Thursday, October 17, 2013

Held Up to a Mirror, He Writhed

  • Was going to delete last night's KITH post (which I couldn't resist posting when I thought of it, it made me giggle multiplied by my attention sluttery) and post the two skits in this post, but Landru commented this morning so you get two extra Julie Doiron songs, why Doiron today explained below.
  • I'm fascinated by the greenwald effect, the visceral reactions any mention of Glenn Greenwald provoke and provoke from 360 degrees. I confess, beyond my own pleasurable scratching of my own faux dissidence regarding transference of tribal jones first onto a totem and then hysterically off that totem, it's fun to whack a wasp nest (which is the second point of this bullet): while the first was my primary intent, the second I knew would entertain me. Greenwald has become - by whose design, by what dynamics, your theories are your theories, your ratios your ratios - a political lightning rod himself of which one must have an opinion and be judged - most times harshly, regardless of respective position on the greenwald spectrum, both vitriolic hate towards and vehement defensive love for. He's black licorice. Nobody seems neutral (at least in the Stringtowns I hang out in). Greenwald, regardless of the importance of what his work has or hasn't revealed and may or not still reveal, is a hotter button than any scandal of whatever he has or hasn't enabled. This isn't to damn anyone for any opinion they have on Greenwald or suggest it isn't held in good faith for valid reasons. I just find the phenomenon interesting.
  • UPDATE: Fucked, baby.
  • One thing this kabuki achieved is the thorough demonizing of the Tea Party, so thorough that when the attacks come on the safety net by Obama/Dems those of us who will protest and make noises about primarying DINOs will be relentlessly compared to the thoroughly demonized Tea Party. Obama will urged to abandon his far left base and heavily praised unto his legacy when he does.
  • Oh my, Zizek says what I said day before yesterday: What is the ongoing U.S. government shutdown really about? In the middle of April 2009, I was taking a rest in a hotel room in Syracuse, N.Y. and jumping between two channels: a PBS documentary on Pete Seeger, the great American country singer of the Left, and a Fox News report on a country singer of the anti-tax “Tea Party,” who was performing a populist, anti-Obama song full of complaints about how Washington is taxing the hard-working ordinary people to finance the rich Wall Street financiers. There was the weird similarity between the two singers. Formulating an anti-establishment populist complaint against both the exploitative rich and the government, they called for radical measures, including civil disobedience. It was another painful reminder that today’s radical-populist Right strangely reminds us of the old radical-populist Left. Are today’s Christian survivalist-fundamentalist groups, with their half-illegal status, seeing the main threat to their freedom in the oppressive state apparatus, not similar to the Black Panthers back in the 1960s? He then goes Thomas Frank and asks What's the Matter with Kansas?
  • Of course the NSA is involved with the Drone Wars. Who didn't think so?


Frank Bidart

Belafont, who reproduced what we did
not as an act of supine

imitation, but in defiance -

butt on couch and front legs straddling
space to rest on an ottoman, barking till

his masters clean his teeth with dental floss.

How dare being
give him this body.

Held up to a mirror, he writhed.


  1. Obama will urged to abandon his far left base and heavily praised unto his legacy when he does.

    Didn't he do that back in November-December of 2008?

    1. There is no far left 'base' in the U.S. The left died as a viable political movement in the 50's.

  2. A poorly focused Zizek essay, mind you. If it's illustrative of anything, it's the vagaries of channel-surfing and making hazy socio-political comparisons. Somehow between his historical hop-scotching and rhetorical questions, he manages to dance around the key contrasts and contradictions of the analogies he's glossing through. I found it an exasperating read. Noted too that he managed to feed the same essay to both the Guardian and In These Times. Now that's the way to work it!

  3. in what sense is king's farm really gaithersburg? and if king's farm is really gaithersburg, is montgomery village really gaithersburg? what about germantown?

  4. The King family, who I worked for at Gaithersburg Tractor Supply and whose kids went to Gaithersburg High School with me, considered themselves residents of Gaithersburg and King elders were Gaithersburg power brokers re: zoning/commerce and shit. To this day King Pontiac, which sits on King Farm, lists its address as Gaithersburg though it technically is Rockville. Perhaps Landru has more to say on this.

    As well as this: of course Montgomery Village is Gaithersburg. Only people who live in Montgomery Village don't think they live in Gaithersburg.

  5. on glenn greenwald -

    an alternative view of his new participation in a media venture funded by ebay founder pierre omidyar:

    "The Columbia Journalism Review gets this best when it describes the venture as I.F. Stone’s Weekly, if it had been lavishly funded by a friendly billionaire."

    i was a subscriber to i.f. stone's weekly, decades ago