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Showing posts from January 3, 2021

Against Healing!

Susan Sontag, I think of you! In Illness as Metaphor, when she went after the “anti-intellectual pieties and a facile compassion all too triumphant in contemporary medicine and psychiatry”, she was well aware of the insertion of a illness metaphoric in politics too. In fact, one of the prized sentences in American political rhetoric is Abraham Lincoln’s use of a battlefield injury metaphor, “binding our wounds” – subtexting the Jesus story – to describe the national process of unification. Lincoln, like Bismark, helped forge a new, modern state. It was noticed early on that Bismark’s German was, like Lincoln’s English, a thing of folk poetry. But instead of using the metaphor of injuries (which presupposes the more extensive field of the “body politic”), Bismark was more inclined to peasant metaphors and similes, where the state is pictured as a plough horse, or “putting Germany in the saddle”. Lincoln’s metaphors are often celebrated, seldom subject to the critical examination we sho

The Aryan Nation revolution will be televised

  Blow after blow, the Trumpkins must be coming down from their high. Frist "Mr. Trump", as the NYT has taken to calling him - which is a sign that he really is expelled from the countrfy club - made a video in which he said his beloved Patriots were naughty naughty to try to take over the capitol and burn the electoral college ballots. Apparently, his aides said he could be prosecuted. Then the WSJ editorial board, which is close to God - that is, the God of the Right, Rupert Murdoch - said Trump should be impeached. A rare conjunction of AOC and the WSJ! So, shockingly, the fallback story that this was just an antifa false flag is shredded from the top, although I'd guess 90 percent of Trumpsters will soon be assuring all and sundry that the Capitol takeover was a Democratic Party plot. Then it appears the "protestors", as the NYT persistently calls the Aryan Nation gang that took over the Capitol, did kill a cop. On the plus side, we know that the hearts of

On balance

    While the aesthetic sphere is full of objects corresponding to the sense   of sight or of hearing, there are no objects directly correlating to the the sense of balance. Dance and sports are the closest we get. Roger Caillois was clever in noticing the role of dizziness in certain kinds of games, which he categorized under the rubric ilynx. Caillois was not a systematic thinker; he was also a Cold War liberal of the very anti-marxist type. These two facts have to be held in mind when reading Jacques Ehrman’s terrific attack on Caillois in “Homo Ludens revisited” (1968), which holds a special place in the history of deconstruction in America.   Ehrman’s attack must have sounded like Martian in 1968, while now it is part of our lingo: “For finally, if the status of "ordinary life," of "reality," is not thrown into question in the very movement of thought given over to play, the theoretical, logical, and anthropological bases on which this thinking is based can o