July 10th, 2006


For Munro ("flavordav")

Paul Morand's Monsieur Zero flees the larger countries, crosses the smallest ones, descends the scale of States, establishes an anonymous society in Lichtenstein of which he is the only member, and dies imperceptible, forming the particle 0 with his fingers: "I am a man who flees by swimming under water, and at whom all the world's rifles fire ... I must no longer offer a target."

Michael Straight: a Name that will Live in Infamy
...the Payne Whitney heir who, by way of a smear campaign in the pages of New Republic, led los Federales to the door of Wilhelm Reich, the anti.fascist scientist. it seems Reich's writings offended Straight's Stalinist sensibilites (i.e., Red Fascism). Reich, of course, died in Federal prison and his papers burned by government order. compare with the case of Salman Rushdie: a fatwa (broadly, a "death sentence") was issued against him by Iran's spiritual leader in 1989 for "blaspheming Islam." Rushdie was pretty much in hiding for a few years, yet he now moves freely between New York and London, appearing on television and even popular movies. in short, he is very much alive while Reich is beastly dead (USA! USA!), whereas Straight - a Soviet spy who, as a member of the American ruling class, never spent a day in jail - died in 2004 at the ripe age of 87. may he rot in hell.

banned by the Nazis in 1933, by the Feds in '54
Those who deny or underestimate the function of the mass basis of fascism claim that the middle class - because it neither possesses the essential means of production nor works with them - cannot really make history and thus oscillates between capital and the industrial workers. They overlook the fact that, while the middle class cannot make lasting history, it can make temporary history. That it can do so is demonstrated by Italian and German fascism. We mean here not only the smashing of labor unions, the untold victims of barbarism, but, more than anything else, the blocking of the development of the economic crisis into social revolution.

Always looking above himself, the middle class individual develops a divergence between his economic position and his ideology. He lives in straitened circumstances but keeps up appearances, often to a ridiculous degree. He feeds himself poorly but invests in "decent clothing." The silk hat and the Prince Albert coat became the material symbol of this character structure. Few things are, at first glance, more characteristic of a population than its clothing. The attitude of "Keeping up with the Joneses" specifically distinguishes the middle class structure from that of the industrial worker.

"Where You and I Twirn": a Life of Jeffrey Stanley
...guy's trying to get back to his roots (unpopular mechanics?). the new play, Fisting with Tony and Joe, seems to involve characters you won't find in your Avital Ronell teenage novel. not having seen it (has it been produced yet?), i worry over the possibility of the Playwright being dismissed as just another primate in the Crowmeat arbor (where Mike Patton lives on / rolling back the odometer of some on-the-edge grapes / a one.man Insane Clown Posse for grad students...). we'll keep our fingers - Saturn among them - crossed !
  • Current Music
    Virginia Astley - "hiding in the ha-ha"