Thursday, February 25, 2010

Commodity Fanaticism - I




Anodyne Lite comments on an evident trend of excessively passionate fanaticism for entertainment commodities and the way many young leftists seem to mistake their personal, capricious tastes in music and videos for political commitments and moral virtues.



I would offer as especially vivid specimens of this infirmity Dominic Fox (a gifted writer) and Owen Hatherley (a knowledgeable commentator on architecture). They exhibit the extreme of the principal element - the certainty that their personal preferences in art and entertainment are political and moral virtues, giving rise to an almost tearfully disgruntled pedantry, based in the most superficial kind of erudition, about the objects of their obsessions - but also display an additional symptom of the syndrome, which is that they have convinced themselves that they discover everything they like, and hasten to plant their flags in canons and bestseller lists like Colombus discovering the New World. It brings to mind a comedian whose routine involved the line, delivered in a Bimshire lilt, "Ay, get your flag out me roses man." They assert - ludicrously, because they prefer only the most popular mass culture and the best known high culture works - that everything they like was underrated and unknown before they resurrected it with their admiration and uniquely intelligent and sympathetic understanding. This then acts as a kind of explanation for the absence of any commentary on the reception history and scholarship of their favourite stuff (they are unfamiliar with this and can provide no account of it), but also permits them to become midwives to their idol's divine creativity in fantasy, almost like auxiliary authors of their favourite artworks and culture commodities. Both Fox and Hatherley seem to believe they have, for example, rescued Samuel Beckett - canonical nobelist, more frequently analysed by US academics and students than Shakespeare, and almost uninterruptedly performed - from obscurity.

From Hatherley's Militant Modernism:

Beckett’s Late Review devotees seem to have an idea of him as some sort of amalgam of Zeno the Stoic and Father Ted, yet one can’t imagine Tom Paulin or Bonnie Greer relishing being assaulted by the panic attack of Not I or wading through the thick, impenetrable tangle of repetition and horror of How it Is.


I know for a fact that Bonnie Greer has a far deeper and broader knowledge of Samuel Beckett's oeuvre than Hatherley, and also is capable, which he is not, of engaging in interpretation of the work, informed by knowledge of history, genre, medium, institution, and existing scholarship, which Hatherley could not even begin to produce, having simply no acquaintance with Beckett scholarship or with any method of literary criticism or performance theory whatever. He produces a kind of commentary on art and literature (always stressfully sincere but often insightful and despite common diction errors - he doesn't know what "replete" means but uses it often, and other awkward tics of this type - engagingly written) relying solely, as in his popular remarks on architecture, on the elaborately displayed intensity of his opinion and the forcefulness and insistence of the mock aristocratic rhetoric with which he expresses his personal tastes and prejudices. And in the passage above, he does not quite assert, but clearly implies, that the heroic, self-sacrificing acts of recognition and appreciation required for the true Beckett devotee's progress to enlightenment (which nonetheless produce from Hatherley only vague, bland, obvious description without even a hint of interpretation - horror, tangle, repetition, panic) can be accomplished only by his little clique of narrowminded, chauvinist, parochial mutual admirers. Dominic Fox similarly suggests that only these possessors of a "British" national character are capable of giving Samuel Beckett the "approval" - that white ball of clubbability that is evidently the only reaction Fox is capable of having, apart from the black ball of ostracism, to anything - that Fox, perhaps psychotically and certainly wrongly, perceives Beckett to be suing him personally for with his novels. Without their courageous unsentimentality and hyper refined aesthetic organs, these two suggest, Samuel Beckett’s genius would have gone forever unrecognised. They barely stop short of congratulating themselves for making the works of Samuel Beckett what they are today.




Anodyne Lite asks if I have anything to recommend to read on this topic - because these two are just examples of a widespread phenomenon - and I don't. It's something I wish the EC would fund me to study. I would ask Jonathan Beller's advice, as I feel sure his already published observations imply something yet to be said explicitly about why this kind of irrational attachment, this commodity fanaticism (sedulously ignored by the legions of pundits advertising a new age of fanaticisms) has become so widespread and yet remains imperceptible to its victims even when someone takes the pains to point it out with meticulous specificity.

Anyway.

When The Wire, sold as something like "to blaxploitation what the Sopranos is to gangster films", failed to attract an audience, HBO and the producers/creators devised a thoughtful promotional campaign that showed an acute sensitivity to fashions in the trendsetting sectors of the culture consuming public, lifting the terms and themes of its branding effort not from Esquire but from The Nation. It measured some distance travelled between the age of a substantial oppositional dissident critical intellectual culture and that of a dominantly delightedly and gratefully complicit one.

Twenty five years before The Wire's inauspicious first broadcasts, it was still unusual for people to admit liking, much less admiring, the television programmes they watched. Fifty seven channels and nothing on. But the mainstreaming of pomo irony launched a reversal of this attitude by at first introducing the (consoling, reassuring) idea that mindless shit could be watched with an attitude that transformed the activity of watching it into politically subversive cultural sabotage.

Audience fragmentation had to advance considerably before this pomo posture could really be widely exploited, since it belonged to an elite not the majority. ABC, under the guidance of an inexperienced hip former development executive Jamie Tarses, foolishly and without the confirmation of scientific study launched a re-branding campaign expressing this Nick at Nite, Harvard Lampoon irony at an extreme (TV is Good. and Watch TV. You have plenty of brancells to spare. or It's a beautiful day. What are you doing outside? Watch TV) which was a disastrous failure. For HBO's then tiny subscription base, upscale and confident that its consumption expressed its entitled and free "choice", this campaign might have worked, but for a major network still in the days of national airwaves broadcasters' dominance, aiming at a broad general audience, the tone was severely ill-judged.

Year after year, however, the posture steadily conquered television, in typically softened and veiled versions. From there, it was an obvious and easy step to the creation of programmes which absorbed this suggested audience irony and could be themselves perceived as critical or subversive, "quality" television vended as a traditional rich dramatic experience, but not spoilt by any pose of sincerity which would imply an insulting assumption of audience gullibility, and liberated from some difficult traditional requirements for dramatic writing by post-modern gimmickry, updated with irony and reflexivity. With these new programmes which collapse the relation pomosity established between the viewer and re-runs of Donna Reed, the audience participates in the programme's own sensibility with a newly justified reversion to passivity and endorsement. Mad Men is the most complete case, and unsurprisingly is set in the period which was the contemporary setting for many of the programmes on Nick at Night for which the suggestion of subversive, ironic consumption was originated by Harvard Lampoon veterans.



Those tasked with puffing the ailing cop-soap-blaxpolitation series The Wire decided - how very cannily would become evident after a couple of seasons - to claim for their show qualities which specifically academic, intellectual fans of The Sopranos (that programme it was trying in a sense to supply the "black" version of) - qualities defining serious dramatic art with lofty aims, socially responsible and intellectually nutritious rather than violent sensational junk - had attributed to HBO's first series to get a network sized audience. The influential culture critic and celebrated 2nd wave radfem Ellen Willis was the one to provide inspiration for the elements of The Wire's future branding for the newly active niche of culture industry and academic viewers who considered themselves critically sophisticated connoisseurs of an underappreciated art form they would rescue from its status as unjustly despised:

The richest and most compelling piece of television--no, of popular culture--that I've encountered in the past twenty years is a meditation on the nature of morality, the possibility of redemption and the legacy of Freud.

To be sure, The Sopranos is much else as well. For two years (the third season began March 4) David Chase's HBO series has served up a hybrid genre of post-Godfather decline-of-the-mob movie and soap opera, with plenty of sex, violence, domestic melodrama and comic irony; a portrait of a suburban landscape that does for northern New Jersey what film noir did for Los Angeles, with soundtrack to match; a deft depiction of class and cultural relations among various subgroups and generations of Italian-Americans; a gloss on the manners and mores of the fin-de-siècle American middle-class family; and perfect-pitch acting, especially by James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano; Edie Falco as his complicated wife, Carmela; Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Melfi; and the late Nancy Marchand as the Sopranos' terrifying matriarch, Livia.

Cumulatively, these episodes have the feel of an as yet unfinished nineteenth-century novel. While the sheer entertainment and suspense of the plot twists are reminiscent of Dickens and his early serials, the underlying themes evoke George Eliot: The world of Tony Soprano is a kind of postmodern Middlemarch, whose inhabitants' moral and spiritual development (or devolution) unfolds within and against the norms of a parochial social milieu.This era being what it is, however, the Sopranos' milieu has porous boundaries, and the norms that govern it are a moving target. In one scene, the family is in mid-breakfast when Tony and Carmela's teenage daughter, Meadow, apropos a recent scandal brought on by a high school classmate's affair with her soccer coach, declaims about the importance of talking openly about sex. Yes, Tony agrees, but not during breakfast. "Dad, this is the 1990s," Meadow protests. "Outside it may be the 1990s," Tony retorts, "but in this house it's 1954." It's wishful thinking, and Tony knows it.


Ellen Willis, Our Mobsters, Ourselves, The Nation, 2001

The first thing one notices is that Ellen Willis has lost her mind. At least, she has lost the critical capacities which once operated in, or were operated by, her mind alongside the functioning of sensual and aesthetic responsiveness. Here we see an unmistakable case of rationalisation, but one so frantic and excessive it's laughable. Or ought to be. A once sharp and curious culture critic devotes herself now to concocting a truly risibly exaggerated encomium to her favourite show, probably to alleviate some anxiety about the intensity of her own attachment to it. In the period known as the post-modern, consensus became difficult and even suspect with regard to the evaluation of aesthetic and entertainment products. But it is worth asserting the continued obviousness and intelligibility of aspects of discourse and symbolic artifacts. And it is obvious, not contestable, that The Sopranos is not particularly like Middlemarch, and that it is rather very much like other, earlier television, all the television Willis once pretended not to be watching and therefore must not now seem to recall. Tony Soprano declaring it 1954 at his table is a strikingly exact echo of Archie Bunker at his. The patriarch champion of Tradition, disconcerted by modernity and its disruption of hierarchies and order, is a beloved topos of popular culture - before Archie Bunker and George Jefferson's celebrated comic versions there were dozens upon dozens, in varying styles and temperaments, notably Yul Brenner's Siamese King, Topol's Shtetl milkman, and yes, of course, most relevant here, Don Corleone who resists 'the future' and its messenger the narcotics trafficking Virgil Solozzo - but it is not found in Middlemarch.



Where the culture critic who remained critical and serious should sense the obligation to interpret the representations and symbolic material, as for example the change from All in the Family to The Sopranos involving the erasure of any unpleasant acknowledgements of the discomfort of real class stresses (working for a living), Willis abdicates or evades, shields her eyes from signification which might distress a fanatic devotee of the programme invested in its virtue as a confirmation of the innate instinctive virtue of her tastes. Instead of interpreting the programme's content, in context of history, genre, tradition, medium, instituion, etc, Willis, spaniel-like, sniffs out and feasts on the bits of bloody meat that are the pomo references (to Freud, for example, or Queer Theory or Billy Budd), these mere flashes that, as Jameson explained, create an illusion of content without the substance, empty passing mentions scattered through the otherwise formulaic dialogue and scenes precisely to distract, delight and defang the submissive critic who has lost her mind.

Tony Soprano is the entrepreneurial Archie Bunker, criminalised for glamour and fashionable intertextuality, but also for ideology's sake, for television's purpose is to disguise the reality of social life in the guise of exposing it, and among the things television must, and the Sopranos does expertly, conceal is the distance between the mythic condition of the small businessman/entrepreneur in the US and the real situation.

But putting Willis' particular case of commodity fanaticism and the details of the individual commodity which has provoked it aside for the moment, clearly much had changed in both mainstream and progressive dissident attitudes toward corporate mass culture since the days (beginning in the 70s) when feminist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist critics, radical and reformist, began seriously (in the academy and in a growing field of hip journalism) to look at both popular culture and mass culture commodities in search of an understanding of the symbolic and ideological aspects of class rule and the reproduction of social relations of inequality, opression and exploitation. At some point - not so long ago, perhaps 1999 - a rival function of cultural criticism, disguised as the perfection of this critical, emancipatory project, arose, and now we see that the dominant production, in both academia and hip journalism, is purely promotional, a branch of marketing. Culture critics who have lost their minds and succumbed to commodity fanaticism have reverted to the deployment, on culture commodities, not of the arsenal of critical practises developed by the radical criticism of the 70s, 80s and 90s, but of scarcely updated criteria of literary criticism and art appreciation established in the 19th century, from various formalisms to moral functionalism which in its current incarnation proposes to evaluate television programmes and movies almost solely with regard to the mass media's imagined social function of delivering democratic representation.

This latter position holds - reasonably enough - that one must welcome something like Queer Eye for a Straight Guy if only because the increased visibility of likeable gay men on television seems to reduce expressions of homophobia and violence against gay men. Not every claim of this kind is true, but the type of claim and its argument is undeniably valid, though not as a defence against full interpretation and critical exegesis of the culture commodity which has this positive trait. Unsurprisingly, however, the logic is rarely accepted thoroughly by those who deploy it, but is usually deployed opportunistically (a characteristic of commodity fanaticism is this opportunistic shuffling of criteria, axioms and critical practises) - programmes are not open to criticism, usually, on the grounds that they fail to perform such positive functions. It is a merit but not after all an obligation for television "art". And worse, the criterion can, under the influence of passionate enough commodity fanaticism, be called upon in a distorted way to justify programmes and movies which actually demonstrably incite or aggravate prejudices, hatred and violence against people conforming to a type presented as such, on the grounds that the type derives from and reflects "reality" and that real people referred to by this fictional type (say, clockers) benefit from being visible on television even if presented as terrifying, heartless, dangerous and needing to be incarcerated or annihilated, so best to be down with from the safety of the other side of the fictional bullet proof flat screen of the tv.

150 comments:

  1. Thanks, the Beller book looks excellent.

    I know it's very difficult not to want to draw lines in the sand around aesthetic preferences. It comes naturally enough; we're socialized that way, from the very earliest years, to form cliques based around which kid wears what, which one buys which CDs, which peers are part of this or that subculture as designated by very visible commodity-signs.

    There does seem to be something particularly santimonious about "indie" subculture, though, and the way it links up with leftism, especially on the internet. I hold out hope that the internet only magnifies these tendencies, and that they don't dominate political life entirely, but as Dejan said, the virtual and the real are probably one plan of consistency.

    So things do look pretty grim from where I sit.

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  2. great post, really crystallizes a lot of the problems i've been struggling with my whole 'blog career.'

    to anodynelite -- my sense of commodity fetishism/fanaticism's effect on political activity is not really that it's poisoning relations among politically active people who self-identify as left - from where i sit that seems to be a mostly internet-based thing. offline there are plenty more immediately apparent differences in morality, manners, life experiences, and general stereotypes for taste in music and film to have much effect IMO.

    where you see it more is when politics are directly routed through the commodity culture industry - obama's celebrity, for example, is to no small extent an issue of taste. a certain way of pitting political 'realism' vs. 'idealism' is implicated in this i think, this long drawn out commodified 'debate' over what expectations for obama are/were/could have/should have been.

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  3. Anonymous1:40 PM

    Thanks for that, and good to see you posting again.

    Your characterisation of Owen Hatherley does seem at least excessively harsh, though:

    "relying solely, as in his popular remarks on architecture, on the elaborately displayed intensity of his opinion and the forcefulness and insistence of the mock aristocratic rhetoric with which he expresses his personal tastes and prejudices"

    I do follow his blog, despite neither knowing him personally nor having any particular interest in architecture, but I have to admit I haven't read his book yet - and I know it's [a part of] his book you're criticising here. Still, I don't see anything vicious per se in having intense opinions, or even in presenting them elaborately, i.e., at length and in detail. And he is, as you say, knowledgeable (though not necessarily about Beckett). Nothing wrong with knowledgableness. As for "mock aristocratic rhetoric", I've yet to see it, or I don't understand what you mean by it. He is often both dry and droll, yes, but again these are no sins in themselves, or at least not when they're mitigated by intensity, especially when that intensity is articulated so well and argued so elaborately, and not in a bad cause either.

    Anyway, I didn't actually mean to disagree with your argument in its essence, just to question your choice of Owen Hatherley as a Bad Example. The trend you refer to takes on much more monstrous forms elsewhere on the web. It's not just that "many young leftists seem to mistake their personal tastes in music and videos for political commitments and moral virtues"; it's that the "right" taste appears to have supplanted any ability to argue a case or any responsibility to acquire the rudimentary knowledge that would enable one to even begin arguing it. The result - the ersatz - can only be described as territorial pissing:

    http://theimpostume.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-have-urgent-message-for-you.html#links

    That blogpost marks the point where Leftism-as-approved-popular-taste passes over into frankly reactionary and obscurantist politics. It's the triumph of know-nothingism and conformism masquerading as Plain Common Sense. Punk has a lot to answer for; "Kill All Hippies" has brought us right back to 1954.

    - w.

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  4. oh yes, and i was going to say (and will now add): i've never found owen to be particularly absolutist about the connection between his tastes and his politics.

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  5. sorry w - i should not have group blogged anything but paens to Hatherley!

    Here's the thing. Nicolas Bourriaud has popularised the conclusion of a quarter century of Marxist cultural theory which is that the ideology of modernism is white supremacist and imperialist, a pseudo-universalism disguising "Western" particularism and supremacism.

    Rathering than arguing, Hatherley attacked in the NLR this extraordinary way:

    This side of Benjamin’s thought is useless to Bourriaud. The reason is
    obvious—Benjamin examines artistic production and consumption. [An absurdly false charge but trivial] Both of
    these terms are almost entirely absent in Bourriaud’s work. The
    Radicant gives the impression that contemporary art, that playground
    for retired arms dealers and competing oligarchs, is somehow outside
    of the profit system. At this point the reader’s eye might be drawn to
    Bourriaud’s current job description: ‘Gulbenkian Curator of
    Contemporary Art at Tate Britain’. That is, he is funded by the
    Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, named after an Armenian oil magnate. [who could also be described as "A British philanthropist like the sugar baron who founded the Tate."]
    Aside from being a prolific sponsor of contemporary art since the
    1950s, the Foundation is the sole owner of the Portuguese oil and gas
    holding company Partex, which is particularly active in Abu Dhabi,
    where an entire island has been set aside for the artistic
    gratification of the ruling oligarchy. These facts do not in
    themselves make what Bourriaud has to say worthless—dubious money is a
    near-constant in the art world—but they do raise the question of
    whether his disdain for corporate culture stems from political
    considerations or simple snobbery.


    Unsurprisingly Hatherley goes on to endorse and promote Zizek's laste white supremacist ravings, defining "we white leftists" as the inheritors of the achievements of "The West" which include civilising the Haitian savages, ect etc.. But I knew Hatherley felt this way from an exchange we had on the defunct antigram blog where he, following Baudrillard, held forth that my neighbours who might have been out at night burning cars were "forces dreaming of destroying The West" oin league with al Qaeda. Just because they forcefully object to being brutalised and murdered by police here.

