Alzheimer’s

ALZHEIMER’S

 

an often painful and tragic disease that is generally misunderstood and mistreated

culture, or an alternate version and subversion of large-scale global orders made up of persons caring for those afflicted, re-weaving them as humans into a material of insignificance via geographic, demographic, linguistic, historical, biological and chemical forms of affiliation

a culture, or an alternate version and subversion of large-scale global orders made up of persons afflicted, defying this re-weaving into a material of insignificance brought about through geographic, demographic, linguistic, historical, biological and chemical forms of affiliating

a material of insignificance that is woven by those afflicted and those who care for them, brought about through geographic, demographic, linguistic, historical, biological and chemical forms of affiliating

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Drew Walker’s doctoral dissertation was a staging of an academic ritual as a truth test. As a game (which it is), it remains a kind of ordeal.”

While Walker had originally planned to spend two years in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria learning more of elders/ancestors/malevolent or helpful spirits in the exchanges of personas with the State, he instead decided to go a place where this exchange was being acted out on a mass scale in the context of transformations in Alzheimer’s disease.

In Miami, Walker sought to approximate a kind of Africa-centric exchange with (and thereby a critique of) the kind of science, history and philosophy that contemporary cultural anthropology pretends to rely on for its claims to truth.  In a sense, this work is a staging of an academic ritual as a truth test, a kind of ordeal–for Walker and its readers. For some sooner and for others later, it remains a kind of ordeal whose truth is always realized, in the hands of a terrestrial divinity.

Even though he was awarded the somewhat rare mark of Pass with Distinction for this dissertation by his doctoral examining committee, further, telling results of this truth test would emerge in different ways in the two years that followed.

In a certain sense, if taken as a book, the work as a whole comes off as a kind of collage made up of pieces torn from bodies of observation and understanding and pasted in a certain configuration to produce an image of what Walker at one time understood as “the State.”  There is so much unsaid, unexplained. There are too many things from so many areas of knowledge that could not be conveyed. There is too much patience demanded of too many readers, and not enough opportunities for summary. It both is and describes a massive exchange of personas with what Walker was ambiguously calling “the Alzheimer’s state.”

 

Naming the Cause: A Cultural Critique of the Alzheimer’s State   

[A part of the game (I)nc.published in 1998]

 

Preface

“The scene opens up on a day in late November, a Pietist gathering.  Among this group, (I)nc., (pronounced “aye”), is one Gabriél, a newcomer to this state.”

 

Chapter 1.  The Labors of Piety  

Persons with Alzheimer’s type dementia are said by some to seem to be “living in the past.” No one can actually live in the past. These persons are acting out memory in some way that leads people to describe their state of being in this way.

Persons with this type of dementia are like persons who are dreaming, yet like any other person one may encounter in one’s doing this or that, they are living in the here-and-now, yet in the past, in a dramatic way. I call this “dreama.”

While anthropology has spent a great deal of time and effort researching the kinds of envy driven human behavior called “magic” and “witchcraft or sorcery,” as its researchers have found them around the world, they have spent relatively little time studying their love driven forms. This is an important key not only to understanding what are called magic, witchcraft, and sorcery, but also in understanding Alzheimer’s type behaviors.

The kinds of magic, witchcraft and sorcery that are driven by love are important to all human beings, and are the subject of a great deal of attention everywhere in the world.

Many people with this type of dementia seem to spend a lot of time observing others in detail, studying their hair, their weight, their posture, their demeanor, their voices, their faces, their clothing.

Relationship, (I)nc.

“Among my people relationships are mysterious at best.  One might even say that we have little sense of them.  Maybe this is due to a trade-off in our lives, a giving up of what we know for what we wish to know.  This is what we acknowledge, in part, in saying “I can’t say.”

Bumpersticker

“One best comes back to it (and we all do) in flight. Soaring in over the aqua blue waves breaking white against its beaches, up and over the towering walls of its hotels our shadow crawls as one is greeted by the masses of Dade County and the sea of grass with its millions of blades erect and waving in the breeze.”

