Friday, October 28, 2005

That's My Weekend Sorted

Treat in store for punk music fans

Fans of metal and punk music will get the opportunity to indulge their passions this weekend when an eclectic mix of bands from Bray, Wicklow, Ballina and Galway will be appearing at Katie Gallaghers in Bray.

'Captain Spaulding','Club Scout Disco' from Galway, 'Exploded Face' from Ballina, 'Excalibur Drive Thru' and 'Kid Blunt' from Wicklow, are just some of the bands which are set to appear on stage in Katie Gallaghers this coming Sunday

Organisers of the event, known as 'Roadkill', say the night should be a huge success and it is expected it will be the first of many for the area.

The event is for those aged 18 or over, and doors will open at 9 p.m.

Tickets are priced at €4 each.

Welcome Topo Gigio Fan

A reader in Peru has just been perusing the site for Topo Gigio pics. Apologies for the lack of recent examples. Here he is in proletarian mode:

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Jordi - You're Wanted

Deaglan has a depressing account of his experiences at the Anarchist Bookfair and its aftermath. He asks

"Where is some CNT militiaman with a rifle when you need him?"

But I don't think he means "to shoot the police."

Human Beings - Irritatingly Three-Dimensional

As exemplified by "war hero" Pat Tillman, killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan, and due to meet Noam Chomsky, one of his favourite authors, upon returning home.

Spotted via The Nation.

More Fantastic Cat Abuse

Courtesy of McManus, calculated to horrify Bill and Hak Mao.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Costa del Gol

Hi guys, you may be pleased to know (well, maybe not) that our hero Pablo Counago scored for the first time this season, two goals in Malaga's 5 - 0 thrashing of Real Betis. He got in the starting line-up for the first time as well.


News from the Alty website that Ray Davies , on his recent visit to the Bridgewater Hall, professed his allegiance to the Robins. Whether this is due to the royalties generated by Frank Sidebottom's "Timperley Sunset" is not mentioned.

Reasons to see "The Corpse Bride"

Which I had no intention of doing until I discovered that

1.The models used in the film were designed and made by an animation company here in Altrincham.

2.My nephew Oliver is listed in the credits for work he did while briefly working at Warners 18 months ago.

Wallace & Gromit pah! Bring on the Oscars.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

London Anarchist Bookfair

From Workers Solidarity Movement:

The anarchist bookfair takes place in London. The Workers Solidarity
Movement (Ireland) will be there with a stall and a meeting a 2pm. The
latest edition of Red and Black Revolution (no 10) will be available.

London Anarchist Bookfair
Saturday 22nd of October
The Resource Centre
356 Holloway Road
London N7

Gig of the Week (Next Week)

‘Walking My Troubles Away’
(Mike Chavez-Dawson, Robin Nature-Bold &
Len Horsey, Norman Clayture)

‘Auto Test Pilot 11’
(A Club Night as an Artwork)

Sunday 30th October 2005

8pm – 1am

(£1.80p in, plus a bottle of wine for a fiver, bar open until 12.30am)


Duke Garwood
(Feedback psychedelic blues guitar maverick, Loog Records
debut album 'Holy Week' out now 11.30pm)

Alexander Tucker
(Sampled folk-psychedelic vocals & guitar troubador, All Tomorrows Parties
debut album 'Old Fog' out nov 11pm)

Edward Barton
(80p artist & poet resident contributor 10.30pm)

John Palmer
(Spell blinding melodic acousticism, 10pm)

Little Brother Graham
(Finger-pickin piedmont rag-time blues, 9.40pm)

The Hi-hats
(It's time the partridge Family were knocked off their perch, 9.20pm)

The Lecturer
(Michael Wilson, 'Poet of Truths' to make you self-conscious, 9pm)

Dom Garwood & Mr Thompson
(Playing records in between acts and beyond)

and compering

Mr Chavez-Dawson
(Artist... Modern day Don Quixote and Faustian figure to his alter egos...)

And other odd stuff...

(First act on at 9.00)


Tiger Lounge
5 Cooper Street
(Runs parallel to Mosely Street, off Fountain Street)

£1.80p (80p to Members) Entry Fee

(Yes, there will be door staff)

For further info email:

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Got Better, Surely?

Writer Chris Cleave has a new book out, Incendiary. It is an epistolary novel narrated by a working-class woman whose family has been killed by suicide bombers, along with 1,000 others, at a match between Arsenal and Chelsea.

