A few things.
t r u t h o u t has an interview with Simon Critchley here. Note that Critchley has been inspired by the Australian pamphlet series cum book How To Make Trouble and Influence People and titled his next book How to Stop Living and Start Worrying: Conversations With SC.
Speaking of crackademics, Benjamin Kunkel helped me to understand (whichever drugs) Frederic Jameson (is imbibing when he writes) in his review of Uncle Fred’s latest smash hit Valences of the Dialectic. Choice quote:
In Late Marxism (1990), his book on Adorno, Jameson wrote of Dialectic of Enlightenment that ‘the question about poetry after Auschwitz has been replaced with that of whether you could bear to read Adorno and Horkheimer next to the pool.’ With Jameson the question has been whether you could avoid reading him on a university campus, or continue reading him outside one. In Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections (2001), Chip Lambert, a former associate professor of literature in his thirties, decides to purge his library of Marxist cultural critics in order to raise some funds with which to indulge the yuppie tastes of his new girlfriend, Julia. Each of these books, Chip recalls, had once ‘called out’ to him ‘with a promise of a radical critique of late capitalist society’. And yet: ‘Theodor Adorno didn’t have Julia’s grapy smell of lecherous pliability, Fred Jameson didn’t have Julia’s artful tongue.’ Unburdened of his Marxist texts and their ‘reproachful spines’, Chip proceeds to buy Julia a fillet of ‘wild Norwegian salmon, line caught’ for $78.40 at an upmarket grocery store Franzen calls the Nightmare of Consumption, a name to suggest that faced with the brazenness of yuppiedom (as by the 1990s it was no longer even called; it was just the way that almost anyone who could afford to be, was) all satire or cultural criticism met defeat. Jameson’s Postmodernism had concluded with a call to ‘name the system.’ Ten years later, the system seemed to reply cheerfully to any ugly name you might call it. Hi, I’m the Nightmare of Consumption. Nice to meet you!
Doing Modernity is a blog in which A Sociologist Looks at Everyday Life in Contemporary Society. On it, Wayne(?) — who is A Sociologist — writes about Anarchism: A Radical Critique of Modernity (among other things). Speaking of blogs, Aragorn! has one here.
Punk Not Profit is a blog dedicated to honest anarchy and obscure punk “with the hope to expose the masses to the power of honest sound”.
Crazy and impossible.
The next link in my crazy chain is Anti-German Translation, which should probably be read alongside of Entdinglichung and Poumista. A hot piece of gossip on the Anti-Germans is the alleged assault by some from their camp on ‘anti-revisionist’ communists in Hamburg; see : Antideutscher Angriff auf die B5. Those responsible may or may not be linked to the Bündnis gegen Hamburger Unzumutbarkeiten (Alliance Against Hamburg Unacceptabilities). The incident may or may not, in turn, be linked to ongoing debates within the German left inre anti-Semitism, Israel, and related matters — especially some earlier incidents revolving around films (and boycotts).
In Australia, Michael Brull has written a letter to Mutiny zine (which celebrates its 50th issue this Friday, May 22 @ Black Rose) concerning an earlier article on ‘Free Speech and Fascism’. Those responsible for this earlier article reply to Michael in the same issue: the debate will presumably continue. Of relevance in this context is the announcement by fascists in Sydney of the attendance of Canadian neo-Nazi Paul Fromm at this year’s Sydney Forum. (Last year’s foreign guest speaker was Andrew Yeoman, a BANANA from San Francisco. On May Day 2010, two people were arrested and charged by police with allegedly assaulting Yeoman following an anti-immigrant protest he attended with a handful of other BANANAs and a small group of other racists.) Australia First, the party chiefly responsible for organising the Forum, has also completed the penultimate step towards registering with the AEC (alongside of, it should be noted, Secular Party of Australia, Building Australia Party and The Climate Sceptics).
Anyway, Michael has a blog here. He’s recently come under fire for his authorship of an article in local literary journal Overland, an article which has resulted in Overland being branded ‘biased’ by Jewish academics. On May 14, Antony Loewenstein had a crack at their line of argument in Crikey.
But what about Zionism? Michael Brull responds to Ned Curthoys and Dennis Altman (Overland, No.198, March 2010);
Overland and bias: a response to some critics (Jeff Sparrow, Jacinda Woodhead, Rjurik Davidson, Kalinda Ashton, Alex Skutenko, John Marnell, Overland [blog], May 3, 2010);
the possibilities of leftist discussions (jew on this, May 5, 2010);
Overland branded biased by Jewish academics (Antony Lowenstein, May 14, 2010);
Jewish News, Chomsky vs Israel (Michael Brull, May 18, 2010).
In other news, Noam Chomsky has been told, “for various reasons”, to piss off by Israeli authorities (Noam Chomsky barred by Israelis from lecturing in Palestinian West Bank, Ed Pilkington, guardian.co.uk, May 16, 2010; Barring of Chomsky stirs up a political storm in Israel, Peter Schworm, The Boston Globe, May 18, 2010). Inside Israel, meanwhile, 40 Kiwi anarchists have been busy stirring up the locals, who continue to be against the wall/s, and the state/s which build them.