Thursday, December 25, 2014

The idol that is fear

We must make an idol of our fear, and call it god.

The Seventh Seal

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The forecast says blizzard
The forecast says earthquake
The forecast says mountains block the path
The forecast says floods
And yet the blizzard wears a nice hat
And yet the earthquake has ample savings
And yet the mountains enter long cars
And yet the floods have the police at their disposal

(B Brecht)


It's somewhat curious that the architects of  the s.c project for a new American century were very well versed in Lenin -- as if knowing or even appreciating the great masters of Marxism didn't give a direct (i.e. necessary) relation to a Stalinist programme.

Brecht would himself know intimately what it was like being persecuted by a party line. Before the failed putsch in Munich his name had been put on a list of people scheduled for incarceration. As you may know he famously fled Germany in the 1930s, lived in Denmark for a number of years, before taking refuge in the US, where he was marshalled before the Committee of Un-American activities during the McCarthy-regime.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Peace in Bosnia Herzegovina (Allen Ginsberg, 1993)

General Mother Teresa
Emperor Dalai Lama XIV
Chief of Staff Thich Nhat Hanh
Army Chaplain John Paul II

followed by the shades of Ghandi
Sakharov, Sartre & his uncle
Albert Schweitzer

went to the bombed out streets
talked to Moslem Bosnians in
the burnt out grocery stores

parlayed with Croatian & Serbian Generals & Parliament

asked them to quit shooting & firing
artillery from the mountainside

overlooking villages
emptied of grandmothers --

So now there was quiet -- a few fires
smoldered in back alleys

a few corpses stank in wet fields
-- But who owns these houses? The
cinema theatres with broken doors?

Who owns that grocery store, that City Hall,
that windowless school with broken

Who owns these little apartments, now
all worshippers of Allah

pray in towns besieged 100 miles away
overcrowded in tenements & tents, with
UN portosans at the crossroads?

Who owns these abandoned alleys &
drugstores with shattered bottle shards over
the sidewalk & inside the door?

Who'll be the judge, attorney, file
legal briefs,

bankruptcy papers, affidavits of ownership,
deeds, old tax receipts?

Who'll council who lives where in the rubble,
who'll sleep in what brokenwalled hut

in the full moonlight when spring clouds
pass over the face
of the man in the moon at the end of May?

May 6, 1993, 3AM
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997),
poet, icon, prophet

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

it is the moral authority of abstinence over greed that keeps austerity alive as a viable alternative

(1) does decreasing government spending in times of Great Recession renew economic growth?

(2) the dismal track record of austerity policies over the course of their long history: from Aristotle to Margaret Thatcher, no argument against spending has ever successfully refuted the Keynesian logic of anti-cyclical government stimulus.

(3) austerity’s long life is due to its moral and political underpinnings – not to economic justification. The moral authority of abstinence over greed has kept austerity alive in public discourse despite empirical shortcomings.

On Florian Schui, _Austerity: the Great Failure_ (Yale UP, 2013).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nancy on the "just meaning" of the ex-istant

"For [Jean-Luc] Nancy, sense is there, like the world, 'just like that', as he puts it. This 'just like that' means that existence is ungrounded, that we are 'just' open to existence and to the world. The 'just' is of course the whole problem. At a time when every 'us' is under suspicion and we allegedly live in a 'crisis of sense', the evidence of 'we' and/or 'sense' is so to speak no 'common sense'. For Nancy, this so-called crisis makes clear that we are, that existence is nothing but sense: 'One must think against the times, or despite the times, since it is still the time of the crisis' (Nancy, 1997a: 15). In other words, that there is sense and that we are there is the radical consequence of the unfolded space that the 'global' world is to us today."

Ignaas Devisch, "The Sense of Being(-)With Jean-Luc Nancy," _Culture Machine,_ Vol 8 (2006).

But: Doesn't Nancy's assertion that we' re "just open" to meaning entail some kind of non-dualist system ala Berkeley (esse est perciipi) or perhaps Derrida (there's nothing outside language) positing reference sans refererer?


Monday, July 21, 2014

Lost & profound

definiendum, witt-knit, v

definians, 1. to knit an abject so as to resemble the figure of Witt, the pduct of which is referred to as _a_ witt-knitt;
2. to knit in such a manner as to be consistend with that of Witt.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Everyday apocalypse
Sky and sea
Like upper
And lower jaw
Between them
Men with anatomic posters
In the company of skinned cats and phoenix witches
Collecting small flames to nourish their spawn in lanterns
Though this lantern is one in which we
From Tor Ulven, _shaded by the first bird (1977)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

WHo is afraid of the anti-egalitarians?

...or reading Nietzsche backward

Thesis 1: Nietzsche was anti-democratic and anti-egalitarian, and these were not minor abberations in his thought but deeply rooted and closely connected to his other beliefs.

Thesis 2: Nietzsche was right that egalitarianism would entail a "limitless process of levelling" (Bull, "Leveling Out"). The egalitarian ideals of the French revolution would have "required elimination of all substantive social advantages, generating equality betond mere formal conferral of rights" such as is prevalent under liberal political regimes.

