Saturday, May 22, 2010

In the Realm of the Census


"Just tell them the census is the list of who goes to heaven."

"Money cannot be defeated except by blood. Lipids won't do the job!"

"Don't procrastinate, transfenestrate!"

"The immortality of the Master is proportional to the innocence of his creatures."

In the field:

"Marx just didn’t get it, and neither do you."

"I don't have to do that."
"Actually, sir, yes you do. It's federal law."
"I'm good."

"Throw that boy a bottle or he's bound to turn loose on the women!"

"Come back soon, hipster scum."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free Arisman!

The Bangkok Post reports that Thai pop star and "anti-government hardcore member" Arisman Pongruangrong has been arrested Wednesday night. Perhaps not coincidentally, the two Arisman music videos linked to in past entries of this blog were removed today, ostensibly for violation of copyright. You may remember Arisman from his comical/daring escape from the third story of a luxury hotel in April when police pursued him in reprisal for the Redshirts attack on parliament.

Arisman's redshirts made an even more stylish exit from Ratchaprasong, Bangkok's downtown shopping district, by burning it to the ground. Predictably, Western media portrayed this tactical retreat as spontaneous mob violence. The New York Times seems to have forgotten the very words it reported:
The [occupied] area is home to Central World, the second largest shopping complex in Southeast Asia, and to the Grand Hyatt, the Four Seasonsand other luxury hotels. “If they use force to disperse us, we will flatten the entire neighborhood,” said Jatuporn Prompan, one of the protest leaders.

"So great was his narcissism, Thai pop star Arisman Pongruanrong played every role in his elaborate narrative music videos."
- A&E Biography

"Redshirts redblood, redshits redcud!" -Joe Biden

"I won't leave Bangkok till the king renounces me!" - Jimmy Carter

1:06 AM me: "don't you fucking cross this line or i'll burn down this huge disgusting mall!"
1:07 AM Pat: hah this is my dream

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

None of what you have said makes sense because it is all too true

Summer living,
tires a'spinning,
Universal Unreason

to the tune
of that old standard
"Bangkok! Bangkok!
Bangkok on the bongos!
Set the Central World on fire!"

- Arisman Pongruanrong

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Your chance to hate

In a rare moment of non-fabricated seriousness, I would like to direct the attention of the readers of this blog (all ten of you) to the events surrounding the announced closure of all philosophy programs at Middlesex University including its internationally renown graduate program, the Middlesex University Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy.

Why does this matter? Because Middlesex's philosophy programs are basically some of the finest in the English-speaking world. Middlesex places a special emphasis on European philosophy from Kant to the present, something that is severely undertaught in English-language academia (in which generally only a few non-Anglo-American philosophers of the past 200 years are cherry picked to be taught in any depth). This is not some jerk-off cultural studies or lit crit program, like I and most American students interested in learning about "Continental" philosophy went through in our various communications, media, and comp lit departments, those places where you might write your thesis on Foucault while never having had to read Marx, Hegel, or Kant. This is real goddam philosophy, offering courses titled with big proper names--"Kant," "Hegel," "Nietzsche & Heidegger," "Sartre & Badiou," etc.--the kind of place where the usual hip names appropriated in American lit-cult departments--Derrida, Foucualt, Zizek, et al--are taught as secondary reading and contextualized in the philosophical lineage that they're actually writing about.

The closure of Middlesex philosophy was ostensibly made for economic reasons--the philosophy program fell a mere 2% short of their required income contribution to the School of Arts and Education. The real reason is this, however: the philosophy program is scheduled to receive a sizable sum of money (c.£170,000/yr) from UK government education funding agencies until at least 2015 (making a total of £850,000 or c.$1,223,000.00 USD) as a reward for its excellent performance in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (in which 65% of Middlesex philosophy faculty research was judged to be of "internationally leading" caliber). Middlesex University can close the Philosophy programs, but still receive the $1million+ in grants that the philosophy department earned. The Middlesex philosophy faculty won the university a huge sum (this 6 person faculty accounts for 5% of all RAE-awarded income in the university; their RAE-awarded grants are, per capita, 6 times larger than the Middlesex University average) and now they are all being fired and their money re-appropriated for other purposes. If Middlsex Philosophy isn't safe, no philosophy program is safe.

