Friday, April 30, 2021

The problem for programmatic liberalism as for radicalism is that both are fantasies sprung out of individualist imagination; both deny the fact of what Arendt called human “plurality”. The truths of liberalism and radicalism are singular because they’re generalizations; the truths of art are plural because specific. Brecht’s decadence is far less problematic than Walter Benjamin’s for the same reason Borges’ decadence is more problematic than Billy Wilder’s. But Modernism takes what it can use. Self-hatred is as appropriate a topic in discussing Borges and Philip Roth as Mapplethorpe, Fassbinder, Celine, Mishima, or Houellebecq. “Céline is my Proust!” as Roth said. But the only people to refer openly to Roth’s self-hatred use it to attack his work. And he’s defended from the charge with the same loyalty as defenders of Borges, for reasons that have nothing to do with the work itself, but only with the role they’re made to play, even though Borges deals in generalizations, and Roth in specifics.

Katha Politt on Roth and Bailey isn't bad, but not good enough. What does it mean that Cynthia Ozick is as twisted as Roth?

The rest started as a new post, but two days later it makes sense to join them,

John McWhorter in the NYT    

(I should also note that I am concerned here with “nigger” as a slur rather than its adoption, as “nigga,” as a term of affection by Black people, like “buddy.”)

That's as far as I got.

"Nigga" only works within the group. It means "us". Outsiders don't use it, and shouldn't. Gay men call each other "faggot", acknowledging their shared status as marginal, outside, "down by law".  The language toughens you, but includes self-hatred. This is all obvious to anyone who's not a proud deluded American "liberal". 


I had a long conversation a couple of days ago with a foreign-born academic. A major figure. On Zoom. At his suggestion. It's nice when someone at that level says flatly, "I know what you mean." "Americans have no sense of irony"

Milanovic is such a fucking idiot

Here I want to discuss another issue where we face a fundamental contradiction between the principles according to which hyper-capitalist societies are organized and what may be considered desirable outcomes. The topic is authenticity in arts, and to a lesser degree, in social sciences. When we deal with reproducible goods, the advantage of capitalism is that profit can be made only if somebody else’s needs are satisfied. Thus two objectives, personal needs of a buyer and the profit goal of the producer, are aligned.  

But this is not the case in arts. The reason is that arts thrive on, or require, individualism, uniqueness and authenticity. When you try to guess public’s preferences in shoes, and produce such shoes, this is good and useful. But when you try to guess public’s preference in literature, films or paintings, it may, if you guess them correctly, make you rich, but from the point of view of artistic creation, it could very easily be fake and ephemeral. In arts, we are interested in an individual’s view of the world, not in an individual’s ability to ape public preferences or prejudices.  

I will illustrate it with some extreme examples. When we read Kafka’s Diaries, we are  sure that they represent his own true and unvarnished take on the world: he wrote them for himself, never thought they would be published, and explicitly asked that they be burned. The same is true, for example, with Marx’s 1848 manuscripts which were saved largely by accident and were published more than a century after they were written. Whether one likes or not either is a matter of taste and interest. But there is no doubt that they are authentic works of these two people.

But when we watch a film whose ending was tested on different audiences to produce the ending that most people would like to see, and pay for, there is—likewise—no doubt that the author’s role in such an enterprise is diminished, and in some cases totally obliterated. The same is true for works of fiction. If they are written with the main objective of money-making they have to play on popular preferences and to present as little of author’s personal opinions (which may be unpopular) as possible. Why should one then, if in search of new or challenging ideas, read such novels?

"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." 

Social life is compromise, in the bedroom or the legislature. Art is social. Notwithstanding Arendt's separation of the social and the political family life is intimate politics. Milanovic can't even imagine that the nomenklatura functions as a set of social relations. He's really that blank. 

repeats. The first two are Milanovic and Sartre, 

Being alone is both our preference and a response to a world of competitiveness, commodification and higher incomes. The new world that we can glean will not be dystopian. It will be a Utopia, with a twist.

Let us consider this waiter in the café. His movement is quick and forward, a little too precise, a little too rapid. He comes toward the patrons with a step a little too quick. He bends forward a little too eagerly; his voice, his eyes express an interest a little too solicitous for the order of the customer. 
"He was owed", not even "I owed him". 
Communication as contract: between the selfish and self-conscious, but not un-self-aware. All the grey areas in a relationship described as lines. I’m sure she feels the children were “owed” too. 

