Search Results for: let the games begin

Let the Games Begin

Samaranch & pals... --------------------------------------------------- A few disparate thoughts as the Olympics descend on us. The games of Dow Chemical, McDonalds, and British Petroleum. The games of UK swat teams on neighborhood roofs. The games of forced evictions. But anyway.... The "father" of the modern Olympics is Pierre deCourbetin. Born to parents Baron Charles Louis Frédy, Baron de Coubertin and Marie–Marcelle Gigault de Crisenoy, in 1863. Pierre's father was a royalist and dilettante painter; who's themes ran to the Roman Catholic Church and the royal family. Pierre developed an interest in education, fueled by a visit to England where he met Thomas … [Read more...]

The Never Complete Fascist

"The hunter could have been the first 'to tell a story' because only hunters knew how to read a coherent sequence of events from the silent (though not imperceptible) signs left by their prey." Carlo Ginzburg "It is now necessary to ask ourselves a question: Why, in order to define the Nazi régime, should the argument regarding the one-party dictatorship be more valid than that of racial and eugenic ideology and practice? It is precisely from this sphere that the central categories and key terminology of the Nazi discourse derived. This is the case with Rassenhygiene, which is essentially the German translation of eugenics, the new science invented in England and successfully … [Read more...]

The Age of Unreason

"[There] is often, to a smaller or greater extent, a savior or Messiah complex, with the secret thought that one day one will be able to save the world; that the last word in philosophy, or religion, or politics, or art, or something else will be found. This can progress to be a typical pathological megalomania, or there may be minor traces of it in the idea that one’s time “has not yet come.” The one situation dreaded throughout by such a type of man is to be bound to anything whatsoever. There is a terrific fear of being pinned down, or entering space and time completely, and of being the one human being that one is." Marie Louise von Franz (Interviews with Susan Wagner ) "But the … [Read more...]

An Ineffable but Fake Frontier

"It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists.” Wittgenstein (Tractatus) “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few” Ecclesiastes 5:2 "The criteria distinguishing history from poetics involved the modes of representation, which (if we might exaggerate somewhat) were intended to articulate either being or appearance. " Reinhart Koselleck (Futures Past; On the Semantics of Historical Time) “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” Daniel Boorstin Many years ago I was reading a lot of … [Read more...]

The Unreturned Gaze

"In the Middle Ages visual communication was, for the masses, more important than writing. But Chartres Cathedral was not culturally inferior to the Imago mundi by Honorius of Autun. Cathedrals were the TV of their times, and the difference with our TV was that the directors of the medieval TV read good books, had a lot of imagination and worked for the public good." Umberto Eco "There is gold paint, but Rembrandt didn't use it to paint a golden helmet." Wittgenstein "Now fashion, as we know, is a language: through it, through the system of signs it sets up, no matter how fragile this may seem, our society—and not just that of women—exhibits, communicates its being, says what it … [Read more...]

The Tap on the Shoulder

"...Weiss writes of the meetings he must have with the dead, and his solidarity with those who already “only too obviously bear [their death] around with them, who are on the way to the ferryboat, to Acheron, who already hear Charon’s call and the plashing of his oars.” The process of writing which Weiss has recently planned, now that he is about to embark on his literary work Ästhetik des Widerstands (“Aesthetic of Resistance”), is the struggle against “the art of forgetting,” a struggle that is as much part of life as melancholy is of death, a struggle consisting in the constant transfer of recollection into written signs. Despite our fits of “absence” and “weakness,” writing is an attempt … [Read more...]

The Hidden Mythology

"And now bad Christians run about at the time of Carnival with masks and jests and other superstitions. Similarly witches use these revelries of the devil for their own advantage, and work their spells about the time of the New Year." Heinrich Krämer and Jakob Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum "When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb." Robert Oppenheimer This year saw the death of Denis Johnson and Sam Shepard. I knew Sam personally, and Denis only very slightly. Both shared something that I think has gone out of … [Read more...]

Architecture Degree Zero

"Every failure, a mysterious victory." Jorge Luis Borges "To live in the world today is to live in a state of constant anxiety." Manfredo Tarfuri "Plato likened philosophers to architects, because philosophers also provide bases for all knowledge, although as was typical of the citizen of Athens, he looked down on architects since in reality they are craftsmen." Kojin Karatani There was a fascinating and oddly intriguing, if not compelling, short article in the N.Y.Times Style magazine a couple years back, on architects defending famously derided buildings. And for some reason this was connected in my brain with a brief piece somewhere, I forget, on the U.S. Navy's new … [Read more...]