Sunday, June 26, 2016

JBS Paranoid Blues

Is it paranoia if they're really out to get you?

Well, I was feelin' sad and feelin' blue
I didn't know what in the world I was gonna do
Them Communists they was comin' around
They was in the air
They was on the ground
They wouldn't gimme no peace

So I run down most hurriedly
And joined up with the John Birch Society
I got me a secret membership card
And started off a-walkin' down the road
Yee-hoo, I'm a real John Bircher now
Look out you Commies

Now we all agree with Hitlers' views
Although he killed six million Jews
It don't matter too much that he was a Fascist
At least you can't say he was a Communist
That's to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria

Well, I was lookin' everywhere for them gol-darned Reds
I got up in the mornin' 'n' looked under my bed
Looked in the sink, behind the door
Looked in the glove compartment of my car
Couldn't find 'em

I was lookin' high an' low for them Reds everywhere
I was lookin' in the sink an' underneath the chair
I looked way up my chimney hole
I even looked deep inside my toilet bowl
They got away

Well, I was sittin' home alone an' started to sweat
Figured they was in my T.V. set
Peeked behind the picture frame
Got a shock from my feet, hittin' right up in the brain
Them Reds caused it
I know they did, them hard-core ones

Well, I quit my job so I could work alone
Then I changed my name to Sherlock Holmes
Followed some clues from my detective bag
And discovered they was red stripes on the American flag
That ol' Betty Ross

Well, I investigated all the books in the library
Ninety percent of 'em gotta be burned away
I investigated all the people that I knowed
Ninety-eight percent of them gotta go
The other two percent are fellow Birchers, just like me

Now Eisenhower, he's a Russian spy
Lincoln, Jefferson and that Roosevelt guy
To my knowledge there's just one man
That's really a true American, George Lincoln Rockwell
I know for a fact he hates Commies 'cause he picketed the movie Exodus

Well, I fin'ly started thinkin' straight
When I run outta things to investigate
Couldn't imagine doin' anything else
So now I'm sittin' home investigatin' myself
Hope I don't find out anything, hm, great God

Friday, June 24, 2016

A New Jersualem

And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land
- Robert Blake
"Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets"
Numbers XI.ch 29.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Keep Your Eye on the Donut, NOT the Hole - David Lynch

The very beginning of David Lynch's The Straight Story, the words that introduce the credits, "Walt Disney Presents - A David Lynch Film," provides what is perhaps the best resume of the ethical paradox that marks the end of century: the overlapping of the transgression with the norm. Walt Disney, the brand of the conservative family values, takes under its umbrella David Lynch, the author who epitomizes transgression, bringing to the light the obscene underworld of perverted sex and violence that lurks beneath the respectable surface of our lives.

Today, more and more, the cultural-economic apparatus itself, in order to reproduce itself in the market competition conditions, has not only to tolerate, but directly to incite stronger and stronger shocking effects and products. Suffice it to recall recent trends in visual arts: gone are the days when we had simple statues or enframed paintings - what we get now are expositions of frames themselves without paintings, expositions of dead cows and their excrements, videos of the inside of the human body (gastroscopy and colonoscopy), inclusion of smell into the exposition, etc.etc. (This tendency often leads to the comic confusion, when a work of art is mistaken for an everyday object or vice versa. Recently, in Potsdamer Platz, the largest construction site in Berlin, the coordinated movement of dozens of gigantic cranes was staged as an art performance - doubtlessly perceived by a lot of uninformed bypassers as part of an intense construction activity... I myself made the opposite blunder during a trip to Berlin: I noticed at the sides and above all the main streets numerous large blue tube and pipes, as if the intricate cobweb of water, phone, electricity, etc., was no longer hidden beneath the earth, but displayed in public. My reaction to it was, of course, that this is probably another of the postmodern art performances whose aim is, this time, to render visible the intestines of the town, its hidden inner machinery, in a kind of equivalent to displaying on video the palpitation of our stomach or lungs - however, I was soon proved wrong, when friends pointed out to me that what I see is merely part of the standard maintenance and repair of the city's underground services network.) Here, again, as in the domain of sexuality, perversion is no longer subversive: the shocking excesses are part of the system itself, the system feeds on them in order to reproduce itself. Perhaps, this is one of the possible definitions of postmodern art as opposed to modernist art: in postmodernism, the transgressive excess loses its shocking value and is fully integrated into the establishet artistic market.
- Slavoj Zizek," When Straight Means Weird and Psychosis is Normal"

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Her Anxiety

Earth in beauty dressed
Awaits returning spring.

