Friday
May042012

This week's reading

David Graeber on systematic sexual assault of female protesters by NYPD.

Rebecca Solnit on Fukushima.

David Graeber in conversation with Rebecca Solnit.

Raja Shehadeh on West Bank settlements.

Nathan Brown on the political obligations of University of California faculty.

Albor Ruiz on the murder of Anastasio Hernández Rokas by Border Patrol agents.

Ernest Hardy on gangsta rap and the Rodney King riots.

Peter Linebaugh on May Day.

Mary Cuddehe on Sergio González Rodríguez.

Josh Kun interviews Sergio González Rodríguez.

Edward Said from way back when.

Khlebnikov.

Big moon.

Friday
May042012

Star Snuff Stellar Slaughter Celestial Carnage Black Hole Porn

"Gezari says, 'When the star is ripped apart by the gravitational forces of the black hole, some part of the star's remains falls into the black hole while the rest is ejected at high speeds. We are seeing the glow from the stellar gas falling into the black hole over time. We're also witnessing the spectral signature of the ejected gas, which we find to be mostly helium. It is like we are gathering evidence from a crime scene. Because there is very little hydrogen and mostly helium in the gas, we detect from the carnage that the slaughtered star had to have been the helium-rich core of a stripped star.'

...

"The elapsed time corresponds to the amount of time it takes for the Sun-like star to be ripped apart by the black hole."

 

 

Tuesday
May012012

Happy May Day

“I was fumbling under the doormat for the key, which Bartleby was to have left there for me, when accidentally my knee knocked against a panel, producing a summoning sound, and in response a voice came to me from within—“Not yet; I am occupied.”

It was Bartleby.

I was thunderstruck. For an instant I stood like the man who, pipe in mouth, was killed one cloudless afternoon long ago in Virginia, by summer lightning; at his own warm, open window he was killed, and remained leaning out there upon the dreamy afternoon, till someone touched him, when he fell.

“Not gone!” I murmured at last.

Saturday
Apr282012

Getting ahead of myself

"Be quite frank with me—what is so vacant, tiresome and lonely as a Sunday?"

—Edward Dahlberg

Monday
Apr232012

Before us lies the land

“Before us lies the land of the poor, a land whose riches belong only to the rich, a planet of flayed earth, of forests bled ash-dry, a planet of filth, a vast expanse of filth, oceans that only the rich can cross, deserts polluted by the playthings and blunders of the rich, we can see before us cities whose keys lie in the hands of the multinational mafia, circuses whose clowns are controlled by the rich, televisions devised for their entertainment and our stultification, we see before us their great men standing high atop a pedestal that is nothing other than a barrel of bloody sweat shed by the poor, or yet to be shed, we see before us the glorious stars and all-knowing celebrities, who, for all their much-vaunted dissidence, never once express any opinion that might in any way undermine the long-term strategies of the rich, we see before us their democratic values conceived for their own eternal preservation and eternal inaction, we see before us the democratic machinery that obeys their every bidding and deprives the poor of any meaningful victory, we see before us the targets they have singled out for our loathing, always subtly, with an intelligence far beyond our poor-folk understanding and with a gift for duplicitous language that obliterates our poor-folk wisdom, we see before us their fight against poverty, their assistance to the poor, their emergency aid programs, we see before us their free distributions of dollars to keep us poor and them rich, their dismissive economic theories and their ethic of hard labor and their promise of universal riches to come, in twenty generations or twenty thousand years, we see before us their omnipresent organizations and their agents of influence, their spontaneous propagandists, their infinitely expanding media, their heads of family scrupulously faithful to the most luminous principles of social justice as long as their children have a guaranteed place on the right side of the scales, we see before us a cynicism so well oiled that the merest allusion to its existence, not even an attack on its mechanisms, but simply an allusion to its existence, condemns you to a place of invisible marginality, close to madness, far from any drum, far from any follower, I stand before all this, in an empty land, speaking words that expose me to insults and condemnation, we stand before all this, which by rights should stir up a worldwide tempest of rage, a pitiless surge of extremism, ten decades at least of pitiless reorganization and reconstruction by our own rules, free of all religious logic, free of the financial logic of the rich, outside their political philosophies, without a second thought for the howling of their final watchdogs, before all this we have stood for hundreds of years, and still we have not found the way to plant the idea of insurrection, at the same time and on the same date, in the minds of all the billions of poor folk to whom it has never yet occurred, to make it take root and finally flower. Let us find the way to do this, then, and let us do it.”

—Varvalia Lodenko’s speech, from Antoine Volodine's Minor Angels, Jordan Stump trans.