Sunday, February 18, 2007

Why Frog?

Maybe Kafka was wrong and this apparently interminable Sunday will end more abruptly than any of us expect. We could start betting on how great the Monday will turn out to be, if there is a Monday, and if we're personally reserved for it, and if any of us are in fact still around to experience it.
At any rate, it seems (but who are we to judge?) that amphibian populations worldwide are declining even faster than symbolic efficiency:

" ... 'This is the precedent of a disease working its way across an entire species on the scale of all mammals, all birds or all fish,' said Joseph Mendelson, curator of herpetology at Zoo Atlanta and an organizer of Amphibian Ark. 'Humans would be absolutely stupid if they didn't pay attention to that.'

Amphibians — of which frogs make up the majority — are a vital part of the food chain, eating insects that other animals don't touch and connecting the world of aquatic animals to land dwellers. Without amphibians, the insects that would go unchecked would threaten public health and food supplies. ..."

"A phenomenon likened to the extinction of dinosaurs."- wow. But I mean, frogs, yuk -- like, who needs 'em? If anyone does, then the nuts-and-bolts boffins will no doubt find a solution, using their dependably efficient chemical and mathematical symbols. And meanwhile, as long as Sunday lasts, we have movies to talk about, and lists to compile, and a war on language to be fought, while we continue to ponder the puzzling popularity of apocalyptic fantasies in the year of Our Lord 2007.


  1. Yes, you're so right, if we all just blog about the frogs they'll live! Blogging about anything else implicates us in the frog holocaust. Should we also relate the frog holocaust story to the culpability of others who aren't talking about the frog holocaust?

    What would those bloggers do if you weren't there to keep an eye on them? I predict that between you, Chabert, and the non-funny Cultural Parody Center the Left will wake up by Christmas.

  2. warszawa10:37 AM

    Anthony, can you actually do anything except irony-in-inverted-commas? (You should try your hand at irony, for example.)

    "I predict that between you, Chabert, and the non-funny Cultural Parody Center the Left will wake up by Christmas."

    I don't. I predict that what you eccentrically and inefficiently refer to as "the Left"* will still be slumbering far too soundly in its comfortably feathered bed. The noise from Iraq - explosions, screams, invective against Americans - is muffled both by distance and by self-administered ear-plugs. At least for the time being, the rest of the world, which supplies your feathers at knock-down prices, is a very, very long way away and no impediment to sleep.

    *In fact, you mean the Right. (Slippery things, symbols, especially in your hands. Even slipperier than frogs.)

  3. warszawa11:39 AM

    Last week, Jodi Dean informed us that "America desired 9/11". Now she conveys the "adorable" suggestion that "Information wants to be centrally managed". By deleting comments at ICite, she is presumably merely endeavouring, modestly, to fulfil Information's masochistic desire.

    In further news, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades thought Children of Men was pretty cool, while Dick Cheney's fountain pen thought it sucked. The Chrysler Building had fallen asleep in the theater after a hard day at work and was unwilling to venture an opinion. Islamofascism is waiting for the movie to come out on DVD.


    "All your thought are belong to us."

    (How does one write "extraordinarily rendered" in 133t-speak?)

    Posted by: Adam Kotsko | February 18, 2007 at 10:43 AM

    warszawa's lack of theoretical sophistication is astounding.

    Posted by: Adam Kotsko | February 18, 2007 at 11:30 AM

    Weird--I thought I had blocked warszawa. Well, now the comments are deleted. It never fails to surprise me how some people think that I keep a blog just so that I rude and obnoxious strangers can spew bile.

    Posted by: Jodi | February 18, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    Can information be centrally managed though?

    Posted by: A.E | February 18, 2007 at 12:58 PM

    Perhaps if one has a very, very narrow definition of information.

    Posted by: Jodi | February 18, 2007 at 01:06 PM

    Jodi: "It never fails to surprise me how some people think that I keep a blog just so that I rude and obnoxious strangers [!] can spew bile."

    You say you cite, Jodi. Well, perhaps you'd be kind enough to cite just one example of the "bile" I've allegedly "spewed".

    Just one example, Jodi, if you please (and if you can). Demonstrate to your readers, with an actual citation from me, how "vile and obnoxious" I have (allegedly) been. Because if you don't, then it looks very much as though you can't, and then it becomes painfully apparent that you are merely using the terms "rude" and "obnoxious" to mean "not in agreement with me".

