dagLists: Reading (5/11-5/18)
Italo Calvino. t zero (Collier Books, 1970)
Roland Barthes. A Lover’s Discourse (Noonday, 1990)
Michael Warner. Publics and Counterpublics (Zone Books, 2002)
the falling rate of profit
surplus labor value
student loan debt
the company store
I’ve received several asks in the last three weeks about white privilege. Here are three books that are must reads, in my opinion:
Theodore Allen. The Invention of the White Race: Racial Oppression and Social Control (Verso, 1994). Outlines the legal and social construction of white. Very good study. And a new edition of Allen’s 2-volume work is being published in February 2012, according to Verso.
Paula S Rothenberg. White Privilege 4th Edition (Worth, 2011). A good anthology of the classic texts in this topic. Recently updated.
If you’re actually interested in race and criminal justice in our society, a good place to begin is with two of Manning Marable’s awesome books: How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America and Race, Reform and Rebellion. The first was written in 1983 but revised and updated in the early 2000s.
If anyone has other books they really like, post them via reply. Reblogging is better because it’ll distribute a useful and growing list that we can all talk about. Let’s share a list of good reading material. Add the books to the list below.
Manning Marable. How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America.
Manning Marable. Race Reform and Rebellion.
deathpenaltyinfo.org (This site is likely experience incredibly high traffic right now and so will often appear to be down. Wait 24 hours. I’ve been trying to access it all morning from Korea and can’t.)
These are what I’m bringing along with me for the next four to five months.
Nietzsche. Day Break.
Nietzsche. The Gay Science.
Nietzsche. Human, All too Human.
Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil.
Ducasse. Chants de Maldoror.
Bataille. Blue of Noon.
White. Tropics of Discourse.
Sebald. Rings of Saturn.
Ginzburg. The Cheese and the Worms.
Melville. Moby Dick.
Pynchon. Gravity’s Rainbow or V
Merleau-Ponty. Phenomenology of Perception.
Schreber. Memoirs of My Nervous Illness.
Lacan. On the Topic of the Imaginary. Maybe more, Maybe less.
Pound. The Cantos.
Pound. Hugh Selwyn Mauberly.
Calvino. Invisible Cities.
Kharms. His stories.
Walser. Collected Stories.
If you’d like to add to my list, feel free.
These are things people like to shit on that I unapologetically like:
Hegel. Kant. Zizek.
The Frankfurt School.
Das Kapital, Vol One.
This is a person who people idolize who I don’t really care about:
This is a list of books I am currently reading for inspiration while I write:
Moby Dick. Robert
Walser’s Collected Stories.
The Street of Crocodiles.
The Savage Detectives.
Collected Fiction &
Dream Tigers. The Tractatus
& other parts of his work.
Two things I really enjoy thinking about that might surprise you:
St Augustine’s Confessions.
One American novelist who is over-rated and one who wouldn’t be if he received as much press with each new novel and one who deserves more recognition:
Yeah, well. Here’s the famous list that sent the kids looking for LPs in 1990. I was one of them. Lists. Before teh intarwebs. Punk Rawk.
Pusheads list of top 80’s Hardcore records
The following is the final installment of Puszone
‘Twas the night before Doomsday, all the creatures were stirring,
another bomb rocked the house…Hopefully this scenario will never see the light in this new decade to come. They all say peace is the answer, yet only a few really strive for it. The message of peace versus war seemed to be the dominant factor in hardcore music of the eighties.
This generation strived to project a message of awareness. Now it’s
just a matter iof someone taking it seriously and not only listening
to the anger, but also the truth written out of frustration and hope.
So welcome to 1990.
Appropriately, the puszone was created to expose the hardcore powerhouses, the sheer aggerssive vigor of a style of music that won the minds and hearts of many but was ignored by the masses. Puszone intended to expose the brutal determination of sound and lyric, those crazed speed riffs or rampant rhino charging beats. A barrage of abjectives became its trademark, and for some seven or eight years, this column sought out that hardcore spirit.