The MIT professor who considered medical castration as a cure for male privilege...

Scott Aaronson couldn't accept that getting laid is a social exchange, but felt ashamed of wanting to rape.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

notes before returning to an argument. A polite one.

Idealism vs the historicization of idealism. If humanism is the study of the past, rejecting authority but respecting tradition, as Panofsky put it, then it is not strictly speaking "idealist".  Idealism is dogma. The brief period we call the High Renaissance was the moment between idealist dogma and the moral panic: the affect of Botticelli and Bronzino. If balance is achieved it's only in passing, and mourning it too much only reinforces reaction.

"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear."

Periodization works. Historicism works. Relations exist, but tempora mutantur. Times change. 

Art and money are in tension, not opposition.  The seriousness in the art world, the world of "non-commercial art" was not a world without commerce.  The parallels are obvious.

"The university belongs, like the church and the military, to the social institutions that are situated at a considerable distance from democracy and adhere to premodern power structures."

Art and money in the art world—the world of "fine art"—are no longer in opposition, or no more so than the tension between design and money—design and architecture are distinct (that's a subject). But that tension exists more and more, and more openly, in film and other forms of entertainment, except gaming (and again).

Gaming will be an art form beyond design when designers introduce tragedy. As Schrader says:"it’s still in the realm of the techies." The other option is not in games as such but "world creation", something covered late in Halt and Catch Fire, when test players and marketers become confused, and nonplussed, because the game designer Cameron has designed a game that's impossible to win. This is 2017 looking back at 1995. Schrader's article came out in 2014. Tempora mutantur

Cannes vs The Biennale  

Panofsky, 1934

"Today there is no denying that narrative films are not only “art”—not often good art, to be sure, but this applies to other media as well—but also, besides architecture, cartooning and “commercial design,” the only visual art entirely alive."

etc.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Great title. 

The Paranoid Style in American Diplomacy: Oil and Arab Nationalism in Iraq
Iraq has been the site of some of the United States' longest and most sustained military campaigns since the Vietnam War. Yet the origins of US involvement in the country remain deeply obscured—cloaked behind platitudes about advancing democracy or vague notions of American national interests. With this book, Brandon Wolfe-Hunnicutt exposes the origins and deep history of US intervention in Iraq.

The Paranoid Style in American Diplomacy weaves together histories of Arab nationalists, US diplomats, and Western oil execs to tell the parallel stories of the Iraq Petroleum Company and the resilience of Iraqi society. Drawing on new evidence—the private records of the IPC, interviews with key figures in Arab oil politics, and recently declassified US government documents—Wolfe-Hunnicutt covers the arc of the twentieth century, from the pre-WWI origins of the IPC consortium and decline of British Empire, to the beginnings of covert US action in the region, and ultimately the nationalization of the Iraqi oil industry and perils of postcolonial politics.

American policy makers of the Cold War era inherited the imperial anxieties of their British forebears and inflated concerns about access to and potential scarcity of oil, giving rise to a "paranoid style" in US foreign policy. Wolfe-Hunnicutt deconstructs these policy practices to reveal how they fueled decades of American interventions in the region and shines a light on those places that America's covert empire builders might prefer we not look.

HRW, late to the game but you expect nothing else: Abusive Israeli Policies Constitute Crimes of Apartheid, Persecution.

Years of protests until even the big names join in. 

Modal mixture common tone enharmonic double chromatic mediant modulation

I'm not interested in Celine Dion, and I don't follow youtube "creators". I found it by accident. It's had a million views in 11 days, and I'll take sophistication where I find it. I don't assume it exists where it's supposed to. This is a document of something living; catch what isn't meant as a reference, to T.S. Eliot and Diderot, but is right, as they were. Whether Dion pulls it off is another thing. I think she's unbearable; every note is fake. But she's a great technician.


