Tuesday, November 13, 2007

LRB · Slavoj Žižek: Resistance Is Surrender

"Shouldn’t the Left draw a distinction between the circumstances in which one would resort to violence in confronting the state, and those in which all one can and should do is use ‘mocking satire and feather dusters’? The ambiguity of Critchley’s position resides in a strange non sequitur: if the state is here to stay, if it is impossible to abolish it (or capitalism), why retreat from it? Why not act with(in) the state? Why not accept the basic premise of the Third Way? Why limit oneself to a politics which, as Critchley puts it, ‘calls the state into question and calls the established order to account, not in order to do away with the state, desirable though that might well be in some utopian sense, but in order to better it or attenuate its malicious effect’?

These words simply demonstrate that today’s liberal-democratic state and the dream of an ‘infinitely demanding’ anarchic politics exist in a relationship of mutual parasitism: anarchic agents do the ethical thinking, and the state does the work of running and regulating society. Critchley’s anarchic ethico-political agent acts like a superego, comfortably bombarding the state with demands; and the more the state tries to satisfy these demands, the more guilty it is seen to be. In compliance with this logic, the anarchic agents focus their protest not on open dictatorships, but on the hypocrisy of liberal democracies, who are accused of betraying their own professed principles.

The big demonstrations in London and Washington against the US attack on Iraq a few years ago offer an exemplary case of this strange symbiotic relationship between power and resistance. Their paradoxical outcome was that both sides were satisfied. The protesters saved their beautiful souls: they made it clear that they don’t agree with the government’s policy on Iraq. Those in power calmly accepted it, even profited from it: not only did the protests in no way prevent the already-made decision to attack Iraq; they also served to legitimise it. Thus George Bush’s reaction to mass demonstrations protesting his visit to London, in effect: ‘You see, this is what we are fighting for, so that what people are doing here – protesting against their government policy – will be possible also in Iraq!’"

Baader-Meinhof: Gerhard Richter

from Volume 2 of Don Akenson's "An Irish History of Civilization"--


Terror as a means to a religious, political or ideological goal has only one articulated justification, and it stays the same no matter what language expresses it.

The Chester Castle mastermind, American Irish Captain John McCafferty, out of prison on amnesty, continues his campaign. His methods are now more ruthless.

He is the untraceable "No. 1" who puts together the invincibles. Their hacking to death of T.H. Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish in the Phoenix Park in May 1882 was intended to be the start of a program of political assassinations in Ireland and England. They would bleed the enemy like a butcher sticks a squealing pig. Cut short after the Invincibles' first mission leads to his operatives being caught, McCafferty coolly slides away, and leaves a bogus "No. 1" in his place. As far as the authorities are concerned, McCafferty no longer exists.

Yet, in Paris, planning and raising funds, he gives an interview to The Irishman.

McCafferty declares, is the lawful weapon of the weak against the strong." "

from The House of Commons in 1874

"When turned loose from Portland, McCafferty went down on his knees outside the prison gates, cursed the Governor, the prison system, the British Government, and vowed revenge on all.

The Governor forced him back to his cell, and wired the Home Office for instruction. McCafferty, in consequence, had to spend many more years in Portland. Ultimately he was set free, and when he arrived in America, so secretly did he work, that his name does not appear in the list of 'Parnell's American Auxiliaries,' prepared for The Times by its experts at the Forgery Commission of 1888.

He was not even mentioned by the spy, Le Cron, in his evidence at the Commission. McCafferty never attended a public meeting in America, or identified himself with the Irish movement. Whispers, however, reached us that he was thought to be an inspirer of the "Invincible" Society, which brought about the murder of the Chief Secretary, Lord Frederick Cavendish; and the Under-Secretary Burke in the Phoenix Park on the 6th May, 1882.

The Times in 1887-8 aimed at saddling Parnell with these murders.

The brief of Attorney-General Webster, endorsed by "Soames, Edwards and Jones, solicitors, 58 Lincoln's Inn Fields," mentions as "Parnell's American Auxiliaries" all released prisoners active in America, viz., T. F. Bourke, E. O'M. Condon, John Devoy, T. C. Luby, Mackey-Lomasney, O'Donovan Rossa, and Stephen J. Meany. (The last-named in the Crimean War wrote "The Red, White and Blue," once a popular chant in England.)

