The Death of the Electric Guitar? An intro into the Philosophy of Rock and Roll.

The Death of the electric Guitar and the Philosophy of Music.

The Washington Post has this article: The Slow Secret Death of the Electric Guitar and Why You Should Care.

Here’s an old geezer’s take on the situation: Music is too easy to make now days.

Let me qualify.

Think about media in general, how it developed, the eras, the movie star and rock stars, the classic movies, the great movies and songs, the guitar heroes. To my mind, it is difficult to think of those things without also reflecting on our time of mass media and access. Access is the key I think. there is too much access to sustain the old version of the Rock Star.

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Sure we will still have stars that people love; my daughter wants to marry Panic! at the Disco lead man Brendon Urie. But he’s no Guitar Hero. He is definitely a Singing Hero, and in a very conventional mode is a rock star by definition. And, if we take Panic! as an example of guitar players, I don’t think their guitarist Kenneth Harris is a guitar hero; he’s just the guitarist of Panic at the Disco. Sure he can play pretty well, but a Hero? I think not.

But think historically about how all this excitement came about ; Limited access. It was not that we (the audience) were not permitted access, it is that there was only a small number of groups, music and events. Rock and Roll was all we had, and there was only a tiny bit of it. You could only see, say Aerosmith, maybe once a year. you got maybe 10 songs from them, and then with all the other music that appealed to rebellious youth, there likewise was only a small menu to choose from.

This is to say, that compared to now we had a small menu. One could say that the later punk and Indy rock move that came out of the 80’s was in response to such limited access; you could go see 5 bands, probably 3 you loved, at the same place for $12. Guitar was still central, but they were not guitar heros. Probably the closest thing to a punk rock hero was Captain Sensible. His leads were phenomenal, his playing of the energy of Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick, and his stage presence was just the kind of rock star mentality that had already left the rock and roll of prior years to be ‘Classic’. Captain Sensible was really the last of a certain kind of rock and roll guitar attitude; of a dying breed; he was only one great lead guitarist of a genre of guitarists that was huge, but who had nearly no really good lead guitarists. It was no longer about the lead guitarists anyways, it was about energy.

Even if we consider the Heavy Metal/glam bands of the late 80’s, we have to admit that what they were lacking in Hero-ness, they made up for with regular and repeatable shows, Glam look and relatively shallow lyrics. We start finding that people were no longer interested in being transported musically, we find that people just wanted to ‘rock’. Here I am going to qualify talent as the extent that one leaves open the possibility of mistake to chance, and yet does not make the mistake. Id say that the guitar hero came out of the intimacy that comes to be involved through limited access, a sense of common contingency and implicit improvisational understanding. The ideas of a repeatable and regular sense of music was not the soil the guitar hero grew out of; the repeatable sense what that of not knowing just what you might get.

The guitar hero emerged also because the pool of musicians and groups who played any particular type of music was also limited. When we consider what is occurring now, we might see that it is not that there was very talented musicians who made great music as much as there was only relatively few musicians making music. We only had to select from a tiny amount of song; of course those who were able to make it to our ears were people who had a certain special manner. We couple the sense of an intimate disaster, that at any moment in the playing of the song it might fall apart or hit us with some unexpected intimate meaning, meaning that came from a sparse and distant proximity of the maker of the music as well as the music itself, the lyrics and the live playing, we have a pretty good explanation going.

I see risk is the basic factor involved. Kids and music lovers did not have the sense that music was a kind of security. Music was a way to inhabit the unknown, to embrace the inherent insecurity of existence, to leave the regular sense of everyday living. The guitar hero embodied an actual kind of heroic sense that seem lost now days. No one now wants to get lost nor risk not ever being able to find their way back, and our music reflects that.

People want their music to reflect the security they do not feel in their lives. They do not want to get lost; the future is so uncertain that they want their music to deliver a regular and certain performance every time, be it in in a recording or a live performance. My 14 year old daughter had been to a few concerts; she was ecstatic, happy and amazed and flaunting that the group sounded exactly like the album. I would have never expressed anything like that when I was 14. I enjoyed that the albums sounded nothing like the shows; to me they were two aspects of the good music and a good band.