The announcement of the closure has caused huge uproar in academic philosophy circles around the globe. The Middlesex students, true to the spirit of Middlesex's founding as a polytechnic institution, took a practical approach: they occupied a building at the school and converted it into a democratic teaching space until the University prematurely terminated negotiations and got a court order to have the students removed. The most informative and critical independent article about the scandal I've read is this piece in Times Higher Education. Visit the website of the campaign to Save Middlesex Philosophy for yet more info.

There are two things you can do to help.

First, sign the online petition denouncing the closure, which has over 14,000 signatures at the time of this writing.

Second, and most hateful, write an email to the executive and governors' boards of Middlesex. Feel free to copy information from the petition text. Here are their emails:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Happy hatings,


Monday, May 17, 2010

I will execute the Law!

"Ball!" - Chief Justice John Roberts, Graham v. Florida, entire concurring opinion

"If you want mud you got it!" - Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting opinion

"Take it from me: I'm a mom." - Michelle Obama

"The master may wear slippers instead of boots, but he's still got his foot on your neck." - Elena Kagen

"In 40 years or sooner I can imagine that a tiger might become the President of these United States." - RFK

"This is real blogging, indecipherably tight knots of allusion!"
- Reza Negarastani

Q: A mentally disabled 17 year old buys a bull that he is told is magic but only on the condition that he loves the bull. If the bull dies on the way to Basra, is the contract enforceable?
A: I need more facts!

Hey Pat,
Are you getting more complacent or am i just a little tipsy.
Either way, i'm into it.


Tina, third row second seat to the left corporate law

"We don't have time to think. We're making money."
- Prof. Edward J. Esche, Dean of Arts and Education,
Middlesex University

"A rising tide sinks all boats." - Ronald Reagan

"I don't have the narcissism to really enjoy hurting others." - Karl Rove

"Obama plays it cooler than cool. Like, he complimented my wife's shoes but shat on her sweater."
- Chris Oynes, Minerals Management Service Associate Director

"Sex is alienation." - Barack Obama

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Notes from Underground

"What do you want here?" he said, without moving or changing his
"Nothing, brother, good morning," answered Svidrigailov.
"This isn't the place."
"I am going to foreign parts, brother."
"To foreign parts?"
"To America."
Svidrigailov took out the revolver and cocked it. Achilles raised
his eyebrows.
"I say, this is not the place for such jokes!"
"Why shouldn't it be the place?"
"Because it isn't."
"Well, brother, I don't mind that. It's a good place. When you are
asked, you just say he was going, he said, to America."
He put the revolver to his right temple.
"You can't do it here, it's not the place," cried Achilles,
rousing himself, his eyes growing bigger and bigger.
Svidrigailov pulled the trigger.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Here Lies Hate

She had gamely accepted an offer to listen for the first time to “Here Lies Love,” a new rock opera by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim that chronicles her rise from country girl to the First Lady of the Philippines. Removing the earbuds, tilting her head slightly, she said in an exaggerated tone, “I’m flattered, I can’t believe it!”

