Hamesha Replies

Q,
Sorry for not replying your TAZ question earlier. I did not mean to leave your question unanswered; just that I am not sure about my answer. But I see that it has upset you, so I will try to describe how I feel about Hakim Bey.
Ever since reading some of his aphorisms and quotes and then a bio of Hakim Bey somewhere, I was intrigued by his ideas. I was especially intrigued by what I understood to be his insolence in subverting certain aspects of mystical Islam (I hope I have not misunderstood this point.) Many in the fundamentalist and even mainstream Islam regard Sufism a heresy and dervishes are persecuted with impunity and sanction (as recently as last month in Iran.) Hakim Bey’s potent blend of mystical Islam, anarchism, and neopaganism makes for a consistent and total rejection of all that people take serious today and are uptight about and are willing to kill and die for, wether in the West or the Muslim world.
Though I do not have the guts for his brand of poetic terrorism (of course I don’t, my most recent attempt at poetic expression of angst attracted reproach -not to say that it was niether poetic, nor expressive), within the sphere of my own privacy I find the concept of TAZ very liberating. Out in the society? No… horrors no! hell no!
Coming from a background of social censorship, parental intrusiveness, and overall widespread religious hypocrisy (ریاکاری) that plagues Muslim societies wherever I have lived (Afghanistan, Pakistan, even the US -actually more so here) you long for such liberation, and when you find them in Nietzsche, in Hafez, in Hakim Bey, you feel fulfilled. I find that in conceptualizing TAZ (and more generally in conceptualizing ontological anarchy) Hakim Bey borrows from and builds on Sufism, Hafez, Nietzsche, Nasir Khusrow, and on the the poet-Ayyar and Rend (عیاران و رندان) (sorry, no equivalent concept in English) of yesteryear’s Khurasan, and it fills me with an unbearable nostalgia and and an intolerable sorrow. I guess I just see Hakim Bey as the last member of an endangered (or long-extinct) species of men who saw the world as a different domain than what it has become, and he recommends temporary autonomous zones as a remedy and a way to turn your small corner of it (in the real or virtual world) into what you want it to be. While poilitical anarchism of the sort that breeds political parties and quarterly newsletters and metro-handouts and punk t-shirts and satiates sophomoric rage repulses me (god forbid if this is precisely what I myself am guilty of), the Ayyar attitude of Hakim Bey is attractive to me in its maturity and sense of tragedy.
Maybe I have completely misunderstood Hakim Bey. Maybe how I see all of this has to do more with what I want to see rather than with what is out there. In which case, I beg of you to not disturb my illusion, I’d rather live with Hakim Bey the mythical figure of my own imagination then.

Slug,
Thanks mate for the infusion of masculine shame and pride and that Ghayrat غیرت افغانی that only we understand. It keeps me in check. If not for the homophobia and shame that regulates social interaction in Afghanistan (and really everywhere) some of us sentimental types may even come close to expressing ourselves. What horrors!
But I honestly admire your goal of outraging the Afghan sensibility. Your methods (mixing…) may be a bit extreme, but not to worry, as an English blogger you have little chance of reaching your real audiences. I know, I know, it still helps just to think it does. Yes, too many Aflogs are cliche but I recommend visiting some of the Farsi blogs on my blogroll. Hatif’s is always a delight.

Shahrzad,
Thank you. You understood without judgement.
And the fact that you were the only female visitor who did makes me think that Slug may have a point after all!

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2 Responses to Hamesha Replies

  1. Q. A. Shah says:

    H,
    First, thank you much for that response.

    I always forget to put smileys, actually I abhor using smileys and rather bear the consequences of that. But I wasn’t hurt by your lack of response, just very curious, paticularly because muslims or people of muslim cultures that buy into or read Hakim Bey always have a bit of an interesting take on him. Yours included.

    I kinda lost my infatuation w/ him. Still appreciate him nonetheless, but rather, perhaps I’m growing old and complacent (Don’t take my tone as a patronizing “elder”…rather a weak spirited, yet still conscience-ridden, sell-out).

    I’ve even lost contact w/ the college friends that ran off to Chicago to start PAZs.

    Anyway keep at it, in whichever form you choose, as the mode will likely change over and over again.

    And if/when I’m back in the States, if you’re up for it, we’ll have to figure out a way to hang out sometime.

  2. Hey, cool tips. Perhaps I’ll buy a bottle of beer to that person from that forum who told me to go to your site :)

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