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Showing posts from June 10, 2007

you know the routine...

That duplicity dogs the android is the puzzle around which La Mettrie’s Essay on Happiness winds itself, looking for an entrance, another metaphysician double crossed by metaphysics. As soon as they’ve dispensed with it and gotten down to hard reduction, the muses come back as curses, the slave emerges as a whole different zombie in the way La Mettrie and Hume set it up: the passions are unexpectedly discovered to be the masters, the body is one of those legendary slave ships where the slaves have taken over, and reason is demoted, begins its difficult career as an accompaniest, Kant’s transcendental caspar the friendly ghost, the x trailing a spectral glory behind the man machine as he goes merrily on his way to the mass grave and other more odorless triumphs. Still, even giving up the whole of the man machine to pleasure, folly’s great victory, doesn’t dispel the eeriness of pleasure itself, even if its climactic, the orgasm, is hidden within a literature of the obscene that adds an

do androids dream of electric orgasms

[Rapheal Dubois] observes that after having been decapitated, a cricket performs induced reflex and spasmodic movement both better and for a longer time than before. Referring to the work of Golz and H. Busquet (if one removes a frog’s superior centers, it immediately assumes the coital position normally adopted only in the spring), he wonders whtehr the mantis’s goal in beheading the male before mating might not be to obtain a better and longer performance of the spasmodic coital movements, through the removal of the brain’s inhibitory centers. In the final analysis, it would hence be the pleasure principle that compels the female insect to murder her lover – whose body she beings to ingest, furthermore, in the course of lovemaking itself. These habits are so well-designed to disturb human beings that scientist for oce, to their credit, have abandoned their professional dryness. For example, in his recent monograph, La Vie de la mante religieuse, Leon Binet, professor of physiology a

dog bites man - U.S. fucks over Rocky Flats workers

In a touching story that will surely set them laughing in the executive suites at Bechtel and Halliburton and other places to which Uncle Sam routinely shunts money for shoddy and overcharged work, Uncle Sam decided, once again, to fuck the low use population that worked at the Rocky Flats plant, a radiation death trap that was part of the radiation death network upon which the benign hegemony of the world’s greatest democracy used to base its mad, serial killer threat to annihilate this planet. Is this sweet or what? Now, take another big heaping spoonful of shit, please. Come on, baby, open your mouth larger: “LAKEWOOD, Colo., June 12— A federal advisory panel recommended Tuesday that thousands of former workers at a nuclear weapons plant be denied immediate government compensation for illnesses that they say result from years of radiation exposure there. The recommendation is a significant setback for a large number of people once employed as plutonium workers at the plant, Rocky

the divorce of wisdom and happiness II

In my last post on this subject, we ended with the knots and nets of necessity: once you grant that the path of the wise man and the path of the fool are separate paths, you have granted the central condition for the hegemony of wisdom over pleasure – the ascetic ideology. That ideology is not annulled by asserting the hegemony of pleasure over wisdom, however – such is the primitive sense of epicurean materialism, as Lukacs understands it - since wisdom and pleasure, the wise man and the fool, are still kept at a distance from one another. However, there is a moment in that reversal that does not inevitably lead to embourgeoisement, or to the reign of happiness triumphant, the horror that currently bestrides our globe. Or at least that has been my hypothesis – embodied in a life in which, as hypotheses go, it has been rudely and roundly confuted by circumstances. Nevertheless, LI is a stubborn cunt and is going to hold to our glimmers and glimpses into the possibility that the path o

The frontline is in D.C., and the casualties are carted off to less visible think tanks

Alas, I have no time today. But there is one link LI must urge on our readers. It is t his story by Joshua Halland and Raed Jarrar, entitled Bush says “We’ll be in Iraq for 50 Years, Reporters don’t bother to ask Iraqis to Comment.” I had trouble reading it myself – lately, as I read things that make me unbearably angry, my neck starts to stiffen up. But I trooper on! Anyway, it has the goods on the Washington Post’s Ann Scott Tyson – although she only represents the Beltway Court Society in its Conventional Wisdom mode. Still. She writes a story suggesting that the U.S. is considering staying in Iraq for the next fifty years, South Korea style. She quotes a general, a GOP hack, a Bushie, a token Dem. So this happens: When we reached the Washington Post's Ann Scott Tyson and asked her why there were no Iraqi voices in her story, she was somewhat taken aback by the question. She hadn't considered getting the views of any Iraqis, "because the story was focused on a shift

the divorce of wisdom and pleasure I

Li woke up with that Manu Chao song stuck in our head: me gustas tu . Who knows where the hell that came from? Perhaps because I heard on the radio last week they were coming to Austin… But me gusta marijuana/ me gustas tu it seems wholly appropriate to today’s post, another in my interminable backasswards crawl towards my current obsession: the divorce between wisdom and happiness. And though I am sure that I have worn out the patience of all but the most hardcore masochists among you, I received a sweet email yesterday about the sage and the fool that made me think: all is not in vain! So, let’s begin with death: … “Yama said: The good is one thing and the pleasant another. These two, having different ends, bind a man. It is well with him who chooses the good. He who chooses the pleasant misses the true end. The good and the pleasant approach man; the wise examines both and discriminates between them; the wise prefers the good to the pleasant, but the foolish man chooses the