Sunday, July 30, 2006

melancholia's tremulous dreadlocks issue 1

Check out Andrew Lundwal's melancholia's tremulous dreadlocks issue 1

poets featured:

mIEKAL aND!, John M. Bennett!, Marcia Arrieta!, Petra Backonja!, Anny Ballardini! , Bob Marcacci!, Robert Chrysler!, kari edwards!, Alex Gildzen!, Johannes Goransson! , Richard Denner!, Jeff Harrison!, Chris Toll!, Eileen Tabios!, Lina Ramona Vitkauskas!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Death of News by MARK CRISPIN MILLER

Ten years ago, when we first focused national attention on the dangers of the US media cartel, the situation was already grim, although in retrospect it may seem better than it really was. In the spring of 1996 Fox News was only a conspiracy (which broke a few months later). CNN belonged to Turner Broadcasting, which hadn't yet been gobbled by Time Warner (although it would be just a few months later); Viacom had not yet bought CBS News (although it would in 1999, before they later parted ways); and, as the Telecommunications Act had been passed only months earlier, local radio had not yet largely disappeared from the United States (although it was obviously vanishing). One could still somewhat plausibly assert, as many did, that warnings of a major civic crisis were unfounded, overblown or premature, as there was little evidence of widespread corporate censorship, and so we were a long way from the sort of journalistic meltdown that The Nation had predicted.

Thus was the growing threat of media concentration treated much like global warming, which, back then, was also slighted as a "controversial" issue ("the experts" being allegedly at odds about it), and one whose consequences, at their worst, were surely centuries away--a catastrophic blunder, as the past decade has made entirely clear to every sane American. Now, as the oceans rise and simmer and the polar bears go under, only theocratic nuts keep quibbling with the inconvenient truth of global warming. And now, likewise, few journalists are quite so willing to defend the Fourth Estate, which under Bush & Co. has fallen to new depths. Although its history is far from glorious, the US press has never been as bad as it is now; and so we rarely hear, from any serious reporters, those blithe claims that all is well (or no worse than it ever was). more...

THE PAST - Libero Altomare

Sleepy old carillon

evoking once again among faded tapestries

and the fetor of withered chrysanthemums

naive epics of distant epochs.

Tearful bigot mumbling your rosary

of regrets,

candle eternally guttering

at the bier of lost days,

grotesque, streaked motion-picture film

fluttering on the screen of memory.

Poor, shattered mirror, whose glint

of splintered reminiscences

we catch from time to time,

like a lure we grasp at with ape-like gestures,

the arabesque of some dream that had furrowed our brow.

The Ungreening of the World - Joan Maloof

Everyone I meet claims to love trees -- I mean really love trees -- yet collectively the human race behaves as if it abhors green things. If you take a step back from whatever biome you are in at the moment and look at the entire Earth and its forests through recorded history, you will see that the relationship between humans and trees looks Strangely Like War (the title of a recent book on forests by Derrick Jensen and George Draffan).

The exact extent of the damage is difficult to discern, because for many years records were not kept, but the estimates are that 75% of the world’s original forests have been logged or burned by humans. Some of them have grown back of course, or have been replanted, but it is thought that we now have only half of the amount of forest land we once had on this planet. more....

Friday, July 28, 2006

Americans 'too fat for x-rays'

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Truls Lie - Surveillance: A sign of the times

Norwegian Le Monde diplomatique editor Truls Lie looks at the new EU directive on telephone and Internet surveillance through the lens of Michel Foucault's theory of the Panopticon. Humanity is getting a new self-image, writes Lie, formed by the information, control, and network societies.

Norway is obliged to adhere to the EU's new surveillance rules. The surveillance of all the websites you visit, the identities of all the people you telephone, text message, or email. Or conversely, the identity of everyone who calls you or sends you an email or a text message. Should I happen to receive a text message from a "suspicious" person, even if it were from a random reader of Le Monde diplomatique – my name would automatically end up on the list. Will the lists that Norway must make available to the FBI include telephone numbers, geographic details of where and when you used your mobile phone, or digital recordings of mobile phone conversations? more

When the pen is threatened by the sword - Trevor Royle on Turkey's persecution of its writers

Writers make handy scapegoats when despotic regimes decide to defend the indefensible and in so doing make themselves look utterly ridiculous. Being independent and working largely in isolation, authors are soft targets and despite the excellent work undertaken by organisations such as International Pen and Sara Whyatt's Writers in Prison Committee, far too many of their kind are being banged up all over the world for the crime of daring to speak their mind.

