31.8.08

'towards a political economy of information'

from roberto verzolo's towards a political economy of information, available from his blog here:


Nineteenth century America was a major center of piracy. The principal target of U.S. pirates was the rich variety of British books and periodicals. The U.S. was a perennial headache among British authors and publishers, because foreign authors had no rights in America. American publishers and printers, led by Harpers of New York and Careys of Philadelphia, routinely violated British copyright and “reprinted a very wide range of British publications.”

...

It is clearly to our interest to dip freely into the world’s storehouse of knowledge and adopt technologies which might be useful for our development. When it was still a developing country in the 18th and 19th centuries, the U.S. was one of the worst pirates of British books and publications. When it was trying to catch up with the U.S. and Europe, Japan also freely copied Western technologies. Taiwan did the same. So did Korea.
When the U.S. sent spy satellites in space, countries complained that the U.S. was taking away strategic information and violating their sovereign control over their own territories. The U.S. insisted that it was free get this information whenever it wanted, even to sell them back to those countries, if they were willing to pay for them. U.S. commercial satellites then started beaming video programming into other countries. When those whose culture considered the video content objectionable, the U.S. invoked the concept of “free flow of information” to insist that it had the right to beam these programs. Yet, when local people developed a taste for U.S. programs, captured these satellite broadcasts, and distributed them locally, the U.S. started complaining why people were receiving and copying their broadcasts without paying for them. According to their twisted logic, this was a violation of their intellectual property rights.
The U.S. sends its people worldwide to interview local healers and acquire their centuries ­old healing knowledge, which had been passed from generation to generation. When we copy U.S. books to acquire their knowledge, we are accused of piracy. U.S. scientists freely take away all kinds of microorganisms, plants and other sources of medicinal substances from Third World countries like us. Yet, when we copy the drugs that have been developed from these substances, we are also accused of piracy.
In short, information acquisition has been defined so that when it is bad for the interests of the U.S. and other advanced countries but good for us, it is called “piracy” and “free­riding”, but when information acquisition is good for their interests and bad for us, it falls under labels like “free flow of information” and “common heritage of mankind.”




va: the revolution [more001]

excellent debut comp from more recordings netlabel.
playlist:
01 - unsoundbwoy - mighty bootlegs come around
02 - Aczid ft The Digital Junglist - Blaze Da Fiyah
03 - Golden Lion Marmoset - Told You My Boy Was Gangsta
04 - BadWeed - Thatz Gangsta
05 - DJ Skye - Machine
06 - Palmatron - Resist Dem Oppression
07 - JungleFever - Wardance
08 - Ebola Soulja - Tables Will Turn
09 - The Artbreaker - 10731
10 - L(3) - Step Forward
11 - Baby Demo - Killing Teng
12 - Bro - Fuckin Up Di World

it says here:
Consisting of a wide variety of interpretations of jungle and related music from a well sick roster of producers in the game, “The Revolution” is both dancefloor friendly and domepiece punishing. From straight forward ragga jungle soon-to-be anthems to in your face raggacore/breakcore to leftfield breakbeat workouts to hip hop drum.n.bass hybrids to dubstep flavored delights and beyond, the whole of the compilation stands as one while each tune remains its own thing entirely capable of surviving on its own and fitting into any deft DJ’s mix. Ringing in at over an hour long and coming delivered in 320kbps MP3 format, this is serious business that most definitely shouldn’t be slept on.
dl

30.8.08



czech speedcore netlabel with some nice comps, see the releases page (and by 'nice', i actually mean something like 'ferocious').




my brand new epsilon t-shirt.

29.8.08

food boycott?

i saw this story on rte the other night, and they used this bizarre phrase 'food boycott'. it's all a bit sketchy and shady, but all the same, whoever heard of a 'food boycott'? the phrase they refuse to use is of course hunger strike, because they don't want to clothe 'asylum seekers' in the dubious glory associated with these martyrs. specifically, what they want to do is depoliticise as well as delegitimate any protest.

