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Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

fomenting “rebellion”

I’ve just read Jane Mayer’s New Yorker article on “The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama”, which I’m happy to see is publicly available online. It’s a good summary of what corporate watchers have been saying for years (see, e.g., here and here), but with a lot of interview material updating what the libertarian duo […]

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Jon Stewart gives up

Just had to share this. Hat tip to Reconciliation Ecology.

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retreat

Being TV-free (but wifi-capable) in the wilds of northeast Vermont, Facebook has become my main news source about the G20 protests in Toronto. I’m taking the liberty of posting a snippet of (anonymous) conversation involving a friend who is there and a handful of interlocutors watching from a distance:

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First, for anyone living in a JonStewartless alternate universe… Stewart (and Samantha Bee) giving Glenn Beck a history lesson (about progressivism) was pretty funny. Beck may be a cheap target, but it’s also a cheap (free) history lesson. Take this country back, Glenn, way back… www.thedailyshow.com Next, Denmark’s new tourist ad campaign by Lars von […]

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Valery Lyman’s 16-minute film, One of These Mornings, captures the pain, the joy, the happiness, and the excitement embodied in the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. Now, a year and a couple of months after that election, Ben Ehrenreich’s Slate piece on the dramatic failures (already!) of the international, but especially US, response […]

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exquisite corpse

Michael Bérubé’s In praise of humility is so good I can’t resist posting a link to it. Why, indeed, has the Obama revolution lost its steam? I think Bérubé must be aiming for Andrei Codrescu‘s job as NPR’s occasional commentator extraordinaire. Read it and weep (at least until you realize what’s going on). Incidentally, Bérubé’s […]

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There are many things one can say about Invictus: about Freeman’s portrayal of Mandela, Eastwood’s directorial prowess and editorial conceits (e.g., masculinity and its transformation through individual experience), the film’s characterization of post-Apartheid South Africa, and the accuracy or inaccuracy of its portrayal of the actual story of the South African national rugby team’s, the Springboks’, stunning rise to victory in the 1995 World Cup. What interests me most, though, is its depiction of mass affect and collective emotion, which are portrayed in two of the main variants these take in today’s world: sports and politics. [. . .]

The film’s crystal moments, those affect-carrying plateaus or peak moments embodying its main tensions, are those surrounding the combat on the field and its emanation into the crowd: slowed down crunches of bodies against bodies (unprotected, unlike in American football), sweat leaping between them out of their crushing impact, rapid cuts between on-field plays that occur too quickly to be followed and can only be enjoyed as sheer spectacle, and crowds leaping for joy, singing, applauding, and dancing, their emotions spreading like waves across the stadium, the streets, and the nation. [. . .]

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What makes COP-15 a turning point is that a new set of connections are being forged in the heat of the confrontation of active citizens from around the world with the reality of global political-economic power structures. Paul Hawken’s “largest movement in the world,” the movement of movements made up of environmental, social justice, and indigenous rights civil society organizations — which isn’t a movement yet until it begins to move and act in a coordinated manner — and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s “multitude” — the multiple and internally differentiated force that is, or that can become, capable of acting in common toward a global democracy — are both being born today, in the stark meeting of global justice activism with ecological reality.

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(For some reason, this didn’t go out over Google Reader, so I’m re-posting it…) The Speculative Realist blogosphere has been abuzz over the relationship between ontology and politics. Nick Srnicek’s post at Speculative Heresy – and the many comments on it – provide a good entry point to this discussion. Nick has wisely redrawn his […]

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I’ve written before about William Connolly’s notion of the evangelical-capitalist resonance machine, a description of the cozy relationship that’s developed between the economic right and the social-moralistic right over the last couple of decades in the U.S. It’s not merely an alliance of converging interests, since the two groups’ interests don’t always align with each […]

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