonated weapon. Unlike the tank or the missile that is clearly visible, the weapon carried in the shape of the body is invisible. Thus concealed, it forms part of the body. It is so intimately part of the body that at the time of its detonation it annihilates the body of its bearer, who carries with it the bodies of others when it does not reduce them to pieces. The body does not simply conceal a weapon. The body is transformed into a weapon, not in a metaphorical sense but in a truly ballistic sense.,1 Temporal narratives of progression are upturned as death and becoming fuse into one: as one's body dies, one's body becomes the mask, the weapon, the suicide bomber. Not only does the ballistic body come into being without the aid of visual cues marking its transformation, it also "carries with it the bodies of others." Its own penetrative energy sends shards of metal and torn flesh spinning off into the ether. The body-weapon does not play as metaphor, nor in the realm of meaning and epistemology, but forces us ontologically anew to ask: What kinds of information does the ballistic body impart? These bodies, being in the midst of becoming, blur the insides and the outsides, infecting transformation through sensation, echoing knowledge via reverberation and vibration. The echo is a queer temporality-in the relay of affective information between and amid beings, the sequence of reflection, repetition, resound, and return (but with a difference, as in mimicry)-and brings forth waves of the future breaking into the present. Gayatri Spivak, prescient in drawing our attention to the multivalent tex- tuality of suicide in "Can the Subaltern Speak," reminds us in her latest ruminations that suicide terrorism is a modality of expression and communication for the subaltern (there is the radiation of heat, the stench of burning flesh, the impact of metal upon structures and the ground, the splattering of blood, body parts, skin): Suicidal resistance is a message inscribed on the body when no other means will get through. It is both execution and mourning, for both self and other. For you die with me for the same cause, no matter which side you are on. Because no matter who you are, there are no designated killees in suicide bombing. No matter what side you are on, because I cannot talk to you, you won't respond to me, with the implication that there is no dishonor in such shared and innocent death. 36 We have the proposal that there are no sides, and that the sides are forever shifting, crumpling, and multiplying, disappearing and reappearing, unable to satisfactorily delineate between here and there. The spatial collapse of sides is due to the queer temporal interruption of the suicide bomber, projectiles spewing every which way. As a queer assemblage- distinct from the queering of an entity or identity-race and sexuality are denaturalized through the impermanence, the transience of the suicide bomber, the fleeting identity replayed backward through its dissolution. This dissolution of self into others and other into self not only effaces the absolute mark of self and others in the war on terror, but produces a systemic challenge to the entire order of Manichaean rationality that organizes the rubric of good versus evil. Delivering "a message inscribed on the body when no other means will get through," suicide bombers do not transcend or claim the rational nor accept the demarcation of the irrational. Rather, they foreground the flawed temporal, spatial, and ontological pre- sumptions upon which such distinctions flourish. Organic and inorganic, flesh and machine, these wind up as important as (and perhaps as threatening) if not more so than the symbolism of the bomber and his or her defense or condemnation. Figure 24 is the November/December 2004 cover of a magazine called Jest: Humor for the Irreverent, distributed for free in Brooklyn (see also jest .com) and published by a group of counterculture artists and writers. Here we have the full force of the mistaken identity conundrum: the distinctive silhouette, indeed the profile, harking to the visible by literally blacking it out, of the turbaned Amritdhari Sikh male (Le., turban and unshorn beard that signals baptized Sikhs), rendered (mistakenly?) as a (Muslim) suicide bomber, replete with dynamite through the vibrant pulsations of an iPod ad. Fully modern, animated through technologies of sound and explosives, this body does not operate solely or even primarily on the level of metaphor. Once again, to borrow from Mbembe, it is truly a ballistic body. Contagion, infection, and transmission reign, not meaning.

Edited by ConsultVerminSupreme

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Just reading through the tag-line; the way Deleuze and Guattari (and by extension Puar) use machinic is not in the sense of actual metallic machine, but moreso in their explanation of how desire develops: as opposed to the Freudian model of the unconscious as a theater where desires are manifested, Deleuze and Guattari explain that desire is something productive that does not lack anything nor takes part in an unconscious theater; thus they call it desiring-production. This is the sense of how the world acts; for example, the way in which we breathe can be described as a machinic process; air is inhaled through the nose, travels through the body (I forget which areas specifically, I'm not into anthropology lol) and then is exhaled through the nose. You can apply this to other parts of the world; for example, how a river flows, etc. 

 

tl;dr You're using "machinic" wrong 

 

Edit: So my understanding of the card is that the suicide bomber is not queer in-itself; but rather that the act of suicide bombing is queer in-itself; this is because of what the suicide bombing represents: not so much a retreat from interpretation but rather an opening of interpretation, that is to say that the queering act of suicide bombing does not try to reduce everything into nothing but rather tries to open everything up to everything-else. In other words; the at doesn't do what you think it does. Y'all are framing this alt as if it sort of "erases interpretation" and "meaning" but really, to me, the evidence is saying that you get rid of such a division; so I guess, you're framing the alt as what your evidence is criticizing (i.e. you're still relying on binaries) whereas your evidence explains suicide bombing as something more, which Puar bases off of her readings of Spivak who explains suicide bombers use suicide bombing as a means to communicate a message since the State doesn't let them to in any other way; the evidence very clearly explains how suicide bombing is an act that blurs the distinction between friend and foe because in the act itself, the suicide bomber and the people affected by it are all part of an assemblage (of body parts and blood and metal, etc.); this just seems like a romantic reading of suicide bombing. 

Edited by Theparanoiacmachine
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Simplifying the above post a bit, the card has a couple of distinct arguments

 

1) The West is really mean - this is the part at the top about colonial versus colonized violence, and the card indicts how violence by the colonized is sanctioned, or OK, while we condemn violence by the colonized. An example would be how airstrikes are fine, but suicide bombing is bad, even though both kill plenty of civilians. (Although outside of K land, there are distinctions but whatever)

 

2) The self-other dialectic bit - there are two arguments in this part of the card

A.) Suicide bombing (SB) destroys the distinction between self and other. Basically she's saying when people blow themselves up, them and the people around them become all part of the 'site' or 'event' of the bombing. Instead of being distinct individuals, they're now part of that event in the news. This is definitely where she start romanticizing SB, and is basically saying it's useful because it breaks down status quo distinctions in subject relations (self/other, us vs them, etc). Of course the only people who care about those distinctions aren't the ones being blown up, so take that how you will vis a vis colonialism and parasitism.

