FLY-BYS

FLY-BYS

On my refrigerator today;

for the first time in a long time,

I noticed a ticket stub held to its surface with a magnet.

The ticket gave access to a Dandy Warhols show.

It was dated 30 May 2012,

which was exactly a year ago.

Time, sometimes, fly-bys…

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Wolfe, Loneliness, and Italy in the 70s

Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), in God’s Lonely Man (undated as an essay):

“The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence. When we examine the moments, acts, and statements of all kinds of people—not only the grief and ecstasy of the greatest poets, but also the huge unhappiness of the average soul…we find, I think, that they are all suffering from the same thing. The final cause of their complaint is loneliness.”[46]
 
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Guerriglia e guerra rivoluzionaria in Italia [Guerrilla Warfare and Revolutionary War in Italy]
by Sabino S. Acquaviva
Rizzoli (Milan), 179 pp., 5,500 Lire

II seme religioso della rivolta [The Religious Seed of Revolt]
by Sabino S. Acquaviva
Rusconi (Milan), 151 pp., 3,000 Lire 
 
Given the pervasiveness of such terrorism in this most civilized of countries, one welcomes the efforts of Sabino S. Acquaviva, sociologist at the University of Padua and Visiting Fellow at All Souls, Oxford, to cut beneath the surface and to try to reach its underlying causes. He has undertaken to explain the ideology of the radical left in his Guerrilla Warfare and Revolutionary War in Italy and to trace its social psychology in The Religious Seed of Revolt. The two books overlap and in a sense have their unnamed subject in Toni Negri himself, one of those “clamorous cases of people,” as Acquaviva puts it, “who began with a militant commitment to Catholic Action only to end up, in the space of a few years and via complex and troublesome intellectual odysseys, as militants or theoreticians in armed revolutionary groups.”

1.       Acquaviva claims that one element of continuity between the Catholic ideology these activists abandoned and the revolutionary one they embraced is found in their strong sense of moralism. I recall that some time ago a young revolutionary who still claimed to believe in God told me:

“Some big politician wanted that highway built [near Padua], and it cost 1.5 trillion lire that could have been used for cardiac or dialysis centers which we still don’t have…. But the highway was worth more votes than a hospital or cardiac center, and therefore someone who could have been saved is dying because that road was built. Now who is the worse killer? I who shoot that politician and maybe prevent his crime from being repeated, or that politician who kills every day?”

2.       Acquaviva finds a second element contributing to Autonomia in the crisis of identity that Italian Marxism has suffered in its long march from postwar Stalinism to present-day revisionism. Especially since 1973, when the PCI came out for the historic compromise with the Christian Democrats, many Italians have come to see the Party not as an adversary of capitalist society so much as a component of it, a moderate force for reforming the work ethic in Italy rather than a revolutionary movement to abolish it. For the Autonomists, the PCI hardly seems the place to enact the end of alienation that they take to be the promise of Marxism. For them, only the “refusal of work,” that is, absolute opposition to salaried labor, is true to the revolutionary spirit of Marx.
 
3.       Here enters the third element, the counterculture of personal liberation and self-fulfillment. Before it is a political movement, Acquaviva notes, Autonomia is a will to enjoy life rather than to have to earn it, a radical rejection of any society which, instead of enriching its citizens, dominates and represses them with an ethical system that insists that value comes through uncreative work. For the Autonomists the key word (it is Negri’s) has become autovalorizzazione, which can be translated as falling somewhere between self-fulfillment and self-assertion. In this concept the personal and the political meet, and more often than not Dylan pipes the tune and Marx dances.


India Menuez: This Is What Amy Looked Liked

I just wasted ten bucks on this film, Something in the Air / Apres Mai, that The New Yorker’s Richard Brody rightfully trashed…

which can be found here:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2013/05/something-in-the-air.html

Here are some choice qoutes, and by the way, I want my money back. I only read this review after seeing the movie and all of the other reviews seemingly liked the movie. I and Mr. Brody HATED it. Here are some choice qoutes:

In lieu of original creative energy, it offers a complacent sincerity peopled with dewy, modelish youths and adorned with markers of a political, literary, and artistic culture that it doesn’t explore or examine or transform at all but, rather, displays as part of a living museum of a storied time.

Its brief political citations from classic works representative of the era’s prominent ideologies set up simplistic lines of conflict and make big choices appear all too easy in retrospect; the movie is bathed in nostalgia, which it fuels by way of the intellectual equivalent of product placement.

Instead, the movie appears as a living example of the cherished-project theory: namely, that the dearer a planned movie is to a filmmaker, the closer the subject is to a filmmaker’s heart, the longer the filmmaker has nourished the dream of making it, the more likely it is that the filmmaker will be unable to approach the material with the necessary ruthlessness and will lapse into self-satisfaction and even self-parody.

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In any event, in respect to this blog post’s title and after seeing the above movie, I found an actress who reminded me of Amy.

This is what Amy looked like:


Books

When I moved to Philly, I told Amy about these books because people where I worked read them often. She, having never lived in a city and thus having never been exposed, didn’t believe me and told me I was stupid or something like that… this was right after our break-up and she saw me as nothing other than a piece of dog shit on the bottom of a shoe regardless of anything I said or did. We eventually stopped speaking. Anyway, the genre does exist:

The Observer takes the pulse of the genre known as “street lit.”

The genre, with its allegiance to all-or-nothing street politics and a firebrand code of ethics, was initially fostered by a cadre of authors like Ms. Clark who had actually lived the lives they narrated on the page.

http://observer.com/2013/05/holler-if-ya-read-me-african-american-writers-and-writers-fret-over-the-future-of-thug-lit/

I came across a review of the book below. This quote puts the nature of publishing in perspective.

Matthew L. Jockers, Macroanalysis: Digital Methods & Literary History (University of Illinois Press).

The author notes that only “2.3 percent of the books published in the U.S. between 1927 and 1946 are still in print” (even that figure sounds high, and may be inflated by the recent efforts of shady print-on-demand “publishers” playing fast and loose with copyright) while the most expansive list of canonical 19th-century British novels would represent well under 1 percent of those published.


“The have-nots, it turned out, aspired mainly to having.”

Joan Didion quote about the failure of radical politics in America:  

“The have-nots, it turned out, aspired mainly to having.”


New Peaks Will Rise

New Peaks Will Rise

We Can’t ‘GO’ It Alone, or

“Yes we can!”

(crowd applause)

Not in response to court orders

but in response to Keeping up with the pace of business

and maintaining an acceptable

l e v e l

of (mis)understandable nonsense (which is what it all is)

in the form of fictitious financial capital

as valuable as Hasbro’s monopoly money

 

a recent independent study found an existing anti-reality vaccine

given in a course of three shots

may be effective in only two-

with help from the Human Trials Transformation Initiative

the initiator can turn into the verifier and assure mutual destruction

by holding fast to strong beliefs in neoliberalism

 

We Can’t ‘GO’ It Alone, or

“Yes we can!”

and don’t worry, fair market competition

will not exist (crowd applause)

Above the ridge new peaks will rise

redundancy is resilience

which ensures system availability

 in the event of inevitably failed

meritocratic markers and markets, and

accelerating precarity 

 

We Can’t ‘GO’ It Alone, or

“Yes we can!”

“Yes we can!”

“Yes we can!”

(crowd applause)