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Author Topic: Watcha readin'?
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 17 May 2001 12:12 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
So what are y'all reading at the moment?


I just finished Brave New World and 1984. Today I started reading Gulliver's Travels.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Athena Dreaming
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posted 17 May 2001 01:04 PM      Profile for Athena Dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wow! Taking a trip through the classics, are we?

Let's see--reading now or recently read:

Feminist Theory from Margin to Center, bell hooks

Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life, bell hooks

Killing Rage: ending racism, bell hooks

The Book of the City of Ladies, Christine de Pizane

umm....

Women and Madness, Phyllis Chesler

God in all Worlds, Lucinda Vardey

MOther Nature, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

New Canadian Poetry, Fitzenry and Whiteside

The new Blood and Aphorisms--Improbable Things with Words is the title of the issue

The new Room of One's Own--issue titled One Touch of Nature

Turn of the Story: Canadian Short Fiction on the Eve of the Millennium, eds. Joan Thomas and Heidi Harms

Hello: My name is Athena and I have a problem. I'm a bookaholic. In fact, I'm off to Chapters and the Library right now.


From: GTA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Itzenplitz
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posted 17 May 2001 01:13 PM      Profile for Itzenplitz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm in the middle of reading a biography of Andre Gide by Alan Sheridan. It's excellent!

It's reminding me of when I really got into reading Gide's works and about his life. Now, about 20 years later, I can go back to him with the perspective i have gained.

It's great to read about a homosexual (like me) who was open about it and wrote about it ("Corydon") and who won a Nobel Prize for Literature. He benefited from the eenlightened laws of France, which abolished llaws against homosexuality at the time of the Revolution.

And it's great to read again about the literary/political milieu in which Gide moved.

I would recommend Sheridan's book to anyone who likes to read long, detailed biographies. I would recommend Gide works, especially "Sile grain ne meurt" -- don't know the English title -- which is a beautifully written, honest autobiography of Gide's early years. Also "The Counterfeiters", a novel.


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Tackaberry
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posted 17 May 2001 01:50 PM      Profile for Tackaberry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've been reading short story collections lately. Any specific suggestions?
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Charles
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posted 17 May 2001 02:50 PM      Profile for Charles   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Currently? The Years of Lyndon Johnson - The Path to Power; WAC Bennett and the Rise of British Columbia; Why Christianity Must Change or Die, by Bishop John Shelby Spong; and just re-read A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle.
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Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 17 May 2001 04:27 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
The classics tend to be pretty inexpensive. Hehe. I pick them up at Chapters' clearance section, or at street sales on my walks around Ottawa.
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
NP
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posted 17 May 2001 04:31 PM      Profile for NP   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I went through a Kafka phase a little while back. Currently I'm reading Chomsky's "Necessary Illusions".
From: The city that rhymes with fun | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Romeo Sadface
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posted 17 May 2001 05:10 PM      Profile for Romeo Sadface     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm reading "Light in August" by William Faulkner.

For you ol' Tackaberry, if you are lookin' for a really great short story collection there is one by a Toronto author named Steven Hayward, and the book is called "Buddha Stevens". It's the only book he's written.


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carlo_in_stereo
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posted 17 May 2001 05:20 PM      Profile for carlo_in_stereo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm reading <<Beloved>> by Toni Morrison. I think I'll start reading Don DeLillo's <<Great Jones Street>>. Has anyone read anything by Don DeLillo? If not, look into him, he's a great writer.
From: mtl | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
emily
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posted 17 May 2001 08:29 PM      Profile for emily     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I recently finished Manifesta: young women, feminism and the future, by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards. A little America-centric, but interesting.

I'm just finishing up A Good House by Bonnie Burnard, and then I think I will be moving on to Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.

Oo... Athena D - I've been meaning to read more of Christine dePisan's book. Thanks for reminding me.


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StephenGM
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posted 18 May 2001 11:15 AM      Profile for StephenGM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just started reading Censored: 2001 (the latest from Project Censored - it's the 25th anniversary edition, and features a retrospective as well as important stories and issues "overlooked" in the past year by the mainstream media.)

Then it's either Laxer's In Search of a New Left, or a Trudeau biography I recently picked up.

[Edited to correct italics.]

[ May 18, 2001: Message edited by: StephenGM ]


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wagepeace
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posted 18 May 2001 11:40 AM      Profile for wagepeace     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am just finishing up the last volume of "One Canada" by John Diefenbaker.

He has been dead for 22 years and I found the complete three volume set at a used book store. Each volume was autographed by the author. Cool signature, just like the one on his Bill of Rights.


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Athena Dreaming
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posted 18 May 2001 11:57 AM      Profile for Athena Dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, there's lots of great short story collections out there, but what I would really suggest is picking up a small lit mag. There are lots of really good small Canadian lit mags that publish first rate original stories by a real diversity of new authors. "Grain" and "Blood and Aphorisms" are two that leap to mind. "Room of One's Own" is also good.

Support our arts community! Find new voices! Buy small lit mags!

(steps off soapbox)


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Dawna Matrix
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Babbler # 156

posted 18 May 2001 12:22 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Tackaberry - For short stories I suggest 'Tina in the backseat' by Donald Rawley, who unfortunately died in 1998. Very gritty and realistic, most based in California. Deals with veterans, gay relationships, different cultures, wealth and poverty, as well as what Tom Smith from the Anti-feminist men's movement thread calls 'sluts'. Just finished it, and waiting for my boyf to dig his novels out of storage.
What I'm reading right now;
'Kill your Boyfriend" comic book by Grant Morrision, just finished the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman.
The IV Lounge Reader, edited by Paul Vermeersch from Insomniac Press. Hot off the presses, being released in the next few weeks. Has bill bissett, Dennis Lee, Patrick Rawley, etc. Very good.

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Tackaberry
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posted 18 May 2001 06:18 PM      Profile for Tackaberry   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks for the advise Romeo, Athena, and Dawna.
Athena, yep I do pick up small lit journals and mags. I'll check out the ones you suggested

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DrConway
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posted 19 May 2001 01:44 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My reading list is short on classics but long on books dealing with Canadian politics and economics.

I've got James Laxer's In Search of a New Left as well as The Undeclared War.

- Jim Stanford: Paper Boom. He kicks ass. Go read it.

- Linda McQuaig: The Cult of Impotence, Shooting the Hippo, The Wealthy Banker's Wife. I might have one more but I can't remember right now.

- Walter Stewart: Dismantling the State - Downsizing to Disaster, Belly Up, Bank Heist.

And then, on the more generalized subject of American politics and economics (or even worldwide)...

- First and foremost, Dr. Ravi Batra: The Myth of Free Trade, The Great American Deception, and The Crash of the Millennium - the Coming Inflationary Depression (As you can tell, his books are pretty 'over the top' with their titles, but I have found Dr. Batra's work to be easy to read, and very illuminating. Each book I have illustrates some fundamental concept that can be extended to a wide range of events that we see in today's world.) That last book, actually, while it predicted a great crash of the stock market, it *was* correct with respect to the fact that the "bubble" would eventually pop in the NASDAQ and the DJIA, but it appears to be Japan-style, stagnating as the Nikkei did for years after 1990. He was also correct with respect to the ramping-up of inflation rates in the 2000s, as oil has come up to ~$30 US per barrel, and this has fed into other sectors of the economy. Central banks are talking a tough line against inflation, but as in the 1970s, they are trying to find ways to accommodate the oil price increases with monetary expansion.

- James Galbrath: Created Unequal - the Crisis in American Pay.

- Andrew Hacker: Money - interesting stuff.

- A book I just got was Sharing the Wealth, by Ethan B. Kapstein. It's good as a technical analysis of the problems underlying the US economy, but weak on solutions and weak on how the transition from the "good years" of the 1950s and 1960s to the "leaner years" of the late 1970s onward, actually happened.

Classics: I've got Captains Courageous (Rudyard Kipling), The Prince and the Pauper (Mark Twain), plus the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. I will probably be picking up some more classics as time goes on, but my intellectual bent is towards that of gaining information that can be practically used in today's world.

Also, if you can find it in your used bookstore, The Screwing of the Average Man by David Hapgood. It was printed in 1975, but you could literally read it, and change a few of the words and names, and it could be just as valid in 2000. It's written in a very no-nonsense style.

