Archives for February 2015

Someone To Watch Over Me

"A generalized sense of paranoia pervades modern culture. The loss of human solidarity, the split within the self and the split between the self and others, has led to a private and public suspiciousness on a greater scale than ever before." Rob Weatherill "Any survey of imperialism and its adversaries must note the pathetic role of most of the US and European left in recent years. Even in the most repressive moments of the Cold War, large anti-war movements challenged militarism, aggression, and war. But those movements have shriveled before indifference and ideological confusion. In the post-Soviet era, imperialism cynically appropriated the language of human rights and manipulated or … [Read more...]

The Melancholy Society

"It’s one of my favorite Darwin quotes—"He who understands baboon would do more toward metaphysics than Locke"—scribbled furtively in a notebook between visits to the London Zoo in the summer of 1838. Twenty-one years would pass before On the Origin of Species would shock the world, but Darwin already knew: If man wanted to comprehend his own mind, he’d need to train an unflustered gaze into the deep caverns of his animal past." Oren Harman "Make no mistake, abstract art is a form of mysticism." Robert Motherwell "Thus in doubting and liquidating the object, the modern artist shows his self-doubt and feeling of being liquidated by the world. He projects his own dissolution into the … [Read more...]

The Dangerous Uncanny

"In Freud’s famous essay “Mourning and Melancholia”, unresolved grief over a lost object that can be neither incorporated nor released manifests in a pathological condition known as melancholia. The latter recalls a more archaic, even mythic register, in which communication between the psyche and the world, between the living and the dead, is more fluid and revelatory than in the disenchanted world of modernity." Robert Sinnerbrink "Piaget’s experience was to point to the shadow as the representation of otherness but without going a step further and saying, “The otherness is charged with negative psychological value.” For Piaget, the relationship of the child with the shadow hasn’t … [Read more...]