Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Theses on T.I. - Whatever You Like

1. "The body" is always the feminine body 1a. as such, the body is always the site of sexual domination.

2. Bodilessness is, therefore, a property to be strived for; or to put it another way, the goal is to make the body property, to be owned.

3. The only real inroads we have made to imagining minds without bodies, is the creation of certain inhumans - primarily, capital.

4. Therefore, one way of achieving this desexualization, aka liberation, is to simply become capital.

5. The road to becoming capital is not simply a road of accrual, but also dispersion; either through mediatic images or, more recently, through a refusal to participate in mediatic images - celebrity vs anti-celebrity; TI vs The Residents, or Gates vs Koch.

6. This newly created inhuman node, of course, never quite leaves a body, but the body can become fully aware of its simultaneous status that is, the body is simply a hole, a necessary ontological component but empty of epistemological or other importance.

7. With achievement of this status, the new inhuman node begins abiding by the rules of capital. and the #1 rule of capital - it always, always needs more bodies.

8. The body circumscribed becomes the proselytizer of the still-bodied, encouraging them - not to transcend, per se - but to engage.

9. Thus we come to T.I. - Whatever You Like. The song stems from a thread within rap in which the successful entrepreneur (rapper) has managed to raise himself out of his childhood poverty with only his entrepreneurial ingenuity. This song works against this thread, though, in that it abjures that narrative and focuses on what happens afterwards.

10. Namely, that the poetic speaker no longer functions as a historical/biographical individual within the song; he becomes unsituated, and fluctuating. In a word, he speaks as capital.

11. "I want your body / Need your body / long as you got me you won't need nobody" thus becomes a pun; the self-contained and the bodiless are one and the same.

12. And yet, "Late night sex so wet and so tight" is one of the speaker's promises. Certainly this isn't meant to titillate the female body he's engaging ("wet" and "tight" not being particularly flattering as descriptors of the capacity of a male's sexual organ to pleasure).

13. What is being promised by the song is not the ability to ascend to the status of the speaker. It is a promise of the bodilessness of capital but with certain limits. What is being promised to the addressee is the apotheosis into the commodity form.

14. The video underlines this apotheosis at every moment. From the narrative (that the golden ticket phone number turns out to be $100) to the images of the woman (which amount to a rapid succession of affective reactions to new expensive junk), the point is clear; you can have whatever you like means that you can be of this.

15. This dramatizes the fundamental difference between capital, which must always remain disembodied, and the commodity form, which is always embodied (that is, injected into a body; not that it is fundamentally bodied itself).