Magnificently underlines Ware's massive theoretical/conceptual shortcomings - not, I think, what the author intended. Even so, an even more essentialiMagnificently underlines Ware's massive theoretical/conceptual shortcomings - not, I think, what the author intended. Even so, an even more essentialist reading of his work than I think is actually merited. Lushly illustrated with many comics and photographs!...more
An enjoyable Guy Delisle piece, like the others, but it suffers from an orientalist viewpoint and contains some really racist moments - such as when hAn enjoyable Guy Delisle piece, like the others, but it suffers from an orientalist viewpoint and contains some really racist moments - such as when he encounters a full-on blackface performance in an amusement park and breezily describes it as just some Chinese folks goofing around in facepaint and dressing up as Africans. I realize that Delisle makes no claims to offering penetrating analysis, but one doesn't need a degree in ethnic studies to have a bit of self-awareness and cultural sensitivity....more
A thrilling, loud read; Nietzsche eschews the niceties of philosophical reasoning and takes up the hammer (as he called it) to pulverize ChristianityA thrilling, loud read; Nietzsche eschews the niceties of philosophical reasoning and takes up the hammer (as he called it) to pulverize Christianity - and pulverize it he does, for all the wrong reasons. Although titled "The Anti-Christ," Christianity is here used as a gateway to his real enemies: the poor, the weak, socialists, women, Jews, Germans, and anyone else he perceives to be less than manly, less than virtuous, to be unwashed in some way or another. It's all supremely exciting, and at the end of the day, supremely hateful and sad. A right-wing screed, not at all the sort of radical nihilist attack on Christianity that his (somewhat false) popular reputation would suggest....more
I consider myself something of a radical - the job of radicals being, in my mind, to challenge the dominant discourse in complex and exciting ways thaI consider myself something of a radical - the job of radicals being, in my mind, to challenge the dominant discourse in complex and exciting ways that serve to pull people out of their lull and realize the many ways in which our current ways of living are simply not good enough, not humane enough, not sustainable enough, not wise enough. What Zinn serves up in the course of his talk is nothing of the sort; although a positive figure in American activist history, he is also something of a cartoon radical, delivering simplistic paeans to The Ordinary Folk, assuring us that "experts" aren't good for much, inveighing against The Elites, reminding us that War Is Bad. I've not read *A People's History of the United States*, but a number of reviews describe it as being thick and well-sourced but offering up a simplistic, good-vs.-evil approach to radical history. This does not surprise me.
Deeply thoughtful intellectual figures abound on the radical Left: Eric Hobsbawm, Judith Butler, Slavoj Zizek, Sartre and De Beauvoir, Antonio Gramsci, Walter Benjamin, Terry Eagleton, Marx and Engels, Foucault, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Eve Sedgwick, Herbert Marcuse, and on and on. The leftist intellectual has become such a stereotype that some right-wing thinkers - capitalist "libertarians," especially - like to cultivate an air of rebellion about themselves, declaring themselves to be against The Academic Establishment and its evil Leftist Hegemony. Milton Friedman was known to do this. Given the embarrassment of riches in radical leftist thought, it is unfortunate that the American public needs a proponent of simplistic dualisms as one of its few icons of radicalism....more
Having heard the name Haruki Murakami for a long time, I picked this book up in an expensive English-language import book shop in Bangkok. The realizaHaving heard the name Haruki Murakami for a long time, I picked this book up in an expensive English-language import book shop in Bangkok. The realization built in me that I *needed* to read this book, that this book was going to be important to me, and the thought finally popped out fully formed the moment I finished it....more
Asterios Polyp is an amazing mechanism of a story, a beautiful machine for putting on display the dialogue between Enlightenment and Romantic thinkingAsterios Polyp is an amazing mechanism of a story, a beautiful machine for putting on display the dialogue between Enlightenment and Romantic thinking: Duality and Nonduality brought together to form a duality, but a duality which turns nondual as the two elements interact.
This is one of those stories in which absolutely everything - every character, every color, every font, every stylistic choice - appears to be on some level a blatant storytelling device, a cog in the machine. The whole machine is so smooth and slick, and the core story is so simple and old, that the book itself ends up being like Asterios himself: it weighs duality-nonduality, apparently evenly, and then ends up heavy weighted on the side of duality - but by implication. Then again, it may well turn out on second reading that there's a whole bunch of nonduality lurking in the background (or rather, getting covered up), like Asterios' (ex-)wife Hana - in which case this thing is not just metafiction but HELLAmeta.
And believe me, I WILL be reading this again.
The story? It ain't so original. The device which the story serves? The ideas aren't new, but OH SHIT the device is new.
My comics artist brain is going to be dissecting this for the next couple weeks at least....more