In case there was any doubt that Stephen Harper is an actual vampire (and yes, I’m aware that it’s supposed to be JFK).
Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.
doubt if Pope Francis intended this, but with the decree on indulgences by “visiting” the events in Rio, he has implicitly agreed with Nathan Jurgenson, a media theorist who has repudiated what he calls “digital dualism”, instead proposing that “the virtual world is not some kind of ontologically distinct realm”.
Fuck right off, OK.
Language is a plastic thing. One cannot be too precious about new and different uses of words once held in one context. Indeed the plasticity of language is one of the key engines of the innovation and diversity of internet culture. However, recent discussion of the word troll and its…
No, no. Mayer must be destroyed, of course. Of that there’s no doubt. But still, still what matters is not the outflowing of the frozen yogurt of masculinity, or the pre-Franconian – James, that is - sensitivity, or the Jennifer Aniston of men who fucked the Jennifer Aniston of women, or the soulful tank top and infamous butcher, or the ruffian’s placebo, or even the nihil of cuddlefucking.
1. The Mission Burger at Mission Bowling Club, San Francisco
2. In-N-Out cheeseburger, monkey style, Las Vegas (and probably SF too, who am I kidding)
3. The classic cheeseburger at Holstein’s, Las Vegas
4. The Super Duper Burger, San Francisco
5. The Little Big Burger, Portland
I am also going to Toronto, but their burger game looks subpar (like Vancouver’s)
I’m a shameless veggie, but I hear good things about Burger Priest in TO. Also, when are you going to be in town!?
David Sessions criticizes Americans for not taking seriously the ideas of luminary European thinkers like Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou:
If you’re an American man of letters of the sort that currently gets called upon by places like The New Republic and The New York Review of Books to diagnose European philosophers, you have a fairly easy job laid out for you. Step one: Read the book, preferably with no prior familiarity with the philosopher’s work, influences, or academic milieu. Step two: search the text, as well as any biographical resources you can find, for any indication that the philosopher has/had radical political commitments or might have ever made comments about Hitler or communist regimes that are difficult to understand at first glance. If so, you’ve already got the main theme for your review. Step three: do your best to come up with a few paragraphs of summary of the philosopher’s biography and general outlook before transitioning into your main disquisition about whether or not they have apologized for ever having radical ideas and, if not, cluck disappointedly about their lack of intellectual responsibility. If you’re feeling a little bold, insinuate that they are anti-Semitic. For good measure, throw in a few concluding bromides about the temptations and risks of being an intellectual.
This is obviously a caricature. But if we have a problem in American ideas, it’s something like this: intellectuals of a very narrow, almost comically American political perspective lecturing Europeans about their intellectual vices to the point that it’s virtually impossible to find any good-faith debate about European thought anywhere most smart, nonspecialist readers would ever look.
Obviously, I fall into the same camp as these “Good American Liberals” … though I’m not nearly famous enough that my musings on the “intemperate” nature of Žižek show up anywhere in the piece quote above.
Anyhow, as one of those “Good American Liberals,” I have to say that I positively adore Step 2, which is basically the charge that people like me go digging for any instance in which one of the daring minds of the European continent made a positive reference to Hitler and then use such references as ammunition in our war against exciting ideas.
Because, obviously, someone who expresses positive sentiments about Hitler or Lenin or the gulag or whatever probably has a bunch of other good ideas that aren’t invalidated by what can only be ironic jokes about genocide or other mass murder. That’s bold and broad-minded thinking, worthy of deep consideration. Anyone who looks down his nose at such exciting theorizing is a charlatan who probably either didn’t bother to read or can’t possible understand the brilliance of this strain of European philosophy.
HT: Daniel Solomon.
Climate change doesn’t exist because Al Gore drives an SUV.
Bakunin’s opposition to Marx was based in (projective) antisemitic conspiracy theories.
This whole Jewish world, comprising a single exploiting sect, a kind of blood sucking people, a kind of organic destructive collective parasite, going beyond not only the frontiers of states, but of political opinion, this world is now, at least for the most part, at the disposal of Marx on the one hand, and of Rothschild on the other… This may seem strange. What can there be in common between socialism and a leading bank? The point is that authoritarian socialism, Marxist communism, demands a strong centralisation of the state. And where there is centralisation of the state, there must necessarily be a central bank, and where such a bank exists, the parasitic Jewish nation, speculating with the Labour of the people, will be found.
Keep this in mind next time you hear an anarchist talking up Bakunin.
And when I said that Bakunin’s conspiracy theory was projective it is because he wanted an international network of secret societies of goyim anarchists to control the creation and existence of anarchist societies.
I don’t really care about Bakunin and I don’t care to defend him, but I find it kind of absurd to claim that this was his single point of difference with Marx, especially considering Marx said his own fair share of weird shit about Jews. He was a Jew by birth but he was raised a Protestant Christian, and he wasn’t immune from the utterly ubiquitous Jewish conspiracy thinking of his time. It seems just about all socialists in the 19th century had ideas about Jews that following WW2 seem especially appalling. Socialism at the time was a universalist, progressivist narrative that secularized Protestant salvation and brought in down into this world, this life. It’s chock full of baggage it picked up from there. I am not trying to be an apologist for Bakunin’s fucked up racist conspiracy thinking, but can we assess these things in context? Can we try not to make one quote the final representative point upon which to condemn long dead theorists? Heidegger was literally a Nazi and we still take seriously the brilliant work he did, because it stands on its own merits. Digging something like this up doesn’t once and for all condemn a historical figure to the waste bin. It is possible to think Bakunin’s critique of the dictatorship of the proletariat was on the mark without wholesale embracing his brutal missteps.
Totally with Jen on this one. I’m not actually familiar with Bakunin, but the above passage is pure Tumblr critique (in the pejorative sense), ie. “someone said something problematic and therefore everything they ever said is invalid.” It’s akin to saying climate change doesn’t exist because Al Gore drives an SUV.