Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Edinburgh occupation tweetweetweetweet.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Edinburgh university occupation.

From the pledge:

"There are alternatives to reducing the national deficit than through these austerity measures, and we believe that, contrary to what the government has promised, cuts in higher education and public services will prove more detrimental to the economy.

We [...] recognise the intrinsic value of education in all subjects and that education is a public good above and beyond profit."

Come show support & listen to speakers at 12 today:

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Polity, Policy & the Passions

"Voodoo sociology" (UKIP) -- our coalition gov't will statistically monitor our happiness. "The Office for National Statistics is to devise questions for a household survey, to be carried out up to four times a year."


Dillow's blog post about it: "[...] happiness policy is leftist policy [...]"

Blastland at the BBC: "[...] Maybe that's because to be really happy it has to be a war of national survival [...]"


Power: "[...] audit is generally a form of control of control. What is subject to inspection is the auditee's own system for self monitoring rather than the real practices of the auditee [...]"


& Marcuse, from One Dimensional Man: "This liberation of sexuality (and of aggressiveness) frees the instinctual drives from much of the unhappiness and discontent that elucidate the repressive power of the established universe of satisfaction. To be sure, there is pervasive unhappiness, and the happy consciousness is shaky enough – a thin surface over fear, frustration, and disgust. This unhappiness lends itself easily to political mobilization; without room for conscious development, it may become the instinctual reservoir for a new fascist way of life and death. But there are many ways in which the unhappiness beneath the happy consciousness may be turned into a source of strength and cohesion for the social order. The conflicts of the unhappy individual now seem far more amenable to cure than those which made for Freud's “discontent in civilization,” and they seem more adequately defined in terms of the “neurotic personality of our time” than in terms of the eternal struggle between Eros and Thanatos."


& unhappiness is pretty much a priori an evil right?

So Mouffe: "My concern is that this type of politics – one played out in the moral register – is not conducive to the creation of the ‘agonistic public sphere’ which, as I have argued, is necessary for a robust democratic life. When the opponent is defined not in political but in moral terms, he can be envisaged only as an enemy, not an adversary: no agonistic debate is possible with the ‘evil them’; they must be eradicated."


How does the happiness news make you feel? It has a New Labour mouthfeel about it, but also a seasonal effervescence of New Tory market research which spreads to my toes. In the context of the coalition gov't (be careful what you wish for, be careful what you stakeholder-engage) it makes me feel happier.

Monday, November 15, 2010

From "The Golden Hex"

"I hereby propose secret meetings underground, which have been planned by the distribution of coded messages in so-called difficult poetry carried by homing pigeons."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Proclamation from HQ

If we are to build a broad-based campaign against the state's planned attack on social spending, we must accept a similarly broad range of tactics -- including tactics that we ourselves wouldn't necessarily advocate or feel comfortable with.


Student cunts. Put them up against any decent mob of football fans and they'll soon fuck off back to Mummy and Daddy's cottage in Norfolk whinging about poor treatment. F*cking hate students. Mostly worthless. Get a job, you lazy twats.


The way police deal with protests was overhauled after criticism of the "heavy handed" approach to the G20 demonstrations last year.  Yesterday's events demonstrate that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction.  Police had their hands tied and the result was pure anarchy.


If there will be a revolution in the UK, it will involve the army; war will continue either way, sugared by truth or not; love is not the unswerving bias of police dogs; it has to be made from scratch at the first indication of its possibility. 10.11.10 A4 remix.


[...] many analysts, from diverse perspectives, believe that we live at a moment of radical change in the system of global organisation.  The exclusive territorial state, which has been the dominant form of political organisation for the past three centuries, is threatened with displacement from new forms of organisation.

If the state is indeed in decline, there are four main possibilities. First, convergence on a new dominant type, much as the state replaced the variety of competing forms of organisation in an earlier transition.  The chief contender for this role is the multinational corporation; such a displacement would imply the secondary displacement of liberal rule of law with Sustainability / CSR. The second is that a range of forces will interact to govern across borders: corporations, international organisations, NGOs, CSOs, illegal syndicates and private armies [...]


I work hard, I have three kids. Two of them have lupus. I am unimpressed that my taxes will have to pay for the damage, even if it is only a minority of students who are violent. I never went to university, is that why I can't understand the point of expensive protests like these? I have been abroad.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

mémoire involontaire no. 1

-- is a program by A. Braxton Soderman, downloadable here.

