Saturday, March 24, 2007

"Wanted blood, Hell for infidels."

Angry Arab: "... anybody who knows Arabic will notice something really odd and fishy about the graffiti: It is not written by an Arabic speaker."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lynching and Spectacle

(Notice Sailor and Lula in the middle)

Re: Reckless Eyeballing

The black man is righteously put to death before white onlookers after falsely accusing the white man of recklessly eyeballing the white woman and for this transgression attempting to murder him on her orders. The sexually incontinent white woman and the murderous, sexually predatory black man are in league against the innocent, unjustly maligned white man and his good white woman.

Re: New York

Rats take over NY. They slip in first through the unguardedness of the upright citizens, commencing with the negligence-for-convenience of the white man in the anonymous street crowd, conscious and ashamed of his littering, a dry relatively harmless paper, then spreads to the oblivious littering of the white mother too absorbed in mother love in bucolic central park to notice, the same paper; their unwatchfulness opens the floodgates for the brazen littering of the be-suited black man throwing heaven knows what over his shoulder, who seems to trigger the wet organic filth of the sexual young crowd upon whose splash and ooze the rats feed, reproduce...

Re: Smoke and Fire

The film runs backwards to give Amos and Andy a comically unnaural, ghostly air that amuses and charms. "They're so weird!" How did they come to be ghostly and weird? What history unravels and erases itself? Run forward the sequence is: Amos and Andy are confronted by us (with the camera) through a blaze, recalling a torch. They put their hands up defensively. Two gushes of liquid are released from above their heads, seeming to match them, one column of gush for each. They look up, but the camera does not. The camera declines to look up to discover whatever it is that hangs from the trees above, releasing these gushes. Amos and Andy go down on their knees in the mud and make strange motions, then rise again and back away. Again they look up, but we do not. We never look up. Amos backs into the building, lights flash revealing a hook and winch; he emerges with his familiar hat. Again something - lumps, fleshy, smoking, on fire - drops down from the night sky above their heads, and again the camera declines to look up. They back away and the camera inspects the burning pile of flesh. It's only fish. Only fish aflame falling from the Southern night sky at the feet of ghostly, amusing Amos and Andy. Ooo neat. Mysterious and weird.

Re: The "Weird"

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Opera Glasses

Satyajit Ray, Charulata

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007

football is fixed

the blog will be appreciated by us "conspiracy theorist" football aficionados!!

The Football Is Fixed Inaugural Annual Awards

Football Matches of the Year: Mexico v Argentina and Germany v Italy in the World Cup provided a reminder of the type of uplifting competitive soccer that used to be more common prior to the influx of gambling money into the game.

Political Leader of the Year:
Evo Morales (the President of Bolivia) who continues to stand up for the rights of the coca growing campesinos in the face of American pressure to control the sources of cocaine in South and Central America. Having observed how Uribe (with US backing) eradicated FARC plantations while accomodating AUC plantations in Colombia, Morales and his Movimiento al Socialismo are having none of it.

Football Chant of the Year: He Eats Chow Mein, He Votes Sinn Fein, Nakamura, Nakamura (Glasgow Celtic)

Reformed Psychopath of the Year: Bill Gates for setting up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to oversee global poverty and health issues as opposed to profit and wealth issues. One would like to think that this was his initial aim when setting up Microsoft. A pity that it takes private philanthropy to address Third World poverty. A big up for Warren Buffett too.

Sportsperson of the Year: Ricky Ponting. Pom-basher extraordinaire.

Rigged Election of the Year: Mexico by a mile. Utilising electoral procedures more commonly seen in Rwanda and Florida, Calderon and the PAN stole the election from the mayor of Mexico City, Lopez Obrador. Little chance of a country adjacent to the USA developing democratic politics after 71 years of dictatorship under the Orwellian-named Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Dodgy Refereeing Performance of the Year: Poll for trying to prevent the gamble on Australia being landed by denying the Aussies two penalties, disallowing a fair dinkum goal, refusing to send off a second Croat after 3 bookings and generally losing the plot big style. Interesting that his "international retirement" announced post World Cup doesn't include Champions League, UEFA Cup or Euro 2008 games.

Abuse of Democracy of the Year: USA and Israel for undermining, sanctioning, illegally arresting, killing and generally destabilising the democratically elected government of Palestine, Hamas.

Sports Scandal of the Year: Moggiopoli.

Sports Whitewash of the Year: The Steven's report into bung culture.

Political Duplicitous Bastard of the Year: Blair.

