Friday, May 30, 2014

"A man who makes pictures like the one we were looking at [he is writing to his son about Rouault’s The Manager and a Circus Girl, but no doubt also about himself] is an unhappy creature, tormented day and night. He relieves himself of his passion in his pictures, but also in spite of himself on the people round him. That is what normal people never understand. They want to enjoy the artist’s products – as one might enjoy the milk of a cow – but they can’t put up with the inconvenience, the mud and the flies."

"We did final work on this number into the wee small hours of a Saturday night, and more than forty-eight takes were recorded. Everything that could have gone wrong did during the shooting of this number: an arc light went out; there was a noise in the camera; one of us missed a step in the dance, where Fred was supposed to catch me in the final spins; and once, right at the end of a perfect take, his toupee flipped off! I kept on dancing even though my feet really hurt. During a break, I went to the sidelines and took my shoes off; they were filled with blood. I had danced my feet raw. Hermes [Pan, the choreographer] saw what had happened and offered to stop the shooting. I refused. I wanted to get the thing done. Finally, we got a good take in the can, and George said we could go home - at 4:00 a.m."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Statistics show that if you are born elsewhere and later acquire American citizenship, you will, on average, earn more than us native-borns, study further, marry at higher rates and divorce at lower rates, fall out of the work force less frequently and more easily dodge poverty.

What’s curious is where this immigrant advantage is most pronounced. In left-leaning, coastal, cosmopolitan America, native-borns seem well groomed by their families, schools and communities to keep up with foreign-borns. It’s in the right-leaning “Walmart America” where foreigners have the greatest advantage.

From Mississippi to West Virginia to Oklahoma, native-borns are struggling to flourish on a par with foreign-born Americans. In the 10 poorest states (just one on the East or West Coast: South Carolina), the median household of native-borns earns 84 cents for every $1 earned by a household of naturalized citizens, compared with 97 cents for native-borns in the richest (and mostly coastal) states, according to Census Bureau data. In the poorest states, foreign-borns are 24 percent less likely than native-borns to report themselves as divorced or separated, but just 3 percent less likely in the richest states. In the poorest states, foreign-borns are 36 percent less likely than native-borns to live in poverty; the disparity collapses to about half that in wealthier states like New Jersey and Connecticut.

...There’s no easy answer. But let’s first acknowledge the obvious: Most naturalized citizens — nearly half of America’s roughly 40 million immigrants — arrived by choice, found employer sponsors, navigated visas and green cards. (We’re not talking here of immigrants who never reach citizenship and generally have harder lives than American citizens, native- or foreign-born.) It’s no accident that our freshest citizens have pluck and wits that favor them later.

But I also think there’s something more complicated going on: In those places where mobility’s engine is groaning and the social fabric is fraying, many immigrants may have an added edge because of their ability to straddle the seemingly contradictory values of their birthplaces and their adopted land, to balance individualism with community-mindedness and self-reliance with usage of the system.
That ability to negotiate a balance gives them an advantage everywhere.
repeats (search terms on this site) also the idiot, Ulrich Beck. etc. etc.

Bertram (see previous): Symposium on Joseph Carens’s The Ethics of Immigration

Bertram, responding to a comment
I’m sure that other contributors to the symposium will cover this point, but Carens’s advocacy of open borders in the final part of the book is coupled with a commitment to greatly reducing global inequality. If people can secure a decent standard of living in the same place as their friends and family and the culturally familiar, then most of them will choose to do so.
Begin with idealist formalism and then plug in data to find a way to make it fit. Backwards by design, because authority is from above.

