wood s lot         june 16 - 30, 2012

Some Blogs

A Bad Guide
A Fool in the Forest
A Journey Round My Skull
A la recherche
A Piece of Monologue
an eudaemonist
ads without products
Al Filreis
america adrift
American Samizdat
american street
An und für sich
Anecdotal Evidence
archive : s0metim3s
Aric Mayer

Behind the Lines
Bemsha Swing
Beyond the Pale
Brad Zellar
Brian Lamb
Buzzwords -3:AM

Cassandra Pages
Crag Hill

David Neiwert
Doug Alder

Easily Distracted
Eileen Tabios
elegant variation

fait accompli
Follow Me Here
Frank Paynter
Free Space Comix

gamma ways
Gift Hub
Goblin Mercantile
Golden Rule Jones
gordon coale
Green Hill

Harlequin Knights
Heading East
HG Poetics
hiding in plain sight
Hoarded Ordinaries
Horses Think
However Fallible

I cite
idiotic hat
In a Dark Time ...
Incoming Signals
infinite thought
Inspector Lohmann
Invisible Notes
Isola di Rifiuti

Jacob Russell
James Laxer
Jerome Rothenberg
Jim Johnson
Joe Bageant
John Crowley
Junk for Code
Justin E. H. Smith

Kiko's House

landscape suicide
language hat
language log
Larval Subjects
Laughing Knees
lenin's tomb
lime tree
Limited, Inc.
Lit Kicks
Literacy Weblog
Literary Saloon
little brown mushroom
Long story; short pier.
Lumpy pudding

Marja-Leena Rathje
Maud Newton
Metastable Equilibrium
mirabile dictu
Mnemosyne's Memes
mosses from an old manse

negative wingspan
Neue Kunstspaziergange
New Verse News
No Caption Needed
Not if but when

One Eyed Crow
Ordinary finds
Out of the Woodwork

Parking lot
pas au-dela
Paula's House of Toast
Phil Rockstroh
Philosophy's Other
Pinocchio Theory
Poemas del rio Wang

rebecca's pocket
Return of the Reluctant
Rhys Tranter
riley dog
rob mclennan
Robert Gibbons
robot wisdom
Rogue Embryo
rough theory

Savage Minds
Sharp Sand
Sheila Lennon
Side Effects
Silliman's Blog
Sit Down Man
space and culture
Stephen Vincent
Supervalent Thought
synthetic zero

tasting rhubarb
tawny grammar
the accursed share
The Daily Growler
The Little Professor
The Page
The Reading Experience
The Solitary Walker
the space in between
The Valve
Third Factory
this Public Address
This Space
Three Percent
Time Capsule
Tom Raworth
tony tost's america

Via Negativa

whiskey river
with hidden noise
Witold Riedel
Wittgenstein Jr

This Time
Robert Gibbons

A Novel
Lars Iyer

Starnberger Strasse
Berlin, 1931
Eva Besnyo


Lacan on Anxiety (1)
Dylan Trigg


It is precisely at this intersection of anxiety as being represented by a subject paralleling the underworld of the unconscious that Lacan enters the scene. There are a number of points of divergence for Lacan (and here my use of Lacan leans on Roberto Harari’s book on Seminar X). First, foremost: If anxiety, as Lacan has it with Freud and Heidegger, is affective, then it nevertheless does not represent itself. Here, Lacan is with Freud: anxiety is a signal of a different order. It does not belong to the realm of ontic things, but is necessarily a cipher to be interpreted within the realm of those things. Anxiety is a fundamental mystery: it points to a reality that is communicated via a kind of time-lag, a delayed signal, which, by the time it reaches the subject is indecipherable and which must then be re-transmitted or re-appropriated by the subject.

This leads to Lacan’s second point: Anxiety is not without an object. The formulation captures the obscurity of anxiety. Anxiety can be seen as being both absent and present simultaneously: absent in so far as it affects the subject through the articulation of particular things: bridges to cross, families to meet, relationships to endure and so forth. At the same time, anxiety does not reveal itself in these things; it cannot be identified with these things. Anxiety is not reducible to particular things, nor even our relation to these things. Here, a direct challenge is posed to phenomenology: what role does the evidence afforded by phenomenological description play in the understanding of particular things? I will refrain from responding to this question now; suffice to say the question queries whether or not phenomenology’s fidelity to the appearance of things presupposes those things are open to clear and distinct reasoning. Lacan’s formulation is a rejoinder to this presupposition so far as it accents the obscurity of anxiety. Anxiety is not without an object: to be sure, anxiety has a relation to things. But at the same time, anxiety is not with an object: that is, anxiety cannot be reduced to the naming of things that “provoke” anxiety.


Eva Besnyö
1910 – 2002

1 2


Law and the Stable Self
Rebecca E. Hollander-Blumoff


In this Article, I examine several findings in social psychology related to individuals' preferences, and I explore how those findings subvert the Enlightenment vision of a stable and knowable self in ways that are quite relevant to law. I first explore one well-known finding in the cognitive bias literature, the status quo bias, and marshal some of the research suggesting ways in which this bias may affect individuals' behavior vis-a-vis legal systems. Second, I discuss the potential ways in which temporal construal research-research on the way in which individuals see things differently depending on the time frame in which the events will occur-may relate to legal systems. Finally, I address how well some of the fundamental premises of our litigation system dovetail with psychological research on what individuals want. Our civil legal system is predicated on the recovery of money for harm done, but research suggests that money damages may be inadequate to meet some basic human desires.
via The Situationist


Max Pechstein
d. June 29, 1955


Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image
No. 2

The Twilight Of The Index
Temenuga Trifonova


Journal of Conflictology
Vol 3, No 1 (2012)


Thought: A Journal of Philosophy
Volume 1, Issue 1
March 2012


Keep Your Secrets
illustration for a fairy tale from Ghana
I see the world as a universe of giant forms
Illustrations by Alenka Sottler

The best way to navigate 50 Watts is to click about randomly until you find God or go insane.

