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Showing posts from August 6, 2006

the lords of rule

I talked to a friend last night in Mexico City. Her husband had just returned from visiting one of Lopez Obrador’s encampments on the Zocalo. He was enthused. There’s even a makeshift library, as well as musicians, things for kids, etc. It sounds like Christmas along Reforma, the huge street going into downtown. There springs up, in the Christmas season all along Reforma, fairs and manger scenes. While intellectuals like to talk about political theory, I think there is something to the idea that political action is full of bricolage – take a bit of Christmas here, add it to a bit of revolutionary iconography here. The Lord of Misrule used to come to London, in Tudor times, and be very seriously treated by the London corporation. That Lord has been repressed in our time – bombed, poisoned, and chased by business, education and the military. But you can’t chase him away forever. They’ve cleared the area of the Lord of Misrule. They’ve labeled him a terrorist. Yet he keeps coming back.

The New Bloody Assizes

Ominous headlines today, making me wonder how my friend S. is ever going to get rid of all the conditioners and shampoos she no doubt packed this morning before she went to the airport. More ominous than the threat of attack from an Al Qaeda that was, readers will recall, cynically put on tap five years ago in the comedy cut up campaign in Afghanistan, the one designed to give the political establishment a ready, remote control threat (and which has proven to be beyond their control, and which is happily working from its base in Pakistan, to the almost unanimous disinterest of the Western Press). At the moment, there is a tremendous threat by to our civil liberties posed by the ill named Labour party (Surely the name should be the Blood and Soil party) in Britain and the D.C. party – the LieberCheney party – in the U.S. This is from the horrendous British home secretary, John Reid, the man who espouses the Blairist policy of minimum freedom and maximum unctuousness – that peculiar

Gwynne Dyer gets it

LI’s recommend of the day is to Gwynne Dyer’s article, “America has to acknowledge its own vulnerability”, in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record (where I found it – Google has a link to it in the Trinidad paper.) Journalists write way too much to think, which is why one doesn’t go to them for philosophical analysis – one goes to them to see how ‘it’ thinks – the conventional wisdom. ‘It’ actually does most of our thinking – our telephone conversations, jokes, waterfountain talk, is animated mostly by the various, multi-headed it, which has plenty of words and snap together phrases, a lego kit full – which is fine, as long as the world can be represented by legos. But is not when the world is not. However, Dyer’s article actually articulates a distinct thought – one not wrapped up in the usual columnist’s mummery: “The three most ill-considered (and probably doomed) political enterprises on the international political scene today are the Israeli assault on Lebanon, the American campaig

a monster loses in CT

Mr. Scruggs has advised Limited Inc . of the bad effects of shooting up elections. Soon you become addicted. Soon you actually think they are important. He’s counseled the hard cases, the ones eventually found sprawled, bluefaced, dead, under the set blinking and winking the CNN news. All my friends they died/died! as the song says. But LI –in a junkie’s relapse – was pretty happy about the CT. primary. In the end, we even felt sorry for Lieberman – we wanted his ass kicked, but that clueless fellow, out of his D.C. shell, in the pictures in the NYT seemed so … harmless. We couldn’t put him together with the vicious little prick from his identikit presence on so many blogs, getting his aids to write him up another scorcher for the WSJ editorial page, browbeating the head of the SEC to give accounting firms one more chance to defraud investors and workers – instead, here’s this guy with his hand out in the diner I used to breakfast at in New Haven. You want to lead him to a booth.

advertisements for myself

I hate August, as it is a terrible month for getting editing jobs. No money, no happiness, autumn in my heart and spectacles on my nose, as I. Babel once put it in a different context. The landlady at the door with an axe in her hand… Etc. So I am going to U.T. and put up my advertisement for editing work here and there. I’ve sent out my flyer to sororities and fraternities, honor societies and all kinds of student organizations, which are all pretty much in suspended animation in the summer. This is a reminder to my readers who may know someone who needs an editor for a paper, an article, or a translator, or a ghostwriter – please refer them to my writing services site. It is here: http://www.geocities.com/rogergathman/writing.html

Jonathan Chait's heart breaks -- but don't worry, he doesn't use it anyway

Jonathan Chait’s column in the Guardian begins like this: “Let's face it, Israel's counter offensive in Lebanon doesn't seem to be going very well. Liberals are saying it. Conservatives are saying it. Plenty of Israelis are saying it. But here is the odd thing: nobody is paying very careful attention to the alternative. The criticism of Israel's ground campaign - however sound much of it may be - takes place against an assumption that peace could be at hand if only Israel stopped fighting.” Of course, we know that Chait, being a clever American, will tell us that peace isn’t the absence of fighting. In this way, a garden variety word, peace, suddenly starts doing summersaults. “Let's examine that idea. The United Nations types argue that Israel should withdraw from Lebanon and cease its airstrikes and that an international force should patrol southern Lebanon. But every country that could contribute to such a force has insisted they don't want to fight Hizb