From an angry note to a stranger. Everything below, no exaggeration.
A few nights ago I sat in cafe owned by a half-German Cypriot from London, drinking tequila, listening to a discussion of Arabic diacriticals between a Bulgarian from Morocco with an MBA from France who studied kickboxing in Thailand, and an Iranian-Bangladeshi fashion stylist who's just broken up, again, with her Afro-Scottish boyfriend.  The next night I sat in a Bosnian wine bar with an Israeli fascist talking about our mutual friend, a Croatian ex-Nazi. Next to him was an Indian pharmacologist, an ex-dancer for Dolly Parton, the ex-dancer's Moroccan roommate—a bartender with memories of TriBeCa in the 90s—and a gay ex-priest. The bartender that night was from Macedonia; the Afro-Swedish waitress has the number one blues album in France, and the uncle of another led Serbian battalions in Kosovo. She's in NY studying international law. The father of a Montenegrin waitress at the Greek cafe was indicted at the Hague. She does stand up. She started a gig at an AIDS benefit by wishing her ex-boyfriend was HIV positive and dying. About her current boyfriend she says "My boyfriend is black, and I'm from Serbia.  Once you go black, you can't go back." The Croatian Nazi has great stories about the war. "Cover me! I'm going for a beer." 
The few Americans on that list are middle aged and don't want to be here. The immigrants are here for the money. None of them have much to say to the young white Americans who've moved into the neighborhood and now think they've made it a hip. What could an immigrant tell them that they hadn't learned already in the suburbs of Ohio, Carolina or Texas? After all they go or went to NYU or Columbia and immigrants are just Mexicans from other countries.
"You're not a real New Yorker. You're from Queens", says the white girl from Baltimore who speaks one language to the brown girl who speaks five.  The brown girl laughs when she tells the story, and more out of pity than contempt.

a gentleman never lets politics get in the way of a friendship

I've been looking for both of these for a long time. After finding one I did a search on a whim and found the other, and now know the second reason they're linked in my mind.

"Horace in Wartime", Chris Bertram, Crooked Timber, Dec 13, 2003
William Dalrymple has a review of a collection of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s writingWords of Mercury —in the Guardian. This contains, for the first time, Leigh Fermor’s own account of the SOE’s abduction of the German commander on Crete, General Kriepe, and, within it, one of the best wartime anecdotes:
… the climax comes not as the general’s staff car is stopped at night by a British SOE party dressed in stolen German uniforms, nor as the Cretan partisans help smuggle the general into the Cretan highlands and thence to a waiting British submarine; but instead as “a brilliant dawn was breaking over the crest of Mount Ida” : “We were all three lying smoking in silence, when the General, half to himself, slowly said: ‘Vides ut alta stet nive candidum Socrate’. It was the opening lines of one of the few Horace odes I knew by heart. I went on reciting where he had broken off … The General’s blue eyes swivelled away from the mountain-top to mine – and when I’d finished, after a long silence, he said: ‘Ach so, Herr Major!’ It was very strange. ‘Ja, Herr General.’ As though for a moment, the war had ceased to exist. We had both drunk at the same fountains long before; and things were different between us for the rest of our time together.”
"The Golden Age of Hatred", Charles Simic,  NY Review October 23, 2003 Issue
Vasko was a lifelong Communist, a true believer, so I must have looked surprised. He went on to explain that Cioran had repudiated his fascist past while Eliade was in all probability still a secret sympathizer. I remember asking him why he was friendly with people like that, whereupon, visibly miffed, he told me that even if he were to give me an answer, I would not understand it. I let it go at that and would not learn the seamy details of Eliade’s past until I read Manea’s article in The New Republic.
"...he told me that even if he were to give me an answer, I would not understand it."

I understood it immediately and that's why I remembered the stories. But I'd forgotten the sources. Patrick Fermor's death recently gave me something to search for. Then I remembered Eliade.

"A gentleman never lets politics get in the way of a friendship." I don't have a source for that either. The phrase just popped into my head as a truism.
But also, of course, an absurdity.


Look at the photograph. It's an image of aristocracy as high camp. And the double reversal: the hyper masculine von Rauffenstein has become matronly and the fey de Boeldieu slyly aggressive. Hilarious.

