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185 Conclusion “Take Ecstasy with Me” W e mu st vacate the here and now for a then and there. Individual transports are insufficient. We need to engage in a collective temporal distortion. We need to step out of the rigid conceptualization that is a straight present. In this book I have argued that queerness is not yet here; thus, we must always be future bound in our desires and designs. The future is a spatial and temporal destination. It is also another place, if we believe Heidegger, who argued that the temporal is prior to the spatial. What we need to know is that queerness is not yet here but it approaches like a crashing wave of potentiality. And we must give in to its propulsion, its status as a destination. Willingly we let ourselves feel queerness’s pull, knowing it as something else that we can feel, that we must feel. We must take ecstasy. The title of this conclusion is lifted from indie pop stars the Magnetic Fields. Sung by the wonderfully languid Stephen Merritt, the band’s leader, the song and its titular request could certainly be heard as a call to submit to pleasures both pharmaceutical and carnal. And let us hope that they certainly mean at least both those things. But when I listen to this song I hear something else, or more nearly, I feel something else. A wave of lush emotions washes over me, and other meanings for the word ecstasy are keyed. The gender-neutral song’s address resonates queerly and performs a certain kind of longing for a something else. Might it be a call for a certain kind of transcendence? Or is it in fact something more? The Magnetic Fields are asking us to perform a certain “stepping out” with them. That “stepping out” would hopefully include a night on the town, but it could and maybe should be something more. Going back through religion and philosophy we might think of a stepping out of time and place, leaving the here and now of straight time for a then and a there that might be queer futurity. Saint Theresa’s ecstasy, most memorably signaled in Lorenzo Bernini ’s marble sculpture, has served as the visual sign of ecstasy for many 186 Conclusion Christians. The affective transport chiseled in her face connotes a kind of rapture that has enthralled countless spectators. It represents a leaving of self for something larger in the form of divinity. Plotinus described this form of ecstasy as God’s help to reach God and possess him. In Plotinus, God reaches man beyond all reason and gives him a kind of happiness that is ecstasy.1 In seminar XX, Lacan looks to Bernini’s sculpture as the most compelling example of what he calls the Other or feminine jouissance .2 Ecstasy and jouissance thus both represent an individualistic move outside of the self. These usages resonates with the life of the term ecstasy in the history of philosophy. Ekstasis, in the ancient Greek (exstare in the Latin), means “to stand” or “to be out outside of oneself,” ex meaning “out” and stasis meaning “stand.” Generally the term has meant a mode of contemplation or consciousness that is not self-enclosed, particularly in regard to being conscious of the other. By the time we get to phenomenology , especially Heidegger, we encounter a version of being outside of oneself in time. In Being and Time Heidegger reflects on the activity of timeliness and its relation to ekstatisch.3 Knowing ecstasy is having a sense of timeliness’s motion, comprehending a temporal unity, which includes the past (having-been), the future (the not-yet), and the present (the makingpresent ). This temporally calibrated idea of ecstasy contains the potential to help us encounter a queer temporality, a thing that is not the linearity that many of us have been calling straight time. While discussing the Montreal-based band Lesbians on Ecstasy, Halberstam points to their mobilization of queer temporality through their thought experiment of imagining lesbian history as if it were on ecstasy. Here they certainly mean the drug MDMA, but they also mean an ecstatic temporality. As Halberstam explicates, their electronic covers of earnest lesbian anthems remake the past to reimagine a new temporality.4 The “stepping out” that the Magnetic Fields song’s title requests, this plaintive “Take Ecstasy with Me,” is a request to step out of the here and now of straight time. Let us briefly...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814759516
Related ISBN
9780814757277
MARC Record
OCLC
676695829
Pages
240
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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