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Showing posts from May 27, 2007

the alleged despair of Georg Büchner

“Philippeau, welch trübe Augen! Hast du dir ein Loch in die rote Mütze gerissen? Hat der heilige Jakob ein böses Gesicht gemacht? Hat es während des Guillotinierens geregnet? Oder hast du einen schlechten Platz bekommen und nichts sehen können?” - Herault in Danton’s Death “Philippeau, what sad eyes! Did you rip a hole in your red cap? Did St. Jacob give you the evil eye? Did it rain during the guillotining? Or did you get a bad seat and couldn’t see anything?” In 1939, Georg Lukacs, who was living, I believe, in Moscow at the time, published an essay about Georg Büchner with a typically tendentious Lukacs-ian title, Georg Büchner and his Fascist Misrepresentation. It was another potshot in Lukacs’s shooting war on European irrationalism, of which the leading philosophical figure was, of course, Heidegger – although as we all know, Lukacs, in his Weber days, writing things like Soul and Form, got pretty fuckin close to irrationality – thought that yearns to be appreciated for its yea

more on the National Committee for Withdrawal from Iraq

LI apologizes if our earlier posts on the Withdrawal project have been cloudy. But I am still working out the parameters. So, here’s where the project is, thought-wise. 1. First, we need to found something like: the National Committee for Withdrawal from Iraq. Or at least creating a website sponsored by such a thing. Every project needs a website to reference. 2. The actual Withdrawal parties will be in two parts. The first hour or so is presentation and q and a. As I wrote before, the presentation would be a slide show of some kind – a power point show, with the speaker being a person of gravitas and stage presence. On the q and a the speaker would be joined by the Withdrawal team – designer and researcher – to answer the q. At the end of this part of the party, there will be no form letter to sign to send to congress. There will be no money to contribute to a fund. Rather, if somebody wants to sign a form letter, that person can go to the site. Instead, people will be urged to th

The Withdrawal Project

A friend of this site wrote us and asked, LI, what is this Withdrawal Project? So, here is what I have been thinking. I need to talk to an animator for the graphics, talk to an actor or actress - preferably not a white male, but a voice and presence that has the multi-culty appeal - and then do a script that would basically take us through Iraq - here's how we got here, here's what is happening, here's how we can get out. I'm best scripting this and spotting what would need to be done. I can imagine power pointish episodes like: dancing around the hole, or, not enough soldiers is always going to be not enough soldiers, which would briefly revisit the early plans, point out that the undermanning back then was not a mistake of the warplanners but grew out of an essential assumption of the war – that the U.S. could host a long range war without making any sacrifices – and that the undermanning has lasted up until this day, and is never going to be fixed. (To fix it would

Always leave a trail

Other important qualities in the urban guerrilla are the following: to be a good walker, to be able to stand up against fatigue, hunger, rain or heat. To know how to hide, and how to be vigilant. To conquer the art of dissembling. Never to fear danger. To behave the same by day as by night. Not to act impetuously. To have unlimited patience. To remain calm and cool in the worst of conditions and situations. Never to leave a track or trail. Not to get discouraged. – Carlos Marighella So much for the sixties. Never to leave a track or a trail – to be the mystery man, Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter, the hero of a Dylan ballad – was the politically charged thing at one time. Go with the Weather. Go with the RAF. Go down the rabbit hole. Times and strategies and fantasies change. LI has, for those of you who’ve read some of these here posts, an obsession with trails and tracks. Instead of the guerilla’s disappearing footsteps, our model is Little Red Riding Hood’s path of needle

What Bush has in common with other carnivora

The New Bathory and Fitko The image of the bloodbath – usually of virgins or of children – seems to be an extension of a folk medical idea about the rejuvenating properties of blood. Supposedly, the emperor Constantine was afflicted with leprosy and was about to try a course of blood baths to cure it – with the blood coming from stray children – when he had a vision that God would cure him if he converted to Christianity - and that seemed like a better deal to Constantine. The most famous blood bath in history was taken by Elizabeth (Erzsebet) Bathory, a Hungarian countess. Sabine Baring-Gold introduced the story into English in the Book of Were-Wolves, in the chapter on natural causes of lycanthropy. Baring Gold begins with a thesis that was of his Victorian time and place, with the overtones from Darwin: “Startling though the assertion may be, it is a matter of fact, that man, naturally, in common with other carnivora, is actuated by an impulse to kill, and by a love of destroying l

The Washington Post will now present this brief advertisement from the Saudi Embassy. Readers are advised to turn off their brains.

The Washington Post article about the abaya in Saudi Arabia gives us a wonderful example of the pap and propaganda that the MSM pumps into the system. From the headline forward, this is an article in that heartening vein beloved by the American media of an American ally “reforming”. The rules are: the ally is undeniably corrupt. The ally’s government is undeniably tyrannical. The ally’s society is undeniably riven with corruption and dysfunction. Substitute Chang Kai-Shek’s “Free” China or South Vietnam into the equation, or a multitude of other countries, historically. In this case, the ally – Saudi Arabia – is a bit more embarrassing than most, since eleven of their citizens attacked the U.S. lately. This is a definite faux pas, but luckily we were able to attack a bystander country that had nothing to do with it, so all is forgiven. Recently, Tony Blair made the rounds of the Gulf countries and Egypt, all of which are ruled by autocratics, none of which have working parliaments, n

the class war in Iraq and in the U.S.

LI’s old far flung correspondent, T. in NYC, called us to buck us up about our new direction on this blog – our turn to the vehement language and shocking images of German dada. Well, the venom is temporarily out of our system. I won’t put any cracked open mouths and eyeless, bloody faces up to illustrate these here paragraphs. I’ve thought – rather than just rattled and put my fangs out – a lot about the current state of moral and mortal play in America since the Democratic cave in. One of the things that is most striking about this war – and striking about post-Cold War kultcha in general – is the lack of any reference to class. When Marx analyzed the civil war in France, after the French defeat in 1870, he naturally turned to class analysis. Somehow, this handy and hardy tool has become obsolete. Googling for some reference to class analysis of the situation in Iraq, I found zip. So let me take it out of my ass here. I could make a joke, and say that the sectarianism really