I haven't used this blog for much talk about me and I plan to keep it that way. There are thousands of brilliant blogs and millions of vanity-press blogs. Luminations should me at least modeling the brilliant ones... I always aim for much more than is realistically possible - hence my complete burnout at the end of every semester. Nevertheless, I aim to update Luminations much more frequently in 2007. Bring it back to its former... activity(?). Luminations started as blog I updated at lunchtime while I was working in Tokyo. I would often have time to plan out a post or project while riding the yamanote line in the morning and sometimes on the way home in the evening. After moving into a much slower paced life in Iowa, the potent mix of train noise and movement, chatter, announcements, and all the brilliance public transport added to life has been pretty much wiped out. So... It's back to the blog to work backwards in a way: how to thrive in dead city, midwest USA. I am also in the (very slow moving) process of building a new magazine to edit on my own terms. The Iowa Review Web is now just a mark on my resumé, but I'm not ready to drop my publishing projects yet. I've not yet developed a clear picture of the journal. Art+politics-'social realism'-bombast=?? is where I am now.
Is this BBC scaremongering about Hugo Chavez ? Not that I find him especially defensible, but the "one leader.." socialist 'threat' seems more like a capitalist bogeyman, than any real threat. But then again, lefties of all stripes should be careful who they support. The communist party's support of Stalin outside of the USSR was a mistake that has continued to provide the right and centrists pundits plenty of scare fodder for anything 'left.' Chavez doesn't seem like a Stalin though, and he does have a sense of humor.
Crappy week. spent 3/4 working on a website and the other 1/4 stranded on the i80 near davenport, recovering, and writing a paper in which I mention Jesus several times. The pluses: My flash and illustrator skills are now efficient. there is no question now about selling the car.. got to write this little talk on dada and surrealism. i finally got to eat lots of ikura (no shirasu tho.. and no yuke). The minuses: Haven't been able to talk to friends (you know who you are). religion bores me more than golf, no matter what the context. expenses on car repair are now higher than 3rd party insurance would have been. i got a ride in a cop car and was grateful.
What is a Journalistby Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer Blogger and anarchist Josh Wolf, spending his 57th day in federal prison today for refusing to surrender video he shot of a violent San Francisco protest, is well on his way to becoming the longest-jailed journalist in U.S. history. To the government, the 24-year-old San Franciscan is hindering a federal grand jury investigation into serious crimes -- an attack on a police officer who suffered a fractured skull during the July 2005 rally and the attempted burning of his patrol car. read more...
Mac 10.4 users: I'm sending this directly from a widget. Seemed a little silly (and lazy) at first, and it is really. It's got that feeling of typiing on the go whereas regular blogging is like a formalized process of clicking a bookmark, signing in, etc...sigh
Anarchist News reports that a documentary on Kaneko Fumiko aired on Korean television a few days ago. I wonder if there is any way this might be subtitled in English. Kaneko Fumiko, as the link explains, was a Japanese anarchist, opposed to Japanese imperialism in the 20's, before she was murdered in prison. Will Fusako Shigenobu suffer the same fate? Prison systems don't have a good track record [period.] with political prisoners.
Check these two articles from the BBC: Possible failed Terror attack in Germany: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5263930.stm British sell warplanes to Saudi Arabia: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5262120.stm In the same day, one wonders why it's necessary to explain why the US and Britain have hypocritical foreign policy.
I don't like socialism and am definitlely opposed to anything other than a pact with the devil when it comes to the democratic party of the US, but right-wing disinformation campaigns are making my blood boil. This is not a major one, like the bs fuss the right is making about the photoshopped reuters photos or 'the man in the green helmet' at Qana, but just another example: http://www.postchronicle.com/news/original/article_21233217.shtml
Ummm... Just before the Iraq War there were mass protests on every continent - remember? On US and UK news programs there were (former) generals, military analysts, and 'experts' of various shades warning, for the most part, that it was unlikely that Saddam Hussein had been developing WMD's, that 'liberation' was likely to bring out sectarian conflict, that Iraq would become an Al Qaida battle ground/ training ground etc. - remember? Now because what these 'experts' said bolstered the anti-war movements arguments, they were generally taken on as further proof that war was not a good option. Of course, in the US, this amounted to treason according to fox 'news.' (hehe). So, three and a bit years later: WMD's - bad intelligence (even though how many million people were saying something else?) Al Qaida in Iraq and now: US echoes Iraq civil war warning.