Judicial Duplicitous Bastard of the Year: The dodgy David Mills QC (quite crooked?).
Most Interesting Mafiosi Befriending the British establishment of the Year: Super Silvio Berlusconi.

Politicised Footballers of the Year: Patrick Vieira and Lilian Thuram for supporting the rights of disenfranchised immigrants in France and being top players too. El Hadji Diouf for his support for Mouride causes. Can't imagine Ashley Cole or Frank Lampard getting political eh?

Political Appointment of the Year: Hank Paulson moving from Goldman Sachs to US Treasury Chief and only agreeing to go if the US government finally got serious about global climate change.

Footballers of the Year: Ronaldo for being a circus star but, mainly, for getting Engerland knocked out of the World Cup. Essien for being class.

Disappointment to his Father of the Year: Hillary Benn.

Dead Fascist of the Year: Pinochet and let's hope Thatcher joins her role model asap. And people wonder why Latin America has moved to the Left...

Fixed Football Match of the Year: Celtic beating Man Utd. Brilliant theatre proving that sometimes crooked can be artistic.

Investment Bank of the Year: Goldman Sachs - these people know how to trade the markets.

Crap Transfer of the Year: Mourinho for Gallas/ Cole swap. Unbelievable.

Customer Focused Company of the Year:
Google. Love the algorithm. Love Blogspot.
Internet Radio Station of the Year: Pandora. My personal DJ.

News Channel of the Year: Al Jazeera. Proper Global Coverage.

Blogs of the Year: The Daily Kos State of the Nation ( and Prudent Bear (

Best Read of the Year:
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn; Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky; Writing And Difference by Jacques Derrida.

Ostrich of the Year: Joint winners Niall Ferguson - colonialism-denier and Bjorn Lomborg - idiotic sceptic.

Slipped Mask of the Year: Blair's apoplexy when a Tory backbencher suggested that England is becoming a police state.

Anarchist Business of the Year: Skype - not content with mashing the music companies with KaZaA, they are now targeting the telecoms companies.

Great White Satan 1 Iran 0 (Iran Ban):

FIFA has today suspended Iran from all international football competitions. We are all totally convinced that this was a footballing decision and a footballing decision alone. Absolutely nothing to do with sanctions in any form. Something suitably arbitrary like government interference in the game was the reason provided. Definitely much more serious than Moggiopoli then.
Global football moves increasingly in step with World Government. Certain countries are rewarded for their compliance with a globalised shareholder society - for example in recent times, Ukraine, Angola, Trinidad and Tobago and a little further back Croatia and Czech Republic. Others are punished - Uzbekistan, North Korea, Iran, Kenya, Romania and China.
Perhaps countries undertaking free market reforms should be weighted by a couple of tenths of a goal in FIFA competitions to take account of this!?

Business As Usual, Obama Brand

Ali Abunimah:

Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker. In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front." He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, "Keep up the good work!"

But Obama's gradual shift into the AIPAC camp had begun as early as 2002 as he planned his move from small time Illinois politics to the national scene. In 2003, Forward reported on how he had "been courting the pro-Israel constituency." He co-sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Pension Code allowing the state of Illinois to lend money to the Israeli government. Among his early backers was Penny Pritzker -- now his national campaign finance chair -- scion of the liberal but staunchly Zionist family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain. (The Hyatt Regency hotel on Mount Scopus was built on land forcibly expropriated from Palestinian owners after Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967). He has also appointed several prominent pro-Israel advisors.

Obama has also been close to some prominent Arab Americans, and has received their best advice. His decisive trajectory reinforces a lesson that politically weak constituencies have learned many times: access to people with power alone does not translate into influence over policy. Money and votes, but especially money, channelled through sophisticated and coordinated networks that can "bundle" small donations into million dollar chunks are what buy influence on policy. Currently, advocates of Palestinian rights are very far from having such networks at their disposal. Unless they go out and do the hard work to build them, or to support meaningful campaign finance reform, whispering in the ears of politicians will have little impact. (For what it's worth, I did my part. I recently met with Obama's legislative aide, and wrote to Obama urging a more balanced policy towards Palestine.)

If disappointing, given his historically close relations to Palestinian-Americans, Obama's about-face is not surprising. He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power. Palestinian-Americans are in the same position as civil libertarians who watched with dismay as Obama voted to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, or immigrant rights advocates who were horrified as he voted in favor of a Republican bill to authorize the construction of a 700-mile fence on the border with Mexico.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday, March 09, 2007

Baudrillard's Will... not! He died intestate. The question on everyone's mind: who inherits?