The latest victim is the Turkish writer Perihan Magden who will appear this week before a court in Sultanhamet, Istanbul on charges that she turned people against military service. For the crime of insisting that conscientious objection to military service is a human right all Turkish men are subjected to 15 months compulsory service in the armed forces she faces three years imprisonment in conditions which will be pretty grim. As the movie Midnight Express showed all too vividly, Turkish jails are not for the squeamish.

Best known for her novels 2 Girls and The Messenger Boy Murders, Magden is no stranger to controversy and has been praised by the leading Turkish author Orhan Pamuk for her combative independence and steely conscience. Pamuk knows what he is talking about earlier this year he, too, faced prosecution, in his case for allegedly insulting Turkishness. He only escaped on a technicality


Even before the bombs fell on Baghdad, a group of senior Pentagon officials were plotting to invade another country. Their covert campaign once again relied on false intelligence and shady allies. But this time, the target was Iran.
How did the Bush administration sell the Iraq war? Check out our award-winning story on the PR machine for regime change in Iraq -- and join a reader debate: Is war with Iran unavoidable?

I. The Israeli Connection
A few blocks off Pennsylvania Avenue, the FBI's eight-story Washington field office exudes all the charm of a maximum-security prison. Its curved roof is made of thick stainless steel, the bottom three floors are wrapped in granite and limestone, hydraulic bollards protect the ramp to the four-floor garage, and bulletproof security booths guard the entrance to the narrow lobby. On the fourth floor, like a tomb within a tomb, lies the most secret room in the $100 million concrete fortress—out-of-bounds even for special agents without an escort. Here, in the Language Services Section, hundreds of linguists in padded earphones sit elbow-to-elbow in long rows, tapping computer keyboards as they eavesdrop on the phone lines of foreign embassies and other high-priority targets in the nation's capital. more...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Check out the new listenlight

Jesse Crockett ( here ) has started a new on-line zine, Please check it out listenlight.

I have some new work along with some of the best

christine hamm
erica kaufman
marcus civin
guillermo parra

thank you

Notes on power


A third way is to get people to feel that the work is part of their very own identity, that they are contributing to something they believe in or some group that they belong to. but how?

1. One way is indoctrination into an organization and full commitment to that organization. Some people have thought of Microsoft and Walmart as two organizations that make good use of indoctrination tactics. (Drinking the koolaid was an expression, early on, used in the Tech community to refer to either Apple of Microsoft.)

2. Language of very nearly religious indoctrination seems odd outside religion proper, but is it really?

a. No, b/c the higher status professions use very highly ritualized organizations in order to indoctrinate their practitioners into being the best lawyers, doctors, professors, accountants, dentists, etc. possible through identification and solidarity with others in their profession.

b. Lengthy rites of passage known as professional school/grad school –lots of ritual activities like conferences, meetings, journal readings, article writing, attendance at lectures, debating. –as such, these professions have very little external control over their behaviormore....

Found at pulpculture
in battery powered reassessing low light, recasting everything

the setting, repeat on repeat, living a bitter memorial hired third person impulse, gold plated magic only image can blame, grooming another succubus in someone's' pocket

put on random, in the dark with out complaints, past embalmed emotions, past curious black scorpion cross overs, a hijara jiva holiday by the sea, an invitation for family initiation, only sisters can, part fetish, part love

stop, play, repeat reassess

bigger brighter bone crust of our departure, grieving molten flesh, an island creating land, cloned multiples for free swing opportunity connecting database necessity

put on repeat, barbwire synchronized speaking on preheat for another even no place forever reversed, played backward, here persistent speaking impulses ready for the masters return, with only fragments of power held by an invisible mirror

abandon on both sides, always seeking, always on repeat, to restrain the legible surface in short impressive sound bites

Monday, July 24, 2006

Road Movie Soundtrack, With Insertions by Taylor Brady,

Call it out of line. 

Back that unit down 

and out of range. Pure domain

opens up pure domination.

"Am I trying to hurt you, captain?" 

The stick held in the belly, point

blank urge self-managing. That, 

plus hours of all the saddest songs.

       Fire. Hungry women. 

       Lovely children. More 

       than any other town

                                     more elbows turning in

                                     the air around her tuning 

                                     in tangible static all 

                                     about him inspires you

                                     the audience with wild 

                                     traffic what's that sound

                                     that's or what's escape as 

                                     it whirls away or as it

                                     surges back into your view more

found at bigbridge

also check out.. here

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Nepal: the Maoist transformation's fuzzy logic - Kanak Mani Dixit

Two astounding months have crushed a king and brought Maoists close to the centre of power. Nepal's political world has turned upside down. But the people are still ahead of those seeking to govern them, says Kanak Mani Dixit.