Here are the opening lines:

"Dear Osama they want you dead or alive so the terror will stop. Well I wouldn't know about that I mean rock 'n' roll didn't stop when Elvis died on the khazi it just got worse. Next thing you know there was Sonny & Cher and Dexys Midnight Runners. I'll come to them later. My point is it's easier to start these things than to finish them. I suppose you thought of that did you?

There's a reward of 25 million dollars on your head but don't lose sleep on my account Osama. I have no information leading to your arrest or capture. I have no information full effing stop. I'm what you'd call an infidel and my husband called working-class. There is a difference you know. But just supposing I did clap eyes on you. Supposing I saw you driving a Nissan Primera down towards Shoreditch and grassed you to the old bill. Well. I wouldn't know how to spend 25 million dollars. It's not as if I've got anyone to spend it on since you blew up my husband and my boy.

That's my whole point you see. I don't want 25 million dollars Osama I just want you to give it a rest. AM I ALONE? I want to be the last mother in the world who ever has to write you a letter like this. Who ever has to write to you Osama about her dead boy."

The New Republic gave the book a mixed review, describing it as a cross between Monty Python and Irvine Welsh. One scene sees the narrator puking from her hospital bed on Prince William's shoes, which I suppose reminded me of Mr. Creosote. Otherwise it's difficult to know if the description is a criticism or high praise.

Incendiary was published in the UK on July 7th.

Campaign for Digital Rights

has a site here and could do with your support.

Very Reassuring

One of the companies looking for security contracts in New Orleans is an Israeli firm called Instinctive Shooting International.

Sounds like one of the government departments you'd find on Community Fair.

Strange, I Thought It All Was

Easy drinking whisky

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Wayne Booth R.I.P.

Written without irony.

Soccer Is Heretical

From yesterday's New York Times, an op-ed by Geoff Porter on frivolous fatwas:

"Fatwas, the legal opinions proclaimed by Islamic scholars, have proliferated in the Muslim world since the 1980's, driven by rising literacy rates and the Internet. The growth in fatwas - some of them contradictory - has led to a debate over who can legitimately issue them and has alarmed governments in the Middle East, since the decrees sometimes challenge state-sanctioned interpretations of Islam.

Yet criticizing fatwas about divisive issues like the propriety of killing civilians and Shiites can be dangerous for officials. So the Saudi government is trying a different tactic, zeroing in on what it considers frivolous fatwas in order to rally support for tougher measures on who can and who cannot issue opinions. Recently, Al Watan, a semiofficial Saudi daily newspaper, reported that a young athlete had joined the jihad in Iraq under the influence of a fatwa forbidding playing soccer by regular rules. The newspaper also republished the fatwa, said to have originally appeared on an Islamic Web site. Portions of the fatwa, which I translated from the Arabic, follow.

IN the name of God the merciful and benevolent:

1. Play soccer without four lines because this is a fabrication of the heretics' international rules that stipulate using them and delineating them before playing.

2. International terminology that heretics and polytheists use, like "foul," "penalty," "corner," "goal," "out" and others, should be abandoned and not said. Whoever says them should be punished, reprimanded and ejected from the game. He should be publicly told, "You have imitated the heretics and polytheists and this is forbidden."

3. Do not call "foul" and stop the game if someone falls and sprains a hand or foot or the ball touches his hand, and do not give a yellow or red card to whoever was responsible for the injury or tackle. Instead, it should be adjudicated according to Sharia rulings concerning broken bones and injuries. The injured player should exercise his Sharia rights according to the Koran and you must bear witness with him that so-and-so hurt him on purpose.

4. Do not follow the heretics, the Jews, the Christians and especially evil America regarding the number of players. Do not play with 11 people. Instead, add to this number or decrease it.

5. Play in your regular clothes or your pajamas or something like that, but not colored shorts and numbered T-shirts, because shorts and T-shirts are not Muslim clothing. Rather they are heretical and Western clothing, so beware of imitating their fashion.

6. If you have fulfilled these conditions and intend to play soccer, play to strengthen the body in order to better struggle in the way of God on high and to prepare the body for when it is called to jihad. Soccer is not for passing time or the thrill of so-called victory.

7. Do not set the time of play at 45 minutes, which is the official time of the Jews, Christians and all the heretical and atheist countries. This is the time used by teams that have strayed from the righteous path. You are obliged to distinguish yourself from the heretics and the corrupted and must not resemble them in anything.

