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Showing posts from July 1, 2007

suicidal ideation

LI saw the well intentioned snuff film, The Bridge, this week. For those who haven’t seen it – the bridge in question is the Golden Gate Bridge. The film is the result of a sort of birdwatching project, the birds in question being suicides swandiving off the bridge. The crew set up cameras on both sides of the bridge, equipped themselves with cell phones, and kept on scanning the bridge till they would come upon a likely prospect. Then, doing their duty, they would call up the police, while trying to keep the camera focused on the potential diver. 24 people killed themselves in the year they were watching, but a documentary that just did the highlights would be rather short, so we are given interviews with family and friends. And there is one spectacular suicide, a man in a leather coat and fine, dark as a raven’s wing long hair, a rock n roller type, whose indecisive postures and agitation as he walks about and sits staring out at the water are intercut with the rest of the film. Ther

and now... for the plague of christo-corporate leeches

Via Jim Henley’s blog, we went to see the latest blast of inanities from Chuck Colson, who – appropriately enough – was once a symbol of Watergate and how has a permanent leech position in the hilariously misnamed “Faith” section of the online Washington Post, managed by no less a faith playa than Sally Quinn. Sally was last seen placing her faith in the muscularity of Fred Thompson, and before that her faith in Ahmed Chalabi was as steady as a rock, and filled with thrilling currents of bygone days, when you just knew the Dark Skinned oriental crept around outside the military hq, full of treachery and lust for the European Woman. Colson is, of course, not only a leech on the Washington Post, but a large and repulsive leech on the Republic itself, as his organization, the cultish evangelical prison fellowship, has tried ardently to produce a Christian gang out of prison inmates and, for their efforts, are shunted beaucoup government funding. As has been amply documented, Colson’s Pri


In the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, William Hazlitt produced a polemic in his highest style that presented the classical liberal way of looking at war in an essay entitled “War and Taxes”. He begins with the distinction between productive and unproductive labor, and proceeds to show that war falls under the latter category. However, even if a project is unproductive, it must be paid for somehow. It has a cost: “If the sovereign of a country were to employ the whole population in doing nothing but throwing stones into the sea, he would soon become the king of a desert island. If a sovereign exhausts the wealth and strength of a country in war, he will end in being a king of slaves and beggars. The national debt is just the measure, the check-acount of the labour and resources of the country which have been so wasted – of the stones we have been throwing into the sea. This debt is in fact an obligation entered into by the government on the part of the tax-payers, to indemnify the ta

Happy fourth, North!

And to all our LI readers!

the peapod of evil

In my last post, I made the point that George Bush isn’t a fascist or America’s worst king. But go to the Obsidian post to understand why he is your typical lamebrained, countryclub accessory to kidnapping and murder, ie that Texas corn-promise between the your middlin' peckerwood's desire to lynch people, especially black people, and the need to respect the spirit of the law as it functions in railroading people into the death chamber.

My shit’s imperial

Disrespect my click, my shit's imperial Fuck around and made her milkbox material You feel me? Suckin dick, runnin your lips 'Cause of you, I'm on some real fuck a bitch shit, uhh.. – Notorious B.i.g, Get Money Bush is not a fascist. Is he the worst American king? I doubt it. Match him insignificance with the insignificances of the pygmy American kings – the Pierce’s, Hayes’ Arthur’s, Coolidge’s – and he is at home in it, a pig in shit. As for the pharaohs, a Kennedy, an Eisenhower, a Reagan, they all contrived moments of horror infinitely more dangerous than Bush’s pipsqueak war on terror. However, the common perception of fascism that haunts the lefty commentariat and has spread to the liberals is not wholly wrong. As in the 1930s, before our eyes and under our noses the democracies are rotting. And as in the 30s, there’s a palpable rise in the level of political frustration. It is as if the political process has ground to a halt. At the same time, the political stakes, a

The gods and deceit

The Mesopotamian gods were sensitive sleepers. They were always complaining about noise. Also work. They had to work all the time. Finally their complaints about the work load became too much, so they agreed to create human beings. Human beings could do the work: “They called up the goddess, asked The midwife of the gods, wise Mami, You are the womb-goddess, to be the creator of Mankind! Create a mortal, that he may bear the yoke! Let him bear the yoke, the work of Ellil Let him bear the load of the gods! Nintu made her voice heard And spoke to the great gods, On the first, seventh, and fifteenth of the month I shall make a purification by washing. Then one god should be slaughtered. And the gods can be purified by immersion. Nintu shall mix the clay With his flesh and blood. Then a god and a man Will be mixed together in clay. Let us hear the drumbeat forever after, Let a ghost come into existence from the god's flesh, Let her proclaim it as her living sign, And let the ghost exis

Dog Torture: the key to victory for GOP candidates?

They came to New Zealand with the dogs. They came to Hawaii with the dogs. They came across the Bering Strait with the dogs. As human beings settled new territories, they always brought two animals in tow – dogs and rats. The rats have always been the happy, if unintended, beneficiary of the human habit of littering and building up environments of filth. The dogs, though, were part of a happier symbiosis. Now, as we are chuckling our way to the end of Sixth Extinction , dogs might be the last reminder that human beings once were civilized beasts – not the forked, planet destroying parasites currently trying to turn Gaia’s atmosphere all Venusian and shit. So we at LI have been especially fascinated by Mitt Romney’s new appeal to the right: torturing the family dog. American politics is about character. In the liberal midst of the sixties, the character desired combined some mixture of tolerance and leadership. The tolerance was of your average sit com type, where Dad put up with the cr

heterology yesterday, heterology today, heterology tomorrow

Continuing from the previous post: Bataille’s notion that science is homogenizing and is an instrument of the tendency to the homogeneous pole in society is not only an epistemological claim, but an existential one. The scientific character of socialism may be used by the revolutionary, but the revolutionary derives – as a figure - from a whole other and previous lineage, and comes into contact with socialism in much the chance way that a sewing machine and an umbrella meet on an ironing board. For Bataille, the researcher in heterogeneity who is conscious of the necessity of not repeating the exclusionary gesture that would distort the value system implicit in the heterogeneous must, then, become a participant-observer. (Actually, the necessity for this isn't logical - here, Bataille is cheating a bit. He wants that necessity to be embraced, which is the activist component of Bataille's work at this time). The respect for scientific norms shouldn’t become, unconsciously, the