Friday, November 12, 2010

I get by with a little help from my nonhuman friends.

That book I talked about a bit ago, "Pandora's Hope," got me thinking about nonhumans, formerly known as objects.

Definition of nonhumans: "This concept has meaning only in the difference between the pair 'human-nonhuman' and the subject'object dichotomy. Associations of humans and nonhumans refer to a different political regime from the war forced upon us by the distinction between subject and object. a nonhuman is thus the peacetime version of the object: what the object would look like if it were not engaged in the war to shortcut due to political process. The pair human-nonhuman is not a way to 'overcome' the subject-object distinction but a way to bypass it entirely."

From what I understand up to this point, Latour attempts bridge the divide that has artificially created, separating "us" and "them". So everyone is everything and we are all part of each other. This is a bit easier for Mormons to understand.

Moses 6:63 "And behold, all things have their alikeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me."

In class, we talked about how "all things" means ALL things. So that pen you are holding to take notes in class, the bagel with pear jam you had for breakfast, slush on the side of the road? Yep. They are testimonies of divinity. Latour may not have had such spiritual inclinations as he wrote, but I think he would give an appreciative nod to Mormon conception of human-nonhuman.

Anyway, I am human; and I love nonhumans; specifically these things here.

1. My car

 OK. Putting up a picture of a car makes me feel like a bad word. Like I am a 19 year old boy or something. This isn't my actual car, but it looks a lot like this. Mine has tinted windows. It makes me feel fancy. My car's name is Leon because: 1) the first CD I listened to whilst driving was a "Kings of Leon" 2) the Real Salt Lake Mascot is named "Leo" C) I have an appreciation for Leonardo DiCaprio D) Leon means '"lion" in Spanish. I guess none of those reasons are really connected, but they are good enough for me. I have been a walker and bus-taker for years. I regularly made the two-hour trip to Salt Lake hopping on and off buses and trax.
It was ok.
I try to decrease my carbon footprint, but when I got a job in the mountains, I needed transport to and from school, so there you go. One day, I will not have to drive so much, but until then, I have Leon.

2. Perfume

I like perfume so much, I haven't worn any of my own for the past few months. I always want to be ready so that if I walk into a store, I won't have a confusion of scents and I can experience them the way they are supposed to be experienced. I got a huge perfume coffee table book for Christmas, and then this book for my birthday:
When I live in Virginia this summer I will venture to New York if only to go to this store, and revisit this place. I love perfumes because they are the most frivolous and nonsensical things to buy. That is what make them lovely. 

I also love...
3. Shower curtains

They provide privacy in the bathroom, but can also be used to spruce up a bedroom cheaply. I have some hanging on my walls.

Thank you my nonhuman friends. You help move myself, enrich my life, and make things beautiful. Asceticism is all the rage, but I will always cherish "objects" and the relationships I have with them. They almost want me study Archeology...almost. Oh, nonhuman friends...where would I be without you?

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