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Showing posts from January 21, 2007

hide your devil

Thomas Bernhard’s biographer, Gitta Honegger, has noted that Bernhard was deeply influenced by his reading of Paul Valéry’s Monsieur Teste. She writes: “Valéry never recovered from his amazement about the spectacle of his own intellect,” mocks E.M. Cioran. If one replaced “amazement” with “laugher,” the statement could apply to Bernhard.” According to Honegger, the idea of Monsieur Teste – of an intelligence so high that it could only take as its highest object – itself – and in so doing erase itself, really impressed Bernhard. Honegger quotes a passage from the Portrait of M. Teste section that describes the the characteristic trajectory of action performed by Bernhard’s early heros: - Jealous of his best ideas, of those which he believed to be the best – sometimes so particular, so much his own that expressing them in the vulgar, instead of the intimate language gives us on the outside only the most feeble and false idea of them. – And who knows if the most important ones for dir

The demonstration that the Washington Post is, of course, not mentioning

There was an actual article on the NYT front page – at least on the web – about war protestors! After we lay there on the floor a bit, we got back up and checked it out. It was about the protest today in D.C. – LI is sending all our spells and good wishes to this thing – and (thank God), the journalists didn’t dwell overmuch on the celebrities that are going to be there. As we have made clear, we have definite ideas about demonstrations. A huge demonstration must, I suppose, have a few speeches, but let those speeches be … about the War. Entirely. Not about Global Warming, Venezuela, or fish farming. A friend the other day sent me an email to show me that others than me are thinking about anti-war demonstration tactics. The email was a proposal to combine anti-war protest with online dating. Or dating period, or something. Apparently, using the chi energy that gets all fizzy when you are waving a sign denouncing our atrocious governing class and their War, you bond with some other

Lorenz Oken, famous anatomist of the pig

Last year, my web buddy, IT, turned me on to Ludwig (“Theses on”) Feuerbach . My notion of Feuerbach was vague – that he played a bit part role in the tragedy of Marx was the extent of it. Was he Rosencranz? Guildenstern? Well, I learned that he was no strolling player, but had important things to say about the very species essence of man, and was capable of putting on the Ritz, philosophically speaking, all by himself. This year, I want to repay my debt by informing IT, via this post, if she reads it, about Lorenz Oken. Oken is known for having made up the term “cell” and being one of the founding fathers of biology. But he was also a follower of Schelling – meaning that he was always liable to loon like effusions of systematicity. His Physiophilosophy, which I stumbled on yesterday via The Scenes of Inquiry by Nicholas Jardine, is, by LI’s dubious lights, an incredible funhouse. It begins with Mathesis (which should warm the heart of a Badiou-ian), in which various sage and exciti

I have seen the future, and it is Cheney.

Alas, having no access to CNN – or, for that matter, CBS, ABC or NBC – LI did not see the Wolf Blitzer interview with Dick Cheney. However, apparently it was quite a spectacle. Cheney’s bullying, monomania, and blood in the mouthism was on full display, to rally the lobotomized in the usual ways. That’s good, because Cheney is a forerunner. Having coddled and nursed into being a class of grotesque parasites, aka the CEO class, for the past thirty years, America will get what it grew: an endless stream of Cheneys. One has to remember a basic rule about CEOs – they are horrors. A just state would simply expropriate their wealth entirely, simply to disempower a clearly dangerous class. This is why LI has always supported a 100 percent tax rate for incomes over 10 million dollars. Soi-disant conservatives are, of course, utterly opposed to such schemes, which is simply a way of saying that they are soi-disant – read any traditional political theorist, from Aristotle to Montesquieu, and th

a failure

… il avait tué la marionette. – Paul Valery Sometimes LI bears a striking image to a fly dying at the base of a window. The fly keeps bumping against that congealed air that 350 million years of evolution had never warned him against. The fly’s experience of the world, which is, as is well known, a place divided into 360 spaces, each space radiating a certain glow, and the edge of each space grading into the edge of the next space save when the edges parted to make a passage just exactly equal in width to the width of a fly’s body, seems, for magical reasons, no longer to work. In addition, something seems to be happening in the back behind the eyes, the load, as the fly would name it, that it always carries about and that sometimes gets sexually excited. Something seems to be squeezing the load. Normally, a pressure like this would prompt the fly to escape, but lately the 360 spaces seem to be liquefying to such a degree that they no longer scatter to the fly’s wingbeats. This is not

divine entrapment

LI was pleased as a parrot with our Wings of Desire post, but it seems to have fallen flatter than an illmade pancake on the ears of our readers – alas! Getting all that dough in the auditory canal – that’s fucked up! And yet, such is our hardness in vice that we are going to continue a thought we started in that post – a thought that extends back to our reading of Michelet’s La Sorciere last summer. When Michelet writes about the importance, to the witch, of doing things backward to undo the powers that be that rule over the world, he is, of course, thinking of the Lord’s Prayer. As we pointed out, reciting the Lord’s Prayer backwards was a perfect symbol of what Marxists call the negation of the negation. It also bore a relation to the unconscious poetry that runs through Marx’s own texts, where things that are upside down have to be reversed to stand right side up. But that inversion isn’t done by laying rough hands on the reader and shaking him – the reader has to see something

o for a foe!

LI doesn’t really know what to do today. The amount of ridiculousness in the press over the last five days is truly gratifying, but it is also a blog it yourself situation. We have, in the bizarre Washington Post, an op ed piece flogging Jeb Bush on Sunday, followed by a I was only joking interview with the author on Monday, followed by today’s rather priceless piece by one of those Cheney scion who, in the spirit of smaller government and peculation for all, was shoehorned into a position for which she was magnificently unfit in the state department, where she got out the crayons out of her crayonbox – the reds and the blues and that hard color, verf- vermillion - and made a whole two pages of remarks just like Daddy! That the Washington Post editorial page not only supports the war with bloodsoaked teeth bared, but aims to reproduce certain aspects of it (namely, giving berths to the academically challenged sons and daughters of rightwing honchos) is sweet in very sick, sick way. A

the politics of angels

I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. 001:009 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. 001:011 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest. – Zechariah Well, to cap my return to my past – plunged into it as I was by Bob Solomon’s death, and the pretty marvelous ceremony to commemorate his life Saturday – I sat down and watched an old 80s movie tha

bogosities of the press: Israel and Iran

LI went to the memorial service for our friend Bob yesterday. As in life, so in death – Bob was always a catalyst for things to happen to yours truly, and the service was no different. One of my best buds of yore, from whom I’d parted in considerable anger over issues that have long been swallowed up by the steady creep of geological time was there, and we went out and had several reconciling drinks. This has actually put a lot of joy in my heart (the lines from the childhood hymns come back!). Not so much, though, that I don’t have heart left for the stamp of varied and sundry indignations left by the varied and sundry stupidities of the press. Exhibit no. 1, yesterday, was the astonishing Deborah Lipstadt op ed piece about ex President Carter’s rather mild plea for the withdrawal of Israeli settlements from the West Bank and the end of the governance mess there and in the Gaza. About which Lipstadt had only to say that Carter has not genuflected with enough fervor to the holocaust