Alas, here is the last installment of the Puszone, a collection of the
unofficial top 100 slabs of raging mayhem that kept the excitement alive through the eighties. If a thank-you list was compiled to show appreciation to all the groups and individuals who helped out and gave support, it would last the next six issues. So to all of you past and present, thank you ever so kindly, it’s been more than just a lot of fun. Of course, many will disagree with this list. Only one release by each band was chosen, since thousands of hardcore releases came out during th e eighties. Some oversights are inevitable, but enjoy the list and enjoy the music-it’s everlasting and the memories are worth remembering. Walk confidently into the future and keep the faith! Domo Arigato, Pushead.
PUSZONE UNOFFICIAL TOP 100 OF THE 80s
1.Discharge-Fight Back 7” EP, England 1980
2.S.S.Decontrol-Get It Away 12” EP, USA 1983
3.The Subhumans-Demolition War 7” EP, England 1981
4.Minor Threat-Filler 7” EP, USA 1981
5.Bad Brains-Roir Cassette, USA 1982
6.TSOL-Superficial Love 12” EP, USA 1981
7.Disorder-Complete Disorder 7” EP, England 1981
8.Rudimentary Peni-Rudimentay Peni 7” EP, England 1981
9.Jerry’s Kids-Is This My World LP, USA 1983
10.Anti-Sect-In Darkness There Is No Choice LP, England 1983
11.Gism-Detestation 12” EP, Japan 1983
12.Faith/Void-Split LP, USA 1983
13.DYS-Brotherhood LP, USA 1983
14.Cockney Rejects-Greatest Hits Vol. 1 LP, England 1981
15.Flex Your Head-Sampler LP, USA 1982
16.Sick of it All-Blood, Sweat, and No Tears LP, USA 1989
17.Necros-IQ32 7” EP, USA 1982
18.Adolescents-Adolescents LP, USA 1981
19.F.U.’s-Kill for Christ 12” EP, USA 1982
20.Antidote-Thou Shalt Not Kill 7” EP, USA 1983
21.GBH-Leather Bristles, Studs, & Acne 12” EP, England 1981
22.Channel 3-Manzanar 12” EP, USA 1981
23.Four Old 7” On a 12”-Compilation LP, USA 1984
24.This is Boston, Not LA-Sampler LP, USA 1981
25.Negative Approach-Negative Approach 7” EP, USA 1982
26.Poison Idea-Kings of Punk LP, USA 1986
27.Chaotic Dischord-Fuck the World 7” EP, England 1982
28.Scream-Still Screaming LP, USA 1982
29.SNFU-And No one Else Wanted to Play LP, Canada 1984
30.Fartz-Because This World Fucking Stinks 7” EP, USA 1981
31.Impact Unit-Impact Unit 7” EP, USA 1989
32.Process of Elimination-Sampler 7” EP, USA 1981
33.Anti-Cimex-Raped Ass 7” EP, Sweden 1983
34.CIA-God, Guts 7” EP, USA 1983
35.Youth Brigade-Sound and Fury LP, USA 1983
36.Chaos UK-Burning Britain 7” EP, England 1982
37.Cause for Alarm-Cause for Alarm 7” EP, USA 1983
38.Cro-Mags-Age of Quarrel LP, USA 1987
39.The Stalin-Political LP, Japan 1983
40.Circle Jerks-Group Sex LP, USA 1980
41.English Digs-To the Ends of the Earth 12” EP, England 1984
42.Crucifix-Dehumanized LP, USA 1983
43.China White-Danger Zone 12” EP, USA 1981
44.Batallion of Saints-Fighting Boys 12” EP, USA 1982
45.Negative FX-Negative FX LP, USA 1982
46.Anti-System-No Laughing Matter LP, England 1984