    P.S. "Strangers" is a very revealing word in that context. Personally, I think there is a difference between keeping a weblog and hosting a dinner party, or at least there should be.

    Posted by: warszawa | February 18, 2007 at 01:59 PM

  4. warszawa12:18 PM

    W--why do you persist when you know full well that you are unwanted?

    Posted by: Jodi | February 18, 2007 at 02:53 PM

    a) For good reasons which I've already stated, and which you have deleted. b) Because a Worldwide Weblog is not a dinner party. c) Because 2007 is the sixth year of the symbolically and otherwise efficient 'War' on 'Terror' started by your government in September 2001; d) Because that War [sic] today alone claimed at least 60 Iraqi and eight American victims. e) Because I have this stubbornly quaint Old European belief that it does in fact matter what people say, especially under these circumstances.

    And I repeat my request that you cite examples of the "bile" I have allegedly "spewed", if you can. If not, then an apology might be in order for deleting comments and then mischaracterising them.

    P.S. I shall save all further comments to Qlipoth, where you are free to post any response that comes to mind.

  5. Again with the helpful advice! And corrections! Who would have known that my sins are so bad that I am actually on the right since I have failed, nay, denied the love of the true Left by not blogging about the coming frog holocaust. Thank you Father Warszawa, bless you. What is my penance? Don't forget to throw in some stuff in there about my being a class snitch, kapo, something about sleeping on feathers (oh Christ how I love those feathers - help me Warszawa, for I desire so feathers), and my culpability in the Iraq occupation. So many sins, so few prophets crying out in the desert!

  6. And also, thank you so much for your bravery in standing up to that war monger Jodi Dean. You know that before our government (who we tell everything to! be careful what you say!) decided to invade Iraq they asked Jodi what to do and she said "Kill the fuckers!" I know you don't watch television but you can still find some clips online with millions of people in the street demanding that we invade Iraq. Everyday approval for the war rises. The love for Supreme Leader Bush grows. It is only you speaking truth to power over here at blogger (the rest have fled to the more imperialist wordpress)! When will we speak endlessly to those about hwo they are failing to blog about what they should blog about?! Oh Father Warszawa, pray for our souls!

  7. warszawa12:40 PM

    Thank you for answering my question so unambiguously, Anthony. Never let it be said that you aren't unsurprising.

    When can we expect to see your thoughts published in book form? (Title: "The Anthony Paul Smith Story: A History of the World in Six Volumes". It will be published in tandem with "The World Is My Dinner Party", by Jodi Dean.)

    Maybe some readers will even manage to decipher your symbols efficiently.

  8. You asked a question? Missed that. Just add it to the list of sins you are keeping.

  9. warszawa2:56 PM

    Questions aren't the only things you miss. And as for "sins" - No no, Anthony, you're perfect as you are. Just poifect. And that's really all that matters, isn't it? (Rhetorical question.)

    Pardon me yawning. Goodnight, and sleep well.

  10. Carl is taking the piss out of them with that list post.

    Jodi is funny: "why blog" "why I blog" "why I blog about blogging" "I don't blog in order that..."...its endless. It's the sole thought. She's created a little bailiwick of expertise for herself; Jodi is the expert on why Jodi blogs.

  11. W, anthony didn't kill any Iraqis today so its not his fault and its not his problem. Don't you know what defines a leftist intellekshul today? Anthony put it succintly: "Don't know much about anything and don't care really because I don't see how knowing anything would do any good."

  12. Chabert,

    You're right I didn't kill any Iraqi's today! And, hopefully, I'll have made too little money this year to even contribute monetarily to the killing of Iraqis. For some of us, less well off than your currency speculatin' self, not joining the military was a difficult choice. I'm the only of four brothers that didn't and it wasn't exactly a happy day. So, the fact that I haven't killed any Iraqis today, I think is quite a good thing.

    I'm curious - what did you do today to save a bunch of Iraqis? Did you blog about what people should blog about or did you make some more money speculatin' on currency that you'll then give to someone to show that 'do shit'?

  13. No trading on Sunday.

    But that's okay because you were working for me. You I think watched a little teevee for me, today as every day, because royalties from your market stream in steadily, and when you're working in your 'free' time for me, I don't have to. Sucks for you but, well, don't tell me any more about it because I don't see how my knowing about your problems will do any good.

