Lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living

The Iraq War is not taking place

I don’t mean this in the Baudrillardian sense; although Iraq post-2003 exemplifies Baudrillard’s ideas more even than the first Gulf War did. Where that war presented us with a mediated war in the sense that the war as it was constructed for Westerners (missile cameras on “smart bombs,” “eyewitness” reports from journalists in neighboring countries) wasn’t what was really happening, in Iraq right now what is really happening is already mediated, whether that be embedded journalists following soldiers through the streets, or the filming of torture in Abu Ghraib.

But, as I say, I mean this in a simpler sense: there is no Iraq war, because what is happening in Iraq isn’t a war. Orin Hatch was on C-SPAN the other day, telling us that if American troops left Iraq, “the enemy” would “win.” But who exactly is the enemy at this point? And what would it mean for them to be defeated, for America to win? America is not fighting against some discrete entity that could be defeated, its target is the entire population of Iraq, and it is fighting not to achieve anything but simply to remain where it is. What’s happening in Iraq is an occupation of a curiously pure sort: not a war of conquest, like Vietnam, or a conventional sort of imperialism, because there’s no ability, and as far as I can tell, no desire, to produce a stable puppet regime. What the ideologues tell us is that we must “stay the course”: a course to a destination now so perpetually deferred as to be no destination at all, just a course that stretches onwards forever.

And here, I suppose, the Baudrillardian point returns. If this is not a war at all, but something incessantly presented as one, an image-war producing image-corpses that are no less dead than real ones, how do we oppose it?

Time goes slow in the dark

 Wow, is it really ten years since Kenickie released “Punka”? Apparently, according to an interesting article on Bis, Kenickie, and others I don’t think I ever heard even on John Peel (via). The author rightly bigs up “Come Out 2nite,” but forgets to mention the almost-as-good “Classy.” And he adds a comment that quotes Steven Wells’s spot-on description of Shampoo: Read more↴

“Russian fishermen catch squeaking alien and eat it”

Is there a better newspaper than It’s the newspaper implied by the terminological similarity between the Weekly World News and People’s Weekly Word, a combination of flagrant falsehood and Stalinist propaganda. Case in point:

Ufologists and scientists were greatly disappointed when they found out that the fishermen had eaten the monster. They said that they were not scared of the creature so they decided to use it as food. One of the men said that it was the most delicious dish he had ever eaten

Happy international women’s day

Militant political struggle, in all its forms, is not just for men. Neither is intellectual struggle.

“I don’t come any nicer than this, ask anyone”

 Nietzsche, as ever, has just the right words to describe Tracy Barlow:

Mischief-makers overtaken by punishments have for thousands of years felt in respect of their “transgressions” just as Spinoza did: “here something has unexpectedly gone wrong,” not: “I ought not to have done that.”

The Genealogy of Morals

Read more↴