Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Go Naomi

“Our task is to find … the common thread that connects our movements. That means, first and foremost, dropping this nonsense of pitting class against so-called identity politics and economic justice”  --Naomi Klein

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

On Derek Parfit

This is a very nice piece about the lately departed anti-utilitarian utilitarian.

Monday, January 16, 2017

And On the Subject of Humankind

It turns out (thank Ingrid!) that Tristan Garcia, French OO philosopher and novelist and etc., is putting a book together about solidarity between humans and nonhumans too, addressing Marxism! So this topic is in the air. I really hope one day we can talk about it in public together.

Such a good job, because the books that are currently out there are disturbingly teleological, anthropocentric and even transhumanist (which might be the most insulting adjective I use in the academy lol).

Lecture in Dresden Next Week

On January 28th in the morning, at a theater and performance conference! I'll be detailing a theory of action I've been working out for my book for Verso, Humankind.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Evaporation

The fantasy support of an entire geopolitical and geophysical entity, in a deep sense going back to Puritan ideas of Adamic languages and Providence, has completely evaporated. 

The well, shucks, I guess I found myself sitting atop a gigantic lake of oil idea.

The dignified marble Sam the American Eagle and the lumpen gold plated all you can eat fantasy are revealed (as I argued in my book on spice) to be not just related but the same thing, just as Bill Bailey deconstructs The Edge's majestic wilderness guitar into “She'll be Coming Round the Mountain.” And revealed to the users of the different modes and versions of such concepts themselves. 

The lumpen fantasy has evaporated, the official version has evaporated. Not even the lumpen enjoyment means anything at all. 

By the time you realize you're in a game, you have already lost

The fantasy tablecloth has been whisked out. Sure all the “resources,” the waves of golden corn etc, are still in place--but the reason for them has gone. 

The ecology without nature part of me (like, all of it) is--come on in the water's lovely--really glad this is happening. Despite the local horrors and tragedies and the specifics of the particular actors who got magnetized to read lines that didn't have to be perfectly scripted. And despite whatever intentions the scriptwriters had, conscious or not.  

America has been turned on a shoestring into a gigantic piece of conceptual art. It can no longer think, in any mode at all, in any part of itself, that it coincides with reality. 

Discuss. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to figure out what and whom I'm talking about, which is evidence of the brilliance of the big picture as written by some historian 200 years from now. Some historian of the decadent twilight of post-Cold War USA stuff. (It was amazing arriving in the US in the 90s--more on that soon maybe).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Masculinity

In the days to come, there were more declarations of acid satisfaction among the Russian élite. Dmitri Kiselyov, the host of “News of the Week,” a popular current-affairs show on state-controlled television, gloated over Trump’s victory and Barack Obama’s inability to prevent it. Obama, he said, was a “eunuch.” Trump was an “alpha male”—and one who showed mercy to his vanquished rival. “Trump could have put the blonde in prison, as he’d threatened in the televised debates,” Kiselyov said on his show. “On the other hand, it’s nothing new. Trump has left blond women satisfied all his life.” Kiselyov further praised Trump because the concepts of democracy and human rights “are not in his lexicon.” In India, Turkey, Europe, and now the United States, he declared, “the liberal idea is in ruins.”--The New Yorker

Thursday, January 5, 2017

"Knowing" Your Right vs Being Helpful

“A recent Urban Institute study estimated that 956,000 people in Pennsylvania and one million each in Georgia and North Carolina could lose coverage under a repeal done through a reconciliation bill. Most of them are among the very population Mr. Trump said he was running to give a voice to — nationally, 56 percent of those who would lose coverage are white, and 80 percent of adults who would lose insurance have less than a college degree.”---New York Times

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I Like This Line from This Essay I'm Proof-Reading

“In commodity fetishism, spoons and chickens don’t have agency: they become the hardware platform for capitalist software.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Is There Anybody Out There

“The overall lack of coverage about the specifics of Trump’s replacement plan represents a fundamental problem in media’s treatment of health care policy and must quickly change now that Trump is the president-elect. A recent study from the Urban Institute showed that 24 million people will lose health care coverage by 2021 if Congress repeals the ACA. Trump’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, Tom Price, is a known foe of the law’s birth control mandate, a regulation that has dramatically reduced out-of-pocket health care costs for women and massively expanded contraceptive coverage. Repeal could also roll back the gains made in reducing the budget deficit, extending the life of Medicare, and lowering health care costs that resulted from the implementation of the ACA.

“While no concrete plan for a replacement currently exists -- due to Republican infighting -- repealing Obamacare remains a top priority for the incoming Trump administration. Journalists must start asking questions about what a replacement plan will look like, how it will affect millions of Americans who gained coverage under the ACA, and what its true goals are. Every interview or panel segment about health care must begin with the question, “What is Trump’s replacement plan?” and include aggressive follow-ups about how it would function in order to hold the Trump administration accountable and educate the American public on the future of health care in the United States.”---Media Matters for America

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Julie Tremblay Talks about Realist Magic

Wow, look at those artworks too.

So Many Essays Are Now on academia.edu

...I've uploaded a bunch, so if you want to download things or whatever, please go ahead. Several of them are from very hard to get art books as well as the usual journals and stuff.

Wow This So just Made My Day

“What incredible riches you have been putting on the web over the last few days- thank you! All stimulating and intriguing papers, which I will send on to my 90 year old father who greatly enjoys your work; I'm sure it keeps him young and his mind nimble (he much enjoyed and appreciated Realist Magic).”

Friday, December 30, 2016

Delegitimation

The content of the Russian-hacked emails was actually remarkably unexplosive. Probably the biggest news was that Hillary Clinton had expressed herself in favor of a hemispheric common market in speeches to Wall Street executives. Otherwise, we learned from them that some people at the Democratic National Committee favored a lifelong Democrat for their party’s nomination over a socialist interloper who had joined the party for his own convenience. We learned that many Democrats, including Chelsea Clinton, disapproved of the ethical shortcomings of some of the people in Bill Clinton’s inner circle. We learned that Hillary Clinton acknowledged differences between her “public and private” positions on some issues. None of this even remotely corroborated Donald Trump’s wild characterizations of the Russian-hacked, Wikileaks-published material.

“These Wikileaks emails confirm what those of us here today have known all along: Hillary Clinton is the vessel for a corrupt global establishment that is raiding our country and surrendering our sovereignty. This criminal government cartel doesn’t recognize borders, but believes in global governance, unlimited immigration, and rule by corporations.” [Trump]

Or:

“The more emails WikiLeaks releases, the more lines between the Clinton Foundation, the secretary of state's office and the Clintons' personal finances—they all get blurred … I mean, at what point—at what point do we say it? Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person ever to seek the office of the presidency.” [Trump]

Without Trump’s own willingness to make false claims and misuse Russian-provided information, the Wikileaks material would have deflated of its own boringness. The Russian-hacked material did damage because, and only because, Russia found a willing accomplice in the person of Donald J. Trump.
Many questions remain about how the Russian spy services did what they did. That includes Putin’s motives for ordering the operation. But on issues from Crimea to Syria to NATO to the breakup of the European Union, Trump’s publicly expressed views align with Putin’s wishes.

Over Trump’s motives for collaborating so full-throatedly with Russian espionage, there hangs a greater and more disturbing mystery—a mystery that Trump seems in no hurry to dispel. And maybe he is wise to leave the mystery in place: as delegitimizing as it is, it’s very possible the truth would be even worse.---David Frum