Cacti were put into her mouth that enabled her speaking and choking of the oozing blood. Her son had died. Had the news reached her? Someone just said — blood speaks. What? Was she indifferent, happy or was she mourning? What kind of person was she? She’s dead now. Maybe, we’ll never know.
A thousand whips of the vocal cords
Of relatives of patients
On window panes covered with dew from outside and
Making a screeching sound
That hides the moans
Of sisters and matrons
In the undergrounds of Hospitals
Under the ‘knowledge’ of physicians.
Do not ask how dead!
A buried obituary
Underneath the basement of a newly ploughed land,
Land ploughed not for wheat,
Instead to carry dead bodies —
Young, born, learning to cry somewhere else
Underneath money-making, distressing,
This and that mountain named out
Of this, that and that health-care,
Out of dead heap of health,
In Cinemas —
A horror movie of the future – torn into two —
Grief of the dying! Heavy and pulling, tearing ‘knowledge’ of physicians.–
Badly made making millions.
I am writing this at a time when my father is admitted in a hospital, undiagnosed and has been asleep since 8 days! That was an apology for the fury that might follow and the pathologies that might creep in due to anger (the exclamation mark in the previous statement is one symptom among many). An apology before committing a mistake and a permission for making mistakes. Of late I have observed a few things in my stay in the hospital for a week.
1. Deflected seeing: Physicians wants to see people, not more in flesh and blood but through images and numbers that have been sanctioned by some statistical reason (sic!). Seeing through theses plates and reports everything is normal since the body itself vanishes into thin air. Abnormality arises when the body refuses to conform to this statistical reason. If a person has shown an ‘abnormal’ vascularity and he is still okay, it is a matter of concern. Why? Because the belief system that that bases itself on statistical reason draws a (il)logical connection and dictates: Standardise everything! “It is out of range!” Conversely, when everything sanctioned by statistical reason is I sync with the “investigation,” yet there are pathologies to be addressed, the physician is at a loss. Unable to understand he thinks “…but this shouldn’t be happening.” And finally believes, “This isn’t happening.” Blame goes to alcohol consumption (even if it is absent), tobacco consumption (even if absent) and finally ‘ageing factor.’ The slaves of standardization call themselves doctors.Learning medical science and unlearning it through dictatorship of statistics. Food for thought, do they study the body and/mind or statistics. Or is statistics an ideology (in the Althusserian sense).
2. Deflected speaking: There is no “I can’t say for sure” in a science. “I can say for sure but I will not,” this has its place in science in a modern world in general and the physicians profession in particular. However, there is a conflation and what comes out is: “you see, in our experience…” way too subjective for anything that claims to be a science.
3. Deflected listening: A chest congestion can be heard. This much is clear, but the doctor will want to “see it,” not listen to it. A heartbeat can be heard in different ways but the gadgets will take care of it. These mediocre gadgets do not differentiate between the heartbeat of a lover’s first sight and heartbeat of a father getting the news of his daughter’s death. There is one term for both: tachycardia! And that is a bullshit. A patient of dementia, Daniel Paul Schreber will put to shame all those doctors who associate dementia with neuro-degeneration.
Of course, it is not right to blame the physicians for everything. Something happens and ‘the patient’ rushes to the ‘doctor’. Isn’t that a kind of defeatism. Belief and fear as reactions formed from the founding confidence in health and ‘faith’ in medical science robs the patient of the spirit of inquiry. “I will be unwell. You read about my diseases. I will go to you.”[…]”I have read about your disease without knowing you. You fall sick!” That is roughly the medicinal discourse.
I haven’t read enough of Marx and Freud; Foucault or Lacan and I ‘believe’ they have directly dealt with the topics I have just alluded to. I know if you frequent the blogosphere, you are way too impatient to go through any one of them. I’ll dispatch it as poubellecation and keep my spirit of inquiry alive by a…
[Incomplete, for further thought…]
P.S: My father is still undiagnosed and sleeping. I’ll let those who have read this post know about his condition by posting on the same later.
