I am Fox Mulder

Trying to find a post on Mel Gregg’s blog, I came across this! How Awesome. I so am Fox Mulder.

You are 43% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.

You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You’ll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!

Geek [to You]: I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!

You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

Riots?

Yeah… Riots.

Some dudes stacked it in a stolen car. (Didn’t they know that coppers have to call off chases if they drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road? Awesome tactic.) Anyway, so there were allegedly riots. The SMH ran with the below picture. I would to, otherwise all you see are empty streets and a couple of dickheads. Where are the hundreds of people? Maybe they are confusing ‘people’ with ‘people seen.’ A bit like confusing ‘page loads’ on a website for ‘actual visitors.’ Talk it up SMH. Maybe everyone was at Tropfest? I believe the ABC more then the SMH.

NSW police superintendent John Sweeney, from Macquarie Fields, said the situation was tense but police remained in control at all times.
“We did not engage this conflict,” Supt Sweeney said.
“It started in response to a fire, however police were met by two groups within the community who took it upon themselves to hamper police in their work.”

Oh, so police fight fires now? Anyway, here is some video. The Sky TV reporter contradicts Sweeney. ‘Police were in riot gear ready to go at the first sign of trouble,’ and ‘when the police left the tension died down.’

Here is something sensible, but the award for the smartest-person-on-the-night goes to this local:

“They’ve been taunting the cops all day long to come and they’ve succeeded and the pigs are f—ing stupid, man. If only they knew that the only way to prevent this happening is if they didn’t take the bait. My mates wanted me to help them hurt a couple of pigs, but there’s no way. I don’t want to go back to jail.

“For the past 12 years the cops have been coming here throwing blokes into the back of paddy wagons and taking them on joy rides where they beat the shit out of them. It’s no wonder everyone who lives around here hates the f—ing cops.”

Spidey

Nerding it up tonight. Taking it easy. Went out last night to celebrate one of my mates, Matt Tilbrook, submitting his Ph.D. during the week, and tomorrow is Tropfest. Matt is a superstar science dude (here he is winning some shit, pg 4). For as long as I have known him — since the start of high school — he has always been a maths and science wiz. His thesis was in material science and the research project involved making ceramic-metal composites, bashing them repeatedly with an $80,000 hammer and then mathematically modeling the crack formation/propagation (sidetrack: Deleuze, LoS, the ‘crack up’!;). “Cyclic Fatigue in Functionally-Graded Interfaces.” It took him about 4 years and is 480 pages. That is hardcore. He published 9 articles during those 4 years and it looks as if he might be heading overseas to take up one of the three postdocs on offer or changing gears and turning to industry for something more exciting. He is going to do whatever he does exceptionally well.

So. Tonight. Spiderman is on the telly. Classic nerd-made-superhero goodness. Just finished watching it. The flick holds a special place for me. I once took an art-house-foreign-film loving girl on a date to the Innaloo megaplex. We saw the first film. It was a moment, I think, for both of us. Later on, we saw the second film. Feelings of nervousness, apprehension, and excitement resurfaced with the sequel. We were, by then, a ‘couple,’ but seeing Spidey 2 felt like we were out on a date again. The first film was our second date. The first date had been to an art exhibition opening. I am a child of the suburbs and I find it hard to tolerate the pretensions perpetually on exhibition from sections of the ‘art’ scene. The rendezvous with Spidey was an opportunity for me to show her a whole different map in the street directory. It was (allegedly) her first time to a non-independent cinema. First time. Crazy! Megaplex and Spiderman. Popcorn and frozen Coke. ‘Here I am.’ There I was. Memories. Now I even go to Tropfest! haha… Move on.

On revisiting Spiderman this evening I got another impression. The Spiderman franchise is well known. Sam Raimi is a fuckin legend. He would have to be to buck the trend of spectacularly shithouse sequels (S = 7.4, while S2 = 7.9). I used it as my main example in the ‘sequels’ paper I wrote in Sweden…

(via rottentomatoes.com)

Anyway, that is besides the point. The tagline for the flick — With great power comes great responsibility — is bloody interesting. Of course the film can be read as an allegorical warning for the US administration… But what about us mundane peeps? The ones with no ‘great’ power? There is much talk of becoming a ‘man’ throughout the flick; what sort of ‘man’ will you become? What if we are all posed as-per-Spidey in a posture between various tensions and forces? An experimentation. Finding a processual balance. Go with the to and fro flow through the rhythms of urbanity, through the too-human rhythms of love and loss, through the rhythms of responsible affirmation or negation. “It’s all I have to give,” he says to Mary-Jane in the end (friendship). Give all you have to give and keep on swinging. Even the final showdown with the Green Goblin is premised as an ethical problem. The ethics of Spiderman. Cool…

Eye. Spit. Laugh.

