Was in Politics and Prose on Connecticut in NW last night, doopty-doo, looking over the new fiction shelves, hey, there's Jacob's new novel, Jacob a digital friend, better known in Blegsylvania as IOZ. So he's sold at least one book. I guarantee it will be read, I double-guarantee it will not be reviewed here.
Bought that too, along with the below, all three of which will be read on my vacation which starts tomorrow with a visit - finally - from a MOCO Animal Services officer. I did verify with two other vets and then the officer that the six months quarantine for Napoleon is the correct length. Will take all three books to Ohio when visiting Planet! Over dinner last night (yo, Mocomofos, Masala Art in Tenleytown turned major suck) we appraised our cat-sitter of the rabies situation and she's comfortable feeding Napoleon, so yay!
- That's actually the library's copy photoed this morning - I need to underline and notate in margins, that's why I bought my own copy, but there was no reason to schlep it to work this morning after I forgot to photo it last night at home.
- Where is the protest? If we are serious about moving beyond the revolutionary moment of 2011 and building a radically democratic anti-capitalist movement that can actually endure and change the material constitution of society, we will first of all need to find ways to disarm the structural and ideological mechanisms of capitalist control. While I do not pretend to have any easy answers on how to do this — David Graeber’s grassroots organizing in Occupy and his direct involvement in the Strike Debt campaign is much more instructive in this respect — it seems to me that recognizing the systemic importance of precarity, anxiety and futility is a crucial first step in the process of revamping the resistance. Only by directly targeting the structural, ideological and psychological mechanisms that sustain the rule of capital can we begin to recover a sense of social solidarity and craft lasting and meaningful alternatives to financial dictatorship.
- The four industrial revolutions.
- Vicious disequilibrium: Try to imagine the mountain of cash on which corporations in the United States and Europe are sitting, too terrorized by the prospect of insufficient consumer demand to invest in the production of things that society needs. We now have it on good authority that some $2 trillion of surpluses are slushing around within corporate America. Another $700 billion is loitering within the United Kingdom’s circuits of finance, refusing to be channeled into productive investments. A further $2 trillion is “lost” in the no man’s land of idle savings, which circulate in continental Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Nearly $5 trillion of idle money is hardly a sign of a world in the process of “rebalancing.”
- The revolution in reverse: In the face of all this catastrophism, the placid certainties of neoliberal ideology rattle on as though nothing has happened. Remarkably, our governing elites have decided to greet a moment of existential reckoning for most of their guiding dogmas by incanting with redoubled force the basic catechism of the neoliberal faith: reduced government spending, full privatization of social goods formerly administered by the public sphere, and a socialization of risk for the upper class. When the jobs economy ground to a functional halt, our leadership class first adopted an anemic stimulus plan, and then embarked on a death spiral of austerity-minded bids to decommission government spending at the very moment it was most urgently required—measures seemingly designed to undo whatever prospective gains the stimulus might have yielded. It’s a bit as though the board of directors of the Fukushima nuclear facility in the tsunami-ravaged Japanese interior decided to go on a reactor-building spree on a floodplain, or on the lip of an active volcano.
- A return to conspiracy and its theories: Since the ruling class produces notions of desirability, it defines belonging, or at least the sense of belonging. This means that it also maintains methods for ostracizing. When I examine the behavior of Greenwald, and even the behavior of his co-workers under Omidyar, since he has gained access to one of the richest men in the world, I see uses of some of the most common techniques for maintaining group cohesion and for humiliating dissenters using tried-and-true ad hominem attacks. These attacks include diagnoses of pathology, accusations of failure, a stated belief in individualized responsibility for that failure, and, finally, the ultimate ostracization tool in the realm of political dispute, charges of conspiracy theory, even though in this case the charge is implied rather than outright stated.
- The antinomies of realism: Fredric Jameson examines the most influential theories of artistic and literary realism, approaching the subject himself in terms of the social and historical preconditions for realism’s emergence. The realist novel combined an attention to the body and its states of feeling with a focus on the quest for individual realization within the confines of history. In contemporary writing, other forms of representation—for which the term “postmodern” is too glib—have become visible: for example, in the historical fiction of Hilary Mantel or the stylistic plurality of David Mitchell’s novels. Contemporary fiction is shown to be conducting startling experiments in the representation of new realities of a global social totality, modern technological warfare, and historical developments that, although they saturate every corner of our lives, only become apparent on rare occasions and by way of the strangest formal and artistic devices.
- Ordered that last night at Politics and Prose. So yes, I seem to be reengaging. I recognize this is part of the pattern of my manic and crash cycles. This feels different in ways I may share, though I promise there will be no lectures.
- Revisiting the New York School.
- A poem Jackson Mac Low futzed around with for sixteen years.
- Lowercaseness: E.E. Cummings and the state of biography.
- National Laureate. Do.
- Failure: a Postconceptual Poem.
- Ceravolo, for those of you who do.
- Animal Collective's Sung Tongs is ten years old.
- Jon Langford, for those of you who (Mekons) do.
- Steve Roden.
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