Tuesday, December 15, 2009

San Pedro Harbor

for Melinda Owen

When you are powerless
To sand-bag this Atlantic bulwark, faced
By the earth-shaker, green, unwearied, chaste
In his steel scales: ask for no Orphean lute
To pluck life back.
—Robert Lowell, “The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket”

I have never met a man who later died at sea
Owing to my birth far away from New England
In both time and space. The tankers that leave

San Pedro Harbor, black metal-flanked and
Steaming, floating atop the Pacific
Like furnaces, seem things peopled by wan

Ghosts in overalls, greasy slivers of men quick
To be forgotten by those on whose pens fall
The task of romanticizing the specific,

Unseen elements that constitute all
That is thought possible to capture in poetry.
(Consider Beauty, for instance, or those small

Unnamed acts of kindness that so easily
Fit the ontological structure
Of pentameter verse). But what the sea

Swallows out of rage or quietly defers
Back to shore is its own prerogative;
And the heroes it makes out of some sailors

It unmakes in others, allowing those who live
To return home, unsung perhaps, but never
needing that song, so hollow and unlike the waves.

- Ryan Ruby
(originally published in Tabourey Magazine, Oxford, 2004)

They That Go Down in Ships





Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Quotes

"Truly the people are sovereign, but I am their father and their lover." - Hugo Chavez

“If a housewife were given a literary work of art to rearrange, the end result would be a dictionary.” – Jean Cocteau (real quote)

"No, I think that's Don Cheadle you're thinking of." - Don Cheadle

"What frightens me most about myself is that if I ever came to know some troubled young, Muslim man, and discovered that, in his seemingly quiet despair, he was planning and would soon execute an act of mass murder, I would probably do nothing to stop it." - Peter Beinart

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

γνῶθι σεαυτόν

- - - Screwge

Dialogue Day!

If Dirigible's tales of au jus and gizmo status symbols have got you down, here's a heartwarming holiday tale featuring the ultimate marketing hook, Tiger Woods!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Goddamn a Man Can't Even Eat a French Dip without Spilling Au Jus onto His iPhone Killing It Goddamn

((this conversation took place shortly thereafter))

I'll kill all of you...
til the break of dawn!!!!
Sent at 10:34 PM on Monday

me: haha
goddammit my phone is fucked

Patrick: nandaio!

me: spilled a little bit of water [sic*actually it really was au jus. I can admit that now*] and it showed some bad signs

Patrick: yeesh yeah these things are disappointingly fragile

me: i ripped it apart to dry it off

Patrick: hmm opening it up might not be good mojo
it may void your warranty

me: nah it's fine
they can't tell

Patrick: there are places in NYC which can fix these evil phones though besides mac

me: plus there is no goddamn warranty
yeah good call i shouldnt go to apple
that'd be like telling your teacher you ran over your neighbor's kid

Patrick: there was some place in midtown i heard was good
me: what place?

Patrick: hahaha
put that on the blog oy

me: ha there's no goddamn context!
the blog needs fucking context!!

Patrick: hahah
what context should we provide?

me: i dunno man i'm all shook up
i just lost some money and they tell me that's a bad thing in this world

Patrick: hahahaha
Sent at 10:41 PM on Monday

me: well i'll blog the conversation then

Patrick: haha very good
feel free to edit it at will

me: doing it
Sent at 11:13 PM on Monday
me: ha i just made one correction to it
Sent at 11:20 PM on Monday

Patrick: haha
me: pretty dumb but
i mean, it's an audience of pat, right?

Patrick: nah nah both of my roommates, my friend ryan, and my friend billy are regular readers

me: oh cool

Patrick: my friends like our stuff, your minaret articles were a big hit

me: ha

Patrick: i've also gotten some good feedback about how the blog is a weird mixture of 'serious' longer pieces and short haiku's of hate
though some context might indeed be good
man you should add all this to the entry
only edit it to make me sound even more fatuous and awful
"i'm a really good writer"

me: hahah

Patrick: that's why i liked your minaret photo so much, no hate is complete without self-hate
Sent at 11:31 PM on Monday

me: what do you mean the photo?
the second post?

