Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Egypt

Christmas Leftovers Links

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* Listen, when Chris Ware tells you to buy a book, you buy it.

For a small group of comedy writers, however, their yearly viewing couldn’t be further from Bedford Falls. Instead, they gather ’round a never-aired 1996 Comedy Central special: Escape From It’s A Wonderful Life.

Caganer — the strangest, most scatological part of Catalan nativity scenes — explained.

* Jacobin remembers the Christmas truce, one hundred years old yesterday.

* Let 2015 be Year One of the post-carbon future. 4 Legal Battles This Year That Were All About Climate Change. Sewage in the streets of Miami. Could flooding finally wake Americans up to the climate crisis? Irreversible But Not Unstoppable: The Ghost Of Climate Change Yet To Come.

* The crazy history of Star Wars.

The Class Struggle in the North Pole.

* The Justice Department may investigate Milwaukee PD following the no-indict of the shooter of Dontre Hamilton.

* Elsewhere on the local beat: A Milwaukee doctor says he has the answer to concussions.

* And, sadly: Milwaukee’s poet laureate passes away.

Among recent graduates ages 22 to 27, the jobless rate for blacks last year was 12.4 percent versus 4.9 percent for whites, said John Schmitt, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

* I missed this one in August: Tobias Wolff on the heart of whiteness.

* Subway sandwiches and the halo effect.

* 90-Year-Old Vet Arrested For Feeding Homeless Will Hand Out Christmas Eve Dinner.

* I can’t believe they made a movie out of Bill, The Galactic Hero. I can’t wait to see it.

“I, Cthulhu, or, What’s A Tentacle-Faced Thing Like Me Doing In A Sunken City Like This (Latitude 47° 9’ S, Longitude 126° 43’ W)?”

* A look inside 8chan, the worst place on the Internet: “The Mods Are Always Asleep.”

* There’s magical thinking, and then there’s “Believing in Santa Claus could help your kids develop a cure for cancer.”

* Behold, the baby in the sun from Teletubbies.

* This was a nice, short, readable explanation of how all the statistical analysis in The Bell Curve was bullshit.

10 Story Decisions Scifi And Fantasy Writers Ended Up Regretting. Tough list to get down to just ten!

In the 1950s, Egypt and Britain played an old version of tit-for-tat. Egypt took the Suez Canal. The British decided to pay them back by stealing the river Nile itself. Yes, the whole Nile.

* A very J.R.R. Tolkien Christmas.

Parents Are Moving To The Same Towns Where Their Kids Go To College. When my kids go to college, I’m enrolling in their freshman classes. I don’t want to miss a moment.

Falsely Shouting Fire in a Theater: How a Forgotten Labor Struggle Became a National Obsession and Emblem of Our Constitutional Faith.

New York City Sends $30 Million a Year to School With History of Giving Kids Electric Shocks.

Pope Francis: ‘One in 50’ Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile.

Pious Anxiety: Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal.

* On Facebook and Algorithmic Cruelty.

The Marvel Movie Universe, In Completely Chronological Order.

The melancholy of all things done” is the way Buzz once described his complete mental breakdown after returning from the moon. Booze. A couple of divorces. A psych ward. Broke. At one point he was selling cars. Buzz Aldrin and the dark side of the Moon.

* Of course you had me at “There’s a serious proposal to send astronauts to a floating cloud city in Venus’s atmosphere before heading to Mars.”

* A public service announcement: Black Mirror: White Christmas was fantastic. Find a way to watch it!

* And if you squint just right it looks like the world isn’t ending. Happy Holidays indeed!

Fourth of July America Links USA USA – 2

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* Once you have been accepted into the elite, it is considered perfectly normal for various elite institutions to just give you vast sums of money for doing almost nothing, for the rest of your life. And the idea that outsiders might find these arrangements shocking, corrupt or simply sleazy is totally baffling to the people in charge of elite institutions. They don’t get it, at all.

* America’s Left: Find it on Twitter. Warning: He names names.

* Mr. Pickering was targeted by a longtime surveillance system called mail covers, but that is only a forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images. The innocent have nothing to fear he swore an oath to keep us safe is this even really news &c.

Killer Robot Won’t Stop Killing Itself.

“When we first turned it on, it just quietly looked around the room for several minutes, and then shot itself,” said Samsung engineer Do-hyun Gyeong. “At first, we thought there was just a problem with the battery. But when we fixed it up and took it out for its first flight, it just threw itself in front of a truck.”