 

Now, she picks up this thread a little later down with the queerness stuff, when it's not about sexuality but "queering" all social relations. Anyways, her warrant for the self / other breaking down thing is that even if you disagree with the cause of the SB you get killed too, so clearly we've totally and forever broken down modernity, duh. She suggests that this mixing of perpetrator and victim (literally, like their bodies after being blown up) breaks down the good / evil dichotomy that fuels the war on terror, ignoring that both the NATO+Russia countries and the civilians who survive these attacks...still demonize the bombers and mourn the civilians as innocent lives lost, which should make you suspicious of this kind of ivory tower nonsense. Turns out, the more IED's and suicide bombings, the more drone strikes the US tends to respond with (and actually there's sometimes even a shift towards exclusively air strikes on areas too dangerous for ground troops, buy airstrikes tend to have more collateral damage so...)

 

B.) SB is a form of self preservation - basically she's saying that SB is a way to get yourself remembered through martyrdom. This leads to the next part...

 

3) SB is a form of political communication - basically, when there's little formal political representation, the only option left (supposedly) is blowing yourself up. This is a pretty big oversimplification of on the ground conditions in places like Iraq though, but whatever.

 

Yeah, so I'd agree with the above post that this is a romantic reading of SB that's pretty tone deaf, and seems to be pretty parasitic upon other people's misery and loss. Kind of ironic that the loss of life by colonizers is deemed to be an evil that justifies any response, but the same loss of life by those 'fighting' against it are perfectly fine because they're on what's been deemed the "right" side. Seems like it just flips that dialectic rather than breaking it down; with professors taking the place of the Pentagon in excusing civilian casualties.

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I got a different read out of this. I thought embracing queer suicide bombing was more of a strategy of being unintelligible to the state and taking action that subverts normative subjecthood. I didn't necessarily read this, nor would I deploy it in a debate round as "suicide bombing good lol gg" but rather we should embrace the figure of the queer suicide terrorist as a means of disrupting subjectivity, or rather, that we should utilize the representation of the implications of a suicide bombing in formulating/deconstructing subjectivity by embracing identity as an assemblage filled with multiplicities ("A body machined together through metal and flesh, an assemblage of the organic and the inorganic; a death not of the Self nor of the Other, but both simultaneously") , which deconstructs static notions of identity, or in the words of Massumi "gridlocked identity" by embracing processes of life as endless forms of becoming, ("These bodies, being in the midst of becoming, blur the insides and the outsides, infecting transformation through sensation, echoing knowledge via reverberation and vibration").

 

TL DR; I don't think she means literally lets all strap bombs and kill civilians when the government doesn't listen to us, but we should reorient our notions of "being" towards one that is like the queer suicide terrorist. 

 

*Note that I could be totally wrong, but this was the interpretation that I got from it. 

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I got a different read out of this. I thought embracing queer suicide bombing was more of a strategy of being unintelligible to the state and taking action that subverts normative subjecthood. I didn't necessarily read this, nor would I deploy it in a debate round as "suicide bombing good lol gg" but rather we should embrace the figure of the queer suicide terrorist as a means of disrupting subjectivity, or rather, that we should utilize the representation of the implications of a suicide bombing in formulating/deconstructing subjectivity by embracing identity as an assemblage filled with multiplicities ("A body machined together through metal and flesh, an assemblage of the organic and the inorganic; a death not of the Self nor of the Other, but both simultaneously") , which deconstructs static notions of identity, or in the words of Massumi "gridlocked identity" by embracing processes of life as endless forms of becoming, ("These bodies, being in the midst of becoming, blur the insides and the outsides, infecting transformation through sensation, echoing knowledge via reverberation and vibration").

 

TL DR; I don't think she means literally lets all strap bombs and kill civilians when the government doesn't listen to us, but we should reorient our notions of "being" towards one that is like the queer suicide terrorist. 

 

*Note that I could be totally wrong, but this was the interpretation that I got from it. 

 

You mean that even philosophers use metaphors, similes, jargon, and terms of art (and don't describe their ideas through the language of an instruction manual) therefore literal interpretations are usually bunk????? 

 

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Edited by BernieSanders
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I got a different read out of this. I thought embracing queer suicide bombing was more of a strategy of being unintelligible to the state and taking action that subverts normative subjecthood. I didn't necessarily read this, nor would I deploy it in a debate round as "suicide bombing good lol gg" but rather we should embrace the figure of the queer suicide terrorist as a means of disrupting subjectivity, or rather, that we should utilize the representation of the implications of a suicide bombing in formulating/deconstructing subjectivity by embracing identity as an assemblage filled with multiplicities ("A body machined together through metal and flesh, an assemblage of the organic and the inorganic; a death not of the Self nor of the Other, but both simultaneously") , which deconstructs static notions of identity, or in the words of Massumi "gridlocked identity" by embracing processes of life as endless forms of becoming, ("These bodies, being in the midst of becoming, blur the insides and the outsides, infecting transformation through sensation, echoing knowledge via reverberation and vibration").

 

TL DR; I don't think she means literally lets all strap bombs and kill civilians when the government doesn't listen to us, but we should reorient our notions of "being" towards one that is like the queer suicide terrorist.

 

*Note that I could be totally wrong, but this was the interpretation that I got from it.

 

2 things

Reading it only metaphorically would be incomplete, see quotes like

 

"Unlike the tank or the missile that is clearly visible, the weapon carried in the shape of the body is invisible. Thus concealed, it forms part of the body. It is so intimately part of the body that at the time of its detonation it annihilates the body of its bearer, who carries with it the bodies of others when it does not reduce them to pieces. The body does not simply conceal a weapon. The body is transformed into a weapon, not in a metaphorical sense but in a truly ballistic sense."

 

"Fully modern, animated through technologies of sound and explosives, this body does not operate solely, or even primarily on the level of metaphor."

 

 

 

Second, every warrant for how it breaks down subjectivity depends on the literal act

"suicide terrorism is a modality of expression and communication for the subaltern (there is the radiation of heat, the stench of burning flesh, the impact of metal upon structures and the ground, the splattering of blood, body parts, skin. "

 

" It is both execution and mourning, for both self and other. For you die with me for the same cause, no matter which side you are on. Because no matter who you are, there are no designated killees in suicide bombing."

 

"What place is given to life, death, and the human body (especially the wounded or slain body)?"

 

 

So however much you want to appeal to a whitewashed postmodern metaphor, there's still a romanticism of real violence going on here.