    Though not the most thorough spokesman for the position, Bourriaud is of course right about modernism and its western supremacism, and one could probably make a conclusive case that Hatherley's loathing, suspicion and contempt for swarthy Levantines and oily Ayrabs who fund art or founded institutions that do today (he himself receives only the largesse of the wholesome capitalists of Deutsche Bank, which I suppose is almost as wholesome as Tate, or moreso) is not unconnected to his attraction to an aesthetic and to certain expressions of modernism, but that's a long argument. He is clearly, despite his affection for W Lewis, more Fabian than fascist, though the nationalistic, chauvinistic motif in his writing is very strong (MM opens with a furious rant about a peceived affront to Britishness and the British from Alain de Botton hosting a tv show!). I think he's a genial tour guide and just find his style affected because of the - not incessant but - not infrequent malapropisms. Still all his texts, beneath the veneer of cleverness and the heavy shellack of conviction, prove as shallow as the "kicking" administed to Bourriaud for his connections to "dubious" Orientals, but really for his dissent from this resurgent ideology of the civilising mission.

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  6. oops

    should say

    This side of Benjamin’s thought is useless to Bourriaud. The reason is
    obvious—Benjamin examines artistic production and consumption. Both of
    these terms are almost entirely absent in Bourriaud’s work.[An absurdly false charge but trivial]


    brackets misplaced!

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  7. "i've never found owen to be particularly absolutist about the connection between his tastes and his politics."

    no he is the more typical case of being absolutist about the connection between other people's tastes and their politics. That it, it is you who with your liking for those hideous [whatever] expose yourself as a menace to civilisation and clearly a secret agent of dubious swarthy capital.

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  8. "the Swine-flu vaccine was actually poison and I should check out www.fluscam.com"

    My very close friend from University recently was diagnosed with a - happily treatable - form of lymphoma and even his oncologist and his father in law surgeon, very mainstream medical folk, agree that it was probably provoked by a flu shot.

    Anyway...I couldn't bear to read further, sorry.

    Some good sense;
    http://www.notbored.org/calvacanti.html

    http://www.notbored.org/on-terrorism.html

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  10. "Your characterisation of my opinions on the French riots is utter bullshit. As it's now defunct we can't check "

    Oh dear. But we can check.



    "hatherley said...
    , an overtly fascist product like 300

    Isn't the interesting point, irrespective of Baudrillard's 'neoliberalism' (which, incidentally, would make him the only neoliberal, not to mention one of the few commentators on the Left, to have realised the political significance of the riots in the Paris banlieue, rather than dismissing them as mere thuggery) that, as you say, 300 is overtly fascist and yet (as this whole kerfuffle has proven) commentators, reviewers, audiences refuse to admit it? Isn't this worthy of investigation?"

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  11. and Baudrillard's description of the "political significance of the riots", an article which you introduced to the conversation and linked, is:

    , It is French—more broadly, European—society which, by its very process of socialization, day by day secretes the relentless discrimination of which immigrants are the designated victims, though not the only ones. This is the change on the unequal bargain of ‘democracy’. This society faces a far harder test than any external threat: that of its own absence, its loss of reality. Soon it will be defined solely by the foreign bodies that haunt its periphery: those it has expelled, but who are now ejecting it from itself. It is their violent interpellation that reveals what has been coming apart, and so offers the possibility for awareness. If French—if European—society were to succeed in ‘integrating’ them, it would in its own eyes cease to exist.

    Yet French or European discrimination is only the micro-model of a worldwide divide which, under the ironical sign of globalization, is bringing two irreconcilable universes face to face. The same analysis can be reprised at global level. International terrorism is but a symptom of the split personality of a world power at odds with itself. As to finding a solution, the same delusion applies at every level, from the banlieues to the House of Islam: the fantasy that raising the rest of the world to Western living standards will settle matters. The fracture is far deeper than that. Even if the assembled Western powers really wanted to close it—which there is every reason to doubt—they could not. The very mechanisms of their own survival and superiority would prevent them; mechanisms which, through all the pious talk of universal values, serve only to reinforce Western power and so to foment the threat of a coalition of forces that dream of destroying it.

    But France, or Europe, no longer has the initiative. It no longer controls events, as it did for centuries, but is at the mercy of a succession of unforeseeable blow-backs. Those who deplore the ideological bankruptcy of the West should recall that ‘God smiles at those he sees denouncing evils of which they are the cause’. If the explosion of the banlieues is thus directly linked to the world situation, it is also—a fact which is strangely never discussed—connected to another recent episode, solicitously occluded and misrepresented in just the same way: the No in the eu Constitutional referendum. Those who voted No without really knowing why—perhaps simply because they did not wish to play the game into which they had so often been trapped; because they too refused to be integrated into the wondrous Yes of a ‘ready for occupancy’ Europe—their No was the voice of those jettisoned by the system of representation: exiles too, like the immigrants themselves, from the process of socialization. There was the same recklessness, the same irresponsibility in the act of scuppering the eu as in the young immigrants’ burning of their own neighbourhoods, their own schools; like the blacks in Watts and Detroit in the 1960s. Many now live, culturally and politically, as immigrants in a country which can no longer offer them a definition of national belonging. They are disaffiliated, as Robert Castel [2] has put it.

    http://irish-nationalism.net/archive/index.php/t-5189.html

    That should clear that matter up.

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  12. sorry I lost your link in the quote

    your comment linked to Baudrillard in NLR

    http://newleftreview.org/?page=article&view=2595

    on the word "incidentally"



    btw that NLR version of the article, and all other english versions I ever saw, lops off the last line to try awakrdly to soften the crazed racism of the piece by making it seem as though JS is "rooting" for the banlieu element of the "coalition if forces dreaming of destroying the West":

    the last line would not allow for that interpretation, which is already convincing without it but managed to satisfy the diehard Baudrillard fanatics who appreciate the freedom his example allows to opine in this vile fashion about people.

    The last line of the French original is -

    J’aurais bien aimé une conclusion un peu plus joyeuse mais laquelle ?

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  13. alread UNconvincing without it

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  15. "This is an incredibly serious accusation to make"

    yes yes, Perhaps you have been watching so much Wire that just the very sound of a Levantine surname conjured images of diabolical criminals like The Greek? Why didn't you criticise Bourriaud for taking the Tate's money? Do you know what the Tate is? Where it's money comes from? Or did you never inquire because the surname and the sugar industry origin of the founding fortune are so reassuring of decency and justice? It is after all the TATE and not actually the GULBENKIAN that signed the checks received by the man you are "kicking". Though, despite your stated dislike of invention, you insinuate otherwise, as if working for (as some might say being exploited by, not "funded" by) the Gulbenkian - which one day you may wish to do yourself - was some sort of stain.


    Anyway, you enjoy giving a good kicking to those whose tastes in art and use of historical materialist criticism you dislike. Is it really so hard to take a little constructive criticism now and then, even sugared with all this praise? I'm not writing in a major publication here, not accusing you of being the agent and lackey of German finance in the NLR, maybe you should try to take these opinions of mine, which are very well founded and evidenced, which maybe fifty people will see, with a better grace.

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  16. Anodyne Lite comments...

    I knew you two would get along.

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  17. And I didn't call you an antiarab racist, rather I suggested you were only pretending to find ayrab funding "dubious" to defend your cherished taste in modernist art and architecture against a curator who has a view you find threatening because you feel you need justify your tastes as a kind of civic virtue.

    You gave a rave review recently to a book which states its own thesis like this:

    [W]e white Leftist men and women are free to leave behind the politically correct process of endless self-torturing guilt…“The West [sic] is not detested for its real faults, but for its attempts to amend them, because it was one of the first to try to tear itself out of its own bestiality, inviting the rest of the world to follow it.” The Western legacy is effectively not just that of (post)colonial imperialist domination, but also that of self-critical examination of the violence and exploitation the West itself brought to the Third World. The French colonized Haiti, but the French Revolution also provided the ideological foundation for the rebellion which liberated the slaves and established an independent Haiti…


    Like the fans of 300 (among them the author of the above) who couldn’t seem to see its fascism, you don’t seem to see the white supremacist rubbish here, though it is so overt. Or perhaps you do. In any case you recommend the book, which goes on at length about these Western virtues (and in your view Britain is even more virtuous in this sense than elsewhere in Europe*) it is not unreasonable to see your kicking of Nicolas Bourriaud, who has promoted scholarship and an interpretation of 20th century culture which underscore the ideological connections between your favoured aesthetics (high modernist) and your favoured political theory (“The West” is the bearer of universal interests and truths and civilised and liberated humanity with its enlightened ideas)

    And it’s not surprising then that you should try to disguise the fact that you have nothing interesting to say about Beckett by bringing onto the stage of your text two dummies, of Paulin and Greer, and exhibiting them as examples of the crude, uneducated and insensitive multitude to which you are one of a superiorly refined elite. Affirmative action of this sort is what undergirds the thesis of “The West” existence and superiority. On your own you may not be very impressive but beside your foils – you are more refined and sophisticated than the shallow and simpleminded Bonnie Greer and purer than corrupted Nicolas Bourriaud – you seem so special.

    And you linked the Baudrillard on a word in a sentence that unequivocally indicated you were offering it as an example of an "understanding" of the "political significance of the riots" which you endorsed. It's okay that you forgot about it, so did I, and wouldn't have recalled if someone in arts development had not sent me that Gulbenkian business for an opinion and asked if I had any idea why someone would write such a thing. I didn't say "because he's hates orientals", but said probably because Bourriaud favours a Marxist feminist antiimperialist political interpretation of modernism he is affronted by but can't debate successfully in a scholarly and persuasive way, so he has to resort to ad hominem smears and the like.

    * “Yet, although Zurich or Palermo might not be as grotesquely paranoid and unequal as London or Manchester, she fails to see the comparative virtues of Britain. The endemic racism of public life so common in Switzerland and Italy has only recently begun to creep into our politics.” You write this in the New Statesman, a judgement about Britain’s virtues that might surprise many people including the Irish Republicans who were on hunger strike the year you were born.

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  18. "not unreasonable to see your kicking...in this context."

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  19. What was it my mother used to say...? "Don't dish it out if you can't eat it."

    I guess the world is supposed to sit back, mute, in submissive thrall to the Zizekian Left's "negations"...

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Oh what a bore.

    You don't want to read honestly, you don't want to take criticism, you know very well you performed a dirty little errand against Bourriaud, who is a very decent guy, an intellectual working in the culture industry like you, (oil money? wtf?) and unlike Zizz whose arse you willingly lick and whose marketing you zealously perform, though he runs his institutons, spends his budgets and organises his events in a blatantly racist and sexist manner - you would not dine at a country club run like he runs his institution - but you attack Bourriaud who, whatever you think of his writings, which mostly popularise the work of other scholars and theorists and ideas of working artists, at the very least runs his operations with a scrupulous commitment to diversity and to resisting the reactionary misogynist neofascist zizzification of his corner of the culture industry. He is very supportive of artists, whom you evidently disdain unless they make the television schlock that is the object of your fanaticism.

    "I criticise Alain de Botton for writing about British architecture because he's not British, do I? "

    No. I was remarking on your chauvinism, tthe patriotism you display in your reaction to de Botton's affront to "British" buildings. You are proud of "your" modernism, as if you had something to do with it. Did you ever even build a lego house? But you belong to that 'we' that claims things physically built by other people, including Pakistanis - but of course that part of Benjamin's work that concerns production has no meaning for you! - as your achievement.

    "in a New Statesman review I suggested there was less racism in civic life in London or Manchester than in the Italy of vigilantes and the Switzerland of minaret bans and 'black sheep'."

    No in the New Statesmen review you said that lately there is as much racism in "your" politics as in Switzerland and Italy. Your point was that this is recent and that there did not used to be racism in British politics - this is Britain's "virtue". How can you misread your own writing so? Well it goes to show at least that the dancing around your Baudrillard clash of civs crap is not unique. You advance it, then you don't want to own it. Okay, good.

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  22. " I apparently 'smear' Nicholas Bourriaud by referring to his job description. Perhaps someone should alert him to the self-smear on his business card."

    Oh you idiot. You smear him by insinutating that he is "funded" in some way everyone else on earth working for a corporation of instituion is not, by the sybarite oligarchy in the oriental pleasure palaces of araby. the post is called Gulkbenkian curator because the TATE is endowed by the Gulbenkian to cover it. he works for the tate. Like Fredric Jameson works for Duke, not William A Lane. Doeds this really need to be explained? Is it possible you don't know this?

    How can you bear to seem so childish?

    You know very well what you did, exploiting these images of "Armenian oil magnate" "portuguese holding company" and "entire island set aside" for the "gratification" - who do you think you're fooling with this? It couldn't be more obvious, this oriental tale of nefarious and sinister connections to "dubious" sources...

    if you meant to say he is working for capital, you needn't have mentioned more than that his employer is the Tate. there is no need for these sensational suggestive details, the long deceased 'armenian' founder, the secret island of arab gratifications....

    You're saying "he takes money from Arabs. doesn't prove he's lying, but..."

    And don't keep protesting. Your text is caught in flagrante. It's not the end of the world.


    "my entire argument in a 7000 word piece on Bourriaud "

    what argument? what was the substance of this argument? I saw no no argument. There are some forcefully advanced, mostly false, and unsubstantiated assertions, not clearly connected to one another, and a lot of snide snark and filler.


    "such noted outposts of the Levant as Armenia "

    Oh do stop. Calouste Gulbenkian was from Istanbul. The Levant is not a defined region, rather a traditional term, but basically the eastern mediterranean. But of course the term Levantine traditionally includes Armenians, Jews, Turks, Greeks...

    heren the Levantine Center thinks Armenians are Levantines:

    http://www.levantinecenter.org/cultures/middle-east-diasporic/armenian

    write to them and complain.

    This is ridiculous really. But it illustates how lacking in substance your thought is. Your book is breezy and entertaining but totally superficial. There is nothing anyone could respond to in your Brecht chapter, I wish the driveby hit on Greer and Paulin were not the most itneresting thing in it, but it's your fault. Shiny and shallow. No real engagement with Brecht's practise or theory, just a kind of chronicle, like one might give at a lecture at a museum for young students, as an intro. The text defies engagement really, everything in it is either so obvious/factual or so subjective: it invites only applause. And this is probably related to your inability into to grasp my criticism as a whole, to synthesise it, to synthesise even the material on which it is focussed which is taken from your own work, to find the substance and meaning of what I am saying about you and now to you. You break everything down into isolated bites, and then find an unsystematic variety of excuses or ripostes. The whole is lost - the point is missed. Your hectic book, replete with curiosities, is superficial like your response here.

    "Ms Klein, I salute you."

    Pathetic. really. Who is threating you? Everything you claim to find so intolerable in my remarks are here secluded in the comments to one post on a blog that really very very few people read. You really are little bullies, you children of Zizz.

    Yuk

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  23. ...because Qlipoth is the only person 'round here who's ever flinged a risible accusation...

    As the manager from Office Space might put it: mmkay.

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  24. You'd clearly rather someone ignored you rather than argued with you. I'm happy to oblige.

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  25. Was that directed at me? Hmm, hard to tell.

    If so, I'm sorry, but I don't know who you are and I haven't read your books, so I can't really comment on your alleged racism, sexism, and facism.

    So we'll keep the ignoring mutual then.

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  26. " Qlipoth is the only person 'round here who's ever flinged a risible accusation"

    Thanks for the support. Just to reiterate though, I didn't accuse him of 'being a racist' - but it's incredible how taboo the topic of racism is now, and the scolding about the "very serious accusations", well sure one should be responsible but if the shoe fits...I mean can you ignore something as blatant as that Zizz book? It's more overt than Nick Griffin. It's more overt than 300. I can't be the only person who noticed; everyone noticed that it was flagrantly racist imperial apology when the byline was Pascal Bruckner. Now Zizz is quoting him and it's spot on leftist insights into the evils of "identity politics", "political correctness" and the "victimology" of the climate debt campaign. It's just insane.

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  27. I don't want to drag you into hostilities here a-lite. I do appreciate the support, but this little zizz broood can be very vindictive. And anyway, a lot of Hatherley's stuff is very informative and entertaining in fact and lots of smart people like other Qlipoths like it a lot a lot. And what I've read of Dominic's book was actually very intriguing and moving, and the language exhibits very high craft. I don't think I'd be persuaded in the end, but it seems honest and was certainly not vacuous.

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  28. Owen,I'm sure you live on a racist street in a racist city in a racist country on a racist planet. You know this. I know this. I live on a racist street... too. How can you or I not have racist assumptions?

    This isn't some sort of pseudo-calvinism, political correctness, white guilt, whatever.

    Working on pointing out each other's blindspots to racism is very important solidarity work. It is not easy to hear, and it is even harder to say. Is Qlipoth wrong or right? This question might feel perfectly natural, but it is putting racism itself on trial. putting this question right up front also makes it look as if life is unfair to poor white people who get their feelings hurt by being mis-labeled being a nazi. But that is not what it means to have racist speech or writing pointed out. It doesn't mean you are a nazi. It means you live on a racist street in a racist city....

    The more useful questions are, 1) do I believe racism is a system which operates through people regardless (thought certainly not always) of their intentions? 2) how am I engaging in racist privilege in my daily actions or writing? 3) How might I go about finding out?

    defensiveness is not a good strategy. In fact, that defensiveness really chokes off attempts by people trying to point out stuff they think is or might be racist. In other words, expressing that defensiveness is a real problem which increases and defends racism in the aggregate, regardless of individual notions of purity and intention.

    I'm pretty sure you don't mean to do that, any more than I think I wouldn't.

    But so what? It's been a huge fucking problem of white folks freaking out any time someone mentions something they've done is racist. It happens all the god damn time with white dudes that are supposedly anti-racist activists. So it's not that you are doing anything specially bad by getting all defensive. But just racist. Cut it out dude.

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  29. Non-Adult Blog Entry Level Applicant1:56 PM

    And what I've read of Dominic's book was actually very intriguing and moving, and the language exhibits very high craft.

    Quit trying to be so goddam noblesse oblige. Dominic never exhibits 'very high craft', whatever else he exhibits. You're much better at realizing that Owen's book is 'superficial but entertaining', and you are doing a good show. It's about time, not that you've been missed so much, since it's mainly theatrical, but these parvenus do need a kick in their ass. Unfottunately, you've got critiques against 'good taste' as well, and while you know how to practice it, you abandon it yourself at convenience. It's perfectly transparent, you know, dear, and--I have to admit--extremely good...

    Do NOT think you may be ostracized alone! You have proven yourself to be a poor political thinker and blog polemicist, and should drink still more and write these quite enthralling blog subversivenesses (they all bite like fuck, as we see, and I haven't had such a good time in probably half an hour...)

