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Showing posts from March 11, 2012

Murdoch and the security entertainment complex

I’m amused by this article on Murdoch's cowtowing to Maggie Thatcher in order to get his greasy paws on the Times. I'm amused, that is, that the current scandals in England are going back so far. The major things afoot in the gimcrack world of the Great Moderation, constructed out of “free” trade (a curious beast, which was hatched when the standard elite policy of lowering taxes on businessmen suddenly generated metaphysical wings), the worldwide exchange of democracy for mucho security against the high improbability of terrorist mugging, and the other trade of all things on heaven and earth (including the future composition of the atmosphere) for a little comfort in the present overshadow the comical Murdoch scandals. Still, the timing shows that God, or Nemesis, really is the greatest stand up comedian.   What better con-fuckup than this one, involving the heavily bribed police, celebrities, and the lizard like fourth estate? During the twentieth century, th

Rumor 1

Rumor If in one direction, pheme/kleos moves towards the universal knowledge vested within the people – towards common sense – in another direction, it moves towards rumor, the “angel of ruin”, the fama of Virgil’s Aeneid, the beast perched on the gates of the city:    “Furth she quicklye gallons, with wingflight swallolyke hastning,/A foule fog pack paunch: what feathers plumye she heareth,/so manye squint eyeballs shee keeps (a relation uncoth)/So manye tongues clapper, with her ears and lip labor eevened./ In the dead of nighttime to the skyes shee flickereth, howling/Through the earth shade skipping, her sight from slumber amooving./Whilst the sun is shying the baggage close lodgeth in housroofs,/or tops of turrets, with feare towns loftye she frighteth,/As readye forged fittons, as true tales vayneley toe twattle.” [101, Translation by Richard Stanyhurst, ed. 1895 by Edward Arber, p.101] Such an image could as well be applied to the kind of “rumor panics” in Borneo in 1979,

The T.E.

Shamefully, I’ve been in Paris now almost two years and I hadn’t paid my full respects to the Tour Eiffel. So A. and I went with our friend Miruna and her two children by metro to the Trocadero, and there I finally looked the thing in the eyes. It is still surprising:  to be confronted with it in all of its gigantic intricacy, like experiencing some gloriously detailed and incomprehensible dream. The thing that strikes one most is its evident, its monstrous, its impossible uselessness . Nineteenth century architecture, whether of the railroad station or the factory, inclined towards wrapping massive ornament around some central utility – for use was the codeword of the century. Utilitarianism leveled the very planet to the question of use and exchange value, and conceived of human society globally as a vast cluster of users. We – living in the age of petrochemicals and entertainment – have followed in those footsteps, and simply added a horror movie dimension. But if one of tho