Conservative leader of the local authority, Keith Mitchell, said via a tweet: "County Hall invaded by an ugly, badly-dressed student rabble. God help us if this is our future."
[Rabble a pack, string, or swarm of animals or insects; a crowd or array of disorderly people, 1513; the low or
disorderly part of the populace; a disorderly collection; a confused medley.
Examples: rabble of appetites, passions and opinions, 1768; of bees; of books, 1803; of butterflies; of ceremonies, 1562; of licentious deities, 1741; of discourse, 1656; of dishes; of flies, 1847; of friars, 1560; of gnats; of insects; of monks, 1560; of murderers, 1792; of opinions, 1768; of passions, 1861; of people, 1635; of mean and light persons, 1568; of pictures, 1581; of scholastic precepts, 1589; of priests, 1529; of readers, 1691; of reasons, 1641; of remedies, 1633; of schoolmen, 1671; of strangers, 1840; of uncommanded traditions, 1545; of womenhood, 1847; of words, 1388.]
[one of several holdovers of the "rabble of womenhood" from 1847]
Watched the full 330 min version of Carlos yesterday. Its refreshing insistence on "not talking politics" (which here includes not giving revolutionary ideological backstory to why you might be willing to take an entire OPEC conference hostage) makes it an all the more accurate rendering of the geopolitical sequence it traces.
More than that, it's a bloated, hollow, sensual film, mirrored precisely in the body of Carlos itself, which passes back and forth from taut and muscular to hanging thickly and drowsy off his frame. In short, the rise and fall of anti-imperialist armed struggle in the rise and fall of his gut, blood pressure, and blood alcohol level. And it is not a one-way story: the narrative economy of the film hangs on the back and forth of this, in and out of shape, more or less fat, more or less drunk, reclined, sagging, over its 5 and a half hours, timed impeccable so your ending torpor becomes his.
Pasolini argued that an anthropological revolution - or rather devolution, in the decried loss of the acne-speckled, dirty necked, lithe ragazzi - had remade the body and, with it, prior categories of political differentiation. For Assayas in this film, it's in reverse. The hungry body gets stuffed, the shape of flesh with blood in veins and on clothes, of pacing excitement and whiskey-slicked dejection, tanned from outside or leathered from inside out by a infinite set of cigarettes. It becomes a sympathetic mass, taking on the droop and pallor of the times, its jawline dropping while it slackly runs out of things to say beyond pettier fits of worry.
And no country will have you anymore now than you would have been willing to have a country then, when fact felt like choice and your stomach didn't crest over your belt, like a hard halved-moon.
The increasing incoherence of a body politic, scrambled across allegiances and the coming-apart of an anti-imperialism in the name of an additive chain of anti-those guys, finds its coherence in the apolitical body of one washed-up killer. Mass action, absent from the start in this strategy of tension, initially displaced with a body count, swapped out once and for all for a steadily climbing body mass index.
[Come out to our final film in the supplementary Brit Horror sequence - starting in January, Erik and I are on to the cinema of the long '70s, including - gasp - things that are not horror in any sense of the generic word.]
You realise what you're implying? That we owe our human condition here to the intervention of insects?
The third Hammer adaptation of a Nigel Kneale-written, BBC-produced Quatermass television series (but the first film version with a British Quatermass), Quatermass and the Pit is in some reckonings the single best Quatermass entry in Hammer’s trilogy. While doing work on the London Underground, workers uncover a strange vessel that looks like it could be an unexploded German rocket, but a closer look reveals that it likely fell onto Great Britain from a place a good deal farther away than the continent and at a time much longer ago than World War II. The Quatermass series is revered in no small part because it consistently advances the claim that mankind itself is already the alien threat that it most fears, but none of these films gets that thesis across with quite the eerie force that this one does. Not to be missed.
I'm sorry I can't be more optimistic, Doctor, but we've got a long road ahead of us. It's like having sex. It's a painstaking and arduous task that seems to go on and on forever, and just when you think things are going your way, nothing happens.
The overturned car of the barricade disrupts above all because it insists: yes, there are roads that go that way, pavement bent upright, on which this rubber hangs, there are cities that rise and fall, there is traffic which crests before us and breaks brittle like waves below freezing.
Despite the widespread agreement of historians that there were no English Jacobins police were taking seriously the threat of 'unactuated revolutionary possibilities' as a new tactic by radicals, and were especially interested in interviewing 'Walter Benjamin', a German radical who may have had a role in transmitting the carrier wave from his desk in the Bibliotheque Nationale in the 1930s.
When you heat material up inside a closed vessel or try to enclose self-heating material inside an enclosure, its potential energy will turn kinetic and, upon the opening of that vessel, escape with velocity and force, and it need not stop to think about why.
paul__lewis: Rampaging students running thru west end past bemused theatre goers. Cops in tow in a Cat + mouse #demo2010
Massive education protests across the UK: university occupations flaring up, a crowd in London kettled once more (last time, the occasion for the murder of a man passing through and the humiliation of those stuck inside an illegitimate system of checkpoints, at last I heard they're setting up port-a-potties and handing water to the crowd to keep them comfortable in their pen and keep them from getting loose on the city), crowds in the streets everywhere, "violent scuffles," and no matter what the paper and commentators and a sizable portion of the population will say, this is no stunt, no "hijacking," no bratty posh activists, no fringe element. This is what we call getting done.
(Oh, yes, and a slight object lesson: leave something like this unattended and surrounded by a crowd, and you just may get a sense of what they think about it, about you, and about the class violence you support.)
To all my friends and comrades there: watch your back, run those streets, stay safe, and make it unsafe for all the stewards, advocates, wardens, and defenders of this most recent instance of what has gone on, what does go on, and what needs to be brought to a screeching, collapsing, hissing halt.