47.Black Flag-Jealous Again 12” EP, USA 1981
48.Social Distortion-Playpen 7” EP, USA 1981
49.instigators-No One Listens Anymore LP, England 1985
50.Neos-End All Discrimination 7” EP, Canada 1982
51.Misfits-Walk Among us LP, USA 1982
52.Shitlickers-Cracked Cop Skulls 7” EP, Sweden 1982
53.Terveet Kadet-Aareton Joulu 7” EP, Finland 1982
54.Prong-Force Fed LP, USA 1987
55.Outo-Many Question Poison Answer 7” EP, Japan 1983
56.The Fix-Jan’s Room 7” EP, USA 1981
57.The Insane-Politics 7” EP, Canada 1981
58.DOA-The Prisoner 7” EP, Canada 1980
59.Bad Religion-How Could Hell Be Any Worse LP, USA 1981
60.Agnostic Front-United Blood 7” EP, USA 1983
61.Meatmen-Blud Sausage 7” EP, USA 1982
62.Gauze-Fuckheads 12” EP, Japan 1983
63.Skeptix-So the Youth LP, England 1983
64.7 Seconds-Committed for Life 7” EP, USA 1983
65.Varukers-Varukers 7” EP, England 1981
66.Confuse-Nuclear Addicts Flexi 7” EP, Japan 1984
67.Abused-Loud and Clear 7” EP, USA 1982
68.Adrenalin O.D.-Wacky Hi Jinks of Adrenalin O.D. LP, USA 1984
69.BGK-Jonestown Aloha LP, Holland 1984
70.Straight Ahead-Breakaway 12” EP, USA 1987
71.Abrasive Wheels-Vicious Circle 7” EP, England 1981
72.Deep Wound-Deep Wound 7” EP, USA 1983
73.Sore Throat-Acid Rain 7” EP, USA 1987
74.Ignition-Sinker 7” EP, USA 1987
75.Mass Appeal-Mass Appeal 2xLP, Australia 1989
76.Sons of Ishmael-Hayseed Hardcore 7” EP, Canada 1985
77.Rattus-W.C. Rajahtaa LP, Finland 1982
78.Huvudtvatt-Extrem Punx 7” EP, Sweden 1981
79.Corrosion of Conformity-Eye For an Eye LP, USA 1984
80.Final Conflict-Ashes for Ashes LP, USA 1987
81.Underdog-Underdog 7” EP, USA 1986
82.Stupids-Violent Nun 7” EP, England 1985
83.Execute-Hardcore Temptation 7” EP, Japan 1983
84.Malinheads-Hoax 7” EP, Germany 1983
85.Die Kreuzen-Die Kreuzen-LP, USA 1984
86.76% Uncertain-Estimated Monkey Time LP, USA 1984
87.Agent Orange-Your Mother Sucks Cock in Hell 7” EP, Holland 1983
88.Partisans-Police Story 7” EP, England 1984
89.Final Warning-Final Warning 7” EP, USA 1984
90.Anthrax-Capitalism is Cannibalism 7” EP, England 1983
91.Stains-Stains LP, USA 1983
92.Stalag 13-In Control 12” EP, USA 1984
93.LSD-Just Last 7” EP, Japan 1986
94.Inferno-Tod & Wahnsinn LP, Germany 1984
95.Ultra Violence-Crime for Revenge 7” EP, England 1982
96.Mau Maus-Facts of War 7” EP, England 1984
97.Accused-Martha Splatterhead 12” EP< USA 1984
98.Subvert-The Madness Must End 7” EP, USA 1988
99.Dead Kennedys-In God We Trust 12” EP, USA 1981
100.Leeway-Born to Expire LP, USA 1988
Apologetics or Confessions?: I was wasting my time last month reading Austrian School crap-theory about the construction of liberty, the liberal social order and capitalism. I had taught it in my Business Ethics courses and hated it. I can report, without raising eyebrows I’m sure, that I hate it even more now and simply must refuse to finish the reading. I’m mentally constipated because of it and I’ve been depressed as well.
