DOWNLOAD! Download, download. Don’t assume something you love will be on the web tomorrow. Archiving is the new folk art.
—Kenneth Goldsmith (via notational)
Ideals can be binding, even when we feel we have failed them; indeed, the emotions that register this failure might confirm the ideals in the first place. Ideals are read as absent or present, or as having been failed or achieved, in the emotions of shame and pride. Such readings do not only respond to how we live up to ideals, they also shape the ideals in the first place. The content of the ideal (for example, the nation as being white, or heterosexual, or even being tolerant, caring, and so on) is an effect of the process of idealisation. In other words, it is not that there is an idea, which some more than others can approximate or ‘measure up to.’ The national ideal is shaped by taking some bodies as its form and not others. The pride of some subjects is in a way tautological: they feel pride at approximating an ideal that has already taken their shape.
History is not beginning again, because it never really ended. Rather, the idea of a homogenous system built on idealism has become unsustainable and has given way to the many identitarian battles that it has had to suppress in order to keep itself going. Only the end of history is ending.
(Somebody’s finally gotten around to all those instapaper’ed e-flux articles today)