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Subliminal - Page 14

racism that was as likely to execute people who had lived with Indians as it was to "rehabilitate" them.8 

It is as if someone stood before that tree and deliberately misunderstood its message, didn't want to know or admit where the colony had gone. We have, in other words, two thin myths: the racist one and the romantic-racialist one, wherein going native and mixing races is by itself a kind of Rousseauian good. Now it will be argued that the revisonary account is not only truer but better, since it liberates a suppressed fact and casts the native "other" in a more positive light. But perhaps we should not abandon the old textbook version too quickly. If it functions, at one level, merely as further proof, as if we needed one, of the racist suppression of the facts of American history, it remains, in another way, quite seductive: it might once have been possible to disappear from the screens of history, to leave only an indecipherable trace, only the mark of a secret that points toward an invisibility that we should not be too quick to correct. But once again critical intelligence has stupidly closed off an exit.


[11] The stupid underground can be mapped onto a familiar and perhaps quite objectionable psychotopography: it is a zone of the repressed of culture and thus, according to this model, both a pathological site giving rise to all sorts of pathogenic surface effects, and a therapeutic matrix, a place where impacted energies may be guided toward a proper sublimation. The stupid underground presents itself as both a symptom of the disease of capital and an indication of the direction of its cure. But in the stupid underground, as in so many other sites, the direction of the cure often leads back into the disease; or the cure itself turns out to be nothing more than a symptom. For instance, in the terms of one standard hypothesis, the stupid underground reproduces the pathology of Other, of the Symbolic order, in the very attempt to avoid it, like the alcoholic's prodigal son who is so repelled by his father's disease that he can only end by becoming an alcoholic himself; at the same time, it is a kind of paranoid rechanneling of obsessions and defenses, a way to reconceive the social world by means of, indeed as a psychosis. Perhaps merely the critical equivalent of lining your hat with aluminum foil to protect yourself

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It is on along the sleepy Anacostia River in the District of Columbia, USA.