The theory appears smart and sharp, but it’s written with an pre-determined eye to support some of the assumptions the writers make in the economic theory. If you want to know how authoritarianism works its way into capitalism, you need look no further than Hayek and Mises. These guys proudly provided the (not “a”) foundation for contemporary corporate fascism’s excuse, the catallaxy and its liberal social order for a natural, free market capitalism. I’m no economist and macroeconomic theory is not for amateurs. But the theory of the market is not too difficult to read, even for first-comers. I think it’s vital to read it, to understand just how much and how deviously we’ve been bamboozled.
It’s a little hard to take a foundational theory seriously that time and again admits its purpose is to support the ideological and political disposition it is being written to explore. Problem with capitalism? No. In fact, it’s quite fortunate that it’s the most liberating thing ever. Who’d of thunk it? It’s annoying, patronizing, anti-intellectual, self-serving garbage. And it’s torture to read. Kind of like reading Ayn Rand: it’s more scolding punishment and tone deaf pronouncements of articles of faith than it is any creative exploration of the nature of markets and man.
So, I’ve decided to move back to my youth—the earliest days of my college years when I decided to study philosophy and to dedicate myself to writing. That would be the two years I spent reading William Burroughs as I began school in 1991. I had been broke, discharged from the military, homeless, hopeless, returning home, and turning 21. I could have easily slunk low into the comfortable Denver scene that had already begun to welcome me. Rents were cheap, jobs were easy to find, the music and arts scene was buzzing, booze and drugs were cheap. It would have been easy to slack into my twenties. There’s something about Denver I’ll have to explain some time. Work it out. But I decided to go to college. Pay my own way. I was worried about being too old and too strange. Little did I know that Metropolitan State College in Denver was full of folks like me. It’s because of the early 90s that I’m getting ready to defend my dissertation. It’s been a crazy 20 years. With this in mind, I think it only makes sense to (thanks to some Tumblr people) go back to Burroughs.
Burroughs really did lead me to every other author and thinker I love. I had already been fond of the American novel and poetry. But I was certainly a novice. Burroughs gave me the desire to focus, likely because I had to search so intently to find his sources. I found a love for modernism and distrust of postmodernism, for example, through Burroughs. People love to call him postmodern, I think, because he lived in that time. In addition, people relate the avant garde with the postmodern. How capitalist is the postmodern? It will take everything as its own via immanent domain.
Anyway, Burroughs is a skeptic and mentor and guide back to thinking about the rudimentary methods of using biography, history, metaphysics, method (content), and form to find some sense of a singular identity and location for where I/We come from and where we’re all going to. His expression of love, sexuality, transgression and capitalism all rang true for me. He permitted me to question my heterosexuality and my whiteness in a direct manner that still informs me. I’m immediately struck by this as I begin reading him this time: his erotics, homosexual protagonists and heterosexual antagonists dispel many myths of homosexual disorders through their explicit exploration of violent, white masculinity that sets a heterosexist order. I love it. I loved that language and bodies could be formless, shapeshifting, transformative. I love the bombastic flow that flies in the face of hip snobbery and fad-ish beat sensibilities.
I had read this sort of thing in books written by women who directly confront the sexism and misogyny in captalist culture—dystopian and utopian feminist literature that I still love—but never in fiction written by a man. I took it as a call to participate. And I did.
I may be projecting, but not much…
Reading: I’m reading The Nova Trilogy right now: The Soft Machine, The Ticket that Exploded and The Nova Express.
I’ll be reading in Georges Bataille as well: Erotism & The Accursed Share.
