But on the other hand, team America is still raping and murdering boys. Jerry Sandusky's and Joe Paterono's crimes, so to speak, consisted of choosing the wrong sport. It's always worth remembering that society enacts its worst offenses against others and calls them something else. Happy Veterans Day, killaz.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Actually, I will say something about Penn State. It fills me with scootyfruity to see a Great American University suffer; with any luck this will bring down the whole state higher education system. Leaving aside the rather grotesque particulars of the grand jury presentment, the most salient detail here is that university administrators are the most craven people on earth, truly the lowest among all the castes of human character. Oh, ho hum, our emeritus coach is a serial child molester who anally rapes 10-year-olds in the locker room. We'd better ban him from bringing 10-year-olds into the locker room.
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
I've got to say that as much as I despise Barry O. and that fucking midget Sarkozy, the story of the two of them bitching to each other through their translators about that little shit, Bibi, is just great.
Why does it also not delight me that the extent of the allegations against him, at least on some showings, is “unwanted advances”? It might be argued, by the cynical or the naive, that all “advances” begin that way. True, a period of a matter of months is specified, but don’t I seem to recall, in President Obama’s jaunty account of his courtship, that it took him a certain amount of time to “wear down” his intended target? I dare say that many of us could say the same, while reminiscing among friends, and still hope to avoid getting too many sidelong looks. But in the present circumstances there seems to be a danger of a straight-out politicization of the sexual harassment issue, with many people deciding it in advance on the simple basis of campaign calculations, or—to put it more crudely—of whose ox is being gored. This appears to represent a general coarsening by silence, and yet another crude element in a depressing campaign.I have always suspected that Christopher Hitchens is really a child of Indianapolis or Topeka who spent a year in London while an undergraduate at the North Dakota State Technical and Agricultural Community College or some such and returned with an accent and a ubiquitous unopened umbrella so thoroughly does his Englishness come off as an affect. And, to crib from our friends across the pond, he comes off as a real tosser. "I dare say"? It's as if, sensing his own impending demise, he's angling to be played by Maggie Smith in the biopic.
Any man willing to gratuitously fondle the mother tongue as Hitch does above is obviously going to be an apologist for molestation. If you're a liberal, then you'll find it particularly appalling that Hitch first made his conservative bones, you'll pardon the expression, not by cheering for the death of a million Iraqis, but by stroking feverishly over Monica and Kathleen Willey. This was evidence of Clinton's despicable character, whereas here we are in grave danger of "politicizing . . . the sexual harassment issue," as if chalking it up as an issue has not by fucking default cast it into the baleful form of politics.
The thing is, I've paid enough attention to the bizarre rituals of heterosexual, um, courtship to know that Hitch is largely right: they do resemble molestation. And you may spare me the tales of your own gender-neutral mutual-consent happytime dating; I know there are exceptions. The interactions between men and women are creepy and do resemble molestation more often than not. This is of course entirely the fault of men, and the only hope for our species is universally mandatory homosexuality and applied parthenogenesis.
Those who think I view the Occupy folks in too rosy a light may have a point, although, as with my view of the Tea Party wheezers, a positive opinion shouldn't be taken as a wholesale endorsement. Nevertheless, I defy anyone to tell me that this isn't fucking awesome.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Although I don't believe in god, it's sure
that, having died, we find some afterworld
a frosty subterrain where souls are squirrelled
like acorns; while our winter lives endure,
phenomenally form-bound, from beneath and toward
us turn the kernels of past, potential, curled,
collapsing quanta, matter snatched and hurled
back into being material once more;
it's sure, I mean, that what we are, we are
in passing, brief as one dimension is
impossible and small compared to three,
mere indigestion when some distant star
gave up its churning, effervescent fizz
along the wave wash of an ancient sea.
But people are likely to wonder why a determinist has radical beliefs at all, which he repeats ad nauseam, rather than say, speculating on where all these complex forces might be leading?Finally, a sharpened tongue. By the way dudettes and dudes, the comments section here has been especially piquant over the last coupla weeks. Good show, etc. You are more interesting than blogs and newspapers, that's for sure.