    Except for 'impeccable dress sense', you may be less exquisite than some of the Asians and Africans that I know, so you'll probably have to stick with the quasi--no-nonsense Marxist shtick, but I can't see why that would be fully satisfying. After all, it was Dominic himself who early on gave lectures the Honourable Adam Kotsko on how 'he had many other attributes', for sure, so that even 'if you're not PHOTOGENIC, that's OKAY, you've got other good qualities' [nevermind he knew he was photogenic, though not sexy]

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  30. Bette Davis1:58 PM

    'You'd clearly rather someone ignored you rather than argued with you. I'm happy to oblige.'

    But ya didn't, BLANCHE, ya didn't...

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  31. Racist Street Dissolver2:14 PM

    putting this question right up front also makes it look as if life is unfair to poor white people who get their feelings hurt by being mis-labeled being a nazi. But that is not what it means to have racist speech or writing pointed out. It doesn't mean you are a nazi. It means you live on a racist street in a racist city....

    Oh fuch you, you boring asshole. If you live on a racist street in a racist city, then start sharing your digs with a black person. That's what I do, and I STILL like being called a goddam Nazi by such as you. She doesn't seem to think it's so terrible either (what hue? I won't tell you, but she's not dark enough to prove I'm not racist, but although bisexual, she's nevertheless female). But YES, I am an absolute Nazi, because she is also a model, but being kind-hearted, she is helping me to get over me TRUE bigotries: LOATHING of FAT PEOPLE and also having no patience with people who don't have a sense of humour. It's just SOOOOO David Bowie the way I get to live...However, she decided she did not think she must crusade against my LOATHING of Julie Andrews!

    I bet not ONE of you wonderful 'non-nazis' has a black oversexed rooomate like i do, and she has redecorated my whole apartment in three days--without my permission! Okay, come out with something sanctimonius, solemn and RACIST!

    ReplyDelete
  32. but many of my best friends are roomates!

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  33. Possible Racist of Hindus from Indiana and India2:23 PM

    but many of my best friends are roomates!

    Right, asshole, I knew you'd do prove your racism. NONE of my other roommates have been my best friends. This one even gets taken to the NYCBallet for her birthday, the last one was an INDIAN, but you can tell me that I think he was the biggest nerd-bore in the world because I hate Indians, and I sure did not like it when he talked about how 'I'm an artist', and then showed up with a work of art: This was a commercial poster of him in a Hall's Mentholatum ad which I saw in bicoastal subways. He also was in 'Life on Mars' as a 'yogi'. I don't even hate him, he was just a bore without name, and lost his temper every few days, threw nasty wet things in the bathroom garbage, and suchlike. He wanted to 'thank me for sharing my work with him' (this was a piano CD), and I said 'so you listened to it?' and he said 'No, I haven't had time'. How much more charming could I have been beyond an abrupt silence. I usually haven't liked my roommates, so fuck you again, you RACIST!

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  34. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Patrick J. Mullins has entered the room. Abandon hope.

    "Oh fuch you"

    Well, that's one way of putting it.

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  35. Complacent Person2:36 PM

    Typical anonymous coward, surely works for Nick Land, or IS same. Not a one of you has any guts except Arpege, and she's not that nice, god knows. I told one beauty that I wouldn't let him meet my roommate because he'd want to fuck her, and he said 'she sounds great!' I'm TOTALLY jealous, of course. She just told me that 'if I seem strange for a few days, it's because I'm having my period, and that the flow is the most beautiful colour'. Well, you see, this is the healthy attitude. An old ballet mistress I worked for told me that 'most American women don't enjoy the woman's body', and a lot of them don't, and freak out during the 'pms' part, but she thought it was more fun to diss Julie Andrews during hers, I'm used to shrieking during the PMS part, and tantrums, but then, it's true, not EVERYBODY gets to live with an ART MODEL...and btw, last anon asshole, my 'entry' is hardly into a fucking goddam sanctuary, i mean, do YOU think discussion of Owen Hatherley's books and his potential Zizekianism is 'sacred' in the same way as, say, Sir Kenneth MacMillan's 'Requiem', which has programme notes demanding silence? I bet goddam warszawa is in here too, oh yeah, just what I always wanted, Nick Land, warszawa and Arpege all at one goddam time...although Arpege definitely in fine form, I'll admit...

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  36. Miss Jean Brodie2:46 PM

    yes yes, Perhaps you have been watching so much Wire that just the very sound of a Levantine surname conjured images of diabolical criminals like The Greek?

    THAT is the best, it is my FAVOURITE.

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  37. thanks hollow

    interestingly, I forgot to mention that the thesis insinuated in Owen's kicking of Bourriaud is basically that Bourriaud is a racist patron of racist artists, going in disguise as antiracist. He makes this call with the aid of his ability to recognise in work themes and motifs more subtle than Heil Hitler! and even much less glaring than the pleasure palace of the arab lechers, such as -



    "It is hard to escape the conclusion that Bourriaud has
    merely exchanged one kind of exoticism, based on a fetish for spaces
    untouched by modernity, for another drawing upon contradictions
    between a global modernity and national specificity, which throw up
    fascinatingly untamed and raw forms for the edification of the
    art-tourist. In each case, the exotic remains an object for Western
    contemplation, and there is little sense that the West might be part
    of the same feedback loopThis became all too clear in the
    Altermodern exhibition itself, where some works appear to have been
    deliberately included to signal their exoticism. Navin Rawanchaikul’s
    mural ‘Navin’s Sala’ hangs near the entrance, a large, bright frieze
    based on the aesthetic of Indian film posters and advertisements, here
    deployed in the service of artistic self-aggrandizement. In a letter
    to Rawanchaikul reproduced in the catalogue, Bourriaud draws attention
    to this apparently typically Indian ‘abundance’, marvelling at how the
    artist ‘composes a little Mahabharata of contemporary art’. Otherwise,
    the show’s exoticism is at the level of holiday snaps: Darren Almond’s
    ornamental photographs of misty Japanese mountain landscapes seem
    designed to be placed on the walls of restaurants or in the opening
    credits of martial arts epics, without any hint of aesthetic
    self-awareness. This reaches a particularly grotesque nadir in the
    catalogue, where Carsten Höller, talking about his holidays in the
    Congo, notes that what really differentiates Congolese life from
    ‘ours’ is their dancing. Indeed."

    At least some of that is accurate.

    So I think he is aware of what he's doing rhetorically when he does it.

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  38. There's some just astonishing hypocrisy in the piece;

    "Bourriaud’s critique of postmodern multiculturalism relies to a
    certain extent upon the work of Alain Badiou, a frequent point of
    reference. Bourriaud has a persistent and clearly deliberate tendency
    to throw together disparate thinkers and artists, while ignoring any
    elements of their thought he finds unpalatable—something he would no
    doubt justify as a ‘Creolization’ of theory."

    Later this snark - this is the 'argument' I guess - is echoed by the sneering observation that Bourriaud has the gall to include Benjamin in his theoretical "pick and mix".

    Of course Hatherley does not combine in his own work such diverse and mutually contradictory thinkers as badiou and marx, zizek and benjamin, baudrillard and foucault, brecht and debord. And here I have found no way to express the problem here but sarcastically; the piece is like infected with a sarcasm virus.

    anyway it goes on in this manner, snarking about things, but never quite being plain about why; the overarching tone of the entire piece is sarcasm. The sole manifestation of the objection to most of what is objected to is contained in the snide tone which appeals to a presumed existing agreement in the reader.

    "This is all too typical of contemporary artspeak, in which things are
    constantly in the process of some kind of activity, ‘negotiating’,
    ‘reconstellating’, ‘reconfiguring’ and so forth; terms that are
    essentially interchangeable."

    Hatherley notes the inspiration for this is Deleuze and Guattari but doesn't explain why he supposes "typical artspeak" would take up such inspiration, or what effect there is to it being like this or why it's objectionable. Is it just too typical? Is that the objection, the unoriginality itself? Or something else in this iimplication of constant action? No hint. Totally refusal to interpret this after pinpointing it as something worth remarking. He just says, sigh, oh god, that's typical artspeak isn't it, oh god. Hatherley leaves us guessing. Because, probably, he himself is still giuessing. He sensed the opportunity to suck teeth and roll eyes and thumbs down, to sound knowing, that mock aristo-ness on display here, where the hope is that the conviction with which he sneers will intimidate the reader into not asking himself what exactly is he sneering at and why? What does he make of all these gerunds? If you don't know why this is so ooorrrrful, you're just not fit to be whiteballed.

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  39. Complacent Person3:04 PM

    where the hope is that the conviction with which he sneers will intimidate the reader into not asking himself what exactly is he sneering at and why?

    This is where you fuck yourself. That's pure shit. This is something everybody does, Arpege, and you do it too. You just think your own case is special (it is, but you're a fucking shrew about it. You make mountains out of molehills, and in the end, it's probably enough that he had informative information. You write an entertaining polemic, but really, that's all yours is too, isn't it? I don't believe a word you say, or ever have said, I just read you because you've got an interestingly idiosyncratic writing style. Frankly, you're a real bitch, I'm not pretending otherwise, and that's why you write this sort of thing.)

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  40. He doesn't really say Bourriaud "is a racist", I was engaging in mockery there. Rather he describes what he has determined are racist discourses and suggestions in play. He detects in the word 'abundance' for example the exploitation of a theme in orientalist ideology which identifies this as a "typically Indian" quality, for example. Sounds like a fair cop to me. But it's hard to imagine that someone who easily picks up the orientalist echo in the word 'abundance' which also happens to be accurate to the concrete object, can't notice what he's conjuring in associating this suspicious epicurean tourist he has established as smooth, a little smarmy, flattering, protean, jetsetting, exploitative, egoist, with a combo of armenian oil magnate, portugese holding company, private island for the gratification of rich arabs...

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  41. 'This is where you fuck yourself. That's pure shit. This is something everybody does, Arpege, and you do it too.'

    That's true, but I don't think it's suitable for a publication like the NLR or for this kind of thing.

    I like contemporary art though, and have really liked a lot of things seen curated or shepherded by Bourriaud, so perhaps I am being irrationally fanatically defensive to create the illusion that my personal taste in art objects is virtuous.

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  42. Complaisant Person3:21 PM

    can't notice what he's conjuring in associating this suspicious epicurean tourist he has established as smooth, a little smarmy, flattering, protean, jetsetting, exploitative, egoist, with a combo of armenian oil magnate, portugese holding company, private island for the gratification of rich arabs...

    Exactly. And you do this too. That's the point. The problem is the word 'hypocrisy'. People won't face this fact that that is universal, you're a hypocrite and I am too, Hatherley surely as well, there is 'beyond-hypocrisy' since this is the foundation stone of all human endeavour, so 'hypocrisy' really ought to be the last jab at anyone if he thinks he's even pretending to be honest. Accusations of hypocrisy are from hunger. I don't care if you think that's 'ad hominem' or even of Owen thinks you're a 'serious, but difficult thinker', what it amounts to is that neither of you can think of art long enough to see it without the ideological trappings, and that's what they are when you go into it far enough. That's why you stay in the realm of connoisseurship (which is what he does, and you do; there are would-be novelists who pretend to write, but they always ask permission of the Marxists too, that's where the problem in this area of the blogosphere is, art is supposed to somehow be politically correct, NO MATTER WHAT. That is fucked up, and that is what you and Hatherley do have in common, you cannot really see art, that is why you go to the opera for entertainment, and then feel some guilt about it, of course. You and Owen are precisely the same, worried about whether your 'tastes' are going to be 'okay' by your comrades. What a fucking crock of shit.

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  43. Anonymous3:24 PM

    so perhaps I am being irrationally fanatically defensive to create the illusion that my personal taste in art objects is virtuous.

    Well, you're probably being sarcastic, but that is as close to the truth as you've ever determined yourself to be. I'm not going to be too sympathetic, because I realize all the smart bloggers are well-versed in dissimulation and irony, but yes, I think that's what most of you have in common. The best I can say for your taste is that fortunately you got stuck with a good education in the arts, and forced to learn what had lasted and was worthwhile, before you figured out it had so many political implications that 'ought to inhibit you'. But just scratch that if you think it's too smarmy.

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  44. ' Frankly, you're a real bitch, I'm not pretending otherwise, and that's why you write this sort of thing'

    yes of course. But I do sometimes just stew for a while in annoyance. I never of course would care that Hatherley has nothing to say about Beckett or Brecht. I liked reading his blogs, and the pictures, the little trips o see this or that train station or whatever. Like a good magaziney show, Burt Wolf. But the hypocrisy and snideness, the smugness about this supposed universalist mass emancipatory political project which involves something as grotesquely fasho as the Zizz and as really white-male entitled, elitist, smug, misogynist, condescending uch as much of Badiou and posse, when it becomes so extreme, just kind of provokes me, and to avoid ranting at friends about it who really don't care, I do this, for out there in blogoland there are those who share my peevishness about this stuff.

    There was a day when you just couldn't say - except in Slovitzia - the kind of things Zizz says. You just would be avoided by everyone as a barbarian. And now it's all back, with the BNP and the Glenn Beck and it's just a great disappointment I guess.

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  45. Complaisant Person3:34 PM

    Well, apologies for pushing that a little too far, you really are a helluva good read. I think the stews are fine, personally, and I LOVE it that Owen couldn't resist, then said he 'would ignore you' (which would only be an effective strategy if he hadn't informed you of it, of course, which gave me my one good moment, I have been WAITING for the opportunity to use that Baby Jane line, Jack says it to me every goddam week 'But ya ARE, Blanche!' I told him today he was an unsuitable Garbo fan for being unable to understand her over-exotic performance in 'Grand Hotel' as punishment.)

    Okay, I'll let the proceedings continue, as they are all very good. It's good you point out these things, because I have to admit Owen's a good writer in a lot of ways, but he really didn't have to take that last bait unless 'he WAS, BLANCHE!'

    xx

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  46. "Owen couldn't resist, then said he 'would ignore you'"

    well actually he was right when he said I would rather be ignored by him than argue with him. People don't argue about their own texts very interestingly. I'd rather argue with someone else who would defend his book better than he can than with him about it.

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  47. Complaisant Person4:24 PM

    No, it's just that that reminded me of that 'sadist joke' in Deleuze's 'Masochism', in which someone asks the sadist for something he'll surely refuse, but in the joke, the sadist does answer 'No'. I've never forgotten that (although it took me a little while to figure it out.) I'm sure you understood this (to phrase it in that gentlemanly way Sinthome does, when he said that he apologized to me if I was 'deeply familiar' with OOO, knowing I knew nothing of course), but some others might not realize that Owen's line about ignoring you proved he HADN'T, even if that was his last line. I suppose he could do 'comment deleted by author' (I think there was a lengthy one of those, which you commented on, because I couldn't find any of the text you were quoting), but that would be like 'two noes' (as I think Wm. Safire says you have to spell that) and that would be still more embarassing. We all know that feeling.

    "People don't argue about their own texts very interestingly. I'd rather argue with someone else who would defend his book better than he can than with him about it."

    That's true, and does remind me that the problem with art historians in particular (they're the ones who I'm most familiar with) is really only that they condescend to the artist (including at the Met, where they can be just ridiculous about it), but sometimes the perspective is much more objective. I guess I hadn't given them enough credit on that, because they are not nearly so often the ones that have to wait to get paid.

    What's mostly interesting to me about Owen's things is just that he has really focussed with a lot of intensity on a fairly rarefied aesthetic domain--I do find myself looking over there just to see which weird new object/building he's gotten fixated on most recently. Of course, the mistakes I've noticed have been few and far between, about places he hasn't really experienced too much, as Los Angeles, in which he seemed to think that David Lynch's pronouncements about this supposedly 'centerless' city still meant something. That's totally old-hat, and doesn't even apply anymore: There really 'is a there there' by now (although I think Stein's original is about Oakland, Berkeley, or something else in the Bay area, but people quote it for LA all the time), and it's constantly being tightened into a more conventionally centered city with new subway track being laid daily; this probably dates from when they built the Downtown skyscrapers in the 60s. Otherwise, it's all brand-new stuff to me, that I'd never know about otherwise. I think I used to share more 'architectural melancholia' of the sort he seems to, but surely that's one of the pleasures of youth. I tend to be relieved if there's even one 'old bar' still available, or once in awhile there is something new that is stupendous.

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  48. Complaisant Person4:24 PM

    Okay, I gotta tell you about this one. I went with a friend to see P. Martins's 'Swan Lake' a couple of weeks ago, and was going to take her for coffee and pastry afterward. Thank God, Starbuck's was packed, and just two doors down was this fantastic new atrium place I'd never seen, and cheaper than dread Starbuck's, so beloved of budding novelists the world over...and there were on either side (and the place went from B'way all the way to Columbus, all the way through, about 64th St.,), not exactly across from each other, these two plant-tapestries on the wall in movie-screen size 'frames', and the ten or so kinds of shrubs and green-only plants all had flat growing habits. This was incredibly ingenious, because you couldn't believe they weren't artificial: They had cleverly placed pots recessed into the wall which you couldn't see at all unless you were immediately up to them. These were really something, and I imagine are being made for corporate lobbies instead of the usual ficus and scheffleras in big pots. You could just get lost in them, and they were much better than anything we'd seen onstage, well, the ballerina was pretty great that day, although the prince definitely couldn't get it up. I imagine Paris has some of these, and that they might have even originated there, as I've seen various mag/newspaper articles about these clever new horticultural designs. These were the best I'd seen, though, and especially unusual to find them in a public space with coffee for only 2 bucks.

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  49. "--I do find myself looking over there just to see which weird new object/building he's gotten fixated on most recently."

    Yes its fun. The other blog, Measures Taken, is where you see he doesn't have anything to say really. He has things to report, and quote, and show he has mastered. the contribution to historical materialism conference is glaring neither hist nor mat. "Americanism" is taken as self-evident, like "realism" in the Brecht chapter. He ignores all the questions, all the stuff to interpret, but he has a flair for describing his reaction to surfaces and styles. It's superficial but not shit. But for all his scolding Bourriaud to pay closer attention to Benjamin on production, he writes about architecture as if its is purely discursive. But he descrives its features very vividly, in something similar to the way wine experts talk about wine. Or Patrick O'Brien wrote about music. I suppose there is some resemblance to this artspeak, with a preference for sttributing action to immobile features of buildings, but it's vivid and expressive.


    - you're making me homesick for NY. I would like to have dinner at Gabriel's if it's still there and go to see that theresa rebeck play at the roundabout if it is still happening, the understudy. did you see it? looks very funny. Two of the apartments I once lived in were for sale recently, one i think still hasnt sold. Was weird to see them on the web, I got rather sad.

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  50. Complaisant Person7:57 PM

    Gabriel's still there, with FULL VIEW OF AOL TIME WARNER!

    But 'The Understudy' was, I think, a limited run, as are most things at the Roundabout. I did read about it, though, and White and Rebeck really are quite the characters. I hadn't known about them, and don't keep up with theater properly for a couple of years now. In fact, the last bunch of things I saw were good revivals at the Roundabout, of old musicals rarely done anymore--'The Apple Tree' and '110 in the Shade', both fairly slight but worthwhile. I think the recent (and supposedly terrible) revival of 'Bye Bye Birdie' (which is unique, and though dated, still could work) was at the Roundabout, and they put in the title song which had been written for the movie.

