|"Year Zero": victor.j.vitanza (c) 0000.|
r.crumb recounts how he first sees Bugs Bunny
Crumb recounts: "When I was about 5 or 6, I was sexually attracted to Bugs Bunny," he says. "I cut out this Bugs Bunny off the cover of a comic book and carried it around with me, right here in my pocket and took it out to look at it periodically, and it got all wrinkled up from handling it so much that I asked my mother to iron it on the ironing board, to flatten it out, and she did. I's deeply disappointed because it got all brown when she ironed it and became brittle and crumbled apart. [TZwigoff asks: "What is it about Bugs Bunny?"] I don't know. I had this sexual attraction to cute cartoon characters. You tell me. I don't know."
There's a very interesting set of parallels among . . .
At an early, impressionable age (5 or 6) r.crumb selects the cover, of a cartoon book, or "it" selects him ... he selects, or libidinally ... intoxicatingly ... attaches his Selves to, Bugs Bunny; or Bugs Bunny, to his Selves. His libidinal attachment not only event.ually becomes his Face (comic, ironic [?] Face, eidos [!]) but also becomes his InterFace ... his cartoon rhetoric ... with the world. All around him. He keeps Bugs Bunny in his pocket, constantly taking it out to gaze at it, in its various cartoon manifestations. Repeatedly. Or Obsessively. For all of us. And Hysterically, as r.crumb "unmasks [with his playful words and cartoonish antics] the falsity of the obsessional position" (see Zizek Sublime Object, 60). As Agamben would suggest: in their Inter/Facing, r.crumb is Bugs Bunny; Bugs, r.crumb; both are cartoonish (Coming 11).
But, therefore, are we--you, in the audience might be wondering--being asked to substitute the face or faces of the many bugs bunnies for that of Christ?! Well, my answer would have to be both yes and no, or Nes-Yo. And yet, it is not really a choice for us to make. For it is happening! NO, it is not a matter of offering empirical proof, unless you are predisposed to read Deleuze as the radical empiricist that he says he is. You must understand that a radical empiricist is someone who, in part, begins with the notion that the world is always someone's face of it, or conceptual persona of it. (Wallace Stevens said as much when he was talking about his notion of the supreme fiction: It must be abstract, it must give pleasure, it must change, or crumble.) This is the beginning of a Deleuzen world--whirl--that I've been alluding to. It is happening! ...
But you might also ask, Is there a blend between Christ and bugs bunny? IOW--to tone down this potentially sacrilegious question--Is there a laughing Christ? One without the white wall/black holes? Was there a Veronica that captured this laughing face? It is the case that there are laughing Christs as it is equally the case that there are those people who do what they can to censor or tear down or to block them in the world and on the Web. (Make a search for Laughing + Christ at Google.com and see what you get and don't get. On several sites the image of such a Christ is "blocked." There are, after all has been said and undone, point-line-point people in the world. Point-Line-Point is the very crucifixshun itself.) But this is not about censorship; this is about the necessity to laugh so that the face can crumble. Laughing faces = Crumbling to The CRUMB. This is all about crumbling and realizing, as Diane Davis has reminded us, that we do not laugh (unless it is nervous and canned cynical laughter); rather, "the cosmic rhythm laughs us" (telephone call). Baudrillard is quite precise about this conclusion--no big bang, no whimper--that the world of Human Beings will end with, or better yet, rebegin without human beings, in the CRUMBling. There will be no rapturing; only, CRUMBling. All faces--y/ours, Christ's, RCrumb's, Bug's--will have crumbled away. Our radical finitude makes us laugh. Everything away. And hence, places us on the edge of the sea to be washed away. Or aWAYVES.
But this laughter is not comedy or dark comedy; it is something else as comedy that makes us laugh and crumble. To dust.
Do you have a sense of what sense-that-is-not-sense has been offered here in this presentation? We are now beginning THE TEST. But like most tests, this one is not about whether or not you will pass or fail this presentation. You will just crumble no matter what. You should crumble. That is what we used to call a passing grade (yes, this is an intended puncept)! To pass is to passover to the year zero.
Do you have a sense of what sense-that-is-not-sense has been offered here in this presentation? Which simply is--abridged here--a question of logic (logos). I have not used deduction and induction (except only to parody it, say, by collecting pieces or crumbs of textual moments and to redescribe them as inductions based on the wor[l]d "crumb"). I have not even used abduction, again except to parrot its use as Freud classified it in terms of "hysterical conversions." Rather, I have used what Greg Ulmer calls in Teletheory, Heuretics, and Internet Invention ... conduction. Which is the paralogic of electricity. I have been writing various accidents (relays--in a variety of registers--run amuck) that arise--rise forth--when writing the paradigm--writing from all the occasions and moments of Crumb but in an experimental style to see where they take us. And where, dear friends in electricity, have they taken us? Where has the juice of thinking sent us. Are you for unregulated flows of juices or are you a prime, literate resistor? Designed and wired to keep the system going? Not that this is really a choice! ... And Yet? ...
I've been talkin' to you! Are you listening to me? Have you heard me?
This has been my "minority report" which you will either destroy--because as Dr. Iris Henimen (the mother of precogs) in the greenhouse scene has to tell John Anderton (Cruise), "minority reports are destroyed the instance they occur"--or you will.... What will you ... What can you afford to answer? ... All that I can say, given what I have already said, is ...