Patrick: no of you at the statue with that scowl on your face

me: haha yeah
Sent at 11:33 PM on Monday
me: ha maybe i should put all of this in
Sent at 11:34 PM on Monday

Patrick: i think that's probably a great idea
Sent at 11:50 PM on Monday

me: ok i'm doing it

Patrick: haha all right

me: any last thoughts you want to include?

Patrick: nah do your worst
Sent at 11:53 PM on Monday

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bourgeois Notes Towards Antitheater

An update! The ban is passed by 57%.

(Right: Walter Wobmann, president of the committee 'yes for a ban on minarets,' smiles at his crooked thumb jubilantly. A thumb he now realizes is more effectual than the entire puffy form of the feckless scarab Nick Griffin and his BNP. He then removes his headphones and adds, "you know, Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head really is one of the decades most masterfully constructed albums.")

Find the love over Here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's All Turning Up Hate

A special squeal-out to our forthcoming sister blog Dolce & Gomorrah.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Good Morning Campers,

You may remember the Swiss: detainers of Polanski, nation of boring-as-death cities, and 92% Bank. Well, turns out they're some thinkers as well. Some Swiss Right thinkers propose a law that would ban minarets throughout the country, changing the already bland skylines into tessellated gray cubes.

Rational citizen, Madeleine Trincat, retiree from Geneva, explicated: "The problem is not so much the minarets, but rather what they represent. After the minarets, the muezzins will come, then they'll ask us to wear veils and so on."

Now looking at the situation with less seething fear, swiss hotel association spokesman Thomas Allemann tried to temper this tone with the perspective of reason: the Euro. "Switzerland's good reputation as an open, tolerant and secure country may be lost and this would bring a blow to tourism."

Get some Here

Mark Twain called this rock in Lucerne the 'the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.' It commemorates the Swiss Guard, massacred in 1792 defending Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution, although she had fled the premises some time before. Known for their political neutrality, popes and emperors could be assured of the Swiss Guard's purchased loyalty.

The Guard may again rise and lead us all into Hell.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Return to the Theatre of Blood and Horror!

"Bacon's theater of cruelty was an enormous popular success at all of its venues, but especially in New York, where he was hailed by fans as the greatest painter of the twentieth century." - NY Review of Books

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Good song...Now Joni Mitchell
I'm a huge Joni Mitchell Fan
It's probably the thing I hate
about myself the most.

Ft. Whodunnit?

Senator Joe Lieberman, captain, cook and first mate of the USS Goonsville (the Senate), has made a shocking revelation today: the murderous rampage at Fort Hood was a “homegrown terrorist attack.” Let’s ignore for a moment that if Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had instead been named something like, say, Seung-Hui Cho, honorable monsieur Lieberman would have gotten no traction out of these allegations. Let’s even forget that for the entire six years Maj. Hasan worked at Walter Reid he was in constant conflict with his superiors, consistently received negative psychiatric evaluations, and that his fellow students and teachers called him ‘paranoid’ ‘belligerent’ and ‘schizoid’. Terrorists are pretty often anti-social unhinged psychopaths; it’s not impossible that Maj. Hasan could be both a nut job and a terrorist.
So let’s take Sen. Dopey at his word: Maj. Hasan is a “homegrown terrorist.” What exactly turns an unbalanced American army psychologist from bad couch jockey to violent maniac? The key is from Shoeless Joe’s own mouth: “homegrown.” Maj. Hasan’s work in an American psychiatric hospital did not expose him to extremist ideology: he wasn’t administering to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, but traumatized, wounded, PTSD-afflicted infantrymen. Hasan was made a terrorist by the horror of the war, a fact most inconvenient for most of the congress and the White House. Lieberman is perhaps more invested than most in maintaining American denial of the trauma of these wars: he’s one of the most vocal and belligerent of the moldy-minded, mealy-mouthed old farts responsible for sending an ever-increasing number of our youth through the wringer.
Joe’s three-card-monte is pretty clear: imply that Hasan was receiving clandestine instructions from an undiscovered cave in Afghanistan, rather than direct orders from an undisclosed bunker in Wyoming, and slip the ace of spades off the table: these wars are so ugly that it turns the psychiatrists treating our soldiers into terrorists. Maj. Hasan sure could be a homegrown terrorist, but, without the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, without Hasan administering terrible psycho-therapy to the broken shells of twenty-one year olds, does even Joe Lieberdouche believe the slaughter at Fort Hood would’ve happened?
Maj. Hasan, a Palestinian fundamentalist Muslim, gave no ideological defense of his actions. No terrorist group has taken credit for his spree. He cracked, he was a lone gunmen, he is, indeed, a “homegrown terrorist.” The wars have crossed the Atlantic: they don’t only make more suicide bombers in Palestine, more Taliban diehards in Afghanistan, more Sunni extremists in Iraq. Now they are turning American soldiers onto the path of pointless martyrdom too.
Thank God Obama hasn’t given up this war on terror, but merely tried to euphemize it away. We’re gonna need all the experience we can get fighting terrorism for when the two-hundred thousand potential “homegrown terrorists” return to the US from our sickening misadventures in the desert.