Edited by SnarkosaurusRex
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2 things

Reading it only metaphorically would be incomplete, see quotes like

 

"Unlike the tank or the missile that is clearly visible, the weapon carried in the shape of the body is invisible. Thus concealed, it forms part of the body. It is so intimately part of the body that at the time of its detonation it annihilates the body of its bearer, who carries with it the bodies of others when it does not reduce them to pieces. The body does not simply conceal a weapon. The body is transformed into a weapon, not in a metaphorical sense but in a truly ballistic sense."

 

"Fully modern, animated through technologies of sound and explosives, this body does not operate solely, or even primarily on the level of metaphor."

 

 

 

Second, every warrant for how it breaks down subjectivity depends on the literal act

"suicide terrorism is a modality of expression and communication for the subaltern (there is the radiation of heat, the stench of burning flesh, the impact of metal upon structures and the ground, the splattering of blood, body parts, skin. "

 

" It is both execution and mourning, for both self and other. For you die with me for the same cause, no matter which side you are on. Because no matter who you are, there are no designated killees in suicide bombing."

 

"What place is given to life, death, and the human body (especially the wounded or slain body)?"

 

 

So however much you want to appeal to a whitewashed postmodern metaphor, there's still a romanticism of real violence going on here.

I don't understand why you think that the only two possible ways of interpreting this card (and, by extension, the phenomenon of suicide bombing itself) are literal and metaphoric. Puar, following Mbembe's work on suicide bombing, is analyzing the literal phenomenon of suicide bombing in response to colonial violence. So while you are apt to point out that all the warrants for suicide bombing's ability to destabilize the dialectic come from the literal act, that's not what is actually being advocated for here. It is the imagery of the suicide bomber that allows for us to make conclusions about subjectivity and use that to scramble political allegiance. None of that is dependent upon actually committing the act itself, just using it as a point of study. 

 

I also find it absurd that you refer to Puar's work as whitewashing, considering the context of the book (and the fact that she isn't white) This is also precisely her (and Mbembe's point) about how people REFUSE to accept any interpretation of suicide outside of condemnation. 

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I don't understand why you think that the only two possible ways of interpreting this card (and, by extension, the phenomenon of suicide bombing itself) are literal and metaphoric. Puar, following Mbembe's work on suicide bombing, is analyzing the literal phenomenon of suicide bombing in response to colonial violence. So while you are apt to point out that all the warrants for suicide bombing's ability to destabilize the dialectic come from the literal act, that's not what is actually being advocated for here. It is the imagery of the suicide bomber that allows for us to make conclusions about subjectivity and use that to scramble political allegiance. None of that is dependent upon actually committing the act itself, just using it as a point of study. 

 

I also find it absurd that you refer to Puar's work as whitewashing, considering the context of the book (and the fact that she isn't white) This is also precisely her (and Mbembe's point) about how people REFUSE to accept any interpretation of suicide outside of condemnation. 

Where does she say this specifically? Snarks reading and analysis of suicide bombing delves from the card posted above, I don't really see any part of that card where Puar mentions that using the imagery of suicide bombing is what allows us to break down subjectivity. 

 

I mean sure you can win that there's multiple interpretations of the card above; but based off of what Puar is saying, she attaches the submission of subjectivity to the literal act of suicide bombing. I think you might be thinking of Bataille here (or rather the works based off of Bataille) when talking about the imagery of suicide bombing.

 

 

I don't think you understand what the term "whitewash" means; when somebody is whitewashed it does not mean that they are white, but rather that they have been culturally assimilated, willingly if I may add, to Western culture. I don't know in what context Snark accused the metaphor of suicide bombing as whitewashing; but I definitely know that your understanding of whitewashing entails, is not correct.

 

There's a reason why we "REFUSE to accept any interpretation of suicide [bombing] outside of condemnation" and that's because it ignores what actually happens in the act of suicide bombing. I mean sure you can read it as something grand and capable of communicating a message; but to the rest of us it just looks like you're killing a bunch of people based off of some fanatical beliefs (and here I'm reminded of ISIS). I think you're viewing this card through your high theory lens; for you it may seem like we're the exact type of people Puar is criticizing (and this is true); but the reality of it is that it is in fact a romantic reading of suicide bombing (i.e. how Puar describes the "assemblage" produced in the act) as opposed to a literal reading of it (i.e. what actually happens, like people losing arms, legs, lives, etc.). The physical and emotional scarring that follows the act of suicide bombing isn't the type that "break downs subjectivity" as Puar would argue but is rather one that incites retaliation. 

Edited by Theparanoiacmachine
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Where does she say this specifically? Snarks reading and analysis of suicide bombing delves from the card posted above, I don't really see any part of that card where Puar mentions that using the imagery of suicide bombing is what allows us to break down subjectivity. 

 

I mean sure you can win that there's multiple interpretations of the card above; but based off of what Puar is saying, she attaches the submission of subjectivity to the literal act of suicide bombing. I think you might be thinking of Bataille here (or rather the works based off of Bataille) when talking about the imagery of suicide bombing.

 

 

I don't think you understand what the term "whitewash" means; when somebody is whitewashed it does not mean that they are white, but rather that they have been culturally assimilated, willingly if I may add, to Western culture. I don't know in what context Snark accused the metaphor of suicide bombing as whitewashing; but I definitely know that your understanding of whitewashing entails, is not correct.

 

There's a reason why we "REFUSE to accept any interpretation of suicide [bombing] outside of condemnation" and that's because it ignores what actually happens in the act of suicide bombing. I mean sure you can read it as something grand and capable of communicating a message; but to the rest of us it just looks like you're killing a bunch of people based off of some fanatical beliefs (and here I'm reminded of ISIS). I think you're viewing this card through your high theory lens; for you it may seem like we're the exact type of people Puar is criticizing (and this is true); but the reality of it is that it is in fact a romantic reading of suicide bombing (i.e. how Puar describes the "assemblage" produced in the act) as opposed to a literal reading of it (i.e. what actually happens, like people losing arms, legs, lives, etc.). The physical and emotional scarring that follows the act of suicide bombing isn't the type that "break downs subjectivity" as Puar would argue but is rather one that incites retaliation. 

At the beginning of this section of the conclusion we are already aware that Puar is continuing (and in many ways answering) the questions that Hage is posing in relation to colonialism and suicide terrorism,

"There is a clear political risk in trying to explain suicide bombings."33 With such risks in mind, my desire here is to momentarily suspend this dilemma by combining an analysis of these representational stakes with a reading of the forces of affect, of the body, of matter."