A delicate experiment is underway in Nepal in the wake of the success of the "people's movement" and the collapse of the Gyanendra autocracy in late April 2006. An attempt is being made to draw a violent insurgency into open politics. Far-reaching changes have been initiated over the past two months to put the country on the track of full democracy and peace, and the process of integrating the Maoists into the political mainstream has begun with their emergence on the stage of open politics. To what extent will they change the terrain of Nepal's polity, and how much will they themselves will be transformed in the engagement with open society? more...

Anarchist poem by John Cage

"We don't need government

We need utilities.

Air, water, energy 

Travel and communication means 

Food and shelter.

We have no need for imaginary mountain ranges 

Between separate nations.

We can make tunnels through the real ones.

Nor do we have any need for the continuing division of people 

Into those who have what they need 

And those who don't.

Both Fuller and Marshal McLuhan 

Knew, furthermore 

That work is now obsolete. 

We have invented machines to do it for us.

Now that we have no need to do anything 

What shall we do?

Looking at Fuller's geodesic world map 

We see that the Earth is a single island, Oahu. 

We must give all the people all they need to live 

In any way they wish.

Our present laws protect the rich from the poor.

If there are to be laws, we need ones that 

Begin with the acceptance of poverty as a way of life.

We must make the world safe for poverty Without dependence on government."

Found at The Anarchist Library

Nomadic Observation by Tim Leonard

It was nothing but the blues.

Emergency legislation was passed without rancor. Debate was minimized in their official calibrations. Polls suggested approval. It was a plutocracy. The people with the most money had the biggest free speech. This truth did not go down well when it hit the air. The media liked it like that. Tax dollars were allocated for causes. Full employment became the norm. Factories hired Norm. He built washing machines. Just for fun he put a secret message inside each machine reading “Normal is a cycle on a washing machine. more..

Top 10 Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State

Friday, July 21, 2006

Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity - Alan D. Sokal

Quantum Mechanics: Uncertainty, Complementarity, Discontinuity and Interconnectedness

We can no longer speak of the behaviour of the particle independently of the process of observation. As a final consequence, the natural laws formulated mathematically in quantum theory no longer deal with the elementary particles themselves but with our knowledge of them. Nor is it any longer possible to ask whether or not these particles exist in space and time objectively ...

When we speak of the picture of nature in the exact science of our age, we do not mean a picture of nature so much as a picture of our relationships with nature. ... Science no longer confronts nature as an objective observer, but sees itself as an actor in this interplay between man [sic] and nature. The scientific method of analysing, explaining and classifying has become conscious of its limitations, which arise out of the fact that by its intervention science alters and refashions the object of investigation. In other words, method and object can no longer be separated.more..

Norway Begins Construction of Arctic `Noah's Ark' of Crop Seeds

Norway today began construction of an Arctic seed bank that is intended to act as a ``Noah's Ark'' of global crop samples, including potatoes, wheat and apples, protecting them from extinction.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg marked the occasion by filling a special cornerstone with seeds, according to a statement posted on his office's Web site.

``This seed bank is of global importance -- it will be the only one of its kind,'' Stoltenberg said in a speech delivered in front of the mountain where the vault will be built. ``The main aim is to protect the seeds of plants that are important for food and agricultural purposes.''

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I could not access any blogs for many days now... come to fine out, since the mumbai bombing all blog access has been blocked by Indian Gov.

On "We Real Cool"

They have no pretensions to any glamor. They are supposedly dropouts, or at least they're in the poolroom when they should possibly be in school, since they're probably young enough, or at least those I saw were when I looked in a poolroom, and they. . . . First of all, let me tell you how that's supposed to be said, because there's a reason why I set it out as I did. These are people who are essentially saying, "Kilroy is here. We are." But they're a little uncertain of the strength of their identity. [Reads:]

We real cool. We 

Left school. We 

Lurk late. We 

Strike straight. We 

Sing sin. We 

Thin gin. We 

Jazz June. We 

Die soon.

The "We"—you're supposed to stop after the "We" and think about their validity, and of course there's no way for you to tell whether it should be said softly or not, I suppose, but I say it rather softly because I want to represent their basic uncertainty, which they don't bother to question every day, of course.

