- The Return of a Futile Weekend Blogging tradition, music today from Bryce's show yesterday. It's my favorite three hours of music each week.
- A constant tradition of Futile Weekend Blogging continues with Futile Weekend Blogging.
- Court and Caliphate: The rulings by the conservative majority on the Court are part of a relentless, decades-long effort to reassert control of women's sexuality. In this, America's super-patriotic, politicized right-wing Christians share a common cause with the Islamic sectarians they hate so much (and are so scared of). Women's sexuality is apparently the most volatile, dangerous force in the world -- much, much more dangerous than, say, nuclear war or the heat-death of the planet, which concern them not at all. The amount of time, energy, money -- and frenzy -- spent on repressing and controlling women's sexuality is truly extraordinary. Or rather, it is, tragically, all too ordinary, part of an effort that has been going on since homo sapiens first emerged.
- Chomsky's whitewashing: I am struck, first of all, by how bizarre it is that Chomsky addresses the perennial question, “What Can We Do?” not with concrete suggestions for political engagement, but with a starry-eyed assessment of the state’s ability to persecute dissenters. Above all, I’m struck by how mind-numbingly stupid Chomsky’s remarks are, and, also — in their obliviousness to Gitmo, drone executions, and mass incarceration — how racially biased.
- Fuck Europe and Fuck Zizek too: Zizek wants us to believe the choice is between the EU or UKIP, National Front, AfD and Golden Dawn, when in fact the UK, France, Germany and Greece are already historically obsolete. The choice we face today is between “Europe” and mankind — and this last doesn’t need treaties between states. Every attempt to save “Europe” is a cynical attempt by the nation states of Europe to maintain their death grip on the throat of mankind.
- Against mastery: Do we imagine that complete control over our biological fates will necessarily make us happier? Perhaps it will. But one can as easily imagine that there might be little room for uninhibited joy or exuberance in such a world. More likely it will be a tightly wound world, saturated with bitterness and anxiety and mutual suspicion, in which life and health will be guarded with all the ferocity of Ebenezer Scrooge guarding his money. Growing mastery means growing responsibility, and the need to assign blame, since nothing happens by chance. Some of the blame will be directed at the parents, politicians, doctors, and celebrities who make plausible villains, or conspiracy theories that explain why someone else is always at fault. But much of the blame will devolve upon ourselves, since in being set free to choose so much about our lives, we will have no one else to blame when we make a complete mess of things.
- Predating down the road: No more should one see analog's return in spite of it's not being wholly engorged by a more highly resolved depictionary.
- Afro-Europe in the World Cup: This year, there will be two additional African teams in the competition: France and Belgium. If they are going to the World Cup at all, it is thanks to goals scored by the children of African migrants: Romelu Lukaku for Belgium, and Mamadou Sakho for France. I’m not sure if these old colonial powers deserve the help, but they’ve gotten it: Africa has come to the rescue. In fact, it might be worth giving new names to these two football teams: Françafrique and AfroBelgica, perhaps? (If we make that change, though, we also might need to make another: most of Algeria’s team is French born and raised: they similarly represent a trans-regional space, something like North and South Mediterranean-Algiers…)
- I really really really really wanted Brazil to not win this World Cup, but I didn't want them to not win (and they still might win) because its star player had his back broken.
- At this point, but for Costa Rica, I'd just as soon Brazil win: the gloating will not be as insufferable as the whining if it loses.
- That broken back, btw, is on the ref: if he'd shown a couple of deserved yellows early on in the match the two teams wouldn't have been kicking each other with sincere malice throughout the second half.
- Poetry and/or Prose.
- Bend or break: on diving in soccer and free verse.
I just didn’t get it—
even with the teacher holding an orange (the earth) in one hand
and a lemon (the moon) in the other,
her favorite student (the sun) standing behind her with a flashlight.
I just couldn’t grasp it—
this whole citrus universe, these bumpy planets revolving so slowly
no one could even see themselves moving.
I used to think if I could only concentrate hard enough
I could be the one person to feel what no one else could,
sense a small tug from the ground, a sky shift, the earth changing gears.
Even though I was only one mini-speck on a speck,
even though I was merely a pinprick in one goosebump on the orange,
I was sure then I was the most specially perceptive, perceptively sensitive.
I was sure then my mother was the only mother to snap,
“The world doesn’t revolve around you!”
The earth was fragile and mostly water,
just the way the orange was mostly water if you peeled it,
just the way I was mostly water if you peeled me.
Looking back on that third grade science demonstration,
I can understand why some people gave up on fame or religion or cures—
especially people who have an understanding
of the excruciating crawl of the world,
who have a well-developed sense of spatial reasoning
and the tininess that it is to be one of us.
But not me—even now I wouldn’t mind being god, the force
who spins the planets the way I spin a globe, a basketball, a yoyo.
I wouldn’t mind being that teacher who chooses the fruit,or that favorite kid who gives the moon its glow.