No one thought of McCafferty, the silent Confederate soldier. His name is unspoken and unknown. Yet, like the Persian cobbler who, with his awl, brought down the Shah's Ministers, he may have been the chief pursuer of revenge..."

from Joyce Images

"That was why they thought the park murders of the invincibles was done by foreigners on account of them using knives." (U16.590)

On May 6th 1882, Thomas Henry Burke (Permanent Under Secretary for Ireland) and Lord Frederick Cavendish (newly appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland) were murdered in Phoenix Park by members of the Invincibles, a radical Irish nationalist secret society. Cavendish had just arrived in Ireland, and the two men were on their way to the Viceregal Lodge. The killers used surgical knives: rather than stabbed, the victims were slashed with long cuts all over their body. Dr. Thomas Myles, surgeon at the nearby Steevens's Hospital, was summoned -to no avail- for medical assistance to the victims..."

Phoenix Park Murders - Wikipedia

Marc Edge on Aspers and Harper, A Toried Love

"The bridges they had been building to the new Conservative government would thus be more important than ever to CanWest. That in turn suggested mutual admiration would continue to be expressed between the federal government and Canada's largest news media company. Whether the result would be the news coverage Canadians needed seemed less likely than Davey's prediction it would be the press they deserved for failing to demand better..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

local trees

yet another YouTube - Soft Machine-Moon In June-Bilzen Festival-August 22, 1969 Hugh Hopper bass Mike Ratledge organ Robert Wyatt drums vocal

MySpaceTV Videos: Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll & The Trinity- Save Me more Joolz, cause it's my blog!

Charlie sez: easy on the Vitalis, this is my first haircut!

via mefi--Vietnam 1967-1968: Darrell Hill, Photographer - a photoset on Flickr--these Ektachromes & Kodakchromes were tossed into a dumpster, later recovered & sold, then put on Flickr where their photographer re-discovered them...

find myself in rare concert with both Ron & Hitch today, who helpfully seize some of the gems from Norman Mailer's highly variable landslide of prose--especially interesting to see Ron on the brilliant beat pastiche "Why Are We in Vietnam?" & Hitch on "Harlot's Ghost", which to my mind beat LeCarre at his own game. I would add "Of a Fire on the Moon" his epic on the Apollo 11 mission, which is not only one of the few times an important writer attempts to actually come to detailed terms with the technology of our time, but then uses it to undergird his bad faith--"The Wrong Stuff", perhaps---

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Grand Inquisitor

Weekly Web Mini-Series Premieres November 11th
Original Score by DJ Spooky Screenplay by Ruth Margraff Multi Image Design by Julie Talen Directed by Tony Torn
Produced by Lee Ann Brown and George Norfleet Executive Producer Michael McCartney

"...a five part film updating Dostoevsky's mystical fable to a future, Fox network style reality. The second coming has arrived in the form of a radical African-American messiah, and the Network/Church/Government is seen in the teaser looking through auditions for a more acceptable replacement Jesus that they can rush into the marketplace to offset the disruptive influence of the 'false prophet'. In the original story, from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, Christ returns at the height of the Inquisition, to great celebration, but when The Grand Inquisitor orders the people to throw Christ into jail, such is the authority of the Inquisitor that the people instantly turn on Jesus. The Inquisitor visits Jesus in the cell and in a nutshell, he tells him he recognizes him as the true Christ, but will nonetheless burn him as a heretic, to protect a Church which has vastly improved his original, flawed message. In response, Jesus kisses the Grand Inquisitor on the lips, and the GI lets him go. ‘The kiss burned in his heart’ writes Dostoevsky, ‘but he held onto his opinion’.

The film begins in and sustains an aggressively satirical mode, but dovetails with the original story until the final episode which follows the source very closely. As director, it's my attempt to claim a personal perspective on Christianity after being confronted by the powerfully presented, yet soul killing version presented by The Passion of The Christ. The danger of our approach is scaring folks away with the viciousness of the initial satire, before they are able to access the deeper allegory we are trying to present. But the piece is finished now after three years of development and fifteen months of editing (it has a very complex visual style), so it is what it is.”

another video--Retro: Mailer and McLuhan--the Tussle in Toronto? The K.O. in Etobicoke?

today's YouTube - I'm a Believer - Micky Dolenz and Julie Driscoll

from the same Monkees special--Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity - Come On Up--the outfits have to be seen to be believed!

CBC Caves in to China

"The truth is that Chinese diplomatic officials had contacted CBC and had employed at least one long-known Chinese Communist Party agent to orchestrate a campaign against showing the film, which they denounced as "all lies." How they could know this is unclear since no one has yet seen the film. CBC itself has acknowl-edged the intervention by China, but has said only that it decided to ask for further editing..."

Similar to what happened in Vancouver last year when the Falun Gong had their protest site removed...