Fifty years on, we're still coming to terms with Guy Debord's 1967 situationist text, The Society of the Spectacle
. Debord presented an eerily-accurate portrait of our image-saturated, mediated times
. You can find all kinds of insights into the spectacle of 2014, from Instagram and viral marketing to hipster culture and personal brands. Fittingly, he also did it with a series of short, aphoristic sections that could almost be described as proto-tweets.
Leveraging the Tumblr aesthetic, Ryan Oakley has created an Illustrated Society of the Spectacle
(start there, then click "Newer Post" to progress.) The images aim to resonate with Debord's text, rather than provide on-the-nose illustrations. NSFW. [more inside]
posted by naju
on Apr 28, 2014 -
Dwarf Fortress: A Marxist Analysis
What one does in Dwarf Fortress is create a colony of an existing dwarven fortress – you’re always sent out as a team from a much larger existing stronghold elsewhere, and your foreign relations with other dwarves are limited to that particular fortress, on the whole. Even though your settlement is independent and self-governing, and the relations with the mother fortress mostly those of trade, the purpose of the game in all its open-endedness can be nothing other than to create oneself in the image of the previous fortress. In other words, fundamentally in Dwarf Fortress you reproduce the existing structure of dwarven society on a merely quantitatively expanded scale.
posted by Eideteker
on Oct 25, 2013 -
Political Identification: communist
"Dear Bloody Red Heart,
I have recently started seeing a communist woman, and I really like her, but my problem is that I still have overwhelmingly strong feelings for the communist woman I had a thing with in the summer, and who has gone to fight the good fight in other lands. Should I tell the comrade I’m currently seeing about my divided affections? As we are not yet in full communism, I fear I may not have enough to go round…
From: Bloody Red Heart"
Always remember that information is power, and functions as such." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 2, 2013 -
Buddhism and Marxism have been called two of the most compelling arguments we have against capitalist exploitation. The Dalai Lama would agree. Once in a discussion about his meeting with Chairman Mao he spoke of his affinity for the ideals of communism, adding with a finger to his temple, "The revolution is inside, in the determination of mind." The Tricycle essay Occupy Buddhism
is very well written and perhaps interesting for those who believe another (post-capitalist) world is possible.
posted by ecourbanist
on Feb 4, 2013 -
It has been a bad week for contemporary Marxist scholarship [earlier this morning
]. This past Saturday
, the geography world lost Neil Smith, versatile theorist
, advocate for social justice
, LA Times Book Award winner
, and founder of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics
at CUNY. Best known for his theory of the uneven spatial development of capitalism
and for changing the way we think about gentrification
, his numerous contributions to the field of critical human geography include a sustained critique of neoliberalism
, a history of American empire
, and the declaration that there's no such thing as a natural disaster
. Here's Neil on Occupy Wall Street
, urban securitization
, deconstructing USA Today in 1984
, and singing the Socialist ABCs
posted by avocet
on Oct 1, 2012 -
One thing the historical record makes abundantly clear is that Adam Smith and his laissez-faire buddies were a bunch of closet-case statists who needed brutal government policies to whip the English peasantry into a good capitalistic workforce willing to accept wage slavery.
Yasha Levine's detailed review
of historian Michael Perelman's The Invention of Capitalism
posted by clarknova
on Apr 7, 2012 -
Человек с киноаппаратом
("Man with a Movie Camera") is a classic experimental documentary film that was released in 1929. Directed by pioneer Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov
, this classic, silent documentary film has no story and no actors, and is actually three documentaries in one. Ostensibly it documents 24 hours of life in a single city in the Soviet Union. But it is also a documentary of the filming of that documentary and a depiction of an audience watching that documentary and their responses. "We see the cameraman and the editing of the film, but what we don't see is any of the film itself." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 13, 2012 -
A conversation with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
A long interview with Spivak, one of the foremost literary and philosophical thinkers of her generation, published today in the Hindu Times. Topics covered include her arrival in America as a 19 year old grad student, translating Derrida, falling out with Kristeva, her family, feminism, the complexity of her critical language, and the future of Marxism, among others.
posted by jokeefe
on Feb 5, 2011 -
In 1936 in the Jim Crow South, Robert F. Williams
was an 11-year-old black boy in Monroe, North Carolina, who watched helplessly as Jesse Helms Sr.
(father and namesake of the former senator
) beat an African-American woman to the ground and "dragged her off to the nearby jailhouse, her dress up over her head, the same way that a cave man would club and drag his sexual prey."
Years later, after a stint in the segregated military, Williams returned home to Monroe and worked as an NAACP organizer, where he brought international attention to the Kissing Case
, a 1958 incident in which two black boys under the age of 10 were sentenced to a reformatory for kissing a white girl. By then, Williams had also attracted controversy for his advocacy of armed self-defense, a position he outlined in the book Negroes with Guns
. But it would all change overnight in 1961, when Williams landed on FBI's Most Wanted
list, after being charged with kidnapping a white couple that Williams claimed he was trying to save from an angry black crowd. [more inside]
posted by jonp72
on Jun 8, 2010 -
: a survey on stellar and interstellar Soviet constructivist architecture, or, buildings in the time before Stalin (with pictures).
posted by Falconetti
on Oct 11, 2007 -
“If you are denying yourself pleasure then you have to take responsibility for where you are right now. When you get to a place where you are happy
then love comes into your life. When you begin to love yourself then people recognize that and you can start receiving it. Self-pity will get you nowhere. Our society is sexist, racist, ageist, but I am a biological creature with all these amazing gifts of orgasm and I cannot wait for the world out there to change
for me to be happy. I have all the happiness I need inside myself and I’m keeping it. I have denied it and avoided it for myself for too long. I have waited around for other things to be arranged before I gave myself happiness and I’m not going to do that anymore. It wasn’t until I stopped wallowing in all that self-pity and took matters into my own hands
that things started to change for me. . . . Don’t wait around for another person to give that to you, give it to yourself. . . . We have been taught to not like ourselves and it takes a lot to unteach that to ourselves.
There is a lot of conditioning and everyone has their own kind of conditioning that they have to unlearn. . . . All I can tell people about myself is that I give it to myself just as I can. My area just happens to be sex, while others have art, painting or public health or whatever. I’m just as true to myself as I can be.”
posted by jason's_planet
on Sep 23, 2006 -
Film Schools obsessed with theory
David Weddle complains that in film schools "discussions about movie characters, plots and the human beings who created them are replaced by theories such as semiotics, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, psychoanalytics and neoformalism. [More inside]
posted by gregb1007
on Sep 14, 2003 -