More content soon.
More content soon.
During my hiatus here I have obviously missed a lot of opportunities to talk about WikiLeaks. Thankfully, Lenin's Tomb has written about what is, in some sense, the most important aspect of this whole story, the rape allegations and how they are treated in relation to the rest of the story.
Why the most important? After reading about WikiLeaks for months now, I feel that, at least on the Left, most could agree on the following: what has been leaked is of varying importance, but there is an inherent value in having access to primary source as a means of being able to come to our own conclusions about the veracity of stories we read in the mainstream media. And as much as these leaks may cause the tightening of the security state, it is difficult to argue that it would be better for us not to know anything about what our government is up to in order that such tightening doesn't occur.
But what still needs more examination, and what Richard is inviting us to examine, is not the corruption of others, but our own. Are we looking for heroes? Are we willing to make those that we like, or those that we view as being responsible for good acts, less responsible for the bad acts they may have committed? It is this kind of thinking that leads to despotism, regardless of whether the despot in question purports to represent the Left or the Right.
Why has music become significantly less important to me over the past few years? And why does it bother me less and less that this is so?
Also the author of a classic list of 90s records. Under 25? Want to ride the retro-indie zeitgeist to Taco Bell endorsment deals? Figure out which record here sold the least. Download it. Figure out how it was recorded. Imitate. Imitate. Imitate. Play gigs. Release music. You owe me royalties. Thanks.
1. I was exchanging emails with a coworker about politics. He, a longtime Democrat, was bashfully admitting that he put the welfare of him and his first, and worried about charity only after security. While it is worth examining, and has been examined by, I don't know, every critic of consumer culture as to what, exactly, is necessary for the haves to have before they no longer feel like have-nots, that is a subject for another post. I wrote back the following: Everyone has to eat. Whether you still think that after you and yours are eating is where politics begin.
At first, after writing that, I was tempted to disagree with myself. After all, taken too literally, the idea that everyone has to eat is a fairly political one. Does that mean food stamps for everyone? A military invasion of a country that don't ensure the health and well-being of its citizens? But, ultimately, what I say is true. Because anyone who has the luxury of the time to argue for or against welfare and have their argument be heard probably doesn't need it.
2. Ponder for a moment that there is no right time for anything. Where is the revolt? Aren't you tired of how "the same" everything is? When mentioning my job frustrations, some upheavals amongst my living situation, the constant feeling of being pressed for time, the vagaries of New York City life and the commutes, my need for a vacation, for a bed frame, for a sturdier pair of shoes before the snow falls, for more alcohol, for less alcohol, for more time with friends, for more time alone, etc. to a friend (who is, yes, still a friend after all that!), I likened my life to American politics. What bugs me most is the feeling of irresolution. The tension. Does this society ever make up its mind on anything? Torture good or bad? Abortion good or bad? Lexicon or Eventide? Some days I don't even give a shit about the answers I just want the choices to no longer be available. Anti-intellectual? As if intellectualism is really itself when it repeats itself ad naseum. Marx would understand my sentiment compltely: capitalism is way too dynamic and fascinating for all of us "thinkers" to just fucking get rid of it already, or so it would seem.
I have been recently told that once you are past a certain age, you have to organize birthday events for yourself. Somehow that rubs me the wrong way. Come celebrate me. Blah. I tried giving gifts for a few years. Books, always books. I got sick of asking people if they had had a chance to read them yet. The answer was always no. Maybe I should just tell everyone I know to get me absoultely fucking wasted for free. All they will have to ask is whether I am drunk yet. Eventually, at least, the answer will be yes.
Pick quote in reference to indie music: "Consumers feel like they are discovering something that they believe to be cool and gaining admittance to a more refined social clique."
Any me getting all whiny about it would just be my attempt to gain entry into an even more refined and exclusive social clique, right?
"The court has not reached this conclusion lightly," Judge Kaplan said as he read his
order from the bench. "It is acutely aware of the perilous nature of the world in which we live. But the Constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests. We must
follow it not only when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a
different direction. To do less would diminish us and undermine the foundation upon which we stand."
[The Judge] added that Mr. Ghailani's status as an "'enemy combatant' probably would permit his detention as something akin to a prisoner of war until the hostilities between the United States and Al Qaeda and the Taliban end, even if he were found not guilty."
Sometimes I forget how blinkered psychology is as a discipline.
I guess since the perspective of the article consists of raising the question of whether "the period between 20-30 is truly a new developmental chapter in human life?", the lack of detailed social and political analysis can be explained away as not part of the scope of the article. Except, of course, if one actually wants to answer that question, one has to include that analysis.
I have a lot to say about this matter, being almost thirty and having failed to find my place in the world thus far, but, if I do write on this, I would, of course, include detailed social and political analysis. So you might have to wait a bit.
But to start:
1. Articles like this always amuse me. They are the "lifestyle" version of American Exceptionalism.
2. While I would assert that young people are failing to "grow up" because of social and political reasons, I would not assert that young people are failing to "grow up" for social and political reasons. Which is why I feel so lonely in "bohemian" Brooklyn.
Certainly I know it must have been wonderful, the liberation of personal desire from the shackles of (un)democratic societies. My cynicism only comes from the fact that the world we are living in right now is what that liberation wrought.
(Oh and yeah um it's not like, uh, those desires that were liberated were like, you know, ones biologically intrinsic to, uh, humans, and all, so yeah, like, freedom?)
The Baffler is back (and maybe has been for a while - I gave up checking the website years ago).
In case you don't know, the Baffler is a sporadically-published journal of social thought that existed mostly in the 90s and is(?)/was edited partially by Thomas Frank, who wrote some good essays and then books about the commdofication of culture back when most journalists were still "swingin' on the flippity flop with Sub Pop"* before shifting his focus to government. Especially in the 90s, The Baffler was refreshing in lacking the influence of cultural relativism and certain "French people". Check out the new essays but also be prepared to spend some time with the .pdfs of older issues, too. At least as concerned with the forest as the trees, some of those critical essays are, sadly, not as outdated as they should be.