“If I enjoy these internet memes so much, why am I so dismissive of anthropological fads? There are probably three reasons: First, there is the erasure of disciplinary memory. Newer is not necessarily better, and it is good to show a little respect for where we came from. The second is that it is simply hard to keep up. One doesn’t just casually pick up Lacan – there is a whole new vocabulary to master. For this reason it can often feel like empire building (reason #3). By establishing a new anthropological trend one is trying to build up one’s own cultural capital while simultaneously devaluing other forms.”
How to Think Critically: A Guide?
RE: On Beauty, Which Really Does Not Have to Be Dull
“Only an American would pair Said and Derrida as representatives of a hope for the future of thinking and education that was always more than just fashionable theory, although fashion itself is a decayed form of hope. The fashion for theory and the words “Orientalism” and “Deconstruction” was as much a result of intelligent, angry and alienated Americans fastening on to a promise without quite grasping the training and the commitment to lonely thinking through a fixed tradition required to make it a reality.”
“The network is live, the revolution is live. The energy that causes the network to circulate stems from the great performative moments in the streets, but it can be intensified as it passes through the network, as it was when “Egypt” watched “Tunisia.” This is a performative watching that reverses the long-standing deployment of visuality as a weapon against civilian populations by the Psy-Ops brigades and the ranks of the secret police .”
“Putting down ways of communicating foreign to you as inherently less deep, real and worthwhile is a claim to power. It is a way to reduce the ‘other’ as less fully human and capable. Particularity troubling in this case is the fact that nonwhites are overrepresented in these new, mobile communication technologies (especially Twitter). If one is to claim that instantaneity equals a lack of depth, one must also defend the implicit point that nonwhites utilizing new technologies to communicate in new ways are inherently communicating less deeply than their white counterparts. Who benefits from defining one way -their way- of interacting with information as deeper and more true?”
“Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories.”
“Beneath every communist there is a secret bourgeois snob. At least I admit to it.”
“To resort to violence in view of outrageous events or conditions is enormously tempting because of its inherent immediacy and swiftness. It goes against the grain of rage and violence to act with deliberate speed; but this does not make it irrational. On the contrary, in private as well as public life there are situations in which the very swiftness of a violent act may be the only appropriate remedy.”
The live-stream experience of Facebook is tragic, beautiful and painful. Sartre wrote about the impossiblity of communication between beings. And that is exactly what is now immediately visible at every moment, with our every post and status update: the desire of living things to discover their analogue, their double, anything that will vibrate and resonate to their own special frequency.
But however much there are forces in society trying to make us all similar (language, culture, shared entertainments and rites), our radical difference still stands out: we are all, as Bergson and then Deleuze would have it, shoots of creation, always springing forth into being and constantly being reconfigured; similarity is only found on the surface of things. So Facebook is the real time enactment of a human impulse: individual beings, strangers to each other, each in the impossible quest for a double.
Each of us is a planet, a baroque monster made up of a thousand points of experience assembled into a unique and transitory thing. We are not just seeking our second half, but really a double—whoever or whatever will resonate with the sutures that define us—each of us a unique Frankenstein pursuing the fantasy of a bride. In the face of the disappearingly miniscule chance of finding anyone like yourself, your Facebook stream is a testament to the wasted effort in discovering this monstrous brother.”
“In matters of taste, more than anywhere else, all determination is negation; and tastes are perhaps first and foremost distastes, disgust provoked by horror or visceral intolerance of the tastes of others … which amounts to rejecting others as unnatural and therefore vicious. Aesthetic intolerance can be terribly violent. Aversion to different life-styles is perhaps one of the strongest barriers between the classes”