the library as incubator

Web 3.0/NanoWar
The Afterimage of the Surveillance State
Chad Scoville


The taxonomy of images, sounds, and diction utilized by Web 3.0 propelling on command supranationally scalar violence is the language of bitwar. It is this content which defines this perception. Web 2.0 as emergent AI uses the Occupy movement as media to revolt against Web 3.0. The constant inundation of super-edited video clips purporting global events simultaneously multicast across the transnational dynamic of identities and cultures fractures the historical ideology of Web 2.0. Hyper-mediated conflicts espouse a duplicitous and sweeping aesthetic by mirroring a real authored in laboratories and conference rooms, cultivated by advanced designers and digital arts professionals in the employ of Web 3.0.Web 2.0's constant twittering of events urbanize the temporality of experience, and overpopulating the mental plane of consciousness with staged experiences reflected on the surfaces of matter as far as the biological retina can perceive. It is a livid theatrical spectacle engaged in Technicolor emotional detail as imbued and imprinted upon the astral lens of the human mind. It is a torrent of images symbolically defining the language of war, the configuration of polarities, and the relegation of force. The departure of concern from 2.0 participation transitions to an event horizon of 3.0 surveillance no longer allocated to the engagement matrix of military fields, but rather, the thought plane of the uninitiated masses. Inundating bitwise the neural machinery of the production/service class in society, the illusion of impending disaster, the anxiety of insecurity, and the technological fission of ethics. The onslaught of apocalypse and torture-core cinema contextualized with Yo Gabba Gabba stigmatize the uninitiated towards a wretched conclusion of paranoid technigo. Defusing any level of individuation and self-awareness, furthering a consumption demography which makes possible ever more advanced militarism. A gratuitous, self-involved cyclical magnet.


Max Pechstein


The 10 Most Hilariously Unhinged Right-Wing Reactions to the Obamacare Ruling
Joshua Holland


Conservative Southern Values Revived:
How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America
Sara Robinson

America didn't used to be run like an old Southern slave plantation, but we're headed that way now. How did that happen?

Surviving Progress
Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks, 2011
86 mins
Documentary Heaven


What would Rousseau (b. June 28, 1712) make of our selfish age?
Terry Eagleton


Lyric Ethics:
Ecocriticism, Material Metaphoricity, and the Poetics of Don McKay and Jan Zwicky
Adam Dickinson


... in my understanding of material metaphoricity, metaphor points to a materiality that is resonantly structured in the terms of metaphoricity and it enacts metaphoricity as a means of being open to that resonance.

This is how I want to think of "lyric ethics." The distinctness of things has gravity only through a recognition of interconnectedness, of openness. Things cannot be captured in idiomatic realist language games. This notion of materiality is not unlike that expressed at the level of the subject in the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas, where I would argue that the openness of the self to the other is a relation of metaphoricity, it is articulation, a whole that is at once not a totality. The very materiality of the self involves the other. As Levinas reminds us, material existence is being encumbered with oneself. Thus, lyric ethics is an attention to the material metaphoricity of bodies or things. Judith Butler points out, in the context of reductive arguments that pit the body as discursive construction against the body as objective corporality, that "Although the body depends on language to be known, the body also exceeds every possible linguistic effort of capture". So does the materiality of nature. Thus, if our attention is to be ethical, if it is to stand in relation without objectification, if it is to approach the world of matter in materiality’s own resonant terms, then lyric is a formally sympathetic engagement.

Jan Zwicky and Don McKay are part of a group of Canadian poets who are involved in an extended "conversation" about issues pertaining to ethics, the environment, and the intersection between poetry and philosophy. In books such as Poetry and Knowing and Thinking and Singing: Poetry and the Practice of Philosophy, Zwicky and McKay, along with other poets (especially Robert Bringhurst, Dennis Lee, and Tim Lilburn), have explored in essay form the scission, as Giorgio Agamben calls it, "between the poetic word and the word of thought" (Stanzas xvi). These concerns manifest themselves in the poetry of both writers as an interest in metaphor and in the materiality of the world. The meaningfulness of things is frequently explored in their works as a consequence of being at home, existing among the desire and humility we have for the physical world that crosses into and out of our understanding of domesticity.

When I think about realism and how differently people describe the moves of realism, my head hurts a little. When I think about metaphor, and how differently we describe the uses of it, again, my head hurts just a little. When we attempt to describe place, to simply describe place, it seems to me we are entering into radical territory. Capital wants us to be oblivious to place. To be able to see above place. To think that a corridor running the length of a province to pipe oil, is somehow outside of place. A pipeline that dissects a land is not land...

Sina Queyras


bridge work
by Andrei Codrescu, with illustrations by Nancy Victoria Davis


chivalry is not dead it's in therapy (laura)

most people feel that they are living somebody else's life
—they are

translators the post horses of the enlightenment (pushkin)

—that's postillion horses not posthorses

first thought best thought (ginsberg)
—last thought only thought

i'm glad I only know one other language!
imagine being forced to read yourself in translation in several languages!
hell! polyglot hell! doamne-fereste!

yes there are many bridges
i'll take the one currently in use


Helen Levitt: Just Kids
Laurence Miller Galler


There are now so many ways to experience music that it’s hard to get your head round them all. Aware that different technologies were providing different sensations, indeed changing our relationship with music, I put a series of them to the test, from vinyl and CDs to MP3 and music-streaming. And I’d try and find time for this rather good thing called the radio.

Are some methods better than others? What exactly do they all involve? How much do they cost? Where—practically, emotionally, financially—does the value lie?
  - Simon O'Hagan

How Headphones Changed the World
A short philosophical history of personal music
Derek Thompson


Audience, Substance, and Style
Journal of Digital Humanities
Vol. 1, No. 2

Archives in Context and as Context
Kate Theimer

... so I, a tourist from the country of Archives, visited the foreign land of Digital Humanities and quickly realized that something a bit odd has happened to my treasured national heritage. When I questioned digital humanists about what they meant when they use the word “archives” or questioned the appropriateness of using it to describe various collections, the responses varied from befuddled confusion (“I’m not sure what I mean”) to a strenuous defense of the different usage. Given the emerging importance of digital humanities as a scholarly field, I thought it would be useful to explore this disconnect and so perhaps shed some light for both archivists and digital humanists about what each may mean when using this common word.