Anyway, it's an interesting question, or a couple of them mashed-up as a reasonable question, and although I think the answers are easily found in the archives of this very web blog, I sort of want to answer. Now to an extent, asking why a determinist has radical beliefs is like asking why a Calvinist went to heaven. Har har. But, look: historical determinism doesn't deny individuality or individual agency; it doesn't even deny free will, although it perhaps snickers at most popular notions of free will as mere minor artifacts of a very particular culture. Each ticking second of your life is not written in advance, and the sum total of each will acting in this world in part makes the history that determines the circumstances in which each mind finds itself. There's a place for a just and moral life within an unjust, immoral, and impersonal world. Am I, as the commenter goes on to suggest, a religious man? Well, maybe I am really preaching about the deus absconditus. Yinz decide.
This is why I really like this whole Occupy dealio. As one eminent blurgher said, Occupy Wall Street is no revolution. I love their absence of a program and agenda, their lack of leaders and, at least to-date, their charmed indifference to calls on all sides for them to get such things. I think that packing a tent and sitting your ass down and not moving is just great. I think it's exactly what this country needs. I think that it is at heart and root a contemplative practice. I think those kids are transmitting the grace-waves of beneficence to the rest of humanity. I think that the very act of abjuring traditional activism is necessary and ingenious. I also think that Occupy, or something very much like it, would have inexorably occurred five years ago or ten years hence, one way or other; that this moment I so admire is both specific and inevitable. I'm jealous that I didn't dream it up. But the thing is: someone was certain to dream it up.
Anyhoo, as to where all these complex forces etc etc ad bloggiam are leading us, well, in my optimistic moments, I say a materially poorer (at least for those who are not materially poor) but altogether better and more local world. In most moments I say, toward extinction. They aren't mutually exclusive, by the way. The optimistic former is just a hopeful waystation on the road to the unavoidable latter.
Monday, November 07, 2011
So I got around to watching the first season of HBO's Game of Thrones. You know, I am getting a little tired of using fantastical, fictional worlds (e.g. Westeros, "the 60s") to stage ersatz commentaries on the subjugation of women that are, beneath their veneer of paternal concern, mere opportunities to show us more tits. Otherwise, fine acting, although my hopelessly literal mind kept wondering about the agricultural viability of the world's northern climes.
Now I have the pleasure and displeasure of knowing some people in what is often self-referred to in a hilarious overestimation of scale and import "the art world," and I can tell you that there is no realm of human endeavor more committed to inanity. I do not say irrelevance, because I don't believe art should be relevant; a painting isn't an op-ed; a sculpture is not a power-point presentation. But when your work can be confused with trash, not metaphorically, as in a moral judgement, but actually, as in scrubbed off and thrown away, then perhaps you will consider that your subversion of traditional aesthetics or whathaveyou has gone slightly awry. I mean, you might consider abstract expressionism monstrous, but you would not confuse a Rothko with a spaghetti-sauce stain; you might think that Matthew Barney is hysterically grandiose and immensely tedious, but you wouldn't confuse The Cremaster Cycle with the faded snapshots you never bothered to un-magnet from the fridge. Does your art "offer a steadfast commentary"--um, well, then it isn't art, but commentary, and boring commentary at that. You see one of the problems of the visual arts is that it has sought to become simultaneously performative and philosophical and fall short as both performance and philosophy. A Chorus Line is more interesting than commentary or performance than a freezer-full of film and video art; any half-assed blog is more philosophically interesting than a pile of junk that's supposed to lecture to you about the mundanity of daily existence. Transformers 3 is better than the whole of your latest biennale; more skillfully crafted; more artfully accomplished; more rigorously drawn and truly done.
One of the funniest--and a very prevalent--notion is that only revolutionaries may hold radical beliefs, a prejudice akin to the idea that only the only true believers are missionaries, or perhaps missionaries and renunciates. These sorts of ideas are really just the remnants of an insufficiently expurgated Western religious mind, the remnants of an inadequately examined monotheism. Well I for one am no revolutionary, in part because despite my affect of bombast I am in fact modest, unlike those who, under the affect of modesty, would dictate to others the nature and direction of the right path. In large part, it's because I'm a determinist; I believe that social orders and movements, the arrangements of societies and the dispositions of civilizations, the rise and fall of economic systems, governments, and regimes are all determined by historical forces that take place on a scale infinitely larger in scope and duration than any human mind or personality can understand or endure. If not Caesar, then Caesar, in other words. We don't make history, but are made by it.