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People just want to have a good time; the experience of live music, the good time involved has nothing to do with intimacy anymore, people want a performance: The intimacy is found due to and within this preordained arrangement. The guitarist now relies upon the notion of a guitar hero without having to actually be able to risk improvisation or the unknown. Music is an expression of what is knowable, a celebration of what is substantial in its apparent obviousness. The music has been so well learned, the avenues and stylistic maneuvers of guitar leads and music structure have been so well studied and emulated, we already know what to expect when a riff is played, or a lyric sung, and we compare the talent and ‘hero’ quality of the guitarist to how well they ‘sound like so and so’, how well they pull off the ‘blues lick’, or the ‘heavy metal solo’, the ‘indie innocence’, the youth angst.  The audience is prepared beforehand as to what to expect of not only the performance, but the actual notes themselves, the actual lines of music and how should fit together. People want heroes only in name, and the musicians are only too happy to give them that figure.
But we should also note that it is not that suddenly this generation somehow does not enjoy “good music”. We should see that this has always been the case, but there was only a limited amount of people ‘showing’ other people how they should respond to music, but most people at all times do not have a ‘deep’ appreciation of music technique, or have any reflction on what is ‘really’ occurring in any perfofrmance. They just listen to music and go to concerts. They speak to lingo of the day as to what is appreciated by others and what amounts to a good concert or good guitar playing. Most people don’t know if someone is really improvising or just playing sheet music, and they don’t care. 

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Lastly, the sheer access to technology and the simplicity of making music has allowed for a glut in the music market. Anyone can make ‘quality’ sounding music now days; they don’t have to goto an expensive studio and they don’t have to ‘get signed’. Those are basically anachronistic means to fill a performative space for entertainment that does the work for having and supplying ‘elevator music’ that is not stigmatized as such. Popular music is not ‘the best’, it is just marketed within a context of money, image and quality. There is no risk in that playing; the risk is absorbed in the actually being able to ‘make a living’ at music. The risk is in the making of a career, not the involvement in music. The risk is in what skills you can learn, what resources you can activate on your behalf, more than what talent the guitarist finds its substance within. But this is not new, it’s only now becoming obvious such that what we say about a band does not really mean much more than ‘in comparison to…’

As well, technology makes it super easy to make good sounding and musically sounding music. Anyone can write lyrics and put it to music; the quality of lyrics and music is reduced to methodological regularity of how music is supposed to be put together. And it does indeed sound good, we can no longer argue about what is good music and bad music: It is all good music. No room for heroes in this kind of world; a music maker does not even have to know how to play guitar to ‘play guitar’ in a rock band, computers will do it for you — and you’ll  look cool regardless. 

I understand that the music business has their approach to the why of things, but unfortunately, theirs also has more to do with, again, career and sales and making money, than it does with talent or attitude. And the business end is the most up front about it. There are simply more quality guitar makers and music makers that there ever has been, we have free access with virtually no limitation on what kind of music we can get, or how we might understand it. Guitars will still sell, it’s just that people will have to work a little harder to make the sale, so their name will become more involved with ‘what is better’ even though it’s probably no better, or worse. 

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Essence. 

Philosophy often deals with finding essences without ever dealing with the term “essence” itself. For another discussion, this is the issue of the founding term, but for now since philosophy as a traditional historical classical arena has ended, which is to say,  the residual whiffs of philosophical vapour are still treated as essential Philosophical Givens, we must begin to reestablish what the possibility of philosophy now entails.

One of these concerns “essence”. Typically essence is understood to indicate some sort of unchanging thing as it is beyond all relativity and mediation somehow we get to define something that is essential through contingent terms. Due to the inherent contradiction of such founding terms, it is only practical and highly conventional to continue on in a typical and regular philosophical matter. 

Instead, essence can be indicated in a more strict sense to mean ‘marker of difference’. 

Failure in Literature: The Once and Future King. 