I’m rereading much of Deleuze and Guattari. I have to say, at the outset, that I focused on what I called the literature of illness for one of my doctoral exams, focusing on mental illness. I’ve always been skeptical about schizoanalysis. I just don’t think many people who read in schizoanalysis know what these guys were talking about. I think it’s an excuse for writers and artists disjunctive, disorderly ideas about their own work and its place in the market. And I don’t like that. The anarchist in me loves the disregard D&G (and I think this is G’s influence quite frankly) have for philosophical and scientific traditions. They take what works for them and use it for their purpose. I like that. A lot. I’m all for tapping the inner autodidact some of us are fortunate to be born with—what I know, I know, and I can tell you about it without have to do much work and that narrative derives from my ability to use language and to move between or amongst disciplines without much effort and that behavior is tied to my failure to give a shit what the professionals say about my intellect and work.
D&G, I relate to. I don’t necessarily agree with everything I understand from their monumental work. I think it’s often abused by artists and English majors who can latch onto specific claims without needing to know where the claim came from, out of what it was made possible. I’m of two minds here: first, so what? What is it that I’m protecting when I react against naive use of theory; second, I can’t stand it when people base a way of thinking about a problem (their art, their work, their goals, their teaching) on a wicked misunderstanding of complex theoretical concepts. In other words, D&G’s work permits people entrance into a tradition of Western Thought that is both scientific and philosophical without having to have come to terms with that work. Should I worry about that? I don’t know. But some of these people are privileged pseudo-intellectuals who publish nonsense about the work and the tradition, and I think that is dangerous. So, reading D&G always makes me wonder what I’m doing as a thinker. I think that’s ultimately good whether or not I find something like schizoanalysis useful or not. (Btw, I’m old enough to remember people doing the same thing with Derrida and Foucault. It’s now D&G and thinkers like Bergson. Baudrillard had a short reign in there, too.) That said. …
I’m reading Kaja Silverman’s cool and newest work, Flesh of My Flesh, too. LIKE IT. It’s a fantasy of mine to spend several years thinking about a specific problem I see in our discourse and working that problem out via an intellectual history of thought. She’s brilliant. I’ve enjoyed her work over the years.
1) Three more posts on “Testing, Testing”.
Next one, tomorrow. Soon.
2) On Teacher Merit-Pay.
3) More on libertarians and their warped sense of liberty in service of capitalism. Working on Mises and Hayek, as with the last posts.
This week: Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices: A Folk History of the Negro in the United States.
While listening to Isabel Wilkerson’s interview about her book on The Great Migration, I thought about Wright’s amazing book and the manifesto. I love the book. It’s one of those books you never hear about yet should. Check it out.
Currently reading two authors I don’t like to read. Unfortunately, I can’t stop because I want to write something on the growing use of “meritocracy” in public discourse. I’ll need to be able to refer to Hayek and Mises. As I reread their essential theory, I’m reminded why I felt compelled to take to the streets in my twenties: to flier, to protest, to organize, to march. Their work is so brilliantly disingenuous and manipulative that I want to find their graves and piss on them.
Exaggeration, you think. No way. Economics aside—all the debates with Keynes and the numbers and the predictions—these two wrote the most strangled theories to in support of their economic positions. Evil geniuses, and in the worst way.
Hayek. The Constitution of Liberty.
Hayek. Law, Legislation and Liberty.
Eugene Heath. “Spontaneous Social Order and Liberalism” from NYU Journal of Law & Liberty. Heath edited the anthology I used in my Business Ethics course while teaching at Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado. (Biggest city campus in the United States. I miss it.) Morality and the Market: Ethics and Virtue in the Conduct of Business is a very good book for Ethics courses because it contains plenty of discussion about the market and markets. Most students have no clue about what a market is, where the ideas we have about markets come from. Highly suggested. Only set-back is that it’s expensive. Is it even in print anymore?
Mises. Human Action.
Mises. The Anti-Capitalist Mentality.
