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Showing posts from April 27, 2008

birthdays of the LI-osphere

LI wants to congratulate our far flung correspondent, Mr. T from NYC, on crashing the barrier into middle age - middle age will never be the same again! In the above pic, Mr. T.'s son is trying to get dad to shut up. Ah, I can tell this is going to be a lifelong process! Happy birthday! And of course this: And, of course, this: When questioned on his views On the crux of lifes philosophies He had but these few clear and simple words to say I am going, I am going Any which way the wind may be blowing I am going, I am going Where streams of whiskey are flowing

go to another party/and hang myself

It should be noted that the “third way” – the idea that left/liberal parties would adopt rightwing policies, nourish a wildly wealthy oligarchy, and then achieve popularity managing our consequently affluent lifestyles by superbly clever triangulating – has, predictably, led to the mass extinction of Socialist parties in Europe. There is no longer a leftist option in the UK or Italy – and in Germany, it is in the death throes. In France the left is riven by the struggle between the third way parasites and nostalgia. Of course, the whole idea was insane from the beginning. To believe that one would protect and nourish a system of vast inequality is to believe that the people on the top will not use their money to enlarge and entrench their advantages. It was a fairy tale for feebs. It got a wonderful press, however, the media having long ago become the most reliable tool of the wealthy. And if you destroy all remnants of a traditional leftist program for a generation, you eventually r

On the idea that conservatives are a happy lot

My editor at the Statesman has been kind enough to shoot me the many unreviewable books about happiness which come in the mail for him. They have been churning and burning off the presses lately – once again, LI is ahead of the curve! (put your hands in the air like you just don't care!) Of course, LI might be as against the curve as a hot and horny salmon facing a concrete dam, given our goals and assumptions. Everybody, it seems, thinks happiness is a good thing. One of the books is by a conservative egg head named Arthur Brooks . We tossed the book when we noticed a footnote to a blog post by Jonah Goldberg. We don’t have infinite patience. However, Brooks does make a big deal out of a standard right wing chestnut. Since the seventies, Pew Research has found that Republicans, and conservatives generally, are more likely to say they are happy than Dems, liberals or independents. Pew Research helpfully broke this out by income, so that we aren’t being mislead here by the fact that

God's curse on em

Mission accomplished day. 50 American soldiers killed in April. Reports in the NYT say 450 some Iraqis have died in battles so far in Sadr City, which means about 800 to 1,000. So perhaps one life in Florida is nothing, but still – today LI thinks about Deborah Jeane Palfrey, a woman mercilessly hounded by a criminal Justice department, ridiculously charged under the RICO act, and so convicted in a kangaroo court by a local Torquamada who got his jollies bullying old prostitutes. Meanwhile, the Johns are forever free, of course, to visit prostitutes again. The old game of threatening them, beating them, killing them, America's number one sport, goes on and on. Whether she hung herself or was murdered, what happened to her was a disgrace. LI is scraping the bottom of the barrel for the language of indignation. It is not that we want to describe or analyze – no, we want to hurl, to throw. Sticks and stones. The word, thrown out of the mouth at the right time by the right person, ca

Children and monetarists beware

For those of you who delight in the spilling of ichor – the blood of intellectuals – hie ye to M ark Thoma’s Economist’s View, which reprints Jamie Galbraith’s address on the 25th meeting of the Milton Friedman society. A sign of the times that they would invite Galbraith, son of Friedman’s blood enemy. Galbraith begins with a few courtesies, and then utterly destroys Friedman’s work, and then makes like Jack the Ripper with Bernanke’s reputation. It is a rare sight to see such thorough slaughter. There must have been a long pause after it was all over. Did anybody move? Did the master of ceremonies heave himself out of his seat and finally say, what a veeery interesting talk, Professor Galbraith. Oh dear, you have some kind of foaming ectoplasm all over the front of your tuxedo. The society should pay attention to this useful film about not accepting rides from strangers. PS – the music of America! that barbaric yawp is still spawning rib tickling vocables. For instance, this is

duellum

Deux guerriers ont couru l'un sur l'autre... For those interested in such things, the long promised duel between LCC and Jackie Derrida is finally commencing in earnest . Yours truly is in attendence as J.D.'s second. PS - We are still dueling over there, though we are a little off topic - not too much, I hope. Entertaining stuff for those who enjoy liberal-Marxist dialog - and let's face it, who doesn't? In this duel, LCC overlooks my sometimes off topic meandering - as, for instance, that I have signally failed to really reference Derrida yet. And I overlook LCC's mimicry of Jacques Derrida as a sort of malevolent Punch, starring in a remake of the Exorcist underwritten by Encounter Magazine.

barthes, the perfect storm, and business bullshit

Groupies of Barthes principle of mythology, that “false nature”, have been having a field day lately with business news. You’ll remember the lyrics to the famous Nature/Culture divide – of course you do: The point of departure for this reflection was most often a sentiment of impatience before the “natural’ in which the press, art, common sense ceaselessly array a reality which, even as it is the one in which we live, is nevertheless perfectly historic: in a word, I am pained to see, at every moment, how in the story of our actuality, Nature and History are confounded, and I wanted to tighten my grasp, in the decorative exposition of the “it-goes-without-saying”, [ce-qui-va-de-soi] of the ideological abuse which, in my sense, is found hidden in it.” – Mythologies. With this in mind, LI has been thinking of the “perfect storm.” In 1997, Sebastian Junger published his story that, as they say, soared to the top of the best selling lists. Finally, a story for the testosteroned among u

Interview with Amanda Marcotte

My interview with Amanda Marcotte is here . As this interview was conducted for my paper, I couldn't really supply a lot of the hilarious bits from Marcotte's book. This had to be edited out, but it gives a concise feel for the book: On the evidence of her new book, It’s a Jungle Out There, she is a Fight Club Feminist. As in the famous scene in Fight Club in which Brad Pitt announces the rules, Marcotte’s prefaces her book with her own rules: “Why are people so mean to feminists? Because so much of feminism is the fine art of calling bullshit, and calling bullshit makes people uncomfortable. The first rule of understanding bullshit is that people really love their bullshit.” The interview was done before the flame wars, and before Seal purged the book of the racist imagery in the cartoons that were used to divide the sections of the book. That's a long story, especially for those of you not following it. In brief, I like Marcotte, I like her work, I like her temper -