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Showing posts from March 6, 2022

November 12, 1859: at the Cirque Napoléon - a poem by Karen Chamisso

  Léotard “qui tenait le spectateur sous l’empire d’un Plaisir indefinissible »   did not die on the flying trapeze in some circus tragedy. He died of smallpox   after inventing a new thrill altogether at the same time Baudelaire changed the weather of the modern.   Baudelaire doesn’t mention him at all -           while his “memoirs”, an illiterate scrawl bring out a snide remark from the Goncourts.   “… la hardiesse des sauts  périlleux L’ imprévu  des case-cou” -an alexandrine arrested in mid-motion   a caesura crossed, from one bar to the other. His suit, which showed the effortless bother of the muscular ripple of his too mortal flesh   was named for him. In the brief spasm of his flip and grab, orgasm washed across the faces of the gaslit crowd.   Did Emma B. in outtake carry home some sense of the sex in this suspense a syncopation lost?


  « Today,   23 January 1862, wrote   Baudelaire in his notebook, I was subject to a singular premonition, I felt pass over me the breez of the wing of imbecility. » “ In 1863, the Figaro inserted an extract from a violent attack by Pontmartin against Baudelaire. In 1864, Figaro condescended to publish a series of the poems in prose. Only, after two publications  (7 et 14 February), Villemessant [the editor] ended this fantasy and here is the reason he gave to the author, to explain this measure : : « « Your poems bore everyone. » -  La Vie doloureuse de Baudelaire,  by Francois Porche I recently re-read one of my favorite books of the nineties, James Buchan’s Frozen Desire, an essay on money that gives as much weight to paintings of Judas, the life of Baudelaire, and Raskolnikov (the final dire dialectical figure at the end of laissez faire) as it does to Adam Smith, Keynes and Simmel – and of course it ignores the horrid Milton Friedman, God rest his soul. About Baudelaire, B

The Treadmill of Production

When the Nobel committee in economics gave Nordhaus – a man of infinite environmental ignorance, - their little prize, they put their seal on a neoliberal agenda that is steering the planet into disaster. The committee no longer has an opportunity to right its wrong – to award its prize to an economist/sociologist who has actually written well about the environment: Allan Schnaiberg, who taught at Northwestern until his death in 2009. In the early eighties, he published an influential book in the field of environmental economics – The Environment from Surplus to Scarcity. It was a book that introduced the concept with which he is most identified: the treadmill of production. The big controversy in environmental economics is about ecological modernization. Briefly: the Manhattan institute’s all around publicist for “junk science” (otherwise known as science inconvenient to corporations), Peter Huber, proposed that the offloading of costs onto the environment during the twentieth centur

Bla Bla Bla

  Perhaps the only really moving speech in the twenty first century was given by Greta Thunberg, who characterized the official rhetoric around climate change – way around, whilst making as much money and as little change as possible – as bla bla bla. “Build better bla bla bla. Green economy bla   bla bla.” And, as she acutely said, we are drowning in the bla. Not only is Thunberg correct about every speech by every politician in the past twenty to thirty years – in America from Mr.Bring it on to Mr. Hope to Ms. Break the glass ceiling (symbolically of course) to American first and   Mr. Build Back Better, and every one elsewhere, because frankly, the political class is the blab la bla class, leading us to the zombie apocalypse – but she was also obviously referencing Friedrich Kittler’s famous essay on Lacan, Dracula’s Legacy. Well, who knows? But Kittler’s essay, which I decided to exercise my brain on – instead of crunching the news of the war in Ukraine, which is like eating shit