Whew! I didn't even list ALL the books But I am guilty of leaving out ONE very important book which should also be read:

Confessions of a Union Buster by Martin J. Levitt - I have read it twice through now, and each time I never cease to be amazed at the depths to which corporations will go or how much money they will spend in the battle against organized labor.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 19 May 2001 09:01 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To add to the list of Canadian little mags: Geist is fun -- you can read some of it online (geist.com), but it is of course better in the flesh, as it were. Some of it is very light, but there's been at least one story in every issue I've seen that's taken my breath away.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cosmorific
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Babbler # 33

posted 19 May 2001 01:19 PM      Profile for Cosmorific        Edit/Delete Post
Sun Tzu, The Art of War, the new annotated version.
Machiavelli, The Prince.
William Golding, Lord of the Flies.
Carl Hiaasen, Strip Tease.
William Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

It's been slow going all around.


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clersal
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posted 19 May 2001 06:21 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am into escapism reading. Detective and the like. There are a lot of good Canadian lady authors out there. Has anyone read, How They Sold Our Canada, by Andrew Lamorie. It is an oldie but a very interesting. Still good today I think.
From: Canton Marchand, Québec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eddie Lear
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Babbler # 362

posted 20 May 2001 06:56 PM      Profile for Eddie Lear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Right Now I am negotiating my way through
John Milton's Paradise Lost, it's a good read
so far but it is complicated.I just finished
Great expectations by Charles Dickens. He is
one of my favorites because of the social
awareness his books gave rise to.Oliver twist
A christmas carol, he has a unique way of
indicting society. Also I have recently read
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse,The rum diaries
by Hunter.S. Thompson and Night by Elie Wiesal that book was so depressing that I still lingers in my mind every second, it also won a Noble prize for literature, it's
about a young teenage jew who describes his
life in Aushwitz.

[ May 20, 2001: Message edited by: Eddie Lear ]


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skdadl
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posted 21 May 2001 02:54 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Eddie, I just have to ask about your name. Did it come from reading the other Eddie Lear?
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Eddie Lear
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Babbler # 362

posted 21 May 2001 04:43 PM      Profile for Eddie Lear     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Good Obsevervation Skdadl!
Yes actually,I was really like Edward Lear
and his poetry and stories,My grandfather
gave me this book of his writings when I
was a child.

From: Port Colborne, Ont | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 21 May 2001 04:55 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The name of the book is, How They Sold Our Canada To The U.S.A. sorry about that.
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Dawna Matrix
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Babbler # 156

posted 22 May 2001 01:06 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Eddie - want you to read the essay "Why they read Hesse" in Kurt Vonnegut's book "Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons". You'll have a good old laugh at yerself. I did.
From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 22 May 2001 11:04 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm finally reading Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius. So far, so good. I loved loved loved Manifesta.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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Babbler # 560

posted 26 May 2001 01:17 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Book: No Logo (excellent, excellent, excellent)

Magazine: Adbusters (just got a subscription)

Guess I'm going through an anti-corporate phase.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pimji
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Babbler # 228

posted 26 May 2001 04:18 PM      Profile for Pimji   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Such a Long Journey" Rohinton Mistry
"No Logo" Naomi Klien

From: South of Ottawa | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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Babbler # 569

posted 26 May 2001 04:29 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Book: I Am Spock by Leonard Nimoy

Magazine: The National (Canadian Bar Association in-house rag)


From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Marsha Niemeijer
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posted 26 May 2001 04:43 PM      Profile for Marsha Niemeijer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
hi all,

i'm new to babble, good to see so much discussion going on. just moved to detroit, from toronto. work at labor notes (monthly publication that focused on union reform and democracy) and need to catch up on much union/labor history in the US. i also want to deepen my knowledge of canadian labor seeing as i had only been there for 3 yrs and it's on my list of beats to cover for our newsletter.

i have more than enough academic stuff to read, but seeing as i spend much of my working hours doing that, i like to relax with historical novels at home. so any tips would be great!

am reading william attaway's novel on labor/race in the US 40s. is a fantastic story about 3 afro-american brothers who are lured from semi-slavery in the south into the steel mills in pittsburgh. the mill recruiters bring in waves of black workers when the irish and slav steelworkers are on the verge of striking. the story deals with how the 3 brothers choose to scab when a strike does break out - in part because they are manipulated by the employer into cushier positions, more pay, and they simply feel that even the gruelling mill job is better than the semi-slavery working the fields in the south, especially seeing as they now earn a salary. but attaway also shows how they consciously scab, they know what they're doing and the agrument he puts forward is that they feel it is time for them to be in a position of power (one of the brothers is deputized, and another becomes foreman), and return some of the abuse that they received from the white workers/folks. tough to swallow, but a hell of a story.

this is the kinda stuff i love reading, and can't get enough of. i'm not limited to labor issues, anything that deals with social change - of the progressive type!

so - any tips?!

thanks!


From: Detroit | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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Babbler # 490

posted 26 May 2001 09:20 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
US labor? Nothing I can recommend better than Confessions of a Union Buster, IMHO.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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Babbler # 156

posted 26 May 2001 09:21 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Marsha:
The Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker. First World War, from the POV of an actual historical figure, Dr. William Rivers. Rivers did work with neurasthenia (shellshock) cases. Challenged the medical wisdom of the time.
True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey. First person account of the famous Australian "bandit" who's only crime was being poor.
Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood.
That should keep ya busy.
Thanks to Patrick Rawley of Book City.

From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ikosmos
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Babbler # 531

posted 28 May 2001 03:55 AM      Profile for ikosmos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just found out this week that the fine Canadian mag "The Canadian Forum" is no more. Now THAT'S a shame. And here in Winnipeg, there's the loss of Zygote, CV 2 (founded by Dorothy Livesay) etc. - kinda depressin', eh?

Can online zines do the job? Any comments?


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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Babbler # 156

posted 28 May 2001 06:15 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Try www.ihaveasecret.com. Exactly, what kind of job should online zines do? Is there a spoken word scene in Winnipeg? I'll take live performance over my computer anyday. The exciting thing about ihaveasecret is that I have seen many of these people perform live, have sat down and talked to them. As for the small press thing, I just went to the Small Press Book Fair in Toronto on Saturday. It was packed, alive and kicking. There's always a few casualties.
From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
ikosmos
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posted 29 May 2001 08:48 AM      Profile for ikosmos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What kind of job should an online zine do like a mag that is no more? I would say to promote and publish new writing, especially poetry - to continue the examples I gave. Arc magazine's recent publication said it all..."We all began in a little magazine." And that's how it is for aspiring poets in this country.

Winnipeg has an OK spoken word scene, with events at McNally, the new place on Academy, and even the big chains. I gotta admit that I took some cash from the big bad Chapters myself.

I agree with the sentiments of Dawna Matrix that performance is the key - though that is for better appreciating a writer. And to see what others are doing. I saw Douglas Barbour recently at an event of the Spring Writer's Fest here in the 'Peg and I was floored. Sound poetry is one of the things he does.

cheers


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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Babbler # 156

posted 29 May 2001 12:09 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Did a wicked show last night myself, featuring at a series called Poetica...the open mike was of astoundingly high quality. Has ikosmos got a chapbook I can peek at or a website?
From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Peter Tkalec
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posted 29 May 2001 11:55 PM      Profile for Peter Tkalec   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm re-reading Half Asleep in Frog Pyjamas by Mr. Tom Robbins. This guy's fun.
From: Halifax, NS | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ikosmos
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posted 30 May 2001 02:05 PM      Profile for ikosmos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm a newbie. Mostly. No web site yet for poetry. And my first chapbook is unpublished, thank goodness, as it needs a huge amount of work.

I will post, or send along, some of my own. BTW, which is preferred or appropriate, Dawna Matrix? Judging by your number of posts, you're an expert.

Here's a bit of me...

Title: Winn(ipeg) bear, dangling by a blue balloon, thinking of honey.

Warning: possible sexual overtones.

Poem: haiku (5/7/5)

Sun bakes a brown cloud.
Bees quiz me. Dripping sweet you.
My stretched fingers slip.

And a smile from a Winnipeg bear .


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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Babbler # 156

posted 30 May 2001 02:24 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Love it! Why don't you personal message me with more - you can catch my email address in the Profile folder up top, or click on the private message box (the one that looks like a drug deal is going down). Here's a tasty morsel from an MS that is in limbo at a small press right now.

Fourth of July

There is a cold war between us:
A deafening quiet for ticking uranium hearts
to accompany those who walk into the street
and wait for the sky to burn;

a silence that squeezes the ear
like a blow to the head.

Your children cannot hear
the mute conversation of neutron bombs
They are not interested
in the whispers of those patriotic nuns

They run ragged and happy
like it's the fourth of July
insulated with the iron curtain
bred in their smiles


EH? EH?


