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Monthly Archives: October 2008

The older I get,  §

the more I think I would like to see more things decided by violence and war. That is what we lack in the west. They say “might doesn’t make right,” but I want to know: why exactly not?

What in hell’s name is wrong with might?

When did the “pen” get to be mightier than the “sword,” and what, pray, is so noble about this state of affairs? Is there anything noble about it, beyond reference to a Christian God?

Where is our blood, and why is it not more often in the streets?

Let’s put it this way:

Good is the root of all evil, and the transcendent are neither.

Back to the future  §

I have seen this movie before. I has never ended well in the past. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes recently I am unhappy and feel rather lonely in that classic way: there is nobody to talk to who will also not be pissed off for my having spoken.

So I will simply keep it to myself and trudge along, and time will pass, and the plot will develop, and I will silently hope that it is actually a new movie that merely has a few trappings of the old.

What about perspective? Is there any room in our modern, capitalist world for being alive now? For mutuality now? Or do these things always get put off for some mythological future that never seems to arrive before it neuters itself anyway?

It is pure ideology. Pure ideology. We are all just working toward our lonely graves, and any other promises or perceptions of what we “have” are what the capitalists have painted on the insides of our eyelids.

Post #23948238754293847 on: Women,  §

who cannot be understood by men. Ever. Any man that claims to understand women actually is either simply lying or simply dominating them wholly. For some, operating under the theory that to understand what women want is exactly to dominate them wholly, this makes perfect sense, but the theory is wrong. The more one dominates women wholly, the more they dominate you wholly.

Feminine “wiles” are actually metaphors for the male simpleton’s entrapment within structuralist mazes, for an undone, implicit deconstruction that must never be carried out until it is death to not.

Some of us have been there a few times.

It’s unclear what this post is about.

A hundred million years ago I was a kid. A hundred million years ago I heard my first pop song. A hundred million years ago I had my first bagel. A hundred million years ago I saw my first nudity. A hundred million years ago I had my first drink.

I cannot remember anything. I cannot remember a damn thing. It is all a fabrication; it is all a novel; it is all iconopictosemiographica haunting billboards and restroom stalls, unnoticed, passed over.

It is all garbage. It is all memory. It is all nothing.

There was a time when I heard pulp music echoing through my mind just walking around the streets. I was a flaneur without having heard of the term; I aspired to be a flaneur without realizing it, without ever succeeding. I was too shy and too repressed. Then, I was too angry. Then, I was growing up. It never worked out, and I missed all of those insights that every flaneur-imaginer is sure must present themselves in new wave inspired sequences and mise-en-scene to the achievers.

There are, of course, no achievers. This is not a world of achievers. It has been for millennia a world of adherents.

Garbage in / Garbage out



A million years ago I wrote six books. A million years ago I was a University of Chicago graduate student. A million years ago I was a lone road tripper on the endless highway of anguish. A million years ago I sold my first stock options.

A million years ago I thought I understood it all.

I am getting older. Every day another hair turns grey. Every day a few more brain cells die off, become worthless. Every day the ocean of words dries a little. Every time its tide goes out, a few more perish, flailing and flopping on the shore of consciousness never to spawn, never to reproduce, never to perpetuate.

There is little time and motivation is also running out; I begin to descend into old-age truisms about things I want. I really want:

1) Blissful ignorance.
2) Healthy children.
3) To mow lawns and garden.
4) Just enough preoccupation to keep the world imaginary.
5) Just enough free time to watch football.
6) An unreflective, unconsidered life.
7) Automaticity.
8) A car that feels warm and cozy.
9) To be part of the problem, not part of the solution.
0) Salvation from hypocrisy and self-doubt.

These things come to everyone eventually in the form of a mature and wise senility. I am waiting on mine now.

Apart from the 20th century genocides, the invention of democracy may be the biggest tragedy ever to befall mankind. On second thought, perhaps even the 20th century genocides don’t measure up.

Iron cage? It is no iron cage. It is the rise of the self. Reflexivity. The “mature” western consciousness. The self is the tyrant, the self is the victim. The self destroys itself and everything it ever loved. The worst thing for the self is the self.

If only the self hadn’t ever invented itself, the self could have been preserved.

Who’s responsible for this?

Who’s responsible for every wholly satanic innovation?

The West!

The disastrous West!

The orientalist West!

The east-meets-West!

Fucking pasty white people and their pasty-ass God.

Rights? There are no rights. Rights are the sodden, downtrodden gods of the weak.