And on my want to read list:
Alfie Kohn. Feel-Bad Education: And Other Contrarian Essays on Children and Schooling. This looks like a worthy addition to the growing dissent against current educational policy trends like Race to the Top and in the tradition of Friere. Should be engaging reading. I’ve been writing a lot about pedagogy lately, so I need this book. Here’s Kohn’s homepage. Here’s Kohn’s wiki ed page. I agree with Kohn on many points, but am rather put off by his implementation of capitalist rhetoric in his arguments. He loves to talk about reason and innovation. Some have labeled him as a radical libertarian. I don’t know about that, but I’m critical of any pedagogy that is in service of capitalism. That said, his ideas are worthwhile in the current discourse as one possible form of opposition to the stupid Michelle Rhee/Arne Duncan plans.
Buy it from the link above and support Majority Report. And listen to the author and Sam Seder here.
1. I’ve remarked about Sam Seder’s The Majority Report before. I listen to it Tuesday-Saturday. I live in Korea, so it’s hard to listen live. It’s my favorite political show. I highly recommend it. In addition, it’s diy and completely independent. (Now with phones: I may have to stay up very late and call in once in a while.)
2. I’ve been enjoying Tavis Smiley and Cornel West’s show Smiley & West. Moreover, their guests are folks you won’t here from anywhere else.
The current episode’s guest: Father Michael Pfleger. Here’s his wikipedia entry.
3. And then there’s Tom Scharpling’s The Best Show on WFMU. It is the best show on WFMU. Well, I love Cherry Blossom Clinic and a few of the other shows, too. I’ve been listening to WFMU forever. And Tom’s show continues to grow on me.
Same as He Ever Was. Paul Krugman, New York Times.
Folks, he’s always been like this. The image of Ryan as a thoughtful, serious conservative never had any basis in reality. The original “roadmap” was just as nonsensical as the new proposal; the Ryan-led attack on health reform was crude nonsense.
Student dons KKK Hood at School Assembly. Joanna @ The Intersection of Madness & Reality.
Recently, a high school student in Utah was accused of racism after wearing a pillowcase over his head during a spirit assembly at Alta High School. The pillowcase looked similar to KKK hood, and when student Larz Cosby (who is described as “multi-ethnic”) demanded that it be removed, the hooded teen taunted the concerned Cosby and yelled “white power.” Cosby then removed the boys hood and threw it to the ground. He later blogged about the incident, and reported it to authorities at the school.
Alta High administrators placed on paid leave during investigation. Amanda Verzello, KSL.com.
The principal and vice principal of Alta High School have been placed on paid leave during the investigation of multiple “serious incidents” uncovered by a district investigation, according to a school employee.
Prompted by a March 18 incident where a student wore a white pointed hood to a school spirit bowl that some felt resembled the infamous Ku Klux Klan symbol, the Canyons School District has uncovered evidence of other “serious incidents” that have occurred at the school over the past year, according to district spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook.
Dissents of the Day. Andrew Sullivan, The Dish @ The Daily Beast.
The in-tray is still bulging with fury over Paul Ryan. I find the arguments bracing - and in themselves evidence that Ryan’s proposal has already helped move the debate to more earnest grounds.
Cathie Black and the Privatisation of Education. Daniel Denvir, The Guardian.
Cathleen Black, the multimillionaire publishing executive with absolutely no background in education, has resigned as New York City schools chancellor. Her departure is a rare setback for a corporate-funded education reform movement that lauds standardised tests, non-union teachers and private management as the solution to the problems of public education.
The three books I’ve been focused on over the last month:
Henri Lefebvre. The Production of Space.
Karl Marx. Capital, Volume One.
Slavoj Zizek. Violence.
These are re-reads for me. And I’m enjoying the reading very much.
I recently finished Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and hated it. My copy of Moby Dick has been eyeing me lately. I love that novel. After tolerating Franzen’s bullshit for a bit, I think I might dive back into that for respite from the theory.
If I could assign you some homework, it’d be Part 4, Chapter 13, of Marx’s Capital, entitled “Co-operation”. You can read it, too, if you like.