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Showing posts from April 26, 2015


It seems to jerk a certain chain with the right whenever it is discovered that the cop who kills or maims the black person is black too. The point made is that this is, then, a priori not a racist act. There is a larger point here, a truth that is in real conflict with the conservative vision of America – for surely it is not only a racist act. The militarization of the police, and their elbow room to do illegal acts and acts of brutality, is not simply racist. It is also the effect of the way in which domestic affairs in America, since the Nixon era, have been framed in military terms – for instance, the War on Crime. It is also the effect of class. The overwhelming number of victims of police brutality are in the bottom of the income and wealth brackets. And the African-American population has long been on the bottom of the pole, statistically, with regard to wealth and income. It is a fact that nobody cares about in the United States that the Great Recession struck black househo

goddamn it: we exist!

There are sounds that torture our animal souls beyond endurance, as is discovered by children the first time they scratch a blackboard. The car alarm, untended, in the city night makes the surrounding apartment dwellers dream of firearms and blasting not only the car, but the owner. Then there is the classic crying and screaming of the baby or toddler on the plane flight. It is an amazing fact of natural history that the lungs and vocal chords, otherwise so undeveloped, could raise such mature decibels of sound, and for so long! I once shared a trans-atlantic flight with a two year old girl, six or seven row back, who was evidently sick, in some kind of pain, and able to scream ceaselessly for about two hours. Her parents couldn’t calm her. I would put that girl, at that moment, up against the lead singer of Metallica for sheer volume any time. Yet, being a parent myself, I had no appreciation for the guy in back of us who kept suggesting that she should be stuffed in the bathroom – I

competition three

Sorry, I am under the gun on other projects. Writing this in fragments If I take a turn and throw a dart at a dartboard and then someone else takes a turn and throws a dart at the dartboard, we don’t say that the darts competed – we say that the players competed. Competition, here, is rooted in games played by humans – its old, situated meaning. It is not projected onto nature, or that part of nature which is constituted by an artifact of  a plastc stick  with a metal point at one end and little fins on the other end. Nor would we say that the dartboard competed with the darts. Yet competition, as we all know, has long overflowed the agone. Or perhaps it would be better to say that the game has long been recognized as a prototype for other, “serious” kinds of social activity. We automatically associate competition in nature with Darwinian evolution. That model of competition, as Marx saw, owes a lot to the classical economists. Marx meant this as a criticism of the whole theory