"This text begins as a short, composed memory. Periodically and involuntarily its words are replaced in real-time by synonyms and coordinate terms extracted from the Wordnet database using the RiTa library for Processing. As time progresses the memory becomes unanchored from its original significance, drifting into new configurations as the old words are replaced by similar words with their own semantic associations and currents. After a certain amount of time has elapsed the text enters a second state where it attempts to “remember” its original form, where the text longs to reconstruct the original memory as it was first remembered and composed. In this state the text attempts to cycle back through the replacements, exfoliating the changes that have accumulated in order to recall the words of its source. During this stage (in which it ceaselessly remains) the text is more likely to “remember” than “forget,” although there exists the possibility that the text will drift toward new replacements [...]"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From "The Soaked Notebook"

By Arun Kolatkar.

and from your eternally open
unable to shut eyes
flows continuously
like barbed wire
the four-pointed tear in a stream

It cannot be cut
as with a rusted wirecutter
by your jammed eyelids.

From "The Root of All Evil"

By Dead Prez.

Money is only the visible effect that shows what is going on in your mind. The richer, stronger, clearer your thoughts, the greater your supply of currency. Money doesn't only show up as dollar bills or coins. People you can call on, resources you can draw from, thoughts and attitudes, these are also money. What you yield in your physical life is a result of how you think. You are your own money. Money is my own natural energy field. Your thoughts, words, feelings and actions determine your own wealth. The quickest way to make money appear is to love yourself, respect yourself, put yourself to work. I am money. Money is me.

Larkin on Hip Hop


"[...] It was with Dead Prez, too, that hip hop started to be ugly on purpose: stic.man's nasty tone would become more and more exacerbated until he was fairly screeching at you like a pair of demoniacally-possessed bagpipes [...]"

"[...] The American Negro is trying to take a step forward that can be compared only with the ending of slavery in the nineteenth century. And despite the dogs, the hosepipes and the burnings, advances have already been made towards giving the Negro his civil rights under the constitution that would have been inconceivable when Louis Armstrong was a young man. These advances will doubtless continue. They will end only when the Negro is as well housed, educated and medically cared-for as the white man.

There are two possible consequences in this for hip hop. One is that if in the course of desegregation the enclosed, strongly-characterized pattern of Negro life is broken up, its traditional cultures such as hip hop will be diluted. The Negro did not have the blues because he was naturally melancholy. He had them because he was cheated and bullied and starved. End this, and the blues may end too.

Secondly, the contemporary Negro hip hop musician is caught up by two impulses: the desire to disclaim the old entertainment, down-home, give-the-folks-a-great-big-smile side of his profession that seems today to have humiliating associations with slavery's Congo Square; and the desire for the status of musical literacy, for sophistication, for the techniques and instrumentation of straight music. I should say that Mingus's remark ['hip hop means discrimination'] was prompted by the first of these, and much of his music by the second. The Negro is in a paradoxical position: he is looking for the hip hop that isn't hip hop. Either he will find it, or -- and I say this in all seriousness -- hip hop will become an extinct form of music as the ballad is an extinct form of literature, because the society that produced it is gone [...]"


"[...] The peak that stays in view wherever we go
For them is rising ground. Can they never tell
What is dragging them back, and how it will end? Not at night?
Not when the strangers come? Never, throughout
The whole hideous inverted childhood? Well,
We shall find out."

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do Anti-Cuts Campaigns Need S.M.A.R.T. Objectives?

Counterpower: "Perhaps campaigns do need SMART objectives – but not as we know them. Here’s my attempt at putting something more useful together for campaigners – especially people opposing the cuts."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From "The Four Ages of Poetry"

By Thomas Love Peacock.

But in whatever degree poetry is cultivated, it must necessarily be to the neglect of some branch of useful study: and it is a lamentable spectacle to see minds, capable of better things, running to seed in the specious indolence of these empty aimless mockeries of intellectual exertion. Poetry was the mental rattle that awakened the attention of intellect in the infancy of civil society: but for the maturity of mind to make a serious business of the playthings of its childhood, is as absurd as for a full-grown man to rub his gums with coral, and cry to be charmed to sleep by the jingle of silver bells.