28.8.08

tricky words


it's that time again:


achronic – outside of time or considered without reference to time (?)
acme – the highest pinnacle of perfection or achievement
affectuate – to bring about or make happen
affektenlehre – the representation of various moods though the key a work of music is in
agelast – someone who never laughs, a humourless person
anacolouthon – a break in sequence when a sentence changes course
apatheia – serene passionlessness, as in the aftermath of tragic purgation
apograph – a copy or transcript
aporia – a confusion in establishing the truth or validity of a proposition
ascesis – self-discipline
asseveration – affirmation, emphatic declaration
asyndeton – the omission of conjunctions in sentences where they would normally be used
ataxia – jerky, uncoordinated movements; usually as a consequence of disease in the cerebellum
atheology – the study of the nature of god from an atheistic perspective
atrabilious – gloomy, bad-tempered (black bile)
bathos – insincere pathos; in discourse, a sudden descent ins style from the sublime to the mundane
belay – to fasten or secure (a rope); to tell someone to stop doing something (they were earlier instructed to do)
blazon – to announce something widely or ostentatiously; to create or describe a coat of arms using traditional symbols; a coat of arms or technical description thereof
bobo – bourgeois bohemian
brechtian – referring to brecht’s ‘re-functioning’ theory of politically active ‘epic theatre’, where plays and performances are intended to impact on the audience in such a way as to foster critical perspectives and effect social change
cacique – a native american chief in colonial period latin america; a local political boss; also a tropical bird of the same region
cassowary – a large, black, flightless bird, similar to an ostrich or an emu
chasen – a whisk used in japanese tea ceremonies
chyle – a milky fluid that forms in the small intestine during digestion
ciceronian – marked by ornate language, expansive flow, and forcefulness of expression
cloaca – the single excretory chamber in some animals into which the intestinal, urinary and reproductive tracts empty
coati – an omnivorous animal of south and central america, related to the racoon, with a narrow snout and a striped tail
collimate – to adjust the line of sight (of an optical instrument) so as to increase performance; to focus into a narrow beam or to render parallel
constative – relating to a statement or utterance that can be considered true or false
contrectation – sexual foreplay, or the impulse to embrace or caress sexually
coprolagnia – pleasure in the the apprehension of traces of excrement
coprolite – fossilised excrement
coryphaeus – the leader of a chorus in greek drama, any leader or spokesperson
costive – slow to speak or act, stingy, constipated
craquelure – a network of small cracks, as on the surface of an old oil painting
dago – derogatory term for a person of hispanic or portugese (originally italian) descent
data smog – stress, confusion, weakened vision, frustration etc. in the face of information
denotatum – that which a word refers to
depotentiate – to remove the effects or potency of
diablerie – witchcraft
diacritical – a sign or mark added to indicate a difference in pronunciation. diacritic – capable of distinguishing or making a distinction
dilettante – someone interested in art or some other specialised field, but who has only a superficial knowledge of it
disenstrangement – to bring together; make not strange, to render familiar (?)
egregious – bad, balatant or ridiculous to an extraordinary degree
elision – omission or contraction in language (e.g. he’s); or the suppression or omission of something
empery – sovereignty, dominion
encratic – produced and spread under the production of power
endo-language – inner language
enjambment – the continuation of meaning from one line of poetry to the next
entelechy – becoming, the inner nature of a thing which determines its development
enthymeme – an argument assuming the truth of, and therefore omitting, one or more premises from the logical sequence
epicene – having both male and female characteristics
epigone – an unoriginal or mediocre follower of an artist or thinker
epireading – reading ‘above’ or ‘upon’
eponym – the name of a person or character from which another name or term is derived
equipollent – having the same weight, validity, or effect
erotogenicity (erotogenic) – the production of sexual excitement or that which gives rise to sexual excitement
erysipelatous – suffering from erysipelas, an acute bacterial inflammation of the skin, producing a red, swollen rash
febrile – relating to or typical or indicative of fever
ferrule – a metal cap, cylinder, or connection joining pipes
fescennine – obscene or scurrilous
fons et origo – source and origin
fugacious – lasting a very short time
garboil – turmoil, confusion
gerontocracy – government by elders
gerund – a noun formed from a verb
glissage – sliding (fr.)
grammatolatry – worship of words; regard for the letter while ignoring the spirit of something
graphireading – reading focussed on the visual symbols of the text
grimoire – a book of magical rituals, conjurations, incantations etc.
hypotaxis – the subordinate status of one clause in relation to another separated from it by a subordinating conjunction
