Monday, June 04, 2007

Bareback Boredom



At the weekend myself and the usual suspects had the interesting experience of being 'queered' at a Queer Theory conference, on Lee Edelman's No Future. This, as has been pointed out, is an excellent book: an assault on the figure of the sacred child that presides over contemporary capitalism's infantilism and cult of innocence: but in its attack on 'reproductive futurism' there was the strange idea that the future is in any way a prized category in the current conjuncture. This didn't really prepare for the baffled reaction at any mention of collectivity, or politics at the conference. Edelman's own paper meanwhile gave off the unpleasant air of a sort of Hegelian used-car salesman, trying to sell Bareback Porn as THE definitive negation of 'Reason, Sociality and Identity', as if these three things were what held up the oft-cited 'normativity'. Accordingly, queerdom is reduced from something that has, in its universality of perversion something in common with the indeterminate sexualities and third sexes of an Edward Carpenter or Magnus Hirschfeld, to 'but some are more queer than others', so we end up with another round of wanking into a jar in the name of radical alterity, also impressively without registering the seemingly obvious point that the fetishism of ejaculation and aimless expenditure he lauds is dominant in the mainstream as the appropriately named 'money shot'. But most disappointing of all here was the abandonment of the book's most brilliant point for more pseudo-dialectics. Apparently, in their polymorphous perversity and asociality, children are just like queers, and it is this that elicits their disavowal. In that case, both are the figure of ideology.

5 Comments:

Blogger Dominic said...

You could, on the contrary, make the argument that "Bareback Porn" upholds to the maximum degree every value of Ulrich Beck's "Risk Society". Why, it's just like industrial-scale environmental despoliation! Or racking up huge amounts of credit card debt!

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