An Interview with Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)

Sunday, July 16, 2006


A Talk with Lawrence Krauss

We've got this weird antigravity in the universe, which is making the expansion of the universe accelerate. Now: if you plug in the equations of general relativity, the only thing that can 'anti-gravitate' is the energy of nothing. Now: this has been a problem in physics since I've been a graduate student. It was such a severe problem we never talked about it. When you apply quantum mechanics and special relativity, empty space inevitably has energy. The problem is, way too much energy. It has 120 orders of magnitude more energy than is contained in everything we see! more...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The truth about language by Joe Palmer

Our greatest strength and our common fault is that we naturally share our stories with others. We make the assumption that they think the same as we do. We take it for granted that they see what we see, feel what we feel, and know what we know. We are wrong, but if we did not stick our noses into other people's realities we would have neither sympathy nor revulsion for them. We would not know what others do not know, so we would have no stories to tell and there would be no fun, no jokes, and no myths. Without stories we would have nothing to talk about, we would have no friends, no plays, no movies, no commercial television, and no religion.
We carry life through our mothers, then we become like others. As we learn how we are not like others we become ourselves. We are mostly the same as everybody else, except for the precious differences where the stories are. Each story we tell makes us unique. more...


Art begins with abstract decoration, with purely imaginative and pleasurable work dealing with what is unreal and non-existent. This is the first stage. Then Life becomes fascinated with this new wonder, and asks to be admitted into the charmed circle. Art takes life as part of her rough material, recreates it, and refashions it in fresh forms, is absolutely indifferent to fact, invents, imagines, dreams, and keeps between herself and reality the impenetrable barrier of beautiful style, of decorative or ideal treatment. The third stage is when Life gets the upper hand, and drives Art out into the wilderness. That is the true decadence, and it is from this that we are now suffering.more (down the page a bit)

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Modern Drama: A Powerful Disseminator of Radical Thought - by Emma Goldman

so long as discontent and unrest make themselves but dumbly felt within a limited social class, the powers of reaction may often succeed in suppressing such manifestations. But when the dumb unrest grows into conscious expression and becomes almost universal, it necessarily affects all phases of human thought and action, and seeks its individual and social expression in the gradual transvaluation of existing values.

An adequate appreciation of the tremendous spread of the modern, conscious social unrest cannot be gained from merely propagandistic literature. Rather must we become conversant with the larger phases of human expression manifest in art, literature, and, above all, the modern drama--the strongest and most far-reaching interpreter of our deep-felt dissatisfaction. more..

found at worldwideschool

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Metempsychosis x 3 & Shed by Geraldine Monk

Metempsychosis x 3

With profound incident 

fabric absorbs 

spilt emotion

contracting pulse into 



a drop of blood 


behind a screen 


"Is there any metaphoric body there?"


The migration of soul 

holds a breath between 

tooth and 




could mouth a sound 

to form an 


it would say 

my claw 

my claw 

has been 

hurting for days - 

if I could count the days - 

I would call out for drugs.


Between the body and the text 

a gulf tript with 

razor wired ghosts - 

trick luminous forms.

Found at nthposition

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The border remains a military zone. We remain a hunted people.

"The border remains a military zone. We remain a hunted people. Now you think you have a destiny to fulfill in the land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. And we're a new Mestizo nation. And they want us to discuss civil rights. Civil rights. What law made by white men to oppress all of us of color, female and male. This is our homeland. We cannot - we will not- and we must not be made illegal in our own homeland. We are not immigrants that came from another country to another country. We are migrants, free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time. The explosion is in our population."

excerpt of speech given by Jose Angel Gutierrez, Prof. Univ. Texas at Arlington, founder La Raza Unida Party

all found at The Takeover of America

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Is it O.K. to be a Luddite? - Thomas Pynchon

The knitting machines which provoked the first Luddite disturbances had been putting people out of work for well over two centuries. Everybody saw this happening -- it became part of daily life. They also saw the machines coming more and more to be the property of men who did not work, only owned and hired. It took no German philosopher, then or later, to point out what this did, had been doing, to wages and jobs. Public feeling about the machines could never have been simple unreasoning horror, but likely something more complex: the love/hate that grows up between humans and machinery -- especially when it's been around for a while -- not to mention serious resentment toward at least two multiplications of effect that were seen as unfair and threatening. One was the concentration of capital that each machine represented, and the other was the ability of each machine to put a certain number of humans out of work -- to be "worth" that many human souls. What gave King Ludd his special Bad charisma, took him from local hero to nationwide public enemy, was that he went up against these amplified, multiplied, more than human opponents and prevailed. When times are hard, and we feel at the mercy of forces many times more powerful, don't we, in seeking some equalizer, turn, if only in imagination, in wish, to the Badass -- the djinn, the golem, the hulk, the superhero -- who will resist what otherwise would overwhelm us? Of course, the real or secular frame-bashing was still being done by everyday folks, trade unionists ahead of their time, using the night, and their own solidarity and discipline, to achieve their multiplications of effect.more...