illud tempus – that time
in nuce – ‘in the walnut’; in plan, in embryo, first draft
incunabula – books printed prior to 1501
intercarnal – between flesh or bodies (?)
interregnum – the period between the end of one reign or regime and the beginning of the next; a period where there is no government or authority
jeremiah – a miserable person who complains a lot and makes dire predictions
kenosis – emptiness, self-emptying
koan – a zen buddhist riddle, used to focus the mind during meditation and to develop intuition
littoral - of or relating to the shore or the coast
lucullan – lavish, extravagant, luxurious
manumission – the act of freeing a slave by a master; releasing a person from slavery
menippean – like the satirical works of mennipus, used by bakhtin to refer to carnivalesque satire
metathesis: inversion of two speech sounds e.g. ax for ask
miles gloriosus – an arrogant, boastful, sometimes cowardly soldier, especially as a stock character in comedy
misoneism – fear or hatred of change, the new, or innovation
misprision – failure to report, on the part of someone who knows of, but did not commit it, a crime; neglect or dereliction of duty on the part of someone in public office
nembutsu – thinking of the buddha, mindfulness of the buddha
nephilim – a race of old testament beings, powerful giants, descended from angels
nigrescent – turning black
nosism – the practice of referring to oneself as ‘we’ (the ‘royal’ or ‘editorial’ we)
orthoepy – the study of the pronunciation of words
orthophemism – straight talking
parapraxis – freudian slip
parataxis – combination of clauses or phrases without cunjunctions like ‘and’ or ‘so’
penumbra – a partial outer shadow or indistinct peripheral area
phallophoria – festivals where phallic statues or symbols were carried around in ritual procession
philology – the study of the relations between languages and their history, especially with reference to the analysis of texts; the study of ancient texts, especially as indicative of cultural history
picquet – infantry outpost; late medieval military punishment
polyhistor – person of great erudition, possessing knowledge of many fields
praetorian – corrupt, fraudulent
preterite – belonging only in the past, referring to the simple past tense
punctilious – extremely careful about behaviour and etiquette; or about small details
purgation – the act of purging or being purged
putti – figures of angelic children or babies; ‘little loved ones’ or cherubs, the plural of putto (it.)
quid pro quo – ‘this for that’, the exchange of one item of value for another
raisonnĂ© – reason (fr.) in the philosophical sense, the capacity to distinguish truth and falsity, good and evil etc.
realia ad realiora – from reality to a higher reality
rebarbative – unpleasant or annoying
recusant – a roman catholic who would not attend protestant services; a person who refuses to obey authority
sabot – a wooden shoe like a clog; a sleeve placed round a projectile so that it can be fired from a weapon with a larger bore; the strap across the instep of a sandal or a sandal with such a strap
scrannel – thin, unmelodious
sententious – tending to use maxims or aphorisms; inclined to moralising; verbally succinct
sept – (in irish use) an anglicised term referring to a dominant ruling kingroup, (in scots use) a subdivision of a clan
seraphim – angels, celestial beings of the highest order
seriatim – one after another; in a series
sessile – descriptive term for a leaf or flower without stalk and attached directly to the stem; or an animal permanently attached to something (like a barnacle) rather than free-moving
spectrality – ghostliness; or that relating to or produced by a spectrum (an arrangement or organisation of components by frequency, energy, colour etc.)
spic – derogatory term for a person of latin american descent
stakhanovism – the soviet propaganda system, intended to boost worker productivity, holding up as an exemplar the miner stakhanov
stanislavskian – the naturalistic or realistic psychophysical acting method propagated by stanislavsky
steganography – hiding messages between the pixels of a graphic
striation – patterning or marking with parallel grooves or narrow bands
sub specie aeternitatis – ‘under the sign of eternity’
subserve – to help to further, promote, or bring about
substrate – the underlying language of a colonised people, upon which the new language (superstrate) is imposed (irish in ireland is the substrate for english)
subtilize – to produce fine distinctions and subtleties; to make more subtle
suffisance – sufficiency (fr.)
superficies – the outer surface or outward appearance of something
superstrate – the language of a later invading people, imposed on an indigenous people
tartuffe – a hypocrite who feigns virtue, especially religious
teknonymy – the practice of referring to parents by the names of their children
tergiversation – using detours, ‘back-turning’
testeria – the male equivalent to hysteria
textology – the study of texts
theogonic – referring to the angles, sides or shape of god (?)
time theft – also called ‘soldiering’ and ‘la perruque’ – deliberate slacking and inefficiency at work
vorurteile – prejudice (?)
votary – a devotee or disciple
wop – derogatory term for a person of italian descent