    It would be great if you could come at the same time when our friend is on one of his trips here. I want lectures on The Wire while looking at the building, though--the Gnocchi won't work otherwise. Gabriel's website is ridiculous, you can't turn off the audio and when you try to look at the menu, it gives you food photos.

    I get 'homesick' for Paris, too, having not been since 1997. Christian and I were just talking about Parc Monceau and Parc Bagatelle, which are unashamedly Parisian in that way of allowing a totally fairy-tale look to exist in real life. Monceau may be the more Proustian, but Bagatelle is like a ballet set, I couldn't believe it when I saw it: They had the nerve to go all the way with that idea. POB NEVER tours New York, and Aurelie Dupond is magnificent. I never saw them except years ago at Garnier when they did Petit's old 'Notre-Dame de Paris', but they're in much better shape now, one of the best companies in the world: They can even make shit like 'Don Q' look good, because they're so precise and all those Gallic things. Hard to believe that Petit and Zizi Jeanmaire are still with us. I don't care for his Proust ballet at all, though, there's this one duet between St.-Loup and Morel that is so laughably fey you wouldn't even believe it: It looks like it was made for Gay Pride.

    One thing I could mention in new architecture is that they did make some new additions to the facade of Juilliard that were, on first observation, attractive. The old facade was nicer, though, and had an almost Parthenon purity to it. That's been gone for a couple of years, as well as that marvelous bridge across 65th Street that connected Juilliard with the core of Lincoln Center. That was not a good thing to do, but then the inside of Juilliard is disastrous by now, it was never big enough, so they have fucked up all the space and it looks like an x-ray of some malignancy. They also renovated the New York State Theater with a huge sum from David Koch, and it now bears his name. I noticed little difference except horrible new acoustics--the orchestra sounds like the Miniature Overture no matter what it plays, but NYCB never does well in that regard: In Paris and London, I believe the opera and ballet orchestras are the same players, aren't they? I know they are at Royal Ballet, and think so in Paris. Well, NYCB orchestra is not even in the same universe as what Levine has done for the Met, although NYCOpera Orchestra is hoperfully better (they were lucky to survive at all, since they're definitely second banana there to the ballet).

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  51. I've seen only three ballets the whole time I've been here. A Don Quixote - I even forget who danced. And then this really great thing, Apartment, by Matts Eks. It was just fantastic. And then something else contemporary I've forgotten. I don't know dance well at all.

    The acoustic at the State was always very bad, and that's how it goes, you try to fix it it gets worse. Avery Fisher ruined the NYphil. At the State when I was still in NY they still had not admitted they were using amplificatiin at the opera. It was well done but you did notice. It was terrible for the City Opera, really, I hardl ever went and there were many productions I would have liked to see, but there were like four patches of the orchestra you could hear anything from. I remember sitting sort of mleaning into my neighbour's chair space as unobtrusively as I could for the best parts of an opera because from his chair, or anyway from just in front of it, you could hear but not from mine.

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  52. Anonymous7:45 AM

    Owen,I'm sure you live on a racist street in a racist city in a racist country on a racist planet. You know this. I know this. I live on a racist street... too. How can you or I not have racist assumptions?

    You support nationalists and war criminals, so it would be expected that you shut the fuck up about someone's else racism, Qlipoth scum!

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  53. Here's Okwui Enwezor's lecture, "Specious Modernity", from the Altermodern show :

    http://channel.tate.org.uk/media/31067749001

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  54. Complaisant Person10:27 AM

    Interesting about the acoustics at State Theater. Yes, 'Apartment' very good, and also Matts Eks did a hilarious 'Sleeping Beauty' modernized, which was witty enough to want to see once. It's like most modernizations, if you like the original, you want to go back to it, and in period sets and costumes (Peter Martins's production has such ugly costumes I'd call them 'Tropical Danish' for the 'Swan Lake', gawd everybody was screaming about these. But I don't like it when they try to modernize 'Pelleas and Melisande', it's difficult enough as it is; and Yniold going on about 'Mon petit pere' is a bit much no matter what...). That gorgeous very tall and serene Graham dancer Matt Turney died a couple of months ago, she's the 'Pioneer Woman' in Appalachian Spring, in the film they made of it. This gorgeous black dancer from Georgia, I don't know how Graham discovered her, but even though Graham is marvelous herself as the Bride, she's too short to do the Goddess Quality of the Pioneer Woman, and most agree with me that Matt, for once, 'owns' the work (Graham a fabulous narcissist, and made all her greatest things for her to be at the center when she could still dance; then tried to drink herself to death when she couldn't dance anymore, but failed and was forced to live another 20 years. Robots, MOVE OVER! What a constitution.) You should try to see this sometime if you haven't (it's called 'Martha Graham in Performance', and includes her only two major filmed perfs., she 'didn't believe in film', etc., ), it also has Graham as Jocasta in 'Night Journey' with Bertram Ross (beautiful guy) and Paul Taylor as the Blind Seer. The original Noguchi Jocasta Chair is out at the Noguchi Garden Museum in Queens, a beautiful place. btw, the one REAL 'pelleas et Melisande' i ever saw was at NYCO, with Patricia Brooks as Melisande. It was better than French productions I've seen.

    Here are two beautiful Chopin clips, we were discussing him at ballet board, on the occasion of his centenary. You get the more deep Eastern European facets from Ive Pogorelich, and the cosmopolitan Pariaisn from Michelangeli (he was surely the most elegant pianist of the 20th century in a certain sense):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwMnYP91tMo that's on the 3rd Scherzo (I used to play it and never loved it, but Pogorelich sells even this to me)

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8746705611106874924#

    This is the First Ballade, he plays it in a very Parisian way, I did the A Flat and F Minor ones, and those I do love, although Chopin is not one of my favourite composers--and no matter what people say about his Etudes being 'poetic works', they sound full of pain to me, and the Black Key is hateful: I had to play it once in a freezing cold hall, and you CAN'T play it with frozen fingers; silly piece anyway. I much prefer the Debussy Etudes and they are not only more lyrical, but the ones for 3rds and Octaves work out both hands equally, but they are very late Debussy, and audiences are not as crazy about them.

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  55. jesus, another quake, well that's it, we are entering the end times. and we will all be seperated into the saved and the damned, and Hatherley will have the job of seperating, picking out the worthy and flinging the contemptible into hell. I am sure I will be the latter if only because I am just too glumly and dourly politically correct to snicker about Bobby Sands or waterboarding. Killjoy should be my tag.

    The NYC opera did great Handels. The proiductions, also, they shared with Glimmerglass were among their best. That Fascist Tosca was great too, though the soprano, forget her name, was overrated.

    I would love to see more Matts Eks. I really am a dance ignoramus - beyong Graham, Ailey and Cunningham I know nothing really of dance. I love baroque dance I have seen, the very great Charpentier Medea, of William Christie's group les Arts Florissants, which was at BAM years ago, had a lot of dance, a very new take on Baroque dance derived from what was then the latest research - it was just wonderful. pantomime plus ballet. And I saw somethingk, I forgot, a couple years ago at the Garnier, Handel's L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Il Moderato, with choreography by Rpobyn Orlin, and a on stage digicam and blue screen, so that the dancers appeared simultaneously on stage and instered into a video on big screen. I loved it. The video was of south africa, scenes of life in johannesburg and in the countryside, you have a ballerina in tutu then twirling on the open fire of a family in a kind of hut with a dirt floor, or another in veils and sequins appearing to hang on the side of a johannesburg bus, out the window from the weary passengers...the piece would have fit into Altermodern perfectly. It was wonderful.

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  56. Complaisant Person11:57 AM

    There's that French TV Architectures series from 2003 by Copans and Neumann, I'm sure Owen knows them, and you may have seen them. They are superlative. Here's the buildings that are covered in one of them: The Villa Dall'Ava / Richard Copans -- The Johnson Wax Building / Frédéric Compain -- The Galleria Umberto I / Stan Neumann -- Satolas - TGV / Catherine Adda -- The stone thermal baths / Richard Copans -- The Paris Fine Art School / Catherine Adda.

    There are also many Frank Lloyd Wrights, the Garnier, the Viennese State Bank, Pompidou Center, the Auditorium Building in Chicago, those Gaudi Barcelona Apartments, and very nicely narrated, several by an American woman, another by an English woman. Yes, also the original Bauhaus, and there's this amazing one in which the very old building from the 18th century or earlier is included in the new developments (memory bad here, Berlin?), Ecole des Beaux Arts, there is even an industrial office in Racine, Wisconsin. All of it just super. I think the Holocaust Museum, also that building outside Paris, or construction I believe, through which the TGV speeds throught (this I found silly, reminded me of a kind of permanent Christo installation--I can't get into him, and am always glad they're temporary. I wouldn't go see his Central Park thing a few years ago.) Naturally, Gehry's Bilbao Museum, interesting but he's not my thing either. Disney Concert Hall in LA all right, but the Manuel Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels down the street from 2002 much more profound.

    Oh well, if Owen hasn't seen these, he can slip around and watch them without telling us if he hasn't seen them. You might like some of them though, as they do open up your understanding of the buildings in a remarkable way, plus lots of history with it. I think it's a first-rate series, and the ones i listed are not nearly all.

    Yes, a new earthquake plus tsunami warnings this time, which will have people terrified long before anything hits.

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  57. U just really hate the genre of "it's those multiculturalists, the post colonial postmoderns, the feminazis and de blecks, who are the real racists."

    nway speaking of Beckett, a curious post, highlighting something about modernism and Beckett that would be well worth exploring but that this defensive resentful stance against all the radical marxist and marxian criticism and cultural politicis of 68 and after renders just too hot to handle, and just shuts down:

    http://hubreview.blogspot.com/2009/02/does-bob-brustein-think-samuel-beckett.html

    "First, some background. Beckett always disapproved of productions of his plays that "mixed" the races (or the genders in ways not specifically described), because he felt that power relations between the races and genders were not a part of the artistic material he was trying to present, and so he wanted to leave them out entirely, as he felt they would inevitably draw attention in performance from his central concerns. He was happy, however, to see all-black productions of his plays - or all-female productions of single-sex scripts like Waiting for Godot. I suppose it's easy for Cambridge types to pooh-pooh Beckett's worries on this score - like Stephen Colbert, they probably "can't tell" when someone's black. But since Beckett's death, mixed-race productions of his plays have appeared elsewhere - and unsurprisingly have been largely interpreted as meditations on race and colonialism."

    This is really a fascinating problem and fact. Now, I think it's clear that Beckett's personal concern was very justified - as an author trying to keep control of the meaning of his texts, which are utterly altered by the introduction of racial difference or sexual difference - of, that is, the real historical conditions in the context for these plays. By making this plain, Beckett himself underscores one aspect of his plays that rapt admirers like Badiou would not only overlook but snark relentlessly at others for noticing or mentioning - that Beckett stages a modernist dreamworld in which individuals can serve as archetypes for the pagentry of "universal truths". That the existence of such truths is an imperialist fantasy, and a lie, is simply starkly revealed by the problem immediately presented by casting which involved the presence of difference imported from the real context in which the real concrete audience sits. The plays' meaning requires its quarantine from a social order and history, because the meaning is, far from universal and truth, ideological, evoking an condition in no universe, belonging to some extrauniversal realm of eternity, the eternal human condition, a fable, and one told and loved only by a particular social circle in a very particular culture in a very particular period. The plays' meaning would indeed be wholly changed by any penetration of the membrane of modernist standardisation and abstraction that seperates it from its context. The membrane, the ideology that is this quaranine for the abstract, is one of the principle meanings produced by these works. How then it means, what kind of relation the modernist fantasyworld has to the historical reality and to the humanity that produces and consumes it, becomes unignorably clear. The preposterousness of approaches to exegesis that ignore these questions, instead treating novels and playtext alike as magically appearing scripture, just handed to Artist on Parnassus by Muse, to mine for truths, becomes too stark to ignore.

    But people do persist in ignoring these kinds of questions when doing art appreciation, of Beckett or anything else, as profession. And that's fine. What just annoys me is when people dismiss the entire bibliography of radical critique of methodology as if it did not exist, and mislabel this kind of marketing and moralising devotional activity and insist on its validity and virtue.

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  58. http://www.friezefoundation.org/talks/detail/nostalgia_whats_the_role_of_the_past_in_fashioning_the_future/

    this is interesting, and you can hear Hatherley's real intense loathing and disgust for Chinese and Arab elites, he's just shaking with revulsion and fury that he ruling classes of these regions formerly dominated by the civilising and moderning British Empah, China and Dubai, are so uppity as to build tall things now to flaunt their power and wealth not that of Lloyd's or Deutsche Bank, without so much as a by your leave. It's not subtle that's for sure.

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  59. Complaisant Person3:20 PM

    Yeah, she's a cute boy, very adorable, and you can hear different things on a podcast, where she can't shake her bangs (I LOVE that on that film with her and k-punk) like a girl. He takes it all so seriously about the 'dePRESSSSSSing future', but I enjoyed it because he is such an Engliah TYPE. Can't you see her in a few years doing BBC broadcasts--very nice voice by the way, and he's quite comely. But NOT ENOUGH HUMOUR. Basically likable, and he and k-punk and that profoundest of all philosophers, Mrs. Nina Thought, are all thick as thieves (I don't know where the 'cr' AdsWithoutProducts comes in, but in this, even with this crew, he should be happy that he's allowed to be on the receiving end, given her monumental profundity about tenure sensitivity...), so that's just going to be that. They take themselves very seriously, and also Dominic, of dworkinist tendencies, but I'd say Owen has the most potential of them. I can also see him as a certain kind of English professor who lives in a beige apartment, married and tight rooms with small full beds in them, eventually ending up like a Frederic Raphael character if he gets some awards for all the hard work. These English start bathing twice as often when they get the big positions--there's a look these extremely clean English adults have, it's so clean you almost can't remember that they were ever unwashed students, which is rather typical of English undergrads in particular...god, I'm being such a shit... after all, he's very attracted to cliche and stereotype, it's bound to show in his personal style. He could even be a David Frost.
    Of course if Owen works for the Beeb, they'll have to trim the bangs and make her stop all that 'important-thinker' stuttering, clearly not genetic, but cultivated. He might be a sweetie, I can't tell; much of this still seems based on a nostalgia with the emphasis on the melancholy. I think nostalgia is better as pleasure, I haven't got time for Ms. Sontag's business about 'Theories of Melancholy', although i'm sure she thought that was all very sensitive.

    My roommate came back today and had discovered new fat people who were stuffing whole huge sandwiches in their mouths, and so we made a difference in 'kinds of fat people'. Now I have to make Patti Labelle's Rum Cake, because she and Jack and I aren't fat, so we can eat what the fuck we want.

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  60. such an english type.

    i don't think its called for to make of him personally, and there's nothing to ridicule - he's a good speaker but what he says is often bullshit.

    it was interesting that someone felt he had to prompt him to try to make some sort of point. "and why do you think that is?" he seemed suprised to be asked. as if he didn't know that the podium or diais implied that you are going to have some kind of product of consideration to deliver, not just these superficial remarks which just describe what everyone sees. though i suppose a lot of frieze fair talk is museum guide like, which is fine.

    anyway, The construction industry in Dubai is indescribably exploitative, with hundreds of thousands of illegal workers in virtual slavery. But this Frieze event is a Deutsche Bank sponsored lecture and politely and tactfully Hatherley neglects to mention that these projects of the oriental oligarchies that dispresssss him are Deutsche Bank business too, generating Deutsche Bank profits. The fact that Hatherley's lectures are funded as directly as possible by slave labour in Dubai doesn't call into question his genuine outrage about it, or the justice of his loathing of the local royals there, but because of this he should know better than to play that "dubious funding" card against Bourriaud, who unlike Hatherley does not claim to be actually fighting the global ruling class with his exercise of taste.

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  61. Anonymous4:12 PM

    I not U!

    FUCK U

    You're still scum.

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  62. "Basically likable, and he and k-punk and that profoundest of all philosophers, Mrs. Nina Thought, are all thick as thieves "

    The flying monkeys of the Wise Wizard of the West.

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  63. Complaisant Person4:50 PM

    Well, he may not know those things (do you think he necessarily does?), and if you hadn't said anything, I wouldn't have thought much about it. In general, wherever they are, the tall buildings are not new, nothing has ever been original that way except the Manhattan skyline. It's the 'melancholia' that is still showing, he might just be a very sophisticated, knowledgeable version of what many sensitive young people are about loss of old things--with a specific socialist bent; so I wouldn't know how that part develops. The knowledge of the architecture even in tourguide form might lead to expertise of the professional sort, but I don't know how that works when you've chosen one field of aesthetics and want to talk about leftism. I mean, the most professional architectural and painting/sculpture historians usually just note the political considerations, and are not especially activist. That's the thing I notice in the assessment of 'class-based' aesthetics in any area of the arts. If you don't think he goes far enough in some of those areas, it's probably still more similar to your viewpoint than mine. Not that I can't see the disease of something or other in business architecture, shopping malls, much new 'important building', but I imagine I just see it as a depersonalizing which I don't automatically read as Capitalist-inspired non-inspiration. Brezhnev used to talk about the ugly buildings of Moscow. It may have been Owen who mentioned on that podcast his specialty in 'ugly buildings'. Anyway, he does talk about ugly buildings a lot on the blog, and they are in all kinds of societies. Saddam Hussein's scores of personal palaces much resembled large versions of the Lower Beverly Hills micro-mansions on Rodeo and Canon Drive. There's a weird thing I went through when the drugstores here all became CVS, Rite-Aid, and Duane Reade in the 90s. I thought subconsciously for awhile that foodstuffs bought for cheap in, say Rite-Aid, weren't quite the same as even getting them in an ordinary supermarket, and I didn't think they took on 'real character', as juice or beer, until they had been in the refrigerator and reached fullness of cool temperature. Even though the same brand as elsewhere, it was as if even the products that weren't related to the actual place of purchase (in any way, unless they were the Rite-Aid products themselves) were somehow tainted and devalued because of having come from there. Of course, that's absurd, but it took me a long time to get used to the new supermarket drugstores, which gain character only by size change (as the one I use in Hollywood is at least 10 times the size of the ones I use here, and even has lawn products, wine shelves, whiskey, major appliances). When Duane Reade first started, there was a discernible difference in the way you experienced the time in waiting in lines from grocery stores, much less neighborhood drugstores (there are only 2 left in my part of the w. Village, and one is the old landmark Bigelow's), and that's related to the time-warping all internet communication involves, e.g., the way 'blog personality absences' are missed very quickly and are in a whole different time-frame from everything in physical life. And these conversations have that quality because they are mostly pretty shallow and throwaway.