This points to the understanding that her discussion of suicide terror is not only taking (what has, in this thread, proven to be) the politically and ethically impossible task of suicide bombing, but is intervening in the representation of suicide bombing as such. It's about images, representation, how we discuss of such matters as discomforting as suicide bombing. It opens us up to find answers to why Hage's poignant observation rings true,

"The fact that we approach suicide bombing with such trepidation, in contrast to how we approach the violence of colonial domination, indicates the symbolic violence that shapes our understanding of what constitutes ethically and politically illegitimate violence."

But it is certainly clear that she is referring to images and representation, and that all the warrants pulled out of the cards are a part of that. Affect (explaining suicide terror as resistance to colonialism via self-preservation), body (theorizing the suicide bomber in a process of becoming-weapon), and matter (using suicide terrorism as an 'explosion' of the Hegelian dialectic) are all her ways of using the imagery of a VERY REAL phenomenon to portray a different narrative than the usual one. 

I'm not thinking of Bataille//Baudrillard (especially if you're referring to the Fernando book) which may or may not be about imagery (that's a whole nother beast entirely). Images can be based off incredibly real things, and Puar's representational analysis is not a disavowal of the potential for suicide bombings to be really bad and really violent, but gives us another reading of the suicide terrorist that can be politically productive rather than debilitating. 

 

I do, in fact, know what whitewashing is. I am aware that people who are not white can be complicit in whitewashing, but my point was that in the cultural, affective and theoretical context in which this book was written, the claim of whitewashing was totally unwarranted.

This is a romantic reading of suicide bombing, the whole point is that you should be open to a differing interpretation of the event. To say that suicide bombing is ALWAYS an act of atrocity for EVERYONE reflects not only a western interpretation of violence, but a westernized understanding of how to calculate violence.

 

EDIT: As an aside for the OP, the section of the conclusion that follows this piece of evidence will help clarify the totality of Puar's point. This analysis is only half of her understanding suicide terrorism, and that section expands on this reading using authors such as Spivak and Gordon to question Mbembe's understanding the suicide terrorist as always male.  

Edited by Coconut
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At the beginning of this section of the conclusion we are already aware that Puar is continuing (and in many ways answering) the questions that Hage is posing in relation to colonialism and suicide terrorism,

"There is a clear political risk in trying to explain suicide bombings."33 With such risks in mind, my desire here is to momentarily suspend this dilemma by combining an analysis of these representational stakes with a reading of the forces of affect, of the body, of matter."

This points to the understanding that her discussion of suicide terror is not only taking (what has, in this thread, proven to be) the politically and ethically impossible task of suicide bombing, but is intervening in the representation of suicide bombing as such. It's about images, representation, how we discuss of such matters as discomforting as suicide bombing. It opens us up to find answers to why Hage's poignant observation rings true,

"The fact that we approach suicide bombing with such trepidation, in contrast to how we approach the violence of colonial domination, indicates the symbolic violence that shapes our understanding of what constitutes ethically and politically illegitimate violence."

But it is certainly clear that she is referring to images and representation, and that all the warrants pulled out of the cards are a part of that. Affect (explaining suicide terror as resistance to colonialism via self-preservation), body (theorizing the suicide bomber in a process of becoming-weapon), and matter (using suicide terrorism as an 'explosion' of the Hegelian dialectic) are all her ways of using the imagery of a VERY REAL phenomenon to portray a different narrative than the usual one. 

I'm not thinking of Bataille//Baudrillard (especially if you're referring to the Fernando book) which may or may not be about imagery (that's a whole nother beast entirely). Images can be based off incredibly real things, and Puar's representational analysis is not a disavowal of the potential for suicide bombings to be really bad and really violent, but gives us another reading of the suicide terrorist that can be politically productive rather than debilitating. 

 

I do, in fact, know what whitewashing is. I am aware that people who are not white can be complicit in whitewashing, but my point was that in the cultural, affective and theoretical context in which this book was written, the claim of whitewashing was totally unwarranted.

This is a romantic reading of suicide bombing, the whole point is that you should be open to a differing interpretation of the event. To say that suicide bombing is ALWAYS an act of atrocity for EVERYONE reflects not only a western interpretation of violence, but a westernized understanding of how to calculate violence.

 

EDIT: As an aside for the OP, the section of the conclusion that follows this piece of evidence will help clarify the totality of Puar's point. This analysis is only half of her understanding suicide terrorism, and that section expands on this reading using authors such as Spivak and Gordon to question Mbembe's understanding the suicide terrorist as always male.  

This d00d seems smart

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At the beginning of this section of the conclusion we are already aware that Puar is continuing (and in many ways answering) the questions that Hage is posing in relation to colonialism and suicide terrorism,

"There is a clear political risk in trying to explain suicide bombings."33 With such risks in mind, my desire here is to momentarily suspend this dilemma by combining an analysis of these representational stakes with a reading of the forces of affect, of the body, of matter."

This points to the understanding that her discussion of suicide terror is not only taking (what has, in this thread, proven to be) the politically and ethically impossible task of suicide bombing, but is intervening in the representation of suicide bombing as such. It's about images, representation, how we discuss of such matters as discomforting as suicide bombing. It opens us up to find answers to why Hage's poignant observation rings true,

"The fact that we approach suicide bombing with such trepidation, in contrast to how we approach the violence of colonial domination, indicates the symbolic violence that shapes our understanding of what constitutes ethically and politically illegitimate violence."

But it is certainly clear that she is referring to images and representation, and that all the warrants pulled out of the cards are a part of that. Affect (explaining suicide terror as resistance to colonialism via self-preservation), body (theorizing the suicide bomber in a process of becoming-weapon), and matter (using suicide terrorism as an 'explosion' of the Hegelian dialectic) are all her ways of using the imagery of a VERY REAL phenomenon to portray a different narrative than the usual one. 

I'm not thinking of Bataille//Baudrillard (especially if you're referring to the Fernando book) which may or may not be about imagery (that's a whole nother beast entirely). Images can be based off incredibly real things, and Puar's representational analysis is not a disavowal of the potential for suicide bombings to be really bad and really violent, but gives us another reading of the suicide terrorist that can be politically productive rather than debilitating. 

 

I do, in fact, know what whitewashing is. I am aware that people who are not white can be complicit in whitewashing, but my point was that in the cultural, affective and theoretical context in which this book was written, the claim of whitewashing was totally unwarranted.

This is a romantic reading of suicide bombing, the whole point is that you should be open to a differing interpretation of the event. To say that suicide bombing is ALWAYS an act of atrocity for EVERYONE reflects not only a western interpretation of violence, but a westernized understanding of how to calculate violence.

