Practicing Etiquette, Issue I.V
Robert Hayes Kee,
Department of Polite Aesthetic Praxis

This month’s installment was presented at the initial convocation of this magazine in Baltimore, Maryland in June 2014. This engagement was a unique delight for which I must again thank the host of the event, Tribus Domum, and the editors of this magazine. We anticipation annual recurrence for these convocations, and I recommend including them in your future plans. Your transition from reader to listener is a welcome one.

Robert Hayes Kee
July 2014

Thank you all for attending this convocation, and thank you to those responsible for hosting it, especially Mr. Zack Kouns for permitting me to be audible.

This magazine is dedicated to creating powerful esthetic structures in the face of the vast absurdity of human life and the complete collapse of the epistemological strongholds of canonical western culture. We dedicate ourselves to hurrying the collapse of its political and social framework and to constructing an amorphous, absurdist praxis on the fresh grave of reason.

I, to this end, advise readers (and today listeners) on matters of etiquette. To some, etiquette may seem like a intrication of supervacaneous strictures from a prolapsed period, but a creative, practicing etiquette allows a non-dogmatic method of grounding social relations in the creation of sympathetic and powerful esthetic praxes with which we seek to liberally spread delight and majesty across to those in our society.

Unfortunately, not all humans can be accommodated in polite society, and we must find a manner with which to respond to them. Retrograde esthetic praxes curtail our own, and a polite way of dealing with the vexatious is necessary. To this end, I will answer a few readers’ inquiries and then, time permitting, answer a few questions from you here today.

I frequent the media repository of my local library. There, I engage with a recorded cylinder of a roughly anti-oedipal age. Another patron of the library has been abusing this cylinder. It becomes progressively less usable with each visit. This human has also taken to marking the cover of this cylinder in undesirable ways. What can be done to redress this improper assumption of meum by my interlocutor?

You are not incorrect, dear reader, that your passive interlocutor does not divine correctly between meum, tuum or nobis in this situation. The library stands as an unequalled resiance of nobis amidst the meum vel tuum of capitalism, and it should defended on these grounds. The advocate of life speaks ill of those without will to defend themselves, those dog-like, all-suffering and all-temperate. We must avoid servility if we are to develop our praxis.

We are fortunate that digital communications have largely obviated the need for most patrons to use rest of the library. Only the high winds amongst us still turn pages. It is unfortunate that your interlocutor has not, like most members of the lumpin proletariat, contented themselves with a digital facsimile of this work.

If one cannot avail one’s interlocutor of this option, then I advise a trap-in-waiting. Since the object to defend is a wax cylinder, why not make it, self-same, a weapon? Sharpen its edge by knifepoint or rasp. It is quite likely that, once your unfortunate interlocutor has severed several and sundry veins, arteries and nerves, that they will abandon their mission to further defile this esthetic work you value so highly.

I have, for some time, sought the inspiration for my creative work in a daily act of observation. My favorite object of contemplation resided in my neighbor’s yard. They have recently obstructed access to it. What can I do within the bounds of etiquette to regain this access?

You disappoint me greatly, reader. Inspiration is one of the most vacuous concepts in esthetics. It is indicative of an esthetic program that is rooted much too deeply in the nineteenth century. Its unreflexive, illogical grounding of reason cannot be tolerated or overlooked.

I find it highly dubious that this program has offered fertile ground for your esthetic praxis. To seek inspiration is to seek a starting point for your work outside of the productive grounds of your life’s praxis. To work with an external source in this subordinate way does not humble you, but places you in a divine continuum. As an esthetic practitioner, you have begun to work against of reactive forces and develop an active praxis. Why would you take a single step in this positive direction to merely settle down to a codependent life of reacting to this force of ‘inspiration?’

Aim higher, reader. You have made a clumsy attempt to collapse the mid-century divide of art and life. This toddler’s step is not without its value, but do not encamp there. Contemporary esthetic praxis should make you aware that breeching this divide is done. Realize your already-present position amidst the rhizome. Do not create a hierarchy in this field. Your interlocutor has done you an inadvertent favor. Thank them with an early offering of your restructured esthetic praxis.

I have been rebuffed for proposing a scheme to defile the grave of a deceased interlocutor, of whom I have the highest disdain. I intend, not to disrupt this body, but to abraise, pedially, the grass which grows in unjust serenity upon this former human. Is it impolite to conduct this action?

Death has not ended the resonance of many dissonant notes. We cannot harmonize with these strains of Elgar. We are under no obligation to observe a peace for the dead. To never speak ill of the dead is to never practice history, and we must ground ourselves in a historical praxis. To rescue the work of the great thinker is to practice historical, and not dialectical, materialism. All ground is a grave to some creature. We cannot walk trans ova our entire lives.

There is great joy in disobeying simple imperatives. The inscription upon which you will have conspectuity will order you to observe the very peace you wish to disrupt. The most sympathetic malice of exponents of a world behind is the will to fiery retribution. The desire for a Hammarabian reaction speaks to all of us. Nonetheless, symmetry in suffering cannot be expected.