    Actually, what you think about what he says as 'bullshit', you'd think what I'd say comparably is far more so, since at least he thinks along lines you do more frequently than I do, but it is not quite so annoying because I don't say much of anything about that at all. At the ballet board, you are forbidden to bring up much that is political to begin with, otherwise it really is not possible to concentrate on ballet itself, which is why the board is there.

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  64. Complaisant Person5:00 PM

    "dubious funding" card against Bourriaud, who unlike Hatherley does not claim to be actually fighting the global ruling class with his exercise of taste.

    Yes, that's what I meant. Actually, Owen's 'bullshit' is probably at least more admirable than my own lack of enough conscience, but I don't how to fight the global ruling class, and as a confirmed old bachelor, I'm likely to remain so...I mean, not likely to quit being complacent. Some things (like guilt) do get better with age (you lose a lot of it, even if you were at least a halfway-decent and even socially conscious youngster. I know it's hard to believe, but I was pretty outspoken. Now I'm corrupt and complaisant SCUM, and want to read more tourguides...I want Owen to do a gorgeous coffee-table book about Soviet architecture, that would be very rare indeed.)

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  65. Important Etymology5:15 PM

    I had never related the perfume to the musical figure, even though I've played Debussy's Etude pour les Arpeges Composes many times. In recent years, I was very influenced by Jean-Yves Thibaudet's performance of this, he slows down what are usually whirring opening 'arpeges', and gives to them a melody-line quality. I was very surprised, it's hardly ever done that way, and then later, when there really are very thick broken chords that have to be played as fast as possible, they have more character. Also recommend his 'Menuet Antique', but like 'Le Tombeau de Couperin', it still never sounds quite as good as it does with the full orchestra. Glenn Gould's 'Siegfried Idyll' transcription ditto: He HAD to possess this gorgeous piece by touching it with his fingers, but the Toscanini recording is still what you want to hear:"


    "After perfumers André Fraysse and Paul Vacher had created the perfume for Jeanne Lanvin, one story relates that she offered it to her daughter Marguerite as a thirteenth birthday present, and asked her to name it. Lanvin's daughter, already an accomplished musician, called it "Arpège" ("arpeggio").

    I always thought it was one of the very few nice nicknames I gave bloggers, although traxus's would be equally good, as 'Childie' in 'The Killing of Sister George', but I simply can't deal with having to feel like Beryl Reid to Susannah York, one of my favourite actresses (and who used to do, and may still, a marvelous one-woman show called 'Shakespeare's Women'. She's still ravishing.)

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  66. Complaisant Person5:27 PM

    Oh yes, I forgot, there have been a few exceptions. When, about a year ago, the new David I. Koch Theater was 'unveiled' by Peter Martins, there was a fair amount of discussion about his fortune and the compromising business practices therein, although most were screaming 'high school spirit' things like 'How DARE they not name it the Balanchine Theater!' which was profoundly absurd, unless they really were just going to get rid of the NYCOpera altogether. OTOH, there's a super-public relations lady who wouldn't have anything but that 'Koch is a MENSCH!' Also, btw, saw a nice 'Lucia' at NYCopera with Beverly Sills, only time I ever saw her.

    Otherwise, the controversy is usually over some male ballet star who does a publicity release about his butch habits, and how he is 'not a sissy'. This brings out the silliest imaginable comments. One of the best was by one of the nicest real ex-dancers on the board, who's straight, and said that 'straight male ballet dancers' suffered a form of 'sexual harassment by an entire society'. This was such weird language that even I took umbrage, although he is most often one of the most knowledgeable of all on the board. It's fun, the Wall St. Journal dance critic is there, and always posting vintage photos. I'm sure you know some opera forums like this, although Helene, the administrator, uses them too, and says they don't enforce the politeness codes so much.

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  67. Complaisant Person5:59 PM

    I see Owen DID eliminate all this posts. Well, harrrummmmphh. I think that's funny, and quite priggish. He left the one I did the "BLANCHE riff' on, which only proves that he is still that sadist who hasn't learned to quit giving verbal answers to her victim. Whole thing pretty funny. I wrote someone last night that there is all this talk of 'elitism' all through these political/social/theory/philosophy blogs, but it's like what you once wisely instructed me on, that I shouldn't expect people who had found the 'elitism' of philosophy and their solemn intellectual pursuits to 'behave like New Yorkers'. oh yes, I did like that one, and it hss been the most useful of all 'The Sayings of Comrade Arpege'. They have decided, as academics always are doing that 'INTELLECTUAL ELITISM IS SUPERIOR ELITISM', and in fact, they feel free to say it without any knowledge to speak of of the 'other elitisms', except to dismiss them. Once Mrs. Thought got very upset that someone was being a bit too pushy with the classical music on her ass. God forbid, I don't blame her, it wasn't going to stick, BUT...I didn't see till just now he took all the posts away, woo-woo, HIGH DUDGEON from the Illumined Socialist Zizekian Architecture Connoisseur. Yeah, I'll agree I shouldn't talk about his academic bedroom appointments, but the HUMOUR, where is it with some of these people? You know, even if you were a bit vicious, there was still a lot of serious appreciation. I don't see why such a masochistic reaction was called for.

    Apparently, he was having a bad day, and got all class-conscious all of a sudden, complete with trolls coming with cries of SCUM!!!

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  68. it's okay he deleted them, I would have if I were he. Becuz, he's right, I don't want to argue about whether armenians are levantines and things like that. Does this really make me seem peculiar?

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  69. The Kochs, yes, real fascists. I knew one of them, who used to hang out at this place the Townhouse, in the east fifties, where I used to occasionally have a drink with a friend who frequented the place. I guess this means that nothing at Lincoln Center can be really dissident. Which would I suppose mean Jon Robin Baitz is not really what he thinks. Which would mean that the soap opera he created isn't as progressive as...oh no. Can't be. Television is revolutionary commie propaganda. I guess the dubiousness of Koch's money can't leave the piazza.

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  70. Complaisant Person8:56 PM

    Well, you ARE peculiar, dear--that's the good part (I also never forgot the other Arpege-ism about Andrea: 'She thought sex and violence were one, and that the violence was the good part'. Frankly, that really does capsulize the American attitude toward sex vs. violence, and it has never disappeared no matter how much porn. And I think most of the goddam bloggers are like that, especially the one that tried to break me of having 'meat sex' (and failed, thank God. I nearly STARVED till this week--and it wasn't because I needed to put anything in my mouth either). I don't know whether I don't want to know whether Armenians are Levantines are not, because this is the first i've heard of it. But I do tend to like the idea of an infinitely expanding Rainbow, whether or not its always in full Coalition (I mean, there are bound to be moments when things hang together a little too loosely, and god knows people get their little feelings hurt at almost anything.)

    btw, just to explain one of the 'too-personal things' I said, I was actually referencing a very nice sort of apartment (you may have seen these) that academics of the really toney sort such as top Columbia ones in Roman Studies, etc., live in. They're very tasteful (and I certainly think Owen is tasteful, even if too touchy), but they don't seem like anything I could fall asleep in. I remember a bed in one of Penelope Keith's old BBC comedies, and she and, I think, Paul Eddington, were turning in for the night, and god, I thought, I really DO think they know how to sleep in that bad! And I knew I'd lie in it, even if alone, the entire night, and even wine wasn't going to help, because it looked like you weren't really supposed to wrinkle the sheets.

    The deletion is just a little silly, of course it doesn't matter any more than some anonymous calling either 'I' or 'U' SCUM! But silly because they do get very chummy on some of their 'fraternity blogs', and they do feel quite all right about doing so.

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  71. Anonymous12:38 AM

    The deletion is just a little silly, of course it doesn't matter any more than some anonymous calling either 'I' or 'U' SCUM!

    -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81szj1vpEu8&feature=channel

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  72. chummy like the Heathers. I just hate their pulpit thumping and pillory. and it's all to try to distract from their ignorance and mediocrity. if you have anything to say of interest you don't need to form every remark as a giggling attack on your intellectual inferior in the pillory. Nina Power is calling for "more structural analysis" of how women working outside the home become loose hussies and lose their proper modesty, (unless they veil, one supposes) but this is her idea of structural analysis -

    “Valenti does her best to sell us her feminist manifesto, in all its faux-radicality: ‘liking your body can be a revolutionary act’ she concludes, regarding her navel with a curious joy as centuries of political movements that dared to regard the holy body as secondary to egalitarian and impersonal projects crumble to bits around her”

    Jessica Valenti's slutty egotism defeated humanity in its struggle for communism. Structurally.

    I really passionately hate this; if the idea is some people deserve it for being just so dumb and self-promoting, then you have to wonder why it would even be necessary or what it would accomplish except to allow the pillory management to exploit the existing notoriety they're stoning to promote themselves. I wish people would do this kind of thing to them in return incessantly, just write unreasonable, insulting things about them with this air of certainty and superiority, until perhaps they would learn how obnoxious it is.

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  73. Complaisant Person9:16 AM

    Oh god that is funny, I guess they crumbled even in the immediate vicinity of her navel, which makes me think of the old LPs with sexy 'Middle Eastern Exotic Dancer' on the cover. Well, you know, in early periods of revolution, including Navel Exhititionism and Ringedness, only the Chosen Few have the luxury of contemplating their navels (in motion as belly dancer, one supposes) while musing that some OTHER, as Dominic or many another of these sororicide/fraternities keeps talking, DARED to regard the holy body as secondary to egalitarian and impersonal projects crumble to bits around her”

    Was this meant to be as hilarious as it is? Now THIS was a good wake-up. Talk about a yogi, this Valenti lady is definitely the 'some people got it and make it pay', not the 'some people can't even give it away' (at Starbucks', oh god, it usually takes me till later in the day to become this much of a bitch...but..yes...I have done quite a bit of this "I wish people would do this kind of thing to them in return incessantly, just write unreasonable, insulting things about them with this air of certainty and superiority, until perhaps they would learn how obnoxious it is" at the world-famous Starbuck's Blog, including Cooking Class, and although they could have learned something right then and there, it just wasn't 'the right tone', but more interesting was the dead silence I got when I was dead serious: I swore I'd never write on there again, as it's purely 'college fraternity' (even though Tom Carson did come on once and we had a nice conversation), but when I read that the 'Huntsville Murderer' should be a 'sensitivity training lesson' for universities in their tenure policies, I just lost it. Some of even the fraternity had protested, but not nearly hard enough. The most fucking INSULTING part was that even within that, the Starbuck's host claimed to 'identify more with the victims than with the killer'. I mean it was bad enough two weeks ago, when I knew he was just identifying with the murderer; then I realized he WAS telling the truth that he identified with the victims, because they DID have tenure, and he is doing New Age Vizualization Images in the Mirror that go 'I now become a Tenured Professor, while continuing to talk about how much I hate being a professor, going to shrinks daily, and becoming a great novelist', which 'writer's block' I spice up with posts with such arresting titles as 'In Print, Then...' I guffawed just like Pauline Fucking Kael when I saw that post title. Not that it's quite on the level of 'Now, Voyager'. And, of ocurse, embedded in that 'untenured murderess post' is the fact that he does identify with BOTH: He wants to be one of the Tenured Victims, but not have been shot, maybe even the single one who managed to grab the gun and 'escape unharmed'.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Complaisant Person9:16 AM

    I just point that one out, because that one seems more like the 'lounge' of that particular fraternity, and if Owen is going to hang out there, and he DOES DO, then I really think he's fair game, even though it's true he's not begging for money for a trip to Warwick as out little constantly red-faced-furious tuitionless friend is again (I discovered he is asking, I think, for 500 pounds this time, and he uses the theologians blog for this too. He told traxus last a few months ago that 'I saw your post on Inglouriuos Basterds', but declined to comment because of certain people I saw there...' meaning the Notorious One, oh for chrissake I can't even believe it, yes these 'high-toned philosophers' do NOT the fuck seem like New Yorkers, they don't seem it at all. It's all hilarious, and I'm afraid so is Dominic's Treatise on the Hypersexual. His prose is not bad, even when foolishly directed as in this appalling Treatise

    http://codepoetics.com/poetix/2010/02/25/their-pride-keeps-them-warm/. I'm not sure why he sounds embittered to me, but I need not be unfair, it's his poetry that is revolting (that 'After Slumber' series was unspeakable, I thought), but frankly, even though he doesn't appreciate it, Owen is the one that should be able to go on and realize that 'you have to climb Mt. Everest to reach the Valley of the Dolls'.

    Thanks for the tolerance, I realized I'd be able to get to finishing a piece of a story I'd already sent to Christian in very raw form, but have kept putting it off. I still love 'In Print, then...' even more than the Tenure Post. You'd think he was the man-about-town with the Prince of Wales Swashbuckling Swagger, until you read many Starbucks posts.

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  75. aps, egad, its one thing to stay away, another to - discreetly of course! - inform the blogger...like a stereotypical levittown housewife-iago.


    i don't read these blogs much anymore... but I think adswithoutproducts, last impression I had, and that's a while ago, is he is really a smart guy, good writer, and cultivated, and doesn't pontificate superciliously from a stance of total ignorance as do these zizzbabies.

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  76. Complaisant Person10:32 AM

    last impression I had, and that's a while ago, is he is really a smart guy, good writer, and cultivated, and doesn't pontificate superciliously from a stance of total ignorance as do these zizzbabies

    On this we will have to agree to disagree. I've said my piece on him and that's that. I do remember that in the old Long Sunday days you seemed to admire him, but 'that's a while ago' may explain it. I thought he was better in the old days, by now I think he is by far the worst of all that crowd, purely and simply ego and ambition, I do not think he's smart or cultivated, and I do think he 'superciliously pontificates' far worse than any of these 'zizzbabies'. At least they IMAGINE they have conviction. He doesn't have any conviction at all except concerns about 'getting ahead'. I think it the most mealy-mouthed blog I know, and even Ms. Power far more profound. He wrote TOMES on 'Antichrist' and told one commenter that 'we don't say bad things about Von Trier here, that's just the rules'. Maybe what we might most fully disagree on is that he is 'a good writer'. That I don't see, his syntax if sucked six ways to Sunday (isn't that the phrase). You should look at it again, if you have time. On this, I won't compromise, although it's neither here nor there. Whatever I might not care for in Dominic, he's Proust by comparison. The problem with a lot of these Socialist writers is that they seem to need to 'ask permission' if they can write something, or in such and such a way. He's always checking to see if it's both going to work as both 'politically correct' and 'be market-worthy' at the same time.

    But if you enjoy him, go ahead. Owen is light-years beyond him, not matter WHAT kind of bullshit he writes. I'm no fan of k-punk either, but even though he pontificates, he's THE pontificator for these people. But who said YOU had to loather Julie Andrews just because I do? In fact, lots of people hate Garbo and love the Sound of Music, even people I find quite decent otherwise...I'll only say that if you haven't read him closely in the last few years, it doesn't come across like the posts in the old Long Sunday days. He likes 'to have company'. And the Tenure Murderess post was easily the worst post I've ever seen written by any blogger anywhere. It was ONLY about the tenure facet. But we don't have to discuss him further. But 'cultivated?' you MUST be kidding.

    Whatever omissions and hypocrisies you may identify in Owen, he's got serious talent and will really become somebody--might even get a king-size bed, if he doesn't think it too 'retro-80s' or whatever that's called. I'd as lief read Jodi as this 'cultivated one', though.

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  77. "The Kochs, yes, real fascists."

    Don't even get me started! I used to work with, or really "for", some of them.

    Their money sure is green, though.

    "Valenti...defeated...communism. Structurally."

    It's strange, isn't it, the way they constantly move the goalposts from individual commitments to "structural" concerns, just at the moment when it would absolve them from personal responsbility and make someone else look foolish for even trying? As far as attacking Valenti goes, it all seems like a pretty transparently savvy PR move. What better way to get attention for your book than to tap into what is probably the single biggest, most WWW-friendly demographic of American feminists than to attack one of its members as if she's the world's foremost figurehead for everything you dislike in the world?

    I mean, you have to hand it to them, that was a good idea, from a marketing POV.

    "I wish people would do this kind of thing to them in return incessantly, just write unreasonable, insulting things about them with this air of certainty and superiority, until perhaps they would learn how obnoxious it is."

    That can be arranged ;)

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  78. "Owen, he's got serious talent and will really become somebody"

    your prediction of success for him I would second, and think he'd fit in marvellously with tom paulin, and the sisters greer, right now, to make pensive noises and teach the folks at home and the decorators of Dubaious how to identify good better best.

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  79. Complaisant Person11:31 AM

    Well, and of course, with layoffs of corps dancers in 2009, that meant even one of the two top ballet companies in the U.S. (along with ABT, which has the much better male dancers, by a long shot, but is a more popular, showy kind of thing)was in trouble in 2009, not just the smaller ones. Of course, the ones who screamed most furiously about naming the theater after Koch are able to attend (and are doing so) more and more lavish performances, with little fear of serious financial woes again (they've conveniently forgotten how recent Koch's endowment was made--but Martins very tacky at the gala, saying 'we can't give you vodka for a toast this time, because times are bad.' He can be so clunky-crude. At Balanchine's 100th anniv. birthday in 2004, we all got stolichnaya and Payard Patisserie passion-fruit pastries, it was divine. Even THEN he said big clunky things, meant to be like 'rude noises'.

    Anodyne, I saw your piece on 'Three women', I saw it when it came out. Is indeed a marvelous
    Altman, and the turning on Duvall by Spacek is searing. Janice Rule used marvelously as this nearly almost-autistic and half-mute kind of sinister witchlike thing, as I remember. I only saw it the once, though, long ago. An old composer friend wrote the music, Gerald Busby is his name, and than Altman gave him an 'acting part' that he went prancing around about, in 'A Wedding'. He played a Baptist preacher, and had some scenes with Carol Burnett; oh dear, these were none too good, he directed 'choirs' singing 'Heavenly Sunlight'. But Duvall's junkfood CheezeWhiz is very funny, and Spacek has always got something clever up her skirts. Marvelous actress, always has been.

    Arpege, Jack said he liked the Townhouse, I've never been there. Ought we go? It's for 'older, elegant queens', isn't it? What were YOU doing there, being a fag hag? One of the abysmal Dejan's best inventions was accusing me of being 'Arpege's fag hag'. I do like that one. I told my one close Lesbian friend here about that, she nearly perished. Okay, ladies, enjoy your tea party, which reminds me, I read F. Rich last night, I hadn't even been aware of this new Tea Party No-Govt. group. Oh my fucking gawd, Sarah Palin again. At least she's not going to get to be president, and has found her own level.

    I saw you and Dejan going out of your gourds talking about 'birds = Mozart'. Maybe we can get northanger over here to do some gematria, that ought to work as well as anything else.

