From: "Glen Fuller" <glenfuller@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2002 11:02:12 +0800
Thanks for the miller, I will go investigate. I wonder if a tolerance
threshold is not another name for the boundary at which we stop accepting
invading rhizomes which come to encompass our own rhizomatic self/subjects.
A nice conservative marker of where we draw the line at being interpellated,
following the rationale (beat up media-ted 'moral panic' about THOSE people)
that the rhizome is a virus, a dirty or naughty or scandalous or infecting
piece of reality with which we MUST refuse participation. In Australia it
would be our "Refugee Crisis" (I think it is more a crisis of policiticians
than anything else). Badiou discusses this in Ethics. He is discussing
people and you were discussing un/comfort-states, in the plastic reality is
there any difference?
> another good analogy for the disciplinary to control society transition
is the stop sign versus the stop light - in the first >case, two car-drivers
who reach the same intersection at the same time must accomodate and
consider one another's >existence; in the later case, one is interacting
with an electronic signal designed so that no time is wasted, which in my
>opinion actually leads to more accidents (because one doesn't actually look
to see if cars are coming) but is, of course, >more efficient. personal
safety is a collective fantasy manufactured to keep commuters moving. this
is why 'accidents' >must always be blamed on the individual, which requires
a court-proceeding, and not the social network of traffic, which >would
require tremendous changes - this can be confirmed by watching any local
news program's traffic reports : >'there's a bad accident on the 410 loop
today; commuters are advised to seek alternate routes to their destinations;
an >18-wheeler flipped killing three; alcohol is not yet known to be a
Accidents are very weird, I agree. It has been argued (somewhere, I can not
remember, sorry (maybe Virilio - Speed and Politics?)) that 'accidents' are
formulated by the State to insure individualisation, and the replication of
the court/law&order system which requires subjugated individuals. They would
be hard pressed to take the 'system of traffic' to court even though the
inherent randomness of traffic means that 'accidents' will happen. (Irony:
If someone is to blame, is at fault, for an 'accident', then it is not an
'accident'. In terms of insurance, how can you 'accident' someone else? Ha!)
Have you read Jon McKenzie's "Perform or Else"? He argues that performance
is the new paradigm of social control (beyond Foucaultian discipline). He
uses a bit of D&G, actually a lot...
> i don't think risky quite covers it: i'm a frequent driver on the most
dangerous stretch of road in north america, I-35 >from san antonio to
austin. every time, and i mean, every single time, there's a horrible
car-crash, usually surrounded by >about 20 cop cars and often with a few
body bags for rubber-neckers to gander at. it's like a war between
industrial >transport and innocent civilians - bloody, horendous, demented,
genocidal even, but not simply 'risky'. risk implies fun - >sweating one's
ass off in 100 degree heat in a car without air-conditioned with car-exhaust
Very good! At least you know you are in-the-car, on-the-road, think of the
luxury automobile-boats (your speak =SUV) that some Commuters get around in,
do they even realise they are driving?
Risk also implies a calculation of danger, or, rather, the realisation of a
danger. Danger is immediate, a 'virtual' reality. Risk is a 'possible'
reality. (Non/accidents would be the 'actual' reality.) My argument is that
Commuter's hit the road with the calculation already made, the danger
realised. That is, the system of roads and streets ARE dangerous. From your
description of this piece of 70 mile road it seems like it gets used a lot.
As in any system there is an inherent randomness, from the making-coffee
system to the having-sex system. It would be interesting to know whether or
not the rate of crashes on the stretch of road you describe are any more
than any other stretch of public road, or if they are more visual. Of the
order 'moral panic' ala Cohen. Who needs tv news spelling out danger when
you have real life billboards doing the ideological work for you. However,
the inherent randomness of automobilised time-space is unique for, as you
say and I agree, there are two ton beasts roaming about controlled by people
with suspect, marginal skills.
Although, death or injury is only a variation in the magnitude of 'accident'
(as a singularity, a convergence). Hoons do not make the distinction between
the magnitude of accidents. They hit the road without with the collective
fantasy of safety operating a priori. For them the dangers of the roads
require a calculation (amber-light-space), and with the calculation they are
allowed a sinister (in the eyes of the Commuter) version of the oft'
romanticised 'freedom of the open road'. This is where the fun lies, in
following the flows of a dangerous desire, rather than the flows of traffic
and the impetus of the State-form. Danger shifts back towards the 'possible'
in the realm of risk.
The migrant (of D&G) is moved through space, a 'tool' that does 'work' of
the State and as Commuters they make up the system of traffic which controls
more than any State-form technology of traffic, as you point out with the
Stop Sign vs Light, and with your example of 'bumper to bumper'. If you are
subject to the system of technology of traffic then you cannot be a Hoon.
Hoons? err, cruisers, street racers, the Hot-Rod/Jalopy owners of the late
40s and 50s, etc. However, 'risks' do not have to be of bodily dangers,
think cultural risks, risks of style, and you have the Punks.
Bah! I must do some work!!