including some fugitives from the last round.


27.8.08



despite a good and under-utilised premise, this movie turns out, on balance, to be disappointingly un-good.
why we watch these kinds of movies, i don't know, when we could be watching movies like this one:



the orphanage is a genuinely scary, creepy, and also sad and poignant horror movie (haunting in both of those senses). it's almost like it's built out of template elements for what to make a scary movie out of, and in fact it nods reflexively towards such archetypes (or see here).






26.8.08

fibbers of parnell st..

cassette scratching





i saw it here first.

24.8.08


the new passenger of shit album already, out on hong kong violence. coprolalic as ever (see this for instance on the 'lower bodily stratum').




the new gabbenni amenassi album (zip), out on the sociopath netlabel.
like.

23.8.08



“isolated from its social relations, literacy takes on a reified and symbolic significance unwarranted by its own, more restricted influences. Thus, to the middle class, ‘illiterates’ were conceived as dangerous to the social order, as alien to the dominant culture, inferior and bound up in a culture of poverty. As such they represented a threat to the established order and the effort to increase literacy rates was a political move to maintain the position of the ruling group. However, the teaching of literacy involved contradictions. The potentialities of reading and writing for an under-class could well, they feared, be radical and inflammatory, so the framework for the teaching of literacy had to be severely controlled and only those consequences of its acquisition that the ruling classes were concerned with were to be allowed. This involved specific forms of control of the pedagogic process itself and specific ideological associations of the literacy purveyed. The workers had to be convinced that it was in their interests to learn the kinds of literacy on offer, in the kinds of institutions in which it was taught, but had to be restrained from taking control of it for themselves or developing their own alternative conceptions of it. Although the consequences of the kind of literacy being provided were not, according to the figures Graff produces, in reality advantageous to the poorer groups in terms of either income or power, they had to be persuaded that they were. It is in this sense that the concrete forms and practices of literacy are bound up with the construction and dissemination of conceptions as to what literacy is in relation to the interests of different classes and groups. Indeed, the power of the conception of literacy that was successfully conveyed in contexts of the kind Graff is describing is such that many sociologists and writers have themselves accepted it as the starting point for their analyses” (Street 1984: 105).


“information technology, which has the greatest potential to democratize, equalize and empower individuals, can be highly effective in improving the quality of lives of the poorest of the poor. In general economic terms, that which is profitable for the poor is also profitable for the rich. However, more often than not, the reverse does not hold” (Kanungo 2003: 103).




