Aug. 29th, 2006

rfmcdonald: (Default)
I've noticed some spammers leaving comments in my LJ. Are the spammers people, or at least smart people capable of checking links? The evidence, based on the comment that one left in my post about The Associates' "Boys Keep Swinging," suggests not.

Way to go!
2006-08-29 06:52 am UTC (link)
Well, this band is starting well. They definitely have the aura of becoming popular. Given the right projects, right songs, and a good manager. They will surely have a future in this music industry.

The Associates recorded that single in 1979. The vocalist, Billy McKenzie, has been dead for almost a decade. (Thanks, [ profile] rdi.) One would hope that spammers would at least try for the appearance of intelligence, but ...
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Note to self: When posting from, always copy what you're writing to the clipboard before you click "Update Journal." This is especially true when you're on lunch, and when you're using a Toronto library computer.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
I ended a rather enjoyable night out on the town with [ profile] heraclitus (the second evening in a row) and [ profile] glowingwhispers at The Dance Cave on the second floor of Lee's Palace (550 Bloor Street West). For the average pedestrian, Lee's Palace is notable mainly for the Keith Haring-like iconography painted on the front plaster. Clubgoers may be interested to know that this motif is continued inside the dance cave, playful figures painted in white and black on the ceiling above the Dance Cave floor.

Great fun was had on my part, especially after the floor filled up around 11:30 to the sound of the 1980s' pop music, including "Doctorin' the Tardis". Thanks to [ profile] glowingwhispers for the invite and, in fact, for the idea of the evening in the first place.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
Sunday evening, as I mentioned in my previous post, I hung out with [ profile] heraclitus for the first time in six months. Fun was most certainly had, talking about a whole variety of topics. Most of these topics seemed to relate in one way or another to the ways in which communities manage to constitute themselves, in both the ancient and modern worlds (Greek age-related homosexuality, for instance). Overall, our conclusions were pessimistic; it wasn't coincidental that that very day, Henry Giroux's article in the Sunday Star, "The politics of disposability" was published, talking about the biopower in the modern United States.

With its pathological disdain for social values and public life, and its celebration of an unbridled individualism and acquisitiveness, the Bush administration does more than undermine the nature of social obligation and civic responsibility; it also sends a message to unwanted populations: Society neither wants, cares about, or needs you. Katrina revealed with startling and disturbing clarity who these unwanted are: African-Americans who occupy the poorest sections of New Orleans, those ghettoized frontier zones created by racism coupled with economic inequality. Cut out of any long-term goals and a decent vision of the future, these are the populations, as Bauman points out, who have been rendered redundant and disposable in the age of neoliberal global capitalism.

Katrina reveals that we are living in dark times. One of its most obvious lessons — that race and racism still matter in America — is fully operational through a biopolitics not unlike the kind described by scholar Achille Mbembe as "necropolitics," in which "sovereignty resides in the power and capacity to dictate who may live and who may die." Those poor minorities of colour and class, unable to contribute to the prevailing consumerist ethic, are vanishing into the sinkhole of poverty in desolate and abandoned enclaves of decaying cities and rural spaces, or in America's ever-expanding prison empire.

Not that the United States is that distinct, not in the context of growing hysterical anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe, say, or in the ability of Estonians to tolerate HIV so long as it's concentrated among Russophones, or in the disposability of the Chinese peasantry, or in the many, many other ways in which people nowadays are willing to overlook wrongs done to others so long as these others are inconvenient. If they disappear, well, who'll notice? I can only hope that Canada won't succumb; hope, mind, not believe with any degree of wholeheartedness.

"Oh, you little sick little fucks," as Tori Amos sang back in the innocent days of 2001 on Strange Little Girls, that album presciently released on the 17th of September of that year, "yes, it's the beginning of the new age."
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