Film festival advises Israeli to stay awayBy Jonathan Saul JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli director Yoav Shamir said on Thursday he had been advised by organisers of the Edinburgh film festival not to attend the screening of his new work due to Israel's offensive in Lebanon. Shamir's previous films include the critically acclaimed documentary "Checkpoint", which showed the daily travails facing Palestinians at crossings in occupied territory interspersed with interviews with Israeli military personnel. .... read more
I've been down with a cold the last few days. Instead of doing work I was incapable of doing, I was surfing the blogosphere. Perhaps the most sickening thing I've found is a rumor going around right-leaning blogs that the bombings at Qana were either staged by Hezbollah or that Hezbollah pulled bodies out of storage for a photo-op. One version of the story is here another is here. The theory seems to revolve an aid worker in glasses. In the meantime, this is a link to the photos of the destruction at Qana: here. (these are very graphic) Right-wing blogs are amusing in many senses because often the argumentation is woefully narrow and frighteningly cold-hearted. For many on the right, it seems that country and sovereignty are more valuable than life. But I can also see why right-wingers vilify the 'liberal=left'. Many of these middle of the road blogs argue from a position of such sentimentality that you wonder if they really are aware of the world around them. The other thing I've noticed about north american right-wing blogs and activist groups is that their enemy seems to be 'liberals.' Most of them don't ever argue about specific points but create a 'liberal' bogyman who is always wrong and has an ever 'bleeding heart.' One of the better blogs out there is Aaron's Israel Peace Blog. The Israel blog is written by a former IDF corporal (?) who is now living in New York. He's written an interesting article on "In Defence of Anarchism"--which seems to endorse a Negri-ish style devolution. My favorite entry is: Snappy answers to stupid questions - Number One in which he takes on the much repeated defense re: war against Lebannon: "What should Israel do? Just sit on its hands while Hezbollah rains missles on it?". In short, his answer is 'yes'! But that would be oversimplifying things. I am on my way back to health. And will have much less time for such wonderings. I'd recommend reading right-wing blogs, as infuriating as they are, if you have the time. Many of the arguements right wingers use re: everying from gay marriage to war to tax breaks for the rich appear in condensed form, sometimes with links to sources. I find it interesting that a lot of the 'sources' for rightist thought are rarely doctors or schooled experts. Converts, say from Islam to Christianity, commentators (people who lead organisations and get onto Fox news a lot) and occassionally governmental investigations make the bulk of the sources. Oh, and Michael Moore is the devil incarnate. The benefit of sourcing in this way is that you have the 'authenticity' of the survivor's story, or of someone who may have lived in an affected region, etc. But of course, these are all half-stories and tend to lack actual analysis. Oddly, for as much as the liberal heart bleeds, the right wing one bleeds in the right places, ne? Anyway, for all of their shortcomings, even the right needs to be listened to. Off to Wal-Greens.
Possibly good news for Chicago: according to the BBC the city of Chicago will implement a $9.25 minimum wage. Of course, WAl-Mart argues that the rise will have a detrimental effect on inner-city neighborhoods in need of development. They obviously know their stuff. The cornerstone 'of this great country' ® is a strong work ethic, even if it means you'd be better off not working. Aside from grossly racist cops, the most perverse thing in Iowa City is that there is almost no option but to shop at wal-mart. If only "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" weren't such a horrendous waste of time, I'd be fun to distibute copies to Wal-Mart employees.
lebanon 4 ever
This from http://www.marwaheen.blogspot.com/. The title there:
This from http://www.marwaheen.blogspot.com/. The title there:
Israel pinpoint attacks : The Proof that Israel is targeting Hezbollah terroristsWhile I do not condone the nationalist sentiment of the blog, these are images that should be seen, especially by British and American taxpayers. This is how your tax money is spent. Would you risk your credit rating to put an end to this?