 

EDIT: As an aside for the OP, the section of the conclusion that follows this piece of evidence will help clarify the totality of Puar's point. This analysis is only half of her understanding suicide terrorism, and that section expands on this reading using authors such as Spivak and Gordon to question Mbembe's understanding the suicide terrorist as always male.  

Ehhh I still think you're attaching this "suicide bombing as a metaphor for something else" yourself as opposed to what Puar is saying in the text. Now I don't claim to be an expert in Puar, but this line "With such risks in mind, my desire here is to momentarily suspend this dilemma by combining an analysis of these representational stakes with a reading of the forces of affect, of the body, of matter" I think she's very clearly pointing out how she wants to suspend those readings of suicide bombings that mark them as politically illegitimate or unethical, in favor of another reading of suicide bombings through "affect, of the body, of matter." I'm not saying your reading of her is wrong; what I'm saying is that Puar never claims that the IMAGERY of the suicide bomber is what leads to the deconstruction of subjectivity, but rather that the very literal act of suicide bombing is what produces what she describes. 

 

She describes - via her reading of suicide bombing - what happens in the event; but this description and the points made about the deconstruction of subjectivity develop only in relation to the ACT of suicide bombing not through talking about it.

 

Alright I'll give you that - Western notions of suicide bombing deem it as unethical; but do you really think people who aren't part of the "West" think that suicide bombing is something good? I mean sure Imperial Japan looked at suicide bombing, albeit it was something completely different, as something honorable but that notion changed (and no I don't think it had anything to do with the United States occupation of it); even places, I'm sure, untouched by the West probably don't think suicide bombing is something okay. But even if all you say is true; what's the impact to alternative readings of suicide bombings? If ISIS views suicide bombing as something honorable does that make it okay? If anything you're making the Cultural Relativism argument about how since we all live in different cultures; that means no one culture is greater than the other which means we can't denounce what other people do; alright sure but the that begs the question of whether or not those acts or good or okay; and then that leads to wash because what quantifies good and bad...the culture relative to that area so if the U.S. views something as bad, and ISIS views something as good, then we can't do anything about it even if we don't think that's good. I mean I understand where you're going about with the necessity for alternative readings of suicide bombing; but in the end I don't really see any value in it. It's like if somebody comes out with a book that provides an alternative reading of the Holocaust which tries to frame it as something good and necessary for the advancement of eugenics and technology. 

 

Edit 1: Again, I have not read through the entirety of Puar's book so I don't claim to know what she means to say in the abstract; my observations are only based off of what I read in the evidence above. 

Edited by Theparanoiacmachine
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Ehhh I still think you're attaching this "suicide bombing as a metaphor for something else" yourself as opposed to what Puar is saying in the text. Now I don't claim to be an expert in Puar, but this line "With such risks in mind, my desire here is to momentarily suspend this dilemma by combining an analysis of these representational stakes with a reading of the forces of affect, of the body, of matter" I think she's very clearly pointing out how she wants to suspend those readings of suicide bombings that mark them as politically illegitimate or unethical, in favor of another reading of suicide bombings through "affect, of the body, of matter." I'm not saying your reading of her is wrong; what I'm saying is that Puar never claims that the IMAGERY of the suicide bomber is what leads to the deconstruction of subjectivity, but rather that the very literal act of suicide bombing is what produces what she describes. 

 

You can never separate the act from the reading, they are co-constitutive of each other. What gives the suicide bombing so much power is the very imagery of it read in different ways. There is nothing in the actual explosion that actually destroys cartesian subjectivity except the literal explosion, yet it is the way it's read and represented that allows for the dissolution of homonationalism; ie., when it's read as a form of revolution and a reclamation of agency.

The "impact" to the rereading is the very disruption of the norms. It's a foucaltian genealogical reading of modern irruptions of suicide terror, contrasted with the oreintialist western moralizing one.

You should be aware that EVEN IF YOU are right about how terrible suicide bombing is--you are complicit with a reading of it that both demonizes Muslims and sexual others because it is the VERY SAME premise that justifies western intervention and bombings into unstable regions as well as the torture at Abu ghraib; this is why assemblages are important, they don't take sides and they don't further political narratives. They are a scrambling of the "with us or against us" rhetoric that fuels the colonial violence of the War on Terror.

 

 

She describes - via her reading of suicide bombing - what happens in the event; but this description and the points made about the deconstruction of subjectivity develop only in relation to the ACT of suicide bombing not through talking about it.

 

Alright I'll give you that - Western notions of suicide bombing deem it as unethical; but do you really think people who aren't part of the "West" think that suicide bombing is something good? I mean sure Imperial Japan looked at suicide bombing, albeit it was something completely different, as something honorable but that notion changed (and no I don't think it had anything to do with the United States occupation of it); even places, I'm sure, untouched by the West probably don't think suicide bombing is something okay. But even if all you say is true; what's the impact to alternative readings of suicide bombings? If ISIS views suicide bombing as something honorable does that make it okay? If anything you're making the Cultural Relativism argument about how since we all live in different cultures; that means no one culture is greater than the other which means we can't denounce what other people do; alright sure but the that begs the question of whether or not those acts or good or okay; and then that leads to wash because what quantifies good and bad...the culture relative to that area so if the U.S. views something as bad, and ISIS views something as good, then we can't do anything about it even if we don't think that's good. I mean I understand where you're going about with the necessity for alternative readings of suicide bombing; but in the end I don't really see any value in it. It's like if somebody comes out with a book that provides an alternative reading of the Holocaust which tries to frame it as something good and necessary for the advancement of eugenics and technology. 

 

No one views suicide bombing as something good, and that's not what Carter, or by extension, Puar, are arguing. They are just saying that's its castigation is emblematic of a denial of alterity.

Similarly, I'm not sure why anything that isn't cultural and moral absolutism must be relativism? I'm also not sure who is making an ethical claim here?

Edited by Coconuts

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Ehhh I still think you're attaching this "suicide bombing as a metaphor for something else" yourself as opposed to what Puar is saying in the text. Now I don't claim to be an expert in Puar, but this line "With such risks in mind, my desire here is to momentarily suspend this dilemma by combining an analysis of these representational stakes with a reading of the forces of affect, of the body, of matter" I think she's very clearly pointing out how she wants to suspend those readings of suicide bombings that mark them as politically illegitimate or unethical, in favor of another reading of suicide bombings through "affect, of the body, of matter." I'm not saying your reading of her is wrong; what I'm saying is that Puar never claims that the IMAGERY of the suicide bomber is what leads to the deconstruction of subjectivity, but rather that the very literal act of suicide bombing is what produces what she describes. 

