Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Civlisation and Question of Love: Part II Images We Live With

It seems that the question love in the civilisation is constantly poking Kaleidoscope's insatiable soul. Kaleidoscope is surrounded by people who wears masks, Kaleidoscope also has masks to wear. However, while making conscious choices for making friendships he is usually looking for persons who has least number of masks and especially he choose to be friend with those who surrender their true selves in moments of intimacy. This is nothing unusual, we all do it at some point of time. In this article Kaleidoscope wishes to trace the origin and continuation of the "images we live with."

Imagined lives, imagined cares and imagined communities:

The money economy in a capitalist society has largely replaced older maintenance system which was based primarily on the family, kinship, age-sets and community. People in small scale rural communities knew each other face to face. With the advent of capitalistic economy, market dominated neo-liberalism shaking hand with the state machinery has largely replaced the functional value of such communities. Now it is okay if you cannot spend time with your family because you are working quite far away. You can expect professional help by calling a center when in need to get the professional help. State will look after your old age needs when the young part of the population is busily engaged in contributing to the growth of the nation. There are numerous aspects of such imagined life, beginning with the very notion of the nation, and national identity to Elvis fan club. These imagined communities as we will see is contributing to the images we live with.

Choices we make images we build:

Not many years back dowry and bride price has been quite an acceptable thing. Although the society in which Kaleidoscope lives has substantive existence of dowry but at least there is a rising concern that taking dowry is a crime and in at least urban centers there is some form stigma attached with it. While earlier the marriages were fixed by the families sitting together exchanging dowry and bride price now we fix our marriages. We see each other in restaurants, pubs, we hang out to get to know each other and we give money to the waiter and to exclusive stores. In consequence the exchange is there not in the form of Dowry or Bride price but in the form of feeding the capitalists. 


There has been a video (referred above) projecting one of the prominent bollywood actresses Deepika Padukone boldly stating "MY BODY MY CHOICE." "To marry, not to marry, to have sex before marriage, to have sex outside marriage, to not have sex at all..." 

The late capital society has enhanced the freedom of choice. While kaleidoscope teaches development to his students, he often refers to the question of choice. Development can simply be seen as increasing freedom for people to choose to live in a particular way. However, this choice is an endless succession of depthlessness too. For example when we choose our spouse, friends and neighbours, they may choose to leave us. The incompatibility in a relationship (which is increasingly becoming a common feature) will make us lonely, severely affecting our mental well being.  As the individuals are storing enormous power of making choices and freedom to live in a particular way we are heading towards a situation where the space for such words as commitment is increasingly becoming difficult to maintain. The harder it gets to commit the lonelier our species would become and we are heading towards that.

Late capital depthlessness:

Simulation, Implosion and Hyperreality has been catchy to what kaleidoscope means with the loss of love. 


Fast-track advertisement using Woman's body and the tag of sale. Projecting the desired body and not the products. 
The film Nirbaak projects the love for the self in the mirror (role played by Anjan Dutta, especially the mirror smooching scene). While Susmita Sen is disappointed with his lover, he was told by Anjan Dutta "Love yourself, for a change." Perhaps the simulation and hyperreality is surrounding us. Today we tend to identify ourselves with the supermodels. We love wine, fast food, and yet desire a body of a supermodel. Hence, we are constantly constructing body as "desiring machines" that casts off socially articulated, regularised and subjectified circumstances (Deleuze and Guattari 1984).
The question however remains when we started to lose the essence and stepped in the hyperreality? Perhaps Kaleidoscope would argue it started with advent of script. The essential arbitrary nature of the scripts especially the slippery relationship between signifier and signified (yes our all time favourite Saussure) started the hyperreality. However, the nature and extent of its extension has seen unprecedented growth affecting every aspect of our life with advent of late capitalistic consumer society.   Hence we tend to shape and wrap our body the way in which it is acceptable and 'attractive.' We meet with friends, or fiancee and then keep ourselves busy with mobile phones.
A typical scene that we encounter everyday.
We are heading towards

1) a new flatness and depthlessness in our conversations, relationships and in choices too.