- No Innocents

The Plank | The New Republic

The Plank | The New Republic

Kristof strikes again!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So I woke up and this shitty program called 'Ghost Lab' was on

It's about ghost hunting. Anyways, there's this gentleman with a Southern accent searching for the ghost of John Wilkes Booth in some decrepit building with only a flash light as the source of light. In order to provoke the ghost, he starts screaming shit like "You killed our greatest champion", "You have betrayed the very things that made us great", "You were a fool and an obscenity against this country". In a Southern accent, self guided by his own light, stumbling through a burnt out saloon.

- Kostrzewa, guest contributor

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Ist Das Alles?"

Alberto Caeiro - Preacher of those truths

Yesterday the preacher of those truths of his
Talked to me again.
He talked about the suffering of the working classes
(Not about the people who suffer, who are the ones who really suffer when all’s said and done).
He talked about the injustice of some having money,
And other people going hungry, but I don’t know if it’s hunger for food,
Or hunger for someone else’s dessert.
He talked about whatever gets him mad.

He should be happy because he can think about the unhappiness of others!
He’s stupid if he doesn’t know other people’s unhappiness is theirs,
And isn’t cured from the outside,
Because suffering isn’t like running out of ink,
Or a trunk not having iron bands!

There being injustice is like there being death.

I would never take a step to change
What they call the the world’s injustice.
A thousand steps taken for that
Would only be a thousand steps.
I accept injustice like I accept a stone not being a perfect circle,
And a cork tree not growing into a pine or an oak.

I cut an orange in two, and the two parts can’t be equal.
Which one was I unjust to — I, who am going to eat them both?


I’m glad I see with my eyes and not the pages I’ve read.


Saturday, November 14, 2009


-- Evil is a useful ruse. (Whit Bernard)

-- People are generally miserable for the wrong reasons: we should right them. (WB)

-- "I believe that our present social state is iniquitous and should be destroyed. If this is a fact for the theater to be preoccupied with, it is even more a matter for machine guns." – Artaud

-- “The horror of the bourgeoisie can only be overcome with more horror.” – Godard, Week End

-- Watch out: those 'geois's love their flagellates, you could become what you most hate. (Patrick Galligan)


