Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New International (v)

(nb. This post following on from here, and spurred on by AK's remarks today on "the ownership society," among other things.)

Foucault, of course, does not finally evade the label of "intellectual." All typical bad press (unless one is well-paid for hackery, of course) notwithstanding, he describes his role, in a rare candid moment, in the essay, "Useless to Revolt?" as follows:
...one must at the same time look closely, a bit beneath history, and what cleaves it and stirs it, and keep watch, a bit behind politics, over what must unconditionally limit it. After all, that is my work; I am not the first or the only one to do it. But that is what I chose. (Le Monde, 1979)


He is also optimistic. More precisely, thus:
There is an optimism that consists in saying, "In any case, it couldn't be better." My optimism would consist rather in saying, "So many things can be changed, being as fragile as they are, tied more to contingencies than to necessities, more to what is arbitrary than to what is rationally established, more to complex but transitory historical contingencies than to inevitable anthropological constants..." You know, to say that we are more recent than we thought is not a way of bring the whole weight of our history down on our shoulders. Rather, it is to make available for the work that we can do on ourselves the largest possible share of what is presented to us as unaccessible. ("So Is It Important to Think?" Libération, 1981)


But what I really wish to draw your attention to, dear patient reader, is this (on the occasion of "the announcement in Geneva of the creation of an International Committee against Piracy"....well whatever that was):
We are just private individuals here, with no other grounds for speaking, or for speaking together, than a certain shared difficulty in enduring what is taking place.
[...] Who appointed us, then? No one. And that is precisely what constitutes our right. It seems to me that we need to bear in mind three principles that, I believe, guide this initiative, and many others that have preceded it: the Île-de-Lumière, Cape Anamour, the Airplane for El Salvador, Terre des Hommes, Amnesty International.
1. There exists an international citizenship that has its rights and its duties, and that obliges one to speak out against every abuse of power, whoever its author, whoever its victims. After all, we are all members of the community of the governed, and thereby obliged to show mutual solidarity.

2. Because they claim to be concerned for the welfare of societies, governments arrogate to themselves the right to pass off as profit or loss the human unhappiness that their decisions provoke or their negligence permits. It is a duty of this international citizenship to always bring the testimony of people's suffering to the eyes and ears of governments, sufferings for which it's untrue that they are not responsible. The suffering of men must never be a silent residue of policy. It grounds an absolute right to stand up and speak to those who hold power.

3. We must reject the division of labor so often proposed to us: individuals can get indignant and talk; governments will reflect and act. It's true that good governments appreciate the holy indignation of the governed, provided it remains lyrical. I think we need to be aware that very often it is those who govern who talk, are capable only of talking, and want only to talk. Experience shows that one can and must refuse the theatrical role of pure and simple indignation that is proposed to us. Amnesty International, Terre des Hommes, and Médecins du monde are initiatives that have created this new right––that of private individuals to effectively intervene in the sphere of international policy and strategy. The will of individuals must make a place for itself in a reality of which governments have attempted to reserve a monopoly for themselves, that monopoly which we need to wrest from them little by little and day by day. ("Confronting Governments: Human Rights," Libération, 1984)

Just imagine, governments! Humoring the advice of its citizens? Hoarding realities? Monopolies on reality? Whatever was he on about.

That was 22 years ago. Thoughts now safely pronounced obsolete. (After all, the world is flat.) Surely, you say, the late Foucault is all just talk, talk, talk!

"Say it out for God's sake and have done with it."

Said William James to Henry.

And:
You never have music here, do you.
It makes me nervous.
-David Markson, This is Not a Novel

Is this latter a quote?

"How frequently was Anon. a woman?"

And:
An anthology of extraordinary suicide notes.
Or of any suicide notes. Is there such?
-David Markson, This is Not a Novel


Well, is there?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Haditha Friedman

Lest it need be said, Haditha is not an abberation.  Only let's remember too, the folks who helped put us there.  If one only ever reads five things about Thomas Friedman, hack, let four of them be these (please click).

Tom Friedman
Tom Friedman
Tom Friedman
Tom Friedman

This bout of profoundly transformative netroots activism brought on by experiences mentioned in the post updated, below. Or maybe it was learning of Iraq's My Lai (here's Murtha one and two; and here's something even more honest). Or was it Afghanistan's My Lai. Whatever that means.  (We cite it precisely because we don't yet know.) 

