Jun 6, 2008

Already involved in violence
You know what the central theme of film noir is: You're fucked.
            -- James Ellroy


1. The story of the 2-year-old boy killed by an ice cream truck reflects my darkest, most futile thoughts about life. It captures all the cruelty and the stupidness. It makes me want to swear at God. The story about the 2-year-old boy who fell out of a fourth-floor window and survived reflects my understanding of gratuitous grace, finding me baffled and blessed.

2. P.D. James' Children of Men may be the most chauvinistic book I've read. You would think that "Men" was really meant to be gender nuetral, but it's not. The men, in Phyllis Dorothy's logic, are consumned by power and the lust for power. When they stop lusting for power, they are meaningless and kill themselves. The woman is flat, un-explained, wrong-headed, silly and merely endured because she has a womb. The only thing she does that makes sense is a moment of vengeful violence, where she seizes power through betrayal. The child, who means "hope," is conceived in betrayal, gestated in the midst of masculine rivalries, and born as a weapon. There is only one child present in the book, the plural object possessed by men in the title seems to be violences, lusts, and power struggles.

3. Is there some sense of betrayal, in fidelity, and some sense of fidelity in betrayal? Is this the perverse core? To read, we have to stray from the text, because the author is dead. Does engagement necessarily entail an estrangement?

4. I think the key to Zizek is, first, that he doesn't believe we can escape, we are already involved in violence and ought not pretend. We have to act, and acting is violent. His Stalinism isn't a game, a put-on bit of philosophical theater. It is an acknowledgement that we cannot exempt ourselves and escaping violence is impossible. I agree with him -- I agree with process of thinking up to the penultimate conclusion. I still don't accept violence.

obama-calm in the swirl of history
man scales NY TImes building, gets arrested
man loves fire truck
searching for mccarthy's 'suttree'
youngston boxer
it's not journalism, it's faux true crime
turning away from jesus - gay rights and the fight for the episcopal church
mccain veep possibility cast out demons
nader's platform
how we read
bonnie and clyde & a short history of movie violence
presidents and facial hair
branding church
how to make horrible web sites
worst album covers ever: all hail kitsch
portland
remembering '68
johnny rotten is fat and fifty
fear, the frontier and fantasy
redacted ridiculousness: 'waterboard'
monkeys move machines with their monkey minds
remembering bush, will we confuse hubris with greatness?
jim webb should be obama's VP
is jim webb too good for veep?
obama's body man
candidates with funny names
the pop. of hell
have blogs been good for books?
a decade in literature
citizen bob and the plotting of a libertarian candidacy
every type of facial hair :one man grows them all
filming mccarthy's 'the road'
woodward, the war and the vagueness of responsibility
why are we paranoid about election fraud?
pound's birthplace
book deals set before headlines are even ready to be ripped
the mars craft
NASA's future
the conservatives protest too much: the water isn't rising
what happened to proportionality in political journalism?