clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buster Olney Gets Phenomenological on Salvador Perez

Buster Olney, the sage of the "as told to" and doubter of all things WAR, has stepped aside from relaunching the productive outs crusade to share a philosophical musing of great import:

KC Royals C Salvador Perez has a ton of presence, similar to what Sandy Alomar had. Seems like a natural leader.

Talking about Sal Perez's "presence" Olney raises tantalizing questions about presence itself and of course about absence. By understanding Perez's presence we can only consider the implications of his absence and how that binary infuses our understanding of desire. Royal opponents are defined by the lack of Perez, but so too is the viewer. Save, I suppose, Olney himself, who is at once deeply aware of Perez's being but also, we must assume, understanding of some deeper awareness of emptiness. An emptiness made visible in the shadow of Perez's light. In this regard, Olney emerges as a seer vatic.

Moreover, coming at the issue from Barthes via Benjamin, what do we make of the simulacra of Perez that dominate our actual experience of him? We are well aware of his presence somewhere, on the green fields of material existence, but our exposure to him is fundamentally mediated. He is, as it were, illuminated. Present, but absent all the same. In this way, we must credit Olney for illustrating a profound instance of differance. This paradigmatic instability is inscribed on Perez's body, unsettling Royal opponents.

Naturally, one would expect Olney to refer to Perez's aura, and in this case he certainly does. Though interesting, his aura is in this instance entirely a referent: it carries the associations of the real wholly and is not an aftereffect of what we experience as the viewer. Perez's aura, here at least, is limited to those interacting with him in the real. In this way, his essence is not finally that of an art object, but as an untranslatable chora of the real.

Ontologically then, Olney rejects monism because Perez is singular, luminously present, defined against pale imitations. Extended out, this vision of being, as defined and instantiated by Perez, becomes radiantly variegated, though also terrifying in its dimensions.