-- New York Times, 7 May 2010

"Yeah, whatever, we saw Marie Antoinette." - Maxim magazine

"Imelda Marcos is to hipsters what Nixon is to liberals: a monster whose revisionist recasting as a tragic figure by the latter belies a grotesque, desperate conservatism in the dominated fraction of the ruling class. It’s classic Bourdieu. These hipster attempts at symbolic subversion are just that: symbolic. 'It is we, the people of taste, not the vulgar rich, who should rule.'——a desperate lashing out by a bunch of clowns who are realizing too late, too late that they should have studied finance instead of 'critical' theory. Even the Beatles——those self-involved, pre-Thatcherite (see 'Taxman') cads——knew better than to prostrate themselves before the pink heels of that mutant bitch queen. Neither progressive nor reactionary, the hipster pleas helplessness. 'I am not political,' the hipster says, 'but I’m not opposed to others being political.' In fact hipsters like nothing more than this division of labor: like Imelda, they live (quite well) off the labor of others, but they're good natured about it--humble about the fact that they are not self-supporting, either individually or as a class——as long as they can exempt themselves from the obligation to secure justice for those who provide for them." -- Chuck Palahniuk

"I wouldn't get worked up about it. I hear it's just not that good."
- Barack Obama

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Diseases of Our Age

"23 March 2010

Diseases of our age:

neoteny (consumers)
amnesia (politicians)
anton-babinsky syndrome (economists)
reduplicative paramnesia (commuters)
fugue state (financiers)
dapgras delusion (michelle)
blindsight (academics)
intermetamorphosis (pop musicians)
generalized anosognosia (military)
somatoparaphrenia (senate)
cotard delusion (citizenry)
glossolalia (media)
mirror self-misidentification (me)"

- from the diary of 44th President of the United States of America Barack Hussein Obama II

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A New Politics

“How much do we really care about our ideas and how much do we simply cling to the way they make us feel?” – Sarah Palin

“I was reading too much Hegel. Kant’s philosophy is animated by a kind of misanthropic optimism—it keeps you going—but Hegel's end-of-history triumphalism is of the same coin as a terrible, apocalypticist nihilism that would have you believe existence is a mistake.” – Dave Chappelle

“Anyone who cannot look with a dispassionate eye at the history and tendencies of his own people and declare, if it is so, that they are a bunch of ruthless, base shitkickers who deserve everything they have coming to them is a coward, a fool, and probably a fascist.”
– John Mearsheimer

“The art of translation is not that of maintaining the clarity of a thought in two different languages, but of maintaining its obscurity.”
– Jimmy Carter, translator’s note to Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler...

Vanity Fair: Tina Fey, how do you stay so slim and perky at 40?

Tina Fey: Millions of dollars.

VF: Don’t you think your youthful looks, considerable personal wealth, and palpable aura of self-satisfaction undermine audience’s ability to suspend their disbelief and accept that the character of Liz Lemon is romantically unsuccessful and oppressed in the workplace because of her gender? I for one have a hard time imagining that Lemon's condescending disagreeableness stems from an experience of unjust oppression and disadvantage rather than your own new-found sense of entitlement or your easy-going middle-class market-mad post-feminist origins. You seem to be a member of the dominant and dominating class masquerading as a subaltern.

TF: But I have glasses.

“You can wash the bodies of the poor but not their voices.”
– Kate Gosselin

"I talk big with my lawn chairs on public streets, but if the dollar ever falls I'll be the first in line to buy a glock." -Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“All this triumphalism in the city about the failed car bombing—from the Daily Show to SNL—masks the basest fear. Whatever. Worry more about cars and random murder. Terrorism is such bullshit. The enemy is us. Our monkey brain distraction will cause us to build a fort of pillows in a burning house.” – Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“Seething is believing.” – Judge Richard Goldstone

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eulogy for Minos

Hello. You all know who I am:
I am Andrew Starner.
King Minos is dead.
King Minos is dead.
He is dead.
Go on, say it with me.
Oh, you can say it now,
without fear:
King Minos is dead
and King Minos was a tyrant.
He was a tyrant,
and he was a fool
and he was a cuckold.
He was a fool who lost his wife, who lost his daughter
and lost his son, the beast, the Minotaur.
For years he has brought our island to the brink of despair.
King Minos is dead and he has left no heir.
I ask you,
who among you has the will, the authority,
and the sexual fertility
to take his throne?

