Thursday, July 8, 2010

Queering the Eschaton

I'm reading Oscar Cullman's Christ and Time, about how "Primitive Christianity" regarded the Crucifixion as the midpoint of the history of Creation, and the action if Christ's redemption in the world as part of a human time frame that was drawing to a close. And I'm also skimming online the book No Future, by Lee Edelman, about how the queer death drive, the jouissance of the Real, ironically interrupts the future-narrative of endless social reproduction, the foundation of all politics always.

Following a Lacan quote Edelman says: "Truth, like queerness, is irreducibly linked to the aberrant or atypical, to what chafes against normalization, finds its value not in a good susceptible to normalization, but only in the stubborn particularity that voids every notion of a general good."

Also "queerness can never define an identity; it can only disturb one."

I'm kind of interested in the extent to which one can go around switching the word "Christ" and "Queerness." "Jesus" is a specific person, which seems a little awkward. But saying that Christ is essentially not an identity, but the disturbance of identity, that makes sense. Having a really skinny "Christ Pride" parade in between the gay pride people and the gay hate people makes sense.

Not that hate is out of the love equasion. Luke 14:26: "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." Which vibes pretty well with the skepticism of the family expressed not only by Edelman, and Andrea Dworkin, and Shulamith Firestone, but St. Paul as well. "Let those with wives be as if they had none."

Another example, with "queerness" replaced... he's talking about queerness as the indigestible supplement that allows the Symbolic to function:

"Christ as name may well reinforce the the Symbolic order of naming, but it names what resists, as signifier, absorption into the Imaginary identity of that name. Empty, excessive, and irreducible, it designates the letter, the formal element, the lifeless machinery responsible for animating the 'spirit' of futurity. And, as such, as a name for the death drive that always informs the Symbolic order, it also names the jouissance forbidden by, but always permeating the Symbolic order itself."

He then goes on to say that, despite queers (Christians) disidentifying with queerness (Christ) in order to enter politics: "the structured portion of queerness (Christ), and the need to fill it, remains."

And his answer to the radical vision of a gay utopia (and any earthly paradise): "In the beyond of demystification, in that neutral, democratic literality that marks the futurism of the left, one could only encounter a queer dismantling of futurism itself as fantasy and a derealization of the order that futurism reproduces."