It is intended to hurt the audience, or rather to make the audience hurt itself. It is openly contemptuous of the audience, and its result is that the audience will hate itself. It effects the self-hatred of the bourgeoisie not the way a mirror reflects an object to itself, but in the way that a cancer that bubbles up in a body, from within or on the skin, and poisons it. This self-hatred is experienced not as a self-realization (though it is one) but as an unidentifiable and irrational self-loathing that would seem paranoiac if it were not utterly convincing. The audience must feel as though they are being punished for a crime they did not commit (Their belief that just because they themselves did not commit it means that they are not still responsible for it is the surest sign of their objective guilt). Unlike so much art, good and bad,* that sends to its bourgeois audience the message that what haunts the them (or “the world”**) is some nameless menace (rather than the effects of their own power), Antibourgeois Theatre will show the bourgeoisie that they are that nameless menace—not what they fear, but fear itself, the love of fear. By force of its hatred, Antibourgeois Theatre will conquer the liberal bourgeoisie's greatest weapon: their inability to recognize themselves as a ruling class (in the full sense of each word). It does not ennoble, but rather sullies all involved, making performers and audience uglier, melding each into the other’s horrid visage. It has no positive program. It is weaponized art. It is the propaganda of negativity. It renounces enjoyment. It is unironic. It is undead.

* see David Fincher's "Zodiac", “The Dark Knight Returns”, the novels of Cormac McCarthy, etc. The medium (fear) is the message (be afraid).

- To clarify Antibourgeois Theatre is named so not just because it’s effects and sentiments are against the bourgeoisie; the name also designates its the class origin of its utterance. There is no expectation for this to become some sort of new, populist theatre. The author of this paper has been educated in the finest bourgeois institutions, is affluent (and could be far moreso), and so are most of the people who would be interested in creating ABT. The difference between the Antibourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie, between Antibourgeois art and bourgeois art, is not their class origins but the directions they are going, what they desire and how their desires operate, how they interpellate themselves and others, etc. They are of as different natures as adipose tissue and cancer, but they are part of the same body.

- On a related note, ABT renounces “accessibility” and its elevation to an aesthetic principle in the discourse of arts administration. There is a certain intellectually lazy part of the bourgeoisie that justifies their distaste for high art by reference to a fictive “public” for whom it is not accessible enough: the poor misunderstand art for them. More broadly, the discourse of “accessibility” is unegalitarian, because it’s very notion implies a whole hierarchy of intelligences. One who cries “This is too inaccessible!” has instantly interpellated/categorized humanity into three tiers of intelligence: (1) the artists, who understands; (2) herself, who either also understands or at least is smart enough to know she doesn’t understand; and (3) the public, for whom the art in question seems like noise. Note that in this hierarchy of intelligences, the bourgeois subject in the middle is the most virtuous: she is smarter than the public, but more concerned for them than the artist. She hierarchizes intelligence, but it is an anti-intellectual hierarchy, one that puts higher value on well-policed thought than on thinking. It enforces “democracy” by requiring all thoughts to be accessible to fictional lowest common denominator.

Contrary to this attitude, we must assert the equality of intelligence of all human beings*. If not all inaccessible art is egalitarian, truly egalitarian art is often the most inaccessible, because it defies existing conventions that would tell us how to experience or interpret it, leaving no recourse for engaging with it except the application of universal intelligence.
*see The Ignorant Schoolmaster by Jacques Ranciere


Against Morbid Eroticism: Differentiating Antibourgeois Theatre from Literatures of Transgression

ABT renounces morbid eroticism—the fetishization of transcendental-immanent suffering, of becoming-meat, from Buddhism to Bataille, Artaud to Sarah Kane, Sade to Deleuze, Hostel to Hunger, etc. This assemblage of artistic practices has had many moments of liberation—Bataille, for example, delinked sexual pleasure from reproduction (biological and economic), delinked the representation of sex in art from then-existing categories and hierarchies limiting its portrayal; Sade showed the end result of the rationalization of all human activity in bourgeois society, including the rationalization of sexual cruelty; Kane fought for the legitimacy of despair in an age of medication; etc.