6. Do not play in two halves. Rather play in one half or three halves in order to completely differentiate yourselves from the heretics, the polytheists, the corrupted and the disobedient.

9. If neither of you beats the other, or "wins" as it is called, and neither puts the leather between the posts, do not add extra time or penalties until someone wins. No, instead leave the field, because winning with overtime and penalty kicks is the pinnacle of imitating heretics and international rules.

10. If you play soccer, do not appoint someone to follow you called a "referee," since there is no need for him after doing away with international rules like "foul," "penalty," "corner" and others. His presence would be in imitation of the heretics, Jews and Christians and would follow international rules.

11. Young crowds should not gather to watch when you play because if you are there for the sake of sports and strengthening your bodies as you claimed, why would people watch you? You should make them join your physical fitness and jihad preparation, or you should say: "Go proselytize and seek out morally reprehensible acts in the markets and the press and leave us to our physical fitness."

12. If you finish playing soccer, do not talk about your game and say, "We were better than the opponent," or "So-and-so plays well" and so on. Instead be concerned with your bodies and their strength and muscles, and say, "We played only to drill in running, attacking and retreating, and to prepare for jihad in the name of God on high."

13. You should spit in the face of whoever puts the ball between the posts or uprights and then runs in order to get his friends to follow him and hug him like players in America or France do, and you should punish and reprimand him, for what is the relationship between celebrating, hugging and kissing and the sports that you are practicing?

14. You should use two posts instead of three pieces of wood or steel that you erect in order to put the ball between them, meaning that you should remove the crossbar in order not to imitate the heretics and in order to be entirely distinct from the soccer system's despotic international rules.

15. Do not do what is called "substitution," that is, taking the place of someone who has fallen, because this is a practice of the heretics in America and elsewhere.

These are some conditions and precepts so that morally aware youth do not inadvertently imitate heretics and polytheists when playing soccer ... Hell awaits those who die playing soccer according to rules established by heretical countries, at the head of which is America."

A Heartwarming Story for Cold Winter Evenings

Mom Who Set Son On Fire With His Puppy May Get Death

Monday, October 17, 2005

Winner Candy

You can already take a look at the long list of awards for the Sitges Film Festival. The film awarded for best picture and best script in the Fantastic section is Hard Candy, a triumph to which surely my Catalan subtitles contributed (ahem). Surprisingly the film has a very low rating at the IMDB site.
Anyway, right now they are showing A History of Violence, the last film by David Cronenberg. In my opinion, one of his most enjoyable and interesting works.

No Doubt the Sex Was Getting Stale By Then

Actors Chad Murray and Sophia Bush have split up after being married for five months. Five MONTHS!

During a tearful seaside wedding ceremony in April, Bush and Murray exchanged handwritten vows to one another. However, a longtime friend of Bush said, "Sophia went into the marriage believing in the sanctity of marriage, and Chad simply did not share that vision."

So, his vision was what, exactly? Buy one, get one free?

Two to Look Out For - And Avoid

Reviews from Entertainment Weekly:

Cry_Wolf: contains no actual wolves, but it does have some howlers. ''His buddy list reads like the sex offenders registry,'' snipes one prep schooler of another. Ha, ha, kids these...wait, what? Director Jeff Wadlow's thriller is 10 parts sass to 1 part sense, with twists more self-consciously contorted than a yuppie yoga retreat. The characters — bored rich snots at a suspiciously understaffed private academy, passing time by using the sinister Internet to invent a serial killer (who might already exist) — are nothing but walking attitudes. But even with the wires showing and the Screams of yesteryear ringing in our ears, Cry_Wolf is underscored with idiot adolescent excitement (and gets extra absurdist points for casting Jon Bon Jovi as an educator).

Venom: is a mud-simple horror trudge set in a swamp colony of Abercrombie models. All line up obligingly to get mulched by a zombie redneck (an unwitting repository for evil, thanks to voodoo-tinged snakebites) who is, by far, the most sympathetic presence on screen. You only wish he had more interesting people to kill. That's the trouble with these little Horror Belt towns — no new blood.

Jose, tell us you had nothing to do with dubbing these!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Pure Serranos

Apparently, Lightning Seeds leader Ian Broudie watches Spanish TV series. Either that or he has some friends in Spain who told him about a TV series called Los Serrano. I have never seen a single episode from Los Serrano myself, but they say its opening song, the theme music, is very similar to “Pure”, one of the first Lightning Seeds hits.
That’s why Ian Broudie decided to sue Basque singer and composer Mikel Erentxun, author of the Serranos song. You can read the news in Spanish at loveof74. Some comments are also particularly interesting, including some comparisons between Broudie and mythical cyclist Marino Lejarreta.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My Sweetheart Has to Wales A-Flown

Actually she's gone by ferry, but it doesn't scan so well.