From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2

posted 30 May 2001 07:26 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey, that rules, you two. Keep it up, but do it here? Thanks!
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
emily
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posted 31 May 2001 03:38 AM      Profile for emily     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've started to re-read Rebel Daughter, Doris Anderson's autobiography.
From: the t-dot o-dot. | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 156

posted 31 May 2001 12:35 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Reading Tell It Slant, by Beth Follett - went to the launch yesterday. Very bad at pool when drunk. Also, The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer...just started, getting good.
From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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Babbler # 560

posted 01 June 2001 09:18 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hi everyone,

A couple that I read a while back but that I really enjoyed and would recommend:

"The Myth of the Good Corporate Citizen" by Murray Dobbin (I guess the title is self explanatory)

"The Origin of Satan" by Elaine Pagels. I originally thought it would tell me where the Bible passages are that tell the story of the fall of Satan (apparently it's hinted in there somewhere) but it turned out to be a very, VERY interesting scholarly study about how the whole Satan idea came about in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Strange reading for a leftie I guess, but I'm a Baptist and I like to read about religious stuff, as long is it's not that Focus on the Family bullshit. I tend more towards the stuff that is subversive and doesn't toe the religious right party line. I really enjoyed "Stranger at the Gate: Being Gay and Christian in America"

To that end, my "to read" list is as follows:
"Stealing Jesus" by Bruce Bawer, and "Exclusion and Grace" (don't know the name of the author). Anyone else interested in this type of stuff?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 05 June 2001 04:04 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Just finished reading "The Death of Common Sense" by Philip K Howard. It's all about how American bureaucracy is so obsessed with creating and enforcing "air-tight" legislation that nothing of value can ever actually be accomplished. No government official can be trusted to use their own judgement, so laws must be created to circumvent individual judgement. But this just makes it easier for corruption to flourish. Quite interesting.

[ June 05, 2001: Message edited by: mediaboy ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 05 June 2001 04:22 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh I gotta read that one! What a scream! The US idea of good governance boggles my mind (because I want it to).
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 05 June 2001 04:28 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
I found it in a bargain bin, so you should be able to pick it up cheap if your local library doesn't have it. He's come out with a sequel. I'm waiting for it to hit the bargain bins before I pick it up.
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 05 June 2001 07:43 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dark Horse, by Fletcher Knebel. It kicks ass.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mick1000
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posted 06 June 2001 01:08 AM      Profile for mick1000     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am really into the "Left Behind" series of novels by Tim Lahaye. It's about a time in the future when the "Rapture" actually happens and what goes on when millions of people around the world suddenly disappear (even airline pilots in mid flight, etc). It's an 8 book series and keeps you on the edge of your seat all through 8 novels!
From: Picton, Ontario | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 06 June 2001 01:39 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How far along are you through the books? Have you got them all yet or do you still have a few special occasions left in order to receive them as gifts?

I was surprised to find myself actually enjoying that series. I've read up to...let's see, I think book 6 or 7, can't remember. I was actually on waiting lists at the library to get those books, so I think they're pretty popular.

Anyone read any Patricia Cornwell? If so, do you think she could FIT anymore product placements in her books these days? Man, every page has at least 3 name brands on it. Her books have been pretty good, too, so I'm sorry to see that she's been selling out in such an obvious way that it detracts from her stories.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
chatnoir
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posted 07 June 2001 01:51 AM      Profile for chatnoir     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I just started Affinity by Sarah Waters.

It's a bit slow right now, but I'll give it a few hours more. I really enjoyed Waters' first book: Tipping the Velevet. The main character was sort of like Moll Flanders in drag -- very sexy.

...and a historical novel that Marsha might like for a little light reading. Are you still hanging around Marsha? There's not much in the way of politics in the book until the end though.

But I would suggest Caucasia by Danzy Senna, about a young girl of mixed race struggling to find her identity during the black-power politics of early seventies America. An beautiful and intelligent novel.


From: west coast canadian girl livin' in valley hell, sacramento, california | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SOOTHSAYER
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posted 08 June 2001 12:42 AM      Profile for SOOTHSAYER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hello, I am new to Babble. I just finished Justine by the Marquis de Sade. Despite being written in the late 1700's, it still has the capacity to shock. I have almost finished Inner Experience by Bataille. A differnt focus on the erotic and the organic and incidentally, the orgasmic energies of the body too be sure but interesting for different reasons. And finally I am re-reading Leviathan by Hobbes. I guess you could say I am interested in the "Dark" writers of the Enlightenment.
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Brodie
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posted 08 June 2001 02:06 AM      Profile for Brodie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How is Leviathan? I picked it up at a used book store a little while ago and haven't had a chance to read it, but I hope to free up some time this summer. Shoud I bother getting started on it or stick to my new Bookchin and Hemingway short stories?
From: Victoria, BC | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
SOOTHSAYER
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posted 08 June 2001 03:11 AM      Profile for SOOTHSAYER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It reads much like Euclid's Geometry- definitions, axioms and the like. But to my mind, it serves as the paradigmatic account of society and politics from an atomistic perspective.
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skdadl
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posted 08 June 2001 09:05 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Re "dark" writers of the Enlightenment: Soothsayer, have you read Choderlos de Laclos' novel Les Liaisons dangereuses? Laclos is de Sade's contemporary, and in strictly literary terms much the more serious writer, I think. I know lots of people are fascinated by de Sade, but mostly he put me to sleep (except for the shocking parts, as you say). Laclos' novel, though, is a poem ... (The two movies were ok, but nothing close to the experience of the book.)
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SOOTHSAYER
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posted 08 June 2001 12:55 PM      Profile for SOOTHSAYER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Skdadl,

I have not had the pleasure of reading dangerous liasons. I will have to look into that. But what I find interesting about Sade is that he seems to be the one philosophical stumbling block to any sort of ethics-emancipatory or otherwise. For of course, from a literary perspective, as you note Sade is subpar. From my understanding of the western philosophical tradition, Sade marks a depature in that the old, rational, contractual relationship that existed between person and person in Western Thought ( See here Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant Etc)has been replaced with an order of rank: If I am stonger than you I have the right to do with you as I wish. What gives me this right? Well, I'm stronger than you. ( Might makes right). Any recourse to guilt, conscience, mercy from the, as Theresa in Justine calls them, Libertine's mind, is an indication of weakness. For if and Sade argues this, if I am so much more powerful than you such that it would be impossible for you to harm me, then why should I have compassion for you? Compassion according to Sade only comes about because I fear that I will lose something. Perhaps my position in society. And indeed how many times have we all heard the expression give something and get something in return. That, is what I would call Sade's argument against a rational ethics. ( Although to be sure rationality here is to be construed rather narrowly under the contractual model) But if we turn to the irrational side such as presented for example by Levinas, Sade has an answer for this too. For Levinas, one is elected to to help the Other for the Other is holy and absolutely other. I see the suffering in the trace of the face of the Other. And I am compelled, according to Levinas to help this Other. But for Sade, Libertines take delight in the suffering of others. Indeed the more the Other suffers, the more the one, as a Libertine, gets turned on. The other is seen as strictly object and the Libertine as strictly subject. So, from an individualistic perspective of society and politics, Sade, in my mind, devastatingly destroys the roots of a liberal atomistic democracy. So it seems a move must be made from an individual ethical stance to a communitarian stance.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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Babbler # 156

posted 08 June 2001 01:27 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Liking Soothsayers comments!
Just trying out Alias Grace again, Margaret Atwood, for lack of anything else around, really. Saw her last night at the Griffin Prize ceremonies. Was wanting to go home and get the penis gun (read the DawnaMatrix and Wagepeace Excellent Adventure thread to hear the history of the frightening phallus) and come back and shoot either Margaret Atwood or Michael Ondaatje or, if neither were there, Scott Thompson from Kids in the Hall. FRANK magazine was there, I'm sure I could've got the cover for that one.

Too tired by the time I got home to take aim at aging authors, though.


From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
NormalMolly
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posted 08 June 2001 11:16 PM      Profile for NormalMolly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Currently reading Global Showdown by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke. I'm about a third done, and it's great so far.
From: Hamilton, ON | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 09 June 2001 12:50 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oo, another Barlow and Clarke book!

*rushes out to buy it*


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 09 June 2001 09:23 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Soothsayer, I don't disagree (if I follow you rightly) with your summary of de Sade, but to me that adds up to his being a symptom -- in fact, the symptom that clinches the diagnosis -- of diseased thought: that is, the logical reaction to reading and understanding him would be to turn away from him, no?

