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Showing posts from June 11, 2006

the power of bazooka

There are the business stories that horrify; the business stories that make you despair; and then, every once in a while, business stories that make you think that there are few ticks left in the old capitalist heart. Of the last is this story in the New Yorker about Topps, the bubble gum company that sells Bazooka bubble gum: “Last fall, a couple of candy men took a lunchtime stroll around South Street Seaport. The younger of the two was Paul Cherrie, a confectioner who had recently tripled the sales of Dubble Bubble and sold the company to Tootsie Roll Industries for a hundred and ninety-seven million dollars. The older man was Arthur Shorin, the chairman of Topps, which in 1947 created the iconic bubble gum Bazooka. "I am a bubble-gum maven," Cherrie said recently. "You can't help but be in awe of Mr. Shorin. There's only a few of him left." They were wandering through the Seaport, eating hot dogs, when Shorin turned to Cherrie and said, "You know h


There’s a nice review of “Argentina rebels” in Le Monde today . Info on the book: ARGENTINE REBELLE : UN LABORATOIRE DE CONTRE-POUVOIRS de Cécile Raimbeau et Daniel Hérard. Alternatives, 144 pages, 20 €. Raimbeau and Herard were in Argentina when the economy suddenly collapsed in 2000, and they watched as people simply took over factories, stores, and private property of the rich and the worthless and re-started the economy. A heartening story – and who knows? Since hyper-Peronism is in the saddle in these here states, we might have to be picking up the pieces in much the same way – rummaging in the fallen columns of the investment bank impact trail. “If you loved the film, you will adore the book. The documentary, “memoirs of a sacking” by Fernando Solanas has planted the décor of the Argentine crises: the pillage of wealth in the wake of the wave of privatizations launched by peronist president Carlos Menem in the 90s, the impotence of his successor, Radical party president Fernando

Beinart again

Jonathan Swartz has been doing a nice job of slice and dice exegesis on Peter Beinart’s claim, made in an interview with Kevin Drum, that “Jihadism sits at the center of a series of globalization-related threats, including global warming, pandemics, and financial contagion, which are powered by globalization-related technologies, and all of which threaten the United States more than other countries.” Schwarz’s pithy summary of this farrago is: “Peter Beinart Finally Achieves 100% Gibberish.” From a logical point of view, Schwartz is right. However, there is more going on here than logic. Beinart and the court D.C. set are not completely crazy to have decided to make jihadism the object of a ‘long war.’ First, however, one has to say that logically, this is one of the funnier isms ever – consider that it fits into a series including prayerism, meditationism, and reflexionism, or, ratcheting up the fiercesomeness, Iron Johnism (from the 90s male liberation movement). I imagine that at
“It is a very kingly, honourable, and frequent Practice, when one Prince desires the Assistance of another to secure him against an Invasion, that the Assistant, when he hath driven out the Invader, should seize on the Dominions himself, and kill, imprison or banish the Prince he came to relieve. Alliance by Blood or Marriage, is a frequent Cause of War between Princes; and the nearer the Kindred is, the greater is their Disposition to quarrel: Poor Nations are hungry, and rich Nations are proud; and Pride and Hunger will ever be at variance. For those Reasons, the Trade of a Soldier is held the most honourable of all others: Because a Soldier is a Yahoo hired to kill in cold Blood as many of his own Species, who have never offended him, as possibly he can.” – Jonathan Swift Surprise. For three years, the media salivates about killing people – the recent flurry of stories glorying in the fact that the bomb that eviscerated Zarqawi did leave him a number of hours of pain to give us bys

on the schmitt fest

Long Sunday is hosting another symposium, this one on Carl Schmitt . We found the last symposium on Gayatri Spivak thought provoking – but our own preoccupations at the moment don’t jibe with Schmitt. We are bored with Schmitt talk. We disagree with the motivation for it – that is, that there is a philosophy behind the fascist state like there is behind the communist state. While Mussolini actually had your usual pundit-philosophical mind and liked people to see the collected works of Nietzsche in his office, he operated on the hop; as for Hitler, fascism in Germany was a matter of the continuation of institutional changes, for instance Van Seeckt’s in the military, combined with the reinflation caused by military keynesianism. The institutional innovations really did have a future – and then of course there was the mad streetdog stew of bigotries. The funny thing about Heidegger applying, basically, for the job of National Socialistic philosopher is how incomprehensible his gibberish