After the orgy : toward a politics of exhaustion by Dominic Pettman

By Dominic Pettman

Explores the post-Enlightenment obsession with apocalyptic endings

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Technological Revelation The question concerning technology is the question concerning the constellation in which revealing and concealing, in which the coming to presence of truth, comes to pass. Martin Heidegger (33) Technology is no longer an aid in the perfection of being, but rather being is now an aid to the perfection of technology. Theodore John Rivers (10) Heidegger’s enormously influential essay, “The Question Concerning Technology,” discusses the metaphysical status of technology as both the subject of history and the raison d’être of History itself.

Old School Joke If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. St. John’s Book of Revelation (3: 3) So it is a matter of the secret and the pudenda. Jacques Derrida (1984: 4) Apocalyptic rhetoric, from the book of Daniel through John’s Revelation to present-day adaptations, is saturated with sexuality. Beginning with the allegorical Whore of Babylon and her violent destruction, Eros and Thanatos have persistently stalked narratives of the End: I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.

He is “the coming god,” not merely in the sense that his coming is anticipated in the future—for example, every destructive-creative springtime—but also in the strong sense that his primary attribute . . is defined in terms of coming and recoming, not actual arrival. The true essence of the demigod consists in perpetually coming toward humanity from the future but not necessarily ever arriving. (134) This offers a crucial insight into libidinal millenarianism, relating to both Jacques Derrida’s concern with the sexual undertones of “coming” as an eschatological concept, and to the implicit identification of Pan with the apocalypse itself, as an end that never comes: the always deferred Terminal Orgasm.

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