Pray tell, how do you do it?

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Thu Mar 4 12:12:54 PST 1999

Doug replied to John K. Taber:
>>One thing I do not understand, and greatly admire lbo'ers for,
>>is your ability to read obnoxious characters seriously. If I
>>am punished for my sins in the hereafter, my idea of a lower
>>circle in hell is being forced to read Horowitz or Tanner.
>>I get impatient and quit reading. How do you guys do it?
>There's more pleasure in reading stuff that pisses you off than in tepid
>stuff you agree with.

And Frances Bolton wrote:
>So many of us are obnoxious characters, I guess we're just used to it.

Curtiss Leung (one of my favorite posters, for his posts are always short and delightful) says:
>Isn't the first principle of any conflict Know Your Enemy?

Jacob Segal adds:
>During a republican convention my mother and sister, progressives but not
>that involved politically, noted that they keep watching the convention
>despite finding it annoying and that they were getting addicted to being
>I said that is how I live my whole life.

And Charles Brown comments: <<Isn't this a form of Judith Butler's subjection as discussed in _The Psychic Life of Power_ ? Self-check, social control by one watching Big Brother instead of Big Brother having to watch one.>>

I'll offer one of Eve Sedgwick's observations on 'paranoid reading' to the above series.

***What does knowledge _do_--the pursuit of it, the having and exposing of it, the receiving-again of knowledge of what one already knows? _How_, in short, is knowledge performative, and how best does one move among its causes and effects?*** (4)

On PEN-L, there's been a thread on secret and _open secret_, and I think that leftists had better grapple with the _effects_ of the latter upon us leftists in particular and the working class in general (and not just upon the effects of secret).


P.S. The Sedgwick citation is from her "Paranoid Reading, Reparative Reading; or, You're So Paranoid, You Probably Think," _Novel Gazing: Queer Readings in Fiction_ (Ed. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Durham & London: Duke UP, 1997).

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