 

You can never separate the act from the reading, they are co-constitutive of each other. What gives the suicide bombing so much power is the very imagery of it read in different ways. There is nothing in the actual explosion that actually destroys cartesian subjectivity except the literal explosion, yet it is the way it's read and represented that allows for the dissolution of homonationalism; ie., when it's read as a form of revolution and a reclamation of agency.

The "impact" to the rereading is the very disruption of the norms. It's a foucaltian genealogical reading of modern irruptions of suicide terror, contrasted with the oreintialist western moralizing one.

You should be aware that EVEN IF YOU are right about how terrible suicide bombing is--you are complicit with a reading of it that both demonizes Muslims and sexual others because it is the VERY SAME premise that justifies western intervention and bombings into unstable regions as well as the torture at Abu ghraib; this is why assemblages are important, they don't take sides and they don't further political narratives. They are a scrambling of the "with us or against us" rhetoric that fuels the colonial violence of the War on Terror.

 

 

She describes - via her reading of suicide bombing - what happens in the event; but this description and the points made about the deconstruction of subjectivity develop only in relation to the ACT of suicide bombing not through talking about it.

 

Alright I'll give you that - Western notions of suicide bombing deem it as unethical; but do you really think people who aren't part of the "West" think that suicide bombing is something good? I mean sure Imperial Japan looked at suicide bombing, albeit it was something completely different, as something honorable but that notion changed (and no I don't think it had anything to do with the United States occupation of it); even places, I'm sure, untouched by the West probably don't think suicide bombing is something okay. But even if all you say is true; what's the impact to alternative readings of suicide bombings? If ISIS views suicide bombing as something honorable does that make it okay? If anything you're making the Cultural Relativism argument about how since we all live in different cultures; that means no one culture is greater than the other which means we can't denounce what other people do; alright sure but the that begs the question of whether or not those acts or good or okay; and then that leads to wash because what quantifies good and bad...the culture relative to that area so if the U.S. views something as bad, and ISIS views something as good, then we can't do anything about it even if we don't think that's good. I mean I understand where you're going about with the necessity for alternative readings of suicide bombing; but in the end I don't really see any value in it. It's like if somebody comes out with a book that provides an alternative reading of the Holocaust which tries to frame it as something good and necessary for the advancement of eugenics and technology. 

 

No one views suicide bombing as something good, and that's not what Carter, or by extension, Puar, are arguing. They are just saying that's its castigation is emblematic of a denial of alterity.

Similarly, I'm not sure why anything that isn't cultural and moral absolutism must be relativism? I'm also not sure who is making an ethical claim here?

 

Alright this makes sense; but then, by that logic, wouldn't other readings of alterity; for instance, a typical Deleuzean nomadism alt; be sufficient to disrupt bifurcations?

 

"you are complicit with a reading of it that both demonizes Muslims and sexual others because it is the VERY SAME premise that justifies western intervention and bombings into unstable regions as well as the torture at Abu ghraib"

 

Alright why does viewing sucide bombing as something bad demonize Muslims? Isn't that based on a presupposition that my view on Muslims always places them in relation to suicide bombings; same things goes with sexual others. What you seem to be getting at (as an extension of Puar) is that the distinction between the reading of suicide bombing as criminal as opposed to the reading of suicide bombing as a means to break down bifurcations and segmentarity, is what frames our understanding of muslims and sexual others; but then why wouldn't other thing (like the nomadism alt mentioned above) solve it? 

 

I guess, what i'm getting it as: Why does suicide bombing have to be the way to break down these distinctions? 

 

"You can never separate the act from the reading,"

 

What? So does that mean that the act of suicide bombing is synonymous to the reading of suicide bombing? I understand what you're saying in relation to the reading of suicide bombing as something capable of breaking down subjectivity; but my argument was that it's not the reading but the ACT of suicide bombing that does that? Snark put a bunch of quotes above where she literally writes that reading her work as a metaphor is wrong, for instance:  "Fully modern, animated through technologies of sound and explosives, this body does not operate solely, or even primarily on the level of metaphor."

 

"this is why assemblages are important, they don't take sides and they don't further political narratives."

 

The way Puar is explaining the assemblage produced in suicide bombing, seems to me, is one contingent on the act, not the reading of it; notice how she describes the various things that happen in the event; this is where she traces the dissolution of subjectivity; I still think that you're the one that's attaching the idea that the imagery of suicide bombing is what breaks down distinction. 

 

I see where you're going with this "western notions of suicide bombing are bad" argument but I don't think you're framing it in the right way; you're making it seem as if acts of terror are something we should welcome because thats the only way the subaltern can communicate with us - I honestly think there's way better post-colonial literature out there that doesn't rely on romantic readings of suicide bombings to get their goals across (See Nelson Maldonado-Torres Ethic of Love); but anyways, this seems based on the presupposition that suicide bombing = why we go into places. Based off of the books I've read this year, most actors trace it more to securitization as produced through the War on Terror; if anything Islamophobia is a result of heightened securitization (See Massumi's new book Ontopower), not just isolated acts of terror. 

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Alright this makes sense; but then, by that logic, wouldn't other readings of alterity; for instance, a typical Deleuzean nomadism alt; be sufficient to disrupt bifurcations?

 

Yes. That's why Puar does not isolate the suicide bombing as the sole disruption of Cartesian Subjectivity. The suicide bombing itself is an act of nomadism.

 

"you are complicit with a reading of it that both demonizes Muslims and sexual others because it is the VERY SAME premise that justifies western intervention and bombings into unstable regions as well as the torture at Abu ghraib"

 

Alright why does viewing sucide bombing as something bad demonize Muslims? Isn't that based on a presupposition that my view on Muslims always places them in relation to suicide bombings; same things goes with sexual others. What you seem to be getting at (as an extension of Puar) is that the distinction between the reading of suicide bombing as criminal as opposed to the reading of suicide bombing as a means to break down bifurcations and segmentarity, is what frames our understanding of muslims and sexual others; but then why wouldn't other thing (like the nomadism alt mentioned above) solve it? 

 

I guess, what i'm getting it as: Why does suicide bombing have to be the way to break down these distinctions? 

