Skip to main content


Showing posts from December 8, 2013

holmes 1

One of the great ideas of childhood is spying. The conceptual schema you use when you are eight is far from a computer program, with its tight binaries. It resembles, instead, a bunch of brightly colored hot air balloons, trailing strings that you crush in your hot little palm. Spying was a particularly grand balloon. There were two types of spying: one was on animals, the other on humans. Spying on animals meant lurking behind a tree or stepping carefully down a path to view a dog or a cat or a raccoon or a bird doing something doggish, cattish, raccoonish or birdish that, presumably, would have been disturbed if your approach had been sensed. The other kind of spying was on sisters, brothers, neighborhood kids, and sometimes grownups like at a party where the party was upstairs in your house and the kids were supposed to be downstairs gathered around the tv and instead you were hiding in the shadow of the hallway taking in adult laughter and jokes and shit. Spying is a peculia

a story from texas

There are few states in the Union that love Jesus as much as Texas. And there is no state in the nation that loves rich people as much as Texas. But there’s always been a debate as to whether Texas loves Jesus or rich people more.  As a subtheme to this debate, there is the vexing question of Jesus’s own pronunciamento that it is more difficult for a rich man to enter heaven than a camel to go through the eye of a needle Texas Christians fasten, instead, to the parable of the talents as a more reasonable picture of Jesus’s own Texashood – for surely the point of the parable of the talents – that is the one in which the bad servant buries the money his master gave him before going on a trip instead of investing it –  is that Jesus wants you to be rich. Jesus, wept – but that’s the problem with using a metaphor among a group of literalist monomaniacs. In any case, the solution to the problem of what Texas loves most was recently solved in Dallas, where Judge Jean Boyd, one of God’s ow

Marx and modernity's sensorium

Like any other writer, Marx is not all one block, even though he is often received as one block, labeled Marx. Marx often changes his mind, or at least his perspective, for instance, revamping the way he used alienation in the Economic-Philosophical Manuscripts to how he uses the notion in the German Ideology and again in Capital, vol. 1. However,   Marx never simply erases or annuls the conceptual contents he has used in the past – rather, he continually switches from the content to the form and back again to both ironize a content and locate it in a conceptual system that is always at work, one way or another, in the practices of everyday life. It is usual to attribute this method to Hegel, but myself, I think that is being much too philosophisch. Lenin once remarked that “Communism equals Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country” – and I would say, along similar lines, that Marx’s method equals Hegelian dialectic plus the railroad. That may seem like a bit of an

the wilderness of piss and a story

In one of the non-serious seasons of my life – I’m referring, of course, to the grad student years – I too was arrested in a protest aimed at getting the University of Texas to divest from investments in what was then apartheid dominated South Africa  - which, in retrospect, was rather like protesting a leech to give up blood. But it was worth the old college try. In New Orleans, in my pre graduate student days, I’d been a member of an organization dedicated to keeping Reagan out of Nicaragua, which meant in effect making a sign and waving it bravely as we marched down Canal street, while on the other end of Canal street, anti-Castro Cuban emigrants waved their own sign and hankered for our blood. A good time was had by all, and if we weren’t entirely successful, we did provide gainful employment to the not so undercover cops who’d hang in the demonstration and try to secretly photograph us – an art in which they’d been imperfectly instructed. I fear these guys, otherwise, would hav