Thursday, February 03, 2005

furious Vanity Fair cover autopsy--

"VF considers its Hollywood issue an event - "This is a very big issue for us so close to the Oscars," a PR told me - but actually, it is a desperate sight to make all feminists tremble. This is Disempowerment as she is dressed by Versace. On the first rung of the paper podium Kate, 29, Cate, 35, and Uma, 35, mug ferociously for the camera lens, trying to ease each other out of the viewers' eye in a nightmare of expensively dressed passive aggression. Uma has her hand resting on her neck and stretches out lasciviously in a parody of post-sexual languor. Cate has chosen to fling out her arms and toss her hair as if she's been caught on board a ship in a gale. She too is doing the repulsive yearning thing, which should only be done in secret, with a lover. Kate is arching her back and flinging her hand across her crotch, with enormous "No, don't fuck her - fuck me" eyes. And these three are the talented ones."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Enough Appeasement

"As far as I can tell, America today is dominated by two "opposing" factions: the Incompetent Fascists of the Bush Right, and the Squeamish Fascists of the center-Right, the sort promoted in the Times. Which is why relying on mere rational argument is a cop-out—much as the Times' own credo of "objectivity" and centrism is a kind of cop-out on genuine journalism. If the lesson of Vietnam taught us one thing, it's that the Squeamish Fascists are in many ways more culpable than the Incompetent ones. When the Squeamish Fascists support war—as they did in Nam, Serbia and Iraq—the slaughter machine revs up. When the Squeamish Fascists squeam, as they're doing now, the long, slow, tortuous road to withdrawal and self-examination begins. Without the Squeamers, the Incompetent Fascists have a much more difficult time putting their plans into action."

nice to see The Great Cham threaded all through Hotel Point lately...

"Endless admiration for Dr. Johnson’s “instinctive revolt against the intellectually modish.” What W. Jackson Bate labels as Johnson’s strengths as a critic of literature: “his refusal to be intimidated by the spurious ‘authority’ of fashion; his scorn of the ‘cant’ of those who are conditioned by attitudes simply because they are current; his tendency to walk immediately up to the tyranny of stock response in the prevailing mode of thinking, and to push directly through it in order to see what is on the other side.” (Empty verbiage, “cultural critique” in the form of old saw-blades whining, earnest old Panama hats, recticulated string bags of airy profundities, the usual pumpernickel and dough.)"

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Monday, January 31, 2005


"U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote :
Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror

by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here."

Daphne's Radio

the reproduction
of a manuscript page
onto which
a drop of sunny delight
has been spilled,
35 crocuses
in a square yard of
sunny slope--

(33 yellow
2 purple, 29 open
5 shut
1355 january
31 2005). due to
a mistake in storage
the humming of glenn gould
on all my cd's.

for about six minutes a day
from november to march
south of the space heater,
north of the fish tank
and east of the fridge,
a golfball-sized sphere
of invisible fire
hangs flylessly
from november
to march.
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A Pict Song

Rudyard Kipling

Rome never looks where she treads.
Always her heavy hooves fall,
On our stomachs, our hearts or our heads;
And Rome never heeds when we bawl.
Her sentries pass on--that is all,
And we gather behind them in hordes,
And plot to reconquer the Wall,
With only our tongues for our swords.

We are the Little Folk--we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you'll see
How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
We are the rot at the root!
We are the taint in the blood!
We are the thorn in the foot!

Mistletoe killing an oak--
Rats gnawing cables in two--
Moths making holes in a cloak--
How they must love what they do!.
Yes--and we Little Folk too,
We are busy as they--
Working our works out of view--
Watch, and you'll see it some day!

No indeed! We are not strong,
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we'll guide them along,
To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same?
Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you--you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves!

We are the Little Folk--we!
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you'll see
How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
We are the rot at the root!
We are the taint in the blood!
We are the thorn in the foot!

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Sunday, January 30, 2005

interesting interview with Peter Sloterdijk--

"The reason a new vocabulary is necessary in the cultural sciences can be explained in seven simple words: because the old one is basically useless. And why? Because all previous natural languages, including theoretical discourse, were developed for a world of weight and solid substances. They are thus incapable of expressing the experiences of a world of lightness and relations. Consequently they are not suited to articulate the basic experiences of the modern and the postmodern, which construct a world based on mobilization and the easing of burdens. This already allows me to explain why, in my view, the critical theory of the Frankfurt School is outdated and must be replaced by a completely different discourse: Because of their Marxist heritage, critical theorists succumb to the realistic temptation of interpreting the light as appearance and the heavy as essence. Therefore they practice criticism in the old style in that they "expose" the lightness of appearance in the name of the heaviness of the real. In reality, I think that it is through the occurrence of abundance in the modern that the heavy has turned into appearance—and the "essential" now dwells in lightness, in the air, in the atmosphere. As soon as this is understood, the conditions of "criticism" change dramatically. Marx argued that all criticism begins with the critique of religion; I would say instead that all criticism begins with the critique of gravity."

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