"Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be precise. His vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page had become exhausting and painful, often bringing on crushing headaches. He had been forced to curtail his writing, and he feared that he would soon have to give it up. The typewriter rescued him, at least for a time. Once he had mastered touch-typing, he was able to write with his eyes closed, using only the tips of his fingers. Words could once again flow from his mind to the page.
But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche’s friends, a composer, noticed a change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic. ‘Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom’, the friend wrote in a letter, noting that, in his own work, his ‘thoughts’ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and paper.
'You are right,' Nietzsche replied, 'our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts.' Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler , Nietzsche’s prose ‘changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.’”
—Andrew Carr “Is Google Making Us Stupid”
Last week of class. Teaching Fisher and Derrida. #capitalistrealism #derrida
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
Book bloc at ‘Cops Off Campus’ protest, University of London, 12/5/2013 (Photo: Oscar Webb).
(Source: london-student.net, via shihlun)
Unarmed Man Is Charged With Wounding Bystanders Shot by Police Near Times Square -
The Manhattan district attorney’s office says the man was responsible for the wounds two women suffered when the police shot at him.
Is this precedent setting? The NYPD has just invented a posthuman form of racism.
Homonormativity is a chameleon-like ideology that purports to push for progressive causes such as rights to gay marriage and other “activisms,” but at the same time it creates a depoliticizing effect on queer communities as it rhetorically remaps and recodes freedom and liberation in terms of privacy, domesticity, and consumption.
In other words, homonormativity anesthetizes queer communities into passively accepting alternative forms of inequality in return for domestic privacy and the freedom to consume. — Martin F. Manalansan IV, ‘Race, Violence, and Neoliberal Spatial Politics in the Global City’ in Social Text 23/3-4 (2005). (via literature-and-cats)
For me, the question of how one comes to know, or, indeed, the conditions of the possibility of establishing that one knows, are best answered through turning to a prior question: Who are “we” such that this question becomes a question for us. How has the “we” been constructed in relation to this question of knowledge? In other words: How does the epistemological question itself become possible? Foucault provides another step, made possible by the kind of work that he does. This has to do with asking how it is that certain kinds of discourse produce ontological effects or operate through the circulation of ontological moves. In part, I see myself as working within discourses that operate through ontological claims -“there is no doer behind the deed” -and recirculating the “there is” in order to produce a counterimaginary to the dominant metaphysics. Indeed, I think it is crucial to recirculate and resignify the ontological operators, if only to produce ontology itself as a contested field. I think, for instance, that it is crucial to write sentences that begin with “I think” even though I stand the chance of being misconstrued as adding the subject to the deed. There is no way to counter those grammars except through inhabiting them in ways that produce a terrible dissonance in them, that “say” precisely what the grammar itself was supposed to foreclose. The reason why repetition and resignification are so important to my work has everything to do with how I see opposition working from within the very terms by which power is reelaborated. The point is not to level a prohibition against using ontological terms but, on the contrary, to use them more, to exploit and restage them, subject them to abuse so that they can no longer do their usual work. — Judith Butler, interview, 1998 (via queertheoryissexy)
Of course you’re not…
(Source: islandija, via x-a-z-a-x)
“We have this fantasy that our interests and the interests of the super rich are the same. Like somehow the rich will eventually get so full that they’ll explode. And the candy will rain down on the rest of us. Like there’s some kind of pinata of benevolence. But here’s the thing about a pinata: it doesn’t open on it’s own. You have to beat it with a stick.” ~ Bill Maher
Black female professor reprimanded for pointing out existence of structural racism to white male students | The Raw Story -
A faculty member at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Shannon Gibney, received a formal reprimand for her handling of a discussion about structural racism in her Introduction to Mass Communication course.
According to Gibney inan interview with City College News, a white male student asked her, “Why do we have to talk about this in every class? Why do we have to talk about this?”
She claims she was shocked, because “[h]is whole demeanor was very defensive. He was taking it personally. I tried to explain, of course, in a reasonable manner — as reasonable as I could given the fact that I was being interrupted and put on the spot in the middle of class — that this is unfortunately the context of 21st century America.”
Gibney says another white male student followed the first, saying “Yeah, I don’t get this either. It’s like people are trying to say that white men are always the villains, the bad guys. Why do we have to say this?”
When Gibney attempted, again, to inform the students that they were mistaking a systemic critique for a personal attack, the students continued to argue. Eventually, she told them that “if you’re really upset, feel free to go down to legal affairs and file a racial harassment discrimination complaint.” This is exactly what they did.
Gibney is familiar with white male students taking discussions about structural racism as personal attacks, as it has happened before: ina 2009 incident, an editor of the school newspaper took offense at a similar discussion. In both that case and this one, Gibney received an official reprimand. After the latest accusation, the Vice President of Academic Affairs appended a letter to her file, in which he said he found it “it troubling that the manner in which you led a discussion on the very important topic of of structural racism alienated two students who may have been most in need of learning about this subject.”
“While I believe it was your intention to discuss structural racism generally,” he continued, “it was inappropriate for you to single out white male students in class. Your actions in [targeting] select students based on their race and gender caused them embarrassment and created a hostile learning environment.”
Gibney told lawyers at an investigatory meeting for an anti-discrimination lawsuit she and six other professors are filling against MCTC that the vice president’s words “have helped those three white male students succeed in undermining my authority as one of the few remaining black female professors here.”
There’s a lot of irony in this story. In the students’ subsequent freak out about feeling “singled out” about structural racism they went over her head and tried to get the professor fired…indicating structural racism.
As a professor, I teach structural racism every semester, and this is a VERY common reaction. I’m scared for my job every time I teach because I know that all it takes is one angry white entitled student to throw a lifetime of experience and research into question.