One thing we do know:  a lot of people once quit the military because of (perceived) anti-soldier sentiment.  They went on to live longer, more complicated lives.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Save the Internet, George Plimpton's ghost, and other things

If you need a laugh...watch the video of novelist and comedian Robert Newman's "History of oil" (courtesy of This Space).

As Moveon.org implores us all to mention, watch it while you can. ((Though apparently, after a social weekend, I get all these highfalutin memos a day late.) In any case do save the Internet, dear legion readers in Congress, if you will.)

A (non-Congressional) reader helpfully writes in:
Yeah, it's potentially a big deal. I hope the efforts of the telcos to defeat net neutrality legislation will fail, and the excellent bill in the house to make price discrimination by ISPs an anti-trust violation will pass. But if it goes the other way, the big media giants could one day soon exert the same financial dominance over the net that they do over all other media channels -- TV, radio, music, print,

The problem is that while use of the net is a level playing field to players of all sizes today, it is already perturbed by the advantage giants such as google have in soaking up all the ad revenue, by virtue of their enormous central database, which gives them a huge information advantage. But at least they deliver something of value. Cable and ISP providers are sheer parasites, just trying to muscle in on the gravy.

A big telco and cable providers just use their monopoly control over the last mile to your home (and their collusive control over the cell phone market) to rake in high prices for slow acess that doesn't get faster, because there is no real competition. We could have had fiberoptic cables to the curb, and free nationwide wireless, by now, but they block any efforts to innovate on a large scale that would threaten their business models. They are poison. And make no mistake about it, all the voices on the side against net neutrality are bought and paid for by consortiums of telcos and media giants.

What they want is a precedent that allows them to charge differentially. Like the way United Airlines charges two people different prices for the same seat, based on how much the market will bear. They figure you have to fly tomorrow, you can be made to pay 10 times the price of someone who can wait until nest week. This is simple larceny, because it has no bearing on their cost of producing the service. But it will allow them to decide who prospers (their partners of course) and to skim a huge per centage of the profits from an industry they are actually retarding rather than helping. Rather like the music publishing industry. If we let them get a foothold in the net arena it's very very bad. If we don't they are probably doomed in the long run to technological obsolesence. Hence their desperate measures.

Of course the "we" in question here has, in truth, very little say in the matter, if at all. The ritual self-flattering of the over-informed and powerless "citizen" (assuming our reader is not a millionaire, i.e. effectual citizen) does grow rather stale, and practically by the minute.

But what to expect, really, in a world where activist dynasties increasingly rule the day, and must contend only with businessmen who sometimes acquire politics, like a hobby.

I attended a graduation over the weekend. The speaker was a young, well-meaning, neoliberal Senator, unapologetically, uncritically, and rather solely inspired by the repulsive folk-posturing, fauxnaif pop-wisdom, the tired euphorias and banal soundbites, the simplistic and irresponsible, excusing cocktail fantasies of renowned opportunist pro-war hack, Tom Friedman. Though somewhat more literary than Friedman (a questionable accomplishment) his speech was a tired insult to intelligence and global citizenship, and ideologically repulsive (it probably goes without saying). Forcing one to wonder, yet again, if ever in the history of political life have those in power been so philosophically impoverished.

Well yeah, you say, at least Al Gore, in his sybaritic retirement, has "just discovered" Habermas. ("Why hadn't I heard of him before?" Gore asks. We wonder too.) And if Foucault can make an appearance on President Sheen's bookshelf...then maybe there's hope yet. Not for our politicians to be thinking men, but at least for their children's pop-culture to one day grow out of Baudrillard. Still there has to be a better way. (Until then, it's cardboard platitudes, and if we're very lucky, a dash of Habermas.)

But speaking of The Bill of Far Rights, The New York Review of Books has reprinted Orhan Pamuk's speech.
But to change one's words and package them in a way that will be acceptable to everyone in a repressed culture, and to become skilled in this arena, is a bit like smuggling forbidden goods through customs, and as such, it is shaming and degrading.


I am currently stuck, half-way through The New Life. Which resides on top a half-read This is Not a Novel, atop a half-read Reckoning with Life, atop a mostly re-read Politics of Friendship. Et cetera. (Unnaturally, but essentially, I despise this sort of bland and personal, dare one say habitual confession/lit-blog listing/excuse for a post. As should you. Blogs that become predictable are of little use to the imagination; they remain parasitic on a sick beast (most political/"professional" and literary blogs are so). Well at least it's not an ill-conceived lecture (though fast becoming one).)