She's part of a union delegation sent to attend this conference in Llandudno for a few days, leaving me with the peace and quiet to work on my novel about an 80-year-old contract killer named Elsie, although I'll probably spend the weekend watching Villa v. Blues, drinking Johnnie Walker Black Label, smoking a Romeo y Julieta Churchill or two, and surfing the Web for porn.

Lazy Blogger

I'm just finishing off The Rebel Sell: Why The Culture Can't Be Jammed, by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter. It's disappointing, but at times witty. I shan't be investing any effort into reviewing it, however, because it doesn't deserve it and because pretty much everything I'd want to say about it has already been said in this review.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

(Not So Happy) John Peel Day

Mark it in the way you think fitting.

They Never Stood A Chance

The Ireland team, I mean, after receiving Uri Geller's blessing.

I have wondered from time to time, sceptic that I am, what would happen if scientific studies revealed that intercessory prayer was actually effective, but that the results were 100% contrary to the wishes of the person praying. It would put sceptics in a bit of a bind, admittedly, but would the faithful reach the logical conclusion that they'd been praying to Satan all that time?

Hence my query: Do you think it possible, judging by his recent performance, that Uri Geller is the Antichrist?

Personally, I don't. As Colm Murphy said on The Panel last week about Pope John Paul II, who died of a urinary tract infection, "The man had fewer magical powers than cranberry juice." But someone needs to explain what happened last night.

Never mind. At least with England qualifying, the Irish will still have someone to support throughout Germany 2006: Whoever the English are playing.

And in the short term, they can console themselves with the news that TV3's Friday movie this week is the stunning masterpiece Glitter.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It's Always Monday Somewhere

. . . is the title of Chris Mills's blog, to be found here and now linked left.

If you haven't heard any of Chris's stuff, I recommend you search him out now. He's got a new album coming out soon, so you're in luck. Details here.

Hidden Stockpile of Chemical Weapons Explains Smurfs' Colour

Unicef Carpet Bombs Smurf Village.

Hurrah!! Next stop Trumpton.

The Kiss of Death . . .

. . . to Ireland's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup. Uri Geller has been down to Lansdowne Road to bless the stadium and focus his immense psychic powers on Ireland's behalf. Just like he did for Reading and Exeter (although, in his defence, Uri says he'd stopped helping Reading before they were relegated).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Neil Innes MP3s

Available here, spotted at Scratchings.

Where Do the Pineapples Fit Into All This?

Oranges Battle Against Bananas in Kenya.

Not Even Trotsky Could Shoot All of Them

Russian Anarchists, that is.

Rania al-Baz Escapes

From last week's Guardian, good news about Saudi TV presenter Rania al-Baz, who was viciously assaulted by her husband.

Spotted via The Religious Policeman.

Yule Pay for This

A Gated Community on Wheels

That's the very apt description of the SUV given by Potter and Heath in this book, which I've just begun. According to the Guardian, it's now possible for SUV owners to purchase spray-on mud just to give their car an air of authenticity and to disguise the fact that they've never driven it further than Sainsbury's carpark.

In Paris, a group of eco-warriors operating under the name Les Dégonflés have been touring the capital letting down the tires on SUVs using bicycle pumps, a form of protest apparently legal in France.

It occurred to me that perhaps some form of synergy is in order here. If SUV owners want to look like credible off-roaders, perhaps the protestors could help by spraying mud INSIDE the SUVs, through open windows, say. After all, if you've ever been inside an off-road vehicle, it's always caked in mud. Why not take the driver's desire at face value? That way, everybody wins.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Prickly Paradigm Press . . .

. . . is a publishing house financed by University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins and specializing in polemical pamphlets, some of which you can download in their entirety as pdf files via their catalog.

Titles include Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, by David Graeber; New Consensus for Old: Cultural Studies from Left to Right, by Thomas Frank, editor of The Baffler; and Against Bosses, Against Oligarchies: A Conversation with Richard Rorty, by Derek Nystrom and Kent Puckett.