First date, and foreshadowing.
de Boeldieu: May I ask you a question?
von Rauffenstein: Of course.
de Boeldieu: Why did you make an exception of me by inviting me here?
von Rauffenstein: Because your name is Boeldieu, career officer in the French Army. And I am Rauffenstein, career officer in the Imperial German Army.
de Boeldieu: But my comrades are officers as well.
von Rauffenstein: A 'Maréchal' and 'Rosenthal,' officers?
de Boeldieu: They're fine soldiers.
von Rauffenstein: Charming legacy of the French Revolution.
de Boeldieu: Neither you nor I can stop the march of time.
von Rauffenstein: Boldieu, I don't know who will win this war, but whatever the outcome, it will mean the end of the Rauffensteins and the Boeldieus.
de Boeldieu: We're no longer needed.
von Rauffenstein: Isn't that a pity?
Capt. de Boeldieu: Perhaps.
The tragic resolution: the death of the heroine, the aristocratic martyr for the people.
von Rauffenstein: Forgive me.
de Boeldieu: I would have done the same. French or German, duty is duty.
von Rauffenstein: Are you in pain?
de Boeldieu: I didn't think a bullet in the stomach hurt so much.
von Rauffenstein: I aimed at your legs.
de Boeldieu: It was 500 feet, with poor visibility... Besides, I was running.
von Rauffenstein: Please, no excuses. I was clumsy.
Still hilarious, still tragic.

2015 - Russell, William James, Santayana
and 2018

Monday, May 26, 2014

"I met Mr. Assayas on a yacht flying a flag for Arte"

“It’s a convention, but it’s not dumber than any other convention,”
Once again, the subject turned to blockbusters. “There’s an audience to whom they do say things,” he said, his voice quickening. “In many ways, they are the most coherent representation of the world they live in.” This needs to be respected, and understood. And then Mr. Assayas quoted from Valentine’s defense of the blockbuster: “It’s a convention, but it’s not dumber than any other convention,” which he believes to be “profoundly true.”
new tag: The Dark Knight and Epic Cinema

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"The Experience Project"
There has been an explosion of interest in understanding the philosophical implications of lived experiences that transform our epistemic perspectives.
L.A. Paul again.
Explorers from Cloud cuckoo land discover the world.

As always noted only as more documentation of the shift from idealism towards observation, from abstraction towards representation, from the primacy of theory to the primacy of practice. Experimental philosophy is to experimental psychology what performance art is to theater: condescending and derivative.

Again and again: Panofsky, from What is Baroque?
The late Scholastic logicians devised amusing helps to memory by which the many forms or figures of syllogism (conclusions from a major and minor premise) could be remembered. These mnemonic devices consisted of words of three syllables partly real and partly made up for the purpose. Each syllable stood for one of the three propositions, and the vowels therein signified the character of these propositions. The vowel a, for instance, denoted a general and positive statement; the vowel o, a partial and negative one. Thus the nice name Barbara, with its three as, designates a syllogism that consists of three general and positive propositions (for instance: 'All men are mortal all mortal beings need food consequently all men need food"). And for a syllogism consisting of one general and positive proposition and two partial and negative ones (for instance: "All cats have whiskers some animals have no whiskers consequently some animals are not cats"), there was coined the word Baroco, containing one a and two os. Either the word, or the peculiarly roundabout fashion of the main of thought denoted by it, or both, must have struck later generations as particularly funny and characteristic of the pedantic formalism to which they objected in medieval thought , and when humanistic writers, including Montaigne, wished to ridicule an unworldly and sterile pedant, they reproached him with having his head full of "Barbara and Baroco," etc. Thus it came about that the word Baroco (French and English Baroque) came to signify everything wildly abstruse, obscure, fanciful, and useless (much as the word intellectual in many circles today). (The other derivation of the term from Latin veruca and Spanish barueca, meaning, originally, a wart and by extension a pearl of irregular shape, is most improbable both for logical and purely linguistic reasons.)
From Style and Medium in the Motion Pictures
While it is true that commercial art is always in danger of ending up as a prostitute, it is equally true that noncommercial art is always in danger of ending up as an old maid. Non commercial art has given us Seurat's "Grande Jatte" and Shakespeare's sonnets, but also much that is esoteric to the point of incommunicability. Conversely, commercial art has given us much that is vulgar or snobbish (two aspects of the same thing) to the point of loathsomeness, but also Durer's prints and Shakespeare's plays. For, we must not forget that Durer's prints were partly made on commission and partly intended to be sold in the open market; and that Shakespeare's plays -in contrast to the earlier masques and intermezzi which were produced at court by aristocratic amateurs and could afford to be so incomprehensible that even those who described them in printed monographs occasionally failed to grasp their intended significance- were meant to appeal, and did appeal, not only to the select few but also to everyone who was prepared to pay a shilling for admission.