All true love must die,
Alter at the best
Into some lesser thing.

Prove that I lie.


Such body lovers have,
Such exacting breath,
That they touch or sigh.

Every touch they give,
Love is nearer death.

Prove that I lie.
- William Butler Yeats, "Her Anxiety"

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Omar Mateen's Failed Attempt to Traverse His Sexual Fantasy...

from the NY Post
The ex-wife of Orlando mass killer Omar Mateen claimed Monday that she believed he was homosexual — as it was revealed that he frequented the gay nightclub where he staged the nation’s worst massacre in modern times.

Sitora Yusufiy, who was married to Mateen in 2009 for three months, made the shocking claim on Brazilian television station SBT Brazil.

Her fiancé, Marco Dias, speaking in Portuguese on her behalf, said Yusufiy believed that Mateen had “gay tendencies” and that his father had called him gay in front of her. Dias also claimed “the FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media.”

The bombshell came as a male former classmate of Omar Mateen said he had been asked out romantically by the mass killer, who reportedly was a virtual regular at the Pulse nightclub, having visited it more than a dozen times over the years.

The former classmate said he would hang out with Mateen, hitting gay bars after attending class at Indian River Community College police academy in 2006 — and one time Mateen asked him out “romantically,” according to the Palm Beach Post.

“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate told the paper.

The classmate told the paper he thought the killer, who pledged allegiance to ISIS before killing 49 at the gay nightclub Pulse, was gay and in the closet.

The classmate’s claims came after reports emerged that Mateen frequented the club for years before Sunday’s massacre.

“It’s the same guy,” Chris Callen, a drag queen who performs under the name Kristina McLaughlin, told the Canadian Press. “He’s been going to this bar for at least three years.”

Callen’s husband, Ty Smith, recalled seeing a drunk Mateen being escorted from the club.

“Sometimes he . . . would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” he told the Orlando Sentinel.

At least four Pulse clubgoers remembered seeing Mateen at least a dozen times in the past. But authorities said they had no further information when asked about the sightings on Monday. NBC reported that the FBI was looking into his alleged club visits.

“[He’d get] really, really drunk,” Smith told the Canadian Press. “He couldn’t drink when he was at home — around his wife, or family. His father was really strict . . . He used to bitch about it.”

Callen and Smith said they both stopped speaking to Mateen when he threatened them with a knife, after someone made a joke about religion.

“He ended up pulling a knife,” Callen explained. “He said if he ever messed with him again, you know how it’ll turn out.”

They also shot down claims that Mateen had snapped after seeing two men kissing each other in public.

“That’s bullcrap, right there. No offense. That’s straight-up crap. He’s been around us,” Smith said. “Some of those people did a little more than (kiss) outside the bar … He was partying with the people who supposedly drove him to do this?”

Kevin West, another regular at Pulse, told the Los Angeles Times that Mateen used gay dating apps on a regular basis and even messaged him on a gay dating app, Jack’d.

He even saw Mateen an hour before the shooting.

“He walked directly past me. I said, ‘Hey,’ and he turned and said, ‘Hey,’ ” and nodded his head, recalled West. “I could tell by the eyes [it was him].”

One Orlando man, who refused to be named, told MSNBC that he had seen photos of Mateen on several gay dating apps, including Grindr, Adam4Adam, and Jack’d. He claimed that at least two of the man’s friends had been contacted by Mateen on the apps in the past.

“He was very creepy in his messages, and I blocked him immediately,” the man said.
from Open Culture
Philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Zizek is a polarizing figure, in and out of the Academy. He has been accused of misogyny and opportunism, and a Guardian columnist once wondered if he is “the Borat of philosophy.” The latter epithet might be as much a reference to his occasional boorishness as to his Slovenian-accented English. Despite (or because of) these qualities, Zizek has become a fascinating public intellectual, in part because all of his work is shot through with pop culture references as diffuse as the most studied of fanboys. And even though Zizek, a student of the Freudian theorist Jacques Lacan, can get deeply obscure with the best of his peers, his enthusiasm and rapid-fire free-associations mark him as a true fan of everything he surveys.

