In any case, she’s going about her life, and suddenly this seducer appears.
February 6, 2017
What if populism is not the problem, but the solution?
What followed Trump’s victory among confounded political analysts was an epidemic of self-castigation over “our” failure to “listen” to “white working class” voters. Since the inauguration, however, elitism in the guise of centrism is once again on the move.
What did you think, that joy was some slight thing?
You asked for philosophy and I am bringing it, late-night dorm-basement style. But I’m not just splitting hairs. This variety in our actual experience suggests — I think — that Camus got the question wrong, or that the question itself is the problem. The only important philosophical question isn’t why we each, individually, might choose to live. It’s how to live with each other, given that the facts of our lives are contingent on the facts of others’.
August 16, 2016
Narcissists are imitators par excellence. And they do not copy the small, boring parts of selves.
The narcissist is, according to the internet, empty. Normal, healthy people are full of self, a kind of substance like a soul or personhood that, if you have it, emanates warmly from inside of you toward the outside of you. No one knows what it is, but everyone agrees that narcissists do not have it. Disturbingly, however, they are often better than anyone else at seeming to have it. Because what they have inside is empty space, they have had to make a study of the selves of others in order to invent something that looks and sounds like one. Narcissists are imitators par excellence. And they do not copy the small, boring parts of selves. They take what they think are the biggest, most impressive parts of other selves, and devise a hologram of self that seems superpowered.
Sociologists are always in danger of being seen as paranoids, all the more so when they oppose powerful vested interests.
It was to be a magical, enchanting month for us. Jupiter, the giver of gifts and luck, was moving into Virgo midmonth in alignment with the sun, where it would multiply the beneficence of the gassy planet and rain fortune down upon us.
It’s never entirely clear whether the crime is Meursault’s murder or Camus’s book.
All the problems of the world dissolve in a warm open-source bath! Capitalism loses on the playing fields of Valve Software.
July 15, 2015
On Fanon and the ethics of anticolonial resistance
“Concerning Violence” is something other than a straightforward entreaty to revolutionary action. It is an encouragement to face the specter of absolute violence, from both sides of the imperial divide, and decide where we stand politically and ethically in relation to it.
Affect theory does not discover an authentic self buried by oppression; it constructs one anew from the wreckage of defeat.
May 22, 2014
If you take your dog to the vet to be put down, does he or she blow a hole in its leg with a pistol and chase it around the yard?
Catching disappearing languages
It’s three miles to South Williamsburg, one of the last Yiddish-speaking neighborhoods in the world, where a whole new dialect, some say a separate language, is coming into being. Farther out in East Bushwick, James Lovell is teaching Garifuna, an Afro-Indigenous language of the Caribbean. The Garifuna are descendants of African slaves who escaped a shipwreck off the island of St. Vincent in 1635 and intermarried with the Arawak and Carib natives.
Ultimately, the antipolitics of fear would deprive the person of his status as a political, even a social being.
January 9, 2014
Let me say it again: the kind of diversity I wanted him to address but didn’t find in his book is economic diversity.
In India, the peasantry was not disappearing. Archaism remained culturally dominant across the board.
October 7, 2013
For all intents and purposes, Germany is Europe, and Berlin is its capital—which is something of a dramatic irony.
Retribution in repose
No, I can’t really challenge or logic chop Peter — A) Philosophers have leisure, B) Soldiers have leisure, C) Soldiers are, ergo, now philosophers; spot the fallacy. Sneering seems beside the point. I too once played at war across the toy-strewn floor of my bedroom and eagerly read books with titles like Tactical Genius in Battle.
In a sick, sad world, it’s hard not to be suspicious of anything as wholesome as World Literature.
Anarchist farmers vs. Inspector Clouseau
The offices themselves were in perfect opposition to Alain Bauer’s clean-cut image. They were small and untidy, cluttered with crates of books and disordered folders. Every inch of the walls was covered in letters of mission, distinctions, diplomas, and, finally, a photo of Bauer and Nicolas Sarkozy, then minister of the interior. Sarkozy appears as small and nervous as Bauer does strong and cold. The snapshot had the best spot in the office, the most valuable location, where the whole team could admire it several times a day: above the photocopier.
Badiou informed Balibar that he, Balibar, was a reformist. “And you, monsieur,” Balibar replied, “are a theologian.”
Haneke in furs
Haneke has often said, referring to the unhappy ending of The Piano Teacher, that he aims “to rape the spectator into autonomy.” He abuses his audience in order to make us self-aware and liberate us from bad habits. Critics have mostly taken him at his word, repeating the sleight of rhetoric that conflates the act of analyzing and violating movie conventions with bashing in the skull of an animal.
Art mostly expresses class and status hierarchies, and only secondarily might have snippets of aesthetic value.
Cultural considerations wax as political hopes wane.
February 11, 2013
On Stanley Cavell
This was Cavell’s response to logical positivism: to demand that we only speak about what is absolutely true and false, that about that which we cannot speak with certainty, we must be silent, is to demand that we not speak at all—or else that we lie to ourselves about the ambiguity inherent in even the most carefully defined language.
Neurotocrats vs. the Grand Old Psychosis
According to Adorno, in psychoanalysis only the exaggerations are true. If you wished to characterize the Democrats and the Republicans in terms of true exaggerations, you might say that the Republicans have become the Party of Psychosis while the Democrats have become the Party of Neurosis.