Magazines…

I had not mentioned it before cause I didn’t want to jinx anything but I have just received (via courier) an entire Street Machine Magazine and Supercar Magazine collection bought on eBay. I have nearly every single Street Machine Magazine of the 1980s and almost all the Supercar Magazines, too. Supercar was a competitor to Street Machine, and it was written in a different ‘reportage’ style of writing compared to Street Machine’s ‘machinic’ style.

The collection includes the very first Street Machine magazine. It has a little Street Machine masthead underneath the Van Wheels masthead and features the V12 Jag powered Holden panel van, Alley Cat, on the cover. this magazine alone often goes for over $100 on eBay. The copy I have is excellent quality!!


You can see it here in an official Street Machine magazine binder (3 of which came with the collection). How about those ciggie ads? There is a ‘fold out’ Camel ad in one of them. So wrong…

I paid $310 for the whole lot (which includes $80 courier from Victoria, magazines are heavy! also it is another reason why I am super poor this fortnight!), which is about 70 magazines. I have many of the earlier ones already, so I am going to keep the best kept versions of issues I have multiple copies of and sell the rest back on eBay. Some of the individual magazines I paid $15-20 to buy. To collectors they have certain values, but for me writing my dissertation some of the articles in these magazines were priceless, so I’d pay anything to win the eBay auctions. Now I think I may start up my own online eBay store!

I am now waiting on my scanner/printer and I shall put up some covers and images onto flickr. It is mostly classic 1980s stuff.

Sweet!

Captors of Souls

This is the question: what is a body capable of? What affects are you capable of? Experiment, but you need a lot of prudence to experiment. We live in a world which is generally disagreeable, where not only people but the established powers have a stake in transmitting sad affects to us. Sadness, sad affects, are all those which reduce our power to act. The established powers need our sadness to make us slaves. The tyrant, the priest, the captors of souls need to persuade us that life is hard and a burden. The powers that be need to repress us no less than to make us anxious or, as Virilio says, to administer and organise our intimate little fears. The long universal moan about life: the lack-to-be which is life… In vain someone says, ‘Let’s dance; we are not really very happy. In vain someone says, ‘What misfortune death is’; for one would need to have lived to have something to lose. Those who are sick, in soul as in body, will not let go of us, the vampires, until they have transmitted to us their neurosis and their anxiety, their beloved castration, the resentment against life, filthy contagion.

— Deleuze and Parnet, Dialogues II, p. 61-62.

Affect Control Theory

If I do a postdoc, part of the work will be reading every single thing on ‘affect control theory’ (ACT) and taking it out of the hands of the governmental types in criminology. I pledge to never again write it as ACT, ie a TLA (three letter acronym). Have other people known about this approach? Has anyone read about it in the work of more familiar cultural studies academics? I hadn’t heard about it until tonight! This is one of those moments where I can safely say, with respect to my getting near-overdue PhD dissertation done, “Enough!”

What is very interesting is that I have missed an entire history of ‘subcultural studies’ that can (sort of) be traced from a single article (and here is someone’s notes on it posted to their blog):

Fine, Gary Alan and Sherryl Kleinman. “Rethinking Subculture: An Interactionist Analysis.” The American Journal of Sociology, Vol 85, No 1 (July 1979), 1-20.

For example, this article or an extract from it is not in the main (routledge) subcultures reader. Why not? It is not that important that it is absent, except to show the frustrating bias in cultural studies towards the ideology-text based conception of culture and so on. The entirety of that volume, a mainstay for teaching cultstuds, is derived from the structuralist-semiotic Birmingham School model. Anyway, I found out about this article while rereading Abercrombie and Longhurst’s Audiences:

Fine and Kleinman also emphasize the need for analysis to concern itself with what they call the “affective” dimension of subcultures (p. 12). People need to be seen as involved in choices about culture and the extent of the identification with the culture needs to be considered and researched. …

As you can read the second sentence has little to do with the claims of the first. More importantly is what Fine and Kleinman meant by ‘affective’!?!WTF has the ‘affective dimension’ of anything got to do with the way people make choices or with processes of (cultural?) identification? Abercrombie and Longhurst then go on to discuss the difference between fans and enthusiasts with no discussion of ‘enthusiasm’ as primarily an affective relation, ie a state of individuation in which one is enthusiastic. Instead they offer a 3 x 3 table that shows how they are defining the difference between fan, cult, and enthusiast. I don’t agree with any of it, or rather their schema is fine, but their definitions are somewhat abitrary. I completely missed this reference to ‘affective dimension’. It is probably because I first read it 3 years ago and didn’t understand the importance of affect.