Priests hold Car Park to ransom in Wicklow

From the Wicklow People:

New Priest could bring end to car park delays

Delays over Wicklow town's multi-storey car park could soon come to an end with the introduction of a new Parish Priest, Fr. Tim Hannon.

The council require a small bit of land belonging to the parish for the exit of the planned car park.

Long standing Parish Priest Frank McDonnell is being replaced by the former Rathdrum parish priest, and Fr. Hannon has indicated to the council that he is very eager to get the matter dealt with.

At this month's town council meeting on Monday, Cllr. Bob Kearns angrily slammed the lack of progress being made, and laid the blame solely at the feet of the Church.

'It is a disgrace to hold this car park to ransom,' fumed Cllr. Long (sic). 'Parking is the biggest issue there is in this town.'

Town clerk, Frank O'Toole, expected things to speed up with once the new Parish Priest is in place. Discussions with Fr. McDonnell had been ongoing also.

Westmeath Gets a Library!!

This is GENUINELY a letter from this week's Westmeath Examiner:

Dear Sir,

“This pitiless century, the twentieth”.... Albert Camus....

And the twenty first.

Pity in as short a supply as oil.

Not in short supply are images of torment, aggression, wretchedness, self destruction, immolation, extinction and abhorrence and if you add one to the other as in the lack of compassion and the violent imagery the conclusion might be reached that a diminution of feeling has resulted from a process of blooding to deploy a word from the psych ops department of the military programming sphere.

The trend and the vogue is for pitilessness and this extends to the self or what is left of it.

Teenager observed in a Mullingar supermarket wears a T shirt advertising in this era of self advertisement his assessment or opinion of himself. I Hate Myself and Want to Kill Myself. Could this young man have been reading Friedrich Nietzsche the underwriter as it were to the Nazi a regime and ideology?

“Simplify your life: die.’'..advised Nietzsche. Something of an extremist simplification...

A young man a boy essentially, aged no more than fifteen or sixteen, is overwhelmed by self loathing and this leads him to contemplate suicide. Influenced undoubtedly by a supposed ‘rebel' and equally supposedly ‘iconoclastic’ pop idol and millionaire whose nihilistic and death oriented outpourings in a rational era would be confined to his own rendering to himself alone in a padded cell.

Even as I observed the teenage boy with his T shirt defining his self hatred and death wish my ears became attuned to the wondrously life enforcing and positive music of Mikis Theodorakis and the theme from Zorba the Greek the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis made into a film starring Anthony Quinn as Zorba the elderly Greek so much in love with life in all its forms though never at any time unaware of its tragic dimension. Zorba the man of action.

The writer Saint Expurey towards the end of his life claimed that ‘Inertia is a raw form of despair'.

A message for the teenager and so many others like him? One might hope so... Action of a positive kind as preferable to inertia and despair.

At the same time messages of a positive kind are not the rule. No. Precisely the opposite.

Paul Virilio in his book Art and Fear suggests that people of good will should urgently and collectively speak out against a so called culture which sends out negative messages primarily and predominantly of a misanthropic misogynistic and all too frequently racist and life denying kind.

Paul Virililio the Director of the Ecole Speciale d'Architecture in Paris and the author of more than fifteen books argues for the space and the time for expressions and messages of a sympathetic and compassionate disposition rather than the current predominance of what he defines as a pitiless form of representation in the media and at artistic levels..

One example to suffice as representative of in this instance sensationalism unleavened by concern for ecological damage and the destruction to animal and human life with only Spectacle considered

The Perfect Storm.... Perfection defined in respect of a catastrophe..... Catastrophe as Spectacle. End of story. The message is and it is not a subliminal one as it might have been even a decade ago......Enjoy the Spectacle and then....move forward....... Not good enough.... George Bernanos the author of one of the great all but unknown novels of our time The Diary of a Country Priest wrote these words in 1939.... The world is sick, a lot sicker than people realise. That's what we must first acknowledge so that.. We can take pity on it .. We should not condemn the world so much as feel sorry for it.. The world needs pity. Only pity has a chance of cobbling its pride....... Well.. sixty six years on the world is sicker still by far... Pity has certainly bitten the dust but we must hope that it will be revived again ...

As for Pride, as Paul Virilio writes in his book Art and Fear, Pride has gotten completely out of hand.

Pride is Narcissism is it not and anyone who has been around the block a few times would agree I believe that Narcissism and the cult of self has been promoted hugely these recent years under the ludicrous guise that indulging self is representative of “freedom” when it is representative of nothing more nor less than servitude to self and an abandonment of the concept of mutual responsibility and concern for others.

