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[Xmca-l] Re: "cultivating Minds

I am interested in your question of the relation of "style" and
"authenticity" and how they relate to "living in truth" [whatever "truth"
I have been linking Morten Nissen's work to Ernst Bloch and that led to
Simmel and then through Mike's commentary to Urs Furher and that lead on to
Ernst Boesch.

I brought in the theme of "salon culture" and the labelling of Simmel as a
"flaneur" who wrote "impressions" of the metropolis but who was
often criticized for not being "systematic"
The question of Simmel being  focused on the "style" of the "essay" and
therefore labelled not "rigorous"  or "scientific" in his approach to
sociology [and philosophy].

Henry, you "locating" your impressionistic years as Berkley in the mid
1960's is expressing a certain "style" [which I also lived through] and
influences how we "understand" [and could be critiqued in a similar way to
the style of "salon culture".
Now the question of "authenticity" [living in truth] leads to the question
"who gets to judge the authenticity of a person "living in truth"  Is it
tied to living "free"?? [and this concept opens the meaning of freedom as
"autonomy/negative freedom" OR freedom as "expression/positive freedom" OR
"third spaces/situated freedom" .

Returning to Simmel.  Is his focussing on "reciprocal interaction" too
vague and unsystematic [not rigorous] or is this "style" an authentic way
to approach human nature?  I will offer a comment from David Frisby in his
book "Georg Simmel":

".... that for a founding father Simmel seems curiously remote from
organized sociology and seems to be a neglected figure.  This impression,
it is argued, may stem from a discrepancy between Simmel's *style* of
thought and the prevailing sociological 'idiom' which has come to be
dominated by detailed and refined empirical research and specialized modes
of conceptualization that can only be used by professionals." [page 15]

Frisby also states:

"Simmel goes so far as to state in his "Sociology" that although the work
is replete with actual empirical and historical example that illustrate his
propositions, he could just as well used *fictitious ones*.  In this
respect , Simmel is the first sociologist to apply the philosophy of '*As-It'
*to the sociological domain." [page 15]

Henry, the question of the relation of "style" and "authenticity" is that
yes there is a reciprocal relation, but this relation is always localized
and to be "worked out". At least that is the "footsteps" I am "tracing" in
this commentary.


On Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 5:12 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:

> Hi Henry,
> Sometimes the tool doesn't do justice to the message, and listservs (as
> tools for communication) are not excluded from that.
> And so I was a little lost in what your confessional is and unsure how
> that connects to What is Art, which was the topic I was discussing (and how
> that pertains to Performance Art).
> It is nice that you feel a personal attachment to Rubin and Hoffman and
> you loved them as your icons. There will be a time when no one will be
> alive to remember them and they will only be known as a wikipedia page.
> I'm not sure that there are many people like Hoffman in society at the
> moment who are challenging our notions of what is acceptable for the human
> race and the planet. And if they are, there is usually a process of
> monetizing it in some way.
> The only person I can think of right now is Medea Benjamin from Code Pink
> who might be an equivalent. Interestingly (speaking of wikipedia pages) it
> says about them:
> "Code Pink often uses intrusive, political street theater to publicize its
> positions. Favored methods include the use of puppets, effigies, over-sized
> heads, and fake blood, according to John J. Tierney in a publication of the
> conservative think tank, Capital Research Center."
> I find it interesting that a conservative think tank describes their
> "favored methods."  That is a very strange phrase.
> The way I know them and has been most effective, which is how I know about
> them, is that they attend a hearing and they stand up and yell out their
> objections and their love for their country as they are being escorted out
> of the room. I never saw fake blood in these televised objections, but
> figure that is likely one element of many in their art palette in their
> "stage theater".
> When every country on the planet allows women in pink t-shirts to stand up
> and yell without arresting and/or maiming and/or killing them, it will be a
> great day indeed.
> I think I can say Hoffman's life could fill the Eagles song lyric, because
> time has a way of bringing out what is tragic and beautiful in the same
> place. Despair is a legitimate response to what was going on back then.
> Seems to me that you were threading the needle, and you have lived to tell
> it.
> I certainly hope you aren't taking the stance of General MacArthur about
> old soldiers fading away...
> Kind regards,
> Annalisa