The Progressive Liberals? (The Retort Collective)?

The Maoist Platonic Lacanians? (Mehdi Belhaj Kacem)?

The Orthodox Marxists? (Jonathan Beller)?

The Venture Capitalists? (Seth Goldstein & Lew Ranieri)?

The Monster of History

AmericanStranger on the Zombie Apolcalyse. These ravenous and unproductive consumers, agents not of an end of history but of "the continuation of history by other means", could be described in terms of biopower and biopolitics, but the tireless production through narration, perpetually shocked, interrupted and jolted by image, that the movies represent hint at the limits of that formula, especially when it comes to the expression of the egotism and conscious animosity of the narrating class:

The zombie (as fully realized by Romero), on the other hand, is a loathesome creature capable of inspiring only instant revulsion. It's very stinking, malformed presence puts the lie to any hope one might hold of the beyond, not only existence after death, but the atheist's dream of peace as well. There is no peace in a universe of exchange. Zombies remain dimly conscious, though any sense of dignity that might be assumed to correspond with this rudimentary capacity for self-awareness is stripped away. Zombie-ism turns its victims into slack-jawed mockeries of their former selves, presenting us with the ultimate anti-metaphysical perversion: both the subject and its body may die, but desire (as drive) lurches on. Doctor: "It wants me! It wants food! But it has no stomach, can take no nourishment from what it ingests. It's acting on INSTINCT!" The zombie 'wants' what is useless to it, which is 'life.' Slaves to an illusion, zombies are ugly, stupid, slow, and banal. Like anything so single-minded, zombies are hilarious, but you are always laughing at them, maybe a little nervously. Everything you do is at them. It is not possible to want to be a zombie, but it is so easy to become one, and this is why zombies couldn't be more terrifying to even a modestly socialized American. Zombies, as creatures of drive, are the opposite of freedom...


...the entire structure of the narrative, as a post-apocalyptic narrative, is a bourgeois construction, implying/reproducing an ideologically bourgeois audience. While it is capable of creating identification with a) the throwback elitist as tragic figure or b) some middle-way position (usually occupied by the protagonist), the actual agent of the apocalyptic event is always alien, whether it be an asteroid from outer space or a monstrous figure of the crowd, global warming or lumpenproletariat. In any case, huge segments of reality are reduced to mere figures for the liberation of the middle-class psyche, a worldview that easily carries over into one's consumption of CNN or the New York Times.

Paul Féval, Preface, La Vampire:

We undertake to recount a tale, historical it's true, but bourgeois, with features neither of court intrigue, nor military victories and conquests.

It is simply a page from the secret biography of that giant called Paris, who, in the course of his life, had so many adventures!

Jacques Rancière, Les Noms de l'histoire:

Une histoire, [signifying in French both 'story' and 'History'] in the ordinary sense, is a series of events which happen to subjects generally designated by proper names. Now the revolution in historical science has rightly desired to revoke the primacy of such series of events and proper names to the advantage of the longues durées and the lives of the unknown and anonymous. With this, historiography has simultaneously asserted its membership in the scientific and also the democratic age. Une histoire, is also, in the second degree, the account [récit] of these series of events attributed to these proper names. And the account is characterised by its incertitude with regard to the truth of the events related and the reality of the subjects to whom they are attributed. Things would be all too simple if one could say that all History [histoire], according to the expression, is nothing but a story [une histoire]. The property of une histoire is always to be able to be and simultaneously to be able to not be une histoire....

...The science of history constitutes itself against the diverting story or historical romance. It is for this reason that the historians of the old school relied on the rigorous inspection of sources and the critique of documents. It is for this reason that the historians of the new fashion have absorbed the lessons of geography, statistics and demography. Thus the materials of historical construction must be sheltered from the fabulising of opinion and literary turns. It remains that the material is nothing without an architecture. We know it, in the sense of the common expression: to know something is to not have to think about it. That about which we can dispense with thinking is this: history is susceptible only to one single architecture, always the same, and that is this: this series of events happened to such and such a subject. One can choose a different subject: the monarchy instead of kings, social classes, the Mediterranean or the Atlantic instead of Generals and Captains. We nonetheless must face the same leap into the void against which the rigors of no auxilliary discipline can offer any guarantee: we have to nominate subjects, we have to attribute to them conditions, status, affects, experiences.

