Professor Lee Quinby – Spring 2013

One more thing.

One more thing.

I’m writing two blog posts to sort of make up for being late and also I feel this is important. Also it is somewhat related to my other post.


Another thing Foucault mentions about bio-power is that it has led to consumerism. In this way we can view sexuality as something that has supreme powers over our own life. I was reading this wonderful essay which I think everyone should read:

It’s about our culture of objectification and is written by this incredibly astute author/porn star Conner Habib. One thing he says is “We live in a world that is saturated in sexual suggestion, but not sex itself.” I like this because it encapsulates the whole history of sexual discourse in History of Sexuality, which is full of suggestion, and even Foucault acknowledges at the end of the volume that he has not focused on “sex” as the action itself. This essay also refers to consumerism as de-humanizing because we are constantly being aroused to a product and not another human being. Sex itself is a product and a way to make money, a form of power. In our objectifying and analyzing sexuality we have taken a thing that is in itself filled with such spiritual potential and the cause of so much emotion and harnessed it to rope in a public that is pre-occupied with consuming and remaining satisfied. Our “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” has become instead an endless chase for the next electronic product or a delicious cup of coffee and this extremely superficial need is powered by the bait that this new car may get you girls and you will live a happy and fulfilled life. In other words, we are vegetables.

2 Responses to “One more thing.”

  1. Sam Barnes Says:

    This is a fascinating piece. Thanks for sharing, Alannah!
    Check out the event I posted that will be happening tomorrow night– the compiler of the book this essay is culled from, Daniel Pinchbeck, will be one of the presenters, along with many other gorgeous geniuses offering their piece of this (unsolvable) puzzle.
    Though he makes an interesting argument, I think Habib is guilty of setting up a number of straw men as he works to strengthen his case for embodiment:
    As a practitioner and instructor of Kundalini yoga, I can confidently state that the aim of the practice is not a subjugation of the body to spirit, as Habib suggests, but a union of the two. Kundalini is the vital force that compels growth– it is present in the branching of a tree as much as it is in the cycling of a tornado or the development of the human spine. We do not transcend the body; we awaken its potential.
    The same holds for Buddhism– in my studies of religion (in and outside of the classroom)– Habib’s claim that certain (unspecified) schools hold the body to be “a weight of the ego to be overcome” is dubious. Nirbikalpa samadhi, the much-ballyhooed Nirvana, is not, according to the teachings of the Buddha, the transcendent dissolution that body or the ‘I’: it is a recognition of that body and self as inseparable from all things. This entails a deep embodiment, and the well-documented corporeal examples of the results of such practice are hard to ignore: mountain monks who can raise their blood temperature at will, martial artists who can create inexplicable power through calling upon their accumulated ch’i, and, if you choose to engage it, countless reports of master practitioners levitating, creating action-at-a-distance, etc.
    With all that said Habib’s strident pro-porn position was really interesting. I came to rather different conclusions than you–but this is something that we can save for next class.

  2. Alannah Fehrenbach Says:

    I like how you bring up Eastern philosophy and practices within all of this. It seems to me as though the Eastern and Western worlds of sexuality are far apart. I would actually say that Eastern schools of thought take a much more objective view of the whole thing. The institution of marriage for instance, in Tibetan culture, is considered quite differently and not taken as seriously as it is in the West. An awareness of impermanence naturally dispels the illusion of marriage as a permanent institution. On a personal level I view the body as a vehicle for the mind that can be disciplined to use as a channel for transcendence (somewhat different from the idea of discipline that is spoken of in Foucault). I’m not sure whether I fully agree with everything Conner Habib says either but he does bring up some pertinent points about our culture. I also like his perspective. Maybe if we have time next class we can flesh this out further, if not there is always this blog 🙂
    Thanks for the comment!

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