Voyou Désœuvré

In the wake of the discussion of Radical Orthodoxy some time ago, I’ve finally got round to listening to this CBS program about Milbank and Pickstock, two of the movement’s founders. It’s an extraordinarily good radio show – I can’t imagine the militantly middlebrow Radio 4, or it’s repetition-as-farce NPR, producing something half as intellectually serious. Great podcast though it is, it’s obviously not a complete account of Radical Orthodoxy; still, if it was accurate I can see where some of infinite thought’s concerns come from. Milbank and Pickstock put forward some interesting and persuasive criticisms of modernity; but there seemed to be an absence of the kind of thinking necessary to move forward from that critique, leaving Radical Orthodoxy in the end, as IT says, reactionary. Read more↴

Watch: The Happy Mondays - WFL

I was listening to the Happy Mondays the other day and was struck by the thought that WFL (which I’d believed to be a kind of hedonistic bragging – “I ordered a line / you formed a queue,” etc) might actually be a dialog between the crassly capitalist and their others (“Is there nothing else you can do?” / “Well not much, I’ve not been trained”). Possible material for the theory of proletarian resentment?

Watch: Kate Nash - Foundations

I’ve been listening to Kate Nash’s “Foundations” quite a bit recently. It’s another fine entry in the recent genre of housing-market related tracks (“Life For Rent,” “Everything’s Just Wonderful”). I’m slightly in awe of her accent, too; surely no-one’s Rs are naturally that non-rhotic?

Listening to MIA’s new album, I’ve been wondering what it is I find so creepy (and not in a good way) about her records. Possibly clarified for me slightly by the track “Grapes” which claims to feature Three 6 Mafia but appears to be a version of Nump’s Bay Area hit “I Got Grapes.” Hearing the area where I live incorporated in MIA’s third-world chic is definitely disconcerting. Not that there aren’t some enjoyable tracks; “20 Dollar” and “Paper Planes” are rapidly growing on me, and “Jimmy” is very nice indeed.

In other news, I’m wondering if “Jellyhead” by Crush (which could have been a 90s video war contender if I’d remembered it) is about the difficulties of going out with someone addicted to Temazepam?

The Pacific Film Archive is currently running a series on Soviet science fiction, surely the genre than which nothing greater can be thought. Today’s entry was the amazing 1924 Bolsheviks on Mars masterpiece Аэлита. Read more↴

Watch: Illona Mitrecey

Via Jessica, a marvelous French pop song. My French isn’t good enough to be entirely sure what it’s about, but I suspect the influence of Fourier:

Quand ça m’plaît plus j’efface tout et je recommence
Avec d’autres maisons et d’autres animaux

These “autres animaux” appear to include a bird, a goat, and a crocodile; un autre crocodile or, would it be too much to suggest, a counter-crocodile? Which, in a roundabout way, makes me think of Fourier’s exemplary materialism. Only an idealism that saw human beings as separate from nature would posit a social revolution that excluded the “natural.”

Feminism thus stands in relation to marxism as marxism does to classical political economy: its final conclusion and ultimate critique.

I think this may be MacKinnon’s most exciting suggestion in Toward a Feminist Theory of the State. The idea of a critique of politics which would also in part be a critique of marxism seems to be animating a lot of people right now: Žižek (so I hear); Wendy Brown’s work on sovereignty; or Enrique Dussell’s 20 Theses on Politics. Interesting, then, that MacKinnon was making the suggestion 20 years ago; unfortunately, though, this attempt to use feminism to move beyond marxism brings into particularly sharp relief the limitations of MacKinnon’s use of marxism. Read more↴