Most important, the George Plimpton project has launched a Haiku contest:
Judged by Billy Collins, David Lehman, and Denise Duhamel.

The haiku should be somehow related to or inspired by the life or
work or philosophy of George Plimpton*.

The Grand Prize is $200. (cash!)

The Deadline is September 15, 2006

Submissions should be sent to toby@plimptonproject.org.

Do not be fooled by the seemingly whimsical nature of the contest,
haiku of serious and thoughtful tone will be weighed with the utmost
respect.

Submissions should be sent to toby@plimptonproject.org

*We suggest you investigate his books (Paper Lion, Shadow Box, Out of My League, etc.) his great and legendary publication "The Paris Review" and his minor appearances in TV and Film (Reds, Good Will Hunting, The Simpsons.) You could also wait for the upcoming oral biography of Plimpton, which is scheduled to come out next spring and promises to be an excellent read, but by then the deadline for this contest will have passed. Or, you could simply listen to the winner of The George Plimpton Song Contest, Jonathan Coulton's excellent composition "A Talk With George." Check it out here.

(kind courtesy of Toby Barlow)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bob

The reticent one. And strange beautiful (thanks for that).
"Don't you ever just sit, man?"

Not being aware his birthday was just around the corner..."Masked and Anonymous" again the other night. A good bad movie, of course (and obviously, outrageously so). Is it insulting? Or flattering? Eh.
The long spanning, unapologetic, documentary camera's gaze, odd without guilt, on Katrina-like crowds of ordinary suffering, poor people. Even when hurrying, solitary and waiting (for the miracle to come, maybe)...an unapologetic tempting of cliché, but given the closeness to reality, not-quite sentimental gazing. The glimpses into Dylan's gently subdued movie-personality (as always, playing the cryptic cowboy), a certain enigmatic patience with the oddness of people and things, prodded along by bits of ironic (though hardly cynical) folk-sounding wisdom...such things were noted. And how he upstages everyone, almost without trying.

Wood s lot expresses typical good taste in recommending this by Brian Doherty. To which one may as well add this by David Hayes.

Monday, May 22, 2006

pharmakon

From Blanchot, "The Pursuit of the Zero Point" (1953):
Literature is only a domain of coherence and a common region as long as it does not exist, as long as it does not exist for itself and conceals itself. As soon as it appears in the distant presentiment of what it seems to be, it flies into pieces, it sets out on the path to dispersion in which it refuses to be recognized by precise, identifiable signs. As, at the same time, traditions remain powerful, humanism continues to seek the assistance of art, prose still wants to fight for the world, there results a confusion in which, at first sight, one cannot reasonably try to decide what is at issue. In general, limited causes and secondary explanations are found for this disintegration. The blame is laid on individualism: each writer is said to write in accordance with a self whose purpose is to be distinct from all others.[1] Blame is also laid on the loss of common values, the profound divisions in the world, the break-up of ideals and of reason.[2] Or else, to re-establish a little clarity, the distinctions of prose and poetry are restored: poetry is consigned to the disorder of the unpredictable, but it is noted that the novel nowadays dominates literature, and that the latter, in the novel form, remains faithful to the everyday, social designs of language, remains within the limits of a circumscribed genre, capable of channelling and specifying it. The novel is often said to be monstrous but, with a few exceptions, it is a well-bred, highly domesticated monster. The novel is identifiable by clear signs which do not lend themselves to misunderstanding. The predominance of the novel, with its apparent freedom, its audacities which do not imperil the genre, the unobtrusive reliability of its conventions, the richness of its humanist content, is, as formerly the predominance of formally regular poetry, the expression of the need we feel to protect ourselves from what makes literature dangerous: as if, at the same time as its poison, literature urgently sought to dispense for our benefit the antidote which alone allows its untroubled, lasting consumption. But perhaps what makes literature innocuous also spells its doom.

In answer to this quest for subordinate causes, we must reply that the break-up of literature is essential and that the dispersion to which it is succumbing also marks the moment at which it approaches itself.


1. There are none the less complaints about the monotony of talent and the uniformity or impersonality of works.

2. But there is virtually nothing which, in literary terms, distinguishes the Catholic novelist from the Communist novelist, and the Nobel prize and the Stalin prize reward the same practices, the same literary signs.


