I started this blog with one quote in mind: Il n’ya pas de hors-texte. That is by the one and only Jacques Derrida. Loosely and ambiguously (often even erroneously) translated as “There is nothing outside the text,” Derrida’s words echo an inclusion. Nearly a year ago, when I set out to create a space where anyone could speak, and speak freely–both economically (you’ll never find any request for finances or exploitation, on my part, of voice here) and literally (granted the legality of such a thing in this country), I did so to incorporate my own interpretation of this premise.
I sit here today in front of the same computer, in a mind-set not too much different. Surprising, yes I know. Many things I can say, and many more things I can argue.
However, I want to do something else here; I am not even sure what that is.
Several milestones have reached me, my crossing of them tantamount toward what I want in life. I have produced some quality work on this blog. I have watched my son grow. I began teaching on my own. And, I have made a conscious act to love someone worthy of my love and devotion. Some friendships I have lost, quite a few others have strengthened beyond belief–I cannot thank everyone who has stayed alongside me through this last year enough.
What has really happened with this blog was that I wrote through my finding a way to become whole.
I know how cliche that sounds, how inconceivably trite. It isn’t, though, I assure you. And what the possibility of this blog comes down to is the inside. Derrida has probably taught me more than anyone else. I have been a devout student of his since I took my first class in literary theory. It was this phrase that pulled me. It is this phrase that echoes through my consciousness in strange ways always. He often comes back to me when I have forgotten him, and dismissed the given that I actually live in his collar.
That dismissal usually doesn’t last long, because something happens. Someone, somewhere, speaks him into me again: here. My friend Salwa and I have often shared discourse on twitter regarding the Other, and the ontological necessity of seeing ourself in ourselves. This tweet here reminded me just this morning that there is no outside–we are inside, all of us.
Yet I had read something else, something written by another friend, something told in the royal ‘We’. It caused me to struggle with my reading; I questioned the resonance of inclusion in a text in which I did not want to associate. This resistance, I can see, is a violation of self because there is not outside. That means I need to question what inclusion means, and how a not-so-simple thing as a pronoun can shape our identity as readers, authors, and beings.
Pronoun choice is tricky, and wholly rhetorical. Had I written this in academic third-person, my blog would feel completely different. Most of the time, I choose first-person both singular and collective. I like to think I know how to speak the ‘we’ for us.
But I need to be an “I” to do that.
Now I am going to shift this conversation without solving this issue of pronominal significance. Please do comment or question along with me if you desire or have ideas. I could use them, trust you me.
Something majorly significant has just happened: The @YourAnonNews account has been suspended, most likely due to their #OpWestboro work. I want to comment, but I am not sure I have words. I will try.
This account represents so much to me in relation to this blog. I began studying Anonymous over a year ago now, when I was looking at Occupy Wall Street for my scholarship last Fall. The YAN account became a quintessential place where I could see how the conversation and discourse of Anonymous’s social activism moves. To think that they have been silenced maybe forever because of their work shows us what it means to be both inside and outside.
The silencing of any voice is an attempt to place that voice outside of our discourses. It is exclusion and ostracization. Yet if we are to understand Derrida’s phrase, there is no outside. Voices will be heard no matter, and speech is even more apparent in silence. I cannot comment in any more depth than this right now; my feelings own much too many thoughts for language.
I leave this post hanging, then. My promise to you all is that I will gladly hear and share conversation on any of this–if you’d be so kind to pick up where I have left off. You all must surely know this will be addressed in length and detail within the Thesis.