Kanungo, Shivraj. 2003. “Information Village: Bridging the Digital Divide in Rural India.” Pp. 103-123 in The Digital Challenge: Information Technology in the Development Context, edited by S. Krishna and Shirin Madon. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Street, Brian. 1984. Literacy in Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


from the reading i'm doing at the moment on literacy and technological literacy in historical and cross-cultural perspective. street is citing this book, and he's pretty persuasive in arguing that literacy, and arguably by extension technological literacy, is more an ideological tool than a neutral set of skills. he's also pretty provocative in asking just what the hell these skills are supposed to be for when they are 'provided' to people who are excluded from using them in any immediately relevant way. along slightly similar lines:

“Corporations also have no problem with the digital divide because they use the disparity between potential and actual employment to insinuate themselves as ‘the solution.’ By defining technologically produced racial equality as the ‘ideal,’ they argue for increased technology adaptation until such racial (consumer) equality is reached, effectively giving themselves an unending ‘mandate.’ This mandate to eradicate inequality begs the question, Why exactly is Internet access valuable? Indeed, narratives of the digital divide and digital empowerment form a circle that circumvents questions about the value of information, or the value of access alone, since the Internet – redefined through issues of social justice – becomes inherently valuable and desirable” (Chun 2006: 147).


Chun, Wendy. 2006. Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics. London: MIT Press.

i might be going a bit nuts what with the no money and the broken computer, but right now i'm back on the bakhtin tip in a big way; these are at the back of the queue, but they might get bumped up:

Emerson, Caryl. 1997. The First Hundred Years of Mikhail Bakhtin. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Hirschkop, Ken. 1999. Mikhail Bakhtin: An Aesthetic for Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pechey, Graham. 1999. Mikhail Bakhtin: The Word in the World. London: Routledge.
Vice, Sue. 1997. Introducing Bakhtin. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

and then there's:

David Lodge: After Bakhtin
Gary Saul Morson: Bakhtin: Essays and dialogues on his work
The Contexts of Bakhtin
Kristeva: Desire in Language (includes the famous kristeva essay on bakhtin)
Face to Face: Bakhtin in Russia and the West
Rethinking Bakhtin
...





22.8.08



what a line-up!


rediscovering chrome padded cell.

21.8.08

chaos tea


the new acidsamovar comp, chaos tea.



some great producers on this: atarix, salfetky, mirra and fay. check especially the insanely brilliant, hyper-edited medelayev remix of genetix: revenge.


20.8.08

show me the money

what is it that bothers me so much about this sort of thing?
what the world needs is more white european & american dudes “keeping it real” & getting sexy by going native

indeed! you have wayne&wax, ripley, rupture, and others, many of whom were schooled at elite north american academic institutions. and these people are really, in quite an impressive way, defining the terms of engagement for quite a lot of people (in the u.s. at least, or 'the west' if you prefer) in relation to contemporary music that is in the vaguest, most general terms, 'other' (from a western perspective). and they are doing so with a pretty high level of reflexive moral and political awareness. periodically, i revisit these sites and rediscover the debates those guys engage in with interest (i quite like this, for instance).

on the one hand i actually agree, rather boringly, with most of the positions they actually take on these musics and the political issues around them (it is rather the tone that sometimes makes me cringe).
on the other hand, then, it sometimes feels like they are guilty of the sorts of failings they are trying to avoid, and that they sometimes point out in the work of others: of othering, of a sort of cultural imperialism, of a rather patronising, presumptuous, right-on, self-assured confidence that hey, even if they are at the centre of the universe (which seems like it might be located in brooklyn), they are still decent enough, as well as cosmopolitan enough, to help the subaltern speak truth to power - through their blogs. i am sure that the poor and downtrodden of the earth are relieved they have such self-selected spokespersons in the first world.