-Maurice Blanchot, translated by Ian Maclachlan, in Michael Holland, ed., 144-45.

A supplement.

it's the radio


lovable old fart

Sunday, May 21, 2006

After The Academy/Jargon (#772)

Professor VJ on Poly-Ticks (just something found browsing referrer logs to LS):

It's funny, but whenever I start talking about digital narrative and the use of new media technologies, most colleagues in the field immediately want to start talking about the available technologies that are being experimented with and then, once they have their tech-jargon credibility established, they inevitably drift into mimicking the by-now canned theory that has been established around the tech-jargon. And yet, when it comes to discussing the actual formal innovation of the narrative, the meaning-making apparatus that defamiliarizes the story being told, or the way a work constructs identity or digital persona, most of the time the interlocutor's eyes get that "glazed over" look of "I have no idea what you're talking about" and an attempt is made to get back on track -- and in this case, on track means referring to the by now established techno-theory that somehow informs the development of weak new media art created for the express purpose of justifying that techno-theory's existence. Of course, this approach is back asswards and just like most of That 80's Show gender and identity politics killed the potential of art in the worst of possible ways, now new media art is quickly beginning to show its structurally insecure spots as well. This essential weakness in the international new media scene has made it less palatable to a lot of artists I know who first got their start in this field, myself included. How to break away from this institutionalization, academicization, and "scientificating" [scientific-pontificating] that is now suffocating so much of the new media arts?

The first thing you have to do is break the cycle of co-dependency. This means that you may have to diss the academy, diss the scientific community, and even diss a good portion of the curatorial apparatus and/or festival directors who are busy building their sand castles so that they can attract funds to pay for the mega-events they are coordinating. That's not easy, especially when networking is such an essential element of the new media art scene. And when there is a lot less pie to go around than in the mid-to-late 90s, and the pie that is being made is oftentimes only possible thanks to the largess of mainstream academic, scientific, and governmental organizations (and in the US, there's very little of that to go around), the cycle of co-dependency creates lots of competition to become even trendier so that you and your work will stand out as the newest of the new media artist-trendsetter crowd.

[...]This is not to say that there are not new media artists who use the Internet space for largely political purposes. Think of the work of The Yes Men or even a straightforward comix artist like Tom Tomorrow. I use my forthcoming book META/DATA (MIT Press, 2007) to suggest alternative approaches to working in and with new media that will enable us to break out of the academic, scientific, and commercial molds that are debilitating the formerly refreshing and fruitful potential of this networked media art scene. Basically, my premise is that a great deal of the work being created in the new media art and theory fields is being wrapped up in an institutional straitjacket that is neutering our ability to have any real effect on the world we live in and that a great many new media artist-theorists are falling into this trap by willingly buying into the same forms of co-dependency that the predominantly academic-scientific communities have bought into long ago. In META/DATA, I don't address this issue dogmatically, wagging my finger at those who buy into the Big Lie, but by doing an end-run, mixing spontaneous theories with avant-pop fictions and self-effacing pseudo-academic essays that read more like poetry remixes than argumentative papers.

To my mind, this is all connected to one's political agenda. What does it say about your professional network, especially one so tied to the First Amendment like the artistic and academic communities are, when the huge symposiums and conferences that bring them all together, collectively ignore the big elephant in the room. And I mean ELEPHANT. The question is: How To Be A First Amendment Patriot while maintaining a healthy anarchic attitude toward organized politics in general? In the past, what made America unique among nations, was its practical implementation of the Bill of Rights. But now it looks as though we're giving it all up to those who would rather dictate a patriarchal Bill of Far Rights.

Except for the occasional sideshow, don't expect to find this as the primary point of discussion at any new media conferences or festivals.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

not mourning yet

Maybe I'm poorly versed in the "conspiracy theories" of the day, but I always thought the real question concerning the plane that hit the Pentagon wasn't whether it was a plane, that hit the Pentagon, but why it circled 270 degrees 'round to the side least likely to do harm. That just don't make sense. (Update: It seems I am poorly versed. By all indications - and this latest "proof" now hardly assuring otherwise - it was a cruise missile that hit the Pentagon (see comments). Well that's not cool. Who would do such a thing?)(Update II: Ellis Sharp begs to differ. The questions about Flight 93 are the most openly begging, I agree. Although there are certainly others, financial and diplomatic and having to do with various explosions causing steel buildings to self-demolish, all included.)