2) an endless search for uniqueness of selves while its sleeping away.

3) a replacement of affect with euphoria.

4) A constant nostalgia - in Boym's sense the lost home, longing for a home that no longer exists

The question of soul:

Hence what we have is images, hyperreality in our everyday life. We touch body, we touch photographs, our romance and fantasy is increasingly shaped by pornographies and virtuality. Advertisements are playing even more crucial roles. While we spend hours online, making new friends, communicating through whatsapp, we often lose the depth. We touch body, we enjoy sex, we enjoy shopping but we forget to touch the soul. Well there are people Kaleidoscope knows who can ask what is a soul? 

Concepts taken from:

Baudrillard, J. (1990). Cool memories. Verso.
Baudrillard, J. (1990). Seduction, trans. Brian Singer (New York: St. Martin's Press,1990), 31.
Baudrillard, J. (1994). Simulacra and simulation. University of Michigan press.
Deleuze, G. (2004). Anti-oedipus. A&C Black.
Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1988). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia.  Bloomsbury Publishing.
Jameson, F. (1991). Postmodernism, or, the cultural logic of late capitalism. Duke University Press.
Lyotard, J. F. (1984). The postmodern condition: A report on knowledge (Vol. 10). U of  Minnesota Press.
Lyotard, J. F. (1988). Le différend (Vol. 46). U of Minnesota Press
Vattimo, G. (1988). The end of modernity: Nihilism and hermeneutics in post modern culture.

Vattimo, G. (1992). The transparent society (pp. 68-69). Cambridge: Polity Press.

10 comments:

  1. How to distinguish Between reality and hyperreality ?
    How to evade deliberate means of institutions to make us understand according to the ....(who ever it is)?

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  2. all are blurred...

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  3. That is brilliant piece... with sheer clarity... thanks Kaleidoscope

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  4. Do you think that we have not learned to love? Or it is a skill that we have forgotten over the years??

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  5. Well, I am not an expert to comment on that. There are archaeological evidences suggesting care for the dead. However that does not suffice to conclude that human beings have learned to love. Here while I use the word Love, I mean an ideal (of course subjective) perspective. What I can say from my reading of my life in contemporary late capital time is that we are losing earlier forms of bonding. It is beyond good and bad, it is just a fact. How to interpret it is a question. Since, Kaleidoscope by heart is nostalgic and often resists from the core of his heart to the changes, he is often sounding negative while writing these forms of articles. However, from the sociological perspective at best what can be said is that we are experiencing rapid and revolutionary changes and as a species we are increasingly becoming lonely.

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  6. Pretty thoughtful indeed. But over the arguement about the projection of Society's nothingness today.. I beg to differ. It does depend upon the moral sense and perspective of an individual about how would he/she prefers to get or not to get anything. Increasing loneliness is somewhat true, but sheer despondency is definitely individual's own creation.

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  7. Pretty thoughtful indeed. But over the arguement about the projection of Society's nothingness today.. I beg to differ. It does depend upon the moral sense and perspective of an individual about how would he/she prefers to get or not to get anything. Increasing loneliness is somewhat true, but sheer despondency is definitely individual's own creation.

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  8. Pretty thoughtful indeed. But over the arguement about the projection of Society's nothingness today.. I beg to differ. It does depend upon the moral sense and perspective of an individual about how would he/she prefers to get or not to get anything. Increasing loneliness is somewhat true, but sheer despondency is definitely individual's own creation.

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  9. yes, of course these are all our creations... nothing is out of our constructs... but not everybody is willingly taking part in it. For example with freedom of choice, do we really think about the others whom we leave behind to chose something new, or something different. What about those who has no choice than to stay back...? I think there lies the question or or the discontents of the civilisation. There is a serious lack of moral senses now a day, everything is under scanner and people are questioning everything?

    Suman

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  10. a refreshing write up kaleidoscope. Where do you vanish sometimes. I think there are many who craves for your write ups.

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