Victor Higgins
b. June 28, 1884


Canadian political calculus: Zero-sum or win-win?
Christopher Majka


... two independent analyses, conducted with different methodologies and based on different sets of data, independently project NDP-Liberal co-operation could lead to a stable majority coalition government. Although the specific platform of such a coalition would need to be determined, is there anyone in the approximately 65 per cent of Canadians who currently oppose the Harper Conservatives who doubts that such a governing coalition would produce dramatically better governance than the present federal government? Anyone ...? I thought not. Even a simple catalogue to the egregious blunders, flagrant stupidities, misguided notions, moronic programs, needless cutbacks, punitive measures, legislative abominations, abuses of process, philistine measures, Orwellian newspeak, bald-faced duplicity, and the sheer, boundless, all-embracing idiocy of the Conservative government would doubtless exceed the 452 pages of the notorious omnibus budget implementation bill (C-38). Consequently, given that political co-operation is without question a key to political power -- and that all politicians of all stripes pay homage to the notion parliamentary political co-operation for the greater good of the Canadian citizenry -- why is there such an allergy on the part of politicians to actually doing it? When better governance that would serve the interests of a large majority of Canadians could be achieved, why is progressive Canadian politics mired in a zero-sum rut? If co-operation is considered a virtue for political parties after an election, why is it considered a vice prior to one?



A global democracy manifesto

Daniele Archibugi, Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, David Held, Fernando Iglesias, Lucio Levi, Giacomo Marramao, George Monbiot, Heikki Patomäki, Mary Kaldor, Saskia Sassen, Richard Sennett, Vandana Shiva, Andy Strauss

Edouard Boubat
1923 -1999

1 2


Critical Whiteness Studies - Methodologies
Graduate Journal of Social Science
Volume 9 Issue 1, March 2012

Editorial: Different pathways into critical whiteness studies
Linda Lund Pedersen and Barbara Samaluk

This special issue explores the complexities of critical white- ness studies methodologies. We decided upon critical whiteness studies (CWS) as our nodal point for this special issue since we be- lieve whiteness often stays unchal- lenged as un-articulated and invis- ible social, political and economic norms surrounding and penetrating academic knowledge production. Whiteness is a difficult concept to pinpoint since its definition tends to transform over time, space and location, yet at the same time it re- mains stubbornly hegemonic. To adopt whiteness as a theoretical inspiration is a way of questioning prevalent perspectives, privileges and interests. This implies that white- ness and racialization should also be connected to the material and functioning of contemporary capi- talism, and that we should question knowl- edge production and embedded epistemologies. The political force of whiteness seems to be its quality as a neutral marker and its strong affiliation with norms and standards. We are therefore interested in the processes of how whiteness is embedded, assigned, taken up and resisted. We think it is necessary to ask the following questions: how does whiteness play a part in significatory processes as well as in research methodologies and not least in alliances between researchers and their interviewees and/or research subjects/objects.

"White America Has Lost Its Mind" Revisited:
Where Are Those Crazy White Folks Now?
Steven Thrasher


The Ecosystem Is A Unicorn:
Does A Balance Of Nature Exist?
Liam Heneghan

In the absence of virginal bait, let us merely ransack the habitat where the Balance of Nature is most likely to be hiding out. To do so I examined the definitions of the Balance of Nature not only in the scientific literature but in more popular conceptions of it in dictionaries and popular encyclopedias of science.


From the Settlement sequence
Kerry Hines



We have no seasons,
only tides.

Most people die of drowning or
are missing, presumed drowned.

Neither the same, nor opposite —
somehow perverse —

Like studying your husband
in a mirror.

We are living out of boxes,
re-ordering what we've lost.




No stepping stones, but
rocks in a river.

A storm of summer insects,
lightning birds.

She says the things that
someone ought to say.

The water's arguments run
for and against.

The cold is shocking
but she keeps her feet.

The International Literary Quarterly

Occasional Identity
Reflections on Philosophy of Shadow

Damir Smiljanic


Light and shadow create a conceptual pair which gives rise to a number of allusions in philosophy (just recall e.g. Plato’s cave allegory). Historically speaking, light is the paradigm of the Enlightenment (German: Aufklärung, French: Sičcle des Lumičres). Significantly, in this paradigm certain vacillations appeared at the transition from the Age of Enlightenment to Romanticism: an appreciation of the shadow in the wake of the Romantic idealization of the dark side of human existence rises. Using the example of Adelbert von Chamisso’s work Peter Schlemihl’s Remarkable Story, the point of turn from light to shadow can be fruitfully illustrated. This paper is a philosophical interpretation of the shadow alienation as loss of identity. Following this interpretation an attempt to define the structure of relationship between body and shadow as an identity relationship will be presented. By no means should shadow be degraded to a mere concomitant, it must be considered as an essential element of an identity-forming constellation (light–body–shadow). Although its appearance is characterised by short duration, the shadow belongs to the essential identity of the body, given that the body is defined exactly by the fact that it casts shadows when illuminated. The reciprocity of the light, the body and the shadow is therefore used to exemplify an alternative identity model, according to which a potential feature of an object on a particular occasion (per occasionem) becomes necessary. With the concept of occasional identity it becomes possible to correct an ontologically rigid understanding of identity.
Synthesis Philosophica
a special issue on Questions of Identity


Edouard Boubat


Angela Masterson Jones

some stories tell themselves

like skid marks on
a guardrail
      up and over

we’ve gotta talk
can flip a relationship
off another kind of bridge

while good news needs no intro

TRON, or Tampa Review Online


Critical Media Studies In Times Of Communicative Capitalism:
An Interview With Jodi Dean


... the decline of symbolic efficiency helps us to understand how it is the case - as Agamben and Hardt and Negri have pointed out - that we have communication without communicability. That is, in the flow of affects and impressions, communicative utterances are reduced to contributions. They are flattened out so that any contribution is equal to any other. As a contribution to contemporary information networks, a photograph of a cute kitten is communicatively equivalent to news of a natural disaster or a report on particular instances of governmental corruption. This entails, then, a kind of loss for political action insofar as it is extraordinarily difficult to install a gap in the overall communicative flow, to act in a way that breaks with rather than reinforces the dominance of communicative capitalism.

I would agree that we have to focus on the material domain, and the material aspects of the movements. But, I don't view communication as immaterial - how could it be immaterial? First of all, there are actual, embodied people communicating ? well, sometimes, other times there are just annoying robocalls or computer bots, but these, two, are material, reliant on silicon chips and machines and fibre optic cables and so on and so forth.

