This months library selections.
I saw in a hall an arrow pointing the way and I thought that this inoffensive symbol had once been a thing of iron, an inescapable and fatal projectile that pierced the flesh of men and lions and clouded the sun at Thermopylae and gave Harald Sigurdarson six feet of English earth forever.
Some days later someone showed me a photograph of a Magyar horseman. A coiled lasso circled the breast of his mount. I learned that the lasso, which once whipped through the air and brought down the bulls of the prairie, was now nothing more than a haughty trapping of a Sunday harness.
In the west cemetery I saw a runic cross, chiseled in red marble. The arms curved as they widened out, and a circle encompassed them. That limited, circumscribed cross represented the other one, the free-armed cross, which in its turn represents the gallows where a god suffered, the “vile machine” railed at by Lucian of Samosata.
Cross, lasso, and arrow- former tools of man, debased or exalted now to the status of symbols. Why should I marvel at them, when there is not a single thing on earth that oblivion does not erase of memory change, and when no one knows into what images he himself will be transmuted by the future.
Jorge Luis Borges
"It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that millions of people have ceased to use their hands as hands. Nature has bestowed upon us this great gift which is our hands. If the craze for machinery methods continues, it is highly likely that a time will come when we shall be so incapacitated and weak that we shall begin to curse ourselves for having forgotten the use of the living machines given to us by God."
While walking in the woods i find that I am never able to fully apprehend my surroundings and appreciate them as a totality/ Immediacies somehow unable to be correlated into a cohesive whole/ I stand enchanted/the sun and frigid air wash over my face/Listening to the cracking of a melting river, the crunch of ice underfoot/ all shards of an un-anthropomorphized synchrony/ It is hubris to believe that this too can be absorbed, demarcated.
Marx himself was always quite excited about new discoveries … It is very clear that he thought of socialism as more advanced technologically and in every other way. Raymond Williams wrote about how people think that socialism is a nostalgic return to a simpler society. Williams challenged that saying socialism won’t be simpler, it will be much more complicated. There is a tendency among the Left today — and I mean all varieties of the Left — of being reduced to protecting things. It is a kind of conservatism; saving all the things that capitalism destroys which range from nature to communities, cities, culture and so on. The Left is placed in a very self-defeating nostalgic position, just trying to slow down the movement of history. I don’t think Marx thought about it like that at all. It seems to me that Marx thought that productivity would increase by getting rid of capitalism. On the level of organization, technology and production, Marx did not want a return to handicraft labour, but to go on into all kinds of complex forms of automation and computerization [as it would emerge] and so. The historical accident of something like socialism or communism taking place in a place what was essentially a third world country, Russia, an underdeveloped country, that’s made us think of socialism in a way that was not Marx’s way of imagining it. The socialist movement has to itself be inspired by this other type of vision.Fredric Jameson, in an interview with Rabble.ca
Those hours given over to basking in the glow of an imaginedMark Strand, Almost Invisible: Poems (via fables-of-the-reconstruction)
future, of being carried away in streams of promise by a love or
a passion so strong that one felt altered forever and convinced
that even the smallest particle of the surrounding world was
charged with purpose of impossible grandeur; ah, yes, and
one would look up into the trees and be thrilled by the wind-
loosened river of pale, gold foliage cascading down and by the
high, melodious singing of countless birds; those moments, so
many and so long ago, still come back, but briefly, like fireflies
in the perfumed heat of summer night.
Spent this weekend at my Aunt and Uncles farm. Woke up at dawn this morning and chopped down two trees for the grape arbors that were going to be building in April.
Despite all the gypsum
of bad fields
you were reed of love, wet jasmine.
Despite south wind and flame
of bad skies
you were murmur of snow in my breast.
Skies and fields
knotted chains on my hands.
Fields and skies
lashed the wounds on my flesh.
— Federico García Lorca, “IX: Ghazal of Marvelous Love”
In other words, the problem with accelerationism as a political strategy has to do with the fact that—like it or not—we are all accelerationists now. It has become increasingly clear that crises and contradictions do not lead to the demise of capitalism. Rather, they actually work to promote and advance capitalism, by providing it with its fuel. Crises do not endanger the capitalist order; rather, they are occasions for the dramas of “creative destruction” by means of which, phoenix-like, capitalism repeatedly renews itself. We are all caught within this loop. And accelerationism in philosophy or political economy offers us, at best, an exacerbated awareness of how we are trapped.Steven Shaviro, Accelerationist Aesthetics: Necessary Inefficiency in Times of Real Subsumption, June 2013 (via lovevoltaireusapart)