To paraphrase a prophet who built an ark, much later when he was posting online:

“Dear world: I really think you could have been more, but you have really let me down and I’m having trouble forgiving you. I can see your side of things, I really can, but empathy only goes so far. I have myself to think about. Wishing you the best, only not really.

No love,


Underneath Facebook and MySpace is an undercurrent of sadness and regret. It is a compendium, a veritable telephone book of successes and failures. Instantly you can look anyone up and see: did they make it, or were they forced to become a mechanic or a whore?

The mechanics and the whores far outnumber the success stories, of course.

It is too intimate; it is too unguarded. Too much pity is required. That’s why I avoid the place; it makes me feel guilty for being successful in the same way that a wealthy man feels nauseous taking the trains at Penn Station in the winertime.

Virtual socialism?  §

Watching online communities in recent weeks as the economy creeps downward and people fall into poverty, I’ve seen instances in which online communities rallied to help a single member and in which people have talked about leveraging the power of online communities to ensure that none of their own suffer too greatly.

My thoughts about this began with the notion of an online system that would automate peoples’ guarantees to one another within a community, or that would automate the “helping” via a kind of group-powered redistribution (a little from a lot adds up to a lot). It’s only a small jump from something like that to the notion of a “voluntary virtual socialism,” a kind of social union in which people “buy in” with membership dues and gain virtual support. Expand it beyond career/vocation/locality following the logic of the online world and what you quickly have is the notion once more that virtual community might be able to operate below the radar of the nation state and/or well in advance of its legal evolution.

Is socialism destined in the end to arrive by virtual community? A facile thought, but an interesting one nonetheless. No doubt not novel, but something that never really hit me before; I’ve tended still to conceptualize the online world as a forum for the critique of and power dialogue with the nation state. In “professional” work I’ve clearly made the case that new political geographies that are completely and entirely incongruous with and uninterested in the nation-state are enabled by virtual community but I suppose this is the first time it’s hit me at the personal, gut level: online is not a new locus of power in opposition to the state; online is the increasing utter irrelevance of the state for future and coming world-historical transformations.

The unity of representation and operation means that free speech ultimately implies socialism; that socialism will arrive in the form of communications and can’t be stopped without limiting speech—not just action-oriented speech, but mere speech as such. In an algorithmic, representative-operational world, truly free speech is socialism.

At the end of the day,  §

the difference between a pessimist and an optimist is a matter of trust. Either you trust life, living, being itself, or you don’t and are instead suspicious of it, ever vigilant, understanding the way in which it is a thing unto itself, a force of nature over which no man has control.

Me, I don’t trust life. I don’t trust it at all. I know what it’s capable of. I’m determined to fight it all the way to the top.

I refuse to enter into  §

the famed State of Perpetual Urgency that so much of the world spends its time bemoaning-embracing. Life is written between the lines of reality. Skim too quickly and you will miss the plot, not to mention the lyrical refrain.

Efforts to construct reality  §

in metaphoricity to various corresponding ethical or moral constructions are neither rare nor novel. Yet few, if any succeed, and most are, at best, hapless, naive, incompetent.

Ours is and has always been a world of supermen, of the highly functional, of the better-than, of the awe-inspiring. The commoner is unable, unwilling, incapable, no matter how many meetings, committees, outlines, organizational regimes, reflective tropes are articulated and developed. The mediocre can, contrary to conventional wisdom, never become anything more than the sum of their mediocre constituent elements.

The supermen generate, venerate, inspire, and construct. The rest imitate, approximate, wander, and obstruct. This has always been the way. This will always be the way. Some of the hapless idiots no doubt rise, no doubt float, without question achieve some status or other, but they do not remain at any apex, nor are they remembered as having achieved any. They are quickly forgotten because they fall quickly back to a muddy, musty earth—a failure that they themselves fail to foresee even as its corona veritably burns the skin of the superman well in advance of his/her coronal traversal.

Gibberish? Perhaps. But some of us keep succeeding where and when others do not. Some of us not only see others fail but succeed in their stead, often when conventional wisdom has already made light of the possibility of avoiding failure.

Circumstance accounts for much, and no man is ever guaranteed his success, but there are those for whom advantage is inbuilt: the advantage of a fundamental supremacy that eugenics never could determine, even in its heyday. For those who doubt the existence of the soul, the locus of such differentiation remains in question, but such wonder in no way complicates or reduces the palpability of the disparity.

Some are better. We are them.