there are a couple of things which, i suspect, make me feel this way. one is geographical location:
i don't, for instance, consider grime or ragga that 'exotic', and so when i see them discussed as such, i feel the hipster cat has been let out of the bag and has revealed him or herself to be american. and being american (that is, from the u.s., not the americas; a distinction which, as tagg likes to point out, is itself indicative of this kind of cultural imperialism) seems to give people the right to talk down to the rest of us. well, ok, no, that's not quite it, and i realise i'm probably doing a disservice to myself as well as the discourse i am criticising (like shadetek in the original post which inspired this, i'm probably also not making myself any new friends). i think it's that many might hesitate to presume a universal position in the way that it is presumed in some of these cases. i know what musical diet i was raised on, but i don't presume i share it with you, and i don't then go on to presume that that is what makes the music i am currently interested in interesting (to you). nor do i really consume 'nu-whirled global ghettotech' (whatever that means) in any serious quantity (i think it means electronic dance music produced by poor people, i suspect it excludes the poor of the first world, who after all aren't, in universal terms, actually all that poor). i don't really know what coup decale is, for instance. and perhaps this says more about how damnable i am than anything about those guys. anyway, the point about geography is in some ways really a point about how americans discuss things, and how it diverges from the way europeans go about it. it is as indicative here as anywhere else i guess, and as time goes on i notice it more.

another issue related to that of geography and american neocolonialism is the relationship between social location and confidence. one of the reasons why i don't make the kinds of presumptions i don't make is that i literally cannot afford to do so. and i know from experience that being poor for protracted periods of time tends to make you keep your mouth shut. also, not receiving the kind of validation one would hope to get from proper gainful employment has a similar effect. with no professional assurance that what one says is of any value or interest, one says little and speaks with caution, and becomes acutely sensitive to how those who seem to have sufficient money/power successfully have and project 'voice'. and when that voice is used to talk about the music of 'others' without such voice, well, it seems especially discrepant (whether or not the solution is to just shout, i don't know, but it doesn't seem very equitable).

so, finally, the thing that really bugs me about the fact that this bugs me at all is what it says about my own no doubt seething resentment, at finding myself still, after all this time and work, being outside of any paid, stable 'inside', with a future that looks insecure at best. it is precisely this sort of dismay which the army of post-phd prospective university employees are not supposed to publicly air (but then, isn't this precisely why so many in social research sing the praises of teh interwebz, because it is changing the shape of public/private, allowing ppl to express themselves & etc?). rejection letters, one after another, are a drag (as it happens, this book discusses with some brilliance the sort of processes at work here). with rather slim prospects and steep competition, in a country in a recession, and without full participation, upbeat pretense along those lines can seem an facade as well as an unaffordable luxury. i know success is a relative concept, but i know also that i'm not alone in sometimes feeling disheartened in this way.

after all, to appropriate and mis-use the feminist insight, the personal is political, or as mills would have it in a more general sociological vein, private troubles are public issues.
publish, and be damned.

but then, speaking as a semi-reformed high school dropout, punk, and raver, being on the 'outside' does have its benefits (though i doubt those benefits extend to the sanctimonious anti-'american' posture i'm adopting in this post).
bleh.

Analysing the Musically Sensuous

Society for Music Analysis Autumn Study Day

University of Liverpool, School of Music

22 November 2008

For most listeners to music, sensuous affect is of primary, perhaps even singular, importance. Our responses to music in everyday situations, ranging from background ambience to pounding film scores to sources of studious contemplation, are mediated through music’s sculpting of sensual, physical, emotional and affective experiences.

Yet when it comes to analyzing the musically sensuous, music theory and analysis have proved stubbornly resistant to (and perhaps even fearful of) engaging with the musically sensuous, often retreating instead into ostensibly more cerebral studies of the musically syntactical. This one-day conference seeks to contribute to the process of redressing that imbalance, not least by acknowledging that separations of the sensuous and syntactical in music are, at best, artificial necessities for study and, at worst, utterly misleading.

We invite papers dealing with any music repertoire seeking to analyse, explain, interpret or theorize instances and experiences of music’s sensuous and affective content; the role such content plays in the creation of musical meaning; and the cultural work such content enables music to achieve. Reflections are also welcome on the institutional contexts that have hindered recent music theory’s engagement with such work, on the social, historical and cultural contexts within which ideas of the sensuous in music are contested and defined, as well as challenges to the view that music has any such content at all.

