How Fascinating

So are fascinators the fashion embodiment of the bourgie interestingness? I love bourgies. Here is my hottie friend Amanda modelling her fascinator at the Glebe markets (yes, yes, it is like a bourgie fortress, protected by Greenpeace spruikers and Solidarity pamphleteers).

Back in 2004 at the Caulfield Thousand Guineas horse race, fashionista Milliner Melissa Jackson said:

“I think the fascinator serves a purpose for younger women who don’t feel comfortable in a hat or don’t have the budget to buy a hat but still want to wear some sort of headdress,” she said. “But I still think a hat really finishes an outfit off best.”

Jackson seems to frame it as an economic question, but it is actually the intersection of three series — ‘comfort’, economics, and ‘younger women’. It is a classic case of being cooler than capitalism, because the commercial interests are forced to (re)commodify something that has been (re)valorised by a new generation or population of teh hip bourgies. (The commodity as object = x of culture.)


I worked a full day today. 9 to 5. Setting up for the Sydney Writer’s Festival. Basically it involved moving several thousand books available for sale for the visiting authors who will be speaking. The books were in several hundred boxes. They had to be carried down two flights of stairs (which had to be taken at a jog two at a time so as maintain some rhythm) and arranged so as to be organised for display.

Again tomorrow, even longer, but less intense physical work.

It is like doing four consecutive gym sessions. Plus I rode there and back…

With or Without You

Bono was singing about writing a dissertation. A gloriously ambivalent love song to a dissertation.

I just cracked this sweet sweet chapter. Owned. I am writing myself a note to remember what allowed me to do it. (Gym says 98kgs, I says 18 hour days.) Pep talk in point form for future reference.

1) Take it easy. You have so much stuff. Too much. Remember that time when the woman said she would try to fit you into her schedule and her friend said, “I bet you’d fit in my schedule.” Don’t try to fit it all in. Be gentle.

2) Be simple. Don’t think too much about the huge amount of research you’ve done. You are not writing for me or someone like me who has read everything you have read. You are not writing odes to dead French men. You may not be writing philosophy. You are certainly not writing love poems. You are writing a demonstration.

3) Rhythm. An argument flows, it is not unveiled like a missing car in a magic trick, or delivered like a joke punchline Nike tick. You can dance, you got good rhythm. Watch. Dance.

4) Smarts. All sorts. Got it. Yummy. Shit is known like a biblical bad reputation. Relax, don’t do it, when you want to… create a plateau of intensity. So intense it is its own superstition.

5) This is not a Pete Townsend song. This is not kareoke. Sure, you built this diss on rock and roll, but just play the fucking game for once in your life, please. Be good to yourself, me.

Post-Romance Problematic of Romance: Complex

So re-posting this because I sent off and received back the essay and made the changes as per reviewers’ suggestions, and sent it off again. Nothing was wrong with the essay, one reviewer just wanted more about what I call the ‘materiality’ of romance.

I follow Badiou’s definition of love (“What is Love?” essay) and then shift the focus to what I call the material process of romance. Badiou says there is an absolute disjunction between the (nominal) Two. I say hullabaloo to that and point out that the Two shares the contingency of the event of love. From this contingency Badiou argues that love is a process, which I agree with, but I call this heterogeneous material process ‘romance’ and save ‘love’ for the event itself. Romance is an “aleatory enquiry” (45) of “the world from the point of view of the Two, and not an enquiry of each term of the Two about the other” (49). The event of love itself is differentially repeated, and thus the wonder at the heart of love is also repeated. Differential repetition from Deleuze, etc, so repeating the conditions of wonder; that is, the problematic conditions of the event of love. The ‘complex’ side of things comes in due to the attention to contingency and the problematic conditions of the event. I also posit that romance is evidence of a creative material time of systems (ie duration).

I do all this through an exploration of the film Punch-Drunk Love (and this works surprisingly well, but I also introduce the other major transformative plot arc involving Barry Egan [Adam Sandler]) and I open the essay with the opening lines from Snow Patrol’s song which captures exactly what I am talking about:

For once I want to be the car crash,
Not always just the traffic jam.
Hit me hard enough to wake me,
And lead me wild to your dark roads.

My implicit goal is to provide the basis for a non-heteronormative reading of Badiou’s philosophy of love. To do this first I slip in a litte line about how the ‘Two’ is what Deleuze would call the quasi-cause (LoS, 33) of the event of love, for Badiou it is the “noemenal possibility [virtualite]” (51). It does not pre-exist the event, but is immanent to itself. Therefore, redefined as quasi-cause, the possibility of the Two opens up. Secondly, the main focus shifts from the post-evental turth procedure (of the truth of the Two encountering the world), to the differential repetition of the event by way of the maintenance of contingency and the wonder of this contingency. The wonder may be experienced as subjective, but the contingency itself is purely cosmic.

To expand on the materiality of romance I have added some of Badiou’s ideas from the Handbook of Inaesthetics regarding dance and theatre — to make a distinction between love (dance, virtual movement) and romance (theatre, assemblage) — and Deleuze’s The Fold regarding harmony — to draw a similar distinction regarding melody and harmony in light of the function harmonium in the film to reference the ‘infinite’ through the coalescence of the diegetic and nondiegetic soundtracks.

Indigenous Carnivale

From Clif’s blog:

A very cool, and damn motivated and inspiring bloke, called Jack Manning-Bancroft is helping organise the above day. He writes: We welcome you all to this years Indigenous Carnivale. On Saturday the 26th of May it will be National Sorry Day. We will pay our respects to those who have suffered in the past, we will pay our respects to those who continue to suffer, and we will offer nothing but respect to each other. This is our arena. This is our community. This is our time.

Running alonside Carnivale is it’s big brother AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) – where Jack’s helping me to do some mentoring work. It’s a mentoring program that works with High school Indigenous students. All of the profits from Carnivale will go to its big brother AIME.

Music Acts include: The Herd, Radical Son, Saving Grace, Japa Boys, Indigie Femme, Aunty Wendy’s Mob, Emma Donovon, The Street Warriors.

There is also an art exhibition: Divided we Fall is an exhibition to be curated by leading Indigenous artist Bronwyn Bancroft, and supported by Sharmilla Wood and Andrew Dowding. Divided we Fall will feature artworks from mainly Aboriginal artists working in both urban and rural settings. On one level the cross-section of work demonstrates that Aboriginal art and culture is not homogenous or static, but dynamic and diverse.

Carnivale will run from 3pm till 10pm @ Sydney University’s Manning Bar. The Event will be held on all three levels.

It is an all ages event! Tickets can be purchase @ all Moshtix outlets and from Access which is on the middle level @ Manning @ Sydney University. It’s only $10 !!

I am going.