Hubris, staying with the Greek analogies, comes under dictionary definition in these words.....

Insolent pride... Arrogance.

The cliché may be a cliché but it does tend to bring with it the weight of experience and I feel sure that most people are well aware of what it has to say about Pride. If you know what I mean.

Yours truly,
John Kelly,
Co Westmeath.

Plastic Punk

Before you ask, the background is my bedroom, the handcuffs are for noncustodial purposes and the pencil has a dual function.

Produced here, spotted at Nina's.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Mad? I Was Livid!

News from the Irish Independent that cows are becoming increasingly violent towards humans.

A LEADING west of Ireland vet has warned that cattle have become increasingly violent towards people, with one farmer killed recently in Mayo by a cow.

George O'Malley, whose practice is in Castlebar, Co Mayo, said the problem was particularly prevalent in Limousin cross-breeds that were introduced through artificial insemination some years ago.

Mr O'Malley said the difficulty was compounded by the fact that more and more farmers were only working on the land on a part-time basis.

"In cases of suckling herds, cattle don't have the same level of human contact as they used to, so when they are brought into crushes for testing, they can be extremely wild.

"I have noticed that many Limousin cross-cows are particularly difficult. I was attacked on three different occasions over the last year by this breed. I know of many farmers who had similar experiences. "In my view, it's a very serious health and safety issue that needs to be urgently addressed before fatalities occur."

A farmer in the north Mayo area died earlier this year after being attacked by a cow. An inquest into his death is due to be held in the near future.

"There are some seriously wild animals in cattle herds throughout the country," Mr O'Malley said.

"Some of the old crushes being used on farms should be upgraded so that farmers would not be put at risk from these cows. It is something that my profession is very concerned about at the present time."

Michael Biggins, Mayo IFA chairman, agreed that a problem existed and urged people to be cautious near cattle. "There are now more suckling herds and cattle are not being bucket-fed like they used to. As a result, cattle tend to be more nervous."

Jury Asked to Pray for Guidance

From The Onion:

Spotted at the marvellous Secular Front.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

One to Watch

Newly linked, left, is Community Fair, which has already had the good grace and taste to link to Counago & Spaves, in addition to MI5, McManus, and the Cat's Protection League (Marxist-Leninist).

Sex and the Single Lobster

You only have yourselves to blame if this reminds you of someone you know.

From the very excellent Pharyngula.

Another Armed Raid in Bettystown

Last month raiders stole 70 grand from the post office in Bettystown before being apprehended (though the money hasn't been recovered). Last night, Harry's Supermarket in Mornington was held up at gunpoint. I walked in myself to get some money from the ATM and had just missed the robbers by 5 minutes. All the staff were gibbering wrecks, except for one, Harry's son, John, who'd thought it was good idea to jump into the supermarket van and give chase.

Clearly the perpetrators were amateurs, because they only emptied the tills and didn't even think about breaking into the ATM. Good thing too: I needed cash to top up my mobile.

At Home with the Intelligentsia: No. 25. Hans-Georg Gadamer

(Full image shows Gadamer making obscene "wanker"-type gestures behind Jürgen Habermas's back during a radio debate on ontological pre-understanding and the inescapability of prejudice.)


That's the Italian Committee for the Investigation of the Paranormal, who are going around Italy debunking various Catholic superstitions. According to today's Guardian, they've been compared to magicians who reveal how their tricks are done. Not the most appropriate analogy, given that they aren't the ones purporting to be the magicians. Better would have been to compare them with Houdini. That's an Italian name, isn't it?

What's For (Mana)tee?

In keeping with the World Animal Week theme, an article from the Orlando Weekly on an illegal diner in Florida's hinterlands that gives roadkill a bad name.

Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others*

This week is World Animal Week, sponsored on Ireland's TV3 by Pedigree and Whiskas.

So, presumably, if you're a chicken, rabbit, or horse, your contribution to World Animal Week will be qualitatively different to that of cats and dogs.

(*Yes, yet another excuse to quote George Orwell.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Nothing to Do with Me

Anarchists attack headquarters of Greek riot police.

Prepare for a Productivity Crisis

The scripts to every episode of every Monty Python series colour-coded according to speaker.

The Sublime and the Ridiculous

Today's New York Times:

The Sublime: Curse of the Were-Rabbit

The Ridiculous: What to do with Lenin

Whatever they do with the body, don't let Putin have a say or it'll end up in prison.

