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In a way, blogs have proven to be the Citizens Band radio of the oughts — and “10-4, good buddy” has become rarer as other forms of “social media” take over the role once played by the Internet’s independent proprietors of commentary and cat pictures. Still, as we get older we ought to accept (at least those of us watching Swervedriver videos on YouTube ought to accept) that we will not be “forever fresh”; and in contemporary society, it is perhaps surprisingly and usefully true that there is little more immutable than paranoid psychosis. I’ve been feeling better: after fifteen years of floating with the more dysphoric parts of the universe, you get used to things being not quite as you would have them and even not necessarily being the way you perceive them. Furthermore, some of the things I have successfully been in my lifetime (cultural journalist, radical social democrat, not-particularly-militant atheist) seem to be a little more au courant than when I was darkly dreaming that a creature named “W.” had never existed and that “cold calling” people in email was a valid pastime for a grown adult. So I am restarting the blog, to compile a record of a sort of madness and its theoretical sequelae; don’t say you weren’t warned that your kids shouldn’t grow up to be zeroworkin’ “Western Marxists”, though.

Ernie Kovacs/Edie Adams, “Food”

As perhaps befits a totemic figure for the US Army, James Brown’s dancing was Italianate: that is to say scientific. When you see someone make themselves into a whirling contraption – they are becoming less than they were and less noticeable, and they know this: but JB moved so well you didn’t notice he was “stepping”, not participating in genuine modernist gyrations; how can he, how can he, how can he conduct the Orchester while moving so precisely from place to place and snapping his fingers? Ultimately many try, but those moves were “of a piece” and of a time — there is no “Maceo Parker of Attica” and nothing to do but watch and learn and try.

James Brown: Cold Sweat (1967)

Modern and new


Ultranotebook: re-loaded

Averaging more than 8 hours of battery life, the Acer Timeline sets a new standard for value, mobility and productivity.

Eddie Floyd — I’ve Never Found a Girl (to Love Me Like You Do)



With friend you get eggroll


Extra parliamentary

IT and Ben have pictures from London today: the focus is sharp and the message precise, but as per usual the “message” is “Don’t Try This At Home”.

Walter Reuther at the time of the March on Washington

“Chrysler believes there is no reason for withholding complete riding comfort from those who desire the utmost in motoring. Naturally, the basic changes that so definitely influence complete riding comfort are not made at low cost. They cannot be included in all cars in all price groups. But, for you who prefer motor cars that are wholly apart from the commonplace, Chrysler offers for 1934, the utterly distinctive, Floating Ride Airflow Chrysler.”


“There will be nothing to disturb the smoothness of its tear-drop silhouette as it cuts through the air”

Raymond Loewy, “The Evolution of the Motor Car”, Advertising Arts, March 1934, p.39 (quoted in Meikle, Twentieth Century Limited: Industrial Design in America, 1925-1939)

Joseph P. Kamp, Join the CIO and Help Build a Soviet America: A Factual Narrative, Consitutional Education League: New Haven, CT, 1937

Well, the maximum leader-to-be explained today how tax cuts and infrastructural improvements will help solve the “recession”: color me unimpressed by this nuevo-Chicago approach to the economic crisis. Although a “personalistic” approach to the causes of recession (investors were scared of Obama) may not fall too wide of the mark, surely the solution requires a massive and impersonal readjustment of the American economy: it’s perfectly all right if some American company happens to be a “global innovator”, but playing that particular language-game (part of the Democratic dream of a Euro-Canadian “prestige economy” for the US) is not necessarily going to produce the necessary “jobs here now”.

However, since the votes are in my position as informal advisor to the ticket has been replaced by a status as threat to the forthcoming trust between “the taxpayer” and the government, so I’m going to switch over to what I did, if not best, at least first: formalized social theory. I was embarassed by the state of the “Logic and Politics” essays from half a decade ago, so I removed them from the blog; now they’re back. I haven’t rewritten them from top to bottom: I would certainly not take certain flights of fancy today (trying to get a verstehende grasp of Gentzen’s SA worldview as expressed in his presentation of logical formalisms, e.g.) but the idea of actually tethering the infamous “double hermeneutic” – explaining the social in terms of the individual and the individual in terms of the social — to “games of truth” with precise boundaries and rules still seems like a good one to me.

Along those lines, I have a few new conjectures (an equivalence between forcing and the Gentzen proof of consistency for PA rendering Tarski’s distrust of the latter “deprecated”, the game-theoretical character of truth theories containing their own truth predicate and the accompanying covert “aletheism” of nonzero-sum games) that I’d like to fold into the usual considerations of the usual suspects; but on occasion I do think before speaking, or writing, so it may be a while before I lay those out. I also will be finishing the Montague Grammar exposition, although the tree diagrams necessary to explain disambiguated sentences may necessitate making the finished product a PDF or DJVU rather than individual posts; furthermore, I plan to do some selective translation of Nietzsche and Luhmann. (If this all strikes you as ludicrous, let me say I’m glad to be one of your best entertainment values.)

Compounding the commitment, the Portland area is unusually experiencing something like normal North American winter weather and consequently everything is all messed up. I walked uphill through the snow to tell you that there won’t be any featurettes this week: as regards approximations to contemporary relevance in art and music, you’re on your own. Otherwise, I guess I’ll leave this as an “open post” for people to write in requests for topics they want to see Mr. Rubard address; if there are no recommendations, I’m going to assume that my status as “blogger’s blogger” is secure and I should continue to write in the same inimitable style.