I am in what was once  §

the social research building at 65 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan—the place that was the New School for me, for all intents and purposes, for my first two years in New York. The social research departments have long since moved to another nearby part of the city and the place is eerily empty.

Just a few short months ago this place would have been filled with life at this time of night—with naive, overenthusiastic graduate students, many of them friends, going in and out and back and forth to the New Valentino deli across the street. The Wolff Conference Room, now shuttered and dark, would have been packed with scholars listening to a reknowned speaker over wine and cheese, laughter and smart questions from the audience audible even over the sound of escalators and foot traffic in the hallway.

Now the escalators are covered and the building seems forgotten, historical—a place of the past. None of those old friends and acquaintances are here. I haven’t seen most of them for months and am unlikely to ever see most of them again.

Tonight I can suddenly feel myself aging. I can feel time rushing past me on all sides. I can feel all things in the world changing, and myself with them once again. I can feel my life happening, with or without me, whether I like it or no, whether I am ready for it or no.

Time is a ruthless sort of fellow, neither cynical nor optimistic, and frustratingly unsentimental.

What happens next is impossible to know, and what has already happened always rolls quickly downward, into the valley of the never-will-be-again. That’s just how it is, I suppose.

Something is off  §

the last couple of weeks, though it’s hard to put a finger on just what the problem might be. There’s simply a kind of listlessness and ennui about the passing days that I haven’t felt in a very long time.

My best guess is that it’s a combination of let-down after the biggest exam of my life, a kind of project vacuum in which is lacking short- or medium-term plans or goals for us to pursue, and in my case, difficulty weaning myself from the anything-goes, lazy, junk-food-saturated lifestyle that came with long-time exam cramming and that can no longer be justified in any rational way (or, indeed, survived for much longer).

In any case, clear indications abound that a serious and conscious shake-up in modes of being, schedules, and future plans needs to happen in coming days, before we start accidentally losing our minds in spite of ourselves.

Society is tyranny  §

and every person in it, patriot and terrorist, corporatist and transient, is a martyr for a tyrannical utopia that will never come about, but that will itself be crushed by an unfocused, incorporeal, yet all-encompassing domination. Slavery is human nature, slavishness the fasion of the desperate and hungry.

Society is tyranny  §

and every person in it, patriot and terrorist, corporatist and transient, is a martyr for a tyrannical utopia that will never come about, but that will itself be crushed by an unfocused, incorporeal, yet all-encompassing domination. Slavery is human nature, slavishness the fasion of the desperate and hungry.

Life = infinitely complex and unpredictable  §

Who would ever have imagined?

Things always seem so certain, trajectories and consequences so concrete…

But in actuality they never are. Everything is ultimately bigger than you are, most notably life itself. Scary. But also lovely. But also scary.

Everything in modern culture  §

tells one clearly that nothing is ever, ever to be trusted, and with good reason—modern culture will take care to make everything untrustworthy just for you.

Sometimes, for no present offense in particular, I hate the world, and humanity in particular.

Certainly I am no fan of the cult of the individual. If anything, I’d love to see a world in which individuality were never developed and socialization were so complete as to make its development not just impossible, but also unimaginable.

To the American taxpayer:  §

I was going to make a long post about political economy but you’re too stupid to understand it. So I’ll just say:

The financial crisis is your fault.
You embraced “free markets,” hated “socialists,” and voted that way.
Free markets are unregulated markets.
Unregulated markets offer huge profit potential, yes.
Unregulated markets also:
  -let the strong trap the weak in exploitation games
  -protect the strong when collapse destroys the weak
You wanted things.
Banks lent you money you didn’t yet have.
You wanted high returns for your 401(k) and mutual funds.
Corporate America bent over backward to compete for your investment dollars:
  -by taking more risk so you wouldn’t invest in the other guy who was
  -by minimizing “idle” (safe) money that makes no money

You wanted all your money generating the highest returns possible in a deregulated environment and you voted that way and invested that way and said “Don’t legislate against risk; let me put my money where I want; let everyone take personal responsibility.”

Of course, now that you are actually going to lose your shirt, your dollars, all that money that you wanted invested for high returns in a deregulated environment that you wanted, all you filthy “anti-socialist” “personal responsibility” geeks are crying like babies and demanding that the government help “Main street.”

You petulant crybabies. Let us never hear you whine about “personal responsibility” again, because you sure as hell don’t want to take it.

These losses are yours.
This economic crises is yours.
It belongs to your capitalistic wet dream.
So wallow in it.