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  80. "As far as attacking Valenti goes, it all seems like a pretty transparently savvy PR move. "

    yes and she also was careful to quote a Guardian editor flatteringly though she has basically the same "brand of feminism" as Valenti. power sort of cops to this low cunning unwittingly when she goes on about how you have to be selling selling selling and marketing yourself all the time. This is what does, she's a good self promoter (her "career" has really been as helpmeet and sidekick to her more established boyfriend, one of Badiou's translators) and she's constantly networking and ingratiating herself with male mentors. When interviewed by a German magazine she actually said she didn't really undestand politics but relied on two friends, male bloggers, (lenin and kpunk) to tell her what to think about those difficult and complicated things, largely over her pretty little head. So much for that promise of "systematic political thought," she actually says in the book she finds Vogue and Elle too complex and confusing. She really plays the dumb blonde - and its pretty genuine- but then kind of as spokesgirl for male authorities gives vent to all this misogynist crap that her cirle around Zizz and Badiou are trying to revive. She speaks for and to an exclusively male "we" for which 'women' are Woman, an object and opposite -

    "We should not be ‘blaming’ women for their complicity in such a logic, as if blame were ever a useful political category, but try better to understand it."

    she doesn't include herself in the category women, because she is speaking for men and to men, as their girl mascot. The book is written for men. To please men. Itis just recycled ancient misogynist gunk, woman bashing in the oldest styles, pondering feminism as if it was only naturally a question structured around shopping and fucking. Even the topic of labour introduced with such fanfare she reduces to her eyeball estimation of wage mabour's effects on how women dress and display sexuality. she has no knowledge of feminism, of militancy, the women's movement, of scholarship or of theory, of any kind much less marxist feminism - which she has sadly discredited in the ms feminist blogosphere - it's just bloggy punidtry, eyeball ethnography, and as you said these right wing clichés about feminism and women. Unsurprisingly, men have loved it, but feminists can't even believe it's serious. especially with this repeated recommending that women defer to male authorities (Marcuse, Miller, Badiou, Virno). Oh and there is also the occasional inane zizekism - one is something about radical kibbutzim that "didn't factor in" children, whatever that means, so when babies "started arriving..." - on rollerskates like in that ad? - had to adapt in a hurry. What the hell is this about? It's like from some chabad newsletter about natural settlement expansion. No details, no time frame, no identification of the kibbutz in question, just this weird half comprehensible remark. Zizek style, his crazy made up historical anecdotes, which always remind me of homer simpson at the wiki mart asking for that beer with skittles. And Abu says "oh no Mr Simpson this does not exist. you have dreamt it."

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  81. Anonymous11:45 AM

    Jessica Valenti "regarding her navel"? I've read her. It is *not* her navel. Who could not tell them apart?

    Chuckie K

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  82. I still can't get used to typing comments carefully. I meant to say, "and to attack one of its..." up there.

    3 Women is fantastic, and I want to write something sustained about it at some point. Which will probably be more likely to happen if I get some actual work done instead of getting into a lengthy bitch slap session with Dejan.

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  83. "Arpege, Jack said he liked the Townhouse, I've never been there. Ought we go? It's for 'older, elegant queens', isn't it? "

    older elegeant queens hold court there but of course there are a lot of young men there , many looking to meet the old rich ones. It's a special place - I was always the only woman in the place when I went with my friend. It's like a gentleman's club in decor, drinks are very generous, it's a scene, there are a lot of boys at work so to say, but it's very polite. You might find it stuffy in atmosphere but its very easy to talk to people there, a nice atmosphere.

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  84. the quote about blaming is from this

    http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/capitalism_consumerism_and_feminism

    whihc roger linked. I admit to being surprised he liked this book so much, i would have imagined him more of a fellow traveller of marxist feminism in the vein of mies and federici.

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  85. "Jessica Valenti "regarding her navel"? I've read her. It is *not* her navel. Who could not tell them apart?

    Chuckie K

    "

    yes and it had to be, because only that could really be the horrible insatiable void into which all the aspirations of humanity for the whole revolutionary century could disappear into.

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  86. "The book is written for men. To please men."

    I can't help but finally come to realize that IT is, in the end, a woman who is deeply invested in phallic discourse (History, is one of her favorites, Philosophy, the other) and just can't find her way out.

    Her blog pieces on Shulamith Firestone, a feminist from the 70s who apparently believed that women are "inferior" to men because nature made them that way, attest to this better than anything. Firestone's is a point of view which IT calls "refreshingly blunt" about gender. None of that really confusing stuff about gender inessentialism to worry about! Just some really lame, not even slightly scientific inuendos about how childbirth is painful, and thus "barbaric", and so, QED, "Nature" has decided that women are inferior to men. Plus some techno-utopian stuff tacked on about how only science can make women no longer inferior to men by taking stuff like childbirth away.

    This is a point of view, baroque in its feminist misogynist contortions, which manages to be both very sci-fi/Philip K Dick and still something you might rip right out of a page of Aquinas. Right up Kpunk's alley, in other words. (Er, no pun intended...)

    If there's anything about the Badiouvian left that stands out to me, it's that they've colossally failed at wresting talk of a "universal human subject" from its origins in idealism, colonialism, sexism, and white supremacy. It really is a high-culture commodity made by and for middle class white men, and very often employed to keep women in their place.

    How many times have you seen Badiou or Zizek trotted out as "authority figures" by one of these people in order to debunk some kind of oh-so-icky feminism that isn't based on a proper and circumspect Christian disdain for the body? Because, afterall, you're either willing to fall in line with those who claim to be "neither Jew, nor Greek, nor male, nor female" or you're a disgusting animalistic human with particular body parts and functions and needs, all of them messy and for the most part difficult to manage. It's you who are keeping humanity back from attaining fidelity to the Communist idea! Until you admit that your female-ness is both essential and doesn't "really" exist, then no political progress will ever be made!

    It's all too strange.

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  87. That ain't my messiah!

    And I *am* a Jew, thanks. And a woman.

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  88. " male authorities gives vent to all this misogynist crap that her cirle around Zizz and Badiou are trying to revive"

    this was their and her notion of a funny caricature of what a conference which included women and people of colour would be like

    PDF!!

    http://thecommune.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/communismprogramme11.pdf


    they were holding an academic show will all white male speakers (one white woman out of 13 speakers) about "the idea of communism", and some people had criticised the obvious discrimination.

    the real programme was this

    PDF!!
    http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bih/news/communismprogramme


    so there's the "joke"

    what feminists and antiracists want is

    -ignorance instead of knowledge,
    -the body instead of the will,
    -extratrerrestials,
    -interspecies relations,
    -weak men,
    -lousy shapespeare romance instead of great shakespeare tragedy
    -witches and worms and witchcraft,
    -bell hooks saying "ain't I a communist?" and
    -a collective trance to raise marx's spirit from the dead.

    etc

    what a disaster, the stiff backbones of the original men on the programme melt before your eyes, into "frightened" and "empty" when before they were terrific and universal,

    demanding women and speakers of colour is demanding mediocrity and inferiority.

    such degradation and decadence just from letting women and people of colour into the event.

    despite some complaints, the event remained all white and all male (with one gender token)

    had such a jim crow practise been attempted and this "joke" been circulated by faculty and conference organisers in the states, there would have been a scandal. students and faculty would not have stood for it. But for these guys it's a cute joke, and women of colour just need to have a sense of humour to see how charmingly and with such good will the white men and their white girly mascot have fun playing with with their images, and how much they love to play with their dollies of them at their make believe tea parties. This imaginary scene of feminists, white and of colour, "dramatises" them saying absurd childish easily mocked things, except for Davis and Federici whose real remarks are made to sound absurd by context, and to seem absurd by including in this context. Much like the "dramatisation" of Valenti and friend discussing which endures a longer night, makeup or men, and "tittering" in One Dimensional Woman.

    It is so removed from feminism, so much the starkly recognisable, bitter white male resentment of the women's movement, it's incredible that it should have any acceptance at all as a feminist pamphlet, as in the Guardian, but this only shows how corrupt the once progressive media has become, and how stupid or self interested young journalists are. But I was relieved to see it was not fooling people actually active in the ms liberal feminist circles; it certainly wouldn't fool any radicals.

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  89. Complaisant Person12:44 PM

    Oh lord, that's all leventine to me, ladies. I need other things besides Badouvianism to 'keep you in place'.

    Well, I'm glad you got so PERSONAL with Ms. Thought, Arpege. AT LEAST all of the ones I picked out betrayed a barely-disguised attraction to the priggish babe--I mean, he's got this adorable Adam's Apple too. Why, I don't think you want to make out with Ms. Thought AT ALL! I swear, some of that feminism talk is bound to better understood by Dominic, he allows the existence of heterosexuality as an extension of Lesbianism's command, while ignoring the existence of male homosexuality, because we all know that the stops get pulled out in that one (and there ARE no books...)

    Think I will like the Townhouse, doesn't sound stuffy like Penelope/Paul's too-small bed. It's probably not quite as voluptuous as Cafe Pierre, that I adore, but too expensive. I had a Sugar Mama treat me to a divine filet there in 2002, though, and they have a first-rate girl doing Cole Porter in that very by-now 'formal cabaret' way. I once did some lounge piano in another old-queen's bar in the E. 50s, it was owned by two handsome guys both named 'Peter Graham'. It could be in the same place, but I can't remember the name of it.

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  90. Firestone's book she liked so much is also truly unbelieveably racist - she argues in this white supremacist 19th c style that the races are a family, the white man the father, the white woman the mother, the black man the child, who then has this oedipal drama, which leads to black men raping white women. black women are too insignifant to mention, and anyway the whole screed is about this Black Male Rapist of white women. then this is also supposed to support that early radfem argument that gender oppression is the foundation of all oppression and hierarchy - an Oedipal rivalry over possession of the white woman is her explanation for both imperialism and domestic racism.

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  91. Wait a second...is that for real? Somebody really made that first pdf as a joke?

    OMG. If that had happened here, there would have been riots. NOBODY would have shown up for that. But nobody. There was just a student occupation of an admin building in San Diego yesterday, and that was over some undergrads putting a noose up in the library with no specific racist allusions. Over here, in the U.S. of A where nobody cares about anything, like the real communists do over in Europe.

    "an Oedipal rivalry over possession of the white woman is her explanation for both imperialism and domestic racism..."

    It's so much worse than I even realized.

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  92. "Think I will like the Townhouse, doesn't sound stuffy like Penelope/Paul's too-small bed. It's probably not quite as voluptuous as Cafe Pierre, that I adore, but too expensive."

    This is more like a gentleman's club but a little simulacral. Not as faux or epcott center as the old MK - remember that? it was like the townhouse of a j peterman type. More really like the army navy in london, or what the lamb's club must have been like in better days; really a townhouse, a nice leather and green bar, polo lounge or oak room basically but really the feel of a house. you will like it if you are in the mood to really socialise with strangers - it is almist obligatory when it is crowded to meet and greet as if you were at a private party.

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  93. "Wait a second...is that for real? Somebody really made that first pdf as a joke?"

    yes, zizz himself I am pretty sure. and nina was the one to distribute it - she posted it on her blog and passed it around. I don't see the post now but i'm sure its still up there on her blog.

    it's like something from the Dartmouth Review, right?

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  94. http://www.cinestatic.com/infinitethought/2009/03/alternative-schedule.asp

    there it is

    i really couldn't believe it when I saw it. For a whille I thought you could show them how racist and misogynist and reactionary Zizek and Zizekism is, but after seeing this I just said, these people are just like him. It's not that they don't see it - they like it. That's what they like best about him.

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  95. So this

    "If there's anything about the Badiouvian left that stands out to me, it's that they've colossally failed at wresting talk of a "universal human subject" from its origins in idealism, colonialism, sexism, and white supremacy."

    yes. yes. but - I think many of the original enlightenmenters really did not know, were not self critical enough to see how they abetted imperialism and class domination, but this Badouvians actually consciously advocate the idealism and sexism (all including Badiou) and imperialism and white supremacism (many, Zizek of course, but not including Badiou)

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  96. " Plus some techno-utopian stuff tacked on about how only science can make women no longer inferior to men by taking stuff like childbirth away"

    this is funny - in a piece on Antichrist that American Stranger linked, she basically said childbirth makes women closer to natrue, to death, and to evil, because it is "for otherwise compassionate men" a graphic spectacle that traumatises them. So childbirth is not an experience had by many women and all infants, but a spectacle staged by Nature or God to traumatise men. Thus women really are between Man and his divine intellect and Animals with their yuky instincts and flesh.

    and yes, this Badiou fad is flesh hating and women hating, and the whole "revive Saint Paul" is the grossest affront to women imaginable; and its blakcmail - we are universalists and if you dislike our new mascot saint paul you are the female seperatist. It's like saying we shall have our new movement's figure be Thomas Jefferson, and anyone who complains about his pecadillos - the attributes of his era, (that repudiated cultural relativism is always there for revival in defence of these men) - is the particularist victimologust and racist. Just the chutzpah of demanding that this gfigure of Saint Paul, the figure whose image has so forcefully signified a two thousand year war against women, be accepted by women as the image of model revolutionary, authority, and our desires, or we will be denounced as splitters, is ...well certainly what Zizek intends. But Badiou is not a fake like Zizek. Just an old French male chauvinist who should be appreciated for his long committed respectable life, his example as a man of principle who got old without lurching right, who has never been oportunitstic, who has never kicked the underdog, but really really not advanced as some kind of authority on egalitarian discourse.

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  97. "it's like something from the Dartmouth Review, right?"

    Oh yes. Some serious Larry Summers caliber social commentary! On a par with students at UC San Diego who recently caused a stir for having "Compton Cookouts" where white affluent students dressed up in ghetto costume and brought fried chicken, 40s, and watermelon. For shiggles, of course, no malevolent intent there! Nope! (Haha, "Ain't I a Communist?" Haha. Why do black women have to be so trivial, always talking about being black, and female. Totally incompetant at being universal subjects!)

    I can't even believe it. I really can't. I wan't to believe that they're not actually that bad. It's a little like finding out that the guy who dressed up like Santa Claus at the mall was not only 1) not really Santa Claus, but 2) was also a child molestor.

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  98. totally incompetent at spelling

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  99. My recollection is not perhaps to be relied upon, but I believe the spoof programme was intended to mock the real event for its conspicuous non-inclusion of the various perspectives represented by Haraway, Shiva, hooks, etc. - the whiteness and maleness of the real programme caused widespread consternation, as well I suppose it might. (I hadn't anything to do with the event, and didn't go, although I should have liked to see Badiou and Hallward).

    A comment, from here - http://theoryspot.blogspot.com/2009/04/trust-theory-birbeck-communism.html - that perhaps deserves unpacking:

    "The genius of the conference, however, was the way its very premise inoculated it from at least the most superficial, identity-politics-oriented criticisms of the homogeneity of the speakers. The decision not to bother with the history of "actually existing communism" freed the conference of the need to have a diversity of speakers that could broadly represent the various experiments in communist theory and practice outside of Europe. A radical defense of the self-sufficiency and principled universality of philosophy served as a bulwark against multiculturalist-historicist blackmail. However, that this should still produce straight, white, bourgeois males is lamentable, for in addition to being hypocritical, it gives multiculturalists ammunition against an idea of universal human equality that really does deserve to be reconsidered."

    I remember being impressed, at university a decade and a half ago, by Derrida's "White Mythology"; the impression hasn't altogether worn off, and I still experience a flicker of immune response when faced with expressions like "the self-sufficiency and principled universality of philosophy". Is this what Badiou stands for? In reality, I think not (his stated view is that philosophy is dependent on its "conditions", and produces no universal truths of its own); but the "Badiou" who "mobilizes opinion" is widely seen as restoring a certain prestige to philosophy, and recalling philosophers (or at least philosophy grad students) to the dignity of their vocation. Which is perhaps more ridiculous than it is dangerous, but a pity either way.

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  100. This in particular:

    Michael Hardt "The REproduction of the Common"

    Makes it pretty clear that this fake program was meant to spoof the "included" speakers, not the original ones.

    It an affirmative action joke. If it weren't for the benevolence of Whitey, these shit-for-brains women and blacks and sissy-men wouldn't even have a chance in hell of making it into the academic spotlight. Get it?

    Of course, we've heard these jokes a million times over here so we're probably more attuned to them.

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  101. "My recollection is not perhaps to be relied upon, but I believe the spoof programme was intended to mock the real event for its conspicuous non-inclusion of the various perspectives represented by Haraway, Shiva, hooks, etc. - the whiteness and maleness of the real programme caused widespread consternation, as well I suppose it might"

    No no no. How illiterate can you pretend to be? It's anonylouys, it was circulated by Zizek protégés, it was a response to the real criticism that mocked the real objects of real - not anonuymous, perfectly willing to be identified - feminists and antiracists.

    Why would anyone who wanted to mock the all whiteness of the real conference have hooks saying ain't a communist? nancy harstock converted to nietscheanism, hallward talking about the body, toscano about ignorance, badiou about the empty name, and - explain this last one please - Yerry eagleton talking about Winter's tale instead of Lear?

    What's feminist about that? What feminism prefers bad shakespeare to best shakespeare?

    and a concluding collective trance channelling Karl Marx? What feminists and antiracists think that by excluding women and people of colour you exclude magic, superstition and witchcraft?

    Who thinks that but Zizek, and maybe Toscano and Power?


    but if you don't get it- maybe you don't get Colbert and Borat either - well I can't imagine being civil to anyone who just doesn't get it you know; it's like some kind of brain damage you've suffered.

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  102. (I did like what I read of your book though. Mazeltov.)

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  103. That and the Starhawk and Marcos contributions.

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  104. Complaisant Person2:48 PM

    On a par with students at UC San Diego who recently caused a stir for having "Compton Cookouts" where white affluent students dressed up in ghetto costume and brought fried chicken, 40s, and watermelon. For shiggles, of course, no malevolent intent there! Nope! (Haha, "Ain't I a Communist?" Haha. Why do black women have to be so trivial, always talking about being black, and female. Totally incompetant at being universal subjects!)

    Yeah, you're really pushing it. That is not necessarily malevolent, it is like a form of tourism, not so different from touring the South Bronx when you want to do an 'off-the-beaten-path' kind of tourism. The only consideration might be that San Diego students had never spent time in Compton, have you? Because I have spent several difficult moments there and it is something I'd very much like you to do unarmed as well. Okay, I'm not a communist like you, so I don't sympathize, and I am not interested in how it was white people's fault that the Bloods of Compton were 'inevitable', and obviously I see what you mean, but who the fuck cares? But get off on it, sistah, if that's your game. That is so minor. And I'm sure blacks that found their way into such a thing would be only too amused--are the 40s guns?. It's really so interesting to see white communistst go into pushy high dudgeaon about something so minor.

    "Why do black women have to be so trivial, always talking about being black, and female?'

    They do not talk about this 'always', but if that is all they did talk about, they would indeed by trivial.

    For chrissake, 'fried chicken and watermelon' are only 'black stereotypes' to people who've never been in the South. 'Fried chicken and watermelon' are just Southern, black and white alike.