But times have changed, and this type of literature is now primarily promulgated and consumed by people who will never experience the conditions of material decay and pain which it fetishizes, or who at least will never experience these things outside of a safety net of dignity, freedom, choice, and security. We are lost indeed if, at the same moment when bourgeois political regimes throw their enemies into concentration camps confine the poor to ever greater material deprivation, only way that radical elements of society can imagine freedom is through images of becoming-meat. As the Marx Brothers say, “This man looks like an idiot and sounds like one—but don’t be fooled: he really is an idiot!” Morbid eroticism looks like the consumption of unfreedom as freedom, of debasement as dignity, but don’t be fooled: it really is! The bourgeoisie vicariously consumes the unfreedom of the oppressed, unaware (or perhaps simply repressing that it already knows) that this unfreedom really is unfreedom. The bodily suffering of the oppressed in the real world becomes a fictional spectacle for aesthetic contemplation or titillation; real unfreedom is converted and reprocessed into an image of radical (albeit perverse) freedom. This is the most vulgar, despicable triumph of the bourgeoisie, and the greatest index of its power. It is the sign of a bourgeois freedom, in the most worthless and solipsistic sense of freedom as freedom to satisfy material urges, to consume and dominate without limits. It is the freedom of “doing what one wants” and defining these wants with the lack of imagination of a monstrous, stupid, ugly child.

Nothing could be more condescending towards the oppressed—towards those whose who do not choose to suffer, whose suffering does not appear to them as spectacle, fodder for thought and decadent titillation, but is rather a tyrannical condition of their wretched existence. Morbid eroticism is nothing more than bourgeois adventurism, a sophisticated, aesthetico-nihilist form of slumming it (and it is slumming which makes the slum a slum). Suffering flesh is capable of no revelation, produces no liberation, is not a “line of flight”, if it is not also essentially free and dignified (in the most capacious sense of these terms, taking into account that in some contexts radical freedom can mean radical submission to cruelty, and dignity self-debasement). Without freedom and dignity, suffering flesh is only crowning stupidity, banal and insipid. Morbid eroticism is a bad joke.

“Taking risks” is something one hears a lot about from good theatre artists. It’s a notion that has to be nuanced. Praising “risk” is tricky: remember that it is a favorite notion of the bourgeoisie. Risk is a slogan of capitalism and especially finance capitalism; the flipside of the capitalist praise of risk is the precariousness of the economic lives of the working classes today. “Don’t think of yourself and getting laid off, think of it as an opportunity to take new risks, start new careers.” Constant career shifts, job insecurity, the end of pensions, and the lack of universal healthcare are all rearticulated as the liberating deterritorialization of subjectivity. Theatre (and cinema) is too often place where the anxieties associated with these kinds of risks get to be staged in a way that makes them more sufferable, a safety valve that lets out steam to keep the machine running. ABT renounces the fetishization of risk or danger as such: instead it’s goal is to create real risks, to actually be dangerous (risky or dangerous for whom?: for the bourgeois audience it sets out to destroy). If Risk is a term in the vocabulary of ABT, it must mean REAL risk, and real risk is only real if there ARE losers: a battlefield is risky because people always die. The same will go for our theatre: crimes WILL be committed (hopefully against people who deserve them), collateral damage WILL happen.


- The goal: To be Antibourgeois as the bourgeoisie are anti-Semitic.

- Irony does not exist: it is an excuse used by the bourgeoisie to disavow enjoyment of things which they tell themselves they should not enjoy, and a means by which to make an literal, sincere, or authentic statement impossible.

- Open hostility towards religion against all liberal respect for religion as a private choice, but without asserting any alternative (unlike the liberal-scientistic-progressives Hitchens, Dawkins, etc.).

- Narrative displeasure: Narrative is universally enchanting, and the bourgeoisie loves narrative. Therefore narrative should be used as a weapon against them. Use narrative to string them along through a stream of offense and horror like fish caught on a rusty hook. Make them hope in vain for relief that will never come.

- Narrative provides one with security (“the answers will arrive, resolutions will be reached, etc”), so narrative displeasure must be part of a larger attack on the rhetoric and practices of security. In bourgeois American mass political discourse (mass = televisual--which includes our print media, since they have already become television) "freedom" has become synonymous with "security", when in fact they are opposed in their essence. Real freedom is terror-freedom; it’s maxim is that freedom is terrifying because all exercise of real freedom requires a brush with the terrifying potentiality and contingency at the heart of being. Security-freedom, the vulgar and childlike freedom of the bourgeoisie, means freedom to do what you want so long as nothing really changes (for the bourgeoisie at least); it is the privilege of having real freedom (terror-freedom) always at your disposal but permanently declining to use it.