Solitary Confinement, by Christopher Burney

I soon learned that variety is not the spice, but the very stuff of life. We need the constant ebb and flow of wavelets of sensation, thought, perception, action, and emotion, lapping on the shore of our consciousness, now here, now there, keeping even our isolation in the ocean of reality, so that we neither encroach nor are encroached upon. If our minds are thus like islands, they are of many shapes, some long and straight, others narrow and bent, impervious to the sea and belching from deep unapproachable cones the unversial warmth which lies beneath us all. We are narrow men, twisted men, smooth and nicely rounded men, and poets; but whatever we are, we have our shape, and we preserve it best in the experience of many things.

If the reach of experience is suddenly confined, and we are left with only a little food for thought and feeling, we are apt to take the few objects that offer themselves and ask a whole catalogue of often absurd questions about them. Does it work? How? What made it and of what? And, in parallel, when and where did I last see something like it and what else does it remind me of? Andif we are dissatisfied at the time, we repeat the series in the optative mood, making each imperfection in what we have to had evoke a wish or an ideal. So we set in train a wonderful flow of combinations and associations in our minds, the length and complexity of which soon obscure its humble starting point. more...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Land behind Baghdad - poems from an Iraqi girlhood by Camille Roy (*)

I get a satisfaction from doing this. Most of the time

it seems windy. Some days dust hangs in the air like

orange fog which I want to rip apart. I stuff cotton into my

mouth, so I can breathe. My bed sags like a hammock. In my

room a nylon filament hisses & gives light. I'm gloomy

until Marguerite and her husband join the expedition. French

Canadian, she mystifies me because of her small bones which

seem soft. The hems on her dresses hang like pure cotton.

Engaged in following or waiting for her husband

she walks calmly through our courtyards. She is

bilingual. I follow her, I want to reach into her mouth

for that candy. In all those months I remember only one word

a bead to break my teeth on. I know the Arabic for eggplant.

 found at  Camille Roy's Website      

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Pilot Plan for Concrete Poetry" - Augusto de Campos, Décio Pignatari, Haroldo de Campos

(published in Noigandres, #4, 1958, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

concrete poetry: product of a critical evolution of forms.
closing off the historical cycle of verse (formal-rhythmic unity), concrete poetry begins by taking into account graphic space as a structural agent. qualified space: spatio-temporal structure, in place of merely remporistico-linear development; thence the importance of the idea of the ideogram, from its specific sense (fenollosa/pound) of a method of composition based on direct juxtaposition--analogical, not logico- discursive--of elements. "It is necessary that our intellect habituate itself to thinking synthetico-ideogrammatically in place of analytico-discursively" (apollinaire). eisenstein: ideogram and montage.
precursors: mallarmé ("un coup de dés," 1897): the first qualitative leap: "prismatic subdivisions of the idea": space ("whites") and typographic resources as substantive elements of composition. pound (the cantos ): ideogrammatic method. joyce (ulysses and finnegans wake): ideogram word: organic interpenetration of time and space.

cummings: atomization of words, typographic physiognomy: expressionist valorization of space. apollinaire (calligrammes ): as vision more than as realization. futurism, dadaism: contributions to the life of the problem. in brazil: oswald de andrade (1890-1954: "in compressions, minutes of poetry"). joao cabral de melo neto (n. 1920--the engineer and the psychology of anti-ode composition): direct language, functional economy and architecture of verse.more...

Found atLight & Dust Anthology of Poetry

God's Next Army

Conservative evangelical Christians hold key positions in the US Government and now they're training the next generation to take power. Julia Bard reports

God's Next Army investigates Patrick Henry College (PHC), set up five years ago in Virginia, near Washington DC. Its mission is to train young fundamentalist Christians to become the next generation of America's cultural and political leaders. Though the separation of church and state is enshrined in the US Constitution, with financial backing from the evangelical community the college aims to 'rechristianise' America; to 'preserve the world from the sinfulness of man'.