I do disagree with the way you characterize the social contract tradition, at least the later end of it (late C17 to mid-late C18). Rational, atomistic -- to me, thought that can fairly be so described doesn't take hold until the C19, with the materialist-idealist split that becomes the basis for social scientific thought and for capitalism and communism both. If we see "rationalism" the way we understand it in the C18 use of the word "reason," it's because we are projecting our own biases, and reading through the prism of C19 positivism. They meant something much simpler, closer to the standard we ask our juries to meet, that of the "reasonable person." I would not look for much "liberal atomism" prior to the two great C18 revolutions.

Why does the distinction matter to me? Because I believe that we lost much when C17-18 thought about democracy got short-circuited, and if we learned to read the philosophes again with some humility, we could try it all again, only making it better this time ... I didn't actually think much of the book, but I thought John Ralston Saul's title all by itself, Voltaire's Bastards, was brilliant -- although Rousseau's Bastards would probably be even better.


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DrConway
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posted 09 June 2001 02:30 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've read John Ralston Saul and (damnit) I forget the name of the book.

Anyway, he made a good point about language and how effectively it controls the pattern of thought. Yes, Orwell has made this point too, but Saul has been very effective at it. As well, he did a good job likening the stifling effect of religion in the Dark Ages (1100 - 1500 or so) to the stifling effect, today, of a combination of increasing corporate control and the weakening modern state. In a way, the state is the counterweight, the balancing force, which allows citizens to have their voices heard among entities of much greater size.

It wasn't so long ago that the battle was for fundamental literacy and the ability to freely say that one didn't believe in the Christian God. We've come a long way since then, but the new shibboleths to fight against are for fundamental freedom to explore different economic paths without being ridiculed and the ability to freely say that there may be a better way.

( Edit for bad sentence structure )

[ June 09, 2001: Message edited by: DrConway ]


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 09 June 2001 02:38 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was maybe being a bit sloppy in my comment on Saul (because trying not to go on too long). I agree that he hones in on deeper structures of issues very provocatively, as in the example you give. I wish he had a braver editor, though. He looks like a prime example, to me, of an author who doesn't get edited much because of the stature he's attained -- his own deeper structures (ie: clear organization) get lost as he runs on and on a bit self-indulgently, IMHO. Well -- maybe just IMO -- I'm an editor.
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DrConway
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posted 09 June 2001 03:46 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Heh. Edit me, please!

(that was a hint to go look at my website, skdadl ... check my profile.)


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SOOTHSAYER
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posted 09 June 2001 05:39 PM      Profile for SOOTHSAYER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Skdadl,

I disagree. One must demonstrate why Sade is wrong and not simply not read him. For Sade questions our most basic notion of compassion, understanding and communication. Thus, Sartre's and Beauvoir's concern to repute him. As Beauvoir writes: "The supreme value of his testimony ( Sade) lies in its ability to disturb us. It forces us to reexamine throughly the basic problem which haunts our age in different forms: the true relation between man and man." If the true relationship between person to person, is, as Sade descrines it in Justine and philosophy in ther bedroom then clearly any sort of emancipatory politcs or ethics is in trouble. So, I would say the answer is to refute Sade and incidentally Nietzsche alike. And the way to do this is to renounce an atomistic view of society and politics.

This brings me to my second point. When I said that the Enlightenment thinkers were atomistic I did not intend to imply that they were necessarily materialists. Although of course Hobbes and Diderot were. What I meant is that they shared an atomistic view of society and politcs meaning that the foundation of all society is the individual who is indivisible. The individual is somehow primary and the individual then establishes relationships with other individuals to form communities and societies. This is clearly evident in Hobbes, where man is by nature selfish. Rousseau where man is by nature good etc. And even Kant where the individual must always be considered an end and never a means. You are right when you say that Liberal is non-existent in these writers. My point is that these thinkers form the roots for later liberal thought Mill, and Rawls for example. My problem with these views is that it already assumes that every individual is equal to every other when clearly this is not the case. Some are by nature stronger, cleverer etc than others. Now since I am a different individual from you why cannot I use you as a means and not an end? It seems that for Kant one does not use another because oneself would not want to be treated in this way. But if and this is Sade and Nietzsche's point, if I hold a great deal of power in society then I have nothing to fear. I will only treat my equals in this way and will have no mercy for the plebs. Furthermore, would we not consider this to be reasonable? Why should I have compassion for another if they will never do anything for me? That is of course if reason is strictly construed as maximizing my pleasure and reducing my pain as Hobbes claims it be and again as the Utilitarians continue on this tradition. I don't want to make this too long, my point is simply that if we start off from subjects that are autonomous then we will always consider the other person as object . The move that must be made is that of intersubjectivity pace Habermas although I think Habermas has not sufficiently dealt with all of these problems. I know there is quite a bit I'm leaving out I am trying to be as terse as possible.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 10 June 2001 11:22 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Soothsayer, we have so much to talk about, but I agree, we need to keep these exchanges more like friendly outlines. Just two points in response, since I think we read in quite different ways and for different reasons:

1. I would just observe that one can "renounce an atomistic view of society and politics" without staggering through de Sade, although fair enough, this is largely a question of choice and contingency. My worst problem with de Sade was that he kept reminding me of Hugh Hefner in the days that Hef was writing his endless "Playboy Philosophy" -- it went on and on and on, and was so deeply boring ...

2. Diderot was no materialist. He was intrigued by materialism; he played with materialist thought; and some of his best friends were almost comically primitive early materialists (Holbach, Helvetius) -- but he also became their first, best critic. His meditations on Locke's theories of the intelligence of the senses eventually produced the hardiest resistance to materialism I know ...

In my view, most of the summaries of Diderot and Rousseau that people run on when they mention them are received overgeneralizations -- and of course that's probably true of most great thinkers, especially of periods prior to the C19. Those summaries were shaped by our desire to find in them the "roots" of C19-20 ideological debates, and so of course we did find such "roots," ignoring a whole lot else.

Here is probably our main difference. I see cycles in writing (all writing), not steady lines of logical "development"; I have no idea whether J.S. Mill actually read Diderot or Rousseau very closely, but he would only interest me relative to them as a misreader of them, hardly an heir. If you want a contemporary context for thinking about most Enlightenment thinkers prior to the C18 revolutions, Derrida is much more likely, being, as he is, almost Hume's twin. In terms of earlier influences, Locke cannot be underestimated (or exhausted).

As an aside: I don't think I would quite say Rousseau believed "man is good by nature" (I wouldn't ever assign a "position" to a writer that complex), but even so, how does that boil down to individualism or atomism? Lockean psychology is hardly individualist -- it's actually quite trippy, and Rousseau has his definite mystic side ...

The Reformation produced a Counter-Reformation. Similarly, Descartes found fewer heirs than opponents for a very very long time ...


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Athena Dreaming
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posted 10 June 2001 11:37 AM      Profile for Athena Dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is great!

*Carefully taking notes*


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SOOTHSAYER
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posted 11 June 2001 02:13 AM      Profile for SOOTHSAYER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Skdadl,

Three points.

1. On interpretation......

I don't necessarily read thinkers as logical developments of others. I consider myself as both an archaeologist and geneaologist in a Nietzschean/Foucauldian fashion. Thus, I am tracing both the lines of continuity as well as the those lines of discontinuity --both the lines of flight, as well as the sharp breaks in the history of Western thought. The purpose? Quite simply to diagnose the particular type of disease affecting our current political and social situation. For, let us make no mistake, our society is sick. What exactly the proper diagnosis is, I'm not sure. The cure. I haven't a clue.

On Rousseau... quite right, it was an overgeneralization.

On Hume and Derrida....

Sorry, don't see the connection. Derrida's deconstructivist readings of past thinkers, is so new, so unique and brilliant, that I just don't see what this has to do with Hume.

2. Let's return to Sade.

Yes, Sade is tedious and boring. Anyone who calculates the number of orgasms one has had in one's lifetime, is not going to be too interesting to read. Nevertheless, it seems to me, that modern liberals such as Rawls, have failed to argue against perfectionism, or the theory ( broadly construed) which stipulates that human excellence should be the sole factor in determining the worth of a given political and social system. Such a position, and I think Rawls is correct, can be seen in both Aristotle and Nietzsche. I would also argue that it an be seen in Sade too. So, how can we argue against such a position? If I have a distinct advantage mentally, physically, and financially, etc over others, why would I ever agree to ameliorate the social and political problems in society? It would seem that if I do agree, is it not only to make the saddle a little more comfortable for the horse? That is, in order to ensure that the masses do not rise up and overthrow my position. Even Rawls's "veil of ignorance", still presupposes that one has an open mind when re-thinking the social contract. But if one is a stalwart Nietzschean,one will laugh to death such an idea with the same boisterous, child laugh, which laughed the great, omnipotent God of the stopgap out of exsitence too. And, unfortunately, reason, rationality, whatever one wants to call it, will not save us now. For our moral reasoning as atrophied, while our instrumental reasoning abilities have increased. We are like supermen ( not Nietzsche's but the superhero) and superwomen with great, fantastic, technological abilities but alas, we have the moral capacities of a child.... For while our Husserlian Life-Worlds, have been colonized by the Culture Industry as Adorno so brilliantly and tragically pointed out, our bodies have been broken down by the rhythms of work, rest and holidays. Both our bodies and minds, have been normalized and disciplined in the schools which resemble factories, barracks, hospitals and prisons and prisons which resemble schools, hospitals, barracks and factories. And yet, and yet, we cling on in Benjamine like fashion, to the hope of the hopeless while simultaneously recognizing that we are in a siuation of no escape...But I digress.