I'm going to add another. His manner annoys me a little but it's very sophisticated discussion of music, technically and rhetorically, and art in general, for a popular audience. He's also funny,  and so is his editor. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

It is generally known that John Stuart Mill spent his working career in the service of the East India Company, but very little has been written about him in this capacity. As an administrative official of the company, the home government of India, John Mill's activities have been greatly overshadowed by the influence exerted upon Indian policies by his father, James Mill, historian of British India and a member of the Examiner's Office of the Company from 1819 until his death in 1836. Like his father, John Stuart recognized the company's government of India for what it actually was—a despotism of an alien race, which, despite the good accomplished by it in the last decades of its existence, was established by conquest, treaty, and annexation. And yet, he spent almost half of his life as an official of this establishment, drafting dispatches to the India government, and, in defence of the company's rule against extinction by Parliament, wrote what Lord Grey described as the ablest state paper he had ever read.

Keller: 

We imagine that platforms can bring the whole sprawling chaos of human behavior into compliance with the law. Make our lives policeable, and policed, to a degree no govt in history could have imagined. Not only do we seem to think it's possible– we think it's a good idea.

Whaddaya mean "we" Kemosabe?

Facebook India (image added 4/29)

WSJ

“Our main concern is the secrecy in the censorship,” said Apar Gupta, executive director of New Delhi-based Internet Freedom Foundation, a digital-rights organization. “Any legal order for directing blocking of websites should contain reasoning and be made public. Neither of these steps are being carried out right now.” 

Evelyn Douek of Harvard Law. tweets the above and adds: "The total opacity is one of the most troubling parts"

The blocking itself is a problem.

The Wire (India): At Government Request, Twitter Takes Down Some Tweets Critical of Official COVID Handling

New Delhi: Twitter has withheld from public view around 50 tweets in India, a good chunk of which criticised the manner in which the Narendra Modi government has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

India is currently in the midst of a brutal ‘second wave’, with daily infections passing 300,000, and the total number of daily deaths running over 2,000.

According to Twitter’s filings with the Lumen database [two links]– a transparency initiative run by Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Centre which tracks content removal requests – the affected tweets have been taken down in response to a request by the Indian government....

Significantly, the content removal list uploaded by Twitter also includes a handful of tweets put out by verified accounts. This includes politicians like the Congress’s Revanth Reddy and Pawan Khera, and minister in the West Bengal government Moly Ghatak.

Tweets put out by filmmaker Avinash Das and filmmaker Vinod Kapri have also been removed from public view in India. 

repeating from Friday. ProPublica: Sheryl Sandberg and Top Facebook Execs Silenced an Enemy of Turkey to Prevent a Hit to the Company’s Business
Turkey was demanding the social media giant block Facebook posts from the People’s Protection Units, a mostly Kurdish militia group the Turkish government had targeted. Should Facebook ignore the request, as it has done elsewhere, and risk losing access to tens of millions of users in Turkey? Or should it silence the group, known as the YPG, even if doing so added to the perception that the company too often bends to the wishes of authoritarian governments?

It wasn’t a particularly close call for the company’s leadership, newly disclosed emails show.

“I am fine with this,” wrote Sheryl Sandberg,...  

 NYT: Is an Activist’s Pricey House News? Facebook Alone Decides.

On Wednesday, I learned a new way to get a news article erased from much of the internet.

If the article shows your home or apartment, says what city you’re in and you don’t like it, you can complain to Facebook. Facebook will then ensure that nobody can share the article on its giant platform and, as a bonus, block you from sending it to anyone in Facebook Messenger.

I learned this rule from a cheerfully intense senior Facebook lawyer. The lawyer, who was supplied by Facebook’s public relations department on the condition she could speak only anonymously to discuss a specific case, was trying to explain why the service had expunged a meanspirited New York Post article about a Black Lives Matter activist’s real estate purchases.

The policy sounds crazy because it could apply to dozens, if not hundreds, of news articles every day — indeed, to a staple of reporting for generations that has included Michael Bloomberg’s expansion of his townhouse in 2009 and the comings and goings of the Hamptons elites. Alex Rodriguez doesn’t like a story that includes a photo of him and his former fiancée, Jennifer Lopez, smiling in front of his house? Delete it. Donald Trump is annoyed about a story that includes a photo of him outside his suite at Mar-a-Lago? Gone. Facebook’s hands, the lawyer told me, are tied by its own policies.