The Zizek I just described is fully in evidence in the short clip above from the three-part documentary The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema. Directed by Sophie Fiennes (sister of Joseph and Ralph), The Pervert’s Guide places Zizek in original locations and replica sets of several classic films—David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and Hitchcock’s Vertigo, to name just a few. Zizek’s scenes of commentary are edited with scenes from the films to give the impression that he is speaking from within the films themselves. It’s a novel approach and works particularly well in the video above, where Zizek gives us his take on Vertigo. As he says of Hitchcock’s film—which could apply to the one he is in as well—“often things begin as a fake, inauthentic, artificial, but you get caught in your own game.” Viewers of The Pervert’s Guide get caught in Zizek’s interpretive game; it’s a fascinating, ridiculous, and unsettling one.

In the clip, through a series of close analyses of plot points and camera angles, Zizek concludes that Vertigo is the realization of a male fantasy, which necessarily involves violence and nightmarish transformations. In the “male libidinal economy,” he says, in the jargon-y psychoanalytic speak of his trade, women must be “mortified” before they are acceptable sexual partners. Slipping out of academic argot, he clarifies: “to paraphrase an old saying, the only good woman is a dead woman.” It’s this kind of blunt and utterly unsentimental way of speaking that raises the hackles of some of Zizek’s critics. But I’m not here to defend him. Watching (and reading) him for me is a game of edge-of-your seat “what outrageous or incomprehensible thing is he going to say next?” and I’ll admit, I enjoy it. So I’ll leave you with a final Zizek-ism. Perhaps it will scare you off for good, or perhaps you’re game for a few more rounds of “perversion” with this encyclopedic critic of the self, the social, and the sexual:

“A subject,” says Zizek, “is a partial something, a face, something we see. Behind it, there is a void, a nothingness. And of course, we spontaneously tend to fill in that nothingness with our fantasies about the wealth of human personality and so on, and so on. To see what is lacking in reality, to see it as that, there you see subjectivity. To confront subjectivity means to confront femininity. Woman is the subject. Masculinity is a fake.”
---
Lacan's name for what occurs at the end of the cure is traversing the fantasy. But since what the fantasy does, for Lacan, is veil from the subject his/her own implication in and responsibility for how s/he experiences the world, to traverse the fantasy is to reavow subjective responsibility. To traverse the fantasy, Lacan theorizes, is to cease positing that the Other has taken the "lost" object of desire. It is to accept that this object is something posited by oneself as a means to compensate for the experienced trauma of castration. One comes to accept that castration is not an event with a winner (the father) and a loser (the subject), but a structurally necessary factum for human-beings as such, to which all speaking subjects have been subjected. What equally follows is the giving up of the resentful and acquisitive project of trying to reclaim the objet petit a from the Other, and "settling the scores."

Will Britain Reclaim its' Economic Sovereignty?

The lash of European Union won’t tell us,
how many thousands migrants
we must take to our home
or where to build
for them temples and the mosques.
We want to break free from E. U. lies.

We are the people of democracy.
The red tape of collapsing Union
and their bureaucrats’ fat pay,
won’t force us to comply
with their unjust rules -
our bravery over financial slavery.

More taxes, these are the dirty tricks
of bureaucrats’ politics.
We are not the beggars, nor scavengers,
but of noble life challengers.
We are free and proud.
In serfdom our country won’t stay.
- Art Wielgus (2016)

Preoccupied?

I love the naked ages long ago
When statues were gilded by Apollo,
When men and women of agility
Could play without lies and anxiety,

And the sky lovingly caressed their spines,
As it exercised its noble machine.

Fertile Cybele, mother of nature, then,
Would not place on her daughters a burden,
But, she-wolf sharing her heart with the people,
Would feed creation from her brown nipples.