3. Strategy...

Yet, sadly, we still ask Lenin's question: "What do we do now"? And quite frankly, I haven't a clue.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 12 June 2001 10:19 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If I have a distinct advantage mentally, physically, and financially, etc over others, why would I ever agree to ameliorate the social and political problems in society? It would seem that if I do agree, is it not only to make the saddle a little more comfortable for the horse? That is, in order to ensure that the masses do not rise up and overthrow my position.

Aha! A perfect summary of the social, moral, and cultural vision of the Liberal Party of Canada, the party still led by the prime minister of the undead, Mackenzie King ...

But seriously, I've enjoyed your outline of a tradition I haven't followed closely, and I'm interested in your questions, which is of course what matters most in philosophy -- get those questions right!

Re Derrida and Hume: If you know your Derrida, then going back to Hume is really fun. For one thing, you can watch him pick up one theory after another on any number of topics, try to write each out seriously, and demonstrate each time how each takes itself apart. For my money, he is much the deeper sceptic. The marvel is that he kept doing it, kept undertaking new projects: logically, one would expect scepticism that profound to lead to silence, no?

Your two kinds of reason (sorry -- my machine isn't letting me scroll back, so I can't get your distinction precisely) -- I won't address our differences now at length, except I remain convinced that reason understood as C19 rationalism -- ie, a tight commitment to human logic, to the logic of cause and effect as we can grasp those -- is simply profound intellectual error.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Athena Dreaming
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posted 12 June 2001 10:43 AM      Profile for Athena Dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Your two kinds of reason (sorry -- my machine isn't letting me scroll back, so I can't get your distinction precisely) -- I won't address our differences now at length, except I remain convinced that reason understood as C19 rationalism -- ie, a tight commitment to human logic, to the logic of cause and effect as we can grasp those -- is simply profound intellectual error.

Skdadl, for the benefit of a simple non-philosopher, could you say why? I find this statement fascinating.


From: GTA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 12 June 2001 11:54 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"For now we see as through a glass darkly ..."

Rationalism of the kind I'm aiming at assumes the mind/body split, which I think is error, and then goes on to conceive of "mind" narrowly and to elevate it over body. From there flow all the other splits, reason/emotion, material/ideal, etc. To think we've wasted two centuries on this nonsense and killed each other over it -- !!

I like thinking about human consciousness as a product of the way we're built in terms of the tradition that springs from John Locke (your intelligence is and is shaped by your senses), but there are of course many other classical philosophies and other traditions that grasped the need to continually defeat the ideal/material split (excuse the split infinitive there). Locke does not lead at all, or at least not necessarily, to atheism, materialism, determinism, economism, or other C19 arrogances. It begins by recognizing that we are not the whole of nature, fascinating tho' we be ... Well, there's a start.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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posted 12 June 2001 01:26 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just started My Legendary Girlfriend, Mike? Doyle. Also, was just given Ferlinghetti's HER. Can't wait to burn through both.
From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 12 June 2001 01:28 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
skdadl, you might wish to explore how quantum mechanics provides a starting point for overcoming the mind/body split (although an understanding of biochemistry is another starting point, but let's not get carried away here) - if reality is molded every instant by the observer, or rather, the observer is an intimate part of reality rather than being separate from it, then the conclusion can be drawn that mind and body are not so distinct as we might like to say.

*takes off faux-physicist hat and goes back to being a tax guru *


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 12 June 2001 01:36 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hey, yes, Dr C, I meant to add that I had very vaguely heard and even more vaguely grasped distant rumours from the scientists of just the sort you summarize so well, as usual. I am not capable of following them entirely, and therefore, for sure, not of teaching them, but I am glad to know they're there. Will theoretical math and physics redeem the otherwise pretty awful C20? I'm happy to cheer them on from the peanut gallery.
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SOOTHSAYER
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posted 12 June 2001 06:00 PM      Profile for SOOTHSAYER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Skadl,

From a historical standpoint, the distinction between the mind/body is one that dates back prior to Descartes. Plato in the Phaedo is quite clear on this: "while we are in the body, and while the soul is infected with the evils of the body, our desire will not be satisifed and our desire is of the truth". The Phaedrus also develops a similar theme. Of course, I realize, that to a certain extent, what Plato means by the soul or psyche, is different from what Descartes meant in regards to mind. However, the general problem has a very long history.

On Hume and Derrida, compare Hume's Treatise and Enquiries or Dialogues concerning natural religion to that of Glas or Given time; Counterfeit money or to Of Grammatology. Yes, there may be some comparison between Derrida and Hume if we look at Writing and Difference and maybe even Limited Inc, for, in these volumes, Derrida at least will develop an argument. But Glas, Skdadl? Sorry, I just can't see it.

Having said that, I think we are in much more agreement than disagreement. When I speak of instrumental rationality or tool like rationality, I use the word in the same manner as the pre-and post frankfurt school would use it. Weber, Lukacs, Adorno, Horkheimer and Habermas. My problem, with such a rationality is, I think, your problem and that is that such a rationality forces us to see the natural world, other people and ourselves as objects, as something which can be manipulated and understood completely, and thereby controlled. (Foucault's Power/Knowledge thesis also Nietzsche's the Will to knowledge is, at heart, merely a manifestation of the Will to Power.) I think, that this problem is rooted with Bacon, and the scientific movement. Didn't Bacon say "Let's place Nature on the rack and force her to reveal her secrets." One could argue that such a statement and incidentally, call to action, is a patriarchial form of domination and one that has extended not only to nature but to all human beings and animals. So in this way, and unfortunately, our tool-like rationality has developed to a fantastic extent. The problem is that our moral rationality, that which must set limits upon our instrumental rationality has shrunk. Science, however, is, value neutral. And although scientists are in agreement as to what is considered the major paradigms in their respective disciplines, there seems to be no agreement as to what is an ethical scientific experiment and what is not. One of the reasons for this, according to my partial analysis, is that we have lost our sense of community. We see our society as an aggregation of individuals rather than as a collection of diverse communities. My problem with your position Skdadl, is that you seem to think that Locke is the answer to our present predicament. I'm not so sure. What would Locke say on the partriarchy? On the Culture Industry? ( Adorno's question) On the effects of normalization? ( Foucault's question) On the carceral society? ( Again Foucault's question) On modern economics? On the dangers of bureaucracy? (Weber's question) On distorted forms of communication? Ie propaganda? ( Habermas, Chomsky and others) And finally on Power? Nietzsche's question also Sade's)I am not saying that Locke was not a brilliant thinker and a genius, just that I don't see how he can contribute in any meaningful way to our present predicament.


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Liam McCarthy
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posted 12 June 2001 06:42 PM      Profile for Liam McCarthy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am going to be reading the new Jonathon Kozol book right after I gain a little more headway on my thesis. Marsha, I would suggest reading Amazing Grace or Savage Inequalities by Jonathon Kozol. Especially now that you are living in Detroit Rock City. They are both very inspiring and beautifully written works about the plight of children in inner city United States.
From: Windsor, Ont. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Athena Dreaming
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posted 12 June 2001 07:15 PM      Profile for Athena Dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
All right--so it's not Reason per se, but the conception of Reason arising out of the mind/body split that you object to. I couldn't agree more. The actual concept of logical thought is fine as long as it is not thought of as the whole of existence or as somehow outside of nature and the body--is that about right?

DrConway--from what I remember from my very sketchy physics readings, the idea is that the observer can never know both the position and movement of a particle. You can know the position. Or you can know the movement. Not both. As soon as you know one the other becomes unknowable. I wish I remembered this better.... But yeah, the basic idea is that the act of observing affects the observed adn changes its state. There were some really neat experiments I read about, I should dig them out.