Maybe they could put it in the movies. The folks at Aardman Features are superb at stop-motion animation. They could work Lenin into the next Wallace and Gromit movie, perhaps.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Criminalizing the Public Sphere

George Monbiot in today's Guardian.

Not only is the personal political, the political is personal. Control does not recognize boundaries. We are increasingly on the receiving end of a war not on terror but on nonconformity. Whether you're a (New Age) traveller, a hoodie wearer rendering all those expensive cctv systems worthless, a raver with a preference for unauthorised or unsupervised parties, or just a horrid spotty morose teenager hanging around by the shops without buying anything, your abnormal behaviour and deviant lifestyle are regarded not as a personal choice but as resistance. Why don't you get a job and learn to enjoy consuming stuff?

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Not a Ronnie Barker reference, but an atrocious pun to draw attention to a wonderful post at Twenty Major about Dublin's West Link Toll Bridge that neatly follows up the post here below.

Irish Corruption

Just encountered this blog for the first time and I love it.

When I initially moved to Ireland, I was horrified not just by the extent of corruption here but also by the brazenness of it; little effort was made to hide the links in the (usually short) chain, no attempt was made to even disguise or sugar-coat nepotism and partiality, and it was even a matter of pride to demonstrate "cuteness." What most astonished me, however, was the apparent willingness of most Irish people to tolerate all of this, as if it was simply the way of the world. It seems to me that only now, after many, many years of never seeing the promised gains of the Celtic Tiger materialize, that people are recognizing that they've been had. What was the Partnership for Prosperity and Fairness but a massive con to keep PAYE workers placid and contented at the prospect of proportionate pay increases while the Boom was sucked dry by the usual suspects?

Well, I like this blogger's rage. And while corruption may end up just being a wedge issue for the Shinners, it will do us all good to rage and raise our voices till something happens.

March of the Penguins

Promoting Conservative, Christian Values and Making the Case for Intelligent Design.

Oops, sorry.

New Links

Two additions to the list: Nadir, the Web site of the Free Association/Leeds May Day Group has some interesting pamphlets and articles, listed below left as Free Association.

The Autonomy & Solidarity Web site is "an on-line network for anti-capitalists who believe that revolutionary transformation will come from workers and oppressed people self-organizing from below and not from the top down organizing of any state, party or union bureaucracy."

The contents of Issue #1 of Upping the Anti, the journal associated with the site, are as follows:


Editorial: Upping the Anti


Grace Lee Boggs: Revolution as a New Beginning

Ward Churchill: Indigenism, Anarchism, and the State


Gary Kinsman: Learning from Autonomist Marxism

Chris Hurl: Anti-Globalization and "Diversity of Tactics"

Selma James: Race, Sex and Class

Activist Roundtables

Junie Desil, Kirat Kaur, and Gary Kinsman: Anti-Oppression in Anti-Capitalist Movements

Robbie Mahood, Jeff Shantz and Indu Viashistink: The Question of Revolutionary Organization


Erin Gray on "Undoing Gender" by Judith Butler

D. Oswald Mitchell on "Multitude" by Hardt and Negri

Monday, October 03, 2005

On the Slippery Slope

Interesting post at Normblog on the supervision of interrogation by medical professionals.

Whenever an argument about involuntary euthanasia or the notion of a life not worth living is brought up, you can guarantee that those opposed to such ideas will raise the prospect of embarking down a slippery slope of rationalization whereby, once an absolute right to life is discarded, we could find ourselves justifying any number of lives as worth terminating. What is often ignored is that that slippery slope works both ways. If you insist on an absolute right to life and the view that there is no such thing as a life that is not worth living, consider, as a thought experiment, a doctor who is required to revive a tortured interrogatee every time he comes close to death, knowing that the only outcome of this active of revival will be further torture until the prisoner dies. In effect, the doctor is reviving the prisoner in order that he be tortured further. Is there not a case, here, that might justify at the very least the withholding of treatment, if not the deliberate euthanasing of the prisoner? (I take this to mean regardless of the doctor's obligations as a human being to protest torture in the first place).

I had always regarded this as a circumstance at the far end of the slippery slope, a reductio ad absurdum unlikely to arise even in our cynical and dirty world, but it looks like it may be a dilemma some doctors will have to face. That said, as implied by the above, any doctor facing that dilemma is already an accomplice to torture, and torture is always and everywhere wrong.