    Okay, I want to do a White MALE ONLY Stuffed Derma 'n' Gefilte Fish Overheated Upper Broadway Apartment w/TV tables while watching Live from Lincoln Center. Maybe we'll even wear gold high heels and fake fur with animal rights buttons on them, like my lovely downstairs neighbour, who specializes in suing as a hobby.

    Frankly, I think making Patti Labelle's Rum Cake today is especially racist, and the fact that I had to alter it, since she called, quite surprisingly for a cake mix instead of all-scratch is even more condescending. It still ends up requiring 2 lbs. of butter, so that we may indeed have to work at new attitudes toward fat people.

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  105. thank you anodynelite, I thought for a moment I would go crazy having to explain this to Dominic, as I tried once with Power herself and she just said "but I would have LOVED to hear Angela Davis!"

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  106. mocked the real objections

    not real objects

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  107. I haven't spent time in Compton, but I did live in Bushwick.

    And there'd be nobody laughing there if a bunch of white gentrifiers went and bought lawn chairs, sat out in front of their stoops, and had a "Bushwick Cookout".

    Nobody would be laughing.

    The point is not that it's a "huge deal", the point is that affluent whites apparently still don't understand how not to be complete dicks to minorities. Apparently not even the oh so politically righteous academic ones.

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  108. Dominic seriously

    it says you who are objecting to the speakers

    you who want black women instead of white men

    (already it's a distortion - this is the "hysterical demand" aspect, asking zizz and badiou to erase themselves and replace themselves with angela davis and bell hooks)

    so you who want black women insytead of white men are people who want everything inferior instead of everything superior

    you prefer the naturally lowly to the naturally lofty



    you want black women instead of white men
    ignorance instead of knowledge
    weakness instead of power
    the body instead of the will
    winter's tale instead of lear
    superstition instead of reason
    empty name instead of generic name
    weak communists instead of weak communism
    magic instead of science

    it's absolutely plain. it's the traditional caricature of altermondialism from the right - lesbian wiccan postcolonial hairy legged transgender breatfeeding new age transversal peasant migrant vodun priestesses speaking slovitzian ebonics who render men effeminate by dragging them down into their mire.

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  109. Complaisant Person3:43 PM

    And there'd be nobody laughing there if a bunch of white gentrifiers went and bought lawn chairs, sat out in front of their stoops, and had a "Bushwick Cookout".

    No, not if they were gentrifiers and doing it in Bushwick itself. You didn't give enough info. Yes, it sounds pretty racist, BUT...I doubt they did it in Compton itself. I know Bushwick too, there was a women in 1983 who had come from a dirt farm in North Carolina, and was showing her veggie garden. It was the last installment of a column called 'about New York', and somehow I got her name from the article and just called her out of the phone book. I asked her if I could put in her flower garden in exchange for some of her turnip greens. Admittedly, that's more the 'real thing' kind of thing, and she was marvelous (although the flower garden got mostly flooded away), but no, I woulnd't peraonally go to a 'Compton Cookout', okay I was going a little too hard, but I just DO know what Compton is like, and it is not so much that you think 'black' there, as you KNOW that blacks and whites are equally at peril. And the peaceful people in Compton live pretty scared a lot of the time too. Of course, there are equally vicious kinds of neighborhoods, like Vernon, a few Blue Line stops before Compton, which is a total Company Town, owned I think by Italians, but it's well-documented in one of Mike Davis's book, yes, 'Dead Cities'.

    I'm sorry, maybe you'll still let me wear hot jeans when we have the Upper Broadway Overheated Apartment Stuffed Derma 'n' Blintz Supper, followed by Coffee, Rugalach, and Schnappes.

    I bet lots of the San Diego people had never even been near Compton, though. LA's maybe 2 hours away, minimum, and I've never been down to San Diego myself.

    What YOU're talking about is like once when i was working temp and this agency was bought up by another bigger one. But the ones in the smaller one had to pretend they were 'very excited' by the 'merger'--even though they all immediately got fired.l

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  110. Complaisant Person3:57 PM

    it's absolutely plain. it's the traditional caricature of altermondialism from the right - lesbian wiccan postcolonial hairy legged transgender breatfeeding new age transversal peasant migrant vodun priestesses speaking slovitzian ebonics who render men effeminate by dragging them down into their mire.

    I couldn't agree more. That's why I want WHITE MEN. Just not all the goddam time. Frankly, I think I usually would have gotten around to some black men in this recent sprint, but as for black women, this one is just fine. Now, these corporate tight-asses are not fuckable and suckable. But all this talkiness is for people like Arpege and Dominic who are very circumscribed sexually, insofar as they refuse to allow many sexes and genders to range through their OWN BODIES. Why, all you need to know about is safe goddam sex. I like all kinds of hot people, I don't care what their race is, but I do tend to want more males (because they don't get their feelings hurt so easily. However, my roommate is just like a man in her total enjoyment of free sex. What can I tell you, girls and boy? You're just going to have to branch your asses out a bit more. I imagine Anodyne already has, but I don't know about Arpege, and I just can't even conceive of Dominic, who just wants to talk about the wrongness of all sexuality ad infinitum. It is one of the most disgusting projects i've ever had to countenance, and such people deserve a life of unfulfillment and failure to realize any of their goddma potential except UNPLEASURE. I NEVER heard so fucking stupid a word. Fucking puritan prig, frigid and a goddam sexual bore is what that kind of stupid-ass talk is about.

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  111. well i wish there will be no watermelon fighting...but it brings to mind one last thing abotu Bourriaud.

    my friend's son is a really talented artist, in the middle now of his fundation course in London. he came at age 8 to the UK, speaking not a word of english, with his parents, seeking asylum. they faced a lot of racism, and hostility, and he was out of school for a year, spending a lot of time all alone. by the time he went to school he was trying so hard to be english, reading arthurian things, and wathcing the BBC history shows, and it amazed me but he'd stay for hours in the national portrait gallery, the museum i thought would bore the crap out of him, but he was trying to take in the heritage. it was all very hard. The exclusive nature of "Britishness" as it expresses itself in a lot of culture should not be overlooked. He has just been approved for citizenship. anyway, he wants to win the turner prize one day. But he loved Altermodern and he was really jazzed by the jettisoning of any nativist or nationalist preoccupation. This really meant something to him as an immigrant, who is about to be naturalised but feels still entirely attached to his birth nationality. But his tastes and his culture and his multinational condition really are described by these themes, however awkwardly or salesmanly Bourriaud may express them. and the theme of a journey under certain compulsions, and translations - it really is a political theme and also one worthy of a lot of art, that artists are already showing is worthy of a lot of their work. Contemporary art is at this point mainly gestures, but this one Bourriaud made, by having "British" be so open and nothing to do with "identity" at all, was at least worthwhile. One of the few gestures that contemorary art exhibitions could make that could be worthwhile within existing institutions. And I would have really kind of underestimated all this if it weren't for this young man starting out now in art in Britain who said he feels now he has the prerogative to call himself when he pleases a British artist and to mean what suits him by it. And these things are easy for zizekians to make fun of, but they are not trivial except to people who just feel that belinging to "the west" or "britain" or whatever, just without a thought speaking of "our" modernism and "our virtues" and "our conceptualism", a birthright and something perhaps secretly mystical. But there are a lot of people for whom relations to these abstractions, or concrete complexes that one needs to define, are not so uncomplicatedly felt and so pleasureably experienced as zizek's audience who hear themselves addressed in both "we white leftists" and "the West".

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  112. Complaisant Person4:49 PM

    lesbian wiccan postcolonial hairy legged transgender breatfeeding new age transversal peasant migrant vodun priestesses speaking slovitzian ebonics who render men effeminate by dragging them down into their mire.

    Nick Land claimed he text-messaged you, but I didn't believe him till now. Bettah watch out with all those fancy writing styles...

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  113. "Nick Land claimed he text-messaged you, but I didn't believe him till now"

    what? how? who is nick land?

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  114. Complaisant Person5:12 PM

    'You once knew, last year at....non?' as ads would say In a Continental Mood...

    Arpege replies: 'laisse-moi...laisse-moi...'

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  115. one more clarification...

    because imperialism means that the empire and its many avatars and action figures, nationalities, Zizek's "we white men and women", and "the West", claims everything of value in the world as its own invention, essence and property, everything worthwhile, and only assigns to its protean Other and its avatars and action figures such really undesirable things as terrorism and torture, and maybe some cooking, and crafts and performane practises viewed as primitive and traditional, this kind of cultural strategy that Bourriaud is championing and facilitating - however clumsily and in his imperfect use of a second language and his sometimes rather naïve readings of the discourses in which zizz can so easily fool and please his complacent white audience and mock the objects of his neofascist aggression - means making one of the few contributions to an emancipatory politics that art could concievably make, being just art after all, in the current conditions.

    Rancière made some idiotic objection about it being too moral and concrete, and intimidated Bourriaud into saying "oh but these artists are very formalist" instead of "your priorities and beliefs are fucked up by your own excessive affiliation with abstractions and your unfortunate miseducation". Bourriaud is timid and intimidated by celebrity theorists who write about aesthetics. He's often speaking for artists who have not mastered the language of critics and theorists and can't help him. And he has big concerns for marketing and promotion - he is obviously engaged in reproducing the conditions of his practise, his profession etc.. and presumably puffing the value of his own collection, whatever that contains.

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  116. Complaisant Person8:45 AM

    claims everything of value in the world as its own invention, essence and property, everything worthwhile, and only assigns to its protean Other and its avatars and action figures such really undesirable things as terrorism and torture, and maybe some cooking, and crafts and performane practises viewed as primitive and traditional,

    Arpege, you are hilarious, I love the 'some cooking' (by the way the Rum Cake is in a gorgeous Cake Stand today and partakes of Julia Child's expertise in the Frosting, so we have a racist-imperialist-internet nerd Rum Cake (since the Labelle and internet recipes were combined, and Julia's Butter Cream was better than either).

    Forgot to mention I finally saw Ailey Company just a little over a year ago, it was huge disappointment because the programme so bad--NOT ONE AILEY PIECE. Incredibly virtuosic and athletic dancers in costumes as ugly as P. Martins's Swan Lake, but maybe even more Day-Glo (hideola) but not one good piece. Well, the PNB (Pacific Northwest Ballet) ended up having the same shit problem, with stunning dancers and then they come to New York with this dumb program of truly bad contemporary works), although I may give Ailey another chance, I was limited by schedule to programs I could go to, and 'Revelation' is supposed to be great. I imagine you've seen that. Jane Simpson, a brilliant London critic who is a specialist in the Royal Ballet history, says it's her favourite piece. But I really didn't like that there was no Ailey piece on there. Martha Graham Company never has an even without a 'real Martha', not just somebody in the school, but she did make more than 150 pieces.

    The Mysterious Text Messager Who Stole Dejan's Ass Real Estate and Who Tried to Fuck You at Baden-Baden Last Year has been calling us 'exchange of snobberies', but his well-known 'cultural illiteracy' is something she prides herself in, so she thinks your critique of Owen is how he shouldn't 'sound elitist', because has the kind of 'class identification that speaks in grunts'. What a load of crap, but that's in fact a real test of mastery of different forms and usages of any language, whether or not it's 'warranted'. I mean, I didn't learn to speak 'faux-aristo' overnight, for chrissake.

    R--- (that's not even her initial, but you fucking do know about my goddam stalker, so I have to keep all real info off the blogs, as both hd and Dejan are malicious in real life beyond belief) saw sometning at the Public Theater last night by Susan Lori-Parks, she logved it. Is that a well-known playwright. And for goddam DOMINIC, R===== also said she went dancing with her goddam GIRLFRIENDS the other night, that they 'couldn't understand my bisexuality', so just danced with each other, and I danced with all the guys, and she said 'I felt up so many guys last night. It was HOT'. So despite that fact that she dates women too, she NEVER feels RAPED when she allows PENIS inside her. She just cain't get enough. Very idea that women getting fucked when they want to is 'rape'. That Dworking woman simply ridiculous, and that screamy Publicist on ballet board also brags about how she interviewed the indeed hairy-legged beauty back in the day. Well, Y'ALL can have this exquisite and refined lady! She is the most destructive of all feminists, and has ended up making the photogenic Dominic into a Poster Boy for Castrated Concerned Males. I hope this doesn't happen to the delicious-looking Owen, oh those bangs, baby...

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  117. From Dominics link the N+1 piece

    Žižek framed the conference by way of an analogy to Lenin. After the Second International failed to prevent the outbreak of World War, what did Lenin do? Retreat to neutral Switzerland to read Hegel's Logic. And this conference, Žižek declared, was to be the beginning of our retreat to read Hegel's Logic. "It's crucial to resist the urge to ‘Do something!'" he railed against those who'd rather join an NGO than stay cooped up in the library. "Now is the time to think! … Do not be afraid. Trust theory!" The response of the nearly 900-person audience was electric.


    This gave me my first good laugh in a long time. He really is Borat. It's too funny.

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  118. The Mysterious Text Messager Who Stole Dejan's Ass Real Estate and Who Tried to Fuck You at Baden-Baden Last Year has been calling us 'exchange of snobberies', but his well-known 'cultural illiteracy' is something she prides herself in, so she thinks your critique of Owen is how he shouldn't 'sound elitist', because has the kind of 'class identification that speaks in grunts'.


    Where is this?

    Hatherley doesn't sound elitist. if you use "replete" and "comprise" incorrectly, and you are English, you sound like AN ESTATE AGENT. Because it was the writer of property descriptions at Winkworth who popularised these errors.

    hatherley sounds like he trying to sound authoritative, to be slightly intimidating so his subjective judgements will not be questioned. This is tough when you're not that educarted, and he does it by constantly supplying himself with foils than whom he simply tells his audience he is smarter. for example Alain de Botton, Bonnie Greer, Tom Paulin. de Botton is actually inane, but Greer and Paulin are not. Oddly it seems Hatherley has actually picked up this tactic and much else performance-wise (not content) from de Botton.

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  119. " Who Tried to Fuck You at Baden-Baden Last Year "

    what does this refer to?

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  120. I like Suzan Lori Parks, blogged some of her Red Letter Plays at the old blog, and think her spike lee movie, Girl 6, about a yung actress who ends up working a phone sex line, was very misunderstood and underrated.

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  121. Hatherley is an excellent writer, no one would deny it. But he is alos a nationalistic arsehole to ream Nicolas Bourriaud for his English language style when he has not even himself mastered that language and it is his native language.

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  122. "The Mysterious Text Messager Who Stole Dejan's Ass Real Estate and Who Tried to Fuck You at Baden-Baden Last Year "

    ah, an obscene text message on the 22 of February? was it?

    that was from 'Martin'?

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  123. Complaisant Person10:08 AM

    Oh, that was all a combo of Delphine Seyrig (remember, 4 years ago at Alphonse Van Worden, when w. said I made Erica Jong sound like MARCEL GODDAM PROUST, only good line I ever got out of her), of my endless stalking by 'Old Nick' formerly of Hyperstition for well over a year (and he stalked me offline too by contacting my boyfriends by email, that was the end). Dejan allowed all this to happen, I had thought I liked that guy, thought he was a great writer. but he was only interested in online games, not meeting in person. I guess, thought it was fun to write stuff that turned me on on the net, but cyber-sex totally uninteresting to me unless it leads to something else. He's still writing at Dejan as ALL the other monikers (no matter what D. says), and especially 'lafayetc'.

    He and I had talked a good bit about 'Marienbad', I think in the dialogue is discussion that it might have been Baden-Baden. We saw it as a long clothed-porn film, or rather I did. He lied about everything, so I just respond when necessary with an email. But I'm not going into this story further, if you, mlle, were so 'non-au-courant', not to follow it through its obscenity and deceit. He has a good ear, and you did see him once when we looked in at Hyperstition, where he and Robin Mackay were writing, you thought they were 'pedestrian', which has turned out to make you most Cassandra indeed, but I thought a lot of him until I found out the truth. You might remember on that thread I was looking at I signed in as 'Apollinaire'. But he can write in almost any style, and did very good parodies or me, you, and traxus, and HILARIOUS ones of ADS (sorry, but these were very funny, as in 'Patrick, I'm just in seriously better shape than you are in every way. You are majorly inferior'. That one was heaven. It's just he's wicked in the literal sense a bit further than even I am interested in--you know, mutilation fantasies, he's written a Bataille book that's fairly well-known among bloggers, and weird drugged pronouncements like 'death is the betrayal of necrophilia'. He started putting links to necrophilia porn, but I wouldn't look at it. It was meant to 'humble me', but I just don't have a taste for such shit.

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  124. Complaisant Person10:13 AM

    22 feb--believe me, dear, I wouldn't know. The whole point was to interest me endlessly by being cryptic, but I lost interest a couple of weeks ago, it's too silly to play blog-identity games after awhile you just have to go on and be who you are, no matter how ghoulish. He always wrote me in real emails and on the blog differently, and would never allow both to be known as the same, but always left obvious clues. It's a stupid nerd sickness of no interest to me. I had mistakenly thought he was also a physically sexy and attractive man. That's still possible that he once was, but when you just want to 'talk sex', I dont' care about it if I know it's never going to happen. He's married with kids, some of these closet cases really are something.

    But yes, he's the same as 'martin', and the 'ajb' you had some good slugging with at lenin. lenin though it was me, I thought that hilarious, but I had written nothing there on that thread. 'ajb' = Martin. He's now permanently at Dejan, and actually has been for probably 2 years, but I didn't notice till late Decemeber 2008.

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  125. "the 'ajb' you"

    that's confused - ajb is someone else, I know who that is. Martin had a different name there at Lenin's, something like "Steve Hall".

    but really did someone tell you he sent me a text? did he mention any other acts of harrassment?

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  126. Complaisant Person4:37 PM

    but really did someone tell you he sent me a text? did he mention any other acts of harrassment?

    Oh no, dear, that was just to tell me that, as he said, EVERYBODY IN THE UNIVERSE LOATHES YOUR GUTS NOW AND ETERNALLY. He harassed ME, dear, not you. He actually hacked emails and such stuff, and is currently writing at Dejan (all the non-Dejan people are 'old nick', he's a malicious troll.)

    No, sorry, martin and ajb ARE the same, but let's not belabour that. The only way you could prove they weren't is to say that one of them was YOU. That's YOUR fault for not following the 'eros affair'. That was ME and Nick Land, one of the founders (along wi8th Sadie Plant) of CCRU (CyberCultureResearchUnit), out of which Nick/Robin/Reza half-occult, half-philosophy blog Hyperstition.

    While he was trolling with me somehow 'in thrall', he came on as 'hyacinth', an extreme capitalist stockbroker; lafayette (who remains) as a 'working class hero', and any other thing he could come up with. It's all games to him. He was well-known at Hyperstition for being an extrreme neoconservative and supporting Bush and Cheney till Obama won the race. After that, he immediately started getting all sexy with me at Dejan, and I, in my stupid profligacy, went along with it for a ridiculous amount of time. I thought it was Robin for awhile, even Dominic at one oint, then I realized it was Nick, and it still carried on. You see, I didn't know he just hated my guts, but a couple of sly bloggers helped me figure out (nobody else cared, since I'm considered such a pariah) and one had the guts, despite all my bad speech at the time, to confront him on the blog, who had been an old follower, and that was the end.

