OPTIMISM

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Other phrases for optimism:
hysteria
blind faith
coping mechanism
living in lala land
pollyannaishness
head in the sand
denial
Pascal's wager
fiddling while Rome burns
ducking the consequences
illusion
irrational exuberance
complacency
sunniness
shallowness

the problem of FAILURE in politics

We keep failing
keep failing
keep failing
keep failing
keep falling

But then to persist, we borrow other people's moments of exuberance. Because moments of ineffectuality are part of the chain of events belonging to self-organized criticality and anyway, seeing other people's styles of interference produces new habits of the body, new potentials, new phenomenological possibilities.

In short, other people's optimism (OPO) can be a real energy suck, when they radiate desire for a world that would suffocate you; but it can produce epidemics of exuberant courage, when optimism's objects seem just lovely.

Queer pedagogy has always mobilized the optimism of projected life, seeking ways to get people to affectively occupy places (ways of being in the world and making worlds, of having pleasure, of paying attention, of making demands) that they might abandon but that they would otherwise never have occupied.

Props for Your Optimism:

The solitary, aggressive, selfish animals called my cats have settled into something of a truce

Grin without a Cat: euphoria in the streets

Chavez and 70,000 cooperatives in Venezuela

The gap between intention and reception

The capacity to withdraw consent (from norms, power, bad objects)

--unless you're in power already and then it's what you need to mobilize in others

__Thinking Optimists

-As Gramsci's pessimism of the intellect/optimism of the will suggests: optimism is the affect of scavengers; the state of being open to (and making openings for) the less bad, the better.

de Certeau: for him too, optimism is lived kinetically, in bodily practice that changes the dynamics of space and time. Power owns space-can maintain strategies. The powerless are produced as keeping time for power, and with time on their hands they have tactics, practices that interrupt power's assurance of control. It can be petty, or it can be inconvenient: but disrupting the flow of the ordinary acts out an optimism even in the micro-gesture.

-Eve Sedgwick's Epistemology of the Closet: political and sexual desires are parasitical, always finding objects that can mark and express them even if that expression is a distortion, an almost or maybe. The body, the being, the life drive: optimism is irrational, which does not make it wrong.

-Jose Munoz: queer utopianism, via Ernst Bloch. History is never finished: the utopian is in the opening a moment can make. In cracks and fissures and gaps: in surprise, joyous moments without guarantees.

There can be no politics without optimism. An event can become "avalanches of all sizes."

"[self-organized criticality]"

Refuse defeat! The world is fundamentally in transition.

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