 

It doesn't have  to be the way to break these distinctions. Think of Puar's analysis as a case study, there are other things that evade cartesian subjectivity. It's simply a break away from the norm of research in these fields that demonize it as always problematic as something done by males looking to get 72 virgins. Often times, it's a reclamation of agency, and other times it's a disavowal of agency, in that Daeshe or other groups say "do this or we'll kill your family." It's fuzzy and incoherent, which is the literal point. We can never describe this as always GOOD or BAD. This is where the ACT cannot be read, and thus a reason why the ANALYSIS is critical.

 

"You can never separate the act from the reading,"

 

What? So does that mean that the act of suicide bombing is synonymous to the reading of suicide bombing? I understand what you're saying in relation to the reading of suicide bombing as something capable of breaking down subjectivity; but my argument was that it's not the reading but the ACT of suicide bombing that does that? Snark put a bunch of quotes above where she literally writes that reading her work as a metaphor is wrong, for instance:  "Fully modern, animated through technologies of sound and explosives, this body does not operate solely, or even primarily on the level of metaphor."

 

This is the main point of misunderstanding. Carter and I have never said use it as a metaphor. Instead, Puar proposes that we analyze it, and understand how and why it functions in relation to modernity. The problem is that we do not have a language that can adequately explain the context for why this violence occurs. This lack of coherency is a disruption of norms within civil society that is itself the destruction of the subjectivity. She says do not use it as a metaphor, as in do not "Suicide bomb the ballot." Instead, we must understand the context and political climate for why these occur.

 

"this is why assemblages are important, they don't take sides and they don't further political narratives."

 

The way Puar is explaining the assemblage produced in suicide bombing, seems to me, is one contingent on the act, not the reading of it; notice how she describes the various things that happen in the event; this is where she traces the dissolution of subjectivity; I still think that you're the one that's attaching the idea that the imagery of suicide bombing is what breaks down distinction. 

 

I think you're thinking about the act in the vacuum, which is impossible. It's an assemblage, you can never seperate the reading itself from the act. The act always invites readings, it's a question of absolutism in our readings of them. Yes, she describes the event, we can all agree that the act itself is probably a literal dissolution of subjectivity. But to say that that is the only way we can dissolve subjectivity is the same as saying to become the BwO, we need to remove our organs.

 

I see where you're going with this "western notions of suicide bombing are bad" argument but I don't think you're framing it in the right way; you're making it seem as if acts of terror are something we should welcome because thats the only way the subaltern can communicate with us - I honestly think there's way better post-colonial literature out there that doesn't rely on romantic readings of suicide bombings to get their goals across (See Nelson Maldonado-Torres Ethic of Love); but anyways, this seems based on the presupposition that suicide bombing = why we go into places. Based off of the books I've read this year, most actors trace it more to securitization as produced through the War on Terror; if anything Islamophobia is a result of heightened securitization (See Massumi's new book Ontopower), not just isolated acts of terror. 

 

Our argument is not that we go into these places BECAUSE of the suicide bombings, but it's a spectacle that the US uses to JUSTIFY going into these places: "look at these brown savages, fucking blowing eachother up. We need to stop that."

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Alright this makes sense; but then, by that logic, wouldn't other readings of alterity; for instance, a typical Deleuzean nomadism alt; be sufficient to disrupt bifurcations?

 

Yes. That's why Puar does not isolate the suicide bombing as the sole disruption of Cartesian Subjectivity. The suicide bombing itself is an act of nomadism.

 

"you are complicit with a reading of it that both demonizes Muslims and sexual others because it is the VERY SAME premise that justifies western intervention and bombings into unstable regions as well as the torture at Abu ghraib"

 

Alright why does viewing sucide bombing as something bad demonize Muslims? Isn't that based on a presupposition that my view on Muslims always places them in relation to suicide bombings; same things goes with sexual others. What you seem to be getting at (as an extension of Puar) is that the distinction between the reading of suicide bombing as criminal as opposed to the reading of suicide bombing as a means to break down bifurcations and segmentarity, is what frames our understanding of muslims and sexual others; but then why wouldn't other thing (like the nomadism alt mentioned above) solve it? 

 

I guess, what i'm getting it as: Why does suicide bombing have to be the way to break down these distinctions? 

 

It doesn't have  to be the way to break these distinctions. Think of Puar's analysis as a case study, there are other things that evade cartesian subjectivity. It's simply a break away from the norm of research in these fields that demonize it as always problematic as something done by males looking to get 72 virgins. Often times, it's a reclamation of agency, and other times it's a disavowal of agency, in that Daeshe or other groups say "do this or we'll kill your family." It's fuzzy and incoherent, which is the literal point. We can never describe this as always GOOD or BAD. This is where the ACT cannot be read, and thus a reason why the ANALYSIS is critical.

 

"You can never separate the act from the reading,"

 

What? So does that mean that the act of suicide bombing is synonymous to the reading of suicide bombing? I understand what you're saying in relation to the reading of suicide bombing as something capable of breaking down subjectivity; but my argument was that it's not the reading but the ACT of suicide bombing that does that? Snark put a bunch of quotes above where she literally writes that reading her work as a metaphor is wrong, for instance:  "Fully modern, animated through technologies of sound and explosives, this body does not operate solely, or even primarily on the level of metaphor."

 

This is the main point of misunderstanding. Carter and I have never said use it as a metaphor. Instead, Puar proposes that we analyze it, and understand how and why it functions in relation to modernity. The problem is that we do not have a language that can adequately explain the context for why this violence occurs. This lack of coherency is a disruption of norms within civil society that is itself the destruction of the subjectivity. She says do not use it as a metaphor, as in do not "Suicide bomb the ballot." Instead, we must understand the context and political climate for why these occur.

 

"this is why assemblages are important, they don't take sides and they don't further political narratives."

 

The way Puar is explaining the assemblage produced in suicide bombing, seems to me, is one contingent on the act, not the reading of it; notice how she describes the various things that happen in the event; this is where she traces the dissolution of subjectivity; I still think that you're the one that's attaching the idea that the imagery of suicide bombing is what breaks down distinction. 

 

I think you're thinking about the act in the vacuum, which is impossible. It's an assemblage, you can never seperate the reading itself from the act. The act always invites readings, it's a question of absolutism in our readings of them. Yes, she describes the event, we can all agree that the act itself is probably a literal dissolution of subjectivity. But to say that that is the only way we can dissolve subjectivity is the same as saying to become the BwO, we need to remove our organs.