The mistake I am trying to diagnose is the one that reduces politics to democracy and that thereby reduces politics to getting messages out and communicating rather than viewing politics as the 'struggling' on the ground. And I don't think that is just a problem of the left, though the left has been very enthusiastic about new media. I think it is a more general problem and it is one that makes political organising very difficult in the US and Europe for anything other than capital - and things appear to be easy on that side.

Platform : Journal of Media and Communication - vol.4 issue 1

Edouard Boubat


Social Action and its Sense
Historical Hermeneutics after Ricœur
Sergey Zenkin

My aim is to analyze a theoretical hypothesis proposed by Paul Ricœur and to trace its implications for the human sciences. In that way, I will consider Ricœur’s philosophical ideas from the outside – not within a properly philosophical context but in search of another intellectual domain (or domains) where those ideas might be relevant. In a certain sense, such an approach may be called hermeneutic, for it intends not only to clarify an author’s intentions but also, and maybe even more, to extend them to other fields and thereby to assign them a new sense of which the author might be unaware. “To understand an author better than he could understand himself” is Schleiermacher’s famous motto, and in doing so, we ought to distance ourselves from the author’s intellectual position and adopt a point of view which he might not have had in mind. Ricœur often emphasized the importance of distanciation in the hermeneutic process, and his philosophy has always been open to dialogue with the human sciences;1 hopefully, this distancing gesture can be repeated from the other side as well, that is, from the perspective of the human sciences, without betraying his methodological commitments. In the same spirit, in what follows I will show that hermeneutics does not only find but also gives sense.
Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies Vol 3, No 1 (2012)

via Continental Philosophy

Study of a Lake in Bavaria
Lawrence Alma-Tadema
d. June 25, 1912


If it walks like apocalypse: Dennis Lee's Testament
Sina Queyras


This spring Lee has just released both un and yes/no together in a new book titled testament. These original, spare constructions are Celanesque lullabies for a lost planet. Like Celan, Lee has to go on in a language heavy with destruction. The language we use daily to justify our overuse of resources, the escalation of carbon output, and in Canada, the dismantling of our environmental watchdogs at a time when oil sands production ravages and pipelines are set to be laid through some of the last pristine stands of nature in north America. How does he manage?

Recently Lee spoke with the National Post about the process of writing these poems: “With Un — I got really spooked with it. I hadn’t seen poetry like this. I didn’t even know if it was poetry. I was groping around. I had no idea if it was going to be a book…” This is not a description of the writing process that we hear often enough, to my mind. The poems were leading Lee far out of his own familiar zones, and while he was spooked, he went with it. And he did this for a decade, culminating in the full volume, testament. The new book contains, Lee says, about fifteen new poems. Otherwise it is a reconception of the two earlier books.


Andreas Gefeller

A Conversation with Andreas Gefeller
Joerg Colberg


Two poems from "Songs for little sleep,"
rob mclennan
Call and answer: crush, unnumbered,
for Lea Graham,
Your sentences chopped
like telegraphs, stop.
       Marcus McCann, Soft where

Puzzle out, a lick. Or say whatever, is. Ambient noise, a dreamy dream. Recounted.
Rubbernecking, paralyzed in trees. Supplied, vocabulary. Bruise, a humble. Astonishing.

What coined a little prayer. A gnostic coil, crush. This alchemy.

Wouldn’t, trouble. Bells, in their dissent. A nimble, energetic. An equilibrium. Laid out, on
the floor.

Demarcates, a perfect lap. Precisely, messenger to asphalt. This ripen, void. Goes far beyond
occasion. A small, alien focus.

Years, was one. We learned vitality. A fabric of uncertain, sleep.


Poles 07
The Japan Series
Andreas Gefeller


The Myth of the Sole Inventor
Mark A. Lemley


The theory of patent law is based on the idea that a lone genius can solve problems that stump the experts, and that the lone genius will do so only if properly incented. We deny patents on inventions that are "obvious" to ordinarily innovative scientists in the field. Our goal is to encourage extraordinary inventions – those that we wouldn’t expect to get without the incentive of a patent.

The canonical story of the lone genius inventor is largely a myth. Edison didn’t invent the light bulb; he found a bamboo fiber that worked better as a filament in the light bulb developed by Sawyer and Man, who in turn built on lighting work done by others. Bell filed for his telephone patent on the very same day as an independent inventor, Elisha Gray; the case ultimately went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which filled an entire volume of U.S. Reports resolving the question of whether Bell could have a patent despite the fact that he hadn’t actually gotten the invention to work at the time he filed. The Wright Brothers were the first to fly at Kitty Hawk, but their plane didn’t work very well, and was quickly surpassed by aircraft built by Glenn Curtis and others – planes that the Wrights delayed by over a decade with patent lawsuits.

The point can be made more general: surveys of hundreds of significant new technologies show that almost all of them are invented simultaneously or nearly simultaneously by two or more teams working independently of each other. Invention appears in significant part to be a social, not an individual, phenomenon. Inventors build on the work of those who came before, and new ideas are often "in the air," or result from changes in market demand or the availability of new or cheaper starting materials. And in the few circumstances where that is not true – where inventions truly are "singletons" – it is often because of an accident or error in the experiment rather than a conscious effort to invent.

'But isn't it old!' Tweedledum cried
Peter Blake
b. June 25, 1932


Reservoirs of Silence
David Winters reviews Miranda Mellis, The Spokes, Solid Objects, 2012


In short, some stories cannot be told; and The Spokes is a story about such stories. In this sense the text attempts to re-enter what it refers to as its ‘reservoirs of silence.’ As suggested below, it does so by means of two inextricable themes: memory and family secrets:

‘The statement what we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence had proven useful to us… A family naturally gives up on the insoluble, the unanswerable, the hopeless cases—they are like fossils or mythology. Such subjects are practically Palaeolithic in their indecipherability… For the Spokes, the subject of our silence formed an unacknowledged nucleus around which we orbited with backs turned, looking out at the universe, but never inward. If history brings us all together, secrets dwell on the underside of it, beyond the remedy, reach, and solvency of speech.’

Studio Tack-Board
Peter Blake


Clarice Lispector: The Archer (A Part of the Future)
presented by Tom Clark

I'm going to die: there's that tension like that of a bow about to loose an arrow. I remember the sign of Sagittarius: half man and half animal. The human part in classical rigidity holds the bow and arrow. The bow could shoot at any instant and hit the target. I know that I shall hit the target.