“Something happened to me which was outside my own plans, and after that I went where I was taken,” said Lancelot.

“What was the accident?” Authur said.

“I was riding with Sir Percivale, when we came across my son. He unhorsed me at the first tilt — my son did…I rode at Galahad with all the skill I could manage, and he gave me the finest fall I ever had…indeed, I might say he gave me one of the only falls I’ve ever had. The first thing I can remember feeling, when I was lying on the ground, was pure astonishment. It was only later it turned to something else…

I was lying on the ground, and Galahad was standing his horse beside me without saying a word, when a woman came up who was a recluse in a hermitage where we had been fighting. She made a curtesy and said: ‘God be with you, best knight of the world’…

I looked up, to see who was talking to me.”

The king and queen waited.

Lancelot cleared his throat again: “I am trying to tell you something about my spirit, if you see what I mean, not about my adventures. So I can’t be modest about it. I am a bad man,I know, but I was always good with arms. It was a consolation to me in my badness, sometimes, to think — to know that I was the best knight of the world.”

“And so?” Authur said.

“Well, the lady was not talking to me.”

“Galahad?”

“Yes.” Lancelot said. 

“What a disgusting thing to say!” Exclaimed the King.

“It was true… At the time I couldn’t bare it. I felt as if my prop had been taken from me, and I knew that she only said the simple truth. I felt as if she had broken the last piece of my heart…”

“My poor Lance,” said Guenever.

“It was the best thing that ever happened.”

The Machine and Being: The Commons.

“We must situate what has been left out if we are ever to get anywhere beyond repeating the same old philosophical tropes.”

55394256-machine-learning-production-line-with-idea-lightbulbs-being-processed-by-the-microchips-circuits-co

*note on the note: ‘They’ are those who are ‘in the commons’.

{WIKI:

Commons:

– The definition from the Digital Library of the Commons is; “the commons is a general term for shared resources in which each stakeholder has an equal interest”.
– A common is a shared resource managed by a community who create rules to make the resource durable. The resource can’t be monopolised by one or a group of individuals, it has to be as opened as possible. The resource is not private or public, it’s a third thing : a common.
– }

…But this also is not complete. We should at all times understand that this discussion has been made more than once, and by those who made it, we should assume that all the bases were covered, all aspects revealed and discussed. When we thus refer to the discussion, ‘it’, we also then cannot but remember that, strangely enough, not everything is expressed.

The discrepancy, or contradiction, evident in those conjoined sentences (just previous), thus reveals how it is possible that I might have something to say about it, since we have then the very essence of time (1) (Heidegger) played out through the stretch that occurs between any multiple of authors who had something to say about it. Further, we have an issue that arises when we consider that everything has been expressed in whichever discussion, but somehow not everything was expressed; this is the issue of the contemporary (2) because only the contemporary is able to view what has been said as, at once, describing the whole situation yet leaving something out. It is an issue of the contemporary because she does not make issue with what the other had to say, but only notices what he hasn’t said: Thus the issue of the condition of discourse (3) becomes salient. When we likewise reflect upon what is occurring, we cannot but help further notice that not everyone is privy to this view, but some are. The axis where this situation plays, what we can call the matrix that arises in the noticing of this strange situation, we call the point of contention (4), because it appears that though we might speak about it and describe it plainly, using the terms of the day and playing by the rules where by clausal structures relate definite meanings, the meaning is still not conveyed to most. One one axis (perhaps) we have the immature before the mature, and we cannot blame natural process for placing knowledge along whatever path of progress becomes each learner. On the other axis (perhaps) we have a more insidious situation because it has to do with what offends, and where offense might take place (Kierkegaard); we have the situation where the mere fact of being offended reveals a certain argumentative camp. We must situate such types within the continuum of consideration in order to be able to speak clearly about what is occurring, because there is no intension (Hursserl) to offend, but indeed such a discourse will offend certain types. It is the idea of intension where things often get fouled up.