NY Post: Social media again silences The Post for reporting the news.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Watching Devs. No surprises.
Determinism has been ubiquitous for 40 years (that tag's as good as any). Now it's overt, and labeled as such.
No surprises but the details. The details are the art.
---
Looking through the actors, people connecting Parks and Recreation and Will and Grace to Martha Clarke, and The Good Wife to Richard Foreman, remembering that the man behind the visual construction of I Love Lucy shot Metropolis. The music used, beautifully, in a transition, written and performed by Mormons from Duluth. I'm loyal to the arts, and to artists. 

Friday, April 23, 2021

But those who’ve adopted the cause of wild animal suffering believe we ought to address even the problems that exist when humans aren’t around. If humans suddenly vanished tomorrow, flesh-eating screwworms would still infest deer, slowly eating them alive from the inside. Lions would still hunt gazelles and violently wrench the meat from their still-moving bodies.

Such language, not least because it echoed much of the redemptive idealism of the Risorgimento, had fallen on receptive soil, and anarchism had begun to spread swiftly in regions such as the Romagna and Campania, especially after the Paris Commune of 1871 and the Spanish revolution two years later had indicated the insurrectionary potential of the International. In 1874 a band of 150 anarchists had set out from the town of lmola, hoping to stir up a rising among the local peasantry (who had recently been involved in agricultural strikes and food riots) and capture the city of Bologna. But the police had stopped them with little difficulty. In the spring of 1877 two of the most prominent young anarchists, Errico Malatesta — a diminutive former medical student from the province of Caserta — and Carlo Cafiero — a wealthy Apulian landowner, with a deeply mystical and religious turn of mind who was later to die incarcerated in a lunatic asylum agonizing about whether he was getting more than his fair share of sunlight through the window — had tried to lead a rising in the Matese mountains to the north of Naples. Twenty-six anarchists had gone to the small town of Letino, burned the tax records, proclaimed the social republic, and handed out a few old guns to the bemused peasants (though one local priest had apparently tried to help by explaining that socialism and the teachings of Christ were much the same thing). But nothing had happened, and the insurgents had quickly been rounded up by troops
Tagged Freedom of Speech because the "philosophers and scientists", who want to protect gazelles from lions –sheep from wolves– want to protect us from ourselves, most recently, by advising and defending Facebook. 
As Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish minorities in neighboring Syria in early 2018, Facebook’s top executives faced a political dilemma.

Turkey was demanding the social media giant block Facebook posts from the People’s Protection Units, a mostly Kurdish militia group the Turkish government had targeted. Should Facebook ignore the request, as it has done elsewhere, and risk losing access to tens of millions of users in Turkey? Or should it silence the group, known as the YPG, even if doing so added to the perception that the company too often bends to the wishes of authoritarian governments?

It wasn’t a particularly close call for the company’s leadership, newly disclosed emails show.

“I am fine with this,” wrote Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s No. 2 executive, in a one-sentence message to a team that reviewed the page. Three years later, YPG’s photos and updates about the Turkish military’s brutal attacks on the Kurdish minority in Syria still can’t be viewed by Facebook users inside Turkey.

 I'd have a tag for Liberal Fascism, but it's covered already.

I might submit a paper to the Journal of Controversial Ideas on the subject of controversial ideas. The editorial board is a hoot. I know two names right off the bat who've called for censorship. I'm sure there're more. 

From Leiter, of course. Haidt is on the board. Leiter's not even paying attention

Jonah Gelbach on Haidt and Amy Wax. I've linked to it before. 
---
The issue isn't Haidt's racism. The record's clear enough.  
As I've said before, he'd have a hard time getting a job as a newly minted PhD.  Times change. 
The issue now is if he should be removed from teaching required courses. Any black student who wants to protest a grade has a prima facie case for discrimination. I'd sue over a B+. 

This time I'll go belt and suspenders.
A Federal judge has ruled that City College of New York may not punish a professor for writing that "on average, blacks are significantly less intelligent than whites."

The professor, Dr. Michael Levin, who is tenured in the philosophy department, had sued the college president and dean, charging violations of his civil and constitutional rights.

