Friday, July 8, 2005


When you say "9/11" ["7/7"] you are already citing, are you not? ...recalling, as if in quotation marks, a date or a dating that has taken over our public space and our private lives...Something fait date, I would say in a French idiom something marks a date, a date in history; that is always what's most striking, the very impact of what is at least felt, in an apparently immediate way, to be an event that truly marks, that truly makes its mark, a singular and..."unprecedented" event. I say "apparently immediate" becasue this "feeling" is actually less spontaneous than it appears: it is to a large extent conditioned, constituted, if not actually constructed, circulated at any rate through the media by means of a prodigious techo-socio-political machine. "To mark a date in history" presupposes, in any case, that "something" comes or happens for the first and last time, "something" that we do not yet really know how to identify, determine, recognize, or analyze but that should remain from here on in unforgettable: an ineffeceable event in the shared archive of a universal calendar, that is, a supposedly universal calendar, for these are--and I want to insist on this at the outset--only suppositions and presupositions. Unrefined and dogmatic, or else carefully considered, organized, calculated, strategic--or all of these at once. For the index pointing toward this date, the bare act, the minimal deictic, the minimalist aim of this dating, also marks something else. Namely, the fact that we perhaps have no concept and no meaning available to us to name in any other way this "thing" that has just happened, this supposed "event."

- Derrida on terror

Tony Blair: "We will hold true to the British way of life."
Robert: What is the British way of life?

Tony Blair: "...our values will long outlast theirs."
Robert: Does the ability to sustain values over time define their worth?

Tony Blair: "The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize people, and we will not be terrorized."
Robert: This is not a matter of your state of mind. You have ALREADY been terrorized. The question is at this point, will you allow yourself to be victimized?

Tony Blair: "It is through terrorism that the people that have committed this terrible act express their values..."
Robert: What about British and American state terrorism? What "values" are expressed in that case?

George Bush: "One the one hand, we've got people here who are working to alleviate poverty and to help rid the world of the pandemic of AIDS and that are working on ways to have a clean environment, and on the other hand, you've got people killing innocent people."
Robert: If that is the case, it looks like America has its hands full.

- Robert in imaginary dialogue with the leaders of England and America

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