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

state of: lost gravity, dreams vanish into day


Of course sometimes a blog is but an impoverished wunderkammer. A place to collect diverting 'things', or a semi-public (because always partly encoded) museum, of potential notes and sorts, fanciful and gay projections, postcards of future thoughts. (Good blogs sometimes must revisit themselves and seek, at least, to remain faithful to this potential, in my (perhaps unpopular) view. Even if only to declare like poor, endearing Krapp with his ginger, salty pride: "ach...drivel" or "stupid young bastard." Blogs that don't revisit tend to wear thin. While bloggers may not keep their promises, those that forget their promises as soon as they are made – indeed that make them precisely in order to forget – are boring. And that is to invoke both things, forgetfulness and boredom, in the very much banal or 'weak' sense, surely.

While boredom hasn't been an explicit theme here very often, still like the border collie's tilted ear, or the circuitous, Socratic polishing of an ever-elusive and slippery truth, or the more practiced, loving motion of an oily rag 'round the circumference of a certain glass, occassionally shaken until it snows...oh nevermind! Ray Davis will have understood.

I've been on vacation this past week, hiking countless miles, above treeline and within occasional reach of complacent, feral ponies. I've been walking ridges in the windswept clouds, with a million-pound backpack (and that's not even close to the price). How joyful to feel one's limbs, the surging of blood. The care of the body no longer mere nuissance, but rather an art. To look simultaneously within and significantly across, and down; Shopenhauer and progeny they would applaud!

Anyway, more postings shortly. Suffice to say, the Appalachian Trail is a good thing-in-the-world, and the woman I love is happily ensconced in its warm and friendly grip, not to be released 'til mid-summer. That I get to visit, often (and more often as she walks closer), choosing the most beautiful parts to share, is frankly, perfectly okay (as far as compromises go). A different rhythm to relations; indeed we've taken again to writing letters, in between.

I will say these few things:

Instant coffee (specifically of the Folgers, tea-bag variety) ought not be mixed with oatmeal and grapenuts, and then seven kinds of freeze-dried fruit, including pineapple.

Thru-hikers do not walk, they march (or rather, speed-walk, and down hills run).

Thru-hikers are composed primarily of college-headed, twenty-something white males, and forty-something white males, both fighting mid-life crises, and thirty-forty-something white females who failed to make the token thirty- or forty-something white female position for "Survivor." The forty-something males are half crazy (in a benign manner), if they've hiked the trail already. If not, they're splendid company. (Some of the twenty-somethings are okay as well...it's all a very social thing, there being only so many places along the way to sleep, or towns into which to get sucked.) The independent-minded women, in the 28-30 bracket, are naturally the most interesting, but they are rare, and very tough, as trail-creatures go.

To regular tourists, thru-hikers are foreign, bad-smelling gods. They are treated with due deference, as stewards of the path, and not a little fear (for verily blink and they are gone) They are short on words; sightings are over before they are begun. When not on the trail, they and their beards (or - at least - hairy legs) are to be contained, like goofy circus creatures, in a small and rustic hut, preferably in the center of "town" for the locals to ignore, while on their way to church. Conjugal visits are of course best spent at luxurious B&B's.

There is a place where anonymous and small, fuzzy white flowers grow like a sea of emeralds, on green moss, amidst short and craggy trees. Something like this:









Hiking is excellent on the eyes. As is watching violent rainstorms that approach for hours, exactly parallel to one's height and at a distance of some hundred miles, and noticeably by the second, closing. Clouds being generally better than TV, in more ways than one can ever hope to count.

Men often get in shape faster than women, which is not fair. Especially when the woman is grudging because mildly injured, but otherwise really incredibly very fit.

Boredom of a certain sort is nothing less than sheer exhilaration. And very clearing.

Tekhne. The congealing of experience, drained of boredom's register of time, into lucid, exalting talking points is both life and death (or at least hell) to memory.

Anyone considering military service for reasons of "optimal physical condition" should simply hike instead. Getting to know your country, Jesus-style, is very patriotic. The chances of learning something (not to mention, surviving), and of preserving something important (and private) of oneself, are far, far greater (Roger, you should really mention this).

Vacations are in fact wonderful, and people should "do" them entirely more often. To "return home, and know the place again, as if for the first time."


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --- -

•Via Ben, here is the epitomic BoringBoring.