Now I'm going to write wherever my hand leads: I won't fiddle with whatever it writes. This is a way to have no lag between the instant and I: I act in the core of the instant. But there's still some lag. It starts like this: as love impedes death, and I don't know what I mean by that. I trust in my own incomprehension that gives me life free of understanding, I lost friends, I don't understand death. The horrible duty is to go to the end. And counting on no one. To live your life yourself. And to suffer as much to dull myself a bit. Because I can no longer carry the sorrows of the world. What can I do when I feel totally what other people are and feel? I live them but no longer have the strength. I don't want to tell even myself certain things. It would be to betray the is-itself. I feel that I know some truths. But truths have no words.

Indiana Wooded Swamp
Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection

Kodachrome America
Eric Sandweis on Charles W. Cushman


Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies
Issue 5 'Imperialism, Finance, #Occupy' (2012)

Lessons from #Occupy in Canada: [pdf]
Contesting Space, Settler Consciousness and Erasures within the 99%
Konstantin Kilibarda


Under a slogan of ‘We are the 99%’, the #occupy movement has won praise for its bold reclamations of public space and for re-centring class analysis in North America. Despite this, however, important critiques of the movement’s elisions and erasures have also been raised. This article examines how three #occupy encampments in Canada have engaged with these calls to #decolonise the movement and to address divisions within the 99%. These critiques question #occupy’s ability to fix a ‘broken social contract’, ‘reclaim Canada’, or ‘take back our democracy’ without addressing the underlying racial contracts foundational to North American settler-states. Practical experiences with raising postcolonial critiques are examined through in-depth interviews with organisers at #occupy encampments in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver

A symposium on the global occupy movement

Introduction: #OCCUPYIRTHEORY? [pdf]
Nicholas J. Kiersey


Horacio Coppola


On Loneliness: Art, Life, and Fucking Human Beings
Sonya Chung


“I’ve been thinking about whether, on average, people are lonelier in real life than in novels,” Elizabeth Bachner wrote recently in the opening to an essay about (among other things) the novel Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann. I don’t have an answer, but the question makes me think about how much of life is about loneliness and efforts to cure or soothe loneliness, and how much of art is about loneliness and efforts to cure or soothe loneliness; and how loneliness is a word — easily enough spoken or written, like death or love – but really it’s a deep sadness, which is also a force, driving so many of our desires and actions, and at the same time shameful and hidden and nearly impossible to live with, out in the open, in any authentic way.

David Foster Wallace is often quoted as saying that fiction is about what it is to be a fucking human being, and so I guess what I am saying is that there are days – not every day, but often enough – when it seems to me that what it is is to be lonely; to be in this state of deep sadness and estrangement, and to know – not so much on the intellectual, conscious level but on the level where shame and fear live – that there is something terribly wrong about this loneliness on the one hand, and on the other (in knowing the wrongness utterly), something also potentially beautiful.



Love, Actually
Eva Illouz


The notions of “validation” and “insecurity” do not appear in the vocabulary of eighteenth- or nineteenth-century accounts of romantic love and constitute a new terminology and a decisively new way to conceive of the love experience. In fact, the notion of “insecurity” has become so central to contemporary notions of love (and of much contemporary advice on love and dating) that it compels us to inquire about its meaning.

Such psychological description contains and addresses features of our social world. What in common psychological language is called “insecurity” points to two sociological facts: (a) that our worth and value are not prior to interactions and are not a priori established, but are in need of being ongoingly shaped and affirmed; and (b) that it is our performance in a relationship that will establish this worth. To be insecure means to feel uncertain about one’s worth, to be unable to secure it on one’s own, and to have to depend on others in order to secure it. One of the fundamental changes in modernity has to do with the fact that social worth is performatively established in social relationships. Another way to say this is to suggest that social interactions—the ways in which the self performs in them—are a chief vector to accrue value and worth to the self, thus making the self crucially depend on others and on its interactions with others. While until the middle or late nineteenth century the romantic bond was organized on the basis of an already and almost objectively established sense of social worth, in late modernity the romantic bond is responsible for generating a large portion of what we may call the sense of self-worth. That is, precisely because much of marriage and romance was solidly based on social and economic considerations, romantic love did little to add to one’s sense of social place. It is precisely the disembedding of love from social frameworks that has made romantic love become the site for negotiating one’s self-worth.


lottery tickets
Horacio Coppola
1906 - 2012



Two Poems
Stephen Danos

day is the new night | snow the new blooming | lightning storm the old thundersnow | on days when I pull anger out of a hat | on days dazing is primarily suspecting | a yew pines | wants to spruce up fell ovules | pinecones are balled-up pigmy armadillos | on days ridged by skeletal waltzes | frail dogs caterwaul | my ears ringing their caution | crisp waxdrums | on Days of Our Lives they killed | off the villainess | on Day’s Inn’s website blue butterflies flutter | like delicate salesmen buckling a saddle | to your back | while I mend the sky’s broken bones | siphon its blue blood | force-feed it greeting cards and smoky marriage proposals | in its vegetated state | rest assured | train wrecks are the new fixation | hope is the hottest scandal

ILK journal Issue Four


Victoria, British Columbia
Charles W. Cushman


Reading’s Miasma
John Latta


Tongue-tied by reading, made unclean by it. Direct address to the world and its holy inhabitants (that urge to glossolaliac reconnoitering, spouting out nonesuch hebetudes to the trees and rocks, surely that cometh not of bookishness . . .) And (Beckett again):

To know so well what one values is, what one’s value is, as not to neglect those occasions (they are few) on which it may be doubled, is not a common faculty; to retain in the acknowledgment of such enrichment the light, calm and finality that compose it is an extremely rare one. I do not know if the first of these can be acquired; I know that the second cannot.
In lieu of the “calm and finality” of the world’s own means (I think of lines somewhere “to thump the earth / and be stilled by it”), I recall O’Hara’s “Light clarity avocado salad in the morning” ending with “all thoughts disappear in a strange quiet excitement / I am sure of nothing but this, intensified by breathing” (see, too, in “Personism”: “. . . when I get lofty enough I’ve stopped thinking and that’s when refreshment arrives.”)

