Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-03-15 - 5:55 a.m.

Listened to a Jansch compilation – thinking how magnificent It Don’t Bother Me is – title track of the 2nd LP. This is the one before Jack Orion which is considered ‘enormously influential’. Another way of looking at JO is an enormous dead end. If you think that JCF was the spark then the first two albums are where the spark catches. It Don’t Bother Me is a great blend of vocal tone and lyric sentiment.

I realized something extraordinary about 3 Hours today. As regards the next two 5LL tracks, yesterday I spotted the following by John Ashberry – this is the last stanza of ‘A Definition of Blue’

‘And yet it results in a downward motion, or rather a floating one.
In which blue surroundings drift slowly up past you.
To realize themselves some day, while you, in this nether world that could not be better
Waken each morning to the exact value of what you did and said, which remains.’

So the value of the everyday’s results is always blue? (Down is the most intense dimension according to DL)

I am moving my office back to the first floor – more humping boxes, files and books. The server is going to be down all day – which is getting to be very frustrating – ofcourse there probably aren’t a zillion e-ms for me waiting to be read – but you never know.

On the train back to Leamington I read through a little book called ‘Theories of Existence’ by Sprigge which has an interesting discussion of sex and Sartre in the Existentialist chapter. It takes as its starting point the Master and Slave Dialectic as described here (not by Sprigge)


‘Hegel's dialectic of Master and Slave is a philosophical account of the emergence of the Subject as the outcome of a struggle that he idealised in the 'Master-Slave dialectic'. There are a great many subtleties to these passages in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, but the relevant stages in the argument can be summarised as follows.


Men meet on the battlefield in a struggle to the death. The victor in such an encounter is the one who risks death. For him honour is more valuable than mere animal subsistence. His selfhood is emerging as something higher, an ideal, realised in his new status as Master. The vanquished has preferred survival to honour and pays by being reduced to a slave, little more than a beast of burden.


Thus far, the clash has only produced Slave and Master in opposition. But Hegel intends to show how this relationship transforms its two terms. In the first instance the slave is the Other to the master, the Self. The slave makes himself the corporeal body of the master's will - 'your wish is my command'. However, the relationship is unsatisfactory for the master. He has domination over the slave. What he wanted, though, was honour, or recognition of his mastery. The love owed him by his slaves will never satisfy him, because it is not freely given. Furthermore, the master, having made himself master through action has become lazy. Superficially it appears that he calls the shots. But already the slaves are, without realising it, the active parties. Their labour creates all the possibilities available to the court. If they would but realise the fact that they make everything happen, they would shake off the mantle of slave. Then they would cease merely to be the Other, and attain the character of Selves.

Hegel achieves the relativisation of the Self-Other opposition by making both into expressions of the development of the Idea, or Spirit. In other words the different social positions that people occupy are not intrinsic to them. They are just vessels for the underlying spiritual development. By manifesting itself in these successive shapes - Master, Slave, mutually recognising selves - the Spirit develops and comes into consciousness of itself.’


In search of a master in search of a slave takes on special values against this background – even before Sartre’s twist. This twist is to conceptualise and genderise the master-slave relationship. The slave is feminised. The master seeks to validate the reality of his own subjectivity by reducing the slave’s subjectivity to the physical present,

This appears to be the domination of the master as the active partner – but the Hegelian twist is that in dialectical terms the slave’s self awareness potentially has the advantage. The simplest example would be faking orgasm - it don't bother me what you do?

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