Voyou Désœuvré

Why shouldn’t we call out Lib Dem “betrayal”? Because they haven’t betrayed anyone. To think that they have reinforces the mistaken belief that, when they describe themselves as “progressive,” they mean “left.” But Lib Dem progressivism isn’t just a fluffy sort of not quite socialism, it’s a specifically liberal version of progressivism.

Consider, for example, welfare provision. The issue here is not simply one of more or less state support, but about how that support is provided. Conservatives don’t actually want (too many) people starving in the street; but they do want those who receive state support to be directly disciplined, probably by highly moralizing institutions (hence the conservative support for certain kinds of religious charity). Liberal welfare provision, on the other hand, requires that the recipients be disciplined by the amorphous institutions of the market. Read more↴

It took me an unconscionably long time to listen to Rihanna’s Rated R (and, given my slow pace of blogging of late, even longer to write about it); unconscionable because it’s such a great record, a development of some of the best features of Rihanna’s earlier records. Luckily, the forthcoming release of “Te Amo” gives me an excuse for finishing this half-written post.

It may have taken me so long to get round to this because, for reasons I no longer understand, I wasn’t that impressed with “Russian Roulette” when I first heard it. I think to get it I needed to hear it in the context of some of the other tracks on the album. It was coming across the marvelously bizarre video for “Hard” on MTV that got me to look again at the album. “Hard” encapsulates the theme that is explored throughout the album: objectification as self-preservation, feminine superficiality as a kind of cold armor with which to avoid the pain which comes from interiority. Read more↴