Sunday, August 26, 2018

Voices and Spectres Connected With the Iron Curtains Still Resonate

Memory belongs to the imagination. Human memory is not like a computer which records things; it is part of the imaginative process, on the same terms as invention.

It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horseraces. 
- Mark Twain 

Diversity of thought is the lifeblood of philosophy. Nothing is more exciting than a fresh idea. Yet academic philosophy in America shuns diversity Diversity of Yammerites  

The past is not a foolproof guide to the future. It is, however, the only guide we have. So why are historians reluctant to comment on contemporary affairs? Whatever you do do not mention the past cold and hot wars


Irony Poisoning’ – Yes, It’s A Thing, And We Should Take It Seriously

"Yes, at the moment the concept is seen as little more than another bit of self-referential young person slang, used only in the deepest recesses of the web. ... But irony poisoning should be entered, we think, into the pantheon of social science concepts that are used to rigorously measure, study and perhaps one day understand how social media platforms can rewire your brain and alter society." Max Fisher and Amanda Taub explore the concept and how it works. … Read More

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has insisted that truth is not what it seems. Is the post-truth age just all about lies?

Embracing the post-untruth age … Trump’s legal adviser Giuliani.
 Embracing the post-untruth age … Trump’s legal adviser Giuliani. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images

'Most people in the world can't votewe are lucky' – 13 reasons to vote 

The best spy and detective fiction, we're told, transcends its genre. That’s a backhanded compliment, of course, but what does more it even mean?

The notable art for this piece includes Yvonne Rainer’s No ManifestoAd Reinhardt’s No War, and The No Manifesto for Poetry Readings and LISTSERVs and Magazine and ‘Open Versatile Spaces Where Cultural Production Flourishes’.(via @joeld)

For Roger Scruton, music is rooted in subjective experience. The act of listening endows mere vibrations with meaning and purpose  

The CIA funded a culture war against communism. It should do so again. WaPo (UserFriendly).

According to the Freedom House think-tank, journalism censorship worldwide is at a 13-year high.
↩︎ The Economist

This young woman is rapping the entirety of Rap God by Eminem (the part starting at 4:26 = fire). Sign her up for the 2019 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship!

Poetry of Capitalism: For the New Yorker, photographer David Williams visited the 2018 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Bloomington, Wisconsin. Amanda Petrusich wrote about the competition and his photos here.

This year’s champion, Jared Miller, of Leon, Iowa, took home a customized 2018 Chevrolet Silverado truck to drive for his yearlong reign; he also won six thousand dollars, a world-champion belt buckle, a world-champion ring, a money clip, and a bespoke leather briefcase. In interviews, Miller, like many successful auctioneers, appears personable and polite. When he begins his chant, his mouth only opens so much — when you’re talking as fast as he is, the tongue does most of the work — but what comes out sounds something like a undulating yodel, or a less guttural take on the Inuit tradition of throat singing. Once you tune in to its particular rhythms — and it can take a few minutes to acclimate to the crests and swells — the prices become discernible: “One dollar bid, now two, now two, would you give me two?”

You can listen to Miller’s winning chant on Facebook.

Facebook Changed The Way Articles Are Written. Now Articles Are Changing Back, Thank God

“Facebook’s rising dominance as a referrer led to … content that was optimized for social media. … The problem with social-optimized content is that its overt, eerie familiarity drapes a kind of lowest-common-denominator cynicism across the internet … [and favors] exaggeration over subtlety. … SEO content, on the other hand, dispenses with the emotional in favor of the mechanical. It can be stilted and awkward — but it’s more honest and transparent.”

If you’re an adult who has trouble making friends, your problem may start with your own flakiness

Thread by @citizensmediatv: ““Then why does the military budget keep going up as social programs keep getting cut?” Now that’s a good question Thread Reader

The Spring 2017 issue of The Fiddlehead: Atlantic Canada's International Literary Journal includes a special feature on 2016 Griffin Prize internationalwinner Norman Dubie. Editor Ross Leckie introduces the section of twenty-three poems, including five new ones, with "Norman Dubie: The Details of Winter That Upset Us."

Leckie writes, "No poet I can think of writes as much about dreams as Dubie, and no poet ought to be able to, as dreams are so often adduced as the moment of epiphany, as the encoded truth that underlies all the banality that consumes our daily lives. In Dubie’s work, however, dreams seem as one room in the mind’s library, in which there is also an astonishing array of books and the lives of their authors, and details of plot and character that are not there, but could be. There are landscapes both from memory and from imagination, scenes of history in the grotesquerie of its filth and muck, and assorted friends and family who demand attention, or simply stop by for a chat."
This cover photo "Fête de la Rose" by Rebekah West introduces readers to Cargo, an online nonfiction journal featuring work with strong narrative and interior journey, such as immersion reportage, memoir, and personal essay as well as photography and visual art.

After the 2016 election, artist and writer Paul Chan wrote the following poem that he called “New No’s”.

No to racists
No to fascists
No to taxes funding racists and fascists
No mercy for rapists
No pity for bigots
No forgiveness for nativists
No to all those
No hope without rage
No rage without teeth
No separate peace
No easy feat
No to bounds by genders
No to clickbait as culture
No to news as truths
No to art as untruths
No anti-Semitic anything
No Islamophobic anything
No progress without others
No meaning without meaning
No means no
No means no
No means no
No means no

I ran across this several times at The Whitney; it’s part of their great exhibitionAn Incomplete History of Protest. The exhibition is closing next week and the poem is difficult to find online (Chan’s own publishing company, which was selling posters of the poem, seems to be defunct at the moment), so I wanted to preserve a copy here.