The Bill Brown Reader: An Opinion on Rodman . . .
LET US LEAVE ASIDE THE QUESTION of the becoming-human of capital -- it has been adequately treated in our discussions of the situationists' critique of "the society of the spectacle" -- and ask
what, precisely, is domestication? In a 1980 text entitled "Echoes of the Past," Camatte explains that "the scientific presuppositions established in the neolithic with the spread of animal husbandry went hand in hand with the development toward [human] domestication [...] And it shows up again in this vital contradiction: men always want to distinguish themselves from beasts [of burden], yet they constantly treat each other like animals." Forget about the way veal is produced:
we are the veal.
"THE RESULT OF . . . TECHNOLOGICAL PROCESS has been that, not only animals, but also humans themselves have been domesticated and adapted to the needs of industrial society," says Chris Korda, founder of the Church of Euthanasia and member of , no doubt unaware of Jacques Camatte's "bold" work in this area. When it comes to watching the spectacle of "laboratory" animals being used in so-called scientific research, Korda says, "we can see that's cruel, we can see that those animals are suffering, it's essentially Ôinhumane.' What a curious use of the word, because what we are not able to see is that our lives have been equally affected, and that humans have also suffered at the hands of industrial society."
DOMESTICATED HUMANS -- people who have been successfully conditioned by the inhumane capitalist mode of production to "have a tendency to see themselves as a herd that they have to make prosper and grow" -- have been dispossessed of the faculties of "action, language, rhythm, and imagination," Camatte says. In
the society of the spectacle -- Camatte's metaphor is "the community of capital" -- "there are no longer classes, only generalized slavery, accompanied by massification and homogenization of human beings and products." There is now only one element relating the "reduced" or domesticated human being to the external world:
SEXUALITY, "which," Camatte awkwardly explains, "fills the void of the senses." Sexuality seems to make Jacques Camatte uncomfortable. For him, "pansexuality, or more exactly the pansexualization of being that Freud interpreted as an invariant characteristic of human beings," is in reality "the result of [human beings'] mutilation" at the hands of capital.
ONE LOOK AT DENNIS RODMAN TELLS US that Freud was
RIGHT and Camatte is
WRONG. The fuel for Rodman's intense and continuously-growing popularity clearly comes from the flamboyantly liberated and polymorphous perverse sexuality that he has -- in the very process of healing his "mutilation" -- discovered in himself.
As Rodman says in his book, he'd be just another nigger without basketball, but he'd be just another black basketball player without sexuality. It should come as absolutely no surprise that Dennis -- like his ex-lover Madonna, who is perhaps the only American performance artist who is at his level of skill -- is pansexual. Dennis Rodman -- easily one of the strongest, most physically aggressive and intimidating players in the history of the NBA -- sleeps with women, fantasizes about men, dresses in drag, and publicly supports gays and lesbians. De-domestication, which is, in Dennis's words, doing things that "make me feel like a total person and not just a one-dimensional man," is a profoundly sexual experience. De-domestication is allowing "your body to go and explore anything it wants."
It is the revolution of bodily life, bro.
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