According to the ruling, college officials abrogated Dr. Levin's rights to free speech and due process when they formed a committee last year to investigate Dr. Levin, failed to discipline protesters who broke school rules by disrupting his classes and departed from tradition by establishing separate sections of his courses for students who might have been offended by his views, which he never expressed in class.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

banging my head against the fucking wall.

Tushnet 

Reflecting on the reported advance for Amy Coney Barrett's book: She has a salary of $265,600, a spouse who works for a small law firm, and seven kids, at least some of whom are going to go to college someday. Is it too -- I don't know -- banal to suggest that she might actually need the money?

Tushnet 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

It's called progress

Guilty on all charges. 
In spite of the earnest defenders of looting, and the equally earnest –only tacitly [sic]– racist reactionaries. I'm with Killer Mike, again, still.

"Black Lives Matter is a cry for full recognition within the established terms of liberal democratic capitalism."

Everything that's annoying, even pathetic, about the new pseudo-leftism, is worth some level of celebration as the new bourgeois reformism.

Monday, April 19, 2021

1994 (1989)
Depending on whom you ask the voice is either Borofsky or Sid Vicious. I don't remember any accompaniment and I doubt he paid for the use of the vocal track. I think it was Borofsky, obviously in imitation of SV. I've never forgotten the clown as I saw it, and I didn't know about the larger one until I recognized it in the film (watching for the first time). It's absurd –and a failure– as a public sculpture. The absurdity as tragedy only works in a room, as a figure under a spotlight. 

Old and new.

Emerson "The Transcendentalist". 

Much of our reading, much of our labor, seems mere waiting: it was not that we were born for. Any other could do it as well, or better. So little skill enters into these works, so little do they mix with the divine life, that it really signifies little what we do, whether we turn a grindstone, or ride, or run, or make fortunes, or govern the state. The worst feature of this double consciousness is, that the two lives, of the understanding and of the soul, which we lead, really show very little relation to each other, never meet and measure each other: one prevails now, all buzz and din; and the other prevails then, all infinitude and paradise; and, with the progress of life, the two discover no greater disposition to reconcile themselves. Yet, what is my faith? What am I? What but a thought of serenity and independence, an abode in the deep blue sky?
Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk,
After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight* in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

The editor of the Oxford University Press edition, refers to "double consciousness" without the hyphen: "what Du Bois calls 'double consciousness'", even though Du Bois hyphenates the term. Go figure.

He cites Dickson D. Bruce Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois and the Idea of Double Consciousness"

Bruce quotes Emerson straight –Emerson doesn't use the hyphen– but adds the hyphen when referring to his use of the term. "In Emerson's essay, 'double-consciousness' evoked..." Again, go figure.

Emerson's and –America's– separation of the pure and the vulgar, the worldly and unworldly, is a recipe for psychosis and disaster:  "The American has got to destroy. It is his destiny."

The bots that run Academia.edu invited me to submit a short essay. Amusing, since I signed up as a last resort because I was told by editors that the long one, would never pass peer review. We'll see what happens.
---

I submitted it. The first paragraph:

I want to expand on a reference in my longer manuscript, to the famous passage from W.E.B. Du Bois on double-consciousness: “this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others...”.  Reading it I think of Arendt. “[A] more specific, and also more decisive, flaw in Eichmann's character was his almost total inability ever to look at anything from the other fellow's point of view.”

Nothing I haven't said before.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

In re: This...  

This.

Halliwell reminded Orton of the high price Dionysus paid for ecstasy. Orton knew his friend was right. Neither of them had had much experience of happiness; and they distrusted it. Over tea and hashish cakes in the first month of their vacation, Orton and Halliwell contemplated their pleasure: 

Kenneth and I sat talking of how happy we both felt. We’d have to pay for it. Or we’d be struck down from afar by disaster because we were, perhaps, too happy. To be young, good-looking, healthy, famous, comparatively rich and happy is surely going against nature, and when to the above list one adds that daily I have the company of little boys who find (for a small fee) fucking with me a delightful sensation, no man can want for more. ‘Crimes of Passion will be a disaster,’ Kenneth said. ‘That will be the scapegoat. We must sacrifice Crimes of Passion in order that we may be spared disaster more intolerable.’ I slept all night soundly and woke up at seven feeling as though the whole of creation was conspiring to make me happy. I hope no doom strikes. (25 May 1967)

History is important, isn't it? You stupid fucks. 

etc.

