Bram Boroson, Master of Subtle Ways and Straight (bram) wrote,
Bram Boroson, Master of Subtle Ways and Straight

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Politics (no trivalent networks, no excrushes)

Up late. Went to an internet cafe/bookstore, a place I kind of like, but on the way back I felt sick. Luckily my office was just there--went to the bathroom, found myself sweaty. I think something's going around.

I'll spare you the trivalent network lecture. Of course I'm thinking of such topics. I'll remind you that more than trying to solve a problem, I'm trying to construct something new here. Maybe later or tomorrow I'll write something on this topic.

Interesting article by George Lakoff on the California election, "framing" of issues, and how Republicans appeal to "strict father" emotions in calling for blind discipline.

At this Internet cafe, I read some Zizek, who I'd read about in the New Yorker last month. Very interesting. He's Yugoslav, a Lacanian philosopher. In his book on 9/11 and other dates, titled "The Desert of the Real" (from "The Matrix"), he starts out with a story from the old East Germany (from memory):

A man's friend was moving to Siberia to look for work. "Listen," the friend said, "what I write may be censored. We better have a code. If I write in blue ink, it's true, but if it's in red ink, it had to get past the censors so it's false."

The friend moves to Siberia. After a while, a letter written in blue ink is received, "Everything is wonderful here. There are well-paying pleasant jobs available, the rooms are spacious and well-heated, the women are beautiful and friendly. The only think you can't get here is red ink."

I agree with Zizek that this is a wonderful little story and applies not only to communist dictatorships, but also to Western nations. Somehow direct dissent (red ink) is taken away from us, and what we must do is obliquely point out, encoded but in the open, that everything is a lie.

I'd like to read more by him.

Anyway, what do I mean specifically? For example, Salon's recent article on Stigliz's new book points out that there's a "Neanderthal" right-wing reflex against anyone who criticizes the underpinnings of pure unregulated capitalism, but no basic in-your-face leftie criticism--there's only nuance.

Journals like The Baffler or Baffler editor Thomas Frank's book "One Market Under God" often will tell a story through the eyes of a pure unregulated capitalist and show just how inconsistent such stories become in the end...

Well, I suppose it's past my bedtime. I'll try to dream of trivalent networks.

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