Luke NieblerComment

ID Politics

Luke NieblerComment
ID Politics

Q: Me and my friends like to go to a particular bar. We're all graduate students, and I'm a few years past drinking age. But that day they had some new guy, he took my id and said it was fake and that he was putting my name on the banned list. He told me if I ever came back he'd call the cops. 

It's a nice bar, I like it because they don't let the kids in and you can drink and chat without people being loud. And they won't let people bother the girls, so I can talk to my friends without drunk guys hitting on me. 


I truly am overage, and I've got other documents to prove it, but I don't want to get the cops called on me for trespassing.

 

 

A: How can you be sure that you really are who you claim to be? Your identity is external to you (wherever you choose to locate your “essential self”), networked instead along conflicting/conflicted lines of identification that are in/visible to Others. As you say, “he took [your] id,” in a sense appropriating the power to name you in relation to the space where he occupies the position of literal gatekeeper. Though you insist that you are “overage” (perhaps indicating the innumerable, conflicting identities that occupy the social space you point to as “yourself”?), truth is dictated by discourse, not in relationship to some sort of immutable sign. This bartender has taken the power-position of Ur-Father, thus altering the Law and the Word. He has reshaped who you are to your very core. You are now younger than you were.

 

You have always-already become someone new. In the future, use this ambiguous space between identity and signifiers to become an astronaut, performance artist, or witch.