Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Binary Systems: or, ASSIMILATE OR DIE.

So, I was reading over Mike's blog (Hi, Mike!), and laughed out loud when I read this:

Of course no one thinks of the poor as more than one thing. Nope the poor is unified, we are the poor, we will assimilate. Poooooor.

It is an incredibly valid point, but I emphasized this because I admire the way Mike can talk about really serious things while keeping his sense of humor. It's a trait I think most of us should cultivate.

Annyway, to continue on his point:

It is a bunch of crap and I really hate it when people talk about the poor as singular and solvable. They are people and their various situations are as varied as they are.

Amen, anyone?

The ideas of class and privelege aren't something we can lump together in one great big fucking box of 'disenfranchised' and 'evil as fuck'. There's more subtlety to it, more nuance, and it'll do us a lot of good to think of things as more of a spectrum of experience than a binary system set in metaphysical stone.

Binary systems, as an enterprise, are flawed from the get go. The roster list of facisms we inflict on one another due to binary systems is staggering: gender, sexuality, morality, and the more amorphous bunches like truth-claims (things are "true" or "untrue", without the possibility of multiple truths and fictions or evolutions of truth-forms) and memory (something "happened" or it "didn't", and memory is always "concrete", a "static" thing, or it is not memory: when really, memory is something that is constantly refigured in our own minds). Binary systems, as a rule, I find to be limiting: the very act of definition is, in a way, a microfacism (though one that is often necessary), and to define something with only two variables seems, to be frank, ridiculous.

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