Jacques Rancière, La Haine de la démocratie:

This double spring of the critique of the revolution permits us to understand the formation of contemporary antidemocraticism. It allows us to understand the inversion of the discourse of democracy which followed the collapse of the USSR. On the one hand, the fall of the Soviet empire was, for a very brief time, greeted joyfully as the triumph of democracy over totalitarianism, the victory of individual liberties over statist oppression, symbolised by the rights of man championed by Soviet dissidents or Polish workers. These 'formal' rights had been the primary target of the Marxist critique of democracy, and the collapse of the regimes built on the pretention of promoting a more "real" democracy seemed to indicate their resurgence. But behind the welcome accorded the assertion anew of the rights of man and of rediscovered democracy, the inverse was produced. From the moment that the concept of totalitarianism was no longer useful, the opposition of a 'good' democracy of the rights of man and individual liberties against a bad egalitarian and collectivist democracy fell, as well, into desuetude. The critique of the rights of man resumed immediately all its rights. It might lean in the direction of Hannah Arendt: the rights of man are an illusion because they are the rights of that naked man who is without rights. These are the illusory rights of men that tyrannical regimes have chased from their homes, from their nations, from all citizenship. Everyone knows how much this thesis has regained favour recently. On the one hand it arrived opportunely to support these humanitarian and liberatory interventions by States undertaking, as military and militant democracy, the defense of the rights of those without rights. On the other, it inspired the analysis of Giorgio Agamben, making of the "state of exception" the real content of our democracy. But the critique can also lean toward the marxist manner that the fall of the Soviet empire and the weakening of the movements for emancipation in the West have made available, anew, for all uses: the rights of man are the rights of egoist individuals of bourgeois society.

The point is to discover who are these egoist individuals. Marx understood these as the possessors of the means of production, that is the dominant class for whom the State of the rights of man is an instrument. Current wisdom understands this differently. And in fact a series of slippages suffices to grant to egoist individuals a completely new face. First we make a replacement everyone will allow us - that of "egoist individuals" with "avid consumers". Then we identify these avid consumers with a new socio-historical species, "democratic man".

Aimé Césaire, Discours sur le colonialisme:

Finally one must take sides and say once and for all, that the bourgeoisie is condemned to become every day more irascible, more overtly savage, more shameless, more completely barbaric; it is an implacable law that all decadent classes see themselves transformed into the receptables of the sewage of history; it is a universal law that every class, before it disappears, must, as a prelude, completely dishonour itself, in every way, and it is with a head buried in manure that dying societies emit their swan songs.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Myopicide & Ontalgocure

Ah! Vous voulez rendre célèbre mon élixir? Bien le merci. Pour avoir ensuite des emmerdements à n'en plus finir. Bien le merci! Je connais déjà ça. Voyez-vous, monsieur L'Aumône, vous êtes jeune, vous n'avez pas l'air d'un sot, vous allez me comprendre. Figurez-vous qu'à vingt-huit ans j'ai découvert un medicament qui guérissait radicalement la myopie : quelques gouttes dans l'œil, et plus besoin de lunettes. Je peux même vous dire avec quoi je fabriquais ce myopicide : avec la fève de malabar. Donc : quelques gouttes dans l'œil, et plus besoin de lunettes. J'ajoute : plus besoin de oculistes, plus besoin d'opticiens. Donc : tous les oculistes ruines, et tous les opticiens. Eh bien, mon cher monsieur L'Aumône, ça a failli me coûter cher cette histoire : ah là là! la vie. Tout simplement. On a voulu m'assassiner. Parfaitement. Et les marchands d'écaille qui voulaient me couper les oreilles. Quand j'ai compris j'ai enterré mon myopicide et je suis venu me cacher ici où j'exploite tout bêtement et tout bonnement mon élixir. Car supposez que je fasse du foin avec? Eh bien! la même histoire recommencerait. Supposez un instant que je guérisse l'ontalgie existentielle et l'angoisse substantielle et l'épilepsie essentielle, qu'est-ce qu'ils deviendraient les médecins, les théologiens, les pharmaciens, les philosophes, les chirurgiens? Tous ruinés! Tous foutus! Plus de Vatican! Plus de Faculté! Oh mais je les connais, ils ne me laisseraient pas faire dès qu'ils commenceraient à entendre parler de guérison zou ils me feraient disparaître de dessus terre où j'ai bien du plaisir à être surtout en ce moment assis que je suis en face d'une gentille mignonne comme cette enfant.