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Political Emotions
February 7, 2008 12:32 PM   Subscribe

The Feel Tank. "We are a feel tank, but this does not mean that we do not think. We are governed by outrage that the desires and demands for a less bad life and a better good life continue to go unrecognized."
posted by papakwanz (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
It reads a bit like Dr. Bronner's soap bottles.
posted by aladfar at 12:39 PM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


They might be on to something. I have long felt that the characteristics that make a good family or neighborhood or city or country are difficult to measure. Yet governments generally make decisions on the basis of things that are easy to measure--population and crime statistics, costs, etc. We need more art in government. But then I like Dr. Bronner's soap.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:47 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The red text "RELAX" in the middle of that flashy, dense feelkit is a fucking joke.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:49 PM on February 7, 2008


DON'T PANIC
posted by nasreddin at 12:52 PM on February 7, 2008


"In opposing the facile pitting of thinking against feeling, we advocate the eloquence of a surrealist and imaginative politics that embraces ambivalence, the paradoxical, the intricate, the partial, the ridiculous, and the raw."

I think that politics in the U.S. are pretty goddamn surreal and ridiculous as it is right now, thank you very much.
posted by googly at 1:06 PM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


We're too self involved to actually do something so we're going to form a ridiculous philosophical collective that won't clash with our lack of a clear vision.

Every time I see "manifesto" my brain sees "wanker".
posted by doctor_negative at 1:21 PM on February 7, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know who else had a manifesto...?

That's right. Jerry Maguire did, that's who.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:44 PM on February 7, 2008


OK !
posted by chimaera at 1:54 PM on February 7, 2008


Jerry Maguire is Hitler?
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:58 PM on February 7, 2008


i have my towel!
posted by CitizenD at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2008


I was ambivalent until I read that they oppose "the facile pitting of thinking against feeling". Because, you know, all those people who make well-reasoned arguments against fear and greed based politics are just doing something so facile. They're taking the easy way out, really.
posted by ssg at 2:21 PM on February 7, 2008


Jerry Maguire is Hitler?

I thought he was the Una-Bomber?
posted by IronLizard at 3:06 PM on February 7, 2008


until I read that they oppose "the facile pitting of thinking against feeling". Because, you know, all those people who make well-reasoned arguments against fear and greed based politics are just doing something so facile.

I probably shouldn't bother, but there's more than one way to parse that. a) they oppose all pitting of thinking against feeling and characterize it all as being facile b) they have no problem with intricate, nuanced pitting of thinking against feeling and only oppose instances of pitting thinking versus feeling which they consider to be facile

However, I am pretty strongly opposed to their silly use of flash to display nothing but text & images. I mean if you're going to use flash, at least give me some self-indulgent wiz-bang-pow animation or something.
posted by juv3nal at 3:53 PM on February 7, 2008


Pathogeographies

This word makes me unnecessarily upset.
posted by regicide is good for you at 4:10 PM on February 7, 2008


juv3nal: If they had written "opposing facile pitting", I might agree with you, but "opposing the facile pitting" would seem to indicate that there is either a singular pitting that they are opposing or that they are opposed to all pittings.
posted by ssg at 4:17 PM on February 7, 2008


UGH!

Our Manifesto: We are a feel tank, but this does not mean that we do not think. We are governed by
outrage that the desires and demands for a less bad life and a better good life continue to
go unrecognized. We desire and demand to think beyond what’s deemed possible. We want
to interfere with the reproduction of economic, racial, and sexual privilege – to practice a
commitment to an impractical sense of justice.


I am undercurrented by the desire that this interface requires a less confusedly wrong and more truly correctful right stance. I demand to think that this kind of stupid bullshit is written in the obtuse way chosen because of the reproduction of stupid ideological word-clusters that have come to mean absolutely nothing like "pedagogy," "outrage," "epistemology," "privilege," et al ad nauseum.

Or:

Good fucking god, they pretentiously contradict themselves so many times in that first paragraph alone that I'm having trouble not dribbling on my shoe.
posted by koeselitz at 4:18 PM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Of the things we need less of in politics and government, 'thinking' is probably not a good example.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:33 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


koeselitz: Can you give some examples of their contradictions?
posted by papakwanz at 5:27 PM on February 7, 2008


Far be it for me to shit on creative expression, but to me this just "feels" like a dozen Gary Buseys on ecstasy and getting all political.
posted by edverb at 6:32 PM on February 7, 2008



juv3nal: If they had written "opposing facile pitting", I might agree with you, but "opposing the facile pitting" would seem to indicate that there is either a singular pitting that they are opposing or that they are opposed to all pittings.

I still think it's a grey area. Pitting is an odd word, but suppose a construction like this: We oppose the unnecessary snarking, but sometimes an astroturfer's just asking for it.
posted by juv3nal at 9:02 PM on February 7, 2008


I came over here from the thread on Black Ops patches, and after viewing the site, all I can think of is a certain quote from Spaceballs:

"So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:42 PM on February 7, 2008


juv3nal: I guess I have to accept that some people would read that phrase the way you suggest. That said, I don't think your example is analogous to the sentence in question. Your "the" functions differently because the reader knows which snarking is being opposed: the snarking related to the astroturfing. In "the facile pitting", the "the" doesn't have any referent outside the phrase.
posted by ssg at 12:39 AM on February 8, 2008


Christ, what a bunch of assholes
posted by taliaferro at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2008


papakwanz: koeselitz: Can you give some examples of their contradictions?

Here's a list.

"We are governed by outrage..."
"We... demand to think..."
the biggest contradiction: "...an impractical sense of justice."
"emotional epistemology"
"visceral intelligence"


Outrage doesn't govern. The word is antithetical to government. You can't demand to think-- thinking just happens. Justice isn't impractical; justice is practicality itself. Emotional epistemology and visceral intelligence don't make any sense. There's nothing evil or verboten about thinking, or about making a distinction between thoughts and feelings, and 'think tanks' aren't evil because they're places where people think, they're evil because they're places where people don't think.

That's all I meant. I have a hard time seeing this as anything but pretentious tripe.
posted by koeselitz at 2:20 PM on February 8, 2008


Justice isn't impractical; justice is practicality itself.

I'm not really sure I get what you mean there. Justice and practicality don't seem to me to have any necessary connection whatsoever. It is very practical (from a certain perspective) to lock up lots of African-American males. It is not just.

Emotional epistemology & visceral intelligence seem to me like $5 phrases for "thinking with your gut," as Colbert might say.

"governed by outrage" seems more like a paradox than a contradiction.

Anyway, I guess I'm not totally surprised by people's reactions to this, although I think they are a bit harsh. I don't read them as saying "thinking is evil/emotions are good," but rather that what gets labeled as "rational thought" generally means "the desires of those in power," and that one method (not the only one) of fighting against that is to assert the validity of "emotions," or what gets labeled as "irrational" -- the emotions of those not in power, emotions that are often marginalized because of their supposed incoherence with the aforementioned rational thought actually give access to an important source of knowledge that should be explored. That's my take on their general motivation, at least.
posted by papakwanz at 7:58 PM on February 8, 2008


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