Monday, December 13, 2004


Soldiers show off their hillbilly armor

Stuplimity: Shock and Boredom in Twentieth-Century Aesthetics, by Sianne Ngai (2000, PMC)

Executive Overspill: Affective Bodies, Intensity, and Bush-in-Relation, by Jenny Edbauer (2004, PMC)

Barrett Watten's Bad History: A Counter-Epic of the Gulf War, review by Philip Metres (2003, PMC)

Stupid Undergrounds, by Paul Mann (1995, PMC):

Nothing could be more quintessentially American than the stupid underground. It is more basic, more historical, than all the structures and pseudo-guarantees of liberal democracy. If America as such can be mythologized as a nation of dropouts and a shadow underground of Europe, it also immediately begins to generate its own dropouts--a subunderground that is the "first" of the stupid undergrounds, of those who went "native," which is to say: disappeared. The stupid underground is the latest bordertown, the liminal scene of this disappearance, and of
the becoming-imperceptible of American history itself. This history has always moved simultaneously toward the spectacle and toward the invisible; that is why there is a familiarly native intensity to the figure of the solitary, hermetic hacker jacked into the so-called Net.

Towards Theorising Postmodern Activism: A Foucauldian Perspective (Ali Rizvi):
One of the main functions of the capitalist governance is to normalise the ideas, to neutralise them, take the sting out of them etc. through placing them within the discourse and then constantly multiplying the discourse rather than repress them through inhibiting the discourse. Repression is not a chosen strategy because it is not effective in the long run among other things.

b) In order to be normalised through discourse it is important that one speaks, expresses and produces a discourse. Capitalism cannot manage some body who refuses to speak, refuses to produce a discourse and refuses to ‘come out.’ Silence is what terrorises capitalism and not the discourse. The horror that haunts capitalism is the horror of the unknown, that which cannot be situated in and explained within the discourse. Thus capitalism is the only ‘civilisation’ we know that is compelled to produce and reproduce and multiply discourses about its real and imaginary enemies on such a large scale. It is important in order to normalise, ‘explain away’ and trivialise that the ‘other’ is brought in to discourse.


Capitalism thrives on creating desires and multiplying them. Without the constant production and multiplication of new desires the capitalist system would dry up. It is important for the continuous production and reproduction of the system that each and every element of the system keeps ‘desiring’ more. Thus the movements that turn into movements of the safeguarding people’s rights and basing their struggles on the charters of demand really fulfil the functioning of the system. This is because they work on the false premises that capitalism suppresses desires...(more at Foucauldian Reflections (see "papers, works in progress, notes, etc."))

It would sure be nice to be able to read this review of Agamben's latest in full, if anyone feels like sharing...

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