Archive for December, 2006

Rob Brezsny I take it back

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

I’ve always thought that Rob Brezsny had something against me. Well, not me, personally, but Leos. And you know how Leos are – offend one and you’ve offended the entire pride. I used to read his column religiously in the Metro Times, in the old days, when I lived across from Detroit. And damned if he didn’t despise Leos. I mean, every other horoscope was witty, a piece of literary mastery, with all the other signs clearly admitted to the inner circle, and in on the joke to boot. For Leo, he could hardly be bothered to conceal his contempt with a few (scrawled, I’m sure) barren lines worthy of the trashier rags. I couldn’t help but be personally affronted. And I would say to My Friend, who is a Capricorn, what the fuck (or wtf, as the kids say online – txt me k?) Why does Capricorn get all the good ink? And it’s true. I mean, Brezsny’s insights and predictions for Capricorn were down right freaky they were so spot on, at least as far as My Friend’s soap opera life went.

Well. For some reason, I was bored and aimless, feeling I’d nowhere to roam on the web, and thought, what the heck, I’ll check out my horoscope on Free Will Astrology. And, you know, it spoke to me. In a way that Brezsny hasn’t in, well, ever. Then I went back a couple weeks and they, too, were brilliant. So, Rob Brezsny, though you couldn’t care less, I take it back. Here’s his latest prediction pour moi:

Leo Horoscope for week of December 14, 2006

“Your face alternately contorts with strain and breaks into beatific grins. Your body language careens from garbled jargon to melodic poetry. Your clothes make a fool of you one day and show off your inner beauty the next. Are you becoming bi-polar? Probably not. The more likely explanation is that you’re being convulsed by growing pains that are killing off bad old habits as fast as they’re creating interesting new ones. This is one of those times when you should be proud to wear a badge that says ‘hurts so good.'”

I feel heartened.

Dialectical obligation

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

“Theory is only realized in a people so far as it fulfils the needs of the people… Will theoretical needs be directly practical needs? It is not enough that thought should seek to realize itself; reality must strive toward thought” (Marx, Early Writings, pp. 52-4).

What does this mean? Practically speaking. For academics engaged in theoretical work. When we have no control over, or even impact on, “reality”, which is obliged to “strive toward thought”.

Who killed the electric car?

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

I watched the most amazing documentary this weekend – Who Killed the Electric Car? I wanted something light (lite, really); something along the lines of You, Me and Dupree (which I admit with the appropriate amount of shame). It was the end of a long day, full on kids, you understand. When My Friend returned with what I imagined to be the driest possible thing to ever be put on dvd, I was not thrilled. But at this point my options were severely limited – nothing on but CSI reruns till SNL, and I’d be sleeping by then.

Anyway. Who Killed the Electric Car? is one of the most amazing films. It’s not your typical “eco-crazy’s” conspiracy theory. It actually happened. It reminds me of all those dystopian visions of the future, you know, where everything is Taco Bell. Fucking scary. People who believe that “those in power” are benevolent, benign, just doing their jobs are not just painfully naive; they are dangerous. Ignorance is not bliss; it is the path to ruination. You absolutely must see this movie.

On another note, throughout the entire film, I thought, wow, this would make an amazing SCOT case study. All the relevant social groups were discussed (fine, “actants”, if you must be Latourian about it) and their interests in electric car technology (mainly the battery, but also supporting infrastructure) revealed. By tracing these groups throughout the short life of the electric car, it became clear how this new technology came into existence, and was then “disappeared” just a few years later. The powerful economic interests that hovered unseen just below the surface are exposed in this doc in the most chilling way – its not just the automakers, or their partner, the State, or even Big Oil (is there any other kind?). It’s literally a world economy based on the delicate interleaving of practice (car driving), technology (combustion engine), fuel (oil) and infrastructure (roads, gas stations), all of which creates the facade of a self-generated, sellf-sustaining culture. And you can’t fuck with the economy. Apparently.