- All fun experienced by the audience in Anti-bourgeosie Theatre must either be (a) a trap, a mere set up for manipulation and punishment or (b) the fun experienced by those who have learned to hate the bourgeoisie and take pleasure in hurting them. To make art “that every one can enjoy” is the absolute opposite of our purpose.

-- A major project of ABT is to show that art is not ennobling: as NSK/Laibach put it “Totalitarianism and art do not exclude each other”. What makes good art good (as opposed to a riddle for the educated) is that it points (as though with a finger) to what cannot yet be clearly/rigoroursly/logically/philosophically/etc. articulated or—better yet!—points to the limits of clear/rigorous/etc. articulation as such and to the historicity and contingency of the latter.

-- minstrelsy: figure out how to use minstrelsy in a way which evokes the minstrel as cultural spectre. The operation of any good deployment of minstrelsy today is not an intervention into the Imaginary but into the Symbolic. This was the failure of the Wooster Group whose attempts to shock the bourgeoisie through the use of minstrelsy only amounted to a liberal guilt trip. The Wooster Group’s use of minstrelsy only took into account the relationship of the Imaginary and Real: “Look,” they said “at this repressed Image, this crude fantasy, this grotesque image on the flipside of Lacan’s mirror, and be ashamed at the disjunction between the Image (which, however antiquated, is still present) and Reality”. But pointing out the traumatic chasm between Reality and its Image is banal and reassuring. Minstrelsy must instead be used to evoke the fracture, antagonism, or lack which is constitutive of the Symbolic, whose sliding structures govern the relation between the Imaginary and the Real. Minstrelsy is not a mirror or a mask: it is the impossibility of having a face.

-- I know a few Utopians—building occupiers, freegans, Hakim Bey-style pirates—who believe that rather than wait for the holy rupture of revolution to birth us screaming into Eden, we can instantiate Utopia now, in this world and this time, in the form of small insurrections, occupations, communes, and temporary autonomous zones. I preach the flipside of this sentiment: do not wait for the revolution to suspend morality, to transvalue values, and suddenly render extermination and violence okay, even “divine”. Make war on the bourgeoisie this instant.

