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November 16, 2009


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Why is it that this seems inherent in the left?

"The pain makes us feel alive in our passivity and deadness and hopelessness."

That hit me like a realization in the form of the most painful toothache.

And I was in a good mood about to enjoy the meteor shower...


Agreed. Throwing darts at Palin or whispering urgently about the immanent collapse of civilization both offer all the grandiosity and satisfaction of thanatos. Real work--the slow grind of organizing, the discomforting construction of coalitions--strikes me as far less immediate. Though I might also add that both Palin and 2012 are efficient ways of thinking a system gone too vast--pollutants in the food supply, quickly-shifting sites of subaltern labor, eroding reproductive rights, and so on and so on.

Bob Allen

Are we still running from those collapsing towers, the Event still unfolding, still showering us with its dust? Adorno:

"Once one ran from dangers which were too desperate to stand and face, and those who are running after a bus speeding away still testify to this, without knowing it. The flow of traffic no longer has to reckon with wild animals, but at the same time it has not pacified running. This last estranges the bourgeois walk. The truth becomes apparent, that something is not right about security, that one must constantly evade the unrestrained powers of life, even if these are only vehicles. The body’s habit of walking as something normal stems from the good old days. It was the bourgeois manner of getting somewhere: physical demythologization, free from the bane of the hieratic step, the homeless fellowship of the road, the breathless flight. Human dignity insisted on the right to the gait, a rhythm not drilled into the body by command or terror. Going on promenades, being a flaneur were private ways of spending time, the legacy of the feudal pleasure-jaunts of the 19th century. Walking is dying out along with the liberal epoch, even where autos are not being driven."


the passage from Adorno is remarkable--I didn't know it. Thanks for posting it.

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