Mel Gregg posted this to the CSAA email list. It is a speech delivered by a humanities academic to a Quadrant dinner reprinted in The Australian newspaper. Danny replies to Mel’s post in his usual bitingly accurate manner.

[;; Just like Yogie, the brown bear, here is “Wink, the brown eye” ;;]

Besides the modernist implications of ‘new’ in the ‘New Humanities’ tag — harking back to a time when time was actually history and not a contemporaneity that must scream past these ‘Old Humanities’ types like a mum’s taxi load of schoolkids withering in 40 degree Australian summer heat and annoyed their sticky hands are away from their Playstation toggles — I take it as a compliment that I don’t do any of the things listed by Associate Prof.essor of His.tory and Pol.itics at Uni.versity of Woll.ongong, Greg.ory Mell.euish (who is perhaps bitter that he has not moved into a Professor-of-History-and-Politics ivory tower at an established sandstone university? As if I give a fuck, but for some people ‘another tug in the listless bourgeois circle jerk’ is far more important than fucking). He writes:

Compare some of the key characteristics of cultural studies and the New Humanities.
The focus is on popular culture and everyday life.
You don’t need to be able to read a language other than English.
You don’t need to know about any society other than your own.
You don’t need to know anything about any time except the present.
You don’t need to know anything about religion.

I am not sure what he is ‘comparing’ this list of attributes with? Perhaps it is a fossilized, that is to say, hypostatic fine old-wine conception of how successfully successful humanities graduate can be plugged in to the contemporary colonial war-machine. Where we become evil Time Lords with the ability to disseminate the ideals determined by our own language, society, historical period and religion so they can be rough cut and sowed throughout time and space as if they were western democracy’s wild oats in our weaponised testical-Tardis. I apologise for not being part of this atemporal global sex machine that happily goes around fucking every fold that doesn’t immediately collapse and smooth itself out in the face of world war four’s faciality — Double-Yah! Yah! Yah! All such yes-men are paranoid Swedes. Yah! Apologies to the Swedes.

I can speak car-dude, so maybe that rules me out? Plus my archival work on hot-rodding goes back longer than 30 years. I am not stupid enough to even think about religion, so that one is cool. And! My own society? I wish! “Welcome to Glenselvania Waters — my own society.” Isn’t that a computer game already or what? (Of course it would rock to have one’s own society. Imagine the currency!?!? In celebration, I would have the face of anyone who died in the struggle to make this a better world, like all those right-wing politicians and academics, but only on bills larger than 100 Glenjamins, because only people with bills larger than a 100 in their platinum-card-filled dead-baby-seal wallets would give a fuck about fallen right-wing comrades.)

Besides the fact we work to resist the constitution of micro-social colonial-machines, I wonder why the old-fart refusal of ‘Contemporary Humanities’ (much more accurate than ‘New Humanities’) sparks up such ire in the eye of the contemporary ‘new’ breed of academics?

Anyway. Reading such vitriol can feel like you snuck into a metal-working shop where a 100 boilermakers have 9″ grinders on 100 pieces of conduit and you are afflicted from all sides by ultra-hot sparks of molten metal as if it were biodegradable confetti being flung at your newly married person as you exit the dainty overfilled church of John Howard’s nuclear family wet dreams where everyone is a nun wedded to conservatism as if you were in the MIDDLE of the bourgeois circle jerk parading as a hentai-specialist amateur internet porn star rendered comically caricatured big-eyed anime with wide-eye fascination and soon to be pink-eye infected as a Quadrant dinner load of semen flicks across your face missing the unsteady, but ready glass under your chin. The order: Be a good humanities academic! Not just a good academic, but an academic of the ‘good’ humanities. The right humanities. Make sure to catch the molten-metal/biodegradable-confetti/groaning-cum as it is sparked/thrown/jerked-off over your now inscribed soul. Have the Old Humanities found themselves a ready Other not just to fuck from behind and from the inside in impregnating old-school colonising glee, but cum over in right-eous ecstasy, right down to the last groaning orgyasmic shudder that ripples through the crowd at such Quadrant dinners when they attempt to out-wankerise themselves by giving each other a hand coming to rhetorical terms with the screaming-mum’s-taxi-load-of-kids contemporaneity and ‘Contemporary Humanities’? Today. “It doesn’t matter!” Maybe? Who knows? You get the itch from the clap. At least an itch to start a heroic feel-good-movie slow clap. Clapclapclapclapclapclap. Salute! Be upstanding to the outstanding one-eyed love-beast of Old Humanities’ one-eyed world view. Cheers, yeah. *Chink* Good speech! Bravo! *Chink* Cheers, yeah. Now drink that sticky glass.

Gulp!

I’ve got the A-Team tv show theme song playing, maybe just in my head, no, through the computer. Safe! Rock and roll. Go team! w00t!