It is this requirement of communicability that makes commercial art more vital than noncommercial, and therefore potentially much more effective for better or for worse.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In the last part of the book he moves beyond the currently feasible to ask questions about community from a more fundamental perspective. He argues that democratic values of freedom and equality ultimately entail a commitment to open borders marriages. Only in a world of open borders free love, he contends, will we live up to our most basic principles.
Immigration: liability or asset?

Many people, asked whether immigration is a liability or an asset, will interpret the question in a straightforwardly economic way. They will wonder what the economic facts are, and whether immigration tends to boost national prosperity or whether it imposes unacceptable costs on that stock character from political rhetoric, “the taxpayer”. Those broadly in favour of immigration, if they suspect the economic facts may be against them, will then sing the benefits of cultural diversity and ethnic cuisine. Those against it will warn darkly of the low tolerance of voters for too much change and point to actual or imagined popular anxieties about the disappearance of the familiar.

I have no special expertise on the economic questions and I am also somewhat sceptical about how far it is a legitimate goal of public policy to promote or defend private tastes and preferences about cookery, diversity or anything else, particularly if doing so comes at the expense of the rights of others.
Bertram a year ago on the same topic.

Quiggin (see previous post)
I don’t have a problem with people finding meaning in an experience they call God, or if they find it in Mozart. But if they find it in cooking, I’m cool with that too.
I didn't catch the matching food references right off.

Lakoff 's hyperbole: "Oxford philosophy is killing the world".  Certainly it's not helping.


More contradictions. I forgot about this. Bertram in 2007 [linked by me in 2009]
SoH regret that the things they value about England are being squeezed out by a crass commercialism (partly of US origin, partly not). They also regret that English people are ignorant of their own folk traditions. This is also true though a good deal (though not all) of the loss happened with 19th C industrialization and a good deal (though not all) of the “folk tradition” is a manufactured response to the same. Lots of stuff that strikes a chord there – loss of authenticity, commodification etc etc.

Lots of people who also feel, with them, the loss of that sense of place and belonging also (unlike them) blame their own anomie, alienation, etc on immigrants, the EU and so on.

A rallying cry to defend English culture attracts a lot of the same people, unfortunately.
I’ve got a piece up at the Chronicle of Education, with the title Campus Reflections (paywalled, but there’s a version at my blog) making the point that a higher education system is, in important respects, a mirror of the society that created it, and that it helps to recreate. 
The next sentence begins,  "If that’s true,…"

What a mediocre human being.

"The claims about Art criticised in Art, an Enemy of The People, are very similar to those made by most religions, namely that there is a special category of people (prophets or artists) and a special category of activities (Religion or Art) which yield transcendent insights into the human condition, and which should be accorded special privileges over other people and other ways of finding meaning and enjoyment in life.

I don’t have a problem with people finding meaning in an experience they call God, or if they find it in Mozart. But if they find it in cooking, I’m cool with that too."

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"Behind the chiliasm of modern man, is the megalomania of self-infinitization."
Daniel Bell
Isolation and imagined community. Obvious, but why not.