Adult Daycare  –  Pietist Colony

“This particular theater of encounter, yet it may only be a theater for some,  amounted, spatially, at least to my human sensibilities, to two fairly large rooms.”

$ense and Cents-ability

Sense, Sinn and Meaning are called into question.

“I was intrigued with the way in which Ernie seemed, as I saw it then, before I called it dreama, to be here, there and elsewhere, and to move back and forth in time.  He, like many people there, would talk of visiting dead parents, and needing to leave to go help them because their parents needed them.”

Alz-heimer’s

“From the German we get alt meaning old, and the sound “s” indicating possession,  the “z” giving us both the “t” for “alt” and the sound “s” for possession.  “Heim indicates “home” and the “er”  indicates belonging to the home.”  The  “s”  preceded by an apostrophe indicates yet another possession, meaning: that which those belonging to the home of the old possess.”

Like-Envy

The move from envy to love, combined with the rejection of sense/cents/scent and relationships, calls for the rejection of semiotics, all forms of symbolic systems analysis, and for all “meaning” based analysis that is not about the meaning of life.

“When one says that he or she likes something one is saying that he or she wants it, one is, in a sense, invoking it, calling for it.  Do we not say: “I’d like to see you again,” or “I’d like that one” meaning “Meet me again,” and “Give me that one” or meaning, magically and poetically, “That I see you again!” or “That I had that one!” as if in a conjuring or spell-binding which had risen from envy or love?”

 

Chapter 2.  The Labors of Knowledge  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Causality

The A (W. B.) Cs of Symbolism and Allegory

Alzpeech I

Harwood H., Alz Philosophe

Carmen L., Pietist Doctor

Enlightenment  and The Alzheimer’s State

The A (G.B.) Cs of Language and Eros

 

Chapter 3.  Do Kamo, or the Stoic Physics of Colonialism  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Sociobiology and Anthropomorphism

Cosmomorphism

 

Chapter 4.  Fictive History  [Hypertext] [PDF]

The Journals of Gabriel

Reformation

Pneumaticism and “The Symbol”

Iatro- animism

Organicism and/or Platonist Sympatheia

Pietist Mechanism

 

Chapter 5.  Life History/Natural History  [Hypertext] [PDF]  

Monkey See

The Predicament

The Solution

                                                         

Chapter 6.  Possession, Contact and the Image, Part I  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Support

Identity, Image and  Possession

Beyond Possession: Identity, Contact and Image

 

Chapter 6. Possession, Contact and the Image, Part II  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Bio-Masking or Secretions of Materiality

 

Chapter 7.  The Lyrical and the Dialectical  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Alzpeech II

Manifestations

Socrates, the Mask and the Material Spirit of the Dialogue

De-instru-mentia, or Meta-Dancing

Theresa, Mi Amor (A Fieldnote)

 

Chapter 8.  Possession, or the Name of Mo(u)rning  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Mom, or Naming the “Patient”

Enlightenment II

Melancholia I: Learning a System

 

Chapter 9.  Between “I” and “(I)nc.  [Hypertext] [PDF]

How (I)nc. Think

New Center, Alz Periphery

The Morgue

Medical Library

Chury, and the Pietist Ministry of Culture

Bobby, B., Alz Technician

Marina’s Project

New World (In Place of a Memory)

 

Chapter 10.  Elective Affinities  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Conclusion Before the Fact

Chemistrism

Chemistrism and Transcendentalism

Symbolic Anthropology

Energetic Materialism

 

Chapter 11.  Divinity and Mimesis  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Naming and Melancholia

Naming Divinity

 

Chapter 12. Conclusion  [Hypertext] [PDF]

Imagining the Cure

Healing, Imaging and the Stoic Body

Ethnography and/or Protocol

A Name for the Cause