Foregrounding the body is a necessity of any strong praxis. To see the body as a vessel is hollow oneself and make room for a tankard of ressentiment. For this reason, it is understandable to desire corporal penance from this newly incorporeal foe. Yet, even this very statement shows the failure of this mission. One must cross this difference in kind to act presently. There is never time to count angels in the face of death.

Retribution in corpori is the regime of kings. Do not make oneself a king, one has much more important work. Death has broken the stranglehold between you and this former human. Do not try to revive it by other means. This peturbation has made you stronger, build upon it. Much like laughter to fascism, unconcern to bile is the strongest deflationary. Use this grave as one post of a hammock and mock your interlocutor’s permanent sleep with your own momentary slumber. The most suitable mockery in the face of a large death is a small death of one’s own.

An interlocutor continues to bemoan others’ shortcomings to me. I am in no position to redress these grievances. I tire of this prattle, but do not wish to act incorrectly. How does one proceed?

Complaint is one of the most tiresome modes of address, and petty vituperation is worse still. It drains one’s jouissance in a near-unparalleled way. While it requires great care to wield Oscam’s razor, it can be of occasional benefit. To do so professionally makes one a utilitarian, and this is a shameful thing to be. To caste all flows in terms of use-value costs one all but the most discreet charm. If one is demanded to correctively entrammel one’s interlocutors, this path is not all viable. I assume you have already made these calculations, dear reader.

If one agrees with faults found by the complainant, then one should divert this energy away from one toward its target. If one disagrees with the assessment of the complainant, then follow this proscription with their interlocutor.

Social relations in the specific mirror those of the general regularly in capitalist society, and this situation, fortunately, does not except. Here, one must sire the vanguard of a monophyletic revolution.

Engender unprecedented distrust in your interlocutor. A paranoic must be created to counter the desire producing complaint in this human. Speak of horrific derogation by the hands of the complainant‘s offensive interlocutor. Seek a Marxian intolerability.

For this, a surplus value of mistrust is necessary. A disjunction in the production of desire responsible for your complaint’s vituperation can only happen when the body begins to both ground and record these actions. Since ‘society constructs its own delirium by recording the process of production,’ create a delirium so strong in the complainant that they act out against their irritant directly and irrationally. Capitalist rationality will prevent their irrational action until a paranoic intolerability compels them to act. You must be the Iago to your complaining interlocutor’s Othello. Expect violence.

An interlocutor complains frequently that my esthetic praxis is too theoretical and that a concrete focus is required to create powerful work. How should I respond to this criticism?

Your interlocutor seems to make a dangerous supposition towards an idealist union of theory and praxis. The assumption that these are autonomous activities or regions of production is highly erroneous. I, of course, do not suggest that these forces are complementary and that one must account for the practicalities of each as if they were acrimonious siblings.

Avoid faith in the value of ”concreteness,” dear readers. It is a common complaint in the history of liberatory praxis that capitalism overwrites the ‘concreteness of experience’ to produce an abstract mechanism of social control. Broadly, this view is not incorrect. It is of course required of any oppressive structure that an abstract thought structure be used to create values and coerce compliance from subjugated humans. The mistake of many esthetic practitioners is to equate this abstractness with theory. Do not allow this simple equivalence. It will limit you greatly.

The desire the unity of theory and praxis implies a belief that capitalism and language are a totalized unity, and that for one to challenge capitalism one must also make oneself a totalized unity. This is patently false on both accounts. There cannot be a social structure without disruption; language and society have not ‘merged into one delusion-producing monolith.’ This is outside the scope of power.

Nor should one value the unity implied by a centered ego. This can only end by valuing the autonomous Renaissance man. The autonomous Renaissance man has rarely found a more complete instantiation than the old Commandant of the Penal Colony.

He was ‘soldier, judge, engineer, chemist, and draftsman,’ and yet his menagerie of skills and uniqueness of vision came together only to create an implement of the most unique horror, to which he could find but one disciple willing to continue his odious brand of esthetic praxis. From the actions of his disciple, the officer, we learn the necessity of an engaged and sympathetic socius if an absurd or monstrous practice is to be maintained. The singular vision of the machine required parts of leather, steel, brass, and cotton to function. Each had to be sourced and machined separately. The political and libidinal economy needed for this upkeep cannot be maintained by one hand alone. Do not feel pressured to do so yourself.

I was recently interred for littering while performing a creative action. I realize that as a vacuous and floundering institution, the law cannot be trusted as an arbiter of correctness in action, but is it impolite to leave detritus outside one’s home or a designated receptacle?

You begin to outline the problem, reader. Living humans can only but create detritus. It is our most common activity; breathing, drinking and eating are processes of alchemical production. We, here, clearly define excretion as our most constant task. To separate ourselves from these processes is an act of conditioned individuation well on its way to the Oedipal triangle.

Defecation is the original creative act. It is our bodies’ first substantive externality. Scolds of all stripes disvaluate creativity as ‘child-like,’ but we know, readers, that the third transformation is to become a child. Once we have torn asunder as lions, we must rebuild, and there is no better place to begin our new erections than on the ground fertilized by our own feculence.