Sexual orientation is not then simply about the direction one takes towards an object of desire, as if this direction does not affect other things that we do. Sexual orientation involves bodies that leak into worlds; it involves a way of orienting the body towards and away from others, which affects how one can enter different kinds of social spaces (which presumes certain bodies, certain directions, certain ways of loving and living), even if it does not lead bodies to the same places. To make a simple but important point: orientations affect what it is that bodies can do. Hence, the failure to orient oneself “towards” the ideal sexual object affects how we live in the world, an affect that is readable as the failure to reproduce, and as a threat to the social ordering of life itself.
Capitalism was founded on plantation slavery. We have now come full circle to a form of slavery which goes on at the fringes of American public life: penal slavery. People of color in jails now man the correctional industries and produce the few products that bear the bittersweet label, ‘Made in America.’ ‘Made in Prison’ would be more appropriate.
Vijay Prashad, Keeping Up With The Dow Jones: Debt, Prison, Workfare (2003)
The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their ‘vital interests’ are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a [person] to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the ‘sanctity’ of human life, or the ‘conscience’ of the civilized world.
Why are we talking about Fanon at all? In the first place, Fanon is one of those thinkers that people love to hate, and this is because, in a way, he’s a bit of an embarrassment. What kind of an embarrassment is he? We attend meetings about critical theory, and we hear a lot of people talking about politics and activism and so forth, but Fanon was a person who went out there and risked his life and stood up for things because he had a profound belief in the value of human beings. We live in very weird times, in the wake—at least I hope it is the wake—of postmodernism and post-structuralism, in which people valorize how people are able to phrase words as the exemplification of political life.
Kati, my drawing on wall, and magical light in my room and yard