This article was written on 29 Apr 2015, and is filled under Actualities, Theory, Urbanities.

The Ferguson/Ayotzinapa Dictionary (Encyclopedia of Oppression)

Photo issued by the Government of Guerrero, via Wikipedia entry for "2014 Iguala Mass Kidnapping"

Photo issued by the Government of Guerrero, via Wikipedia entry for “2014 Iguala Mass Kidnapping”


I started writing the attached FERGUSON AYOTZINAPA DICTIONARY while on de facto paternity leave, in lieu of being able to work on larger projects, often writing with my right hand while holding my infant daughter in the left, during the month of November 2014, a brutal month for state violence in Mexico and the United States.  Bloody everywhere else in the world, too.  The orientational distribution right-left is telling:  this dictionary of political-philosophical terms does not propose itself as an ameliorative or solution to state violence in the slightest, but is simply a navigational chart for oppression.  The right hand is always right, after all, y no se culpe a nadie.

The dictionary must therefore follow certain rules of composition:

  1. It has no author, and anyone can add items to the list, so long as they continue to disseminate it in some fashion.
  2. Entries must never be alphabetized.  
  3. Multiple definitions should appear as separate entries.  Terms should be duplicated and duplicates should become triplicates, etc.
  4. There must never be a definitive version of the encyclopedia.  It should remain forever indefinite.  Like a folk song.
  5. Entries may be contradictory.  Entries should be contradictory.  Instead of correcting an entry, a new entry should simply be appended that contradicts or refines the prior one.
  6. This Note is the only element of this document that must be preserved verbatim in future versions, since rules are the only legacy we bequeath to the future.  If you don’t follow the rules exactly, however inexact the outcomes might be, then you will be forever cursed.

The genre of this document is therefore not philosophy, but rather the chain letter.  One in which failure to send forward does not levy a curse against the recipient, since we are all cursed already.  A chain letter in which the chains are literal.  Not philosophy, then, but poetry.  Poetry that eats philosophy and theory and makes them literal inscription.  An offense against thought.  Hands up, this is the right hand typing again.  My left hand clings desperately to hope.  But the right hand of the father has already decided what will be done and now seeks out a hammer to hit something (cf. Heidegger) or a knife to cut something (cf. Schmitt) or a laptop to write.  Right makes write.

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