PHC students are an isolated group who come from close-knit communities where everyone prays together and shares moral certainties. Most have been educated at home and have had no contact with either the social diversity or the political and intellectual cut and thrust of mainstream schools. Derek Archer, a prospective PHC student believes home-schooling has protected him from the 'moral decay of the world'. more...

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Frederick Douglass

A speech given at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852

Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country school houses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.more..

Dumbing Us Down: An Interview With John Taylor Gatto

The original purposes of schooling were to make good people (the religious purpose), to make good citizens (the public purpose) and to make individuals their personal best (the private purpose). Throughout the 19th century, a new Fourth Purpose began to emerge, tested thoroughly in the military state of Prussia in northern Europe. The Fourth Purpose made the point of mass schooling to serve big business and big government by extending childhood, replacing thinking with drill and memorization while fashioning incomplete people unable to protect themselves from exhortation, advertising and other forms of indirect command. In this fashion, poor Prussia with a small population became one of the great powers of the earth. Its new schooling method was imitated far and wide, from Japan to the United States. more...

Monday, July 03, 2006

it is time to denote the heart, it’s time to call for a sudden and delicious fractal indifference to the written line. no more fail safe dams protecting the audience from exploding stigmatas, tracer bullets and the shit of the dead. it’s time for wholesale suicide and redundancy of never going back.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Toss - Cyrus Cassells

I see a knife-grinder

On his dusty, stationary bicycle,

A black Star of David

Sprayed over a door,

As you urge me

Into the rationed light,

The crumbling pearl-grey

Of the ghetto.

All at once, the Roman spring,

With its galaxy of columns

And daisies,

Becomes the autumn of families

Plummeting from windows,

The desecrated autumn

Your mother tossed you,

Small bundle,

To a passerby.

Like this, you demonstrate

With a parcel.

But what can't be mimed

Is the look they shared,

The look that let you live;

Her toss that had to be

Quick, quick,

Before the cat-pounce Nazis came—

Out the shutters

Into the samaritan's intrepid arms:

Something unerring

Passing through the air

Of an iron universe—

As the knife-grinder pedals and pedals,

You whisper: I know nothing

Of what became of her.

Perhaps she soothed a boy

Born in the Lager,

Listless, mute, whose Lilliputian arm

Bore the tattoo of Auschwitz.

She would have coaxed him

To lift his intransigent eyes,

Knowing you might also be

Somewhere among the living.

And against the jackboot, the demolition,

For as long as she was able, she

Found at

Sweet Dreams. Comptemporary Art and Complicity - Jan Baetens

In short, Drucker charges modernist and postmodernist art theory (one of the most interesting aspects of this thesis is that it stresses the ideological and aesthetic continuity between both periods, at least if one focuses on their major theoreticians) with dogmatism as well as with unworldliness. Dogmatism, for both modernist and postmodernist thinkers, reject all types of art that do not obey the notion of ‘negativity' (a concept that relies heavily on medium-specific theories à la Greenberg and the Adornian critical theory tradition): art is defined in terms of antagonism, and the main victims of such a dogmatism are materiality on the one hand (Drucker brings well to the fore the conceptual ‘superego' of modernist and postmodernist theory, and maybe of theory tout court ) and visual pleasure on the other hand (all positive feelings engendered by art being considered petty-bourgeois and therefore despicable). Unworldliness, since the plea for negativity is credited automatically with a political surplus value that its very sociological conditions (art as negativity flourishes best in academic circles and the subsidized art circuits that live in symbiosis with academia) prevent it from doing what it is supposed to do, namely to foster societal change. Yet art that stays far from the madding crowd cannot have any real impact, neither on the audience nor on society in general. more...

Found at imageand Narrative

Empire, Pragmatism, and War A Conversation with Cornel West

It’s both. We’re in the moment where the American empire is devouring American democracy and we have to fight it. But it’s both. The United States has 650 military facilities in 132 countries, a ship in every major ocean, a presence on every major continent other than Antarctica, and 1,450,000 soldiers around the globe. It is the uncontested military power and the cultural mover in terms of shaping people’s utopian desires and ideals and so on. Starbucks and Wal-Mart and McDonalds, you go right across the board because the dollar is the currency other nations invest their financial resources in for security. It is an uncontested empire and yet, at the same time, domestically, there are democratic procedures and processes that are not dead. They’ve been deeply assaulted, but they’re not dead. And so we’ve got this simultaneity: Democratic practices constituting still a kind of republic representative government and at the same time this empire. And they’re in deep tension—both creative and destructive tension—right now the Bush administration of course is the deep imperialist strain that is claiming to be the defender of democracy.more...

Found at Logos Journal