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Shape of Hate

"There's nothing to barricade in Arizona." - Swedish clerical worker in a French HIV/AIDS NGO

"We need documents, not slogans!" - same NGO worker's employer

"It is impossible to contract HIV from a bourgeois!" - Jacob Zuma

"The cliché is true: it hurts to know that your former partner has met some one else before you have. But that's just it, and it's just that: a cliché. I will get over it." - Wallis Simpson

"Loneliness is freedom." - Barack Obama

"You make money to live, you don't live to make money." - as heard in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

"I don't have time in my life for positive emotions right now: I'm really busy." - rejection text from a financial worker

"Morality is like mathematics: one needs no existential stake in a situation--no need for emotions like sympathy, empathy, or identification--in order to work out its moral arithmetic, although I suppose the former is useful for cultivating the will to execute the conclusions of the latter." - Bill Brennan

"Why don't the same people who loved Avatar also love Somali pirates?" - Roger Ebert

"Eat my mick dick, you fucking faggots." - Oscar Wilde, at his sentencing

"Just because I work for the census doesn't mean I can't start some shit!" - West Village census worker

"It's funny: we fight for oil abroad, and we fight oil at home." - Barack Obama, solitary, chainsmoking by a White House fireplace, wrapped in a warm wool blanket and seated in FDR's wheel chair.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Two Thousand Eight

Vast strategic maneuver--perfect co-ordination--utter rout--half a million prisoners--complete demoralization--control of the whole of Africa--bring the war within measurable distance of its end--victory--greatest victory in human history--victory, victory, victory!

Under the table my feet make convulsive movements. I do not stir from my seat, but in my mind I am running, swiftly running, I am with the crowds outside, cheering myself deaf. I look up again at the portrait of Barack Obama. The colossus that bestrode the world! Barack, against which the hordes of Asia dashed themselves in vain! Ten minutes ago--yes, only ten minutes--there had still been equivocation in my heart as I wondered whether the news from the front would be of victory or defeat. Ah, it was more than a Eurasian army that had perished! Much had changed in me since that first day in Social Services, but the final, indispensable, healing change had never happened, until this moment.

The voice from the television was still pouring forth its tale of prisoners and booty and slaughter, but the shouting outside had died down a little. The waiters were turning back to their work. One of them approached with the gin bottle. Sitting in a blissful dream, I pay no attention as my glass is filled up. I am not running or cheering any longer. I am back in Social Services. Everything is forgiven. Our souls are white as snow. I confess to you confessing everything, implicating everybody. I walk down the white-tiled corridor, with the feeling of walking in sunlight, and an armed guard at my back. The long-hoped-for bullet is entering my brain.

Gaze up at his enormous face. Four years it has taken us to learn what kind of smile is hidden beneath that dark skin. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickle down the sides of my nose. But it is all right, everything is all right, the struggle is finished. I have won the victory over myself. I love Barack Obama.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


He likes granola, pita chips, and guacamole
dressed in his shirt sleeves
‘No suit coats in my oval office.’
Fifteen people killed today
by drone attacks in Pakistan
love Barack Obama.


I am cold in the cold pool,
but inside it is warm:
Barack Obama.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Will it be poison put in my glass
Will it be slow or will it be fast?
The bite of a snake, the sting of a spider
A drink of Belladonna on a Toussaint night
Hiding in a corner in New York City
Lookin' down a fourty-four in West Virginia

I was dancin', dancin', dancin' so free
Dancin', dancin', dancin' so free
Dancin', Lord, keep your hand off me
Dancin' with Mr. D., with Mr. D., with Mr. D.
-Extemporaneous oral poetry by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs concerning Vice President Biden in the latter's absence, White House Cabinet Meeting Sept 09

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

31 Flavors

So many pleasures from which to choose:
I don’t know, can any One
really be the best?
Barack Obama.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bucket Brigade #1

Barack Obama used the word
‘economy’ or ‘economic’
thirty one times in his address to the nation,
proof that the white of his eyes
are truly as luminous
as our own.