Eros is the sum of life-preserving instincts that manifest as impulses to gratify basic needs like sex, as sublimated impulses motivated by the same basic needs, and as impulses to protect and preserve the body and mind. Thanatos is Greek for death. Death is more than the physical body deteriorating. Death is physical and psychological. Bodily emissions and orgasms are microcosmic instances of death. Death can occur while the body is functioning; death of the self is the relinquishing of all elements of the constructed identity or ego.
[...] The transition from the normal state to that of erotic desire presupposes a partial dissolution of the person as he exists in the realm of discontinuity.” Within the erotic moment, there is a frenzied excess of life, opposition to death, and unification with death as well. Further, Bataille masterfully joins the erotic to death to identity or self- possession, and to violence. Bataille, like Freud and Lacan, knew that as humans, are discontinuous beings, individuals who perish in isolation in the midst of an incomprehensible adventure, but we yearn for our lost individuality. [...]
[...] Its followers would prayby method of participation, in addition to thorough internal and external self- knowledge.A few high holidays should be The Twelve Days of Jouissance and Post-Orgasmic Moment Week. The only special rites or practices are varied forms of participation. The religion's icons and church officers are all those who follow. Shortbus: The Main Attraction Orgasm is one of several central topics in Shortbus, most elaborately explored through the Sofia Lin character. On the path to orgasm, the end result is either climax or diffusion. [...]
[...] Shortbus puts on the alter (or guillotine, depending on one's perspective) some of the following, sacred no-way-can- you-show-these: non-heterosexual sex, non-vanilla sex, non-private sex, group sex, solo sex, patriotic iconography, the womb, the closet, the camera, and suicide. Thesis: Integrating the subtext of sex and death within independent cinematic representations of sex acts and sexualities subvertthe American mainstream because to do so is an expression of freedom, just as death is, just as orgasm is, just as religion is. The “Need to Know” List Before we can truly appreciate or understand what Shortbus is doing and the ways in which it is achieving its intentions, several ideas must be introduced. [...]
[...] She detaches herself from her identity history and succumbs to a new one or a lack of one. Once she does, the orgasm comes. It is unbearable joy; it is joy that has been earned with suffering, desire, failure, and perseverance. Sofia bears this unbearable joy because it is the fulfillment of her desire. This joy takes place within the erotic, physical, and psychological realms. Conclusion: Humans engage in sex acts to feel connection with others, what Bataille would call a continuity of being outside of ourselves. [...]
[...] Bataille knew this as he wrote how “eroticism always entails a breaking down of established patterns the regulated social order basic to our discontinuous mode of existence as defined and separate individuals The stirrings within us have their own fearful excesses . that death, the rupture of the discontinuous individualities to which we cleave in terror, stands there before us more real than life itself.” The erotic connects us to our identities and disconnects us from our societies. Why? What is the point of the erotic? [...]
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