Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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December 31, 2013

2013: TiR's unblogged year in review:

below:  an incomplete list of items researched and contemplated but, mercifully for the already informationally overcrowded world, left un-fully-blogged on TiR during 2013.  How much more minimal can we keep it in 2014? We shall see.


on missing one’s pre-internet brain -- and everybody else’s

RIP Prince Jazzbo, Charlie Chesterman, Tabu Ley, Maxwell’s

the late Chinua Achebe’s novel No Longer at Ease’s Mr. Okonkwo on reasons to never throw away a piece of paper containing the printed word

Bertolucci’s “Before the Revolution” (1964) on “the medicine of boredom

Nietzsche’s The Case of Wagner on the boringness of opera: “To sit five hours: the first stage of holiness!” (from Turinese Letter of May 1888)

on Jamaica’s remarkably (oddly?) peaceful “struggle” for independence; The Gleaner (7/15/12): “Jamaicans fought no heroic battle to achieve Independence. . . . all these steps were constitutional advances which were subject to prior discussion and agreement. This smooth passage ensured progress with certainty, but it was devoid of the dramatic lustre of a struggle for victory to create a focal point.”

on “Surfin’ Bird” as Communist anthem: “"Rock and Roll which . . .  has an electronic sound and is called ‘junk music’ such as ‘Surfin' Bird’ by the Trashmen is also by no means primitive"; from “Communists Must Give Revolutionary Leadership in Culture” by Henry Flynt (and G. Maciunas) (1966)

“The nation state is the prison of the mind”: Philip Mansel quotes William Haddad

mobile phone: philanthropocapitalism : : stopwatch: Taylorism?  

on Laurence Allard’s “Smart Power, Mobile Phone Technology and Philanthropocapitalism in Africa”

Freud on how illness allegedly reveals the mind's crystalline structure: “If we throw a crystal to the floor, it breaks; but not into haphazard pieces. It comes apart along its lines of cleavage into fragments whose boundaries, though they were invisible, were predetermined by the crystal's structure.” (Lecture XXXI The Dissection of the Psychical Personality, 1923)

“Bovaryism,” or words that take an entire novel to define them, and with every word in the book taken as a necessary part of the definition.  See K. Burke’s eternally foundational (for TiR) "Litertaure as Equipment for Living" (1938) on Jules de Gaultier on Flaubert.

the teenaged years 16 through 18 as “the age of ingratitude” (Radiguet’s preface to Cheeks on Fire)

poet Henry Vaughn’s “The Retreat” ode to the Backward Traveller

R. W. Emerson, as not a fan of the universal “Facebook” voice: “another vice of manners which I do not easily forgive, is the dullness of perception which talks to every man alike. As soon as I perceive that my man does not know me but is making his speech to the man that happens to be here, I wish to gag him.” (circa 1849

why television? to create a new medium for broadcast of US post-war anti-communist propaganda
, of course

know (y)our mercenaries: a rundown & overview of current names in the global private security firm field: Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, DynCorp International, Triple Canopy, Sabre International (Baghdad), Askar Security Services Limited (Kampala), SOC, Dreshak Group (Dubai), Beowulf Defense, Sterling Global Operations; all mentioned herein 

meet our new global biometrics wizards, for voting, passports, etc.: Giesecke & Devrient Gemalto, Morpho, Oberthur

Seoul and / vs. Berlin: some parallels and connections

memo to Rand Paul at Howard University, on how hard the GOP worked to lose & alienate the voters of black America: some clear-eyed and devastating contemporaneous accounts, from the mid-60s pages of EbonyJet and The Crisis (Henry Lee Moon) . . . 

. . . and for good measure: Norman Mailer, 11/64, in Esquire

the Whitney Museum’s 1980 “Light Show,” the 1982 lawsuit, and the Hon. Ralph M. Holman and wife vs. artist James Turrell; mentioned by the latter in passing in interview here

animal rights, and Macarius Magnes’s Apocriticus (4th cent. CE), book III, chapter IV, “Objection based on the incident of the swine and the demons”: “What a myth ! What humbug ! What flat mockery ! A herd of two thousand swine ran into the sea, and were choked and perished! . . . it may be left to babes to make a decision about all this.”

how Fidel Castro's foreign policy changed African music

catching up on F. Fukuyama’s catching up on and discovery of the rentier class

the rise of the robots, 19th century style: on Charles Babbage’s On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (1832), chapter 8, “Registering Operations”; and the research of Catherine Fisk; both mentioned herein

the rise of the robots, 1950s-60s style: James BoggsThe American Revolution: Pages From a Negro Worker's Notebook (1963), chapter 2, “The Challenge of Automation

on the Manchester International Football Academy, and the linguistics of global soccer

the great Popolipo and how to play Congolese / Soukous guitar: the instructional DVD 

on Shelley’s “Pinnacled dim in the intense inane” (Prometheus Unbound), quoted in Peter Schjeldahl, in "L.A. Demystified! Art and Life in the Eternal Present" (1981), reprinted in its entirety in newsprint broadsheet distributed at this exhibition

Taban Lo Liyong: “English is a prostitute, and a big prostitute.” -- quoted in Janine di Giovanni’s “A civil tongue: South Sudan tries to learn English”

on Chevreul, the chemist who invented Impressionism, Orphism

Derek Parfit discovers the Selector as ultimate cosmic force; to some others, this is very old news

John Ralston Saul’s Dark Diversions on meeting Vaso Čubrilović: “[H]e had fixed his self-image in the 1930s, in early middle age. Men tend to do that, just at the moment when their public disguise crystalizes.” 

on revolutionary "struggle   accounting"

on the “match nul” theory of politics

the DDR’s cult of Weimar remembrance, as reflected in stamp and coin collecting (Brecht, Kollwitz, Liebknecht, Luxemburg, Thälmann, Tucholsky, Zetkin)

the quest for the world’s fastest pedestrians

Pinochet’s Secretary of Labor and Social Security, José Manuel Piñera     Echenique, Chile’s Administradoras de Fondos de Pensionese, and the potential(ly (even) crapp(y/ier)) future of US unemployment benefits

the chanted background vocals to the Stooge’s official Worst Ever Song, “We Will Fall,” deciphered, with reference to Samarth Ramdas

on H. Bergson as psychic

on philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne and the “Muslim Bergsonians”

“Samuel J. Tilden . . . they curse his name," or How the Elevated Railway Ruined the Bowery, oral testimony from local residents and business-people, 1880 

on Méliès' absolutely delightful "Les Fromages Automobiles" (1907) 


on Beckett’s “syntax of weakness,” and "the impossibility of ever being wrong enough, ever being ridiculous and defenceless enough." (1948 letter)