Monday, 14 December 2009

News on Iran

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Fed Up With Water Patrols

The Revolutionary Guard that patrol the waters of Iran are suffering from severe sleep disorders, homesickness and anxiety due to the constant influx of foreign ships into their territory.

One told our reporter: “I haven’t seen my family in six months due to the stream of ocean liners, ferries and military vessels straying into our territory. Some of us haven’t slept in months.”

But it’s getting worse for the patrolmen. Last month 400 canoeists went astray as one of the guards explains: “I’d finally managed to get off one night having had two weeks of restlessness when I heard paddles in the water outside one of our boats. They were making the now all too familiar sound of paddles frantically trying to turn canoes around before crossing the special line we have written on the water.”

We all looked at each other and said: “Great, another night’s slumber wrecked” and proceeded outside to the all too familiar sight of canoes spinning around and grown men flapping around in the sea having attempted to jump free of their canoes.”

“What’s more,” he added, “we rescued them from the sea, took them back for some routine questioning, dressed them up in little suits, fed them, gave them tabs and as soon as they got back to Britain they said we were a bunch of cunts!”

But the problem continues when the guards eventually get home as one told us: “Whenever I’m in my house asleep I have terrible nightmares whenever someone flushes the toilet or makes ship or watery type noises. I immediately wake up and look outside my house expecting to see ten huge fucking cruise liners trying to get into my front door.”

It’s also playing havoc with the guards’ sex-life when they eventually get home as well. As one pointed out: “Whenever I’m on the job, with my wife, I have to stop and check there isn’t a yacht with one of those pointy fronts about to go steaming up my arse.”

Guard spokesman Fred Johnstone said: “It’s now become an all too familiar sight, watching flotillas of ships crossing into our waters with not so much as a bye or leave. Only the other day six Dover to Calais ferries managed to take a wrong turning at the Bay of Biscay or something and were found wandering into Iranian sea space.”

Deputy Iranian guard spokesman Harold Mainwaring said: “It was your worst nightmare. All the passengers got off their fat arses expecting a cheap day out in France, to find themselves being taken to Tehran for routine questioning. The worst thing was we gave them food, suits and tabs, sent them home, and then they said we were a bunch of cunts.”

One Iranian Revolutionary guard, John Franks from Tehran, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I didn’t sign up for this.” We asked the Royal Yachting Association and the ferry companies for their comments but they declined to go on record. We did however get a source from the Royal Navy to go on record. Admiral Baxter, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “To be perfectly frank, we haven’t a fucking clue where we are most of the time. Sometimes the sea looks exactly like the sky so you feel sick. Then somebody shouts starboard off the bow or something and the ship starts moving so you feel sick again. It’s a fucking nightmare. Then someone shouts ‘Land ahoy!’ and next thing you know you are in Tehran and being dressed in a new suit and smoking tabs. I really didn’t sign up for this.”

Monday, 14 September 2009

Madness and Civilisation

Excellent interview here with Justin Clemens talking about the 50th anniversary of Madness and Civilisation. Though I'm not sure that year is correct?!?!

Good to hear they actually talk sense on the radio in Australia unlike here with our fucking let's not talk about difficult concepts in case we get embarrassed mentality.

Relating to this the City Journal went in hard on Foucault here in a fitful attempt to mould him like the philosopher's Papillon. A conceptual escapee. It's a lousy intro if nothing more, but not an appealing piece nonetheless.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

So it has come to this.

But, really. What on earth are they playing at?

Israel has every right to feel like cornered tigers. And I would, if I were them, but they are now calling their own soldiers liars. They are using ancient methods of propaganda control within a chain of command and dismissing genuine concerns at the front line.

They may as well execute the men and women from their own services experiencing "shell-shock"and label it as cowardice.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Michael Jackson and the Jeffersons episode

This will get taken down by Viacom as quick as a flash but it is apposite.

In classic South Park fashion they blitz MJ but then warm the edge of their satire by targeting the police, racists and more or less anyone else who wanders into their fair portrayal of a troubled man.

He's not the Messiah he's just a very naughty boy (with apologies to Monty Python!)

After reading this and in particular the picture from the pastiche of the Last Supper, I was reminded of the above from Rock Dreams. The caption was "You were the king and we were at your crowning".

Friday, 12 June 2009

You show me yours and I'll show you mine.

Excellent expansion on their previous rant by Infinite Thought called the trouble with philosophy continued.

It is two-fold. The seizing of continental philosophy by a kind of adolescent thought which then games out into an Oedipal scenario, and the dismissal of the real by the observer so entrenched in their examination, their view, they have lost all sight of its tangibility.

And it is a problem that Nietzsche, Foucault and Deleuze grappled with but Baudrillard and Derrida dismissed. The daddy-mentor-slave-master dilemma. Or, that the disciple is not the conduit to truth but a slave in the discourse. And there is nothing more annoying than a shutting down of a debate with, to quote John Searle:

“With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he’s so obscure. Every time you say, “He says so and so,” he always says, “You misunderstood me.” But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that’s not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, “What the hell do you mean by that?” And he said, “He writes so obscurely you can’t tell what he’s saying, that’s the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, ‘You didn’t understand me; you’re an idiot.’ That’s the terrorism part.”

I recall vividly a discussion I had as a teenager with an Hegelian disciple who when I began to discuss Foucault would dismiss him along the lines of: “Foucault says nothing that is not in Hegel.” Which is a discussion of real importance but it makes the Hegelian disciple appear as a kind of parvenu. Because in a sense they are literally and figuratively letting themselves down and the whole school down. (And I’m acutely aware of the irony of my attempt to extricate myself from the mentor/pupil relationship by defending Foucault by the way!)

Infinite thought says: “I'm sure that people in much more serious physical trouble - heavy addiction, sickness exacerbated by poverty, those who have suffered bodily abuse - are unlikely to celebrate their oh-so-exciting degradation and would probably prefer access to free, high-quality healthcare. There is something horrible, truly horrible, about people who have access to clean water, enough food and adequate shelter celebrating 'the rot of the flesh' and 'contamination' as if it were sexy. Go and lick open wounds and tube seats if you think it constitutes an interesting philosophical position”.

Which is spot on. Cultural Theory particularly in the USA say 10 years ago was awash with the analysis on the aesthetics of the body. And it’s frightening because it disassociates itself from a body that sickens and dies.

I am utterly enthralled by Baudrillard’s work and in many ways he did have the last word on a whole host of problems in Foucault’s work. But because he was so disengaged, the elements of care and kindness in Foucault’s life and work remained elusive.

As Infinite thought summarises:

“If we are interested in an idea, or many ideas at once, can we simply pursue these interests (whilst acknowledging what it means to do so) without becoming petty about it? Without reducing it to a choice (which is no choice at all) between top trumps or private property..."