Voyou Désœuvré

Leanne Battersby’s recent storyline in Coronation Street has been excellent. It’s done a very good job of criticizing the material conditions of prostitution without basing that on a stigmatization of prostitutes. The economic criticism of prostitution is too often expressed as horror that economic conditions force women so low; but it’s hard to disentangle that from the marginalization of prostitutes which, as Coronation Street has been pointing out, is precisely part of the economic problem of prostitution. Read more↴

Men can be distinguished from animals by consciousness, by religion or anything else you like. They themselves begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence, a step which is conditioned by their physical organisation. By producing their means of subsistence men are indirectly producing their actual material life.

Have any local news broadcasts produced flood-related montages soundtracked by Rihanna’s “Umbrella”?

So, the new Girls Aloud single is pretty awesome. I can’t think of any other pop group who have sung so many songs about not having sex.

Coincidentally, I’ve been reading Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse, in which she takes Joan of Arc as a hero for exemplifying “militant virginity.” This is part of a series of intriguing but, as far as I can see, untheorized, valorizations of bodily integrity, privacy, and autonomy. The continuing slippage between the bodily and the political is interesting; even more interesting, however, is the way this valorization of autonomy proceeds. Dworkin writes of the connection between Joan of Arc’s virginity and her virtue Read more↴

Bush’s press conference a few days back reminded me of the much-ridiculed line from a White House aide about the “reality-based community”:

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

The proud reality based community laughing at this position seem to be laughing at their own imagined version of what the aide said. Read more↴

For at least a little while, I've been the top Google result for 'Communist Cliche'. Sure, Google say their results are based on an impersonal algorithm, but this looks an awful lot like an insult to me.