Monthly Archives: July 2015

New Orleans Then

“The campaign on Dryades was calculated to start just before Easter because that’s when people bought lots of clothes,” Elie said. Black students from Xavier, Southern University of New Orleans and Dillard, along with a few white students from Tulane and University of New Orleans, joined picketers on Dryades. In mid-1960, former Xavier student-body head Rudy Lombard, SUNO student Oretha Castle and others formed a local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality or CORE. On September 17, 1960, Lombard, Castle, Dillard student Cecil Carter Jr. and Tulane student Lanny Goldfinch were arrested while sitting at the lunch counter at McCrory’s Five and Ten Cents store on Canal St.

Continuez à lire.


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Bruce Cockburn

This is The trouble with normal, a 1981 song lyric I did not know. I notice that Cockburn had the same insight I did, then.

Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
Suddenly it’s repression, moratorium on rights
What did they think the politics of panic would invite?
Person in the street shrugs — “Security comes first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Callous men in business costume speak computerese
Play pinball with the Third World trying to keep it on its knees
Their single crop starvation plans put sugar in your tea
And the local Third World’s kept on reservations you don’t see
“It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Fashionable fascism dominates the scene
When ends don’t meet it’s easier to justify the means
Tenants get the dregs and landlords get the cream
As the grinding devolution of the democratic dream
Brings us men in gas masks dancing while the shells burst
The trouble with normal is it always gets worse


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Teresa Buchanan

Read about her, about Louisiana, and about LSU.


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A line

This is my line in the sand: I can read online for work if I must — even long documents –, and I can read short news articles, but I am not interested in reading books or magazines online for pleasure.


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Notes on my notes, perhaps poetic

The word “offender”

What the older white guard said about the roads and Louisiana: that they say there is construction, and that there is the inconvenience of construction, yet there is no actual construction, “is Louisiana”

The use of vocabulary that depersonalizes, changes our relationship to ourselves and to reality

The only interaction not reduced to buying and selling is that of buying and selling itself: vendors are now “team members,” and shoppers are “guests”

This is to say that the most obviously, and also naturally commercial relationship cannot be discussed as such, whereas every other relationship is reframed in commercial terms

These things are very important


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Foucault, encore

Our present age of austerity requires of us resilience as a psychological characteristic. University counseling centers now have resilience training, and psychology professors receive major grants to study resilience. But “resilience” studies are not science. We have here, then, one of the examples of commercial activity replacing research in the entrepreneurial university. Foucault appears to have something to say about this.

We also inherit a secular tradition which respects external law as the basis for morality. How then can respect for the self be the basis for morality? We are the inheritors of a social morality which seeks the rules for acceptable behavior in relations with others. Since the sixteenth century, criticism of established morality has been undertaken in the name of the importance of recognizing and knowing the self. Therefore, it is difficult to see concern with oneself as compatible with morality. “Know thyself” has obscured “Take care of yourself” because our morality, a morality of asceticism, insists that the self is that which one can reject.

That is from Technologies of the Self. Here are a few sentences from the introduction.

The association of prohibition and strong incitations to speak is a constant feature of our culture.

How have certain kinds of interdictions required the price of certain kinds of knowledge about oneself? What must one know about oneself in order to be willing to renounce anything?

I conceived of a rather odd project: not the evolution of sexual behavior but the projection of a history of the link between the obligation to tell the truth and the prohibitions against sexuality. I asked: How had the subject been compelled to decipher himself in regard to what was forbidden? It is a question of the relation between asceticism and truth.

The hermeneutics of the self has been confused with theologies of the soul–concupiscence, sin, and the fall from grace.

A hermeneutics of the self has been diffused across Western culture through numerous channels and integrated with various types of attitudes and experience so that it is difficult to isolate and separate it from our own spontaneous experiences.

(This book is brilliant and I must get it in a paper edition so I can read it for relaxation.)



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Le chant des oiseaux

Definitely listen to this. When I get my turntable, I will buy it on vinyl.


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