November 2008

Thats the name of the new Love Is All record. The new Love Is All record that you should own. Why? because its incredible; clever lyrics about everyday life (insomnia, getting drunk, breaking up), awesome singing ( sometimes with the all at once chorus, sometimes boy/girl duet, sometimes just the awesome josephine) amazing guitar sound and sax that is good, not incredibly annoying (like on just about every other fucking record ever) plus the drums and keyboards. Sound good? tell me about it!

I got it just the other day and have been listening to it over and over and over again. so watch the videos and get a copy already;

heres the single

and other great older songs:

A bit of current events commentary over at Notes for the Coming Community in which Agamben charts the anti-democratic turn of anti-terrorist laws in reaction to an absurd and heinous police raid.

The only possible conclusion to this shadowy affair is that those engaged in activism against the (in any case debatable) ways social and economic problems are managed today are considered ipso facto as potential terrorists, when not even one act can justify this accusation. We must have the courage to say with clarity that today, numerous European countries (in particular France and Italy), have introduced laws and police measures that we would previously have judged barbaric and anti-democratic, and that these are no less extreme than those put into effect in Italy under fascism. One such measure authorizes the detention for ninety-six hours of a group of young – perhaps careless – people, to whom “it is not possible to attribute a criminal act.” Another, equally serious, is the adoption of laws that criminalize association, the formulations of which are left intentionally vague, which allow the classification of political acts as having terrorist “intentions” or “inclinations,” acts that up to now were never considered as means to terroristic ends.

read the rest here.

The video to the new Comet Gain Single, Love Without Lies, another great song from an incredible band.

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I have been losing things lately. Its not something I usually do. In fact, I’m proud to say I’ve never lost anything of real value, like my mobile, my wallet, my keys or my passport. I’m not superstitious either, just neurotic, so while I don’t believe its possible, I’m still worried I may have just jinxed myself with this revelation. (I did leave my passport at a friends, but that’s a different thing altogether.)

My new propensity to lose things started a few weeks ago, but its become an epidemic this week. For some reason this new undesirable habit centers around my daily swim.

It began with with my weekly swim pass. The pass is a yellow piece of paper slightly larger then my wallet, and prone to hang out of the card slot I would usually put it in.  I tried to adapt to this size issue by putting the card in with my money. But since I am stupid enough to also put my ATM receipts there, which i never look at, and throw away, I threw the card away with them.( Another time i took the card out of my wallet and placed it in my pocket, and forgot it when i changed pants. Like my passport, another case of forgetting, not losing. Luckily, in both instances the staff at the pool remembered me and I was let in without having to pay.)

The next thing I lost was my time slip. I had had the luxury of temping as a kitchen porter at a posh girls boarding school. The work was minimal and they fed me wonderful salmon and chocolate mousse. (It was so much nicer then my previous shift at a University cafeteria, where, like Chaplin, I had to grab trays off a conveyor belt 3 trays high, clean and separate the plates, bowls and silverware and put them on other trays on the conveyor belt to the dish washer.) After the shift, I put the time slip in my back pocket and caught the bus to the pool. After having finished swimming, the time slip was no longer in the pocket, it had disappeared.

Yesterday, weary from a night of too much drink and too little sleep, I saw no point in walking up the giant hill I live on twice- especially since its bloody freezing out- so i decided to swim right before catching the train to London. My backpack, then, was a combination of Benjamin books, a notepad and my swimming equipment. My itinerary unfolded as planned; I swam; I caught the train and read; I went to dinner and I unexpectedly ended up coming back down later in the night.

Today, refreshed from enough sleep and little drink, I prepared to go for a swim– but my fucking goggles were nowhere to be found. MOTHERFUCKER. I tore apart my room and I couldn’t find them anywhere. They weren’t even in the lost and found at the pool. I figure they must have come out in the train when i got my book and notepad. So i swam without goggles, half blind in the pool, and bleary eyed now, from the chlorine.

So, there are my tales of loss. But, why? The easy answer is cliche; absent-minded academic syndrome. Absorbed in trying to decipher the fetish content of the Arcades Project I have little attenion span for the banal objects. Ironic that I loose commodities while thinking about their fetish character, but reductivist. Not that I have any other answers, I just want it to stop.

In a library;

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BRILLIANT. Courtesy of the enlightening blog, how the university works:

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Is Benjamin being self-reflexive or a little bit cheeky, because this note can be read as a meta-commentary on reading the Arcades:

Student and hunter. The text is a forest in which the reader is the hunter. Rustling in the underbrush– the idea, skittish prey, the citation–“another piece in the bag.” (Not every reader encounters the idea) 802

I will never hunt, but the metaphor was fitting for the notes I found today; pay offs, that made explicit what was implicit several hundred pages earlier. To put it another way, these notes are the empirical evidence some professor’s need to for theories to be substantiated;

would it be empathy with exchange value that first qualifies the human being for a total experience?”

The process of atrophy of experience is already underway within manufacturing. In other words, it coincides, in its beginnings, with the beginnings of commodity production. 804

Phantasmagoria is the intentional correlate of immediate experience. 804

The world exhibitions were training schools in which the masses, barred from consuming learned empathy with exchange-value. “Look at everything: touch nothing” 805

Now, the question to consider is how this related to immediate and long term experience and Benjamin’s method ?

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