I would venture to guess that the mind/body split problem goes back to whenever hierarchy and patriarchy first made their influence felt. How can you posit a dualistic split between men and women, people and nature, people and other "lower class" people, without some idea of a mind/body split as well? they all seem to me to be part of the same diseased thinking. I suppose it would be possible for interpersonal domination without such a split. But once you conceptualize of classes to which people belong and according to which they are rewarded or punished, you've pretty much got the seeds of the mind/body split.

IMO

I agree that it has become more pernicious and insidious since the Industrial Revolution, when whole segments of society were compartmentalized and boxed up.


From: GTA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 12 June 2001 07:26 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
DrConway--from what I remember from my very sketchy physics readings, the idea is that the observer can never know both the position and movement of a particle. You can know the position. Or you can know the movement. Not both. As soon as you know one the other becomes unknowable. I wish I remembered this better.... But yeah, the basic idea is that the act of observing affects the observed adn changes its state. There were some really neat experiments I read about, I should dig them out.

Essentially correct, but the scientist in me must correct something!

What actually happens re position and momentum is that there is a "built-in" uncertainty in the measurement of either property of a subatomic particle. Multiplied together, they may be no less than a constant which has been worked out to be about 10^-34 (ten to the negative thirty-fourth power). So, as you get more accurate in measuring the position, the momentum gets "fuzzier". Vice versa for momentum. If you get precise enough with the position, the momentum is effectively unmeasurable with such a large margin of error. Vice versa for momentum here also.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Darren Stewart
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posted 14 June 2001 11:13 AM      Profile for Darren Stewart     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Last of the Crazy People by Timothy Findley. An excellent Canadian author with a fractured take on family values and coping mechanisms.
I as well recently finished 1984 by Orwell and am still reeling from the visions.
Slaughterhouse Five by Vonnegut was also a recent edition to the headboard stack and a descriptive visual read of the upmost clarity.
Other recent reads worthy of a look:
Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey by Salinger
Girlfriend in a Coma by Copeland
and anything by Charles Bukowski. Lots of time spanning anthology's are springing up but for newcomers to his work go with a novel or a book of poetry published as it was originally.

I'm currently on NoLogo by Klein and so far it's quite good.
I'm going to be spending lots of time at sea shorty so if anyone has any recommendations, I'm all ears.


From: Halifax | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 14 June 2001 11:25 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ah -- there is a young medical doctor, now working in Halifax, I believe, who published last year? the year before? a beautiful memoir of a very long sailing trip he took several years back as a way of restoring himself after some setbacks in life. He was on a small boat with only one other sailor; they sailed from Vancouver down the U.S. west coast, then over to Hawaii? Bali? I read an excerpt in Saturday Night last year, and he was a knockout writer. Unfortunately, his name and the book title are escaping me. Anyone recall? Will do some searching.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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posted 14 June 2001 11:36 AM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Darren - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance, but only if it is followed immediately by Lila, the continuation of Robert M Pirsig's story. One tears the world apart - the other builds it anew. Also, are you a friend of Ferlinghetti's poetry? Gwendolyn MacKewan?
From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 14 June 2001 12:39 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Darren:

Kevin Patterson, The Water in Between,
Toronto: Random House 1999 (hardcover 32.95); Toronto: Knopf Vintage 2000 (pb 19.95).


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Jared
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posted 14 June 2001 06:56 PM      Profile for Jared     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm currently juggling several books, as I always am: kind of like literary channel surfing!

-"Who Will Tell The People" by William Grieder: basically describes the stinky state of US politics and the government's contempt for the people. Written ten years ago, but nothings changed; in fact it's probably worse now. At the end of each chapter I've started sending telepathic hugs to Ralph Nader.

-"Kicking Tomorrow" by Daniel Richler: I've heard it been called a Canadian "Catcher In The Rye" but that's grossly inflated praise. A pretty OK, albeit a rudderless, read.

-"The Onion's Finest News Reporting" Hilarious, but not for the easily offended.

-plan to start within the next few days: "On A Cold Road : Adventures In Canadian Rock" by Dave Bidini, "Reveille For Radicals," by Saul Alinsky, "The Acid House" by Irvine Welsh and for the first time I'm going to tuck into some Nietzsche: I picked up a volume which contains 4 of his major texts.


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DrConway
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posted 14 June 2001 07:16 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
-"Who Will Tell The People" by William Grieder: basically describes the stinky state of US politics and the government's contempt for the people. Written ten years ago, but nothings changed; in fact it's probably worse now. At the end of each chapter I've started sending telepathic hugs to Ralph Nader.

I read this, or rather, a part of it. I got so depressed with the stultified state of North American politics and society that I gave up halfway through.

Give me the 1960s, or give me death!


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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posted 14 June 2001 08:41 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dr.C, yer my kinda guy.
Jared - is it 'Thus spoke Zarathustra'? That's a fave of mine.

From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Jared
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posted 14 June 2001 08:54 PM      Profile for Jared     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dawna: yeah it's that one along with "Twilight Of The Idols," "Nietzsche Contra Wagner" and of course "The Antichrist."
From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 18 June 2001 03:07 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry for the length of this post. It's something I wrote for my friends about an extremely important book I recently read.

Jonathan Glover. The book is _Humanity: A Moral History
of the Twentieth Century_. I called it a 'necessary' book. The very
word, it turns out, used in the Guardian's review, which appeared this
weekend. All agree that the history, while gripping, is not new, and
that the philosophy is not revolutionary. But the stakes don't get
higher, and the questions never get more essential to our core moral
identities, than in the events described in this book. The book is
tremendously rich in detail which I cannot go into here. There are reviews available online, including:

http://books.guardian.co.uk/critics/reviews/0,5917,421434,00.html
http://partners.nytimes.com/books/00/10/29/reviews/001029.29pinkert.html

This is one book that keeps coming back to me. It has managed to
focus and frame many of my ethical concerns and choices and connect
them to some of the biggest and most depressing moral episodes in our
history. It's one of the most fruitful, honest books I have ever
read. It justifies the existence of at least one moral philosopher.

*The following is a fairly long synopsis of the book*

Glover considers two "moral resources" that helped
people resist participation in atrocities this century. The first
thing to note, and to be very clear about, is that when push came to
shove, relatively few people ever did resist. Glover is not preachy,
he's all too aware that few of us can really be confident that we
would not fail if put to these ultimate moral tests. Let us think
about these issues in the same spirit. So, to the moral resources. First,
the human responses. These are the responses by which we feel empathy
or sympathy for those we acknowledge as human. Where this response
functions, it is hard to commit an atrocity. Those who orchestrate
atrocities must therefore shut this response down by drilling in
dehumanizing language, racial caricatures, horrible stories about
those who are to be dehumanized (baby-eating, etc.). It is depressing
how effective these techniques are. Indeed, something like them forms
basic training in most militaries throughout the world, including the
US military, as anyone who has seen documentary footage of boot camp
(or who has actually been to boot camp) may attest.

There are some vivid examples of these humane responses quoted in
Pinker's review, above. Two stand out in my memory. One is told by
Orwell, who, when fighting in the Spanish Civil War, once saw a
fascist fighter running, trying to hold his pants up. Orwell said that
this simple fact, of a man trying to hold his pants up to protect his
dignity, suddenly jarred him, and made him feel his common humanity
with the man. He couldn't shoot him at that moment, though otherwise
he would have. The second is a story of a black woman being chased by
a white police man during an anti-apartheid riot in South Africa. At
a certain point one of the woman's shoes came off, and this simple
fact triggered the policeman's normal human responses; he had been
raised to believe that if a woman's shoe falls off, you must pick it
up. He picked up the shoe, their eyes met, and he let her run away.

The second moral resource is a more intellectually mediated one, the
sense of moral identity -- what kind of person we think we are. Are
we the type of person who could do X? Where the answer is no,
prevailing interests or bureaucracies often work to prevent us from
reaching this conclusion. By, for example, calling the killing of
mentally ill people "euthanasia", calling extermination "special
treatment", commiserating with the SS who have to bear such a
"terrible burden" etc. Terminology that distances us from reality,
helps us avoid drawing the most obvious, most uncomfortable
inferences. Glover details how these mechanisms of moral evasion have
been able to operate in most countries throughout the twentieth
century, including our own countries quite recently (during bombing
campaigns, e.g.).

Glover spends a lot of time looking at how these resources broke down
when terrible things were done. That is interesting. What is also
interesting is when he looks at what kind of people were able to
resist. How they were brought up seems to have a lot to do with it.
Those who were brought up strictly, in repressive households with lots
of rules, obsessed with propriety and appearances, were far more
likely to simply obey. This is a cliche, but it is a resilient one.
Those who were able to resist were much more likely to have grown up
in laid-back homes without discipline, where the emotional life was
valued over accomplishments, where the simple human responses were
encouraged, where children saw people helping other people
unstintingly.

