A review of Revolutionary Road (2008, directed by Sam Mendes ) One of the most effective criticisms that can be made of people who choose to live an alternative lifestyle is that it is (in the terms of this movie) whimsical or flighty. An alternative lifestyle is presented as a set of artifices that may …
The mythology is all wrong. Prometheus did not bring fire to the humans. This is what happened. Prometheus stole fire from the old, conservative gods and ate it. With this fire in his belly, he descended to the human world, jumped onto a stage, and told them, “I have brought you fire!” None of them grew warm because of the fire inside the rebel god—they only though they did.
Print is dead. The paper you are holding in your hand does not exist. It is not economically feasible. The demographic of print readership is older and heading north. As a result, this paper does not hold the presumption of the possibility of a successful enterprise. It is not capable of anything beyond what has …
A Review of Postmodernism is Not What You Think Postmodernism Is Not What You Think by Charles Lemert, 1997. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 185 pages (first edition) This first edition of Postmodernism is not what you think was written over 13 years ago, just before the “event” that changed everything. A proud and bright icon …
1 A few years ago, I was asked by some friends to write on play and games for Anarchy. I sent them an essay, entitled “A Funny Thought Concerning a New Way to Play,” in which I insisted above all on a certain attitude: a deep distaste for competition, for the unkind imposition of arbitrary …
By Sending Them Letters
Is not indolence the pleasure of spending the morning in bed?
– D.A. (editor of Letters)
Letters Journal IV, the self-styled* “anti-political communist journal” coming out of Kentucky is a beautiful thing and that isn’t even to talk about the writing (which is also lovely). While I have never read the journal before, other than some small things on the Internet, I was excited to read it because this issue focuses on the topics of friendship, love, and fate (among other things). It kind of reminds me of another infamous journal that I’ve really liked lately because of this focus on relationships (and no, I’m not talking about New York City and Santa Cruz). It may seem a little cheeky, but I feel like these are important topics to discuss, and honestly they are probably easier to understand than pro-revolutionary theory (because I’m still not exactly sure I know what that is, but I want to).
What is the journal? In their own simple words:
With this journal we wish to better understand and analyze capitalism and its critics through the distorting lens of a rigorous anti-political experimentation and soul searching. We are not the expression of a political party or organization and seeks no adherents or official line, though we are open to offers of financial patronage. We are not afraid of paradox. Our aim is to bring maximum disorder to habitual perspectives.
What could be more timeless than saying goodbye?
And what could be more proper to the present configuration of capitalism than the search for things timeless? Notions of love, family, gender, progress, and humanity are constantly presenting themselves as natural in the marketplace of ideas. Renegade intellectuals, dialecticians or postmodernists, make a game out of taking the eternal out of the timeless, such that everything is new.
Who knows what saying goodbye was like in the early days of capitalism, and earlier. What is certain now is that the very term “goodbye” conveys a sentimental finality that contradicts the lack of any finality in the physical movements built into the apparatuses of today.
Un-ideological Insurrection in Romain Gavras’ and Justice’s “Stress.”
A few months ago, amidst all the hype and talk about politico-hipster M.I.A.’s new music video “Born Free” directed by Romain Gavras making news, I stumbled upon some of the French director’s earlier work. While I’ve been a fan (whatever) of the French electro duo, Justice, for some time now, I hadn’t come across their video for their song “Stress” and was pleasantly surprised to see the depth that Romain Gavras brought to the project. His video for M.I.A., aside from being an example of remarkable cinematography, is extremely vapid in that its projected “political” polemics are explicit and operate entirely along the surface. The ginger-haired “othering” lends itself to a certain passive recognition of how such ethno-cultural differentiation is/can be supported by state-sanctioned violence. It requires nothing of the viewer except a passive acceptance that this IS (emphatic and totalizing agreement) how difference is codified and supported. Such inherently simplistic visual conventions and politicized contrivance makes the viewer tune out after the first twenty seconds or so, when shock is merely replaced with redundancy. Everything after the initial recognition that conventional ethno-cultural “othering” has been flipped upside down simply becomes superfluous and eventually beats the viewer over the head with brutal repetition of clichéd images. This pedanticism is strange, because what Gavras gets wrong with M.I.A.’s “Born Free” (2010) he had already mastered brilliantly with Justice’s “Stress” (2008).
A polemical review of Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin
White has declared his intention of piling up as much pressure as possible on the Queen Bishop file and on the Queen Bishop Pawn. Black must meet that threat by bringing all his resources to bear on defense of th efile, or int=stitute a counter-attack vigorous enough to divert White’s forces from assault
Logical Chess: Move by Move Irving Chernev
“Resistance is the present state of an interpretation of the subject. It is the manner in which, at the same time, the subject interprets the point he’s got to. … It simply means that he [the patient] cannot move any faster.”
The Seminar. Book II. The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis Lacan, Jacques.
One way or another, I guess I’ve spent the past two years of my life trying to figure out what Cloud Cult is.
On the face of it, this appears to be a simple question with fairly predictable answers: Cloud Cult is an experimental rock group from Minneapolis, the brainchild of front man Craig Minowa, with ten studio albums and somewhere in the range of eight musicians. With Light Chasers – their latest polished effort – having been made available for Internet download in late June and set to hit stores in mid September, one might reasonably expect the focus of this review to be on that particular work. The truth, however, is that even though I have listened to the album in its entirety close to 40 times by now, I do not consider myself to have digested it sufficiently to give any other reaction aside from, “Wow”. More importantly, for me this band really cannot be reviewed simply in terms of individual albums, and deserves to be considered for the unprecedented and truly unique experience that it brings to the table – beyond most people’s ordinary interpretations of what music is.
[Perhaps I should mention that the first time I ever listened to Cloud Cult, I was balls-deep in five hits of some rather magnificent LSD.]