Here then we come upon a term ‘conventional’ to describe that group who apparently cannot understand the simple meanings that are conveyed through the standard communicative medium of discourse. We thus come back around to a reason for why the term ‘common’ becomes so wonderful to indicate those who do not grasp the discussion that has already been had, nor that which is needing amendment, nor how the amendment is indeed amended to the previous and ongoing discussion, that is, over arguing with the points is has brought. Such a group are common because it is such a usual thing to place the varied elements and constituents of humanity in a hierarchical order of Being, that when someone describes this very situation to them in simple terms, terms which merely add to the discussions which have already occurred in total and describing every aspect of the situation at hand (5), the cannot but help themselves to view the description as a very complex thing, having so many aspects pro and con which can be tested by sematic meaning calculators that weigh importance within the hierarchy of meaningful ideas. They (common) simply do not (can not) see the simplicity, but must go through the hierarchy of semantic Being, (Foucault’s “order”), apply the complex functions of meaning to it in order to maybe get a glimpse at the initial simplicity of the whole situation and what has been occurring. This is the most common manner to approach knowledge as it is thereby (in the commons) already been categorized and classified into its semantic niches by the ‘identity machine’ that is the unreflected agent of faith involved with the unified reality of ideological religion (Deleuze) (belief and ‘unchosen thought-Being’)

As we have said, though, this is nothing new, but only an amendment to what has already been said in its completion about the whole of the situation. The amendment is to not figure into the automatic commonality that at one time we could call ‘reality’ and be working not only within but also toward a common human, but universal, purpose. Reality itself has become insufficient to contain the possibility of what exists, but has instead become a ‘unit’ of measure, a mode of classification, whereby knowledge may gain its quality of valid Being, such that what is common thus also defines which knowledge is valid (Lyotard), as well as through a kind of ‘established absence’ (subaltern; Spivak, after a manner) what now cannot be heard. What is ‘in the commons’, in this respect, marks a particular manner of understanding and processing things so that everyone can be included in the hierarchical ‘semantic’ universe and be put to good use with the best possibility for people not to question their situation: For the situation by this time has already included all the questions and supplied all the answers.

~{ this is all taken from my upcoming book ~ L.K. }

Materialism And Nihilism. (or: What is Philosophy?)

We have to be careful when mining resources from traditional discourse. I have proposed here and there that we need to clean up philosophical discussion, and so I’m going to give an example, a brief and not exhaustive nor rigorously thorough, rendition of what I mean when I say we have to clean up philosophy.

Check out this post on materialism.

From a certain perspective, this ( the link) approach is not incorrect. The basis of his argument and indeed what he is saying is not incorrect in itself, which is to say, the content of his argument is not what is at issue here (though you can see my questions upon the content in the comments of his post). We might recall from an earlier post of mine I suggest there are two routes upon objects; the issue with today’s philosophy is really about one’s orientation upon objects. His argument is in good form in the content that is assumed of some sort of traditional heritage, in this case Wiki as a sort of base from which to place his discussion, is used as a sensible base today to make further statements. The Wiki reference to materialism might be a philosophically established definition, but it doesn’t take into large account that even the idea of materialism is debated as to what it’s really talking about. We might even be tempted to ponder how we are even able to come up with a category that is common enough to call materialism.

Let’s take a look at the opening statements of the wiki entry on materialism:

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions.

Materialism is closely related to physicalism, the view that all that exists is ultimately physical.

Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting that this entry does not make sense. At least, it does have a certain sense so far as it may reference other ideas to other wiki entries and generally goes on to discuss various ideas around let materialism may be.

First, the simple question has to be “what is materialism?” Then, there are two routes to go in finding out what ‘materialism’ might mean. One route is to do a Google search (above) or go to a professor of philosophy or critical thoery and ask all these places or look up in these places, “materialism”. And you get the usual type of philosophical answers. This route is so common that it is never even questioned; in fact, I would venture to say that it is usual and of course not to question this route, but more, that the contents of the search is likewise not questioned for what it contains (as a discursive form), but the only valid manner of questioning is upon meaning of the content as if the syntax is automatically correct as a (redundantly) syntactical form that conveys direct and equivocal meaning (that can be reduced to common) .