•Less satirically, Jon has a typically thoughtful post, with many interesting links.

•The Beiderbecke Affair writes (twice) on Amis (laudingly, alas).

•One could certainly do worse than to return to Spurious.

•Finally I appreciate how Steve reads the Litblog Co-Op, so that I don't have to.

calling Kyoto


N+1:

"Our President has declared a perpetual borderless war as a consequence of a single unforeseen attack; even a much saner administration may become unhinged when nothing, least of all the weather from year to the next, can be relied on. Skirmishes or worse will flare as resources dwindle. Our isolation will grow as millions of fellow species become extinct. The suppressed nightmare of nuclear war will recur during daylight hours.

These are not worst-case scenarios. The worst-case scenarios are much worse.

...Like Oedipus, we've been warned...The Nation devotes as much space to the dangers of global warming as anyone, but it also publishes "A 'Top Ten' List of Bold Ideas," which aims at "positive, aggresive post-Bush (and post-New Democrat) near- and long-term change"...the words global warming are nowhere to be found, and the weakly worded "investing in conservation and renewable energy" rates only an honorable mention.  This is as perverse as it is typical.  Imagine a historian in the year 2080, reading such lists as she researches the vexing question of how even educated, "progressive" people could have refused to face what was happening....in the case of global warming, our collective imagination has failed us utterly."

A prediction:  this is all about to change.  (For mighty TV, she hath caught the meme.)

"There seems to be a persistent if unstated resistance on the part of the left to the precepts of ecology...The most powerful and cogent critique that can currently be leveled against our mode of capitalism is that markets fail to account for ecological costs."

A conjecture:  given an optimistic projected income for a newly minted PhD'd white male, living in the United States (discounting any student debts), it will be safe to assume that, were one to decide to start a family, one's theoretical grandchildren would not be likely to face premature extinction within the next 80 or so years.  That is, they might live into their 50's, provided one starts having children now (and assuming said children progenerate in turn, efficiently, around age 30).

Of course, with neither a PhD (yet, or just for example) nor an income, nor any real desire to have children for another decade or so, at the least, one is unlikely at this moment to have grandchildren who survive past age 30.  Hence, great-grandchildren of any sort, for the current author's generation and general demographic are – as of now – highly unlikely.  And spoiled Europeans – should the Gulf Stream shut down, as the Pentagon openly speculates – are simply screwed.  Or rather, "deeply chilled:"
"...The authors go on to conclude that, while superior wealth and resources would allow the US to adapt moderately well to such a scenario, we would find ourselves in a world "where Europe will be struggling internally, large numbers of refugees are washing up on [US] shores, and Asia is in serious crisis over food and water.  Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life." Such conclusions force us to consider the most cynical of all possible interpretations of our [i.e. the US's] indifference to global warming: on some level, we believe not only that we'll be fine, but that our relative advantage over other countries will actually increase.  Instead of yielding aspects of our dominance to bigger nations like China and India, we'll maintain our hold over a troubled world – an idea as unethical as it is dubious.

[...]

Maybe, as the Pentagon report suggests, the same privileged caste of people who engineered the coming disasters will live in fifty years much as they do now, buffered from harm by money and medicine and force of arms.  The weather will be an erratic and dangerous spectacle, economies and ecosystems will collapse, millions will die elsewhere in the world, but we'll seal our borders, abandon our ideas of nature, buy Canada ("the Saudi Arabia of freshwater"), and adapt.

Fifty years after that?  We won't be around.  Those who will be can fend for themselves, and call us what they like."

–Chad Harbach

Such is The Bush Legacy.

nb.  Following on from here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

just play me John Coltrane

So What, live (via).

The bloglitical situation; Colbert is indeed funny

Michael Bérubé and Adam Kotsko and Stephen Colbert: how smart and funny go together.

Update: Despite the very best efforts of commenting blogdrones....as Markos says it best,"Colbert is now the number one album on iTunes [right next to Kos himself, I may add]. But remember, he wasn't funny."


Elsewhere, Blah-feme is really very good (for those who didn't know already). And I hope she or he continues. That is all.

Monday, May 08, 2006

soixante-huitards / casseurs

Two posts, worth a look (and especially in light of previous discussion elsewhere).

Meanwhile in Machiavellian French politics, Sarkozy may be replacing Villepin. Sort of a keep your enemies even closer kind of deal, apparently.