The post is still up. Comments have been stripped. 

Gentrification is the displacement of the urban working and lower middle class by the educated children of the middle class and up, mostly those who define themselves as liberal. Conservatives with money have no interest in living with the poor; they play a role in gentrification first by way of investment, moving in themselves only after the neighborhoods have been transformed. 

The relation of gentrifying liberals to working class conservatives and liberals both is a mixture of condescension, towards liberal non-whites, and contempt towards conservative whites. There's no attempt to join in existing communities. The parallel would be children of the master of the house moving below stairs and living with the help. The help no longer have a place where they be free of their masters, to relax and let go. They have no space to themselves. They're still on duty in some way. The same holds with the gentrification of black neighborhoods by whites. White liberals complain about black racism in black neighborhoods, as if it were the equivalent of white racism on the upper east side. 

If you want to understand gentrification in economic terms read Dean Baker on deindustrialization as policy. It's that that spawned our free floating class of symbolic analysts and soi-disant public intellectuals: idea managers and money managers. Your analytic tone reads best as a distancing strategy. The analysis itself is minimal.

Cooper refers to "my home city of Philadelphia".... 

He's from Colorado Utah; he's been living in Philadelphia for a year, a single white male who bought a house in a place he's never lived. He calls for higher population density but his action is decreasing it. He's a lone eagle, a gentrifier, and an apartment wasn't big enough. Freedom is his model because he doesn't even know what community is. 

Visions of Hell

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Old habits are hard to break.

2012: 

"The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” 

2021

McConnell warns corporate America to 'stay out of politics' — but says donations are OK
Old habits are hard to break. There are legislators who have served in office for 30 years and this is like learning a new language for them,” said Rachel Bovard, senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute. “They still think profit motives drive these companies and it's not in their interest to punish conservatives. But you're seeing younger senators and office holders speak out on this and it will shape their politics moving forward."
Fourth time
Black Lives Matter sentiment is essentially a militant expression of racial liberalism....Black Lives Matter is a cry for full recognition within the established terms of liberal democratic capitalism.

Republicans trapped themselves. Capitalism knows no race, creed,... etc.

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes Captain America:  "I'm trying to remember the old days of righteous wars and evil empires.  I‘m trying to remind myself that Washington was noble once. That I was noble once."

"Young men. Weak. Looking for purpose. I found the flag. You found the badge"

Roy Lichtenstein: "The heroes depicted in comic books are fascist types..." 

Alan Moore is honest. Coates is a conservative. 

 
Jordan Peterson's an idiot.
repeat from 2008









In re: Baudelaire on "Philosophic" Art.
Watchmen, and Alfred Rethel from 1849, and 1851. plus ça change

Sunday, April 04, 2021

It might be stated as a general formula that the technology of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the sphere of tradition. By replicating the work many times over, it substitutes a mass existence for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to reach the recipient in his or her own situation, it actualizes that which is reproduced. These two processes lead to a massive upheaval in the domain of objects handed down from the past—a shattering of tradition which is the reverse side of the present crisis and renewal of humanity. Both processes are intimately related to the mass movements of our day. Their most powerful agent is film. The social significance of film, even—and especially—in its most positive form, is inconceivable without its destructive, cathartic side: the liquidation of the value of tradition in the cultural heritage.
He was such an ass.
"...it substitutes a mass existence for a unique existence." The fantasy of modernism, of communism and liberalism, Benjamin, Bourdieu and Donald Davidson: the end of individual experience; the substitution of ideas for people; the rule of generalizations, and idealized as opposed to deprecated bureaucracies.

There's no loss of "aura" for the mass production of poetry.  One copy of Lear is as good as another; the intimacy of language is the same on velum or newsprint. Even before Gutenberg manuscripts were secondary  That applies to film, to a point.  Substituting a postcard for a Piero della Francesca is mutilation. 
"My niece is reading the passion play in a valley girl accent, it's pretty funny. My nephew asked me if Jesus was 'technically a zombie'."

Text from an ex. Niece is about 14; nephew is maybe 11. Family of cops and firemen.