    But as a token of my appreciation, I'll post a picture of the beachhouse I'm building from your viewing hours when its done.

    So thanks, very much really, for your attentrons.

  14. Anonymous9:47 PM

    Anthony, is it because jodi dean recently proposed conspiracy theories as a way to defuse the power of the 911 image that you now think everything around you is an eeeeeeeeeeeeevil conspiracy?

    (and please help me, because jodi has now banned me from commenting at her politbureau, what is her proposal for further handling after we have defused 911? I couldn't find it in her text.)

    The Cultural Parody Center is not in a conspiracy with Chabert, even as we happen to share many views on subjects like Zizek and Western champagne socialism, and are 100% aligned on the Cultural Parody Center's Zizek personality cult annihilation project.

    And speaking of Chabert, when I met her and started talking to her wasn't it WEBLOG who started with 700 million anonymous ''troll'' comments - policing the conversation which I hadn't even partaken on, because I was not a member of the Lawng Sunday? I don't remember seeing you before Chabert came into the frame.

    Will you please explain from what position of righteous self-indignation are you spraying bile on either Chabert or me?

    My position on the frogs is that even as humane action may have its limits, because international capital has become too powerful to be addressed on just that practical level, and has to also be combatted on the post-structural front, and many other fronts, it is certainly one helluva lot better than post-modern jabber on symbolic efficacy coupled with
    Dr. Dean's celebration of what is in actuality a Slovenian neoNazi quisling posing as a Leninist (but I keep telling you, you don't know anything about it because you don't want to look beyond the Western perspective!)


  15. Anonymous10:04 PM

    so in essence a good way to provide a Left alternative to imperialism would be to stop TALKING about its prime-time champions like Zizek !

  16. Sorry, I didn't do any work for you today (or the day before, etc.) as I don't own a television.

    Are you going to blog about what people should be blogging about in the new beach house?

  17. Anthony, you poor desperate thing! You mention lots of television you've seen. I know what you watch. Doesn't matter to me whether you own the set.

    But if you really didn't work for me today, or yesterday, or ever, then, that is, if I didn't exploit you today, why should I care about your problems? Why do you whine to me about them? Not my fault, are they?

  18. You whinge about your credit card debts. What's it to me? I didn't issue you a credit card today.

  19. warszawa6:22 AM

    aps: "Yes, you're so right, if we all just blog about the frogs they'll live! Blogging about anything else implicates us in the frog holocaust. Should we also relate the frog holocaust story to the culpability of others who aren't talking about the frog holocaust?"

    ("Heh. 'Frog holocaust.' Heh, heh. He said 'frog holocaust', Beavis. Heh, heh. Three times! 'Frog holocaust'... Heh... Neat.")

    - The blatantly-obvious point, Anthony, since you missed this too, is that there is (at least for the time being) a world beyond your world of blogging about bloggers who blog about blogging when they're not issuing idiotic unsolicited amateur-psychoanalytical blanket diagnoses of people who aren't sniggering about other holocausts (of human beings), recent-historical and currently ongoing.

  20. I'll tell you a story about Jodi and the lamented decline of "symbolic efficiency", because it shows what a complete fraud she is; she prefers bullshit and everythign si to puff her vanity.

    At the beginning of Long Sunday, she gave some paper about blogging. The whole thing dripped this reverse bathos. In it, she pretended to have done some kind of research- she presented herself as having investigating blogging and why bloggers blog. There were quotations from what appeared to be various bloggers. I was suprised to see myself quoted there - from the LS listserv, presumably private, when we discussed the blog. But the thing that tells you everything about Jodi - the perfect example of her method of pseudo-intellectual pseudo-schomlarship, is I was quoted once as Alphonse van Worden and other times as different people, to make it seem like she'd interviewed bloggers or actually was basing her contents of something. But it was nothing. She'd snipped stuff from this stupid conversation her friends were having about starting Long Sunday, and manufactured what she needed to make a few idiot assertions, and presented it as the result of an inquiry into blogging. The paper was absolutely a stupid pointless fraud, a facsimile of an academic paper, like you'd see maybe in the Onion. I think she made up something she wanted said, put quotes around it and assigned it to another person.