 

I see where you're going with this "western notions of suicide bombing are bad" argument but I don't think you're framing it in the right way; you're making it seem as if acts of terror are something we should welcome because thats the only way the subaltern can communicate with us - I honestly think there's way better post-colonial literature out there that doesn't rely on romantic readings of suicide bombings to get their goals across (See Nelson Maldonado-Torres Ethic of Love); but anyways, this seems based on the presupposition that suicide bombing = why we go into places. Based off of the books I've read this year, most actors trace it more to securitization as produced through the War on Terror; if anything Islamophobia is a result of heightened securitization (See Massumi's new book Ontopower), not just isolated acts of terror. 

 

Our argument is not that we go into these places BECAUSE of the suicide bombings, but it's a spectacle that the US uses to JUSTIFY going into these places: "look at these brown savages, fucking blowing eachother up. We need to stop that."

 

"The act always invites readings, it's a question of absolutism in our readings of them. Yes, she describes the event, we can all agree that the act itself is probably a literal dissolution of subjectivity. But to say that that is the only way we can dissolve subjectivity is the same as saying to become the BwO, we need to remove our organs."

 

Yes, but she never states that the breaking down of subjectivity can come from a reading of suicide bombing; she specifically states that it comes from the literal act. I understand where you're going with the whole assemblage thing; but the assemblage Puar describes is one that is produced in the event of the suicide bombing and you can't deny that it's a form of romanticizing suicide bombing as something crucial for combating colonial violence and bifurcations. I think you're trying to extend on something that just isn't possible without the presupposition of the act; its like trying to say that "stuff happens, but we can't show, we can only talk to you about how it happens; and thats sufficient." Puar specifically attributes the liberatory power of suicide bombing to the act. 

 

I understand what you mean by how you're not using suicide bombing as a metaphor, rather as a means to analyze power structures; but based off of what I'm seeing in the card OP posted, it looks pretty metaphorical to me; do you phrase the alt in another way or can you explain to me how "being as the queer suicide terrorist before the law" isn't a metaphor? 

 

"We can never describe this as always GOOD or BAD. This is where the ACT cannot be read, and thus a reason why the ANALYSIS is critical."

 

Isn't that the purpose of suicide bombing, and the one Puar seeks to produce (and even describes) in the act; or even just suicide in general; albeit in the political sense; to be unintelligible?  guess what I'm getting at is; if Puar explains suicide bombing as breaking from subjectivity, why isn't your reading of suicide bombing a form of misrepresenting the effects of suicide bombing? Why does suicide bombing need analysis if there's no way of knowing if that was really the goal of suicide bombing? Doesn't that mean, then, that your reading of suicide bombing attaches the ramifications it can have on political theory, as opposed to what it really does (i.e. kill a bunch of people)? 

 

"Our argument is not that we go into these places BECAUSE of the suicide bombings, but it's a spectacle that the US uses to JUSTIFY going into these places: "look at these brown savages, fucking blowing eachother up. We need to stop that."

 

Alright so this just seems like a uniqueness debate to me; can't the aff just wins that securitization is the reason why the U.S. goes into those places; and by extension produces Islamophobia?

Edited by Theparanoiacmachine

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"The act always invites readings, it's a question of absolutism in our readings of them. Yes, she describes the event, we can all agree that the act itself is probably a literal dissolution of subjectivity. But to say that that is the only way we can dissolve subjectivity is the same as saying to become the BwO, we need to remove our organs."

 

Yes, but she never states that the breaking down of subjectivity can come from a reading of suicide bombing; she specifically states that it comes from the literal act. I understand where you're going with the whole assemblage thing; but the assemblage Puar describes is one that is produced in the event of the suicide bombing and you can't deny that it's a form of romanticizing suicide bombing as something crucial for combating colonial violence and bifurcations. I think you're trying to extend on something that just isn't possible without the presupposition of the act; its like trying to say that "stuff happens, but we can't show, we can only talk to you about how it happens; and thats sufficient." Puar specifically attributes the liberatory power of suicide bombing to the act. 

 

I understand what you mean by how you're not using suicide bombing as a metaphor, rather as a means to analyze power structures; but based off of what I'm seeing in the card OP posted, it looks pretty metaphorical to me; do you phrase the alt in another way or can you explain to me how "being as the queer suicide terrorist before the law" isn't a metaphor? 

 

Let me recontexualize the debate a little bit. The argument is not that "we are currently entrenched in being and that the reading of the suicide terrorist blows up this entrenchment of being" but is more of a reconceptualization of the way we come to terms with being. It all depends upon a recognition that becoming trumps being, if you will, and that the suicide terrorist is a great form of analysis to contextualize this. "With such risks in mind, my desire here is to momentarily suspend this dilemma by combining an analysis of these representational stakes with a reading of the forces of affect, of the body, of matter. In pondering the modalities of this kind of terrorist, one notes a pastiche of oddities..."

 

Your second question made me think for a bit on how it is not metaphorical. I think it's not saying we should be like the suicide bomber in our disavowal of subjectivity, but more that the act can be compared to in the eyes of modernity. I'll need to think about this one a bit more.

 

"We can never describe this as always GOOD or BAD. This is where the ACT cannot be read, and thus a reason why the ANALYSIS is critical."

 

Isn't that the purpose of suicide bombing, and the one Puar seeks to produce (and even describes) in the act; or even just suicide in general; albeit in the political sense; to be unintelligible?  guess what I'm getting at is; if Puar explains suicide bombing as breaking from subjectivity, why isn't your reading of suicide bombing a form of misrepresenting the effects of suicide bombing? Why does suicide bombing need analysis if there's no way of knowing if that was really the goal of suicide bombing? Doesn't that mean, then, that your reading of suicide bombing attaches the ramifications it can have on political theory, as opposed to what it really does (i.e. kill a bunch of people)? 

 

Our reading of the suicide bomber is not one that attempts to attach political ends or means to the bombing itself, but mostly is a re-reading of history that opens it up to discussion. We're not saying "this is how it is, and how it should be interpreted," but more of "this is a single possibility in the endlessness that is the possibilities of desire, and instead we should talk about this, and all of the others."

 

"Our argument is not that we go into these places BECAUSE of the suicide bombings, but it's a spectacle that the US uses to JUSTIFY going into these places: "look at these brown savages, fucking blowing eachother up. We need to stop that."

 

Alright so this just seems like a uniqueness debate to me; can't the aff just wins that securitization is the reason why the U.S. goes into those places; and by extension produces Islamophobia?

 

I don't think those are mutually exclusive. I think we agree that securitization is one of the reasons why the US is in the Middle East (along with economics, pre-forged Islamophobia, etc.). I think the negative's arguments more attack the plans methods for dealing with such problems.

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