Wednesday, September 11, 2013

more on 9-11

Well, that last post touched a few nerves!  About conspiracy theories surrounding 9-11.  My point was not to debate the significance of various bits of evidence, some real some nonsense, that inevitably come up over the question of whether operatives in the US government planned the attacks.  That never goes anywhere except for some particularly passionate devotees of the US-responsibility hypothesis who - when anyone remains unconvinced - then flood you with internet articles written or heavily cited by other 9-11 conspiracists.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

9-11 - a roaming reflection

Nothing comes from nothing.

Has it been 12 years?

I remember where I was when Kennedy was killed; and I remember where I was when I heard about the September 11, 2001 attacks.  I need to make confessions.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reflections on Beck's "Unclean"

St. Catherine of Sienna, when she felt revulsion from the wounds she was tending bitterly reproached herself.  Sound hygiene was incompatible with charity, so she deliberatley drank a bowl of puss.

-Mary Douglas

Some years back, I was writing quite a lot about gendered power and something called "exterminism," a term I stole from Mark Jones, a Welsh socialist I befriended on the internet.  In looking at both of these topics, my editor for Sex & War, De Clarke, came up with the term "taint."  In association with gender, taint works in specific ways that reinforced the boundaries between men and women and the power gradient along that boundary - and this phenomenon could be seen throughout society and across time in other areas of endeavor as well.

Taint is that invisible pollution that attached to various things - fractal-like - at differing scales:  "cooties" on the playground, white women with black men (a biggie in the white South), plants that are "weeds," imaginary "germs," or even whole peoples (Jews compared to vermin by Nazis).  In each case, and especially in the grown-up cases, this state of pollution was irremediable, and the final solution (pun intended) was extermination.  Exterminate the germs, the bugs, the weeds, the vermin-people.  And exterminism is the willingness to accept mass extermination as a solution, which Mark used to call "the final stage of imperialism."

Friday, September 6, 2013

Penile Politics Redux

But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
  -Matthew 14:27

A few years ago I blogged a piece called "Penile Politics" on my old site, Feral Scholar.  Can't link it right now, because the site is trashed, but De Clarke is trying to rescue our old work there.

The rant was during the Bush era, and it was about all the ways that domination-masculinity (related to the weaponized phallus and "balls" as a synonym for courage) shows up in political discourse, and therefore in political decision-making, usually with really bad consequences.  Well... it's back.  No surprise there.  Modern patriarchy is more and more about who has the biggest gun.