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Aporias on “25 Random Things About Me”

In rhapsody on June 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm

1. This list is an occasion for jouissance!

2. Its deployment signifies a break, a middle term in the polarity of self and the ‘they’ (neither conformity nor mutiny, but misprision, careful misreading, legitimate abuse), or what Lacan refers to as an ecstatic opening to the Other in this list’s economy of revelation, disclosure, confession (“about me”).

3. Such bliss is accompanied by an ejaculation of aporias, undecidables, paradoxes that inhere in this text’s structure of indeterminacy.

4. I am referring, first of all, to this list’s apparent logic of disorder — “random things”.

5. But to list anything at all is already an enterprise of ordering.

6. Empirically, formally, arithmetically, there is progression, enumeration, a spatial and more-than-spatial linearity of items, terms, fragments from the life-text of the subject.

7. Or do we speak of the absence of design?

8. But the task of delimiting utterances already inscribes itself, in an always-already manner, as telos.

9. Thus chance, randomness, arbitrariness differ and are deferred (differant): the list bears the trace of any other list which it is not.

10. This trace is the absent presence of, as it were, ‘non-random’ lists, “My 5 Favorite Things to Do”, or “5 Things I don’t leave the house without”.

11. Whatever this contingent category (‘non-random’ or discriminate list) may be, it inscribes itself violently, but silently and in a paradoxically pacified manner, as a binary opposite to “25 Random Things About Me”.

12. May we not then construe discriminate choices as the supplement to indiscriminate choices?

13. It is therefore in the position of a bastard, a parasite, a barnacle, imposing its essentiality to the identity of this list while effaced and repressed by it.

14. The supplementarity of the other “speaks, yet says nothing” (Shakespeare in ‘Romeo and Juliet’).

15. It threatens the natural relationship between the terms, between natures.

16. That which purports to be a random list is always already inextricable to a list of discriminate choices.

17. The list does not only limit itself but also limits its resources, its supply of items.

18. It lists before it is listed.

19. The list was already there before it came to be. It has no definite origin.

20. By virtue of its linguistic parameters, epistemic constraints, circumferences within which only certain terms can be written, the list shapes its own mold, gives birth to its own father.

21. The limiting action of the list precludes the idea of any randomness in it.

22. This invitation to regulate discourse with arbitrariness seems self-contradictory, because to regulate is to bring order, to subject to a procedure or decree, to standardize — and possibly, to tyrannize.

23. What do chance and chaos look like? What will we see when we meet them face to face in all their purity?

24. The signifier stands before me and the concept. It conceals while purporting to reveal. It reveals while purporting to conceal.

25. This list is an exercise at auto-eroticism, a technique of producing rapture, no more.