Be Young and Shut Up

may_68_poster_1

France mai 68 Poster

I love how the faces in the video below all convey a certain sort of ’68-er angst, especially Lennon’s seething intensity that’s so critical of revolutionary methods in general, yet imbued with that wandering ambivalence:

“Don’t you know that you can count me out/in…”:

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Convincing Structuralist Argument

The final lines of one of the scariest books I’ve read in a long time, Götz Aly & Susanne Heim’s Architects of Annihilation: Auschwitz and the Logic of Destruction:

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Our study has shown that the modern praxis-oriented social sciences and the reception of their findings in the seats of political power played a significant part in the decisions that led to systematic mass murder. If the links between Auschwitz and visionary German projects of the time for a modernized and pacified Europe are denied or ignored, then Germany’s crimes appear as a descent into barbarism and a break with Western civilization—rather than a potentiality inherent within it…

…External circumstance changed profoundly in 1945. But that change was by no means irreversible. The particular historical constellation in which such murderous plans could be carried out is no longer in place—not here, not now. Perhaps it [the Holocaust] was unique—in every sense of the word. But the calculating, expediency-driven thinking in which mass murder became a ‘useful’ instrument of structural planning and development policy—that remains very much of the present.

The Motherf*ckers in Mumbai

A perfect take on the tactics of terrorism.

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The Right There, Right Then into the Right Here, Right Now

Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama. Good show old chap. It should be nice to have a bright, young, multi-ethnic, intercontinental Midwesterner in the White House.

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The hard part comes next and there’s a lot of work for all of us to do. But for the moment there is no place that I’d rather be than “Right Here, Right Now”:

Why I’m Voting Republican

Crass, simplistic humor? Yes, but unfortunately this video is not too far off of the mark. Go out and vote!

Song for Vukovar

…and Grozny, Darfur, Bogotá. Fallujah, Kabul and everywhere else that terror has reigned/reigns/will reign.

Radiohead – “Idioteque”:

Idioteque

Who’s in a bunker?
Who’s in a bunker?
Women and children first
And the children first
And the children…
I’ll laugh until my head comes off
I’ll swallow till I burst
Until I burst
Until I…

Who’s in a bunker?
Who’s in a bunker?
I have seen too much
You haven’t seen enough
You haven’t seen it…
I’ll laugh until my head comes off
Women and children first
And children first
And children…

Here I’m allowed
Everything all of the time
Here I’m allowed
Everything all of the time

Ice age coming
Ice age coming
Let me hear both sides
Let me hear both sides
Let me hear both…
Ice age coming
Ice age coming
Throw them in the fire
Throw them in the fire
Throw them in the…

We’re not scare mongering
This is really happening
Happening
We’re not scare mongering
This is really happening
Happening
Mobiles quirking
Mobiles chirping
Take the money and run
Take the money and run
Take the money…

Here I’m allowed
Everything all of the time
Here I’m allowed
Everything all of the time

Here I’m allowed
Everything all of the time
Here I’m allowed
Everything all of the time

deaf and lost are the children…

Do You Really Want This Man Running The Country?

Joe the Plumber

Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity)

Dr. Ingrao just asked me to take over his November 11th lecture on the Interwar Period in Central Europe. Yea! Time to get in the mood by putting myself in that picture a bit.

“Daum Marries Her Pedantic Automaton George in May 1920; John Heartfield Is Very Glad of It” – George Grosz 1920

“Cardplaying War-Cripples” – Otto Dix 1920

“Republican Automations” – George Grosz 1920

“Rooftop Studio” – Rudolf Schlichter c. 1922


Writing Checks the Whole World Pays

My cousin should be able to head out of Afghanistan soon, possibly this month. And God willing he won’t leave accompanied by one of the many photos over the years that have appeared in mourning editions all over the world. God bless us all.

Pearl Jam – “World Wide Suicide”:

Hundreds of billions on wars and imaginary credit. Whoa, ain’t it hard? Here are some friends and acquaintances of mine in Iraq Veterans Against the War putting their best spin on Woody Guthrie’s “Blowin’ Down this Road (I ain’t Gonna be Treated this Way)”:

Since the sound and video quality on that last one is pretty poor, here’s an original Woody Guthrie recording of the same song:

Finally Uncle Tupelo taking us to our home in Heaven, where there’s “No Depression”:

People make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please in circumstances of their own choosing, rather they make it in the present circumstance, given and inherited.

From:

The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte – Karl Marx 1852

Section I, paragraph 2

Die Menschen machen ihre eigene Geschichte, aber sie machen sie nicht aus freien Stücken, nicht unter selbstgewählten, sondern unter unmittelbar vorgefundenen, gegebenen und überlieferten Umständen. Die Tradition aller toten Geschlechter lastet wie ein Alp auf dem Gehirne der Lebenden. Und wenn sie eben damit beschäftigt scheinen, sich und die Dinge umzuwälzen, noch nicht Dagewesenes zu schaffen, gerade in solchen Epochen revolutionärer Krise beschwören sie ängstlich die Geister der Vergangenheit zu ihrem Dienste herauf, entlehnen ihnen Namen, Schlachtparole, Kostüm, um in dieser altehrwürdigen Verkleidung und mit dieser erborgten Sprache die neuen Weltgeschichtsszene aufzuführen.

People make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please in circumstances of their own choosing, rather they make it in the present circumstance, given and inherited. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare upon the minds of the living. And just when they appear to be revolutionizing themselves and their circumstances, in creating something unprecedented, in just such epochs of revolutionary crisis, that is when they nervously summon up the spirits of the past, borrowing from them their names, marching orders, uniforms, in order to enact new scenes in world history, but in this time-honored guise and with this borrowed language.

VII: Summary

Die soziale Republik erschien als Phrase, als Prophezeiung an der Schwelle der Februarrevolution. In den Junitagen 1848 wurde sie im Blute des Pariser Proletariats erstickt, aber sie geht in den folgenden Akten des Dramas als Gespenst um. Die demokratische Republik kündigte sich an. Sie verpufft am 13. Juni 1849 mit ihren davongelaufenen Kleinbürgern, aber im Fliehen wirft sie doppelt renommierende Reklamen hinter sich. Die parlamentarische Republik mit der Bourgeoisie bemächtigt sich der ganzen Bühne, sie lebt sich aus in der vollen Breite ihrer Existenz, aber der 2. Dezember 1851 begräbt sie unter dem Angstgeschrei der koalisierten Royalisten: „Es lebe die Republik!“

The social republic appeared as a phrase, as a prophecy, on the threshold of the February Revolution. In the June days of 1848, it was drowned in the blood of the Paris proletariat, but it haunts the subsequent acts of the drama like a ghost. The democratic republic announces its appearance. It is dissipated on June 13, 1849, together with its deserting petty bourgeois, but in its flight it redoubles its boastfulness. The parliamentary republic together with the bourgeoisie takes possession of the entire state; it enjoys its existence to the full, but December 2, 1851, buries it to the accompaniment of the anguished cry of the coalesced royalists: “Long live the Republic!”

…and France was Napoleonic once again. See Marx’s “follow-up” The Civil War in France (1871) for insight into how all of this continues on, and on, and on, and…

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