Anyway, I found this article where something very similar to one of my core conclusions from my PhD is buried mid-paragraph toward the end:

As I have interpreted two recent ACT investigations of subcultural phenomena, the term subculture is defined and operationalized as patterned deviation in affective sentiments.

!

Cut through the formal criminology jargon (“operationalized” is a sign of the becoming-military of sociology!) and you have subculture defined in terms of the affective commitments of participants.

Besides the specifics regarding modified-car culture, I have just spent three years of my life working my butt off to arrive at the same place, but through a massive ‘deviation’ through obscure French philosophers and other similar stuff. It appears as if the sociologists don’t have the same understanding of the (‘machinic’) media as Deleuzians, so at least that is something I can add.

EDIT: Ok, I am just going to forget about this otherwise I am going to be sucked into reading a million more bloody journal articles and books.

VW GTI Ads

VW has some interesting and funny GTI ads at the moment. Watch them here.

The invocation of ‘engineering’ (in this case ‘German’ engineering no less) against some kind of ‘pimp my ride’ aesthetic or style is typical of enthusiast car cultures. So my question is quite simple: Why isn’t ‘German engineering’ considered a particular aesthetic?

They come on the tail end of these other (somewhat bizarre) GTI ads, which tap into the particular affective relation (‘speed’) to automobile technology organised around non-human affects (‘fast’).

They are all very creative though. Just like this previous ad.

Demented Capitalism #27

I need a new laser printer toner cartridge. After much googling I figured out there is some weird cross-printer cartridge compatibility. The cartridge is actually a Samsung product even though printer is a Fuji Xerox unit.

Anyway, from my local tech shoppe the printer cartridge cost the same as a new printer!

Yes, that would be a bad joke, if it was a joke, but it isn’t, so it is just bad instead, but in this confusion it made me laugh anyway.

Moral question: Do I buy a new printer, with new everything, or just buy the cartridge?

I need to do something as I like being able to print out drafts of my work and go over them with pen in hand. I have lots of work to go over. Oh, and a perhaps dodgy refilled version is on ebay for less.

Capitalism is demented. “Underneath all reason lies delirium, drift. Everything is rational in capitalism, except capital or capitalism itself.”

EDIT 23/02/06: This feels like a Huey Lewis interpretation of Kafka short story and, really, should be listened to while I am at the gym thinking about nothing at all. And, damn, I would be sweaty.

I bought a ‘multifunction’ printer/scanner/copier/thingyme instead of the above three options. I don’t need high quality laser printing facilities (I get that at uni). I need a scanner to digitally archive some old magazines articles/image/etc for my thesis. Plus I also need a scanner for an upcoming off-the-books ‘Deleuze Semifreddo Symposium’ project in the works where I may need to scan some readings for circulation for particpants (stay tuned for that one). Plus I have some digital photos that need printing so as to send to my non-interwebbered aunties.

Anyway here is the actual multifuction unit (that is MULTI not MAL): Canon Pixma 800. It got top reviews across a number of user ‘review’ sites (CNet, ZDNet, Amazon, etc). Checking user reviews is always good consumer practice (even if some (normally negative reviews) look like they have been written by stooges of certain companies, lol!).

One of the main selling points for this particular piece of high-technology is that it has not been made by *coughdrugdealerscough* I mean people who sell dirt cheap ‘permanent’ technologies and then scam you for the so-called ‘consumables’ ink/toner cartridges (ie when you and your technological interface infrastructure has become ‘addicted’ to a certain consumable). The designers at Canon have got half a brain in their permanent head. That means that the ‘head’ is part of the printer mechanism and not part of the (consumable) toner/ink cartridge, this keeps the replacement cost down.

The initial cost has totally crucified me for the next fortnight. I had saved half the money from previous pay and the rest came out of current. So I get to eat cereal and fish fingers for a further fortnight (sweet!). Hurrah!