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Tomboy's Jeanne vs the adults (or, on decrepitude)

Under the spell of beautiful Tomboy by Céline Sciamma. The kids, specially Jeanne, the sister, negotiate sexual identities in a thoroughly simple way – it is mostly about how you present yourself. Gradually, this realm of appearances is conquered by the world of adults and their registered identities. Identities compose the basic layer of a regime of truth – a framework whereby predications (say, judgments about people and their emotional states) can be grasped because they are capable of being true or false. The regime of appearances – or make belief – is replaced by a hidden order that commands them (je suis obligée, says Jeane and Mikael (Laure)'s mother to explain her making Mikael dress like a girl to see his girlfriend). The empire of adulthood is the empire of a rule who transcends all standing rulers – ultimately, the transcendence of truth, which is, if truth transcends all possible truth-maker, the rule of determination over determiners. In any case, Mikael is stopped by his mother.

Adulthood comes out clearly as a bad idea. Which somehow makes me think that it is always curable, at least through extinction and degeneration. I have sketched an ontology of decrepitude where I claim that things are older than we think, and getting older, older beyond limits. Aging is a nihilism machine – it undoes all the solidity and with it all the integrity and individuality with their cogs and bobs. Degeneration, and further degeneration – to no end, as in a fountain of eternal oldness to be found everywhere, as I suggested somewhere – is more aimed to the target of clean nothingness than extinction or elimination. Let things age and they will become unrecognizable. Surely, different things have different age speeds. But let them carry on occupying their space while changing what they do to the space they occupy. Degeneration is what makes nature an accumulation of sui generis parts.


  1. Meryl Streep, in Iron Lady, does a great job at bringing to the fore some moral elements of decadence and the film suggested to me some politics of decrepitude.


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