Religion also played a role, but I won't go into that now. What I will
mention is that strong community also appeared to be important; where
community is strong, the resistance of one person can be enough for
the whole community to resist. Where community is weak, it is all too
easy to subvert the moral resources. Resistance and complicity are
achieved by degrees, and thus the initial "little" compromises, the
compromises that seem at the time to have nothing to do with
atrocities, are highly important.

What disturbed me, aside from the obvious degree to which most of
these moral resources broke down among people here during the Gulf
War, the bombing of Serbia, etc., is the degree to which many of the
things Glover isolates as essential to the moral health of a
civilization, to its ability to resist atrocity, are utterly
compromised by late corporatist capitalism.

*following is me grinding axes, not summarizing Glover*

First, the sense of community. Perhaps no one who has not lived in a
place with a strong sense of community can be suitably horrified by
how little human connection exists in our society, how little we feel
embedded in a greater web of humanity reaching out from our family to
our neighbourhood and beyond. For my part, i can only say that the
difference between India and here is profound, though urban India's
social structures are being rapidly vitiated by the arrival of
corporatist capitalism. If this does not seem obvious to someone, it
is hard to persuade them, and I will not here try to. Suffice it to
say that some vital features of the sense of moral identity identified
by Glover -- the concept of ourselves as people obliged to help
others, fundamentally related to others and responsible for others --
have been severely vitiated by the now all-powerful discourse of
corporate capitalism as it is disseminated in advertising, pop
culture, and the news media. Among the many axioms of this ideology,
one need here only mention such things as the extreme emphasis on
self-reliance, the belief in social atomism, the idea that my wanting
something is sufficient justification for my getting it, unless this
involves egregious, direct and obvious harm to another (the idea of
indirect responsibility is totally obscured) -- otherwise, I'm worth
it! is the order of the day; the idea that people who suffer
misfortune are largely responsible for it, because we are all "free":
all these ideas serve powerfully to undermine the sense of solidarity
and shared fortune required in times of crisis to resist the forces
that would obscure them.

I can point to other things along the same lines. The extreme emphasis
on conjugal relationships as sources of meaning to the exclusion of
much else -- this contrasts with other times and places, where other
relations, extended family relations and friendships, primarily,
played a much greater role in providing horizons of significance. Now,
in line with our very atomized society, our most meaningful
relationships exist, by and large, within four walls. This is a
result, in part, of the extreme division and specialization of labour,
and the physical dislocations that result in part from this, and in
part from long-distance moves being technologically possible. Of
course, there are many other reasons, but the effect is the same: our
significant relations are drastically narrower, more private, than
they have ever been, and so our feelings of broader responsibility
have declined, precisely when, as a whole, we are most able to act on
such feelings. Not coincidentally, this serves the interests of
ever-expanding corporate consumer capitalism, as it means there will
be a greater number of households per capita, households whereof all
must be equipped with gadgets, vehicles etc., houses whose occupants
will feel less and less guilty about indulging every stupid
consumerist whim, so increasing the total amount of stuff being
bought. The destruction of broader family and communal relations
is quite happy for capitalism.

It goes beyond that, of course. Work hours, on average, keep rising,
and institutions of mutual loyalty and aid, like churches and unions,
decline, nay, are often attacked as institutions that challenge the
order necessary for the total flourishing of capitalism, so that life
to an increasing degree revolves only around the office/factory and
the home. People outside our immediate circle are to be mistrusted, an
impression heightened by the constant harping on violence and
crime. On the street, in the subway, the stranger's gaze is not met.
Many people travel in cars, insulated from social interactions.
Institutions like the novel, while potentially revealing new worlds
that may increase our understanding and sympathy for others, also
serve to ensure that our enjoyments will mostly be private. The home
stereo removes the social dimension from music experience. Many
people spend a tremendous amount of time watching TV, a fundmantally
asocial activity that serves to effect social atomism (which, like
many of these attitudes and phenomena, is a dogma propagated at the
intellectual level as liberalism) and further weaken the common
bond. It also provides a ready channel for the indoctrination and
manipulation of an increasing historically ignorant populace, through
the news media and through advertising. We saw very clearly during the
Gulf War and the Kosovo bombing campaign how easily manipulated the
populace was.

So, far from having advanced or learned anything from the horrors of
the century, we seem to have further slipped. We are ripe for evil's
picking. The demise of caring as a virtue, the self-righteous
smugness of the wealthy, the sense of distance from the horrors that
happen all over the world, inspite of the first world's evident
responsibility, should make us stop and think. The great
virtue of Glover's book is that it forces you to address these most
horrible questions. It denies you the chance to be evasive, to
provide simple answers that will exculpate you. I haven't presented
any answers here, merely written up, in a very hasty way, some of the
things that occurred to me while reading it. I'm sorry I don't have
time to be more cogent about it. That will have to wait for later.

*axe-grinding off*

For now, a few more notes:

To reiterate, Glover shows how ideology can undermine our moral
resources. Ideology doesn't have to be complex, indeed it is most
effective on the level of advertising, the pervasively repeated
attitudes that become truth. (Cf. Goebbels's saying, "a lie repeated
often enough becomes true.") It is for this reason that I consider the
next book I read, Thomas Frank's _One Market Under God_, to be
an *extremely* important book.

Glover frames his discussion with a consideration of a caricature of
Nietzsche's "superman" idea. Glover dismisses apologists who wish to
pooh-pooh some of the more noxious interpretations of certain infamous
passages in Nietzsche. It's doubtful whether Glover's understanding of
Nietzsche is correct, but it serves as a powerful frame to his
discussion, and indeed, it is an interpretation that has had a
powerful life in the twentieth century. The primary response Glover
makes to this pseudo-Nietzsche, though he does not make it directly,
is that far from pseudo-Nietzsche's ideal, those who are cruel and
seek power at all costs, those who enjoy the festival of cruelty,
seem on inspection not to be strong, but to be uniformly weak, insecure,
contemptible, utterly repulsive creatures who could not contrast more
strongly with the quiet strength, the courage, of those who resist the
forces of cruelty even in situations of great adversity, even at the
ultimate cost. It is not the great, rare man who finds it easy to be
cruel, it is in fact, historically speaking, the great herd of
humanity.

Interesting tidbit: the man who blew the whistle on My Lai was a
subject in Stanley Milgram's obedience experiment. He did not even
administer the very first shock.

Ah, Milgram. Glover's discussion of Milgram is entirely uncritical.
A very good, short piece on Milgram can be found in the recent Granta,
entitled "Shrinks". I highly recommend that. (Also good in that
issue, Tim Parks's "Paolo" and Roy Hattersley's "In Search of the
Third Way".)

Finally, I must say that Glover's understanding of Heidegger's
philosophy is badly flawed. However, he has set out in no uncertain
terms Heidegger's disastrous moral failures, failures he never
acknowledged. As for my own position on l'affaire Heidegger, well,
that must wait for a different time.

[ June 18, 2001: Message edited by: rasmus_raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 18 June 2001 03:36 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've cobbled this together from remarks I've sent to friends... sorry
for the length. OTOH there's much more where it came from...

If you haven't read my immediately preceding post, I think it's more important than this one, so you might want to look at that.


Books I can recommend:



Another very good, and very thought-provoking book, was J.M. Coetzee's "The
Lives of the Animals," a meditation on the human relation to
animals. I just finished reading it and I have to digest it, but I
think it will also stay with me. This small book is much more
profound, and much more worth reading, than his novel "Disgrace", but
like that book, shows his acute consciousness of the problems we face
when new conflicts emerge through moral evolution, the
coming-to-consciousness of new moral horizons. I think he believes,
rightly, that at those junctures we really don't know what the right
thing to do is, and that any other response but agnosticism is probably dishonest. Anyway
this book is short, even with the four responses in the back (two or
three are good). I think it's worth the read. Here's a good review
of it:

http://www.nybooks.com/nyrev/WWWarchdisplay.cgi?20000629020R


Some Chinese novels I enjoyed, but be warned, they are all about 1600
pages long:


From the 16th century, Journey to the West, which is loosely based on
the true story of Hsuan Tsang T'ang, the 6th c. Chinese Buddhist monk
who travelled to India in search of scriptures. In this version he
acquires four divine companions, foremost among whom is the king of
the divine monkeys, the Great Sage Equal to Heaven, Sun Wu-kung, who,
after wreaking havoc in the Jade Emperor's palace, is subdued by the
Buddha and forced to serve the monk in his journey to the Western
Heaven. Along the way they encounter all sorts of demons and other
trials, until eventually they reach the Western Heaven and obtain
scriptures to bring back to the Tang capital. The most appealing
character is the monkey. An abridged version of it is Arthur Waley's
Monkey! but he has annoyingly translated the characters' names. The
story mostly centres on the monkey's exploits, irrepressible nature,
and sense of humour. (The monkey is allegorically the mind, or
"metal" among the five elements.) The novelization is long, 1600 pages
and 100 chapters, and is a "farrago" of magic, satire, and
allegory. However, from the Western perspective it lacks emotional
depth and it's a bit repetitious. So while I really liked it, I can't
recommend it to a general audience. I can recommend it to the
under-12 set. BTW, the Japanese TV version, Monkey! was a cult
phenomenon in early-1980s England.

