"event" v. historical practice (was 'the concept of "event" and Bush')


It's certainly very difficult to integrate Bush's inarticulateness,
Clinton's sex scandal, Bush Sr.'s vomit, Reagan's age, etc. into a
dialectical historical narrative. Perhaps our reactions to these moments
offers insight into the operations of our society? But what ISN'T an event?
What is random and unexpected, and what fits neatly into notions of
continuous non-discursive practice (or discursive practice, for that

In my discussion with Rorty, he seemed to collapse this distinction, by
saying that it is more useful to, when analyzing the Vietnam War, to
critique Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon than it is to
analyze realism, liberalism, humanism, or what have you. Don't we, on the
one hand, risk slipping into a kind of totalizing Hegelianism when we (and I
need help here with both my ideas and my terminology) discuss a historical
practice as an integral part of its era's historical zeitgeist, while on the
other hand risk slipping into absurdity when we discuss all historical
practices as "events"? Where shall we draw the line, and what criteria shall
we employ in drawing this line?

Perhaps I'm asking the wrong questions - I seem to be thinking the concept
of "event" in terms of intrinsic v. extrinsic qualities (relative to an
inner reality - a zeitgeist) - but how else can we substantiate the
distinction between the "event" and the "historical practice" - perhaps in
terms of a distinction between the human and the nonhuman? But then what of



"The living body is a loving body, and the loving
body is a speaking body. Without love we are nothing
but walking corpses. Love is essential to the living
body, and it is essential in bringing the living
body to life in language." ~Kelly Oliver

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