Nobody is seriously against equality today. What we usually hear is that the disadvantaged should be brought up to the level of those of privilege. This is what we should think of as a process of LEVELLING UP.

Thesis 3: Nietzsche was wrong in concluding that because of this levelling process, one should adopt a stance AGAINST egalitarianism.

Thesis 4: In reading Nietzsche like a loser (ie. the audience Nietzsche did not write for), it is possible to, instead, EMBRACE the levelling process, but also to acknowledge that a process of levelling up is not, will never be, sufficient. What is recquired is -- CONTRA Nietzsche -- a process of levelling DOWN: We should welcome a "regime in which each individual, without exclusion or exception, will have equal access to property, but no property rights, eiher individual or collective, because property as such will not exist" (Malcolm Bull, /Anti-Nietzsche/, 2011, p157).

Thesis 5: This is a notion we should refer to not as anti-egalitarianism (qua Nietzsche) but EXTRA-egalitarianism.

T Fjeld
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Friday, April 18, 2014

On various plants

Natinal poet Jon Fosse has written on translations of Borges - or reinscriptions, rather- into Swedish and Norwegian. What would be preferred rendering of /La rosa profunda/? The eteernal rose? The deep rose?

Borges might have claimed all his work to be translations/reinnscriptions.

What a day to chase


Saturday, March 01, 2014

For sale: DIY lobotomy set

Hardly used, outstanding condition DIY lbotomy set. Contains:

* easy to use drill, adjustable size head
* steel, corrosion proof wire 
* idiot's guide to self lobotomy (the manual)

Shall consider exchanging in easily callapsible social structure. 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Myth of Wu-Tao-tzu

Sven "Exterminate All the Brutes" (*) Lindqvist was born in Stockholm in 1932. He holds a PhD in History of literature from Stockholm University. This is an excerpt from a piece written while a cultural attaché at the Swedish embassy in Beijing, China, in 1960-61: 

"One day the Tang-artist Wu Tao-tzu appraised a recently completed mural of his. He clapped his hands, the gates of the temple opened, and he entered into his work. The gates closed behind him.

We often speak about art appreciation (/einfühlung/), but rarely in a concrete manner. Only very young children tend to understand what it entails. One hasn't "penetrated" a work of art until one has made the banal mistake of confusing fiction with reality. ...

In the mountains to the West of Beijing there's a cavern with a gilded Buddha sculpture. According to local myth it's a real human being whose expressive face has been overlaid with a thin sheath  of gold. Those who listen can hear his heart beating.

The same dream speaks from this legend as from the story of Wu Tao-tsu: To be from within that which can only be apprehended from without. Art is merely a gilded material brushed onto reality so as to fixate it. Under the surface there's a living human being, introvert and maintained by the golden surface.


In prison I asked for permission to paint.

Permission was granted.

I painted a small landscape onto the cell wall.

It encompassed almost everything I had enjoyed in life: Mointains and rivers, oceans and clouds, deep forests. A small train ran at the center of the painting, driven by a steam locomotive. It approached a tall mountain and the locomotive had already entered the tunnel.

But the wardens  wouldn't leave me alone.

Finally I thought it was time to end the misery. If they wouldn't even allow such innocent artictic games I would have to make use of the more serious arts that I had devoted many years of my life to master.

For a moment I stood up, holding my breath.

Then I politely asked my wardens to wait while I entered into the small train in the picture to check on something.

They laughed and let me continue.

Then I made my fire and stepped into my image, entered into the small wagon and was driven by the train into the tunnel. The steam from the locomotive flowed like a cloud out of the tunnel and hid the picture. When the smoke cleared the image was gone.

The wardens were left in a state of great confusion."

Lindqvist, Sven, /The Myth of Wu Tao-tzu/, Stockholm, 1967, pp. 5-8.

(*) A translation of the Swedish /Utrota varenda jävel/, 1996. The following is from wikipedia: Lindquist's later works tend to focus on the subjects of European imperialism, colonialism, racism, genocide and war, analysing the place of these phenomena in Western thought, social history and ideology. These topics are not uncontroversial. In 1992, Lindqvist was embroiled in heated public debate, when his book /Exterminate all the Brutes/ was attacked for its treatment of the Second World War and the Holocaust. Opponents accused Lindqvist of reducing the extermination of the Jewish people to a question of economical and social forces, thereby disregarding the impact of Nazi ideology and anti-Semitism and what they viewed as the unique historical specificity of the Holocaust. Some of the harshest attacks were launched by Per Ahlmark, who declared Lindqvist to be a "Holocaust revisionist". This prompted a furious response by Lindqvist, who considered it a defamatory smear -- at no point had he ever called into question the Nazi responsibility for, or the number of dead in, the Holocaust. Regarding the original dispute, Lindqvist retorted that his main argument was correct: the Nazi quest for Lebensraum had at its core been an application of the expansionist and racist principles of imperialism and colonialism, but for the first time applied against fellow Europeans rather than against the distant and dehumanized peoples of the Third World. However, he agreed that the long tradition of anti-Semitism in European and Christian thought had given the anti-Jewish campaign of the Nazis a further ideological dimension, and amended later editions of the book to better reflect this.