Viewing posts tagged youre not actually reading this are you

Real Gone

Sections of this piece are drawn from conversations with Niki Haringsma, whose forthcoming Black Archive on 'Love & Monsters' is really good.  Don't blame her for this though, for god's sake.

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The style/substance dichotomy is, of course, false.  Most dichotomies are, when you dig deeply enough. The thing is: dichotomies are also real.  Even false dichotomies are real. Our world - bourgeois society, the capitalist epoch - is made of ‘real false dichotomies’.  The most fundamental dichotomies in our society - capitalist and worker; use value and exchange value - are both real, in the sense of having real material effects, and also unreal, insane, hallucinatory.  Capitalism is the rule of abstraction. It is concrete human existence tyrannised by the slippery, the spectral, the notional.

For Marx, when things are produced as commodities they are no longer just ‘use values’ but now have the divided nature of also being ‘exchange values’.  Use values are useful, sensual, material, human. Exchange value is abstract, useless outside the profit system, and has no use beyond the self-expansion of value. That’s capitalism.  That’s the root of ‘profit for profit’s sake’. Marx sees labour, and thus production, as fundamental to human life and society (our ...

Y, O Y, O Y

Is 'Y' a vowel or a consonant?

As Phil has remarked on Tumblr, this comes down to the internal politics of the alphabet.

The Ys themselves are internally divided on this point. 

There are reactionary Ys who want to be vowels because they aspire to the special status. 

There are liberal Ys who champion the allegedly superior values of the vowels and say that Ys should try to be more vowel-like for that reason. 

There’s even an idea - very widespread and much pushed by elite Ys - that “we’re all vowels now” and that consonants have disappeared.  The old opposition between vowels and consonants has been superseded, and to even talk about consonants is to peddle divisive ‘lexical war’ rhetoric. 

However, the vast majority of letters are still consonants, and there are some Ys who recognise this, proudly declare their consonant status, and call for unity between all consonants against the tyranny of the vowels. 

However (again), there is also a strain of resentment against Ys amongst consonants, even radical Ys who want to identify with consonants.  They say Ys have a privileged status, what with being ‘semi-vowels’ and all, and that they thus enjoy the benefits of partial-vowel ...

How Curses Work 3.5: Mythoimperialismo

Imperialism lies not just in the physical violence of invasion, domination, exploitation and subjugation, but also in the cultural violence of the appropriation and representation of the subjugated.

This is how exploitation and domination always works.  Patriarchy's domination of women is expressed in the marginalization, infantilization and suffocating sexualization of the female image in culture, the relentless portrayal of the woman as secondary, as an adjunct, as a commodity, as a servant or helpmate, as a source of male pleasure and satisfaction.  So the violence of imperialism is also expressed in the representation of the subjugated peoples as inferior and/or dangerous, by the plundering of their stories, histories, images, ideas, practices, customs, languages, discourses, art, architecture, etc., and their transformation into aspects of the dominant culture of the imperialist.

The subject culture is usually thus shown to be inherently deserving of domination, inherently savage, childlike, irrational and sinister.  If the subject culture is not demonized, it is usually infantilized, fanaticized (even their bravery is not real bravery but rather fanatical zeal from savages who do not feel pain or fear death the way we civilized people do), or shown as shambolic, idiotic and comic.  Needless to say, any ...

How Curses Work 3: That Whole Rabbits/Tennis Connection There

I always dimly assumed that Stephen Harris - whatever combination of real people he may pseudonymically represent - got the idea for a story about pyramids on Mars from all that guff about there supposedly being pyramids and giant monkey faces on Mars.

However, I learn that the 'face' and 'pyramids' on Mars were not 'discovered' until the NASA Viking missions, which didn't snap pictures of the region of Mars known as Cydonia (where all the pyramids, town squares and giant useless chimp portraits are said to be) until after 'Pyramids of Mars' was broadcast.

The whole pyramids / Mars thing is alive and well today, beyond Who-dom.  Viz, this species of utter balls:


 



This kind of drivel has not been stopped - or even slowed - by better and more detailed images taken by NASA since.

Here, for instance is an image of the 'pyramid', taken by Mars Global Surveyor in 2001:




Self-evidently NOT an artificial, architectural structure, I'm sure you'll agree.  (If you don't, you have no business reading this blog.  Go away immediately.)

Here, is the spooky 'simian' 'face' on Mars, imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2007:




Looks exactly like Roddy McDowell in Planet of Apes ...

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