version's Thomas Pynchon masterclass

Linebaugh

Well-known member
Friere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed is a solid work. Reminds me alot of Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks if youve read or heard of that. Really good introduction to theory I think. Takes all that highfalutin language and thinkers and brings them down to earth a little. And not by reduction either, just rather putting it in a more intuitive context.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
"Womanhood is a path and guide away from Them."

McKenna makes a similar point in Food of the Gods. His contention's that the turn toward patriarchal, "dominator" societies is the source of most of humanity's problems.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
"To surmount the situation of oppression, people must first critically recognize its causes, so that through transforming action they can create a new situation, one which makes possible the pursuit of a fuller humanity. But the struggle to be more fully human has already begun in the authentic struggle to transform the situation. Although the situation of oppression is a dehumanized and dehumanizing totality affecting both the oppressors and those whom they oppress, it is the latter who must, from their stifled humanity, wage for both the struggle for a fuller humanity; the oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, is unable to lead this struggle."

This makes sense, but it's a hard argument to make without pissing people off and seems to run counter to the one put forward by Toni Morrison here, unless Friere's describing rather than prescribing?

 

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Linebaugh

Well-known member
Charlie Rose's visible discomfort in this interview is hilarious lol. There are times when he is actually quivering. Originally watched it right after after his interview with Harold Bloom which is a lot of yucking it up and made it all the more comic.

I'm a little confused by what you mean though. I would say what Friere is saying is exactly what Morrison is saying here. If its from reading Friere's quote to mean that the oppressor cant be involved at all, thats really just a semantic trick: the oppressor can be involved, but he would have to step down from the oppressor apparatus to do so and thus couldn't really be called an 'oppressor' any longer. To take it back to the recent Fisher/CR discussions- virtuous capitalism a la Bill Gates and Soros isn't going to solve the problems inherent to capitalism.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
Or do you mean that theres a difference between the 'dehumanity' of the oppressed and the heightened moral position of people described by Morrison?
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
Which I would say is just slightly different ways of the same thing. The oppressed are dehumanized in the corporal sense, but not in the sense that they're entire ontology is built on the subjugation of others like the oppressors. Friere's oppressed have that same elevated morality Morrison was talking about.
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
Charlie Rose's visible discomfort in this interview is hilarious lol. There are times when he is actually quivering. Originally watched it right after after his interview with Harold Bloom which is a lot of yucking it up and made it all the more comic.

I'm a little confused by what you mean though. I would say what Friere is saying is exactly what Morrison is saying here. If its from reading Friere's quote to mean that the oppressor cant be involved at all, thats really just a semantic trick: the oppressor can be involved, but he would have to step down from the oppressor apparatus to do so and thus couldn't really be called an 'oppressor' any longer. To take it back to the recent Fisher/CR discussions- virtuous capitalism a la Bill Gates and Soros isn't going to solve the problems inherent to capitalism.
One of the better pithy quotes I've encountered is attributed to Audre Lorde:

"The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I read it as essentially saying it's on the oppressed to do most of the legwork on behalf of both themselves and the oppressor and thought it ran counter to Morrison's contention that racism in America's a problem with white people that only white people can fix. It also struck me as clashing with the "it's not my job to educate you" attitude taken by some on the left.
 

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It seems to clash with what Baldwin said about the n-word and the concept of the n-word too. That white people invented it because they needed it and they need to work out why it was necessary for them to invent it in the first place. Friere's argument appears to be that Baldwin has to work it out and explain it for them because they're incapable of doing it themselves.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
I read it as essentially saying it's on the oppressed to do most of the legwork on behalf of both themselves and the oppressor and thought it ran counter to Morrison's contention that racism in America's a problem with white people that only white people can fix. It also struck me as clashing with the "it's not my job to educate you" attitude taken by some on the left.
ahhhh. I took Morrison to mean its 'white peoples problem' in Friere's sense. It 'white people's problem' because it is a problem black people dont have. Black people dont have the problem of having to put someone 'on their knees' to stand tall because theyve been on the bottom of the hierarchy. So I didnt take it as a 'youve made youre bed now sleep in it' type jab. Hard to accuse Morrison of not being willing to explain considering her catalog. But I like Morrisons fiction so I inclined to lend her a favorable interpretation here
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
It seems to clash with what Baldwin said about the n-word and the concept of the n-word too. That white people invented it because they needed it and they need to work out why it was necessary for them to invent it in the first place. Friere's argument appears to be that Baldwin has to work it out and explain it for them because they're incapable of doing it themselves.
Frieres book is actually written for people outside oppressed population's who want to help liberate them. Its how he beleive's teachers can come into oppressed populations and work collaboratively with them to foster a liberating culture. Basically how to help without being a 'white savior.' So that goes back to the semantics I mentioned earlier- the oppressor can help, they just would have to shed everything that makes them think like an oppressor, and thus couldn't really said to be an oppressor any longer. To connect back to Morrison, white people cant really help black people if they continue to operate on the logic that 'liberation' means being just another ring up the totem poll.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I didn't think I was looking at Morrison's point unfavourably and I wasn't really accusing her of the "it's not my job to educate you thing" as she says in the clip "it's all in my books" in response to Rose asking her to give white people some "free advice". My point was that it's a hard sell to look at everything various groups have been through then tell them it's their job to sort it out on behalf of the people who've being doing those things to them.
 

version

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That piece on Pynchon's handling of the Herero genocide was an interesting one. That he avoided the pitfalls of writing about something like that and appropriating the experience of the victim by writing from the perspective of the oppressor.
 
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