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Showing posts from February, 2012

La noune

but english has no good words for it -
and little love.
but I'm not bound by one set
in many settings.
and but you are unconcerned with good words,
need 'em not.
so but between word and world I
but felt your heart beat through it
but a night just then.

baby baroque

My baby brother, now 6, has a surprising grasp of English. (This is more surprising to me because it means he's left behind the awful Nickleodeon American accent of 2010 and 2011's bastard blend of American and Glaswegian.) He now sounds like a very skilled foreigner. Some choice cuts:

- [after running around and vigorously helping us move boxes] "I found that fun!"

- [after reporting being mooned on the playground] "I wouldn't have thought that a girl woulda done that." (that's an abstract past negative subjunctive ffs! Almost remarkable enough to outweigh my being sad at his gender indoctrination.)

- [seeing Gaelic for the first time, being told that Gaelic (text in which covers my brother's wall) has been a tiny preservationist's language for 120 years now] "That was a time before me. And you. And daddy. And gran. And gran's gran!"

- [during a lull] "I like it when you are here."

On the order of rank in intellectual labour

Magritte (1936), 'The Philosopher's Lamp'

"...not every critic is a genius, but every genius is born a critic..."
- Lessing

"Anyone who calls themselves a philosopher is a bit of an arse."
- Bob Plant

What you get called, as a processor of culture, is not incidental. I've tried to sense out the hierarchy of terms, our snobby job descriptions of wordy people. (This is not to endorse that hierarchy.) The formal question I'm after could be: 'how much cultural capital is attributed by the title?' This is clear when we keep the activity constant and note the change in Distinction:

Take two media examples, "writer" and "author". "Writer" is completely unregulated - a guy who drools out one piece for his student newspaper is one, and so is Antonio Gramsci. "Author" is reputedly the broader category (and legally I suppose it is), but it's got a pretty clear ring of positive evaluation - of authority. …

come see my consumption (songs about products)

The Believer: You wrote some Lacanian-style quotations for last fall’s Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. How did that come about?
Slavoj Žižek: Oh yes, I was helping someone who helped me once. It was easy, he sent me a series of provocative images, and I just wrote silly Lacanian statements about them. My critics attacked me, 'how can you conscientiously accept money from such a company?' I said, 'with less guilt than accepting money from the American university system'.

We only rap about things we like. I'll mention Cheetos because I like them, but if I didn't they wouldn't be in our songs.
- Damon Dash
Product is everywhere, integral to life and chat, such as they are. Product placementis still repugnant, and the ethics of advertising are indeed deeply murky. But the brainwash theory of advertising as put forward by Baudrillard and Naomi Klein and Fight Club and swallowed by many like me - is based on muddled views of commerce and human nature. Moreover, i…

Rating the C20th

Ray Johnstone (2010), "Francis Bacon - Icon of the C20th"

Recently asked friends what their favourite decade of the twentieth century is. Answers are varied and cannot fail to say things about us.

Noughties (1900-1909)

RH: The first one. Cos still optimism.
SS: Early 1900s e.g: 1900-1910!!! The wild west was still vaguely wild but on the wind down!!!HW: 1903-1913. Few will pick 90s - we're too burned by hindsight.

TeensCK1: Sassoon, Owen, Thomas, Rosenberg. Death of Enlightenment scientism.


RM: I had a dream once I was brass player in 1920s-type town with trams. I was in a café when I suddenly felt a strong pull to run. So I ran outside - the light fell softly and air was pleasantly cool. I saw a streetcar pull away in front of me and felt an immense melancholy as a result. I fell on my knees and cried, a trumpet in my hands. Based on this I would go 20s.

AS: 20s! What style, no? Class was not dead.

AK: Jazz Age.

JC: 20s. Why?
Me: I think it's a nice, indirect way of s…

miscellany three

1, Is the signal-to-noise ratio of the internet deteriorating? (Yes.)

Is the divergence between actual content and the automated link-spider adsites, the thriving apocrypha trade, the articulate nonsense, the inarticulate rage, and the endless incestuous copy-paste regurgitated spamaccelerating? ...

One day we may need state provision of mythbusting, meme-history, and quotation-sourcing: The Ministry of Snopes. ("An Enema for the Bottom Half of the internet since 2021.")

(And that's before accounting for the operation of the iron law of trolldom: )


2, Several women I have known have eventually told me, more or less sternly, "Let's not talk philosophy."

An awkward position, surely - for what else is there?


3, Was aggressively asked the other day if I thought that being a vegan makes me better than other people. I thought about this for longer than he appa…