Today one of my friends said, “I am bored of myself. I do not find it interesting to look into the mirror. I think I’ll have a haircut done.” I told her that it is universal, “Everyone wants something to change in herself/himself. There is nothing wrong in it. One always wants to become more ‘beautiful’, more ‘handsome’. Just a little different.” It was in the phone that this conversation happened. What happened later, thanks to this friend’s (might I call) mild obsession, was brilliant. I chew Gutkha. I hate it. I love it. There are reasons for both. Only I can’t quit. I know it is somehow related to my (oral) drives which makes it more difficult to get rid. My teeth have become tinged with red colour. I want them to be white. But do I? Anyone who has chewed Gutkha or has been acquainted with someone who chews Gutkha knows very well that it is impossible to speak having a mouthful of red saliva in your mouth. “Empty vessel sounds much.” If the vessel is full it won’t sound. This metaphoric phrase also contains in it the vessel (the oral cavity that is made full) which cannot sound much. “Wise men do not speak much.” I always wanted to be wise. I also want people to believe “I know!” when “I do not know!” Best escape: I don’t speak. Why? Because I have Gutkha in my mouth/I don’t want to share the fact that “I don’t know”/I want people to have an image of me that says “I know.” This, not being able to speak, I call social awkwardness which I now realise I have created for myself to safeguard my image ‘screening it with red teeth’(?). I don’t want you to see my teeth/my “not knowing.” I won’t speak in places because Gutkha is seen as something violating aesthetic regimentations and wrongly associated with cleanliness. “I shall not speak till I am wise. Am I wise enough? No.” …and I have just put one Gutkha into my mouth. Added to that, among people, what is the topic of discussion when they see my teeth? It has to be my teeth. I have made it sure the impossibility of knowing my intellectual status – something, or maybe the image of something that I hold dear to me.
The former lines were at best an avowal made virtual-public. It must, in the passing be said that two Gutkha chewers can communicate within themselves and sometimes with others with sounds produced with their lips closed. [For further inquiry]
 Chewing Gutkha is a rural and sub-urban habit that had replaced the habit of chewing tobacco-and-betel together. It is composed of tobacco, betel-nut and lime.
Some people have been using the word phallocentrism too often. It is to these people that I give a new term to think through – phalloperipheralism. If you do not find the ‘phallus’ in language which is created (femme) with meaningful (impregnated) sets of letters it is okay. Surely, the phallus exists in the real sense of the term. Everything doesn’t have as its center as the phallus. But who decides what the location of the phallus is? What is a decision, what is a location? Surely, one cannot cut it off, or may be one can – but there can be no a-phallic discourse. Language, society, you name it. What is a name?
Will ‘doubt’ more later…
By the end of the movie “12 Angry Men,” two things are clear. The first, in the movie, the child accused of murder of his father cannot be judged as guilty or as not-guilty. The second, there cannot be jurors if they haven’t themselves been subjected to the law. The film attempts to show, that there can be “reasonable doubt,” and when this reasonable doubt is held on to, it might push ‘belief systems’ to shattering. However, the movie collapses into one conformism trying to avoid another. By the end of the movie, there is a sense in the audience that the boy charged with murder of his father was not-guilty. To push the logic of the movie, what would have happened if, as there was in the movie, a space for “reasonable doubt” that stuck to “I want to talk. I do not know whether the child is not-guilty.” Would, there be 11 dissidents to the same judgement? Would they not fall back into the same conformation of belief that they had – a racist, a hater-of-the-slum, an abandoned father? Maybe they would, may be, they would not. A hung jury would in any case be the outcome. When prejudice of one kind (racism, abandonment, etc) is shown to one to be inherent and clouding judgement, it should also be taken into account that the moment of realization of this prejudice is also traumatic and hence capable of eclipsing this judgement. Through the movie, two things come up – the instance of the glance and its shortcircuiting with the conclusion. The angry men who sit down to judge, will never find what is true. There is nothing wrong with the truth. The problem is nobody is interested in it. One needs to distinguish between the two confirmisms in the movie. The first is a conformation coming out of common sense with some good sense in it (11/1). The second is a moment, where, by recognizing their projections into the child, the jurors are paralysed by the judgement. Conform to the one who has shown consistency/authority not because they think the child is not-guilty but because they can’t think on their own. The result is again a common sense (12-0). Seen from the figures, the second is more dangerous than the first. In the first there was prejudiced speaking and doubt that expressed itself. In the second, there is absolutely no doubt where there should be. No one questions. It’s a sorry state to be in. Nevertheless, taking ‘content’ into account, this “sorry state” can be compromised. Two components. The first, a display of courage – that of sticking to saying “I don’t know.” The second, a humane passing – a child’s life was saved. What if, by the same “reasonable doubt” put in the reverse and continued only to find that the child was “guilty?” Would it retain the glorification of “reasonable doubt?” It wouldn’t. What one enjoys is a “sorry state,” which ‘appears’ humane rather than a state of things where there is “good” only making a peek-a-boo in the common sense. The return to the ever existing see-saw between the humane “sorry state” and good qua bearable good. If the movie becomes unbearable with goodness, it would be unpopular. The question then is what is to be done – doubt? Confirm/Conform? Or Enjoy! Choose: ‘good’ or ‘popular!’
[This draft was written a few months ago]