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Showing posts from November 1, 2015

the mythological struggle between the hard and the soft

Ideology deals with concepts like power and order. Mythology deals with percepts, like the hard and the soft. Of course, the story is more complicated than that.  They are a duality, and like many dualities, they love to dress up in each other’s clothes. Ideological concepts disguise themselves in percepts, and mythology’s percepts disguise themselves as arguments. I’ve just read a fantastically detailed biography of Wyndham Lewis. By the end of it, the reader will have a good sense of Lewis’s bank account balance, year by year. And yet, the reader won’t know why Lewis painted the way he did, thought the way he did, or wrote the way he did. After Lewis’s death, many critics, following Hugh Kenner’s lead, swallowed Lewis’s version of modernism. It was a modernism that kicked out the Bloomsbury group, and in particular Virginia Woolf. It is as if they caught Lewis’s allergy to Woolf . Now, Woolf, it seems to me, was a much greater artist than Lewis, and her novels can’t be kicked to

to the GOP candidates: let's show some love to Carson today!

I don't see what is wrong with this. Carson is no different from all the rest of the GOP candidates. He turned down a scholarship to west point in his head. Rubio was a poor boy who climbed the social ladder through entrepreneurship and pluck in his head. Fiorina, in her head, saw bodysnatchers using their alien vehicle, Planned Parenthood, to make soup out of fetuses, And Trump has dreamt up a whole country named the USA which ranks, militarily and economically, with Albania, but, after a quick fixer upper, will rank with alexander the great's empire, and the Roman one too, In the most classical sense, the Republicans are running as idealists. I'm hoping they will show some love to Carson, who is just being attacked by the liberal press, After all. It isn't a lie if you can believe it just before going to sleep!

Dexter Filkens very poor, sham defense of Chalabi.

In the New Yorker, the old interventionist fellow traveler, Dexter Filkins, performs a pretty worn out magic trick, exonerating Chalabi for the lies and propaganda he spread in Iraq, and leaving the man's career at that.  Of course, Chalabi was no seducer of innocents. The Bush administration was crowded with chickenhawks, anxious to "liberate" Iraq, reap a bountiful political score in the US, and Chili-ize the occupied country in the best shock doctrine fashion. Of course, they were afraid to risk the political capital that would come from really occupying the country, and they could hide behind Rumsfeld's screwy military science which told him that you could pacify Iraq with about five hundred thousand less soldiers than it would actually take to even begin. No Vietnams please, we are chickenhawks was the motto. However, by trotting out the usual I interviewed Chalabi nonsense, and focusing all attention on the run up to the war, Filkins conveniently forgets Chal

chalabi is deader than dick cheney's heart

I've often written about Chalabi. He was a character who seemed to embody the madness of the first stage of the Bush era - the second stage, in which we live, is characterized by opoid addiction and suicide, which is another story.  Anyway, he tires me. So I'm reprinting a post I wrote when the NYT Magazine did their postmortem on Chalabi after his party was wiped out in the first Iraqi election. Sunday, November 05, 2006 The horrendous Dexter Filkins is at it again. The NYT Magazine profile of Chalabi is an indulgence verging on an impudence – after all, why not devote that space to a basically meaningless story about Filkins fave guy? Here’s one of our favorite passages in this extended exercise in bosculating Chalabi’s golden fanny: “When the election came, Chalabi was wiped out. His Iraqi National Congress received slightly more than 30,000 votes, only one-quarter of 1 percent of the 12 million votes cast — not enough to put even one of them, not even Chalabi,

without an element of real terrorism, the Government would never grant women the franchise

We saw Suffragette last night. I found it a pretty good political flick. Its most brilliant choice was to focus on a prole, the laundry worker played by Carey Mulligan. The word about this movie and the way it is being advertised has created a faux controversy. Apparently, publicity pics show the Mulligan, Meryl Streep and some other stars of the film wearing tee shirts across which is emblazoned the slogan, I’d rather rebel than die a slave, a phrase from a Pankhurst speech featured in the film. This turns the film’s sympathy for attacks on property into a slogan no better nor worse than I’m with stupid. In other words, activism becomes consumerism, and consumerism is then considered from the standpoint of whether it sets off twitter storms of offended comments. This is too bad. The film is all white, as has been pointed out; what hasn’t been pointed out is that the all white movement appropriated strategies from the anarchists and from a long line of labour protest going back to t