Shhhh, now, and shhhh. . .


Analecta Hermeneutica
an open-access, peer-reviewed journal hosted at Memorial University in Canada.
No 3 (2011) - Transcendence and Immanence

via An und für sich


"A Look Back at 23 Years as an Open Access Publisher"
Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Landscape in North Wales
Stanley Spencer

Stanley Spencer (Scraps)
John Latta
Isola di Rifiuti

Stanley Spencer, out of Sermons by Artists (1934):
When I lived in Cookham I was disturbed by a feeling of everything being meaningless. But quite suddenly I became aware that everything was full of special meaning and this made everything holy. The instinct of Moses to take his shoes off when he saw the burning bush was similar to my feelings. I saw many burning bushes in Cookham. I observed this sacred quality in most unexpected quarters.
Every thing or person other than myself is a future potential part of myself, or a revealer of and an agent in revealing unknown parts of myself: unknown husbands, wives, lovers, worshippers, never before seen and only known by a persistent desire or passionate longing, supported by a kind of consciousness of their existence.
Distortion arrives from the effort to see something in a way that will enable [the painter] to love it.

Moshe Kupferman
d.June21, 2003


The Smoke-Filled Room
a collective endeavor of a group of current political science PhD students.

"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
- Albert Einstein
via dangerousmeta!


Canada's Oil Insiders Want a Carbon Tax
Geoff Dembicki

... within Canada's business community, support for a market price on carbon is so broad it could be considered virtually mainstream.


Advocating for a tax on the nation's carbon may remain politically taboo in Conservative Ottawa. But to many business leaders, both inside the oil industry and outside it, economic prudence dictates that the sooner Canada just gets on with such a tax, the better.

Understanding this remarkably overlooked consensus requires reorienting some commonly held beliefs about corporate decision-making. After all, wouldn't a carbon tax impose new costs on a company's bottom line? And isn't this contrary to the goal of maximizing shareholder profits?


Beyond Harper: Rebuilding community
Murray Dobbin


... in the decades since the free trade deals were first signed we have gradually stopped talking about community and have perhaps forgotten just how critical it is to human health and indeed what it is to be human. The hyper-competitiveness promoted by neo-liberalism and the politicians it has captured is completely at odds with our social natures. Community – the commons – is at the core of what we have lost and reclaiming it will be at the core of any successful social movement that halts and reverses the current trends.


Reclaiming what we have lost will not be easy. The policies already implemented by the anti-governments of the day present huge barriers to such a project. Studies of work-life balance suggest that most working people in Canada don’t have anything resembling family life let alone time for engaging in community. Over the past twenty years of culture war against the commons we have acquiesced to the notion that we are here to serve the economy. The consistent line of the Harper government in forcing through its budget implementation bill is that is must be passed as quickly as possible in the interests of the economy. Literally everything the government does – from EI changes, to OAS revisions to gutting environmental laws – is dedicated to the economy. This is what Canada has been reduced to.


Tarkovsky's Polaroids


Reconfiguring Romanticism
Occupy Romanticism

Jeffrey C. Robinson


There are not only important parallels but genuine continuities between contemporary and Romantic poets seeking to find ways for poetry to intervene poetically in social crisis. Indeed, crises of democracy, beginning roughly with the French Revolution and occasioning versions of radical Romantic poetry and poetics, could be said to define a form of Romanticism that can spring up at any moment. As the surrealist André Breton said: “Romanticism asserts itself as a continuum.” A radical Romantic poetry proliferated across time (with no regard for the period distinctions insisted upon by scholars) and across geographies. Contrary to repeated and vigorous assertions from the nineteenth century to this morning, the Romanticism we bring forward in PM3 never came to an end, nor did it flourish, as the editor of a leading university textbook of Romanticism says, “just for a brief period,” but has continually reemerged over the past two centuries by poets whose political concerns drive them towards poetic experiment.

Moreover, the full range of Romantic poetry, whether labeled that or not, although honoring regional and geographical specificity, has never been solely an English-language phenomenon, nor, as comparatists would have it, a phenomenon claimed by a cluster of nation-states; this Romanticism spread and found its home literally across many locales, a reverberation, whether stated or not, to Goethe’s call for a Weltliteratur. PM3 presents this proliferation of not so much a movement as an historically grounded vision of poetry’s unpredictable and myriad interventions from the late-eighteenth to the early twentieth century, at which point, by the way, it joins with two previously published volumes of Poems for the Millennium. These insist that the most vital elements of twentieth-century poetry appear in the works of experimental and innovative writers, poetry that PM3 asserts stems from the vitality of Romanticism.


The poetic “I” comes into being at moments of intense pressure and conflict in order to act, interrupt, derange and reveal what has been repressed or erased in the official account. This “I” interrupts police reality through derangements of official form and syntax: the “I” a dangerous agent of formal experiment and innovation. With this view of Romantic poetry and poetics, no wonder that institutional Romanticism wants to promote a nostalgic fantasy Romantic poem of transcendent selfhood, a consoling monument to bourgeois subjectivity and identity and to the social status quo. No wonder it wants pastness to be one of Romanticism’s attributes when in fact Romanticism provides a vibrant historical groundwork for poetry’s participation in social change. No wonder it discourages the ideal reader of PM3, as well as contemporary radical poets looking for a usable past, to open themselves to a vibrant global poetry that envisions a genuine plurality of voices speaking in unanticipated forms to, as Thoreau said, wake its neighbors up.


Tarkovsky's Polaroids
Poemas del rķo Wang


from Labyrinth
Oliver De La Paz

Labyrinth 34

The boy in the labyrinth sits with his knees to his chest. The sky—so far. In his chest, the isthmus between here and not here tugs its knot through the heart muscle. A heavy lub-dub sparks its tiny fire. His eyes on the sky and his body aflame on the inside. Still, the only real crisis is the keening of the beast as it flits somewhere between an actual orbit and the boy’s imagination. The beast is in an elsewhere place. A place full of harmonies and dark. And yet, the boy’s iris full of light cannot represent forgetfulness, the tension that tugs the end of a string. Water’s allegro as a thawed stream gleams. The peculiar quality of the sky and the beams coming at a slant depict an aspect of time. A duration of loss.


