Posted by Charles Reece, June 7, 2009 10:28pm | Post a Comment
A Kiwi gentleman (hiya, Stevv) pointed me to this online time-waster, the Political Spectrum Quiz, so I figured why not put my results on this here blog. What does being from the South and reading too much Frankfurt critical theory get me? Well, this:

My Political Views
I am a far-left social libertarian
Left: 7.63, Libertarian: 6.57

My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -4.03

My Culture War Stance
Score: -8.04

What do you know? I don't trust big business or big government, just the former a little bit less.

gomer pyle nabors surprise

This American Strife: Animation from Chris Ware

Posted by Charles Reece, June 7, 2009 09:56am | Post a Comment
I finally caught up with the cartoons Chris Ware has been doing. I was avoiding them because of their association with This American Life, a show I hate. The narcoleptic punctuation of host Ira Glass makes me want to slap him on the back of the head. With the show's tempo, it's like being trapped for an hour with a bunch of Dave Eggers' readers in an elevator designed by Errol Morris. And the cutesy stories of irrelevance make a good argument for Maoism. Ugh. Anyway, here's some good artwork (sound is advisedly optional):


Posted by Charles Reece, June 5, 2009 08:39pm | Post a Comment
"As a philosopher I never accept the world as it is because it is as it is." -- Alain Badiou

Amen to that. I just started reading Badiou's Conditions, and I like how he's not afraid to use the word 'truth.' He's worth a listen, so for your convenience, comrades, here are some samples of his thinking.

On Nicolas Sarkozy, communism and capitalist failure:

bill the cat ack

On philosophy itself, truth and politics:

And lest this blog be accused of dealing with anything more important than crass pop culture, Badiou is supposedly appearing in Jean-Luc Godard's new film Socialisme (along with someone by the name of 'Patti Smith'). According to infinite thØught:

[I]t involves Badiou being on a cruise ship somewhere in/near Turkey; he is in three scenes; firstly having breakfast with a Russian spy (not a real one, although as he is really Badiou he asked Godard if the spy was really a spy, but she is an actor); secondly, he will be seen writing a lecture on Husserl's Origin of Geometry, and thirdly, he will deliver the lecture, still on the cruise ship, to an empty auditorium.

Sounds fun.

The Late, Great David Carradine

Posted by Charles Reece, June 4, 2009 10:07am | Post a Comment
The pebble has been snatched from our hands. He hung himself with a curtain cord in a
Bangkok hotel. Dead at 72. Go
here for more info.

Your Pals Are Not What They Seem 2: Faith and Reason in Lost's Season 5 Finale

Posted by Charles Reece, May 30, 2009 02:07pm | Post a Comment
Page I

john lock weird eyes lostjohn locke dead coffin lost

Being a congenital skeptic, I had expected Lost to go the way of other fantasy shows exploring the issue of faith. It began by establishing the central antagonism between its central characters, the rationalist doctor Jack Shephard (the de facto leader -- get it?) and the faith-filled, ironically named John Locke (the namesake of the famous British empiricist whose philosophical inbred progeny was one B. F. Skinner). In regaining the use of his legs after crashing on the island, Locke was granted something of his own revelation. By way of this objective correlative, Locke and the audience had a inkling that there was something more to the island than Jack's skepticism allowed. Throw in a smoke monster, people coming back from the dead and time travel and any reasonable person starts sympathizing with Nochimson's vaginal heroism. The lure is there to wrap the antagonism up in the same generic package as all the aforementioned failed fantasy programs. Affirm faith by killing it with literalism (compare the deracinated horror of Stephen King's CGI-infested movie-adpatation of his The Shining to the dread of Stanley Kubrick's).

Seems to me that faith is both an opening and a closing. The believer must remain open to mysterious possibilities that defy the normative limits given by our best explanatory models while digging his heels in the sand and claiming his irrationally derived belief is the truth. Therefore, faith requires mystery. If the implausible is made normative, as it is so often in fantasy, there is no faith involved. Of course, the recipient (viewer, reader) must maintain a level of faith by way of the classic suspension of disbelief. Similarly, lest the believer become a mere ideologue, he must live with uncertainity, a nagging suspicion that he might be wrong (i.e., not all that different from the fantasy genre's suspension requirement).

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