    For a stupid paper on blogging! It's like posing, lying and bullshit is her normal mode; she doesn't even know the difference between bullshit and honesty; she doesn't know there is another way to behave or speak. As she was exactly in the perofmance with anthony on LS about her legal problems - can you imagine someone who ma,naged to get sued for libel running a blog? - where she said the case had been dismissed by a judge as not actionable. An absolute lie, and a stupid one, because this is easy to find out. Then I said 'i think you're fibbing' and she had to admit it and yet she still insists this out and out lie is not a lie because...of i guess the decline of symbolic efficiency. Which is a convenient thesis for people who lie all the time and instinctively, even when they don't need to, even when they will be easily found out, as Jodi does. She like to just lie and bullshit but she needs her authority and her classroom and control. She has to create a safe space for herself, without 'strangers' who will say 'but Jodi that's a lie and a stupid, obvious one.' But I'm not even sure she really does have any concept of honesty and truthfulness. I really think she is ever so slightly psychotic.

    Just the sort of pseudo-scholar, pseudo-dissident, for the Bush era academy.

  21. Anthony, btw, your martyrdom application has also been denied.

    You and Jodi put me in mind of these mormons I was in partnership with on a project once. The same conviction of your utter righteousness gives rise to that same repugnant sleazy tone, the corridor-whispering amateur Iago. Eugh eugh eugh.

  22. I put in an application for martyrdom? I have a righteous tone? Are you confusing me with yourself again? Remember - I'm the one who doesn't own a tv and you're the one who makes money from the tv. I do think it matters very much to advertisers whether or not you watch a television show on a television with all the commercials and whether or not you steal it in such a way that it doesn’t even count for ratings.

    How many Iraqis did you save today?

  23. " steal it in such a way that it doesn’t even count for ratings."


    I can see in out in the cold, your nose pressed to the neighbors window, shivering; sirens wee whaa wee whaa

    - Oh no officer! I was justht.. I wath trying to watch mither sthpock but but I have to esthcape the peoplemeter!
    -Excuse me?
    - The peoplemeter! The nielthen people meter! So I couldn't go inside!
    -They have a people meter in this house?
    -What? but...but...its a housth...I thought...
    - You have a peoplemeter in your house?
    - What? No, I, I, doesth it...I I I I don't want it to see me!
    - Why don't you just watch at home?
    - Can't the peoplemeter sthee me at home?
    - You said you're not a neilsen home.
    - I'm not but can't it see me?
    - Well, its a sample. It can see you here too.
    - It has eyesth everywhere? The peoplemeter is allstheeing? allknowing?
    - Didn't you go to high school? Didn't they teach you any math?
    - Ackthully I grew up in a paperbag in the middle of a highway....
    - You watch an awful lot of television, do you? Well, you should just get a television at home because you're going to get yourself shot looking in people's windows and giggling and panting like that.

  24. And what's happening to Iraqis, to Haitians, to illegal immigrants in the US, to the people still unable to go home to new orleans, to Liberians, to Palestinians, is not a joke Anthony. Your appropriation of their situation for a little image, a little meaningless hipster quip about "saving" communicates a lot about you, all decline in symbolic efficiency notwithstanding.

  25. How many deeply indebted white theology grad students did I "save" today - this you didn't ask. You're not part of a pitiable subhuman fungible horde, an image-character from television, requiring salvation, and of course, I couldn't save you.

    The peoplemeter is everywhere anthony. It knows your every sleazy little selfpitying egoist selfcongratulatory thought.

  26. and actually I haven't had even a dollar in tv royalties for four years. I was just pulling your leg, which is easily pulled. So no need to pretend you don't watch tv.

  27. By doing so you are only supporting Andy Apaid's project in Haiti. Of course, he and his activities are not nearly as bad as I am. He goes to the opera, but doesn't like it. Anyway, none of that is your problem. You're too occupied with defending the honour of your betters, Saints Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Zizek, and ensuring that your industry does its part in eroding 'symbolic efficiency' and securing the your government a free hand for its continued imperial rampage. So you can have your three dollar Battlestar Gallactica dvds your so proud of. The cheap shit that is your own 'soft landing' to the global underclass.

  28. Anonymous2:03 PM

    BAN HIM!



  29. The case against Jodi was dismissed due to jurisdiction. I filed in the wrong state. It would have been very actionable, if I had airfare to New York.