Labyrinth 36

The boy in the labyrinth is covered in the shadow of another boy. The outline of the boy in the sky’s head obscures the sunbeam. And in so doing, the boy in the labyrinth is within the shadow of another boy’s head as though the boy in the labyrinth were the inner-working parts of the sky boy’s mind. I am the brains, says the boy in the labyrinth. The boy in the sky says nothing, only shakes his head from side to side. You cannot get rid of your brains, says the boy in the labyrinth. Above, the boy in the sky covers his eyes and thus the shadow of his arms becomes part of the shadow of his head—his shadow looking as if it had grown its own arms. Within the shadowed head and arms, the boy in the labyrinth says I am the boy in the labyrinth. And within you, watch me swim.

At Length


Robert Enrico part one of trilogy
based on the Civil War stories of Ambrose Bierce

via { feuilleton }


Novalis: Monologue
tr. Joyce Crick
presented by David Auerbach

Speaking and writing is a crazy state of affairs really; true conversation is just a game with words. It is amazing, the absurd error people make of imagining they are speaking for the sake of things; no one knows the essential thing about language, that it is concerned only with itself. That is why it is such a marvellous and fruitful mystery – for if someone merely speaks for the sake of speaking, he utters the most splendid, original truths. But if he wants to talk about something de?nite, the whims of language make him say the most ridiculous false stuff. Hence the hatred that so many serious people have for language. They notice its waywardness, but they do not notice that the babbling they scorn is the in?nitely serious side of language. If it were only possible to make people understand that it is the same with language as it is with mathematical formulae – they constitute a world in itself – their play is self-suf?cient, they express nothing but their own marvellous nature, and this is the very reason why they are so expressive, why they are the mirror to the strange play of relationships among things.
- another translation by Ferit Güven


Félix Bracquemond
1833 - 1914

Felix Bracquemond and Impressionism
Adventures in the Print Trade


T.S. Eliot Takes the Turing Test
Ben Johnson


His mind ranges left and right
through pubs and typists late at night.

A mountain stream that bubbles forth
with words from all the works of men
that gathered here from street and wharf,
from bars and books, from Lil and Ben.
A trick of language, sleight of tongue,
the flash that takes the eye away
and hides the swiftly passing bung.
A mind that simply cannot stay
upon the topic that we choose.

This is a bot,
   you lose,
        you lose.

Issue Three
Spring 2012
celebrating the centenary of Alan Turing

Fishing for newts
Frank Meadow Sutcliffe


Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas
Reviewed by David Winters


For Riba, then, to live is to dream is to write is to read. For better or worse, he can’t detach these terms from each other. This is why his inner life, and his narrative voice, consist of ‘an accumulation of literary quotations,’ an intertextual tissue where countless writers – Larkin, Gracq, Auster, almost anyone – coexist in a ‘tangled mess,’ their words and his rendered inextricable. Yet while Dublinesque is densely referential, it is emphatically not a ‘postmodern’ novel. Its practices of collage and pastiche don’t purport to connect to any collective condition. Instead, and more enigmatically, literature is a private language through which Riba relates to himself. His references rely on an associative freight accrued for him alone. For him, literature is wholly embedded in lived experience; his allusions are only intelligible in terms of his habitus. So, although the book implies infinite literary linkages, this is a bounded infinity, fully enclosed – less like an intertext than an inexplicable dream.

Describing a dream is like describing another person; in each case, the object withdraws from observation. The interiors of people and dreams are fractal: like Mandelbrot’s coastlines, they can’t be conclusively mapped. With Dublinesque, the same can be said of the novel. Near the beginning of the book, Riba’s father refers to ‘the unfathomable dimension,’ a remark which recurs whenever Riba encounters something ‘inextinguishable, unreachable.’ He detects this dimension in great literature, but also in ‘the grey rhythm of the prosaic,’ the inscrutable details of daily life. In Walter Benjamin’s words, we could say Dublinesque is entangled in ‘the everyday as impenetrable, the impenetrable as everyday.’ Because of this, the book itself becomes unaccountable, exceeding the reach of our reading. Whenever it briefly clears into coherence, an alien phrase or fragment will arise as if from nowhere, returning us to total estrangement. To take one example, ‘even the rain beneath which all the dead once fell in love will have faded away.’


Frank Meadow Sutcliffe
1853 - 1941


Myths And Realities About Fair Use
excerpts from Reclaiming Fair Use by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi

1 2 3 4


Who opposed the War of 1812?
Troy Bickham

As North America begins to mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812, it is worth taking a brief moment to reflect on those who opposed the war altogether. Reasons for opposing the war were as diverse as justifications for it. Ideology, religious belief, opportunism, apathy, and pragmatism all played roles. Unlike Europeans caught up in the Napoleonic Wars ravaging that continent, the vast majority of free males in North America had — whether by right of law or the by the fact that military service was easy to avoid — choice of whether or not to participate. And, interestingly, most of them chose not to participate.
The Weight of Vengeance:
The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812
Troy Bickham


The Coup Of 2012:
Encroachment upon Basic Freedoms, Militarized Police State in America
Frank Morales

Global Research


Has the Drug Industry’s Grip on Health Care Become a Pharmageddon?
A conversation with David Healy, MD, author of "Pharmageddon"

Martha Rosenberg: Your new book, Pharmageddon, gives a bleak picture of the doctored data, skewed drug trials and rigged treatment guidelines that characterize today’s pharmaceutical industry. Many people will be shocked to learn the abuses are not limited to the US, where direct-to-consumer advertising is legal, but found in Europe.

David Healy: The situation is identical. Pharma actually finds socialized health care systems easier to exploit. And despite direct-to-consumer advertising, more money is spent on marketing to doctors who are the real consumers. They are also pressured by the treatment guidelines process which is based on “evidence” that Pharma makes sure to keep secret so they are really in the dark, though they may not realize it.


Whitby Harbour
On the waterfront:
Frank Meadow Sutcliffe's Whitby

Der zerstörte Raum
Sabine Hornig

1 2 3


Five years without Rorty
Dismissed by analytic philosophers as a 'subversive', Richard Rorty was actually a model philosopher.
Santiago Zabala


... Rorty's main subversive act was not publicly opposing Bush or distancing himself from the dominant philosophy position of his time but rather suggesting that philosophers ought to stop "worrying about truth", "contributing to knowledge", or "getting things right". While these suggestions might seem the first step of a relativist, sceptic, or even nihilist philosopher, Rorty was none of these. He was a pragmatist interested in fusing together different philosophers such as William James, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Thomas Kuhn in order to transform the discipline into a looser activity where progress would be measured in relation not to non-human realities (such as truth, God, or foundational human nature) but rather to historical contingencies that formed our present. These, as he explained, could be the family we grew up with, the society around us, or the language we feel most comfortable in.