Outlaws of the Marsh. Many of you may remember the Japanese TV series
Water Margin, which aired on CBC about twenty years ago and which was
based on this 15th century Chinese novel about a band of 108 gallant
men and women who are disgraced by corrupt officials and driven into exile on
the mountain stronghold of Liangshan Marsh. From here they wage an
insurrection until they are eventually amnestied by the emperor and
pressed into service to redeem themselves. The ending is extremely
poignant. A page-turner, great bedtime reading. The characters are
incredibly vivid, the story is captivating. Better than Robin Hood or
the Seven Samurai. The book's entirely informal style gives you a
fascinating view of a rather alien civilization, the China of 600
years ago. (The action takes place a couple of hundred years before
that, however.) If you like action stories, martial arts movies, or
simple tales of good vs. evil, then this book will appeal to you. Oh, I should
mention: there are a few scenes of pretty graphic violence. Perhaps
the worst is in the second chapter, because you're not prepared for
it.

"The ancient sages say 'do not despise the snake for having no horns,
for who is to say it will not become a dragon?' So may one just man
become an army."


That's the cheesy intro to the dubbed Japanese version aired on the
CBC on Sunday mornings when I was a kid. This version has been
released on video, but only in the UK I am afraid. There is a well
produced Chinese version available. It was made in Red China a
few years ago and can be rented or bought on VCD in any
Chinatown. You'll probably need to give them the Chinese characters,
see attached gif. However, there is no translation. Both
serializations are pretty abridged, and both centre on one of the 108
characters, ex-Imperial Arms Instructor Lin Chong, who represents
virtue and valour. He is an extremely appealing character, but does
not have the prominent role throughout the book that he is given in
the TV series.

Moving on.


I recently reread Burton Watson's translation of Chuang Tzu, one of
the most delightful thinkers of all time. Worth revisiting every
couple of years or so.


Arguments for a New Left: Answering the Free Market Right_ by Hilary
Wainwright.

This is a fairly academic book that tries to account for the
persistent appeal of Hayek-style market liberalism, the last "big
idea" of politics. W. argues that leftists need to assimilate Hayek's
critique of leftist approaches to knowledge before they can respond
effectively to liberalism as a political force. She moves from a
fairly high-flown discussion of the philosophical background to
nitty-gritty examples of the new leftist knowledge in action, like a
self-governed school for adult women in Sweden. The basic argument of
the book is for participatory democracy of the kind Judy Rebick
describes. I read this book because JR referred to it in hers and I
wanted more of a theoretical background than _Imagine Democracy_
offered, and this book certainly satisfied the desire.

I also recently read _Imagine Democracy_, and heartily recommend it,
as I have said already.

[ June 18, 2001: Message edited by: rasmus_raven ]

[ June 18, 2001: Message edited by: rasmus_raven ]


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SOOTHSAYER
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 748

posted 20 June 2001 02:41 AM      Profile for SOOTHSAYER     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
For Rasmus,

I have not read Glover's book but I found your summary of his position quite fascinating. Especially the techniques that are employed in the process of dehumanization. However, it seems to me, based upon your summary, that Glover's thesis if you will, still rests upon the old Platonic dictum that to know the good is to do the good and conversely that evil is ignorance. I'm not sure that I would agree with Glover on this point. Reich, in the Psychology of Mass Fascism, demonstrates that we seem to enjoy both oppressing others and having others oppress us. Of course, for Reich, the goal is to kill this Fascist Furher that is within all us through sexual liberation. The question however, with all Ursprung psychoanalytical theories, is whether or not such an origin is "real". And to my mind, this has been put into question by Foucault in the Will to knowledge. Which brings us to Sade's question--maybe we are just cruel by nature and the wolves among us are the one's that have the INTELLIGENCE, HONESTY, WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE to figure this out. And we can use our intelligence, here defined as tool like reason, to figure out how we can extract as much pleasure as possible from the body or perhaps I should say "this" territory of intensity as I possibly can. In other words, the Other, is no longer considered to be a "person" he or she is now nothing more than a simulacrum of my possible pleasures.

This brings me to my second point--- I find many of these thinkers that attempt to re-construct the molecular bond, as it were, between others and our individual, atomistic selves, never attempt to refute, IMO the blackest of the black writers; the Marquis de Sade. If you've read the Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, it is Habermas who first makes, to my mind, this distinction between the dark writers of the enlightenment (Hobbes, Maciavelli Mandeville) and the black writers ( Sade, Nietzsche, and Adorno). Although Habermas attempts to refute both Nietzsche and Adorno's "way out of subjectivity" nevertheless, Habermas doesn't bother to " take on" Sade who, I feel to be far more dangerous than Nietzsche. What do you think?

[ June 20, 2001: Message edited by: SOOTHSAYER ]


From: Ottawa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
denise
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posted 20 June 2001 11:26 AM      Profile for denise   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I just finished the first in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Bad Beginning, and I highly recommend. For kids and adults, but it's no chicken soup for the soul.
From: halifax, ns | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dawna Matrix
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posted 20 June 2001 02:37 PM      Profile for Dawna Matrix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Heart Is It's Own Reason. by Natalee Caple. Short stories, strange and original, very psychological. I like her POV, not too flowery, but well endowed with setting.
From: the stage on cloud 9 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 20 June 2001 10:36 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Denise, the one that you just mentioned, "A Series of Unfortunate Events," is that a kids' (or should I say young adults') book, where on the back cover is a note from the author telling the person why they really shouldn't buy or read the book? If it is, I saw them in Costco. My mother bought one for my second-cousin who is 10 or 11.

Glad to see you highly recommend it. Can you tell me what it was like?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 21 June 2001 02:06 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I dunno if I already mentioned this, but the Tripods series by John Christopher are excellent.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
vickyinottawa
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Babbler # 350

posted 21 June 2001 05:19 PM      Profile for vickyinottawa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
recently finished: The Nature of Economies, Jane Jacobs

current bedside tome: Moo, Jane Smiley. Have read this before but had an urge to try and bring some levity into my own work fighting the corporatization of universities..... Sometime ya just gotta laugh to keep from crying


From: lost in the supermarket | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
sean s.
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posted 23 June 2001 12:05 AM      Profile for sean s.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Nietzsche, un continent perdu by Bernard Edelman

Sean S.
Montreal
Instead of gambling on the eternal impossibility of the revolution, why not think that a new type of revolution is becoming possible? - French philosopher Gilles Deleuze


From: montreal | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Brodie
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posted 25 June 2001 03:16 PM      Profile for Brodie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'd said elsewhere that I would post a short, subjective reading list for those out there interested in the history of leftist anarchism. Obviously, this is quite a limited selection and I'm sure I've missed some (I encourage the rest of you to speak up about your favourites), but all the books and essays I'll mention have served me well.


The Spanish Civil War

The Spanish Anarchists
-Bookchin (Extensively researched and well written)

After Fifty Years: The Spanish Civil War
-Bookchin (An excellent essay)

The Spanish Labyrinth
-Brenan (Great historical background)

The Spanish Cockpit
-Borkenau (The most objective look I've seen)

Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Spain
-Morrow (Marxist, but still useful)


Paris, 1968

Red Flag/Black Flag
-Seale and McConville (On the spot account)

There are also several good essays at http://1968.tao.ca


The Paris Commune

The French Revolution of 1870-1871
-Williams (Not an anarchist account, but a good one)

The Paris Commune and the Idea of the State
- Bakunin (Anarchist critique at the time)

The Commune of Paris
-Kropotkin (A must read essay)


The Haymarket Massacre

The Haymarket Tragedy
-Avrich (Haven't actually read it, but heard it's very good)


A few of the essays can be found at
The Anarchist Archives and Left Bank Books has many of the books above.


From: Victoria, BC | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 27 June 2001 03:43 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I've been reading really long threads. I'm gonna close this, and start another.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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