Men, elegant and strong, would have the right
To be proud to have beauty named their king;
Virgin fruit free of blemish and cracking,
Whose flesh smooth and firm would summon a bite!
The Poet today, when he would convey
This native grandeur, would not be swept away
By man free and woman natural,
But would feel darkness envelop his soul
Before this black tableau full of loathing.

O malformed monsters crying for clothing!
O ludicrous heads! Torsos needing disguise!
O poor writhing bodies of every wrong size,
Children that the god of the Useful swaths
In the language of bronze and brass!
And women, alas! You shadow your heredity,
You gnaw nourishment from debauchery,
A virgin holds maternal lechery
And all the horrors of fecundity!

We have, it is true, corrupt nations,
Beauty unknown to the radiant ancients:
Faces that gnaw through the heart's cankers,
And talk with the cool beauty of languor;
But these inventions of our backward muses
Are never hindered in their morbid uses
Of the old for profound homage to youth,
—To the young saint, the sweet air, the simple truth,
To the eye as limpid as the water current,
To spread out over all, insouciant
Like the blue sky, the birds and the flowers,
Its perfumes, its songs and its sweet fervors.
- Charles Baudelaire, "I Love The Naked Ages Long Ago"

Monday, June 13, 2016

Anxiety: Feeling Mankind's Fall...

One should bear in mind Lacan's lesson here: accepting guilt is a manoeuvre which delivers us of anxiety, and its presence signals that the subject compromised his desire. So when, in a move described by Kierkegaard, one withdraws from the dizziness of freedom by seeking a firm support in the order of finitude, this withdrawal itself is the true Fall. More precisely, this withdrawal is the very withdrawal into the constraints of the externally-imposed prohibitory Law, so that the freedom which then arises is the freedom to violate the Law, the freedom caught into the vicious cycle of Law and its transgression, where Law engenders the desire to "free oneself" by way of violating it, and "sin" is the temptation inherent to the Law-the ambiguity of attraction and repulsion which characterizes anxiety is now exerted not directly by freedom but by sin. The dialectic of Law and its transgression does not reside only in the fact that Law itself solicits its own transgression, that it generates the desire for its own violation; our obedience to the Law itself is not "natural," spontaneous, but always-already mediated by the (repression of the) desire to transgress it. When we obey the Law, we do it as part of a desperate strategy to fight against our desire to transgress it, so the more rigorously we OBEY the Law, the more we bear witness to the fact that, deep in ourselves, we fell the pressure of the desire to indulge in sin. The superego feeling of guilt is therefore right: the more we obey the Law, the more we are guilty, because this obedience effectively IS a defense against our sinful desire.
-Slavoj Zizek, "Anxiety: Kierkegaard with Lacan"

What causes anxiety is the elevation of transgression into the norm, the lack of the prohibition that would sustain desire. This lack throws us into the suffocating proximity of the object-cause of desire: we lack the breathing space provided by the prohibition, since, even before we can assert our individuality through our resistance to the Norm, the Norm enjoins us in advance to resist, to violate, to go further and further. We should not confuse this Norm with regulation of our intersubjective contacts: perhaps there has been no period in the history of humankind, when interactions were so closely regulated; these regulations, however, no longer function as the symbolic prohibition - rather, they regulate modes of transgression themselves.
- Zizek on the age of anxiety

Anxiety is the only emotion that does not deceive: all other emotions, from sorrow to love, are based on deceit… The feeling of guilt is a fake enabling us to give ourselves over to pleasures - when this frame falls away, anxiety arises. It is here that one should refer to the key distinction between the object of desire and its object-cause. What should the analyst do in the case of a promiscuous woman who has regular one-night stands, while complaining all the time how bad and miserable and guilty she feels about it? The thing not to do, of course, is to try to convince her that one-night stands are bad, the cause of her troubles, signs of some libidinal deadlock - in this way, one merely feeds her symptom, which is condensed in her (misleading) dissatisfaction with one night stands. That is to say, it is obvious that what gives the woman true satisfaction is not promiscuity as such, but the very accompanying feeling of being miserable - that is the source of her “masochistic” enjoyment.
- Zizek on pleasure and guilt: "The Puppet and the Dwarf"

Spirits

Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness- for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.

The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!
- Edgar Allan Poe, "Spirits of the Dead"