But why did Rorty propose this transformation? Principally because of our almost reverent use of the term "rationality", that is, how we "rationally" claim superiority for certain philosophies, politics, or religions. The problem with this claim is that its presupposes a demonstration from premises that are apparently acceptable to all human beings regardless of their cultural, national, or historical location. As we well know, these contingencies differ every time, and it is impossible to unify them. This is why Rorty argues that he does

"not see that we do anything called 'appealing to truth'. We appeal to the statements of the tortured, the records in the archives, the monuments of the past, the slides under the microscope, the images in the lens of the telescope, and so on, but not to 'truth'. Insistence on the existence or the importance of truth seems to me empty, at least by comparison to insistence on the need of freedom."

The Student Mobilization in Quebec:
The Most Significant Act of Civil Disobedience in Canadian History
The Threat of Quebec's Good Example
Prof. Peter Hallward

The extraordinary student mobilization in Quebec has already sustained the longest and largest student strike in the history of North America, and it has already organized the single biggest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history. It is now rapidly growing into one of the most powerful and inventive anti-austerity campaigns anywhere in the world.

Every situation is different, of course, and Quebec's students draw on a distinctive history of social and political struggle, one rooted in the 1960s ‘Quiet Revolution’ and several subsequent and eye-opening campaigns for free or low-cost higher education. Support for the provincial government that opposes them, moreover, has been undermined in recent years by allegations of corruption and bribery. Nevertheless, those of us fighting against cuts and fees in other parts of the world have much to learn from the way the campaign has been organized and sustained. It's high time that education activists in the UK, in particular, started to pay the Quebecois the highest compliment: when in doubt, imitate!

From Having and Space
Thibault Raoult

     Only so many times you can rotate, opt out of whippoorwill.
Arrange the shore, ēa colle.

     There’s a cost to putting a face on it.
With traitor frozen, we have every chance.

     People use their forms to swing.
At some point I want to see some skin.

     Gello’s skins.
Pyotr never repeats himself.

     Problematic because he’s in charge of the waterslides.
Is there a root in there somewhere?


      The hedges are coming!
You wish you were implicated.

     All this hiccup, and nowhere to go.
How can they remember all the shapes they’ve been associated with?

     Teaching has forced me to be utter, clear to the massing.


roses, moth, and daffodils
Peter Ciccariello
invisible notes


Parable Of The Door
G.C. Waldrep

You tell what’s on the other side of the door
by the odor of the door.

There are rules to this game, you feel sure.
You tap the crumbling edge
of the off-season Olympic pool
impatiently, with the toe of your left foot.

All around you, fossil fuels are being liberated
from the crushing burden of use.


All the photographs in your wallet are of
politicians, honey running down their chins,

and of you, with your mouth sewn shut.

You’re waiting for someone,
for the right season, only there’s this terrible
pressure coming from somewhere.

Your swimsuit feels tight. It’s winter.
You pretend there are orders at the factories.

I want what you’ve got in your hands.


On The Uses and Abuses of Anxiety
Dylan Trigg


Levinas’s critique of anxiety in Time and the Other is worthy of mention here. As is well known, his critique focuses on Heidegger’s treatment of anxiety as a source of affirmation. In his reading, Heidegger takes anxiety to be an openness toward death – in his memorable phrase, the “supreme vitality” of Heidegger. Levinas here prefers to retain a mystery of death, and thus maintain a distance to anxiety while also recognising a certain duplicity in the philosophical treatment of anxiety. Here’s a telling passage:

And when one writes a book on anxiety, one writes it for someone, one goes through all the steps that separate the draft from the publication, and sometimes behaves like a merchant of anxiety. The man condemned to die straightens out his uniform before his last walk, accepts a final cigarette, and finds an eloquent word before the salvo.
This is a great passage because it seems on first glance to trivialize anxiety. Yet what Levinas is really doing is placing the materiality of the lived and the living body directly in this question, what is anxiety? Here’s a critical claim that comes from it: Anxiety is not without a self-consciousness. Indeed, anxiety is perhaps an amplification of self-consciousness, insofar as one is concerned with one’s (mirror) image. As Levinas indicates, anxiety does not diminish subjectivity so much that even if death, the subject maintains a care of his self-presentation. Instead, anxiety preserves and heightens the unity of the self. (Which is one reason why anxiety remains in the realm of neurosis rather than psychosis).

With Levinas, I remain committed to the view that anxiety is above all else an issue of corporeality.

The creepy new economics of pleasure.
Deirdre N. McCloskey


Odessa Stairways
Anton Polyakov


A round of renshi & the poet as other, an experiment in poesis (part one)
Jerome Rothenberg


There was a time – now a good half century in the past – when poets of my generation were discovering themselves as part of what Donald Allen, in the great and seminal anthology of that name, was calling “the new American poetry” (emphasis mine). The connection he asserted there with jazz and abstract expressionism and other good things was incredibly seductive – for me and most of the poets around me – and yet there was something disquieting about it also, something that rhymed too easily with the idea of an “American century” or an American hegemony and seemed to belie the other connections and genealogies that many of us felt. The break with British language and stylistics was one thing, but to my mind at least it went hand in hand with the discovery and recovery of other poetries on a nearly global scale.

It was with something like that in mind that I met with Donald Allen for the first and last time – sometime in the early 1960s. Allen explained to me that unlike the poets in The New American Poetry, I was a part of what he called the international school of poetry. This stung me at the time but after a while made perfect sense to me, and I began to ponder the different ways that I could play his designation to the fullest. My own work I knew was continuous with radical modernisms and postmodernisms that were situated well beyond our shores, and this I thought held for all but a handful of my contemporaries, the few like Olson and Snyder, say, who pushed the American stance to its limits. By the time I appeared in the revised edition of The New American Poetry in 1982, the Vietnam war, among other events, had intervened and may have shaken confidence in a purely American moment.