* Good guy with a gun shoots and kills two innocent bystanders after suspect was already apprehended.

Mavericky: McCain Slams Efforts To Curb Rampant Campus Sexual Harassment As Violating Free Speech.

* When the NSA came recruiting at UW Madison.

* On the merits, Snowden’s claim for asylum would not count for much in any country.

* It’s official: Military coup in Egypt.

* Obamacare’s going to be a complete debacle, isn’t it. Sigh.

* The goal of The Lone Ranger is to show you who is to blame for the crappiness of so many superhero origin movies — you — and to punish you for allowing movies like The Lone Ranger to exist.

* The Candy Crush Menace. Don’t let it happen to you!

* And Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal discovers there’s just a man behind the curtain.

20130703

Pretty Good

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 30, 2012 at 10:14 am

The Philosophy Beat

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Speaking of definitive takedowns, Alex Galloway may have just posted one for speculative realism/OOO at An und für sich.

I cite this as a textbook example of the liberal bourgeois position that people from the likes of Zizek to Carl Schmitt have called “depoliticization and neutralization.” It shows Harman’s anti-political position quite clearly. Today we might even call this an anti-badiousian position (although Harman of course has no interest in being badiousian in the first place!). The reason is because he has no opposition to the state of the situation. By his own admission, he only expresses revulsion *after* the confrontation with the state has taken place, after he witnesses the excesses to which the state will go to hold on to power. That’s a classic case of liberal neutralization (“don’t rock the boat,” “we just need to go along to get along,” “this is the best of all possible worlds,” “ontology shouldn’t be political,” etc.). This is thus not a political desire of any kind, merely an affective emotional response at the sight of blood. But such palpitations of the “sensitive” bourgeois heart, no matter how reformed, do not a politics make.

By contrast, Badiou’s position is so useful today because he says that it’s all about the *first* antagonism, not the last. To be political means that you have to *start* from the position of incompatibility with the state. In other words the political is always asymmetrical to the state of the situation. The political is always “trenchant” in this sense, always a “cutting” or polarization. Hence the appeal of Badiou’s “theory of points” which forces all of the equal-footed-objects in OOO into a trenchant decision of the two: yes or no, stop or go, fight or retreat. Hardt and Negri say something similar when they show how “resistance is primary vis-a-vis power.” For his part Harman essentially argues the reverse in this interview: ontology is primary (OOO “is not the handmaid of anything else”), power is secondary (Mubarak), resistance is a tertiary afterthought (the Arab Spring). Yes we should applaud the Spring when it arrives, Harman admits, but it’s still just an afterthought that arrived from who knows where.

If you’re still skeptical just use the old categorial imperative: if everyone in Cairo were clones of Harman, the revolution would never have happened. That’s political neutralization in a nutshell. In other words there is no event for Harman. And here I agree with Mehdi Belhaj Kacem’s recent characterization of Tristan Garcia’s ontology, modeled closely after Harman’s, as essentially a treatise on “Being Without Event.”

Violence and Nonviolence

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“Non-violence” takes a distinction created by the state (between violence and non-violence) and then applies this moralistically to the tactics of the movement, such that any stepping outside of these boundaries becomes, not a disagreement about tactics, but an occasion for condemnation (this reminds me of re-reading King’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” recently, and being struck by the way in which King puts forward a clearly moral position without seeming to me to be moralistic; I’m interested in tring to figure out exactly where the distinction lies). The situation where “non-violent” activists cooperate with the state in condemning their supposed comrades is not accidental, but flows directly from their philosophy; it is to the credit of those non-violent activists who refuse to do this that they put solidarity ahead of their philosophy.

Some interesting thoughts on violence and nonviolence in activism at An und für sich. I especially appreciated this citation of David Graeber:

“I remember my surprise and amusement, the first time I met activists from the April 6 Youth Movement from Egypt, when the issue of non-violence came up. “Of course we were non-violent,” said one of the original organizers, a young man of liberal politics who actually worked at a bank. “No one ever used firearms, or anything like that. We never did anything more militant than throwing rocks!”

Written by gerrycanavan

March 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

The Brave Five

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 29, 2011 at 10:21 am

Letter from Zuccotti Park

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 30, 2011 at 11:53 am