1913 Stravinsky

1951 Pollock

1958 Hitchcock
The beginning of Vertigo renders the infinite of outer space as the infinite of inner space, but the imagery is the same. North by Northwest begins with Max Weber via Mies van der Rohe. [More on Saul Bass, the director of Phase IV, a not unsympathetic portrait of a victorious hive mind]

1965 Coltrane

1991 My Bloody Valentine

Repeat, again, and again, and again…

Atomization, isolation and the illusion of absolute community. The low buzz and hum -the violence and warmth- of neurological overload.

All of this is obvious. I picked the list from what I had and out of a hat. I could have begun a lot earlier than I did, and I skipped the hippies. For contemporary megalomania see the back-to-nature fantasies of Avatar; Cameron's hated as a dictator, by almost everyone who worked on it. For Detroit and Techno, go here.

2013 A short doc about a DJ, Nina Kraviz

I'm not going to moralize about a decline of culture; forms decay, culture changes. But the fish rots from the motherfucking head, and new life grows in the rot.
"Students at Harvard’s Kennedy School will now be required to check their privilege"
“If you don’t have an understanding of sociology, political science, critical race theory, feminist critique and revisionist history,” Mody explained, “it’s going to be very difficult to talk about certain groups’ experiences, and why these other groups continually have this advantage in society.”

Though Mody has been critical of her institution, she also has empathy for students who might only be realizing their privilege for the first time. “If what you’ve been told all your life is you’re really talented and you deserve what you have, it’s going to be really hard to find out ’Maybe I don’t deserve it, and all these other people equally deserve it but never even had a shot,’” she said. “Schools are not giving students a space to manage that loss of identity.”
repeats of repeats: G.A. Cohen
I wrote a book called "If you're an Egalitarian How Come You're so Rich?" And the final chapter discusses fourteen reasons people give for not giving away their money when they're rich but they profess belief in equality, twelve of which are, well, rubbish. I think there are two reasonable answers that a person who doesn't give too much of it away can give and one of them has to do with the burden of depressing yourself below the level of your peer group with whom you're shared a certain way of life; and in particular, depriving your children of things that the children around them favor. And also, and slightly separately, the transition from being wealthy to being not wealthy at all can be extremely burdensome and the person who has tasted wealth will suffer more typically from lack of it than someone who's had quote unquote the good fortune never to be wealthy and therefore has built up the character and the orientation that can cope well with it.
“If you don’t have an understanding of sociology, political science, critical race theory, feminist critique and revisionist history,”

I'm so fucking bored with this.
Miriam and Christian Rengier, a German couple moving to New York, visited some private elementary schools in Manhattan last spring in search of a place for their son. They immediately noticed the absence of ethnic diversity, and the chauffeurs ferrying children to the door.
And then, at one school, their guide showed them the cafeteria.
“The kids were able to choose between seven different lunches: sushi and macrobiotics and whatever,” Ms. Rengier recalled. “And I said, ‘What if I don’t want my son to choose from seven different lunches?’ And she looked at me like I was an idiot.”
For the Rengiers, the decision was clear: Their son would go to public school.
“It was not the question if we could afford it or not,” said Ms. Rengier, whose husband was transferred to the city because of his job as a lawyer and tax consultant. “It was a question of whether it was real life or not.”
Political and economic liberalism are fantasies of self-regulation by elites. You can't check your own privilege, but give the Kraut banker and his wife some credit for allowing their kids' privilege to be checked by others. Books can't replace experience.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Reality is relative to language?
Comment rejected 
I've said it before: you can't translate Mallarmé or Pushkin. There is no "disenchantment of the world" in the world as sense. Translation is required in order to function, but the resulting world, of mechanics qua mechanics, is a vulgarization, a low common denominator of experience. Bureaucratic form is universal and faceless bureaucrats may be a necessity, but only because banality is a part of life. It's not that there's a god in the details, or anything metaphysical, it's just the finest subtleties are available only in the grey areas between personal experience and the desire to communicate it. Any Platonism of language is bunk.

