Category: culture

Getting married today

It is ironic that an American now serves as the gravedigger of anti-monarchism.

There aren’t enough republicans to fill Wembley Stadium.

As the monarchy looks to the future, the brexitious Labour and Tory parties look to their inglorious pasts.

The cosmopolitan young royals are an easy sell when contrasted with the likes of nativist elected politicians like May and Corbyn.

Cromwell’s reign of terror made divine right look attractive.

The problem with Oxford is that it is not (and will never be) Cambridge.

Jordan Peterson is the Gwyneth Paltrow of the alt right.

Much of the blues tradition, on which rock and roll is based, is decidedly misogynistic and would run afoul of the #MeToo movement.

There are few facts in sports journalism, but there is a lot of conjecture and imaginative speculation.

Incitement to disgust

Want rules over need in economies based on consumption, not thrift. Asceticism is anachronistic.

Envy of the rich and hatred of the poor are co-dependent on each other. Neither emotion should be affirmed.

Simple language is for simple minds.

Americans tend to exaggerate; everything is the biggest, the most beautiful, the greatest. If you disagree with them, they call you little and sad.

Rights are taken, not given. They don’t fall down from heaven.

The Assad dictatorship has a track record of brutality. Ignore that at your own peril.

Conspiracy thinking is rife today. Those who doubt even their own existence are complicit with Assad and Putin.

Conspiracy thinking is insincerity par excellence. Taken to its logical end, conspiracy thinkers must consider that their own thoughts might be part of a conspiracy. And then the doors of the mental ward close behind them.

Alas, we are beset by fools and mountebanks.

Moral panic

 

Waterhouse_Hylas_and_the_Nymphs_Manchester_Art_Gallery_189615

The removal of the Waterhouse painting in Manchester is only another black eye for the city.

I recall a time when religious fundamentalists sought to ban photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe because they were “pornographic.”

Only a philistine would demand that art be moral.

Curators need the “creator” to sell to a public which is addicted to celebrity. They’ve sold the artist, not the art, for a long time. Hence, they remain behind the times intellectually for financial reasons.

The public, and the journalists who write for it, were never were educated in semiotics, structuralism, modernist aesthetics, etc., to begin with.

I remember when a man of the cloth called for the “extermination” of the Sex Pistols.

Arendt never apologised for being Heidegger’s lover.

Althusser murdered his wife, but no one demanded the New Left Review close its shop.

Épater la bourgeoisie.

the_luncheon_on_the_grass

On reflection

Mr Trump is a failed President even before taking office. He’ll have to answer to the pitchforks and patarini who elected him sooner than later.

His fate depends on what motivated the Deplorables. If they were motivated by the prospect of manufacturing jobs returning in mass numbers to the US, their belief will be shattered. However, if they were motivated by identity politics (i.e., misogyny, xenophobia, and racism), then their faith will be fully rewarded by Trump’s Presidency.

There are pockets of reason and enlightenment strewn over a landscape of inbred cultural backwardness. Radical cosmopolitans must stand up and say no to ignorance and cultural backwardness, whenever and wherever revanchist populism surfaces.

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There are also historical precedents for the Trump-Farage-Le Pen-Petry phenomenon. Cola Di Rienzo, Savonarola, Luther, and Robespierre attempted to channel the anger of “the people” towards various political ends. They lost control (the Peasants’ War of 1524-25, which was crushed with Luther’s help) and lost their lives in the process (Savonarola, Cola, and Robespierre).

Ordinary world

Along with foraging, scavenging will become a way of life under the twin forces of Brexit and Trump.

Fighting gentrification is like fighting gravity.

From an aesthetic point of view, film has no necessary relationship to reality. The more unreal film is, the better.

Bob Dylan will not attend the Nobel Prize ceremony. Perhaps he has nothing to say.