Castoriadis Update


Agora International
27, rue Froidevaux
75014 Paris FRANCE
Tel: 33 (0)
Fax: 33 (0)
Cornelius Castoriadis/Agora International Website:


Séminaire: "Appartenance, autonomie et haine de l'autre. Un regard sur l'itinéraire de Cornelius Castoriadis à l'encontre de l'altérité." Responsable: Rafael Miranda, psychosociologue. Les séances auront lieu les mardis: 7, 14 et 21 mars, 2006 de 17 à 20 hrs. dans la salle de conférences de l'Association Appartenances Rue des Terreaux 10 Case postale 52 1000 Lausanne 9, Suisse; Tél. 021 / 341.12.50; Fax 021 / 341.12.52. CCP 10-20727-1. E-mail: (Délai d'inscription 1er février 2006).


N.B.: # = Information not yet found/information to be verified.
N.B.: # Informations à compléter/vérifier.

John Green. Thursday, May 19, 2005. "Parerga and Paralipomena." Review of Maurice Brinton: For Workers
"In response to a question from Mute about this section on self-institutions and an invitation to write a collective
statement defining the U[niversity of] O[penness], a debate was triggered on the UO mailing list. Excerpts
follow here"

FRENCH BIBLIOGRAPHY, ABOUT CASTORIADIS (Écrits sur Cornelius Castoriadis en français):

FR2005h# "Penser aujourd'hui avec Castoriadis" Sciences de l'homme & sociétés, 80 (septembre 2005).
FR2005h1# Armand Touati. "Autonomie(s)" (Editorial; Présentation de la section "Debat" de la revue). Ibid.::5.
FR2005h2# Anon. "Crise du sens, imaginaire, autonomie. Penser aujourd'hui avec Castoriadis". Ibid.: 19.
FR2005h3# Florence Giust-Despraires. "Crise dans l'autoreprésentation de la société". Ibid.: 20-23.
FR2005h4# Olivier Fressard. "L'imaginaire social ou la puissance d'inventer des peuples". Ibid.: 24-27.
FR2005h5# Nicolas Stoffel. "L'anthropologie philosophique de Castoriadis, une explication de sa singularité".
FR2005h6# Raphael Doridant. "Démocratie et projet d'autonomie". Ibid.: 32-36.
FR2005h7# Despina Tsakiris. "Psyché et imaginaire". Ibid.: 37-40.
FR2005h8# Chantal Bégaud. "La jouissance de la pensée". Ibid.: 41-42.
FR2005h9# Dolaur-Liberté Crozon-Cazin. "Sur la science, une interrogation philosophique moderne ". Ibid.: 43-46.

Imaginaire, technique et société dans la pensée de Castoriadis". Intervention de Pierre Dumesnil au Collège
International de Philosophie. Séance du 24 mai 2005 (séminaire "L'éthique et la société à l'épreuve des
technologies", Pierre-Antoine Chardel).
Rafael Miranda: sobre las "escuelas del exilio" y en particular las que se inspiraron del pedagogo y resistente
francés Celestin Freinet, presentado el 17 de abril 2005 en Annecy, Francia, con motivo de la conmemoración de
la II Republica española y de los españoles resistentes muertos en el Plateau de Glières (en français).



EL1977 iota, kappa, lamda, mu
EL1985 gamma
EL2004b gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta
EL2005 alpha, beta, gamma, delta


Textos en español sobre Cornelius Castoriadis ( artículos en diarios, revistas y libros)
(Spanish-Language Writings About Cornelius Castoriadis)

ES2004j# "El final de la historia social". Por Patrick Joyce. En Historia Social, nº 50 (III). Fundación Instituto de Historia Social. UNED-Valencia. 2004 (Ref. Castoriadis, p. 44).

Textos de/sobre Castoriadis no publicados (por orden alfabético del sitio web)
(Unpublished texts By/About Castoriadis [listed in alphabetical order by website])
Imaginario capitalista y formación de docentes. Por J. Servín Jiménez.
"La relevancia sociológica de lo imaginario en la cultura actual" Por Angel Enrique Carretero. En Nomadas,
Revista Crítica de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas, número 9. Enero-Junio 2004.
"El "otro" como enemigo. Identidad y reacción en la nueva cultura global del miedo". Por Rafael Vidal Jiménez. En
Nomadas, Revista Crítica de Ciencias Sociales y Jurídicas, número 9. Enero-Junio 2004.
Sobre la igualdad. Por Graciela B. de Busaniche.