Now listening: Rolling Stones, "Let it Bleed"
Specially: Track 1, 'Gimmee Shelter'
I don't entirely understand the 21 gun salute for the funerals of heroes.
Why is it honor, shots fired and ungrounded? Bullets unburied, unfleshed. Ineffective weapons. No hostile intent, just wasteful excess.
Bataille would be pleased. Or curious. I've been thinking, again, about terms and rates of exchange. In the Life of Pelagia, for example, there is the translation between the prostitute's lovers and the bishop's Bridegroom. There are strict rules for throwing over Satan and cleaving unto God. There are strict regulations on what prostitution money can be spent on, can be used for. What it may touch. There's some metaphysical excess, some value sunk into the Kingdom of God, but it's really thoroughly commodified and documented and measured out in the anarchic suburbs of Eden.
Bataille's point put simply is that excess is a category of exchange, and I've almost maybe got a handle on his parameters for that category, and they may be what I want. Maybe not though, since I keep reading him as ultimately satisfied with the unformulatable 'nature' of that excess. I should read him again.
There's something graceful and horrible about bullets fired for a shot body but into no skin of their own. It's a weird ritual. I've looked up the history, and I know there are reasonable explanations. But it's Kafkaesque as well. A remainder of the process of reason - I mean, there's the process, and then there's also a remainder. An apple sunk into an abdomen, a whipping in a closet, a needle run off its groove. When kids read Kafka, he's presented as a weirdo. You don't start with Kafka. You wait til you've been brought through weird by Faulkner, maybe, or Melville. Perhaps then you go through some Flannery O'Connor, whose world at least looks plausible. Kafka's world, made plausible by your reading of it, denatures plausibility. I need to find the Kafka of terms of exchange/ritual studies.