This may sound as if we are rehashing old postmodern modes, but it is distinctly modern in the sense that the reader cannot dismiss herself from that fact that is taking place at this moment: This moment is modern. Even if we were to attach some theoretical qualifiers to define this moment as post- modern (or post-post modern, as I like to call it), the manner by which we are able to come to the idea that this particular reading is postmodern is a modern manner. The segregating present modes or forms into categorical definitions is a modern form. The theoretical denial of this fact allows us to come to certain sensibilities about what is occurring in this moment, that is, the moment of this reading (now – are you dismissing yourself from your reading! you are reading this right now. Not in the present: Only in this moment, this modern moment) which we will not go into detail here.

The question on the table is “what is materialism”? Where do I look for this answer is the next question, the supporting question. Then, for this route that we are shedding light upon (a light that many are ((color)) blind to), the next question is: What am I trying to accomplish by taking this route? I think this is really the fundamental philosophical question involved in everything that we call philosophy; but as well, it is a question that philosophy in general, I think, largely ignores. So I can say this in the original sense of postmodern, a sense that is not the common sense of our day’s view. It is a different sense that few people care about because its basis of value is different. What is the purpose I am fulfilling or attempting to complete through taking this route? To answer ‘to gain information’ is too vague, and too redundant, but if you are OK with that answer then perhaps it is not philosophy that you are involved with (hence another reason why I say we need clean up philosophy).

The first answer to the first question shows what is involved with philosophy. If my first answer is to seek the answer somewhere else, then we already know about a certain orientation upon things, and we need not look anywhere else: This route is the route which places modernity within a prior structural situation by which the agent of that structure lives out her days. This is found because the first answer is not so often: I already know what materialism is. The answer to the first question is: Materialism is a philosophical category that is defined by or otherwise associated with material. If this question is not asked and answered first, then we have a particular kind of philosophical undertaking that yields a particular kind of philosophical answer. When this is asked and answered first, then the next question becomes: What is material? And the answer again comes automatically to sense: It is the stuff that things are made out of or otherwise constituent of.

Now; lets look at a simple definition of ‘material’ without all the previous hoopla:
{Btw: I have not yet looked it up; the definition I am putting here is after I wrote this promt. So lets see:}

– Material. “The matter from which a thing is or can be made”

So now:
– ‘matter’: “That which occupies space and has mass”

OK:
– ‘space’: (we will forego the strict mathematical definitions that are given first):
“An extent or expanse of a surface or three-dimensional area”

– ‘Mass’: “1. a coherent, typically large body of matter with no definite shape. 3. physics
the quantity of matter that a body contains, as measured by its acceleration under a given force or by the force exerted on it by a gravitational field.”

I don’t know about you, but there is no definition here, in this series, that is anything unexpected forme. I bet I could go on defining the various terms, in a plain an uncomplicated manner, and never encounter a meaning that I didn’t expect (even though with physics I would probably begin to encounter definitions that I don’t immediately understand, in particular, if they began to use mathematical symbols to denote the specific meanings).

So I will ask the same question I asked at the beginning, again: What am I trying to accomplish, not only by asking the question, but by taking the route to find the answer?

*space-supernova-hd-wallpaper1

The problem I am seeing must take into account that there are different levels of learners, and that when doing a blog, I must consider the possibility that people are of various stages in their learning, but are coming across (online; through text) with a strong sense of assertion and propriety, like they have been taught to act like (sometimes, I do come across people who are humble enough to admit to their shortcomings, and that is a breath of fresh air, because then I get to learn in a whole new way also). What I mean is, while online I tend to take everyone on the same level, and deal and treat them as equals, the facts tend to show themselves to the possibility that many people are actually somewhat, either, immature in their thinking, or representative of a certain type of thinker. It is this latter that brings me to consider why we need to clean up philosophical discussion: We are not only talking about different things, we are indeed using different methods to come to various answers. But because no one has delineated or come up with a way to distinguish these types, everyone takes philosophy as a general category in which everyone participates in a sort of common arena of ideas. I am saying that there is no such common arena, or, that the common arena is an assumption that is not, or becoming, no longer a valid assumption. The common arena is not only assumed, but enforced.

