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Showing posts from March, 2012

Epicurus is not Dionysian!

...our court, infected with their manners
Shows like a riotous inn: epicurism and lust
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel
Than a grac’d palace
. - Goneril, King Lear (1606)
Such a view of life is the meanest form of selfishness, leading in general to vice ... If sincerely embraced and consistently carried out, it undermined all that was chivalrous and heroic... - New Advent Encyclopaedia (1913)

(In which I complain that the word 'epicurean' is really misleading - and accuse Christians, Jews, and rocknroll. There could be snakes in here: addressing your marginal concerns with excessive urgency since 2010.)


I like Epicurus for his lack of melodrama. (Which he manages to have despite living in a melodramatic culture - Hellas - inset in a melodramatic species - us.) Unlike the trendy philosophies of the last 200 years, Epicureanism is able to include and dignify everyday things. (One synopsis of his philosophy is just f…

anti matters

"A thing is a hole in a thing it is not."
– Carl Andre
hairdressers sell negative hair;
sculptors negate stone.
cleaners mess with mess,
prostitutes try and siphon lust;
judge hurls negative freedom.
priest spits fear and negative fear.
killer sells negative life,
musician, negative death.

Self Hacking (self-mythologising songs)

The idea that we teach in the Gospel of Hip Hop is self-creation - that hip hop gives us the ability to self-create... A new kind of creative visualization. A new kind of way to notice God, in that sense."

- KRS-One (...)

music allows even the most grave of performers to become wildly eccentric extrapolations of their own self-perception...

- James

What's Pop got to do with reality? It is ubiquitous ghetto fabulous candy-flipping phantasy - its lack of realism is why it's popular in the first place - it sprays righteous fiction over our lives. The population of pop with aggressive personalities is not (just) driven by the egos of performers: we do so like to have gods before us.

Hip-hop is completely obviously founded upon The Front, The Show, The Braggadocio Exaggeration Extravaganza, but it is far from the first. Its 'realness' never measured authenticity, so much as how much the schmuck lived up to racist myths about blackness. (If realness were about reality, t…

big questions avoided by big questioners

Four years banging your head against philosophers does notnecessarilyresult in answers. You leave with a lifetime's supply of questions, though (as many as you can carry).

But maybe only certain kinds of question. Some of the best and most probing issues were intentionally not addressed by my lecturers. When they did come up, they were dismissed as hand-wavy (i.e. vague, naive, poetic, unrigorous, excessive, off-topic).

What this really means is that they require rare breadth and synthetic intelligence to handle - a candle, not a laser - and that even then, the answers to them are open-ended, indexical and speculative. This is why something like Continental philosophy - in spite of all its obscurantism, cultishness and breathlessness - is necessary: it isn't afraid of reaching a little way past 'the' world at the expense of certainty.

what is our fundamental relation to the world?
what is value?
how much of all this was inevitable? (is anything itself necessarily?
And, d…

you can't blog your blog around a memory

The clues you bastards give away! Psych profiles of a seditious buncha bright young things. (I don't know how hard you think about naming your things - but anyway you needn't think very long for your scent to be on it. And it's no more than a scent I'm after.)

Title: Romanticise the Future. An imperative; also a statement of his new(ish) worldview. Compare with Douglas Coupland's "EROTICISE INTELLIGENCE".

URL: "ithasbeesinit". Recalls Eddie Izzard, recalls Black Books - but is neither. There's a residual presence online for the whole phrase, but that's to be expected - since this URL is a spot-on evocation of the aesthetic in eC21st language; ironically awkward grammar with a nonsequitur dab of twee. Are bees more comic than your average beast? Yes.

Formerly: arcolimunosotrexate - a gibberish composite of various medications of his. It ensured you got exact google hits, at least. Presumably dropped owing to a change in self-definition (up a…

on calling people brainwashed

(c) Honoré Daumier (1865) 'Crispin and Scapin'

I can only suggest that he would combat false consciousness to awaken people to their true interests has much to do, because the sleep is very deep. And I do not intend here to provide a lullaby but merely to sneak in and watch the people snore.
- Erving Goffman

All interesting theories accuse us of being brainwashed: "You lack information; now, open your eyes":
Tectonics (on solid ground)
the unconscious mind (you're so unconscious you don't know you've a massive unconscious)
Relativity (space-and-time is squishy; no space without objects; no one thing can move)
the Everett interpretation (all possible things actually happen)
the germ theory of disease (the world's so dirty you've no idea how dirty)
Radical feminism (you're so oppressed you don't know you're oppressed, and/or you're so sexist you don't know you're sexist)
Or more generally Critical theory (you're so oppressed you d…

that They

I see they've cloned a baby.
They've put ten mice on crack!
They know what causes rainfall now -
They've fixed your grandad's back!

They'll go too far if you ask me
They can't control it all.
So while they fill up the TV
I'll off await the Fall.