--ABT does not approach itself as art: it approaches it self as mechanics: it regards itself as a machine that does a task and has sensual properties. For those who can actually enjoy ABT, they enjoy it in the manner that one admires the craftsmanship of a gun pointed in one’s face.
--As to this manifesto, it should be said: manifestos are not sociological, empirical, descriptive, philosophical, or artistic documents, though they may make some claims bearing on these areas. They are performative documents: they do not refer to “the world”, they directly intervene in it. A manifesto is not responsible to the world that it spurns. It is a brick. It’s purpose is to smash the screen of what Pierre Bourdieu called “the collective delusion of ‘reality’.” In fact manifestos are the most performative written documents, in as much as one cannot read a manifesto without thinking of the act of its being written. They are less texts to be interpreted than indexes of a concrete exercise of freedom—like an improvised arrangement of rocks on the side of the road, or the smoldering remains of a prison.
Manifestos operate through creative negativity. They are the vehicles by which thought subtracts itself from “consensus”, by which thought ruptures with “the world”. Thought gives “reality” a good kick in the teeth and strikes out elsewhere; they engender and embody new, previously impossible, conceptual spaces. The creative aspect of manifestoes cannot be separated from their destructive aspect. The forces of egalitarianism have forgotten how to destroy; they are obsessed instead with “development”, but any good real estate speculator can tell you real developments can only be made after the terrain has been cleared. Has any lasting freedom ever been won without the destruction of the world of the oppressors?
Can one agree with a bullet? Manifestoes do not produce statements that can be agreed upon. They are the symptoms of disagreement, a disagreement that makes agreement impossible, disagreement in which there can be no agreement even on the nature of the disagreement. Really, then, a manifesto is not something upon which one agrees or disagrees: it is something one finds intelligible or something one finds unintelligible. It is only intelligible to those who share (or come to realize that they share) the ideas it expresses and embodies, and it is unintelligible to the powers that seek to defend the existing order of things.
--In conclusion, there are really the two points that ABT aspires to drive home: a) the fundamental amorality of politics and b) the lack of any necessary correlation between good art and good politics. These ideas are not new: they are they repressed content of bourgeois culture.
The amorality of politics is glimpsed, but rarely ever fully confronted, throughout bourgeois and proto-bourgeois political history: Machiavelli, the overthrowing of divinely appointed sovereign's by the People, realpolitik, Schmidtian critique of democracy, the modern security-fear complex, the protection of the amorality of the capitalist market. As Ranciere put it, politics is the split between violence and ethics; and if this is the case, then Art is the split between politics and the sensible as such; between the socio-political dimension of any organization or presentation of images and bodies and the purely sensual or aesthetic-formal dimension. The amorality of art is only one natural extension of its autonomy, and it was bourgeois culture that created the field of art qua Art. Art creates its own world with its own modes of intelligibility and its own measures of value. It interfaces with the social, but it is not continuous with or containable within it. Any given work of art may be good art but bad politics or bad politics but good art. But there is no lasting or necessary logic to the relationship between good art and good politics as such:
The arts only ever lend to projects of domination or emancipation what they are able to lend to them, that is to say, quite simply, what they have in common with them: bodily positions and movements, functions of speech, the parceling out of the visible and the invisible. Furthermore, the autonomy they can enjoy or the subversion they can claim credit for rest on the same foundation. ... The core of the problem is that there is no criterion for establishing an appropriate correlation between the politics of aesthetics and the aesthetics of politics. This has nothing to do with the claim made by some people that art and politics should not be mixed. They intermix in any case; politics has its aesthetics, and aesthetics has its politics. But there is not formula for an appropriate correlation. (Ranciere, Jacques. The Politics of Aesthetics. p.19)

The point of ABT is not to expose and decry this "dark underside" of bourgeois culture, but embrace and exploit it.

Vertov '24

Friday, November 13, 2009

in the distance.....a stranger

What defines all art to me
is facing the man you hate
in the piazza
and gunning him down

-Michael Caine

If You Can Read This, You're Lying

The Stupak-Pitt Amendment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

He loved reefer and Hebrews

It didn't start in the hills of Los Angeles it started on east side.

Feast upon the magnanimity

Monday, November 9, 2009

Abortion is a Human Right

"Nothing a good liberal likes more than defense of abortion, and nothing the conservative likes more than pushing a burning wagon full of women into the Grand Canyon." -- a young Turkish man in my graduate studies program

"I am the Lost Imam!" -- Pres. Barack Hussein Obama

"Fate is a misrecognition of the becoming-necessary of the present." - Karl Rove

"It's not RAPE-rape if it's a woman." - Pres. Jacob Zuma

"There is but one truth and I have the money to simulate it!" - James Cameron

"Get in my damn race car." - Robert Redford

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Q: Why didn't you go to school? A: I just didn't go man....

Just to let all the kids know, this blog, like any good station on a box, has more than one voice squirting on it. So while we may stamp a few fish to the boards over the hours and days, it doesn't mean we don't like them personally. We'll keep you turned to further updates, until then


The Reinvention Of Robert Gates | The New Republic

The Reinvention Of Robert Gates | The New Republic

Healthcare Cowards List

A list of Democrats who voted against the already watered down health care reform bill (Note that there are a few left-wing Democrats like Kucinich who voted against the bill because it was too compromised, an act which, while not really cowardly in a goonish way, further reduces left wing politics to melancholic symbolism).

