Voyou Désœuvré

@voyou Who's writing the hot take on how Corbyn asking Labour members' opinions on Syria is like Napoleon III's plebiscite in 1851? 29 Nov 15 Reply Retweet Favorite

I’ve always thought “lumpenproletariat” was a bit of a zombie term. Marx invented the term but never really theorized it, instead presenting it – on those few occasions when he used the term more than in passing – through images of heterogeneity:

Alongside decayed roués with dubious means of subsistence and of dubious origin, alongside ruined and adventurous offshoots of the bourgeoisie, were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, maquereaus, brothel keepers, porters, literati, organgrinders, ragpickers, knife grinders, tinkers, beggars – in short, the whole indefinite, disintegrated mass, thrown hither and thither, which the French term la bohème (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte).

Indeed, this untheorizable diversity, which “endlessly proliferates categories to encompass the spectacle of the metropolis,” may be the point of the term, as Peter Stallybrass argues in a dazzling essay on Marx and heterogeneity. But “lumpenproletariat” was taken up by Marxists as if it had a secure place within Marxist theory, as if the lumpenproletariat was a definite class with a particular role or characteristics; usually, this Marxist deployment of the term has served only to give a theoretical cover for moralism. Read more↴


  • The Official Chart for November 22 November 22, 2015

    The term that best describes Bieber’s recent singles, both lyrically and vocally, is “whiny.” But on “What do you Mean” and “Sorry,” there’s something about the beat that makes this work; perhaps its the anxious bounce of the rhythm that performs the vulnerability that Bieber’s vocals are trying for. Beiber keeps up this self-pitying tone – […]

  • The Official Chart for November 15 November 15, 2015

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4er0uvlU2iM] Salute is a really great album; it’s thematically coherent and uses a carefully chosen range of musical styles (primarily from 90s R&B) that complement those themes. I begin by gushing about Salute in order to make it clear that when I say Get Weird isn’t as good as Salute, that doesn’t mean Get Weird isn’t good. The singles, “Black Magic” […]

  • The Official Chart for November 8 November 8, 2015

    New Rustie! Also three-month-old Rustie that I’ve only now heard. In much the same overdriven neon Tangfastic vein as his previous work, although these new tracks seem a bit more, I don’t know, frantic?

  • The Official Chart for November 1 November 1, 2015

    f(x)’s aesthetics are always top notch, but I’ve generally found their music to be pretty hit and miss. The same is true of their new album, which is largely forgettable but has two fantastic tracks. One is the title track, “4 Walls,” a great slice of garage, and the other is a piano-led house track […]

  • Lost Girl, camp, and form October 31, 2015

    Canada’s premiere supernatural drama Lost Girl came to an end last week, more, it has to be said, with a whimper than a bang. The last episode was the resolution of a storyline involving the mysterious dark plots of Bo’s dad (who turned out to be Hades), a storyline that the show has been vaguely teasing […]