The paradox of anthropology is that you can't understand a culture fully if you're a part of it, and yet you can't understand it fully if you're not.
Max Weber was not Proust. Is my language that fucking oblique?

Claire Messud
One of the most widely read French novels of the twentieth century, Albert Camus’s L’Étranger, carries, for American readers, enormous significance in our cultural understanding of midcentury French identity. It is considered—to what would have been Camus’s irritation—the exemplary existentialist novel.

Yet most readers on this continent (and indeed, most of Camus’s readers worldwide) approach him not directly, but in translation. For many years, Stuart Gilbert’s 1946 version was the standard English text. In the 1980s, it was supplanted by two new translations—by Joseph Laredo in the UK and Commonwealth, and by Matthew Ward in the US. Ward’s highly respected version rendered the idiom of the novel more contemporary and more American, and an examination of his choices reveals considerable thoughtfulness and intuition.

Each translation is, perforce, a reenvisioning of the novel: a translator will determine which Meursault we encounter, and in what light we understand him. Sandra Smith—an American scholar and translator at Cambridge University, whose previous work includes the acclaimed translation of Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française—published in the UK in 2012 an excellent and, in important ways, new version of L’Étranger.
Technocratic instrumentalism  requires that we ignore the obvious

Another response to Neil deGrasse Tyson. The earlier one here, with my comments. (mentioned below)

This time it's Massimo Pigliucci
Contra popular perception, philosophy makes progress, though it does so in a different sense from progress in science. You can think of philosophy as an exploration of conceptual, as opposed to empirical, space, concerning all sorts of questions ranging from ethics to politics, from epistemology to the nature of science. Imagine a highly dimensional landscape of ways of thinking about a given question (such as: do scientific theories describe the world as it is, or should we think of them rather as simply being empirically adequate?). The philosopher explores that landscape by constructing arguments, entertaining counter-arguments, and either discarding or refining a certain view. The process does not usually lead to one final answer (though it does eliminate a number of bad ones), because conceptual space is much broader than its empirical counterpart, which means that there may be more than one good way of looking at a particular question (but, again, also a number of bad ways). Progress, then, consists in identifying and “climbing” these peaks in c-space. If you’d like, I’ll send you the draft of a book I’m finishing for Chicago Press that expands on this way of looking at philosophy, provides a number of specific examples, and compares and differentiates progress in philosophy from progress in a number of allied disciplines, including science, mathematics and logic.
The real kicker is that he separates philosophy from logic, seeing them only as "allied", but then tries to square the circle, defending philosophy grounded both in itself and in the world. He defends it all by saying he's a scientist as well as a philosopher but he could just as well be a scientist and priest. "C-space" is the space of the imagination. When all that is solid melts into air, hot air becomes substance. When nouns become verbs, verbs become nouns. And now we have conceptual architects and financial engineers. All repeats.

Sean Carroll, philosopher physicist.
“Does God exist?” is the easy question; the hard question is, “Given that God isn’t here to give us instructions, how are we going to live our lives?”

I think most of the participants would agree that we didn’t answer our questions in any definitive way, but it was incredibly useful to hear the variety of thoughtful opinions among a group of smart people who agree on the basic ontology.
As if there were no history of secular intellectualism. Argument from/within an intellectual bubble economy: a ghetto. repeats, repeats, repeats.
The role of belief in religion is greatly overstated, as anthropologists have long known. In 1912, Émile Durkheim, one of the founders of modern social science, argued that religion arose as a way for social groups to experience themselves as groups. He thought that when people experienced themselves in social groups they felt bigger than themselves, better, more alive — and that they identified that aliveness as something supernatural. Religious ideas arose to make sense of this experience of being part of something greater. Durkheim thought that belief was more like a flag than a philosophical position: You don’t go to church because you believe in God; rather, you believe in God because you go to church.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

more at Gawker

Saturday, May 10, 2014

An open letter from a philosophy professor to Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Yes, he's a vulgarian, and so was Sagan. A debate between an auto mechanic and a bunch of anxious priests. Obsequious but wounded. Pathetic.