He smashes, he sets to, he terrifies, he ransacks. The doors of love and hatred are open, letting violence in. Inhuman, it sets man on his feet, snatches from him the possibility of putting an end to his stay on earth.
- Program for 1930 release of L'age d'or
Inhuman violence - the "gift of violence," the kind that belongs to no one, the kind a crowd gives to itself and opens, at dawn, with a cry like the vault of a bank - as that which snatches group existence from the jaws of individual suicide.
And so the paving stones unplug the toaster perched on the edge of the bath.
Worse yet, it leaves no room for serial scenes, that is, action scenes which follow in sequence without ever knitting into the same flow. For instance, two men are fighting in the street. Not far away, a child eats an ice-cream and is poisoned. Throughout it all, a man in a window sprays passers-by with bullets and nobody raises an eyebrow. In one corner, a painter paints the scene, while a pickpocket steals his wallet and a dog in the shade of a burning building devours the brain of a comatose drunk. In the distance, multiple explosions crown a blood-red sunset. This scene is not interesting unless we call it Holiday in Sarajevo and divide the characters into two opposing camps.
- Raoul Ruiz, Poetics of Cinema
on the failures of "central conflict theory" as a structuring principle for making films (Of course,
If curiosity strikes any in the SC region, I'll be speaking tomorrow, with a number of friends and collaborators. I'll give a version of the talk I gave in London last week, on hostile objects, sabotage, comedy, hoarding, gremlins, evil steam presses, spoiled soup, and frozen exchange. A number of very sharp people will be talking - Erik's thinking on behaviorism alone is worth the trip.
Aesthetic Revolutions: Workshop and Symposium
Saturday, November 20 9AM-6:30PM
Cowell Conference Room
This workshop is associated with a collaborative book in progress comparing different historical moments and national / linguistic / cultural contexts of aesthetic revolutions. As we define it, an “aesthetic revolution” designates a particular sort of historical formation in which radical artistic and political agendas converge, with both being conflated in a holistic utopian vision or project. As key examples of heteronomous art movements reaching beyond the confines of the institution of art we are considering Italian Futurism, Surrealism, Russian post-October avant-garde, Situationist International, American culture of the sixties, the Neue Slowenische Kunst movement in Slovenia, and recent Chinese art. The co-authored book will seek to analyze these avant-garde phenomena historically and critically, revealing common characteristics and the situations and processes underlying them. This is the third of three workgroup meetings, following meetings in Koper, Slovenia in June 2010 and Beijing in August 2010. The draft papers for the workgroup sessions are available in advance; please request via email from email@example.com. The oral presentations cover additional topics related to the theme of aesthetic revolutions.
9:00 Introductory remarks
Morning workshop sessions (short presentations and discussion of papers circulated in advance):
With suitors and families like this, who wouldn't wish a turn to a darker side? A shame, then, it does little more than stare from a mirror and think that the magnetism is attractive, that it lies in its power, not the basic repulsion of the reproductive social order as such, a shame that the supposed Satanic turn of the 70s was nothing new, not even a seedy underbelly or the going-mass of Kenneth Anger. Just a searching mislocation of a mutual incapacity to hear anything anyone is saying, a sneaking suspicion that All This Liberation is for naught, that it may be in the name of Lucifer but that you, young lady, will still be the one getting knifed, that shifting a pinky ring from gold collegiate to occult design is, in fact, not an epochal transformation. Her drowning it all out, her dulling, a stuffing up of the ears with black wax in the hopes that there exist first sirens, then rocks, then someone, anyone, able to navigate this ship to its end.
In lieu of that, a leap from the foreground to the untouchable rear projection, then a hijacking, anything to opt out and steer between the mediocre shoals of tea time on the left, laughable evil on the right.
All that remains is the neurasthenist's unwept stare.
[That, of course, and the pissiness of an angel of death summoned with no death to be had, the petulant disbelief: wait, it's 1968 and evil can't even conquer these jack-asses and their little chalk circle? I thought this was the Age of Aquarius. You dragged me from hell for this?]
In an alternate trajectory, this would indeed be the score to the kind of films about the undying that we should have and will have projected on trains that roll on through the night and stop in every factory ghost town for our gathering round.
The Contra Mundum volume is out now, including incomparably sharp design, a version of my work on zombies (here titled "The Dead Rustle, The Earth Shudders" and involving a transcription of my intial rambling comments at the Mandrake Gallery), and a number of talks I'm seriously excited to read, particularly Aaron Kunin's thinking on misanthropy. Aaron is a professor of negative anthropology, a seriously original writer, and was my undergraduate thesis adviser back in Connecticut (overseeing my batshit project on Leibniz, medieval nominalist language theory, what roses are and are not like, "sensicality," speaking in tongues, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, Khlebnikov, spiders, and a collection of poems I wrote called What I Said to Mean).
The man in the blue outfit asking me with a straight face if I am carrying more than $10,000 worth of foreign currency is, as each time, the final sign that I've crossed back onto home territory. (This, in close proximity to the question regarding my potential proximity with edible animal products and farm mud, just further proves the deep and persistent linkage between currency and meat. Cf. Sohn-Rethel on coins that smell like the hands of the master that pass the dog the meat for which it will bite any and all while it paces the butcher shop and resolutely doesn't get the dull shiny circles from which that sweat won''t be scrubbed clean.)
Thanks, all in UK for everything. Can't wait to come on back.
Homophobic incitement aside, we are, after all, talking about a 74 year old head of state who called the Milanese police to release an 18 year old belly dancer - by lying to them about who her father was - who had sex with his bronzer-stained robot corpse body when she was 17. Remember, this is technically a functional nation that hypothetically chooses its leaders in free elections.