Identity & Stuff

Interesting article on Non-Jew Jews from Killing the Buddha.

A related confession: I was skyping the other day with Wishydig when we were talking about Identity--which is your primary identity? Can you have dual-primary identities? Can you be, for example, a Seventh Day Adventist who is also an American, or do you have to be an American who happens to be SDA, or an SDA who happens to be American? At one point Wishydig suggested that America might dissemble into smaller units of political organizations--fall back into Disunited States or something. And I started riffing on how I would be okay with that: my identity is not terribly caught up in that, I said. Nor is it caught up in my European ancestry, nor is it caught up in any particular religious discourse or tradition.

But I wouldn't be okay if all of that was taken from me. I told Wishydig I would: I said, "You know, I mean--I'd be okay because I'd always have 'Casey' as my primary identity." But in reflecting on that statement later in the day, I felt a little vertigo. I'm not sure there is a 'Casey' that is: not white, not American, not insured, not loosely Judeo-Christian with a mystical influence from Gnosis and Neoplatonism, etc. What would be left? And the same of my friends? Who would we all be if it weren't for the New York Times and television and English?


Insignificant Wrangler said...

Bruno Latour's metaphysics are tied to associations-reductively, "you are what associates with you." As someone interested in both Levinas and social-constructionist rhetoric, I find myself drawn to Latour a bit.

Of course, we don't simply become what surrounds us, we respond to what surrounds us. Different people respond differently.

Casey said...

So that makes Latour a little Santosish? Because you're drawn to him?

Have you ever noticed what I just noticed!?: if you have more than one google account, this comment form on blogger says: "Choose an identity" before you can leave a comment!

Holy shit! Which should I choose!?

Insignificant Wrangler said...

Holy shit, which one chooses you?

Dr. Pratt said...