a repeat, and repeats of repeats. All I'm doing is waiting, and waiting is annoying.

in re: discussions of philosophical naturalism and of the theory of art. NewApps, specifically a comment by Jon Cogburn: his defense of Danto and Noel Carroll. On Criticism reviewed at NDPR See also discussion of naturalism and Rosenberg, incl. my comment, at Leiter

I thought I'd put this put ages ago, but maybe not.

It's from the big paper. I had it on the web, but it's down. Still trying to find a real home for it. Basic notes, here.

The photo collage above is the best simple debunking I know of philosophers' arguments about Duchamp. The images are Ingres' La Source, Courbet's Origin of the World, a Sevres porcelain (1921) after an 18th century original by Etienne Maurice Falconet, and Duchamp's Fountain. The only thing I should need to add is that the Courbet was made for private view. The same holds of course for any urinal.
Duchamp/ Hitchcock. Notes, here.

Hitchcock/Warhol 5/4/09 The whole post is repeated below

Andy Warhol, Double Elvis, 1963

A doubled image of a fake cowboy -a movie image- played by a pop "icon," and beneath that of a person: Elvis Aaron Presley.
Two images of an image, of an image, of a man. And an image of psychosis.

Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo, 1958, and Psycho, 1960.

I shouldn't have to point out, but I will, that the spiral image also is from Vertigo.

All of these ended up in the paper.

Friday, May 09, 2014

"And regardless of my parents’ intellectual defense of the pleasures of art, in their case mostly of literature, it was clear they saw their understanding of it as something higher than the thing itself. Their relation to art was condescending; they thought of artists themselves mostly with contempt. Like Fried and his mentor Greenberg and all the propagandists they opposed, my parents began not with art or history but with Modernism as defined above, and with philosophy. But the relation of the fine arts to philosophy was more complex than they imagined, given their old shared relation to political and religious authority. The claimed superiority of philosophy, like theology, has been that it is not fiction. The same’s been said for painting, if said only recently by Jews."
The history was always implicit, and maybe thats why I never made it explicit.
Maybe a little awkward. Fix it later.
Still waiting for the publisher, so why not:  PDF

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Scialabba's jeremiads are celebrated by technocratic readers only because they won't change a thing: technocracy wins regardless. There's a nastiness behind that, a hidden nihilism, their bloody valentine to the humanities that can offer nothing in return.
I'm proud of that one.
see previous post

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Robin and Kieran Healy on Gary Becker and feminism.

Healy: repeats [he now has a tag] which includes this. Healy quotes approvingly:
”He took the job because it was a dream job for him, a chance to do something exciting, fun and interesting. He was “owed” in our relationship because he had already moved twice for my job. His first choice would have been for him to have the good job without the travel, but that wasn’t an option. To be honest, I’m selfish enough that I would have preferred that he keep his bad job and make my life easier, but I cared about him, agreed he was owed, and knew why he really wanted to do it, so I signed off.”
It still amazes me that I ended up getting into an argument about the implications of the passive voice.

[The ghost of Panofsky: "Whichever book you open, you will find precisely the passage you need"
"What's the se…?" "Timing."]

George Scialabba, Catholic moralist, and CT's in-house literary critic, defends Christopher Lasch. Responding to Vivian Gornick: In Defense of Narcissism.

Two narcissists debating, two pots, two kettles. Individualism and bureaucratism are two sides of the same coin.  Klub Kid Kollectivity

Scialabba is Henry Farrell's favorite literary critic; his favorite band is My Bloody Valentine

Atomization, isolation and the illusion of absolute community. The low buzz and hum—the violence and warmth—of neurological overload.

My comment to Scialabba at The Boston Review: "How do you respond, as a moralist, to Henry Farrell's taste in decadence?"