Scott Murphy(N.Y. 20)
Bobby Bright(Ala. 2)
Frank Kratovil Jr.(Md. 1)
Walt Minnick(Idaho 1)
Eric Massa(N.Y. 29)
Parker Griffith(Ala. 5)
John Adler(N.J. 3)
Glenn Nye(Va. 2)
Chet Edwards(Tex. 17)
Travis Childers(Miss. 1)
John Boccieri(Ohio 16)
Larry Kissell(N.C. 8)
Jason Altmire(Pa. 4)
Harry Teague(N.M. 2)
Betsy Markey(Colo. 4)
Jim Marshall(Ga. 8)
Suzanne Kosmas(Fla. 24)
Dennis J. Kucinich(Ohio 10)
Lincoln Davis(Tenn. 4)
Allen Boyd(Fla. 2)
Heath Shuler(N.C. 11)
Tim Holden(Pa. 17)
Michael E. McMahon(N.Y. 13)
Brian Baird(Wash. 3)
Jim Matheson(Utah 2)
Ben Chandler(Ky. 6)
Ike Skelton(Mo. 4)
John Barrow(Ga. 12)
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin(S.D.)
Mike McIntyre(N.C. 7)
Dan Boren(Okla. 2)
Collin C. Peterson(Minn. 7)
Bart Gordon(Tenn. 6)
Gene Taylor(Miss. 4)
Mike Ross(Ark. 4)
Rick Boucher(Va. 9)
Artur Davis(Ala. 7)
Charlie Melancon(La. 3)
John Tanner(Tenn. 8)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Do Not "Support Our Troops"

Let's be clear. Mr. Nidal Hasan's faith is not the most important matter to discuss in trying to make sense of why he killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded 30 others at Ft. Hood. All the patronizing defenses of Islam as "a peaceful religion" that we're hearing are equally as irrelevant as the bigoted screeds against it.

Mr. Hasan brought the war home. His actions cannot be understood outside of the political context in which they occurred. The people (excepting the security guard) who died were not civilians; they were soldiers in a military at war. Unarmed as they were, in their home country, they were no more or less vulnerable than the shitkicking Pakis who gets blown to smithereens by American remote attack drones on regular bases, and whose unnecessary deaths we write off as acceptable collateral damage. (It will interest the reader to know that between 2006 and early 2009, American drone attacks in Pakistan killed 687 civilians and only 14 Al-Qaeda militants.) Hasan's massacre constitutes a form of domestic anti-war terrorism, like that of the Weather Underground, although Hasan was obviously driven by different political and personal motives and to much graver ends. Hasan could have become a conscientious objector. He could have been dishonorably discharged, could have gone to jail as a resister, or could have fled to Canada, while his family went on lecture tours of Ivy League campuses campaigning for the anti-war cause. In a word, he could have been marginalized and forgotten like every other goddam hero who has sacrificed their military career to oppose these wars. Instead, misguided by religious thinking and a great deal of stress and terror, he chose the path of "martyrdom". As a result, we will not forget Hasan, unlike the others. But we will still overlook his message.

On the matter of psychology, we would err to attempt to understand Hasan's crime only as a matter of madness, as we would usually err to describe most massacres in such terms. There are reasons for madness, if not reasons to it. To say that Hasan did what he did because he was mad is to suggest that he might still have been a danger to others had these wars not taken place, were he not a Muslim in the US military after 9-11, if there had been no 9-11, etc. Such a notion is absurd. Hasan was driven to mad slaughter, at least in part, by an inability to make sense of the contradictions between what he was and what he thought he should be, between what he did and what he thought he should do, at this moment in history. That, and a good deal of religion and stress. Hasan may have been cracked, but he cracked for a reason.

Hasan brought home the war, as have the hundreds veterans who have returned physically and mentally mauled by war, who have committed suicide or violent crimes after their return. Only unlike with Mr. Hassan, whose life will be agonizingly scrutinized in media the next few months, we refuse to hear of, see, or think about the them.

We can expect more events like these, not fewer, if we continue America's wars abroad.

Shut Up, You Fucking Goon!

If you can read this, you're lying.