Possible further topics for discussion include: haptics, proprioception, cognition, music psychology, semiotics, Affektenlehre, expectation, intensity, mood, Muzak, evolved vs. culturally conditioned responses, autonomic, galvanic and reflex mechanisms, gesture and embodiment, metaphor, music and torture, music in advertising and film, and the erotic.

Proposals for papers of 20 minutes duration, in the form of an abstract of 200 words, should be sent to Mirjam Jooss, mirjamjooss at hotmail.com. General queries may be sent to the same address.



society for music analysis
DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF PROPOSALS: extended until 5 September. All those submitting proposals will be notified by 15 September.

18.8.08

tesco


every little helps!




completely unrelated, a nice article from pc pro about drm:
the online music rip-off.

check out the crazy records john and tovah olson (dead machines) listen to.

17.8.08

dreamlines

16.8.08

norway


this is where i've been:













this is the cabin we stayed in, above the treeline, no electricity:









it's hard, from pictures, to get a sense of the scale of the terrain.













we also got to stay in this house, widely held to be haunted, and with all kinds of crazy stories told about it:







during wwii the house was owned by the leader of the norwegian nazi party, and it retains nazi decor, such as these swastikas:





the creepy upstairs bedroom we slept in:

there was not, during that night, much paranormal activity that we could tell.


there was a print of this kittelsen, among others, on the wall there:




like.

7.8.08

this just in

here's what i got in the post today:



hardback, 384 pages, looking good.

5.8.08


“Language invokes the political concept of freedom because language is struggle against the necessity of certain forms. Language is a unitizing noun developed for the action of what is a scattered and powerful array of social forces. Whether or not social interaction is conceived as class struggle, social forces are never conceived otherwise than as being in conflict, except in utopias, which is why the word utopian has come to mean ‘unreal.’ Bakhtin argues that language is where those struggles are engaged most comprehensively and at the same time most intimately and personally. It is in language, not in the nation-state, that social force finds its most realized expression” (Clark and Holquist 1984: 220).

“The systems that texts manifest may also be thought of as ideologies. Ideology in this sense is locatable in all that texts take for granted, the preconditions held to be so certain by their authors that they need not be stated. The pillars supporting a text’s assumptive world are thus invisible insofar as they need not be expressed. Ideology must be seen in a text’s holes, in what it has felt it could leave unuttered. Insofar as ideology is the stuff out of which a culture manufactures its greatest certainties, ideology is always extremely conservative in its effect. Great effort is required even to see it, since so much of its function is to ensure that it never becomes an issue independent of the material it organizes” (ibid.: 299).



“The unconscious, as the official conscious, operates like a minority political party opposed to certain aspects of the reigning politics of a culture. The more of these it opposes, the more ‘censored’ it is, because the difference between its values and those of the majority is expressed as a difference of language. The less the unofficial party has in common with the official ideology, the more restricted are its expressive means. Insofar as the minority cannot share official values, it is condemned to relative silence. If, for example, an Eskimo revolutionary group seeking independence from the United States were to flood New York City with manifestoes written in an Eskimo language it would be in a similar situation. Even though willing a conflict with the majority culture, the group would be condemned to inaction by the structure of communication, the architectonics of value” (ibid.: 184).

“Bakhtin’s daring insistence on the uniplanar coexistence of the rules of governance in the psyche with the rules of governance in the state is not only a new way to conceive Freudian theory but also a new way to send out coded messages from the catacombs. The gap between official and unofficial conscious can become so great that the official finally snuffs out the content of the unofficial” (ibid.: 185).




“Style is a struggle, a politics, and the freer from specific alterities or the less subordinate to local conditions of expression a text becomes, the more aesthetic it becomes. Aesthetics, in other words, constitutes a version of liberty” (ibid.: 210-211).



Clark, Katerina, and Michael Holquist. 1984. Mikhail Bakhtin. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

4.8.08









worst album covers ever. outstanding. but really there are so many to choose from; it depends on your criteria.

i'm definitely on the look-out for crying demons.