Archive for October, 2008

On Nimbyism

Posted in Vicente with tags on October 31, 2008 by Vicente Peláyez

“Nimbyism” is a term often applied to unthinking, reactive resistance of vocal residents to nearby developments. Its utility, however, is not limited to the field of urbanism. Continue reading

Caveman America; or, On the Militarism That Will Someday Kill Us All

Posted in Vicente with tags on October 23, 2008 by Vicente Peláyez

The signs of militarism in modern American society are both omnipresent and to a large degree taken for granted. Not only is it politically suicidal to question the collective worship of war, armies, and veterans, it rarely occurs to us to do so. Continue reading

The Pretender, the Philosopher, and the Anti-Intellectual

Posted in Vicente with tags on October 17, 2008 by Vicente Peláyez

What is pretension, and why is it so often a cover for a contemptuous anti-intellectualism? Continue reading

Beneath the Veil

Posted in Wilfredo with tags , , , , , on October 15, 2008 by mothstache

To what do we owe Continue reading

On First and Last Names

Posted in Vicente with tags on October 11, 2008 by Vicente Peláyez

On Natalie Wexler’s blog, there is a post called “First-Name Basis.” (Her blog does not have permalinks, so you will have to scroll more than halfway down the page.) In her post, she points out that during the 2008 primary elections, for perhaps the first time in American history, both Democratic candidates were frequently addressed by their first name. I was reminded of this point while reading Benedict Anderson‘s Imagined Communities, where a footnote in chapter 2 discusses the nomenclature of rulers Continue reading

Response to Richard Kidd’s “Do You Really Care? Pathos of a Revolutionary”

Posted in Wilfredo on October 11, 2008 by mothstache

(Some mysterious facebook account called “New World” posted this article as a note here.  It concludes thus: “My final words were, ‘you don’t need any more fucking thinking, you don’t need to be intellectually challenged, you need to be emotionally challenged…you are smart enough to make a revolution, but you don’t care enough to make a revolution.'”  I posted the following brief response as a comment on the facebook note.  Unfortunately the second person may be a little misplaced, unless New World happens to be Richard Kidd.)

Alright, Baron Münchausen. Let me get this straight. To make a revolution I need to care. And why should I make myself care? Because caring about revolution is a means towards revolution. Unfortunately, that care is also the revolution’s justification; revolution is a means towards something I care about. You’re trying to manufacture a justification for revolution in order to make revolution possible; since this justification is a means towards revolution, and revolution is a means towards this manufactured ends, revolution is its own end.

But let’s look closer. Another tautology could as easily be at work. Failing to care about anything, you prop up this revolutionary exigency that will /demand that you care/. The revolution justifies caring and caring justifies the revolution. Revolution for you is nothing but a prosthetic conscience you prop up to avoid facing your ungroundedness. In that sense it’s little different from nationalism and fundamentalism. (Lacanian “perversion”–you’re just another masochist.)

Some Useful Linguistic Concepts for the General Edification, part 1

Posted in Vicente with tags on October 3, 2008 by Vicente Peláyez

This post is the first in a series on ideas from linguistics that the general public should be familiar with. Continue reading