[-empyre-] Powerlessness

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Wed Nov 12 12:05:49 EST 2014

Hi Pier, I've used the book you referred to, War Against War in English, 
on Facebook at one point, choosing for my self-portrait, one of the 
wounded; I wanted to slow down the fast-forward Facebook ethos, where one 
image, violent and kitten and otherwise, replaces another, to make one 
slow up, stop, and face the reality of war in this other context. I can't 
find the original screen grab, it was a long time ago, Krieg dem Krieg; 
when I look, I find a 'face.txt' I must have assembled, relevant but 
stumbling as a work of writing, http://www.alansondheim.org/face.txt , 
which seem now with so many references, now even Wikipedia. The images, 
always of course within a form or capsule of delivery, are necessary, 
reminders, and what happens if they are turned upon themselves, become 
catalysts towards further atrocities. What do people think, now, those for 
example who continue to join ISIS, is there an attraction to the fractured 
body or is it a case only of political action, religious action?

When I was thinking about the topic for this month, I wrote originally, in 
the form of equations -

[Fragments below]

ISIS: Logic of Universal Terror

[for all]X{not X --> 0}
Therefore not X is taken to 0 (null set)
Therefore not X is always already processed to 0
Therefore not X is equivalent to 0
Therefore not x is identical to 0
Therefore X --> V (universal set)
Therefore X is always already processed to V
Therefore X is equivalent to V
Therefore X is identical to V

why are monothisists such bitter and miserable people?  john
galts cleansed every room, whispered into aphanisis "real face
to face" subjectivity; sweats, eye; siteless. "aphanisis "

              this came on the heels of a first post I wrote
thinking about ISIS and the idea of exclusion - from for all x
not x tends towards zero - to x is identical with the universal
set, not x is identical with the null set. I'm playing off ideas
of purity and exclusion - things like the Pale etc. or the
theory in Kristeva's Powers of Horror or the earlier Mary
Douglas' (sp?) Purity and Danger. that which is not for me, in
other words, is against me, and must be annihilated, and
annihilation must be carried out to the limit. so for me the
movement is from 'sending' or projecting not-x into the null
set, to making it equivalent, to making it identical - a
movement maybe from epistemology to ontology - the not-x become
- _are_ inherently non-being, eliminated. -

              X doesn't equal not-X. The world divides and
hardens between X and not-X; it's a classical division so that
the intersection of X and not-X is the null set. What I'm trying
to present is the idea of an expulsion and an annihilation of
what's expelled. ISIS wants a purified caliphate with only
believers; non-believers are expelled or murdered. Could you
elaborate on the rest of your post? I'm trying to say then that
the annihilation is that of the Other - the Other isn't
permitted to survive, and with the death of the Other, the Other
becomes identified with 0.

              because it's about ISIS and this is the second in
the series -

              trying to come to grips with annihilation when for
example beheading occurs, not only to foment terror, but as an
act of piety, as part of the natural order of things -

              in the above, a signal is sent, becomes furious,
begins to dissolve, the dance is violent and sexual like a
machine gun

              amounting to firing a gun but now up close, the
taste of the gristle, trophy of the severed head, or there were
hands chopped, eyes gouged

              at times anything that can be removed

              what does this, where is a response, what is this?



or think of it like this:
for all X, not-X tends towards zero, not the null set
a move from set theory to simple arithmetic
whatever isn't x must be eliminated
numbers brought down until the slate is cleansed kill-delete
then not-X = 0, the epistemology is complete
and in the future not-X is identical with zero,
  history erased, ontology cleansed - fundamentals

[Fragments above]

- equations of hardening and cleansing, as an attempt to deal with the 
exclusionary machine, the differend, and then it seemed as well to deal 
with those who were powerless, on the wrong side of the equation, those 
already in the realm of annihilatoin.

I apologize for bringing my own work in this, in this fashion, but perhaps 
it resonates with some of the discussion here. I'd write more, but I'm in 
a hotel and the connection is again terrible, what I type seems almost 
taken from me by lag, I can't follow or contribute more to my own train of 
thought, much less to others.

- Alan

More information about the empyre mailing list