    Dejan now idiotically concentrating on how I asked you about the Townhouse, as if for 'cruising adviece'. Actually, I don't even know if they serve food. I never go to any clubs unless they do, or never just for drinks, which bores me. I do remember that in Paris there were VERY fine gay restaurant pick-up places, with delicious food, like La Mendigotte near rue de Rivoli, and also le St-Hilaire, but I imagine those are long-gone. This kind of elegant gay restaurant sex-bar is unknown in New York, unless the Townhouse is like that it doesn't sound so, although it sounds nice if you want to spend money just for drinks. I don't.)

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  127. Complaisant Person4:37 PM

    But I've quit the Dejan scene, because I got tired of the personal harassment by Nick, which nearly destroyed me (I'm sure many bloggers were rooting for this to succeed, but I would have had to run out of money, and be even more or a romantic fool than I was, so it didn't work, and I started fucking again.) but, you know, personal courage and honesty are not nearkly so valued as they once were (I don't mean 'white lies', I've been doing them ever since I learned it from Bill Clinton, but the serious core lies, about l'amour, no, I just don't do that: It's the mark of a true coward and vacuum of a person.).

    Oh lord, Arpege, he barely even mentioned you. Don't flip out about this asshole. He did have me so freaked out at one point that I was afraid he'd done some really serious offline harm, but that didn't happen. So PLEASE, don't get a hangnail attack like Dominic Dworking. I'M the one who's been harassed, not you. It's all over now, though, because I told Dejan I wouldn't write anything over there unless he did 'blog partners' with me and gave me deleition privileges. I didn't expect him to, and he didn't, so I suspect 'Old Nick' was paying him all along for the privilege of trying to 'usurp' my notoriety, since he's used to getting it. Although, it wasn't much to give up, I can tell you that. Anybody that doesn't know what blog sex is has problems. And you'll see that Dejan is constantly talking about bloggers fucking and sucking, this is so silly, sex talk on line is for starting something real, it is not satisfactory online, once a few masturbation sessions are over (we did one during the Oscars, for example, or at least I did; I think he was really just into manipultation ane micromanaging. It took me a long time to understand, because I couldn't understand how anybody got any SEXUAL pleasure from blog manipulation. Well, maybe they do. I don't see how, especially if they're in are 'age group' and he is (47 years old, I think, yhounger than me, older than you.) But he just goes from one political fantasy to another, when Bush/Cheney were there, he supported them hook/line and sinker, and don't think for a minute that your favourite 'Brunette Dumb Blonde' wasn't over there 'sucking' all the time. He claims that, in real life, she couldn't quit cruising his crotch. Well, I'm glad he had good homosexual sex at least once.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Complaisant Person4:39 PM

    But I've quit the Dejan scene, because I got tired of the personal harassment by Nick, which nearly destroyed me (I'm sure many bloggers were rooting for this to succeed, but I would have had to run out of money, and be even more or a romantic fool than I was, so it didn't work, and I started fucking again.) but, you know, personal courage and honesty are not nearkly so valued as they once were (I don't mean 'white lies', I've been doing them ever since I learned it from Bill Clinton, but the serious core lies, about l'amour, no, I just don't do that: It's the mark of a true coward and vacuum of a person.).

    Oh lord, Arpege, he barely even mentioned you. Don't flip out about this asshole. He did have me so freaked out at one point that I was afraid he'd done some really serious offline harm, but that didn't happen. So PLEASE, don't get a hangnail attack like Dominic Dworking. I'M the one who's been harassed, not you. It's all over now, though, because I told Dejan I wouldn't write anything over there unless he did 'blog partners' with me and gave me deleition privileges. I didn't expect him to, and he didn't, so I suspect 'Old Nick' was paying him all along for the privilege of trying to 'usurp' my notoriety, since he's used to getting it. Although, it wasn't much to give up, I can tell you that. Anybody that doesn't know what blog sex is has problems. And you'll see that Dejan is constantly talking about bloggers fucking and sucking, this is so silly, sex talk on line is for starting something real, it is not satisfactory online, once a few masturbation sessions are over (we did one during the Oscars, for example, or at least I did; I think he was really just into manipultation ane micromanaging. It took me a long time to understand, because I couldn't understand how anybody got any SEXUAL pleasure from blog manipulation. Well, maybe they do. I don't see how, especially if they're in are 'age group' and he is (47 years old, I think, yhounger than me, older than you.) But he just goes from one political fantasy to another, when Bush/Cheney were there, he supported them hook/line and sinker, and don't think for a minute that your favourite 'Brunette Dumb Blonde' wasn't over there 'sucking' all the time. He claims that, in real life, she couldn't quit cruising his crotch. Well, I'm glad he had good homosexual sex at least once.

    ReplyDelete
  129. I go back and forth in my mind between identifying Zizek with Borat and Anne Coulter. Those are the only two 'characters' I can think of who just barely get away with saying the same sorts of things Zizek says to whip rooms full of privilege into an ecstatic frenzies of self-admiration.

    IRL, of course, Anne Coulter is a f-g h-g who lives on the Upper East Side. What is Zizek IRL? Basically, the idiot Anne Coulter plays on TV for $$$$.

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  130. Complaisant Person4:49 PM

    I didn't know Anne Coulter was even talked about anymore, the idiot.

    Oh gawd, on the Upper East Side!

    There goes the Neighborhood!

    What will Lee Radziwill think!

    We ought to have a Kir at the Pierre sometime this spring, Anodyne, if you'd care to play around in a highly stylized public discreet setting. We could smile *public person smiles* while fingering each other's whoreparts...

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  131. Complaisant Person4:54 PM

    Oh well, I don't know, I really don't approve of f-g h-g, I mean, I thought you'd been around the goddam block, honey... I also do not respect internet-speak when I don't know what it is? Hello? IRL? is that like goddam URL'

    Did YOU eat a Chicken Cacciatore today? Well, I did.

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  132. I'm not in Manhattan at the moment dear, but I will be there now and again.

    I miss bialys. And everything else.

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  133. Complaisant Person5:06 PM

    Okay, let me know, we'll get together, I like to meet new goodlookers. Traxus has all my details, as phone (gawd, I'm not putting another one on the blogs) and knows that I am able to control some of my appurtenances in Pubick Houses...

    ARPEGE! Where did Owen use 'replete' wrongly?' I gotta take a 15 minute nap.

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  134. Borat borat, because he appears now on TV only in his gulag issue underwear, sweating.

    look at how nervous he is made by the footage of the overt fascists.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/AlJazeeraEnglish#p/search/0/aZwesgneidE

    "those disgusting creatures" he says, feeling Tariq Ramadan's sardonic and tolerant smirk on him. Zizek crying fascist, like Marcello in The Conformist a bit.

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  135. I see his cocaine problem is still progressing nicely.

    Everything he tries to assert on that video would just get obliterated by any second or third rate history or poli sci professor in the U.S. (not even the howling-at-the-moon mulitculturalists from the Africana or Women's Studies departments that he fear so much. Just plain old history buffs). The panel does a good job of sort of chuckling him down a bit, but he seems quite pissed about it.

    Then again, he's lit out of his mind, so it's stupid to try to read his mannerism...

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  136. Complaisant Person7:01 PM

    http://www.townhouseny.com/

    Utterly hilarious copy, about a 'place where men of means can feel comfortable', and 'proper dress a must'. All of it amusing. But oh dear, piano bars with sing-alongs....that gets a bit bangy, and since so 'upscale', may mean at least less of 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain', and more of 'Losing My Mind' and 'Nothing's Gonna Harm You'. I HATE 'Sweeney Todd', it's truly repulsive--I almost feel like he had a right to make all those human pies and sell them for big $$$$$$$$$ because he didn't get tenure....Sometimes Sondheim just pretentious, as with the meat-pie patrons singing 'God, that's Good'. Loathsome.

    Anyway, saw no menu, so it looks like that's out for us. Most my friends are str8 anyway, so the Pierre will be just fine for lewd assignations...and the food very good there, but trop cher.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Complaisant Person9:35 PM

    https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=1766310661586319511&postID=3671874961641479818

    It's pointless not to read this, I put the link because you say you never go in there and read, or want to give that impression, it doesn't matter. This is just for the record. The man passing judgment on you and me for 'our finery' and 'snobbisms' found it inconvenient to continue as an 'official neocon' once McCain ('brave when it counts', this hyperstitionist said), was defeated. He just wants a forum, and got it at Dejan's because nobody went to Hyperstition anymore. It wasn't possible for me to write even a single word there after I knew he was operating in this solidly malicious way. So that his 'prole-identified' tastes are the very ones from 'Martin' (if you don't want to believe it's the same as 'ajb', at least HE says they're the same, said he 'cornholed you' at leninino's that day, and 'won the battle' in the old traxus thread, unfortunately relinked, or maybe fortunately, so that all this business can be dispensed with). It's true he always thought 'free market forces' should be at work in determining culture, so you need 'market discipline', he 'prescribed' a 'labor reeducation camp' for me, which produced primarily a lot of pleasuring of me, so I have a hard time understanding that.

    I really can't believe you don't know all this, but you are saying you don't. As for 'real text messages', I don't know of any, I knew it impossible he was text-messaging you, and he said only to say that he was 'on speaking terms' with everyone and that I was more or less surrounded. This proved not to be true, of course.

    Also, I don't know why he even talks about 'series' vs. 'serial', but then I haven't read all your TV things, it's too long-winded for me to stay interested, especially since I've never seen The Wire. But 'serials' were already not 'stand-alone', as he calls them, as far back as the night-time soaps like 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty', and soon evolved into 'Hill Street Blues' in the early 80s, with continuing stories. I think those were the first, though, around that time. The old series format for hour-long shows wore out, I don't know if any at all exist anymore.

    Of course, this 'lafayetc' claims not to be who he really is, but then he signs in as 'lafayesitsmenickland' and, of course, never does make clear what his real identity is. That's why, even if he is right that you and/or I are SCUM, it means little coming from a total capitalist of situations. It was always interesting to me that he hated 'elitist culture' but totally supported the Iraq War and 'money elitism' as clearly embodied by Bush and Cheney.

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  138. Complaisant Person9:37 PM

    Philosophically, his main interest is the superiority of the lie to the truth. He could have easily stopped all the mess at Dejan's last summer, and I asked him in emails to do so by coming there, even if it was just to proclaim that it was someone else doing it, but he didn't, clearly because he wanted to see how far he could take the game--not unlike he took his pet projects of 'WWIV', which were about the expansion of the Iraq War, and his maniacal support of Karl Rove (he used to talk about 'Karl Rove wet dreams', and that 'the man is a saint', only half-jokingly). But back then, no matter what he wrote about, there was a sharpness to it. If you look at this shit he's written at Dejan, it's just blunt-edged and weak. I don't know if you can see the opportunism in it, but it's there, mainly in the 'some of this is very interesting if you're into that stuff', and the bullshit of 'being into that stuff because supported by the taxpayer', like sitting in the 4th ring of NYState Theater was different from paying twice as much to travel to rock concerts or even pay monthly cable bills (I don't have cable, for example, nor need it, and sometimes go to dance programs at the Joyce for $10--it's an attitude against culture that is not obviously populist, no matter how much or little it costs, isn't it? If you don't say so or not, I shall simply be forced to assume that a $10 monthly payment to the Joyce, where I saw PNB, Ballet Hispanic and a Taiwanese Company, as quite 'non-elitist' at least in terms of 'money egotism', compared to monthly cable service--which I have nothing against. I just don't need to watch TV.

    This is not to make 'nice=nice', which is the current Dejanian propaganda, as in form of 'sucking missus's tits', etc., he bores the fuck out of me by now.

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  139. Complaisant Person9:51 PM

    Look, i know you and I don't trust each other either--nor should we pretend we even particularly want to. i think I have probably put this here because it's part of making the best of bad deal sort of thing. I don't believe you didn't know who he was, for one thing, so that's why I've put this here. Now you have no choice but to know (which you indicated you wanted to know.) Okay, that sounds rude, but we know how the internet works (not so well, and these 'martin' and 'ajb' people have been variously also identified as philosophers Veal and Mackay, these are all close Warwick Univ. associates. So there were probably a bunch of CCRU people working together on this, so I guess I get to see myself as a CIA-type sex spy. I really don't care what anybody else thinks, now that I got through this alive.)

    My main interest in this is what the enjoyment is for the malicious troll of the serious sort, that tries to interfere with offline life. It must surely be exactly like the hacker who doesn't really care to spend the money on the acounts he fucks, but rather just enjoys it as an end in itself. I have never had any insight into this mentality, so I never catch onto it.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Complaisant Person11:34 PM

    By now he's seen what I've written here, and this is his latest comment;

    La Fayetc zei...
    Oh, and how did I forget to mention it? Chabert deleted all Hatherley's comments on the thread! Worse than pathetic much?

    Okay, you probably can see how he operates, and you can say you don't care how he operates, but this is how he operates. It's pretty lame if you ask me. So no mood-pulls, please. I obviously have nothing to offer on the new Marx post, so this is just tying up some loose ends that have gone on too long. In his previous post at that Dejan's, where I can't write again because Old Nick owns it now, which is good for me, he says Owen doesn't say much about his 'politics', he describes it much the way I described earlier this evening Old Nick's own 'politics', trying to 'figure out who he should be for or not', something like that. Owen can at least be said to have done a much better job of even weak politics than someone who thought Dick Cheney was quite the ultimate thrill (living in Shanghai, he has purposely cultivated amnesia.)

    This is all a pain in the ass to have to post, but that's what happens when you talk about 'text-messaging harassment' in a way that is not terribly impressive, unless you really did get an 'obscene text message' on Feb 22. I don't even know how text-messages work, so how could he send you one without knowing your address, or is that just the old blog one? I don't care if you know him, the 'nazi trap' he claimed to be laying for me when I was in Hollywood at Xmas wouldn't work even if you were, because all such a 'Nazi trap' would mean is easier non-access to these blogs: This can be a blessing, and you start getting more phone calls from people you want to hear from that way. So that his idea of a 'Nazi trap of me' would mean a full release from prison. Although I can't say I haven't enjoyed writing on this thread. We have had our good moments, you know, it doesn't matter a fuck what Dejan says. Traxus told me recently when here that you, Nick and I were the best writers in this blogosphere, an interesting remark. Of course, having been 'nazi-trapped', I am unquestionably the best. but we look at some shoes and dress shops for you...I think on Bleecker.

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  141. wait wait, that link is to this thread here.

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  142. "The panel does a good job of sort of chuckling him down a bit, but he seems quite pissed about it.

    Then again, he's lit out of his mind,"

    yes but there is method to his madness - he is recycling tried and true patterns of propaganda, in his Borattian performance. And it seems to work with way too many of these impressionable students susceptible to his flattery and the way constructs the illusion of an exclusive member's only club, like Nietzsche's imaginary gang of monsters of courage, around himself.

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  143. "ARPEGE! Where did Owen use 'replete' wrongly?' "

    Oh was it this?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guggenheim_Abu_Dhabi

    "...we must draw the reader's eye to the building replete with a sign that says The Guggenheim...named for Solomon A. Guggenheim, a Jewish capitalist. Aside from being a major buyer of modern art and the owner of museums in NY, Venice and Bilbao, the Guggenheim's portfolio includes shares in "evil Orient enterprises" and devotes itself to constructing handsome buildings and pleasureable spaces not only where the population deserves them, as in North America and Europe, but where they do not belong, where Arabs live, when everyone knows the proper tabula rasa the West arranges for its Arab wards is a landscape of radioactive rubble, and that only those who make museums in the Arab world which look like this


    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_oEn2IoOE3Pc/R-O-uhDppYI/AAAAAAAAAW0/r7BvOgfQY5U/s400/bagdad_museum_1%5B1%5D.jpg

    deserve modernism, modernity, post-modernity and beauty in their cities and lives.

    or

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Central_Television_Headquarters_building

    "An expensive new structure, replete with running water, electricity, and superfluous design elements, is to be wasted on robotic, submissive Chinese media workers who should toil away in squalor until they learn a proper respect for the value of civilisation and the idea of communism."

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  144. richard10:05 AM

    'submissive Chinese media workers who should toil away in squalor until they learn a proper respect for the value of civilisation and the idea of communism'.

    Wow. Where is this from - the NLR article? I can't afford the subscription so haven't been able to look at it.

    You're right to call Hatherley on this. The (mostly) defensive commentary here is disappointing. It compounds the sense that there's a general indifference towards taking the implications of such lacunae seriously.

    I remember a couple of years ago stumbling across an extended riff on 'paki' bashing in the 'Sit Down' comments box and feeling quite nauseated. It was done with this jokey jokeyness that is meant to interpolate would be critics as uptight pedants.

    This faux sub-proletarian subaltern swagger just serves as a foil to deflect attention from collusion in this unsavoury discourse. Whatever he's trying to say about the social function of art, its badly compromised by this sort of inflection however much he argues he is giving expression to a class based form of resentment.

    That's no reason for giving an inch to divide and rule rhetoric, in this case pitting one dispossessed community against another, which the UK ruling class over the past decade or so has diffused with the assistance of an ever genuflecting media.

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  145. listen -

    http://www.friezefoundation.org/talks/detail/nostalgia_whats_the_role_of_the_past_in_fashioning_the_future

    Militant Modernism is a book concened with defining Britishness (as englishness, brutal and benevolent - avoidance of imperialism as topic, whitewash, apologia.

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  146. even HG Wells has to be described as furiously angry about the extermination of the Tasmanians and his War of the Worlds as a revenge fantasy for that genocide, when clearly it is much more ambivalent. Wells' white supremacism is simply skipped over and the complexity of thoughts and feelings about this as they emerge from the novel, erased. A simpleminded and oversimplifying exegetical practise, applied to Wells in passing and to Brecht at length (so as to avoid the whole Marxist tradition of interpretation), is mirrored in the practise of architecture appreciation and the result is the construction of an essential Britishness that is an object of nationalistic notaligia, with its core an essential Englishness from which it is only very slightly distinguishable (the difference are some not ethnically English major architects of Britain's modernist buildings), and a heroic history of British Labour Socialism purified of its imperialism historically which then relies on, and supports, the re-valorisation of its aesthetic practise and self-image, in this modernism, and protects that practise and its products from the critique which would expose its relation to and convenience for an imperialist Britishness based in Englishness that is to be justified with these cultural self-expressions. So Hatherley chooses to see neither the imperialism of the period in question, nor the ideology of imperialism in its architecture, just as he chooses not to see the tradition he echoes in his account of Bourriaud's dubious funding conspiracy, though it belongs within the earlier part of the period concerning him. But he knows the history, the architecture and the period too well, or seems to, for us to assume these failures to notice are anything but deliberate.

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