It is not merely that people are in various stages of learning or in different departments, different philosophical aspects, such as epistemology or ontology, nor the worn-out continental and analytical traditions. It is that there are two different manners of enacting, appropriating and elucidating philosophical problems as well as solutions, and the assumption that these two arenas can cross-communicate is creating a situation of philosophy that we can rightly call miscommunication, or just plain, no communication. (see Leotard, Badiou and as well as a few others who grapple with this same problem, but who were, frankly, not able to enact or accompany the ‘impossible’ solution. Laruelle may be the only one who actually takes a chance – but there are probably others). The assumption that the discrepancy can be overcome is a categorical error that is enacted due to the traditional modern mode of philosophcial thinking, what we can loosely call Enlightenment thinking – but we might also loosely categorize these thinkers as those who view the failure of this Enlightenment to equate to The failure of civilization. And, in so much as we can also rightly understand modern and postmodern as complicit in the maintenance of a particular program of Enlightenment, it is then not too far off the mark to call the perpetuation of this enterprise post-postmodern, or just get un-theoretically honest, and call it Neo-modernism, a type of ages old effort of declining civilizations to rehash, and reinstate a dying ‘realism’ of yesteryear, a ‘return to the good old days’ of definite real truths (Realism).

But did we ever really stop moving forward ? Re-read (or read) “The Postmodern Condition” again and tell me if Leotard was not situating things in light of techne. Is it any wonder that a certain Realist has attempted a discussion about over- and under-determinations? Despite how short those discussions may extend, various truths about the ability and function of human consciousness must always show itself in time even if through different frequencies and angles. We are caught in a technical motion that has little to do with how we constitute our state of Being: The State is known, that is how, logistically, we are able to interact with technology the way we do. The various issues of consciousness are now inseparable from our technical world (if they were ever understood as separate). Any argument to the contrary is nearly superfluous (if not different).

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This is not bleak; it is not an apocalyptic prophecy. Such gloom and doom are from the “prophets of the old Testament” projecting their dismay on the manner by which they only have to make a (dishonest) living (in the production of “honest” theory). They misunderstand reality; they are caught in a kind of upside-down ‘hope’ (faith), a kind of transcendental yearning for a ontological justification of a religious affect. 

In a way, we could see this effort (here, behind this essay) is the uprooting of the whole discursive paradigm by which we come to not only traditional philosophical conclusions, but indeed the manner that the tradition remains intact as a common method. By this, I mean to alarm the philosophical police, those philosophers that Slavoj Zizek mentions in his book “Event”. The philosophical police are on guard for philosophical statements or proposals that would seek to undo all our social political and ideological structures; basically, the philosophical police are the clerics of our current religious ideology (reality).

We have to ask what exactly these philosophical police might be on guard against, because so many of the philosophical police don’t even know that they’re working for the department; they naturally uphold a traditional sense of rationality and reason without even contemplating or being able to approach the idea that the sense that they have of rationality is itself an actual religious attitude. In short, what the philosophical police do is look for nihilism. They look for philosophical statements that represent or argue for, to them, nothing (good), and then basically assert their religious identity upon that which otherwise appears to them as chaos, anarchy or just plain nonsense (they have no criterion by which to discern real nonsense from logical nonsense: Real nonsense makes no sense to the practical and actual living that occurs in the real world; logical nonsense has no sense and cannot be made to have sense). They are apparently incapable of understanding what nihilism means without the context of their traditional religious dogma. The content of nihilism to them is effective negation of their belief system, or what should be more probably called a real religious scaffolding of meaning, even extending into the philosophical metaphysical justifications. Indeed; we only use the term to indicate where it lacks.

But we already know, if we understand what Jean-Francois Lyotard said in The first chapter of his essay “The Postmodern Condition”, what happens to people that are attempting to develop a discourse of the content of what is traditionally known as nihilism: They are ignored, de facto; they are unheard and they are automatically and axiomatically excluded from what is already understood – through the modern religious dogma (if I may be so bold) – as knowledge. Those who would discuss the content of what has been X’d-out and marked off on the map of real and valid knowledge as “monsters be here” are unheard.