useless post today: skip: if i did not have a car, i would celebrate increasing gas prices. since i do, i worry about mobility (getting out of iowa city!), but still hope that instead of drilling natural reserves, destroying the environment, etc. - all those things that seem to be such great ideas to people determined to live out their dreams as dennis hopper in the safety of their own jalopy - the thought of more public transportation and funding of alternative fuels for/ ways of powering automobiles would be higher on the agenda. personally, i love public transport and look forward to the day when once more I can't stand up straight because of the crunch and my nose is inches from an armpit, a breast, a back, a backpack all at once on the saikyo-sen or yamanote-sen. cars are quiet and boring. the only noise: your engine, your radio, your passengers. rarely does anything unexpected and not deadly happen in a car. determined to: write a symphony for street repair equipment, shoes that make tapping sounds, stalled buses, and a tornado warning siren. my tribute to iowa city. (suppose could adapt for quartet ) you've read this far?::
Working with Sawako on Factorial now (see above). Before any credit for content comes close to being attributed to me, I do the backoffice work, so to speak - web site, sales, etc. Not exactly creative work, but Sawako's started a project that I'm completely behind and will do what I can to help. And anyway, who cooler to work with?? Factorial is doing extraordinary things for Japanese poetry. Please contact me for a copy!
Four Factorial is now available! Featuring Speed Round + Translations from Contemporary Japanese Poetry! Purchase your copy in St. Marks Bookstore, NYC, or by sending an e-mail to subscriptions eat factorial dots org (hope these anti-spam measures work) that includes your name, address, order info. * $10 (including shipping) or Order both Three and Four Factorial together for $16 with free shipping ***************************************** Japanese poets featured in this issue: Kasuya Eiichi | Fujiwara Akiko | Nishimoto Naoko | Abe Hinako | Yoshioka Minoru | Hirata Toshiko | Ogasawara Chorui ...many of whose work you may not be familiar with. All the more reason to grab a copy now! Translators: D.W. Wright | Malinda Markham | Sawako Nakayasu | Jeffrey Angles | Eric Selland *** Speed Round winners: Jill Darling | Conan Kelly & Jen Tynes | Stacy Szymaszek & Brenda Iijima | Dante Alighieri (trans. Susan Landers) | Robert Quillen Camp | Sally Oswald | Dana Ward *** Other contributors: Jennifer Lowe & Tim Ramick | George Kalamaras ***************************************** For information on past issues, visit Factorial online: http://www.factorial.org/journal.htm
As promised, but later than anticipated, I wanted to submit a few thoughts - almost a review - of Brian Kim Stefans’ Fashionable Noise. I say almost because I am not so interested in covering the last three sections, “Proverbs of Hell (Dos and Donts [sic]),”Whan Lilacs Laist in the Duir: notes on new poetrie,” and “A Poem of Attitudes.” It’s not that I don’t find these sections interesting, but that I wanted to say a few things about his theoretical position towards new media poetry/ poetics. Brian is a sharp and brilliant writer/ web worker. We are all familiar with his “Dreamlife of Letters” - and may have even been amused by his NYT detournements (I gave a paper on these at the Collage Conference here at UIowa last March, but lost interest in these pieces as I was writing the paper) - and may just know him as a web presence. My criticism of Brian’s work it hasn’t yet hit a ‘groove,’ so to speak - it hasn’t become something he has been able to run with. I recall him saying or writing at some point that he thought the NYT pieces were the best or most successful (which one?) of his works. While they were good at the time, they are, only two to three years later, interesting historical documents. Situationist work is not designed to last or be catalogued. It could be kept, I suppose; one could claim it as ‘situationist influenced’ and regard the irony as something valuable in the work itself. Now, had the situationist-style actions continued and developed into some other form of ‘culture jamming,’ then there would be less room for my little criticism. In a general sense, the shortcomings of Fashionable Noise are a reflection of a collection of works not-quite-followed-through. The initial conversation with Darren Wershler-Henry is entertaining and touches on themes and issues that the contemporary poetics tend to skate around. For example, being architecturally inclined, I was most interested in their conversation on architectural poetics (I will come back to this). The conversation ends up, however, being somewhat of a gloss over much and insight into little. And then even ‘Stops and Rebels’ - with its brilliant twist on Eliot etc. by featuring footnotes as both the main and most ‘useful’ part of the main text - usefully critiques the HTML optimism of the mid-90’s and the continuing optimism in what are trivial feats (e.g. personalized webpages etc) - but ends up with a fuzzy notion of ‘cyberpoet’ and ‘cyberpoetry’ and mechanical production of texts. Now, I want to qualify what I’ve just said. Fashionable Noise does present a number of interesting and important ideas/ arguments for anyone concerned about technology and its relationship to poetry/writing. (stop here for today)