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Showing posts from December 5, 2021

war culture

    To understand the twentieth century – and our withered own – one must understand war. There are many interests that converge in the War Culture, and one of the most difficult tasks for the analyst is to separate and sort them. Not only is this task difficult in itself, there is a philosophical difficulty that is rarely mentioned, at least by historians, foreign policy think tankers, and political philosophers. The difficulty goes back to the standard assumption that war is derivative from the State. First we have the state, then we have the wars between states, just as first we have teams, then we have baseball. However, that assumption is rarely argued for. In LI’s opinion, you could just as well have war first – ontologically and historically, Hobbes’ war of all against all – and then the state. In this view, states derive from war, rather than the other way around. Just as Mallarme thought that everything strives to be written in a book, every war, striving to be part of the one

A drinking song by Karen Chamisso

  A drinking song In the thirst we inherit from Eden’s milk and water there’s another thirst under while the one holds us to the dry steady the other surveilles each eddy to lead us, counter-agently through the counter-stream to a headache laden shore this thirst, ticked out in a frogman’s sinister togs dries out eye, brain and liver like so many bogs. - Karen Chamisso

The woodlanders of Dekalb Country, Georgia, circa 1970

  In one of Thomas Hardy’s early and rather rough hewn novel, The Woodlanders, the central intrigue is driven by the fact that John South’s life lease upon his cottage ends when his life ends. South, at fifty-five, has made his career of chopping up wood – and now a fear has entered his mind that he is about to die, in a moment of karma, with the tree in front of his cottage being the executioner sent to bring him down:   “The tree was a tall elm, familiar to him from childhood, which stood at a distance of two-thirds its own height from the front of South’s dwelling. Whenever the wind blew, as it did now, the tree rocked, naturally enough; and the sight of its motion and sound of its sighs had gradually bred the terrifying illusion in the woodman’s mind that it would descend and kill him. Thus he would sit all day, in spite of persuasion, watching its every sway, and listening to the melancholy Gregorian melodies which the air wrung out of it. This fear it apparently was, rather than