Anyway. Both sides have their drawbacks. We argue the grass is greener on our side, but the Old Humanities think we are smoking it. Perhaps all the old-school old-boy back-patting is perhaps evidence — in an Empire-esque Negriandhardt-ish the revolution-has-already-happened or is-happening sort-of-way (but not ‘happening’ like the dude down at the Glebe markets wearing the t-shirt advertising The Motorcycle Diaries thinks the revolution is “happening, man” and a totally excellent situation to pick up first-year middle-class USyd Arts students to teach them how to fuck like animals on ekkies and half a coin of speed while all three of them listen to 180bpm happy hard core through three separate Christmas-gift iPods) — of the tremendous impact of ‘Contemporary Humanities’ on the contemporary humanities because it is, in fact, contemporary, and the back-patting is actually sorry souls SOSing each other as their already-dead-but-don’t-know-it-yet collectivity of corpses are ridden with the cancer of right-eousness that particularly afflicts their bellicose lungs and they are actually attempting to rattle loose and hock up a loogey, but only gives them the sour and slightly salty metalic taste of bewildered satisfaction and a 1000 plateaus of past Quadrant dinner masturbatory hentai semen.

I think that is my take on the situation. Their colonial-love-machine loves the smell of discursive napalm in the morning, but don’t realise that it is they who are slowly getting toasted-old-school-anthropology-sacrifice-on-the-spit-turning-roasted by the liquid-fire on-fire Contemporary Humanities.

Gun gansta-sideways.
*Bookah!*

[;; Wink exits stage left-field in slow motion to a crazily-obscure crazy-hip shuttle-bug tune that Tarantino will use in his 4th film or, at least, to the soundtrack of his teeth brushing in the morning as he mouths off to the mirror hiding his medication ;;]

[Fade to painted black.]

Choice, Difference, Singularity

(in reply to sdv’s post in the comments here.)

Steve,
My use of ‘choice’ was rather banal, and quite possibly ‘wrong'(!!), and comes from the Laerke paper:

“The axiomatic choice of the more geometrico for Badiou is a site for an event popping out of emptiness, an ‘absolute beginning’ on the order of emptiness.” 91-92

What was I talking about? There is never a choice _between_ differences before a choice conjugates differences into the less-different of resemblances and identity games — thus producing a number of examples of what I called a singular thread of difference (in my other reply to the questions, here). I am deriving that position from Difference and Repetition, AO and ATP.

The Dogmatist makes the act of choosing (conjugation-resemblance-selection) easy and equivocates everything into prior refusal/acceptance categories of the initial axiomatic of refusal/acceptance (‘absolute beginning’), which, indeed, after the absolute beginning of the initial axiomatic, has nothing to do with the singularity of any on-going current or to-come future eventuality. Once a choice has been made, for Badiou that seems to be it, done, no more, you are set. From Badiou (again quoting from the Laerke paper, pg 91-92):

“This is why I have a concept of absolute beginnings (that which necessitates a theory of the empty) and of singularities of thought which are incomparable in their constitutive gestes (that which necessitates a Cantorian theory of the plurality of types of infinitude). Deleuze has always maintained that by doing that, I fell back into transcendence and into the equivocity of analogy. But if it is in fact necessary to sacrifice immanence and the univocity of Being (which I do not believe, but it is not important here), for a political revolution, for an amorous meeting, for an invention of the sciences, or for a creation of art to be thought as distinct infinities, under the condition of dividing and incomparable events, I will do it. […] If, against the ascesis of the fold it is necessary to maintain that the fidelity to an event is the militant
recollection, the transition of which remains obscure, and to reduce it to its actuality as a generic multiplicity having no virtuality beneath it, I will do it. I do it.”

If the virtuality of the various machinic-assemblages that produce the dogmatist’s subjectivity are closed off, blocked, or potentiality exhausted by a reactionary actualisation — they are already-always actualised as part of a state of affairs that includes the selection of a singular thread of difference derived from an axiomatised choice that has already been made (rather than in the process of being made, which is quite different) — then the ‘militant recollection’ is exactly a re-collection of those specific intensities that enable the reproduction of the dogmatist. Hence, one would end up as a cloned re-collection of the intensities of Zizek :P.

I am working on a longer post that looks at the difference between Badiou’s conception of Love compared to some stuff from Deleuze. Thinking about ‘love’ is probably a luxury that cannot really be afforded at this stage, but I find it fascinating. One quote from Deleuze kind of relates to where I am coming from:

“Love’s a state of, and relation between, persons, subjects. But passion is a subpersonal event that may last as long as a lifetime […], a field of intensities that individuates independently of any subject. Tristan and Isolde, that may be love. But someone, referring to this Foucault text [Uses of Pleasure], said to me: Catherine and Heathcliff, in Wuthering Heights, is passion, pure passion, not love. A fearsome kinship of souls, in fact, something not altogether human.” (“A Portrait of Foucault” Negotiations, pg 116)