So it is with this small and quick primer that I say as soon as someone said the word ‘materialism’, 150+ years or so ago, to continue along various definitions of how that materialism may be wrong in its definition or this materialism is a more proper way to situate it, the basic problem has been that these subsequent authors, the subsequent religious philosophers who basically are unable to consider their position as a religious position due to the same phenomenon that I’m talking about with materialism, founded nihilism – where such philosophers, who want to argue against and improve upon the definitions of fundament or and establish terms (what are they doing?) cannot bring themselves to understand the nihilistic intention behind the term itself, there do we have (do I have to really say it), the philosophical police. We then need to reflect upon where my capacity as a philosopher is breached. We have to consider that what I understand as true is different from what is real (has differentiated), and we have to consider the fact that I am able to make sense out of it that is communicated in one moment, and not in another.

So; if I am in to remain in good form, as form is form despite what tradition might say, then I can no longer take the term materialism and add or subtract something to it, like Badiou talks about. The addition and subtraction of term identities must occur in an arena that is different from that which posits the ordinary definition.

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Then all the alarms go off with this one. If my readership goes down to zero then I know I have succeeded in offending religious sensibility. (Just kidding! Please keep reading.) Getting back to the question: Is there any part of the definitions above that indicate or inherently and automatically attaches to a referent? An imperative where things in-themselves are automatically and mutually excluded from the thoughts about them? From where does such an exclusion take hold and for what purpose? What is offensive or incorrect in the statement “Only material exists”? Material is that which we deal with. It is that which we deal with always and at all times. It is ultimately and always discursive, and any reference of discourse to something outside or beyond discourse is automatically discursive. The proof is found in the question: If there is something outside of discourse? What is it? Can you tell me without using discourse? Can discourse refer to something that is not discursive? These questions are foundational and pivotal to discerning what philosophy is able to do and what it is allowed (permitted) to do.

I see nothing in this which contradicts any of those extsnsions of definition above. Yet, once we understand this, once we see that there are indeed people who will have issue with this, then we can begin to notice where people, philosophers in general, are being somehow deceptive or at least being or carrying on a certain incognition about the state of affairs; and we have to ask them: For what purpose? I call such people ‘real philosophers’, or philosophers that are concerned with reality. Nothing wrong with that; just there is discussion that is as valid and pertinent to what is occurring that those kind of philosphers will not consider. This is not an accusation; it is a mere fact of what occurs. Am I ‘incorrect’ or am I accused because I have breasts? This is also a foundational and pivotal type of question.

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To wrap this little ditty up, to really nail it home and sew it up tight, we must bring in Lyotard postmodern condition again and point out how so utterly honest and true his statements were: The state will be no longer of concern and eventually will be left behind all together.

Damn. What the hell was I talking about?

Bye.

Exit. 

Postmodernism, as the term Lyotard uses to frame a ‘crisis of narratives’, is the theoretical apology for what is modern. Quite literally, the posisition as well as activity of postmodern thought is “I’m sorry”.  It is the ‘unbelief’ of the current situation: I’m sorry that it is indeed this way, but, while I can’t believe it, it’s the only thing I have by which to frame the situation. 
Read anything that frames itself with reference to modernity in light of apology and you will see an overt sense of awkwardness, of overcompensation, assertiveness of correction, and just plain lip protrusion.

Together, modernity and postmodern thought comprise our current religio-mythological moment. 

If we are ever to get beyond the eternally correlationist postmodern-modern repetition, then we may have to call out and actually face what the postmodern situation actually is. Not the condition as some sort of progressive movement away or out of (in that there is an exit that is said to be ‘no exit’), but in as much as this escape vector is but a regressive ploy which keeps us. We must confront and expose that limiting modern posture.

But maybe we won’t get beyond it. Maybe our plight is to bring about the end that is only noticed in hindsight.