[...] As Lazard and others have exemplified in their work in support groups for artists living with chronic illness and impairment,6 this figuring moves beyond the conception of regenerative care as caught within the social reproduction of labor power, to emphasize the perpetual labor undertaken by those living with disability in order to exist. Central to this movement is the experience of time; in its noncompliance with patterns of work and leisure, the dissonant temporality of illness described by Lazard, between cycles of remission, excruciating flares, and slow healing, renders what has been termed “crip time” in the disability community. In the words of disability theorist Alison Kafer, speaking of crip time and its intersection with queer time: “These shifts in timing and pacing can of necessity and by design lead to departures from ‘straight’ time, whether straight time means a firm delineation between past/present/future or an expectation of a linear development from dependent childhood to independent reproductive adulthood.”7
What further implications for social thought might we draw from the “three estates” of logosphere, graphosphere, videosphere — the word, the press, the screen? It would be possible to tabulate a series of norms and functions inherent in any social collectivity, and map out the particular modes and forms that have answered to them in each successive age.
Thus, the symbolic authority for the logosphere is the invisible; for the graphosphere, the printed word; for the videosphere, the visible. Status of the individual: subject; citizen; consumer. Maxim for personal authority: “ God told me;” “ I read it;” “ I saw it on TV.”
Yet although these three regimes succeed each other in historical time, each asserting its own predominant forms and modes, it should go without saying that any one of us contains all the ages at once. Inside each of us there lies a calligraphic East, a printed Europe, a widescreen America; and the continents negotiate within us without losing their respective place. Each one of us is, simultaneously, God, Reason and Emotion; theocrat, ideocrat, videocrat; saint, hero and star. We dream of ourselves as standing outside time; we think about our century; we wonder what to do with our evening.
She often imagined the past as an archaeological dig, with later events overlying and crushing the earlier ones, but in fact it wasn’t like that; really every moment of her past was present to her all at once, as in the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History. So the good times stood right next to the bad times, alternating panel by panel, room by room, making for a garbled queasy stew of feelings. That past.