CATS who CROCHET
on Dear Habermas Site
Volume 38, Issue No. 2, Week of April 24, 2011
Dear Habermas Sites:
No, Of course not. That doesn't fit his imaginary.
But wait. Let's see how he knits when we all collaborate. jeanne
University of Wisconsin, Parkside (UWP)
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Created: April 4, 2011
Latest update: April 26, 2011
E-Mail to Jeanne in L.A.
E-Mail to Susan at UWP.
Damian, the cat, pictured above in the right-hand corner, was creative enough when Stephanie (his owner) took this picture. He stuck out his tongue. I know Stephanie and knew about Damian's page on Facebook. His antics are whacky enough to suit our projects. He even took off, last Halloween, I think it was, in a balloon basket. Now, any cat who will do that, will happily share in our crochet projects. I've promised him his very own toy. And I hope I can keep that stuck out tongue in some of our projects. jeanne
Now let's talk about the imaginary and sticking out our tongues. I never could resist a great teaching moment. (jeanne)
We are complex creatures. All of us, humans and other living creatures, too. Cats are known for conveying complex information by their facial expressions. Certanly Damian is one of those cats. Sticking your tongue out can signify several complex ideas: anger; frustration; "I CANNOT knit!"; "NOT LIKE THAT, Steph! That's not how cats knit!"; and so on. Or it could just mean that he was trying to knock a fly off his nose.
What do you suppose Gide and Damian meant by "Je déteste . . ."? One plausible explanation could be annoyance at our jumping too quickly to the idea that we know how Damian will knit, or that we know that he can't knit, or that there is a right answer to the question of how or whether he can knit, AND that WE KNOW that answer. Doesn't people assuming that they know all about you ever make you mad? It does me. So Gide's "Je déteste . . ." has been my favorite quote for more than 50 years now. I usually teach it as a very gentlemanly or ladylike way to say "*#%@&^#"! (jeanne)
Of course, I can't resist telling you to consider Damian's sticking his tongue out, and my offering him Gide's quote as his own, reminds me of the Repulbicans and Democrats in Washington right now. What about you? Republicans and Democrats are both supposed to be complex, just like us and Damian. Isn't it funny when we stick our tongues out at each other, us humans, that is, rather than trying to find real complex solutions that might suit us all, even Damian?
Wouldn't it be funny if Damian's sticking his tongue out meant "You guys are sillier than cats who crochet!" ?
This section revised on 04/15/2011:
To all of you who are following along with me, as I write this:
Please forgive mistakes. Alert me to what needs to be corrected, or give me a little time and I'll probably get to it. I'm writing in html and working on revising older Dear Habermas teaching files along with the new files on knitting, crochet, painting, making stuff out of paper, wood, and hardware, and making up games on criminology (a UWP specialty).
Albert O. Hirschman, 1991 The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-76867-1 (cloth) and ISBN 0-674-76868-X (paper). An excellent practical discussion of how liberals and conservatives shout at one another without really saying anything. The one-sided argument, par excellence. Mature reading, but worth the effort to understand public discourse as it often takes place, especially in the seats of government. jeanne
The_Imaginary_and_French_Culture "Use for the imaginary of 'the adjective as a noun can...be traced to the works of the novelist Andre Gide...[and] was probably given greater currency by [Sartre's] L'Imaginaire '. . .. In Lacan's hands, the Imaginary came close to being an omnivorously colonising interpretive machine: thus Rene Girard regretted that 'To the Lacanian, whatever I call mimetic must correspond to..."capture par l'imaginaire". . ..
With the post-Lacanian fissiparous tendencies of his "schools", the term can perhaps return to the general culture, as when the philosopher Deleuze defines the imaginary "by games of mirroring, of duplication, of reversed identification and projection, always in the mode of the double."" . . ."^ Deleuze (1972, 172)"
When I send you to Wikipedia at this stage of site development, I mean for you to recognize Wikipedia as a developing resource. This Wikipedia page gives you a good sense of how "the imaginary" seems to me to be used by postmodern therapists, who work with Lacan. I expect this resource to be used by self-motivated adults who will explore the topic further or e-mail me to ask for more extensive sources. No intention to endorse as "correct" the interpretation given.
I understand the imaginary in this noun form to suggest the importance of the visual to our communication of meaning. It is a part of my understanding of the many-faceted authorship of concepts and understandings that we assume originate with any visual object, signified or not. jeanne